Russell Crotty: Twilight in the West


L.A.-based artist Russell Crotty makes ink drawings of nighttime skies based upon his own astronomical observations. Some of the resulting drawings are two-dimensional, some are three.


Flat drawings made within telescope-view-inspired circular fields are one way he interprets his sightings. Merging traditions of drawing and sculpture provides another. Russell marks out elongated spaces of the cosmos on paper-covered fiberglass spheres. These “globes” invert our notions of planet and sky. Imagine a planetarium ceiling seen from without rather than within. We become the boundless observers of a contained universe.


Washes of watercolor highlight the ink drawing in his work. In some pieces, hand-lettered text graffitis his nocturnal landscapes. Whether the language is from Russell’s own diary of observational experience, or is borrowed from real estate sales brochures, he often brings attention to the terrestrial developments that threaten the wild places from which he looks.