Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Negative Attitude

For most people, putting an image from the mind onto paper does not come naturally. It is extremely difficult for many of us to paint, draw, or generally create beautiful art. Some people are gifted and can see exactly what they want to paint. From these few people emerge an even smaller number with truly amazing talent. Brian Lai is one such person. His artwork is not what one would normally expect to see; in fact, it often looks like meaningless scribbles at first glance.

When viewed in the negative, however, these images become perfectly clear:

It is absolutely incredible to see the inverted image. To me, it looks like there is so much more detail in the negative than in the normal image. If you look closely at the original, however, you can see all the same detail. Brian Lai exploits the human mind and eyes by showing them something they are not used to seeing. It looks like a blob, yet hidden within the blobs are drawings with amazing detail. 

Brian Lai is able to see something that most of us cannot see even after it has been put on paper. His artistic cognitive ability surpasses what most of us could ever dream of possessing. I would argue that Brian Lai's Q is relatively small; it does not seem that he collaborates with many other artists, perhaps simply because what he is doing is so unique that he has not met any other artists drawing in negative. He simply works by himself, furthering a niche of art that is unlike any other. 

It also appears that Brian Lai has an extreme fondness for X-Men's Wolverine. Where most artists have their own internal creative inspiration, it seems that Lai pulls from the movies and comics that he enjoys. This is interesting; his creative thought process seems to be slightly behind his creative abilities. 

Ultimately, though, Brian Lai creates amazing artwork that is unparalleled in its niche. His creative ability catches the eye of everyone who sees it, even those who do not like the Wolverine. 


  1. Thank you for sharing the works of Brian Lai; I was amazed by the detail and clarity of his artwork. Like you were saying, I think it is incredible that he is able to not only transfer his mental image to paper, but also to invert it to the negative image. He must have an extremely high visual-spatial intelligence and a very tight connection between his mental and physical processes. I have never seen anyone create artwork in such a way that combines drawing with light; this idea opens up a whole new realm of artistic possibilities. I think that when Lai finds his original subject matter he will be able to make very powerful statements with his art.

  2. Ooph! This is absolutely incredible! I wish there were images of his brain activity while he was creating these pieces! I'm trying to fathom what it would mean to see a blank canvas and convert a drawing in my mind's eye into the negative, and thus know where to cast my brush strokes or pencil shading. Needless to say, I'm failing at imagining anything comparable. I can't even envision the foresight and technical skill necessary to do this. Pretty darn cool. Thanks so much for sharing, Zach!


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