Artist Phil Hansen Encourages Literacy Through Using a Typewriter to Create Portraits

Press Release ( - MINNEAPOLIS - Sep 01, 2017 - Artist Phil Hansen recently used his vintage Smith-Corona electric typewriter to type a tiny portrait of Edgar Allan Poe made with words from his poem “Annabel Lee.”

Many of us find poetry quite quickly after learning to read. It can be a wonderful way to discover language and how words can intertwine with our everyday lives. Hansen said, “I’ve always been intrigued how certain words remind me of specific people. Like when someone says the word ‘humble’ it makes me think of recent 6-time VMA winner Kendrick Lamar’s song ‘Be Humble.'” If you know of someone learning to read or write, Hansen says, “Encourage them to experiment drawing with words; it creates a different experience with language.”

The use of words as a medium has a rich history in art, from Joseph Kosuth’s “One and Three Chairs,” which depicts a real chair, a photo of a chair, and the printed definition of a chair, to Roy Lichtenstein recreating comic book pictures with simple phrases. “I was the kid always looking for shapes and faces in paragraphs while reading a book,” said Hansen as he haltingly typed. “So for me, it was a natural extension to use words to make pictures.” In addition to his picture of Poe, he also created portraits of Bob Dylan, Walt Whitman, and Kendrick Lamar. You can watch Hansen create these works in a video he put together showing the creation process. So on Sept. 8, International Literacy Day, remind those around you of all the ways to enjoy and explore literacy.

I’ve always been intrigued how certain words remind me of specific people.

Phil Hansen, Artist


Link to YouTube video:

Link to pictures and GIF in a Google Drive Folder:

Link to the artist’s page regarding this work:

Media Contact:

Phil Hansen
Mobile: 651-271-7445

Source : Phil Hansen
Business Info :
Phil in the Circle


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