Monday, January 26, 2009

John Dyer Baizley

His work is beautiful. Intricate and sensual, flowing shapes, natural forms, haunting images. Styled very similar to Art Nouveau graphics like that of the famous Alphonse Mucha Most of his creations are for metal/hardcore bands CD and record cover art, Shirts and other illustrations such as Baroness (album cover seen above), which he is lead singer of, and Torche, Daughters, Magrudergrind, and Black Tusk to name a few. Baizleys work hints at influences of Pushead too, though these prints of his are more delicate while still very disturbing.
He creates images that you can not help but look at for they are deliciously detailed, yet are filled with references todeath and decay. Watercolor and ink are easily identifiable as mediums that he uses, but the colors are muted yet rich it seems as though gauche must have been also applied. Gorgeous women, which have become standard imagery used in metal band artwork since the early 80's, gaze at the viewer surrounded by flora and fauna. These goddesses of rock and roll have faces pierced with daggers, feathers and flowers. Their eyes stare blankly at the viewer as their skin pulls from their face, revealing intricate details inside their skulls.
Patterns created with organism elements such as bones or cocoons form rings around these women, again referencing the stylized flowing lines of Art Nouveau. Some of Baizelye's women however seem to be stricken with a plague with boils and blisters forming on their faces and arms. Layers and layers of objects and forms pull you deep into the illustrations. First glance is satisfying. Second is thrilling. Third is still filled with details you had not seen before. Overflowing with illusions and allusions, Baizley's work begs the viewer to stay a while and look as long as they like.

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