Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Visualizing monsters

As you might be able to surmise, or recognize, or simply figure out, I like drawing. I found this artist, Roberto Osti, in the pages of Drawing magazine. Only a few days ago I discovered there there is, as one might expect, a whole pantheon of monsters called XXXX in Japanese, where monsters appear to be venerated. The only monster I know on sight is the Kappa. It looks a little like Jimmy Durante and if you're not old enough to know who he is, well, there's always Wikipedia. Most of the time.

It's an interesting idea, to both visualize a monster and then dissect it to see how it is and is not like the rest of us. What is it about the monstrous that is so attractive on the one hand and so repulsive on the other. They keep us talking about them when the best plan would be to ignore them. So, why do we keep, not only looking and talking, but re-visiting and re-forming them into different models?

When we made myths, we had reference points that all of the tribe could look to and say, "Ahh, that is very true. And you make it so interesting to listen to, and memorable. I must remember to tell my children." What are the sources for our monsters? Where is the werewolf, the vampire, the harpy, or the kappa?

Do you know?

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