Thursday, May 31, 2012

Illustrations from Excerpt of "House at Sugar Beach," 2008

These two illustrations, by Laura Carlin, accompanies an excerpt from New York Times journalist Helene Cooper's House at Sugar Beach, and appeared in the NYT Magazine a few months before its September, 2008 publication.

Ms. Carlin was younger than 30 when these works appeared in the Sunday magazine. Although much in keeping with Ms. Carlin's extensive oeuvre, her illustrative style, childlike in its frenetic linework yet hauntingly moody holds an unmistakable kinship (though not patronizingly imitation) of contemporary African graphic art, with elastic interpretations of scale and perspective. The collage of objects, some seemingly plastered from, its fitting to imagine, newspaper clippings, power the works with contextual and visual depth, drawing the eye into their shadows from the flat plains of the water and scratched ground and cloudy, crayon-like skies, surrounded by transparent, hurried outlines of ships, palm trees, and figures.

This all makes Ms. Carlin's pieces a serendipitous match for Ms. Cooper's narrative of list childhood roots and connections, both in her own account, and beyond that countless horrors of the War, so many of which remain untold either in word or art.

And yes, I love that there are Pan Am jets.

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