Turning the media’s most disturbing images into art

Turning the media’s most disturbing images into art
Haunting hyperrealism — From pornography to tragedies – in his new book, British artist Craig Boagey turns confrontational photography into intricate pencil drawings.

There’s something deeply sinister about Craig Boagey’s drawings. The British artist, who specialises in hyperrealistic, pencil-drawn art, aims to recreate the most confrontational images he comes across in everyday media. This includes – amongst other things – blurred pornography, school shootings, and war-torn cityscapes.

Central Saint Martins graduate Boagey switches between red pencil (for images of a more sexual nature) and blue (for those that are more tragic and violent). Each drawing takes between three days to three weeks to complete. “The blue ones are always more difficult because the subject matter is a lot more significant,” he tells Huck. “I like to juxtapose things, so when you have these very delicate and difficult subjects the blue sort of makes them calming in a way – it takes away the intensity.”

These haunting images have now been pulled together for Recital – a new book published by independent, Dalston-based publisher Ditto.

“I’m not necessarily interested in current affairs, I don’t want to make drawings relating to today directly because it would kind of feel like protest art, and I don’t want that,” the artist explains. “The scenes I like to choose are moments in time which are just fascinating, and a lot of the time these incidents create a trend of other similar incidents. In that way, they become relevant to today without necessarily being stories of the moment.”

“I don’t want to shock directly that would be too forced. I want it to be subtle, that works best for me,” he adds. “There are exceptions but, in general, that’s my approach.”

Blue Lucifer, 2015

Blue Lucifer, 2015

Red Drawing #5, 2016

Red Drawing #5, 2016

Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni Hanging, 2016

Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni Hanging, 2016

Red Drawing #7, 2016

Red Drawing #7, 2016

Viet Cong Prisoner, 2015

Viet Cong Prisoner, 2015

Red Drawing #1, 2015

Red Drawing #1, 2015

Gaza, 2015

Gaza, 2015

Recital is published on October 26th, by Ditto.

Enjoyed this article? Like Huck on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Latest on Huck

Surreal scenes from the streets of Tokyo
Photography

Surreal scenes from the streets of Tokyo

A new book by photographer Feng Li uses images of strange encounters to explore the historical centre of street photography.

Written by: Isaac Muk

Re-enchanted England: Exploring Paganism and Folklore
Culture

Re-enchanted England: Exploring Paganism and Folklore

A new book dives into the ancient traditions and rituals that many are turning to in an age of uncertainty, crisis and climate breakdown.

Written by: Thomas Andrei

Inside London’s Museum of Sex
Culture

Inside London’s Museum of Sex

For two days only a derelict house in south east London will become a hub of artwork exploring eroticism, sexuality, gender, and the body.

Written by: Brit Dawson

Why is Neil Diamond’s mega-hit ‘Sweet Caroline’ so intoxicating for sports fans?
Outdoors

Why is Neil Diamond’s mega-hit ‘Sweet Caroline’ so intoxicating for sports fans?

During this summer’s edition of the Euros, one certainty is the ubiquity of Diamond’s 1969 hit. But how and why did it gain such a storied place in England fans’ hearts? Jimmy McIntosh investigates.

Written by: Jimmy McIntosh

Can things only get better, again?
Election 2024

Can things only get better, again?

With the re-emergence of D:Ream’s euphoric 1993 hit and a ’97 style Labour landslide looking likely, Hannah Ewens dives deep into the creation of Cool Britannia, and asks experts whether it could be repeated again.

Written by: Hannah Ewens

The activists fighting the mental health crisis
Election 2024

The activists fighting the mental health crisis

Micha Frazer-Carroll examines the way the mental health crisis has escalated in the last five years and meets those organising to end it.

Written by: Micha Frazer-Carroll

Sign up to our newsletter

Issue 80: The Ziwe issue

Buy it now