The incredibly detailed pen and ink illustrators of Toronto based artist Paul Jackson take on the form of animals and humans, with their insides ascending from their bodies. His rendering of skeletal structures of wolves, dinosaurs, and humans is anatomically something to be admired. His illustrations have a dark aura, as he portrays different animals with layers of organs erupting from their skin. We can see Jackson’s well-refined skill in the very believable texture of the fur, skin, and bone in his work. Each illustration remains very realistic, despite their mystical nature. His creatures are like spirit-animals that are attempting to rise out of their earthly shell, erupting out of their exteriors.
There is a strong element of life and death his Jackson’s work, as many of his drawings contain half living creature and half skeleton. Pushing this boundary of the living world even further, many of Jackson’s works contain a visible “glitch.” There is a disruption in the composition. A face slowly turns into waves of “white noise,” like a sound wave encountering interference. This interference literally blurs the line between a creature, like Jackson’s bear, that is alive, with one that is dead. The artist has created his work on a large and small scale, and even has many of them available as prints, t-shirts, and patches. Make sure to check out his website for more astonishing illustrations and a great time-lapse video of the artist in action.
Upon running out of paper, the French illustrator DZO turned to unexpected canvases: a found skull and stones collected from the river. Following the curves of the bone and rock matter, the artist imagines monstrous and divine forms. Skulls, serving both as surface and as illustrative content, lend the pieces a distinctly foreboding current. Coiled upon itself, a serpent and a tentacled beast recall John Milton’s Satan, carrying with them notions of death and fallenness. As if gazing at her mirror reflection, a woman, quite like the Medusa with thick serpentine locks of hair, is imprisoned within the surface of a stone.
Despite all his allegorical references to death and decay, DZO imbues his stones and bones with an undeniable pulse of life. His fertile images, these doodles that turn in upon themselves with passionate vigor, are alive with creative energy. As the artist was inspired in part by Medieval artwork and alchemy, the stones may be viewed as modern-day interpretation of the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary object said to be capable of transforming lead to gold and human being to immortal.
DZO’s art objects, serving as strange embodiments of both death and fertile abundance, much resemble Medieval and early Renaissance engravings like those created by Albrecht Dürer. Through his ecstatic use of religious symbolism, DZO leaves the interpretation of these magnificent objects to the viewer. The skull and stones may be turned in any which way; with the shifting perspective inherent in the medium, we might choose to see his pentagrams right-side up, denoting holiness and religious faith, or upside down, symbolizing corruption and death. Take a look. (via Colossal and Lost at E Minor)
Proliferations of mixtape-themed things exist in the art & design world, having hit a high point in the mid-2000’s—where images of “vintage” cassette tapes covered everything from pillow cases to USB drives. What got lost somewhere in there was the sentiment that was originally attached to the archaic plastic medium, the sense of pride that comes from crafting (and usually gifting) someone with a perfect, personal selection of songs. Portland-based illustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt has embarked on a long-running series of mixtape drawings, where she picks up long-since discarded cassettes and makes a quick, humorous sketch…and she’s taken submissions for the project for a while now. As a series, the fresh, expressive drawings reveal an intriguing cross-section of personalities, musical tastes and long-lost good intentions.
Derek M Ballard just announced that Drippy Bones Books is releasing CARTOONSHOW once December comes around. Judging by his past body of work this book couldn’t be anything but amazing. Somehow he’s married erotica with angularity, which is no easy task, and the result is just downright sexy perpetual motion. In this interview, Derek fleshes out his influences, his process, and his awesome past occupation. To see more of his work, just head down here. Dude’s gonna get huge any day now.