In 2007 I was part of an exhibition called Homage (including fellow Melbourne artists Tim Burke, Maya Graham, Trevor Molloy, Amanda Toniolo and Antoine Toniolo); a group show and tribute to the comic masters and those they influenced. We mostly worked in isolation and I think were all pleased when we saw each others work together, all very different but working in harmony.
One of my works was the piece below called Icon, which was a kind of nod to the singular iconography of the superhero. I wanted to bring as diverse a group of superhero icons as possible into a single abstract pattern; to see if the strength in design cold remain after abstraction and displacement. I chose based on familiarity, obscurity and pure personal favouritism.
I rendered each symbol whole then placed and cropped until I felt I had created a kind of neutral mosaic. In retrospect I probably should have pushed the abstraction further but I think it finished up as a nice piece.
More recently we wanted to make a meaningful and memorable gift for our newly arrived nephew Cameron. I went back to the drawing board with Icon and decided to reinvent it as an A-Z of superheroes for the nursery! It was damned hard finding superheroes for every letter (I began with about half) that had both a definable symbol (not all do) and were well known enough to be worthy of inclusion (thanks to those who I asked for advice!)! I then rendered the remaining symbols and set about repositioning them with a slightly less abstraction than the original.
My hope is that Cameron will look and wonder at these mysterious icons and seek out the comics. I'm not a fan (or even knowledgeable) of all, but some of my favourite titles are there in the alphabet above and I hope that he gets as much enjoyment from them as I do.
Do you know all the symbols?
You can now buy the print here on my Artflakes account.