Joe Coleman is amazing

There were many outstanding images at Art Basel, but a real showstopper and one I spent time with was this image "Behold Eck, 2006" by Joe Coleman. As I googled for this image, it turns out that the NYTimes has done a writeup on Joe Coleman's recent show that I will forward to you for your enjoyment before I start my yammering>> I had seen an interview of Joe's work in Juxtapoz and didnt really understand his work until seeing this singular picture which captures the best of graphic novels with a Bosch/Breughel aesthetic in truly an american and almost victorian view. With these portraits or pictures, Joe Coleman tells you the story of the person's life from different viewpoints and little snippets from rendering little gargoyles to exemplify a personality trait, to tiny little newspaper clippings (all rendered copy in less than a single hair brush with such control and dexterity--he matches any medieval monk painting marginalia). The printed version of this painting does not even begin to show the freshness and subtlety that Coleman expresses in the original. His work is extrordinary, original and thought provoking--and as illustrators, we should all take a look at someone really using the two dimensional plane to tell a story beyond the picture and weave a complex depiction of the personality, life and deeds in a truly rich and thoughtful way. There is a book out on his work "Internal Digging" worth pursing.

More later>>