It might go without saying, but HR Giger holds an important influence in my artwork. Incidentally, although I’ve always acknowledged him as one of my favorite artists and an inspiration for my own work, there hasn’t always been a strong visual connection between his art and mine. Eight to ten years ago, anyone looking at my art would be hard pressed to find the Giger influences, even though I often claimed they were there.

reincarnation pen and ink surrealist drawing of human heads and one-eyed skull

It’s only been recently that I’ve begun incorporating similar elements of industrial machinery from Giger’s art into my own, though it’s been a logical step for me creatively for a long time. I say that for a couple reasons. For one, industrial music has been perhaps the most prominent genre in my adult life, and since I was a child I’ve had a deep fascination with oil refineries and other large industrial plants. In fact, I actually believe I lived a past life as a worker in those spaces, and perhaps even died there. (More on that in a future post).

The name Reincarnation felt fitting for this piece as it feels like something of a return to form for me creatively. As I documented in my everyday drawings, there was a necessary process of re-discovery after years of not making art regularly. I felt like I successfully found my identity again through the first 40 drawings I did, and the next step was to begin increasing the scale. Seven to eight years ago I was creating line drawings on a large scale, up to 4 x 10 ft., though in the past few months I felt it was important to keep the scale small and the rate of production high as I warmed up to making art again.

Reincarnation is the first step toward making larger drawings in the new style I’ve developed, so it’s a creative rebirth of sorts. Also, through this process of incorporating industrial machinery into the art, I’ve also been mentally and emotionally reconnecting with the strong sense I had as a child that I hold another person’s memories inside me, specifically memories of industrial factories. 

Visually, Reincarnation maintains my usual influences from comic books and counterculture art and expands on the realm of cyborganic mythology I’ve been building in my recent drawings. As usual, I’m playing with ideas of life suspended artificially through the use of machines and the mental surreality created through that co-dependence.  

The original drawing of Reincarnation is available now in my Big Cartel store. Use the button below to shop for this and other artwork. 

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