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Highlighter Art

Created using only an Indian ink brush-pen and Bic Highlighters (Yellow, Blue, Green, Pink, and Orange), artist Michael Slotwinski pushes the boundaries of what is high and low art.


The concept first came to him as part of a university assignment that had him use unconventional mediums to create artwork. He chose highlighters because they are normally seen as a cheap and expendable utensil that isn’t normally considered to be an art tool. Their function is simply to underline text, and their colours are unnaturally vibrant.


Slotwinski created a criss-crossed colour chart to help establish the colour combinations he could create, and pushed the boundaries further by manipulating the Highlighters by sharpening their tips, dipping them in water, and scraping the page with a blade to simulate a lighter feathered look. In doing so he developed a much greater range as well as the ability to add tint and shading through water dilution and blending with the Indian ink. He used watercolour paper to soak in as much of the pigment as possible.


Another interesting aspect of Slotwinski’s work is the fact that it is transient – it won’t last forever, especially when in contact with the sun. They can only be displayed for a short period of time, or behind UV-Protected glass frames, which means that only the most privileged can see or own them.


There are plans to expand the series further in the future.