Even before I kept track of what artists’ styles looked like, as a kid I loved Dave McKean’s comic book covers. The blend of photography, illustration and design was absolutely unique in the late 80s when his work graced the front of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. There’s bits of surrealism and bits of gritty rawness that grounded the dreamy atmosphere. Several times I have attempted to take my photography in steps towards a McKean-like vision of subconscious mixed media.
One of my favorite series of his is the “Small Book of Black and White Lies.” Vintage toned images in a square format, very stripped down. I’ve shown it to several potential collaborators and some got it, some didn’t, but I never was able to achieve anything remotely like it. Then I came across model and artist Glass Olive in Portland, who had a fairly clear influence of Dave in her personal art.
Not much else to say except this was a model who indulged every weird idea I threw at her and turned it into something way better than I had envisioned.
The next collaboration is in a month in LA, so far involving body paint, latex and swimsuit designers, hair forms, unicycles, a gothic photo studio, rubber ducks, and a white afro laden with vegetables. Quite a step beyond the original McKean influence, but it’s great when the unusual aesthetics of one artist helps to bring other artists together.