I felt a bit like I was rushing this post, but it being Halloween, it seemed appropriate.
The Dismemberment of a Shoggoth is the first work I’ve executed in a larger series, at present titled The Once and Future King. I would have liked to have had the full artist-statement on the series completed when I posted this image, but it’s still in the works, but meanwhile, here’s a snippet:
Referencing T.H. White’s portrayal of Merlin as a being who experiences time backwards to normal reality, “The Once And Future King” serves as working-title for a large body of work documenting a series of strange, seemingly unconnected events whose causal mechanisms exist outside of normal time and space. While we are privileged to the ‘effects’ described by these events – the disappearance of a student from an abandoned Jeep, a garage where some monstrous Lovecraftian terror emerged and was summarily dispatched, a paradox of a time-travelling book – the ‘cause’ of these events seems entirely unknowable. The events themselves play across a fictional timeline, punctuated by a system of signifiers drawn from actual reality and historical reference.
Playing with the compression of time on a narrative scale, characters stand in the moment, posing, proud, as if in foreknowledge of the future-historical significance of their present context, a hypothetical “spark event” for a cataclysm yet to come. The prophetic mode here references, inversely, the truism “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”; within these narratives, history has already predetermined a far-flung future disaster, and while the immediate causal mechanisms of these seemingly random events is unknowable, the certainty of their eventual impact becomes quite monstrous.
Ideally, when complete, the work will be printed around 60″x90″, and funds permitting, on big beautiful lightboxes. I have included some detail shots below to show the level of “readability” present when viewing the work in person, but I’m hesitant to post a full-resolution zoom.it version at present for a variety of reasons.
More props to the Propnomicon for being an essential resource in the creation of various bloods, goo and otherwise disgusting elements for the scene. Also thanks to my buddy Jer who made me a nice tub of gelatinous congealed grossness he whimsically referred to as “thickened water”. And, as always, my brother for posing for me, and my family for tolerating this level of insanity in their own garage.
Happy Halloween everyone!
There was a version with a somewhat telling nosebleed, but it was a little too strong of a mark. I might write more about this series when it has settled a bit, but generally I’m quite happy with the results. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!
And a detail, because these would definitely be printed a lot bigger than they’re appearing on screen:
I have spent the last couple of weeks writing, submitting, and then recovering from a rather heavy job application, to which apparently over a hundred people have applied, so I can only pray I get an interview. I also got another rather large print finished, which I’ll post here shortly.
In other news – welcome to the Ten Days of Cthulhu, an unofficial holiday that might have been made up by someone else already, but I’m at least highlighting here and to some degree claiming it as my own.
In H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu, the principle character encounters a young artist who, during the period of March 23rd to April 2nd, 1925, dreams endlessly of the sunken city of R’lyeh, where the ancient one, Cthulhu, slumbers in waiting. Many others at this time share the same nightmares, culminating when suddenly this artist takes to a feverish coma of sorts – and when, halfway around the globe, certain other dread happenings raise R’lyeh to the surface and awaken the elder god from his sleep.
So, to celebrate, apart from some other dorky revelry involving a Lovecraft-inspired board game and a good deal of reading, I do believe I will take it upon myself to engage in a ‘durational project’ involving a bizarre fusion of crossroads rituals and Cthulhu mythos. It could be wacky.
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.” (“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”)
And I have a couple other applications to get done. So who knows what will come out of this ten/eleven days of darkness! Enjoy!