William Stout (2006).
Welcome to a new dimension of Retro-Futurism. On July 15th, a remarkable book of illustrations entitled Hallucinations came out by William Stout. The Beat just reported that Flesk Publications, which published this book, will have a table at the upcoming San Diego comics convention. The book blurb: "the multi-award-winning artist presents illustrations that capture the very essence of the good folk and odd creatures who populate the dark woods and sun-filled glades of Aesop’s Fables, who wander the wonder-filled roads of the Land of Oz or who tread the blood-red soil of the planet called Barsoom, which we know as John Carter’s Mars."
Stout's official Website is here; he's also a Paleo-Artist, and does Prehistoric scenes. This collection picks up on the current popular revival of the long turn-of-the-century from 1870 to 1930, and offers a very Arthur Rackham-esque treatment of legends, epics, tales. There's also some Aubrey Beardsley in there, some H. J. Ford, and the images draw from the earlier influence of Gustave Doré. Stout adds a modern twist - an Angela Carter subtext seems to haunt his illustrations. Wiki lists of his other artistic influences. His colour palette, in particular, is astonishing in its revival of pale colours (mainly teals, roses and ochres) that are strongly associated with the fin-de-siècle. Pictorial Arts is a great blog devoted to these trends.
Who would have thought in the supposedly Teflon-coated year of 2010, when robots and androids were supposed to wait on us while we lived in a glass and steel world and drove around with flying cars, that pure medieval-revival and Gothic-revival Romanticism would so strongly capture the current mood? The past is the future.
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