Monday, August 6, 2012


I love alt-J.  I'm not alone in this, because their album 'An Awesome Wave' is amazing.  I wanted to create an illustration in response to their music.

One song that stood out to me from the beginning was 'Fitzpleasure'.  It has this amazing off beat choral intro and then a super dirty bass drop.  I read the lyrics and while very poetic, they are also dirty.  And then I found out about the short story that inspired the track - Tralala from Last Exit To Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr - which is just beyond dirty into abject and brutal.  Still, if you have the stomach for it it's a thought provoking read.  This image is influenced by the track, rather than the story.  

I'm at a little bit of a loss when it comes to explaining my choices (I created the image quite quickly) but I'll try...  

The main part of the picture is a yonic hand gesture, representing the obvious and a more spiritual and serene attitude.  There are several references to hands in the lyrics.  

"Steepled fingers, ring la-la-la-la-leaders, queue jumpers, rock fist paper scissors..."

The triangle in the background is delta, ∆ (the shortcut is alt+j on a mac), in clear and direct reference to the band.

The patterning around the wrists is in inspired by pylons.  They are strong but usually situated in a bleak landscape.

"Tall woman, pull the pylons down, and wrap them around the necks of all the feckless men who queue to be the next."

The cables also continue on from that sentiment.  They represent the visceral without being too graphic, and also show connection, turmoil, confusion and restriction.

The stain shape in the background is more directly from the ending of the Selby Jr story, but in general it's representative of the wake of destruction and dissipation and entropy: the dissolution of all things.

Sorry if this doesn't make a whole lot of sense and it sounds like I'm pussy-footing around the issue (it's because I am).  It should make more sense if you have dug into the 'Fitzpleasure' lyrics or have read the story.  I've done remarkably well to get to the end of this post without mentioning gang rape once.

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