A Butterfly's Reflection
Line Art Drawings! Detailed zombie cityscapes featuring weird tales, unusual characters and the monstrous underbelly of mankind and the metropolis. Entitled “The Butterfly’s Reflection” this pen and ink artwork depicts multiple vantage-points including interior, exterior, birds eye and first person camera angles of a day in the life in the city of gears. The illustration is divided into carious comic book style panels in order to express the simultaneously alienated and interconnected activities that occur at any given time in a big city. Although the imagery and thematic explorations remain cohesively consistent throughout the “HEY APATHY!” mythology, this series investigates several literary and technical devices previously unexplored in my artworks.
I generally start all of my line art drawings with a simple idea; a single sentence, word or experience that motivates me to transcription. In the case of this illustration I started out creating a “portrait of people who don’t care”. This pessimistic sentence initiated the central portion of the artwork in which a bizarre gathering of monstrous characters is taking place inside some sort of hall which seems to be located inside of a skyscraper. The party is full of creepy people indulging in drink and conversation while waiters can be seen serving credit cards like h’orderves. This train of thought led to a multitude of strange situations including a baby crossing a busy street ignored by hordes of shopping denizens, billboards selling soldiers and a factory conveyor-belt sorting computer technicians alongside of human body parts…
Despite the chaotic stories scattered throughout this cityscape, the title of this work was inspired by the imagery in a one particular comic-styled panel found in on the lower middle right-hand side of the illustration. In this panel a young woman can be seen looking in the mirror applying her lipstick. The woman appears attractive, wearing all white with beautiful butterfly wings while her reflection is shown as that of a giant cockroach.
The initial idea behind this scene was too show a private moment amidst the madness of the raging city all around, however as the women is clearly preparing her image for the outside world the panel suggests that even our solitary actions cannot escape the psychic grip of society. The image raises questions about one’s self image; can someone as beautiful as a butterfly mistake themselves for a cockroach? Is she really a cockroach under all her make up, wings and accessories? Or is it simply meant to express the futility of all vanity? I named the work after this particular moment because I felt that its poetical contradiction to the rest of the image presented the viewer an opportunity to place their own private existence in context with the illustration.
The original drawing was approximately 26” x 40” and done with pen and ink on paper. The process for these line art drawings differs from most of my previous work in two major ways. First of all I tried using only fine tip pens ( 0.70 or smaller) which had the effect of scaling down my line work thereby enhancing the minute details in the drawing.
The second difference is that I used a variety of drafting tools such as rulers, French curves and compasses which I had never experimented with before ( I tried some rulers out on the construction series but this was a far more extensive exploration). This gave the image a more polished aesthetic and many long time collectors started questioning if it was in fact my work. These new techniques also enhanced the literary aspects of the artwork as they enabled me to create numerous vignette story-arcs within a single creation in a manner I had previously been unable to achieve.
Strange Office towers open their intestine interiors swallowing citizens of the City of Gears!
Building New Cities is Building New People! Surreal drawings about Cranes and Construction