© Five Crows, Natick Center / September 2012
Eli Helman is a self-taught artist with an original style of pen & ink drawings he calls Maximalist. Combining an eclectic blend of nature, animal and musical themes with hints of surrealism and a cartoon-ish sense of humor, he weaves a highly detailed and intricate array of decorative and folk art inspired shapes, patterns and images to create a stunning visual experience that is both whimsical and thought provoking. Having an emphasis on tightly drawn lines to create an unyielding lack of empty space, his work embodies one of the many definitions of Maximalism -- to pack in as much as possible while drawing upon many different styles at once. Using a time consuming process to construct his drawings, he hopes that you will find something new every time you gaze upon them.
Born in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1978, Eli spent his childhood in the Boston area before moving to Washington, DC to study at American University. In 2003 he moved to Tucson, Arizona where began experimenting with pencil sketches while working on various music projects. In 2006, he moved back to Boston and transformed his style of pencil sketching into large scale pen drawings using Micron pens on drawing paper. Today he travels around the Northeast showing his work at art festivals. He can also be found at his gallery The Thread Arts Collective near his home in Easthampton, Massachusetts.