Typed Portraits of Literary Legends: Kerouac, Saramago, Bukowski & More

Artists have used all sorts of odd media to cre­ate por­traits, every­thing from gui­tar picks to dice to wood­en eggs. Add to this list Brazil­ian type artist Álvaro Fran­ca, who uses the type­writer. Instead of com­pos­ing lit­er­ary por­traits of his heroes, Fran­ca types out lit­er­al por­traits. The prin­ci­ple of the pic­tures are the same grey-scale print­ing used in news­pa­pers or, if you spent time in the com­put­er lab in the 1990s, those dot matrix images that were such the rage among com­put­er nerds. Using a com­put­er, Fran­ca breaks the image down into dis­crete pix­els and adds one or more key­strokes to that pix­el. ‘I’ and ‘O’ seem to work for lighter greys while visu­al­ly dense let­ters like ‘x’and “m” are used for the dark­er end of the spec­trum.

As he writes in on his web­site:

Type­writ­ten Por­traits is an exper­i­men­tal art project. Dur­ing my exchange in the Cam­bridge School of Art, I devel­oped a tech­nique for imag­ing gray scale with the type­writer and, from there, I made por­traits of five of my favorite authors in lit­er­a­ture who worked on type­writ­ers. The series is still ongo­ing and there are plans for five more pic­tures.

You can see a time-lapse video of Fran­ca cre­at­ing a por­trait of beat icon Jack Ker­ouac above. And below you can see a few more pic­tures includ­ing Charles Bukows­ki and Jose Sara­m­a­go here.

bukowski typed


via Boing Boing

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow. And check out his blog Veep­to­pus, fea­tur­ing lots of pic­tures of vice pres­i­dents with octo­pus­es on their heads.  The Veep­to­pus store is here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Draw­ings of Jean-Paul Sartre

James Joyce, With His Eye­sight Fail­ing, Draws a Sketch of Leopold Bloom (1926)

Jorge Luis Borges, After Going Blind, Draws a Self-Por­trait

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