With love and squalor

May 29, 2012

The word “gloomy” is quite ok for the pictures that are black and white or pale with spots of rusty red, with bald single-eyed bandaged creatures. If these loud or silent, dead or alive beings are interesting for you, their creators are here to explain why their pictures are “so gloomy”.

 


Oleg Pashenko
an illustrator, an art-director in studio F26


What does the word “scary” mean?
I think this word expresses an emotion of a small being (like a human) when he/she comes to a pole of existence, whether it’s nonexistence where there is no life or God and eternal being. If you compare existence to some liquid that is inside of a person, the word “scary” describes the state when the outer strength increases and this liquid grows rough. Some people like this feeling, some people don’t.

What are the limits of what is acceptable to clients and the audience? How do they correlate the fear and the morality, the standards?
If an artist works with something that is considered to be immoral his/her limits depend on how immoral he/she is. Some of them spend their lives teasing the demons but rush away the moment there seems to be any reaction the the actions (like Huysmans). There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (John the Apostle ) According to St.Augoustinos when we have love for God we can do whatever we want. That is to say, there are no limits for everything done with love.


Work with the horror is sometimes a sort of affected feeble-mindedness, aggressive behavior aimed at provoking eschatological feeling. It’s like a man who presses a bad tooth as soon as it stops hurting and prefers the definiteness of pain to the vague hope of recovery.

How do you differ a worthwhile distortion from mediocre gruesome paintings?
It’s more an ethical problem than an aesthetic one. In fact, it’s the audience that deals with the inner horror, and the author doesn’t influence the result at all.

Do the self-created images frighten you? Do you need to distance yourself from them?
They don’t, but some of them I don’t like. The reason is the one I’ve just mentioned: I have some moral pretension to the one who has drawn them. I am not this person anymore and I don’t want to deal with him.

What kind of gloom and deviation is commercially demanded and why?
It’s obvious that the things that are made with unscrupulous mind are commercially demanded. In a room full of corpses every human being is the liveliest one. That’s what people are ready to pay for.



Ivan Solyaev
an illustrator

 

What kind of gloom and deviation is commercially demanded and why?
Deviations are always demanded, whether they’re gloomy or not. It’s essential to be consistent and normal in the system you’ve chosen. An illustrator can’t be perceived by the audience by one work only however hard he tried to uncover himself in it. That’s a long process of self-knowledge and logical narration.



What are the limits of what is acceptable to clients and the audience? How do they correlate the fear and the morality, the standards?
The limit is what allowed. I avoid kitsch or lying to myself. It’s very difficult. You should have crystal understanding not to drawling something that is an empty word for you. The others will never understand only what you don’t understand yourself. The worst thing is not to do things that are immoral for others but to do something that is immoral for you.



Do the self-created images frighten you? Do you need to distance yourself from them?
No, they don’t. That’s not the thing.



What is scary for you?
it’s when you’re sleeping.



 


Dmitriy Jakovlev
creative director at Leo Burnett, artist

What kind of gloom and deviation is commercially demanded and why? What are the limits of what is acceptable to clients and the audience? How do they correlate the fear and the morality, the standards?
Speaking about advertising the deviations are demanded in social advertising or in the advertising of non-commercial organizations. They are mostly aimed at influence the audience by means of a frightening graphic example. The standards of what is normal are imposed on us (as well as social standards), and the limits in this case are regulated by the law of advertising.



How do you differ a worthwhile distortion from mediocre gruesome paintings?
Cliché is a bad idea, fantasy is the most important thing. The comics Gyo by Junji Ito, or Johnny Ryan, Stephane Blanquet, Charles Burns, Jim Woodring, Thomas Ott, Robert Crumb – it’s all about fantasy. There’s so much interesting and so little time.

How can people learn to value strange and gloomy art?
There is a book by Umberto Eco “The history of monstrosity”, a good handbook.

Gloomy illustrations set by Dima Yakovlev

 

What is scary for you?
The uncontrolled depth of a human’s fantasy. God knows where it can lead you. The fear is somewhere in the sphere of obscure, and a constant desire to look in gives birth to the best monsters.


 

 


Misha Virtsev
an illustrator

Disclaimer: I don’t consider my pictures to be scary at any rate but if the floor is mine….

What kind of gloom and deviation is commercially demanded and why? What are the limits of what is acceptable to clients and the audience? How do they correlate the fear and the morality, the standards?
 * Laughing
Russia is a member of bile exporting organization. We have no gloom but the official “Everything is ok” policy. All the gloom is in the kitchens, on the tables, pressed down to the floor with a bottle and a Chezh tea set. It’s in people’s heads.



How do you differ a worthwhile distortion from mediocre gruesome paintings?
If there’s nothing to think over. All there worms climbing out of eyes – God, it’s boring.



Whose career inspires you?
杨新海, a maniac. He slaughtered families.