Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Artifact-tales of an Antiquarian-Nightspirit

Right in the midst of my diversion to be a modern day Arthur Rackham, and having hitched my wagon firmly to the sepharic winged,I commenced Nightspirit in January 2005.

Inspired somewhat by Atkinson Grimshaw's 'Spirit of the night'-cross pollinated with the 'Temptation of St Anthony', by Flemish artist
Matthias Grünewald, this dark little foray into things that go bump in the night-was I still believe my most successful incarnation in that vein during the period.

The subtext was a rather simple visual play on the poem 'If' by Rudyard Kipling- more specifically the lines...'IF you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs....IF you can dream - and not make dreams your master...'
In this case, I manifested a character or muse, of the Nightspirit- a metaphor for a kind of pied piper, a collector of the malaise and nightmares that vex in the witching hours. It was a lovely excuse to paint beasties, which as an artist I revel in, as well as imbuing all the little demons with personal fears. The monstrous flea for instance was directly lifted from John Donne's poem of the same name.
At the time, to get maximum dollar for my work, I was prefacing every piece with a highly finished line drawing, which also allowed me an opportunity to flesh out my ideas. You can see differences in the characterisations. I should also note, that my wife designed the beautiful costume for this piece.

If nothing else, this work is remarkable in that its one of the few pieces I ever did, that ever went for top dollar, belonging to a private collector friend in Arizona.

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