Gabrielle Maye Eisenberg (@gabriellemaye.art) is always somewhere in between — ancient and modern, organic and artificial, the city and the country. The 28-year-old Brighton artist chatted with the Globe about blurring lines using pen and ink, creating tiny worlds, and the beauty of power lines.
Q. What do you love most about pen and ink as a medium?
A. I love doing black and white artwork. I kind of think it’s beautiful, combining the light and the dark. There is some symbolism there, I think. I love, too, how detailed it can get. I sort of start with a macro image, and then I’ll go deeper and deeper, smaller and smaller drawings within other drawings to create tiny little details. I really love that element of discovery. You can look at a piece of artwork and notice the smaller things only after a certain time looking at it. It takes a lot of patience to create some of the darks and to really go in and get all those little areas, and I find it gets pretty meditative.
Q. Your work imagines “the collision and osmosis of our inner and outer experience.” What does that mean to you?
A. I think the way each of us perceives the world is so affected by the experiences that we’ve gone through and we all have our own individual lenses. My mom’s from Montreal and over and over, [when I was] a kid we would drive up to Montreal and I remember the mountains of northern New England, the huge electrical lines in southern Quebec. I’ll put that in my artwork a lot. There’s so many of my personal experiences in the imagery in my artwork, but at the same time I’ll show that to somebody else and it reminds them of another experience they’ve had.
Q. Whose work do you think about a lot?
A. I love the Surrealists. I love Magritte. I also look at some Art Nouveau. I like Alphonse Mucha. I also like graphic artwork. There’s another artist in Philadelphia called Isaiah Zagar. He started [Philadelphia’s] Magic Gardens. I think what I love about his artwork is that element of discovery. There’s just so many different places to look, and the more you look at it the more you discover. He has this huge place, but you can zoom in on just one little thing and there’s a world of discovery even in that little area.
Q. Many of your pieces blend or juxtapose cityscapes with natural formations, like mountains. Why is that?
A. I find so much beauty in natural structures, but also in man-made structures and the industrial form. They’re very different kinds of beauty, but I want to celebrate each one and combine them in its own kind of fantastical [composition]. I think about electrical lines and electrical towers and being so mesmerized by those growing up and finding beauty in things that might not be beautiful initially. I also like mirroring the forms a little bit because sometimes the forms sort of evoke each other. I heard once that Chicago is so flat, but it was also the birthplace of the skyscraper and what they were sort of trying to do is create a landscape with buildings. I think that’s something I try to do as well.Jenni Todd can be reached at email@example.com.