Monday, 15 March 2010

Ericailcane: 'Lepus timidus'


Upon first encountering Ericailcane’s work, you might think you'd stumbled across some obscure personal work by a somewhat perverse Victorian children's book illustrator. His unique vision combines elements reminiscent of anthropomorphic morality tales like Aesop’s Fables and The Wind In The Willows with the dystopian political allegory of George Orwell's Animal Farm and the disturbing patchwork-automatons of the Brothers Quay.

The manner in which these elements are brought together in Ericailcane's work creates a sense of alienation and anomie in the face of an absurd and meaningless world, while at the same time gently compelling the viewer to project these creatures' nonsensical yet poignant situations onto the human condition.

I first came across Ericailcane's work in this March's issue of Juxtapoze, his drawings really stood out for their excellent draftsmanship, timelessness, intelligence and emotional range. In his drawings, Ericailcane exhibits a deft extrapolation that brings to mind Albrecht Dürer’s imaginary Rhinoceros, not to mention macabre contortions that could be likened to Hieronymous Bosch’s visions of Hell – yet his work is imbued with a satirical wit and childlike melancholy that make it quite accessible.

Ericailcane a.k.a. Erica il Cane, hails from Bologna, Italy, where he studied at the Academy of Arts. For several years, he has been working in an Italian street art collective, and has painted some incredible murals all over Europe – many in collaboration with the legendary street artist and colossal-scale stop-motion animator Blu.

In many ways Ericailcane's drawings illustrate domestic and wild animal's set in an alternative universe where they have taken revenge against mankind. I thought this quote from animal farm seemed quite fitting:

"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself... All men are enemies. All animals are comrades."– 'Old Major,' Animal Farm

No comments:

Post a Comment