One illustrator from the book that I rather disliked is Simon Spilsbury. What I dislike about him is purely subjective however. Though I do appreciate the grotesque and disturbing imagery, I found his imagery was just too much for me. Again I understand that he has a specific purpose for his work (like social criticism) I just cannot see anything that I like. Anything to do with the physical shapes of people or animals has always frightened and, to some degree, disgusted me. Simon Spilsbury’s pieces in the book are disturbingly just what I hate. The first two images, called “Carbon Fatprint #1” and “Carbon Fatprint #2” I found just revolting. To be honest, I have no interest in looking at piles of billowing fat, even if it is meant to represent pollution coming from cars. There’s the Mickey Mouse one, getting plastic surgery. Again, the creepy destruction of a body. I think the line work is what really gets across this sort of “gross” feeling. It’s not that he doesn’t draw well, it’s that the rough lines just further highlight the squishy, bubbly edges of the human fat. (On that subject, let’s not talk about “Draw Porn”) On top of it all, I find his coloring uninteresting, at least to me. Sorry Mr. Spilsbury, but your work is just not for me.
An illustrator that I really liked is Gez Fry. As someone who has been influenced by Asian illustration (modern and historical), I find his work especially interesting. I’m immediately impressed by his technical skills (someday I want to paint a cityscape as beautiful) but I also like the way he mixes some of the realistic image with a fantastical one (“Ginza”) The variety of mediums is also impressive. “Ginza” looks like watercolor while “Poplin” looks very much like a photoshop image. And then there is “Ukiyo-e” which looks exactly like an ukiyo-e wood block print. I also appreciate his ability to inject his pieces with a subtle meaning, without hitting viewers upside the head with explicit images of pop culture icons or celebrities. You have to think about what they mean and what he was trying to convey. You can come back multiple times, re-evaluate the painting and still see something new or different. The woman of “Ukiyo-e” has a bizarre tattoo of a green magician while in a reflection (or is it above the water?) a man stands on a modern street. On first look I just saw the woman and the tattoo. A second time, I saw the fish. Third, I saw the man in the corner. Gez Fry is an artist I would like to look into some more.