This was originally written for Haute Macabre in 2018; considering that Alex’s work is on the cover of my forthcoming book, I thought it was definitely time to revive and reshare this post…!
Initially, I was torn, truly torn, when examining the painstaking collage work of Alex Eckman-Lawn. Deep, dense, full of doom and gloom and dark details, these surreal, lonely portraits, on one hand, called forth a sickening dread in the pit of my stomach and give my heart a little lurch. But on the other, and at the same time… they caused an involuntary, choking giggle. As if a shadowy horror had crawled its way from the void to the sanctity of my home, and after an agonizing wait whilst I cowered at the peephole, it gave a smart rap on the door and told me a knock-knock joke.
Perhaps it’s an odd take on things, but I once envisioned the above scenario, I saw these pieces through fresh eyes– and instead of a face-full of nightmarish chaos, they appeared wondrously playful, like a funny postcard from the midnight recesses of your soul, just when you need it most. Have a laugh, they seem to say, or here, have a kitten! Oh, hey, it’s just your dear old skull peeking out to say hello, that’s all, no worries! Little voids, the faces-within-your face, checking in on you from the inside, popping out to say, “hi!” and, “how’s it going?” and, “have you heard the one about…?”
A Philadelphia-born illustrator who “spends his days in the gutter and his nights in the sewer”, Alex creates multi-layered, hand-cut, paper collages using everything from his original digital paintings to imagery from old medical texts. His work has appeared in comic books, on album covers, book covers, T-shirts, music videos, and posters.
Find more of Alex Eckman-Lawn’s work: website // instagram // twitter
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