"Metamorphosis", 1985

A Dark Underbelly – “Metamorphosis”

1984 and 1985 were a couple of the toughest years for me on a personal level. At the time, I was considering a future as an illustrator and chose Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven and The Masque of the Red Death and Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis as subjects.

You get the picture – pass the Prozac!

I loved Metamorphosis, Kafka’s dark and claustrophobic novella dealing with illness, isolation, and rejection. It is an allegory, but being of a literal frame of mind, when I read “gigantic insect”, I drew a big bug…

Included in the slideshow here are the initial ideas from two different sketchbooks: a large one, 14 x 9 in., and an A6 one, approximately 5 1/2 x 4 in. There are also the  corresponding large, finished drawings. These were executed on thick watercolor paper in ink, using wax resist and extensive sanding of the surface. The images sometimes make uncomfortable viewing – even for me. I am glad brighter days lay ahead.




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  1. Although I am selfishly glad you did not become an illustrator, you would have been a brilliant one. You capture Kafka’s angst and dark imagination in your powerful images- they bring me back to where I was and what I was thinking when I first read Metamorphosis as a teenager.

Please let me know what you think!