Sunday, 20 September 2009

Is that a pangolin on your head, ma'am?

I have been looking at Max Ernst's Une Semaine de Bonte quite a bit recently. Ernst had the brilliantly simple idea of cutting and pasting together sections of found engravings and putting them together into a kind of crazy narrative. He has been enthusiastically ripped off by illustrators ever since.

The unexpected juxtaposition so loved by surrealists (and embraced by illustrators and advertisers) can be a bit wearing, I find. But here it really works. It is a brilliant, weird, and surprisingly naughty book at times, at turns funny and nightmarish. Edward Gorey acknowledged it as an influence on his work and it clearly informs the work of Andrzej Klimowski.

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