Alexander Heir's grisly grotesqueries

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the men, alexander heir

Alexander Heir is a Brooklyn artist who made the above poster for tonight's The Men show. We asked him what his influences for the work were, and he sent us some crazy things to look at. If you want to find more of Alexander's work, you can visit the site of his publishing imprint Burn Books or his personal site.

Hans Wechtlin
An illustration for Feldtbuch der Wundartzney (1517, 1st edn.), a manual for the military surgeon

This woodcut is attributed to Hans Wechtlin, a German Renaissance artist. It is a medical illustration depicting all the various wounds you can get in battle, from a book given to military surgeons. I love how gory and grotesque a lot of anatomical illustrations can be, sometimes the science behind it seems to be an excuse to create a really bloody, disgusting piece.

Harry Clarke
Illustration from <i>Tales of Mystery and Imagination

, a 1923 collection of Edgar Allan Poe works.

Harry Clarke is like a more goth Aubrey Beardsley. I love the intricate pattern work and flat blacks he uses in all his illustrations, but this piece is particularly interesting because itʼs so psychedelic.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Triptych of Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre, circa.1844

This woodblock print depicts a princess summoning a giant skeleton to smash her enemies. Obviously the subject matter is awesome, but what I really love about all this prints is the use of flat colors and blacks, the line work, and all the weird little scrolls just floating in the composition.

Kiyoshi Awazu
Theater Poster, 1970

Kiyoshi Awazu is a Japanese artist and designer that has been active since the 1950s. His body of work is pretty diverse, but his posters from the 1970s are my favorite. I like this one in particular because it clearly references the Japanese woodcuts of the 19th century as well as psychedelic rock posters of the 1960s. Itʼs a little taste of the warped rock and roll imagery punk rock would soon release upon the world.

Squirm Movie Poster, 1976

I couldnʼt find who illustrated this poster, but itʼs one of my favorites. I love movie posters, especially those of the horror genre. A lot of the artwork and compositions is museum quality, made by people who remained virtually anonymous.