Article by Oli Rogers
Before we begin, a quick disclaimer: you’ve already missed all of these gigs. Sorry about that.
But never mind, you were probably busy anyways, right? However, had you been there in the crowd, it would in all likelihood have been because your eyes eager eyes once alit upon a flyer whose unique style could be described as “mid-Century comic book meets etching inside a disarranged psychonaut’s brain”: a flyer that was the work of illustrator Ben Foot. And today, Illustration Friday is here to save you all the bother of rescuing one of his aesthetically outstanding yet probably somewhat trampled pieces of art from of a post-mosh puddle of beer, because you can admire them all from behind a nice, clean screen of your choice.
Music and illustration are two disciplines that have a rich shared history; they’ve probably been complementing one another in some form or another since the first time someone opened their mouth to sing, thereby unleashing an avalanche of images on the inside of someone else’s skull. Indeed, there’s definitely something synesthetic about Ben’s work, with its behind-the-eyelids glow of candied violets and emeralds – and although there may not be any lyrical reference to moons with whimsical cat faces in the songs they complement, these images certainly hail from the same dimension of inspiration that informs the work of the musically innovative. In fact, this is artwork that at times strays into the sublime realms of true psychedelia, where image breaks down and the pure geometry of the universe, unfettered by mere human perception breaks through, spewing bubbles of energy and shards of celestial light through the rift and into the viewer’s consciousness. Yeah, you heard. At other times though, it’s as wistful and human as the work of Daniel Clowes.
Besides creating musical ephemera par excellence, Ben’s work has also adorned t-shirts from purveyor of illustrated fashions, threadless.com, and appeared in self-penned comics effervescing with his trademark surrealism and wry humour, such as the outstandingly-named Sparkly Sparkly Chew.
If you’d like to see more of Ben’s artwork (and why wouldn’t you?), head over to his website.