Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The Art of Jacek Yerka
In the comments of yesterday's post, I was reminded of Mind Fields, a book of art by Jacek Yerka, with original fiction penned by the estimable Harlan Ellison. I don't remember how I got this book, I think it was a gift maybe. Apparently, Ellison was initially approached by the publishers and asked to write an introduction to the book, but, in typical Ellison fashion, loved the art so much that he asked if he could write a separate piece of fiction for each painting. While some of the stories are directly inspired by the subject matter of the painting it accompanies, others have a more oblique relationship, dealing with the themes that Ellison saw in Yerka's work. If you're a fan of Ellison's work, seek this book out, it's well worth your time, solely from a fictional perspective.
From an artistic standpoint, this was my introduction to Yerka, a Polish artist active for the last twenty years. According to his wikipedia page, "He cites Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Cagliostro, Jan van Eyck, and Hugo van der Goes as formative influencers of his work". I also see more than a little Escher, but that's just me.
As much as I love his work, though, the pictures below don't really do them justice - Yerka's genius is in the details, the little things that you find when you see them on a page that you can pull close to your face - he's an artist that rewards close inspection.
If you're not a fan of Ellison's work, go find another book of Yerka's art, I can't recommend him enough.