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Paint It Black: Robert Knoke's Portraits of the Hipster Avant-Garde

November 8, 2010
German artist Robert Knoke may be known to the contemporary art world as a traditional portraitist, but unlike his forbears he's not interested in prettifying stuffed shirts. Instead, Knoke trains his ballpoint pen and markers on an unruly universe of hipsters, avant-garde artists, and visionaries, including Patti Smith and Marc Jacobs, rendering them in stark, expressive images. Here, Knoke walks us through eight of his most representative portraits, all of which can be found in his book 00 Volume 01: Black Material, hitting bookshelves this month.

Olivier Zahm, Editor
"He never takes his glasses off, so I had to illustrate the glasses, too. Dark glasses are hard, because the face lives through the eyes. I was attracted to him because of Purple, his magazine. He follows his own rules; he brings out this mixture of fashion and art and philosophy. I appreciate very much that he fights for this idea. He creates his world through a magazine."

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