Over the last couple of months, I have been assembling images for inclusion in the forthcoming BRUTE! art book and I’ve been quite surprised at how difficult it’s been locating hi-resolution copies of my work from the 80s and 90s (much of it lost to corrupt back-up discs etc.). Of those I was able to source, several files had to be extensively repaired, many of the album covers from that period requiring major re-rendering to make them usable for publication.
There is still much restoration work to be done before the book goes to print next year but am now able to offer BRUTE! fans the chance to get their hands on one of these glorious vector-rendered versions, available as signed canvas prints. For details on how to order yours, please PM me here or order yours direct from the blog shop.
I was approached by leading Czech indie music magazine, Full Moon, to give an interview about my work with KMFDM, Massive Attack and others.
You can check out the full interview here or read the edited translation here (my replies in bold):
1) I’m just looking at the Martin’s great painting The Great Day of His Wrath and I am still fascinating by it – by its emotional power and magnificence. What’s the strongest thing on it for you?
I first saw it in London and was blown away by its physical size. It’s very ominous and standing next to it made me feel inconsequential that I kept dodging looks at it over my shoulder as we were viewing other works in the same gallery. The shadows are so deep that they feel like yawning chasms ready to suck you in and the sense of apocalyptic scale increases the feeling of vertiginous dread. Martin takes snippets of dreams and then cranks them up to 11.
2) I read that your father was a landscape painter – was it him who took you to the world of art and paintings for the first time?
My father was a well-known sea- and landscape painter (as well as an accomplished musician) but I don’t remember him being an avid visitor of exhibitions that much. He took up to the galleries in Liverpool once or twice but neither my brother or I were interested in classical art and sculpture so I guess he gave up. However, he had an astounding collection of art and architecture books which, along with the comics and magazines I grew up with, formed the basis for much of the work I do today. I can remember him teaching me the basics of light, shade and perspective at a very early age but he seemed to let me get on with it after that and concentrated more on trying to get my brother to learn an instrument. Not that I needed any encouragement: no-one could stop me drawing.
3) I noticed that you’re interested in russian constructivists and the italian futurists – are you a fan of architecture? Does it inspire you in your work somehow? I just finished reading a book about Fritz Lang’s Metropolis this weekend and everebody must see that this huge piece of art is very timeless movie which is still inspiring even today. Have you seen it?
I love Cubist and brutalist structures as well as early 20th century skyscrapers and constructivist architecture, especially Malevitch’s Suprematist sculptures and the work of Futurist Alberto St, Elia. In the past couple of years, I’ve taught myself the basics in 3D design and create my own cities and streets for use as backgrounds and in computer game design. I designed most of the buildings in the ZPC game I did back in the 90s, creating hundreds of texture maps and level designs. Metropolis is one of my favourite German Expressionist films and, along with such films as M and Cabinet of Dr, Caligari, inspired much of the work I did for that title. I find the silhouettes of tall buildings rising from the city smog to be highly evocative.
4) I saw some your new ilustration for tour for KMFDM band with some army vehicle – can you just describe it more?
The vehicle I created for the sleeve was a hybrid of several different types of riot vehicle which I morphed together in Photoshop before redrawing it in ink. I wanted it to look funkier and contain some of the fun feeling one gets from a tour bus whilst still retaining the killer lines.
I was asked by old friend and rare dance music enthusiast, Ian Dewhirst, to create the cover artwork for their CD collection of dance classics from Chicago’s legendary Trax Records back catalogue. I agreed and spent the next week roughing out several concepts before settling on the one above.
When plotting out a character’s lines, I want to make as much impact from the lighting as possible and so, to ensure maximum flexibility, I built the DJ first in 3D so I could experiment with multiple set-ups.
On finding the right angle, I printed out the 3D face and then inked it in by hand before scanning it back into Illustrator for the final vector re-drawing.
Logos and lettering also by yours truly.
To order a box, go here
KMFDM TOUR POSTER (War Bus)
As part of their promotional campaign for their upcoming tour, industrial group KMFDM commissioned me to come up with something appropriate.
Inspired by WW1 armoured mini tanks and modern anti-riot vehicles, I set about creating a hybrid more suited to the band’s image than the traditional tour bus. After creating a collage of elements in Photoshop, I then warped and re-shaped the chassis before re-drawing the finished product in ink. Final artwork layers composed in Illustrator.
In support of the Femen/Pussy Riot protestors, I created a suitably forceful chainsaw-wielding amazon for the front cover of the new KMFDM album, ‘Kunst’.
Since their incarceration for various anti-Putin stunts and protests, international support for the women of the movement has grown exponentially, mostly due to their bare-chested style of defiance.
(see Femen cross-felling video here: femen-cross-pussy-riot-930
Facebook have removed the image the band’s page.
With this recent commission for the forthcoming Le Accelerator, I got to realise one of my earliest creative dreams – to design a kung-fu movie poster. As opposed to aping those bold and furious designs used by the Chinese film industry in the 70s, I instead applied a minimalist technique to create a cleaner and more noir-ish effect, emphasising the impact of a kick through dynamic use of shadows, creases and perspective.
Stay tuned for movie news and release dates release dates.
To commemorate the passing of one of the greatest hit men ever to grace the screen, I created this vector illustration of steely ex-cop turned meth dealer muscle, Mike Ehrmantraut, again represssing the urge to blow Walter White’s scheming brains out.
He shall be sorely missed.
For the second of my sportrait series for online gambling site Buddybet, we decided to run a poll on Facebook to find the world’s most popular footballer. Despite heavy competition, David Beckham came out a clear winner and it is in his honor than I created this illustration depicting the moment before he scored that legendary last minute free-kick against Greece that booked England a place at the 2002 World Cup finals.
To convey the moment of calm before impact, I have created several kinetic thrusts: the rush of the player, the downward swoop of his leg and the imaginary arc of the ball as it blasts its way past the wall and into the back of the net. To further intensify the velocity of the scene, I have drawn Becks as a figurative lightening bolt, poised at the moment of striking its way to earth.