Friday, May 22, 2009

GROSS ANATOMY (part 666)


Appropriately, this sixth installment of Gross Anatomy will focus on my art for The Lucifer Rising Suite. This project actually began several years ago when I became friends with Bobby BeauSoleil, a former Charles Manson associate who is serving a life sentence in prison for the 1969 murder of a drug dealer in Topanga, California. Bobby and I started communicating via letters and phone calls and eventually arranged visits at both the Eastern Oregon Correctional Facility and Oregon State Penitentiary. During one of these visits I asked Bobby if he might be interested in releasing an authorized vinyl collection of his Lucifer Rising soundtrack recordings if I could enlist the support of a worthy label. I didn't know it at the time but this suggestion would eventually evolve into a remarkable collaboration and beautiful 4 LP box-set of epic proportions! The story of Lucifer Rising began in 1967 and spans several decades so I couldn’t possibly do it justice here. You'll just have to buy the box-set and read the extensive liner notes written by Bobby, Michael Moynihan, and myself. For now I'll simply state that, despite what popular media and casual google searches might indicate, there is more to Bobby's legacy than murder and mayhem and it has been an honor to help bring this relic of dark psychedelia to light once again. It was also very refreshing to work beyond my usual range of imagery. Sorry, no moshing zombies this time...

I did lots of research and automatic drawing in preparation for this project but the initial compositional sketch came together in one intuitive flash while I was sorting through junk mail at my desk. This scribble contains the seed of what would become the back cover and interior poster for The Lucifer Rising Suite. I was exploring themes of descent & resurrection, confinement & liberation, the tension of things concealed and things revealed, the Nine of Swords...

Now I've penciled the basic design onto illustration board and started formulating all the elements. Artists should probably get in the practice of using rulers and t-squares but I don't, so don't expect mathematically accurate triangles and straight lines. My drawings tend to form a bit more "organically", much to the frustration of the straight-line inclined.

Now comes the fun part. I start to erase the pencil as I move in with my trusty ballpoint pens. Click on this image for a nice glimpse at the detail.

Voila! This is a raw scan of the final drawing. The original art is approximately 14"x14" and if you click on this image you can view at roughly the scale it was drawn.

Now we've de-saturated the image to remove the bluish hues of the ink and dropped in a nice black frame. I decided to give it a subtle eggshell background to create a sort of "vintage" feel. The eggshell color is also more cohesive with Bobby's exquisite interior art which, again, you'll just have to buy the box-set to fully appreciate! Pre-orders are available now from our allies at The Ajna Offensive. I'll also be displaying this drawing at my ENTARTETE KUNTS exhibition in June so come out and have a look.

Next time we'll examine my collaboration with Bobby BeauSoleil for the front cover of The Lucifer Rising Suite!

5 comments:

SEAN ÄABERG said...

Pretty freaking bad-ass dude. Makes me hungry for a Dennis Dread tarot deck!

Leon said...

BEAUTIFUL, Herr Dread.

Dennis Dread said...

Thank you, gentlemen! Lucifer Rising is a beautiful score. A box of previously unknown master tapes was uncovered while we were working on this project so about half of the music has been "lost" for nearly three decades and never heard beyond the original "orchestra" of inmate musicians!

Ryan S. said...

Awesome as always.
Love this piece.

TRAWETS NILTGEOV said...

Killer Egypto-Hellenic vibe, too. This might be my favorite piece you've done.

Automatic drawing? Is that the put pencil in hand and go to town w/out removing the lead from the paper? Ouija drawing!