Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An illustration by Alan Bold

This image is from the book Stuff and Nonsense by Walter de la Mare, with illustrations by Alan Bold. I discovered this image along with many other wonderful prints by bold at Will Schofield's blog 50 Watts. 

The tiny man runs, but a giant bird with war paint, a spiky crown, and great, heavy feather of a tail is over top. The man is as good as caught. The bird is so giant, the man so minuscule, but without a third, true-to-type variable, I cannot figure out who is unnaturally re-sized.

Another part of my brain niggles at me. It must be an illusion, it insists. The bird is in the foreground, and the man is far away. Yes, that must be it. After all, look at the pole or tree the bird is perched on sideways. Does it not seem to be in front of the rolling plain? I turn my gaze to the bottom, left corner, and I am convinced. But I glance back at the bird and man, and I still feel charged by the thought of imminent kill.

What is the story here? I suppose I'll have to get my hands on the book, or be satisfied with the unknown. In the meantime, the man in the moon smiles. Is he entertained by either the chase and the impending casualty or the trick being played on the viewer, or is he oblivious and beaming at some other show?

1 comment:

  1. How fantastic! Maurice Sendak would have liked this print, I think!