Thursday, May 21, 2009
Mater-Hulk Revolt Manifest
I've been trying to capture a certain sensation that I once felt pretty strongly. I associate it with science-fiction book covers, polish poster art, Tarkovsky films and a lot more sort of random "things".
I was at first a little reticent to follow that route, as I thought of it as more too-common nostalgia mining ( for a time I wasn't alive in to boot), but - and forgive me for being obtuse here- This fleeting sensation or aesthetic pleasure is one that I feel rooted to in a real way; it's not merely an attempt at dwelling in the past, but of drawing threads from it to now.
It isn't some sort of ironic connection, in other words.
Beyond just kind of feeling my way through lines and forms, while drawing this, I imagined an alternate future/present, in which all those "fantasy" illustrators who sold their self-published "folios" at flea-bag comic conventions throughout the 70s-80s somehow came to prominence. What if their influence was at work in a big way?
I rarely conceive of any sort of literal translation of the image into a coherent narrative or statement, but I think a general theme along those lines that I think is present in a lot of my drawings has to do with the idea of technological "meddling" with biologic forms; stuff like genetic manipulation, nano-technology, etc..
It's something I fear in a general way, but it's also very mysterious and awesome. The fear has more to do with ruining that epic mystery; the would-be masters of creation, in their march toward "progress" rebel against that mystery because it's something that can't be measured or contained. Hopefully that "mystery" is conveyed through lines, forms, colors, etc., that illicit some kind of emotional response. I feel it while drawing sometimes, but have no idea if it translates for the viewer.
Late-Capitalist Mysticism? Judeo-Christian backwash? Maybe so...
Lately I've been using an horizon-line in drawings that are meant to be somewhat representational, or convey the idea of specific forms in a specific space. Sometimes I rebel against that and seek to only use the page as the space to be dealt with. It's another limitation, and it's one I pretty much can never fully go along with. Eventually, I give into my urges to make forms, but like to try to make them just "off-flat", so there is some dimensionality at work, but it's toyed with or its rule is not followed. I often think of medieval Illuminated Manuscripts while I'm drawing images like this. I think they often achieve a perfect "off-flatness", to coin a phrase.
All the while though, I can see a lot of obvious influences come into play, always as an after-thought; Really busy graffiti, the Charles Burns brush-line, other horror comics, etc., etc., All of these were things that I was looking at as I was trying to learn how to draw, and I think it's pretty much impossible for me to shake them.
The connective tissue between all of them is a very controlled, sure line, but often used to create grotesque or outlandish forms. I've been getting better at allowing myself to make dirty or ugly lines (FILTHY!!), but there is something about making clean lines that I'll always enjoy, I think.
ANYHOW. It is good to be back. As I'm sure you ALL FUCKING KNOW AND ARE TIRED OF ME WHINING ABOUT, I tend to be pretty conflicted about a lot of the work I make, and I that makes my art-related "concerns" suffer; all the blogs I've started and stopped, books I've planned to make, every project I've ever talked about and, most of all, all of you guys who put up with it. In all earnesty, I thank you guys for giving a shit. It's pretty amazing that we have the opportunity to communicate the way we do and to show our work to each other. THANK YOU.