Digital Art: Paintings & Airbrushing, Macabre & Horror – Genesis of the Cthulhu Mythos
Somebody recently shared a link containing a list of Cthulhu Mythos images. Most of them were okay – well executed works of art – but most of them missed the essential quality that makes such images work as “Mythos”. It’s a quality that is very hard to describe in words but I think it really comes down to the sensitivity of the artist towards the works of H.P.Lovecraft and the many talents that have followed in his footsteps. Such artists need to step away from the idea of science fiction fantasy. They need to embroil themselves in the earthy colours of blood and bile, in the blurry aspects of lonely places, of mist and the stained tints of miasma. Knowing the signs is not enough. Parrot fashion doesn’t work here. Living with the Mythos it becomes a part of you and so allows you to give genesis to yet more Mythos.
Anyhow, this artist, Tegehel, has pulled together this piece which although is not Mythos in the cosmic menace sense of the meme, is wonderfully evocative of the Mythos Investigator – the man or woman who plunges themselves into the discomfort of alien, sanity-shredding concepts and corruptive energies; obsessed with the desire to discover some nameless “truth”.
On the Deviant Art site, Tegehel goes on to explain the symbolism behind the image, a representation of H.P.Lovecraft, and conjectures how the items around him may have led to the inception of the Mythos in the mind of the American horror writer. It’s all a little bit tongue in cheek but in no way derisive of the genre.
Here’s a sample of Tegehel’s words, I highly recommend you visit the image on the Deviant Art site and read the rest:
The Birth of Cthulhu
Do you know how sometimes you get strange ideas by looking at your surroundings and by associating things that have seemingly nothing in common? somehow, your creative Muse manages to invent something new with a bric-a-brac of objects, sounds, smells, colors or words.
I was trying to imagine how H.P.Lovecraft ever managed to invent such a massive universe and instead of deep and intensive researches in Libraries and Museums, why wouldn’t he just put things together at the dinner table? Now imagine a scene where Howard is at home, eating some sea-food spaghetti while reading some encyclopedia on fish, bats and other magazines. Suddenly, a light bulb pops at about 100 watts and he puts it all together:
Squidhead + tentacles + batwings + fishbody = Cthulhu
The Magazines spell: Miss + Cat + …tonic and he creates Miskatonic University. (He did have a cat called Felis)
He looks at the flowers he bought week and invents the sign of the Elders.
With Cthulhu in mind, he just had to take a look at that wonderful Greek beer called “Mythos” and there you have it, The Cthulhu Mythos.
His glass, for some reason, show the liquid at an angle, which is enough to spawn the “weird angle and extra dimensions” part of the universe.
– Tegehel, Deviant Art (click to read more…)