The Power of Babble

Necessity’s Stepchild, pen & ink, 11 x 14 (1987)

Way back in the late 80’s, I wanted to do a series of bizarre art cards to sell as greeting cards in local stores. (I was always trying to find ways to sell my art) So, I came up with a series of four pen & ink drawings that would be closely related to each other and sold as a set. The first one was my favorite motif, Necessity’s Stepchild, which I had done several times. Each drawing was linked to the next drawing in the series. You’ll see the small pyramid in this drawing, which is the link to the next image in the series.

Power of Babble, pen & ink, 11 x 14″ (1987)

The Power of Babble (a riff on the Tower of Babel) was an experiment in various occult imagery, which I was briefly into in my 20’s, but not now. I think I was attracted to certain occult traditions on purely a visual level as an artist, not really believing that it had any power. As is usual with me, I played with the images and made many puns and inside jokes, such as the embedded words in the pyramid: El means God, 666, Sesame (for “open sesame”), Hermes for Hermetic Magic, and the end of the word Abracadabra at the bottom of the pyramid. And of course the letter “I” at the top, which is a reference to the eye above the pyramid on all our money. The electrical socket in this drawing is the link to the next image.

The Cord Giveth and the Cord Taketh Away, pen & ink, 11 x 14″ (1987)

Perhaps my favorite wordplay in this series is The Cord Giveth and the Cord Taketh Away, which is a comment on our dependence on technology. Again, there are many small puns and references like turning lead into gold, magic, and burning the candle at both ends. The candle is the link to the next drawing.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Viewer, pen & ink, 11 x 14″ (1987)

Finally, this image is a pun on the phrase, Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder, once more taking a swipe at television and our infatuation with it. Now, our love of TV has morphed into a love of internet video, which demonstrates our penchant for being gluttons of media. Mankind doesn’t do anything in moderation. As you can see, I rarely make an image as just a simple image. I usually make some kind of comment on society or human behavior, because I feel that art should say something worthwhile and not just be a pretty picture.

Categories: FantasyTags: , , , ,

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