NOTE: THIS POST CONTAINS KIND OF CREEPY STUFF.
Well Damn. Just when I though I was going to be able to get to sleep…
This here, is a piece of work by the artist known as jflaxman, on DeviantArt. A somewhat H.R. Giger-esque artist whose attention to detail when drawing the grotesque and macabre is so keen, that my initial reaction has to be that of humor, lest I curl up in a ball and cry.
Hailing from the Hobart, Austraila on the isle of Tasmania, James Flaxman is a guy. That’s all I can really say about him without reading his journal entries.
His work ranges from the dark and creepy cartoons, to darker and creepier realistic drawings. He does have some impressive realistic vehicle/people imagery on the side, mainly set in what appears to be a dystopian desert scene, which offer a nice contrast to the majority of his fare. From the cancer filled monsters, to the bug eye cartoons, it is clear this is an artist who enjoys all things dark and gruesome, and has a large disdain for anything cute and cuddly.
-He also appears to have a specific hatred for My Little Pony: FiM, and the Brony culture on a whole. Black Cat by jflaxman on DeviantArt
A world builder and a satirist, it is clear Mr. Flaxman has a great deal to say about not only our world, but the worlds he creates in his images. Many of his images are paired with a lengthy description, detailing in words vivid worlds in which the image is merely a snapshot. In truth, from what I have read, sometimes the descriptions outshine the image themselves. In the Terrortubby image, the description he writes portrays a re-imagination of a tellytubby type creature as actually a deadly predator evolved from a certain species of bat. That’s the kind of originality that I love, and similar to other artists I enjoy, such as Arvalis, who does similar, less-creepy, world building with realistic Pokemon. While Jflaxman’s image composition is largely 2 dimensional and lacking in variety, his descriptions are full of such detail, that it makes is images no less enjoyable.
-I'm noticing a trend. The White Guinea Pig, A Disastrous Picnic, and Defiance by jflaxman on DeviantArt
This leads me to the bulk of what I’ve noticed about this artist: his attention to DETAIL.
Love it or hate it, this guy knows exactly what to draw to get his point across. Even in his cartoons, rarely can I say I’ve seen a cartoon have enough weird amounts of detail that it enters the “Uncanny Valley”. The detail in both anatomy and machinery are necessary in order to accurately instill the visceral response of the casual viewer, and the respect, of anyone who happens to stick around and *ahem*…dissect his work.
Unfortunately for the casual viewer, his work comes most “alive” when he’s drawing something that is dead, decaying, or composited from a variety of said beings. His drawings of more “normal” people, end up looking like posed corpses. Not in a disgusting way, mind you, but in the same sense that a mortician prepares a corpse for a viewing. The eyes are oddly unfocused, and the poses are stiff. I can’t entirely say it’s to the detriment, as it still fits within the largely errie motif of the artist.
-Dem creepy eyes... Ramona by jflaxman on DeviantArt
He appears to have received a substantial response to one of his most recent piece, “The Desecration of Adam“, for reasons nobody will find surprising.
He was able to combine his eerie style with eye popping pop imagery to which people can easily look to and feel like they themselves are deep by looking at it.
That sounds more cynical then I really mean, because his response on large is that he agrees. It’s not deep or original. In fact he even thought that the imagery was so obvious, that he did a search on it beforehand, and lo and behold, people had made the connection before, but not to the same level he did. More of his thoughts can be found here, which is a nice read, and is a better way to end this spotlight then any recap I could do.
He’s good. He’s getting better. His work is creepy as all get out. Check him out if you dare.