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VISIONS FROM WITHIN THE MECHANISM: THE INDUSTRIAL SURREALISM OF JEFFREY SCOTT
By
“1019” (Baby Tattoo Books; 2007)

Another weird art book and another mind-tugging triumph.  Jeffrey Scott, who goes by “1019,” specializes in digitally morphing real-world imagery into gorgeously strange, often horrific dreamscapes.  The effect is similar to the airbrushed photography of J.K. Potter, although I don’t think even Potter is quite as obsessive design-wise. 

     According to the book jacket, each of the pictures contained in this adults-only volume took an average of 50 hours of painstaking work to complete.  That dedication is evident in the work itself: each picture is obsessively detailed with every inch of the canvas filled, complete with fading, scratches and color gradation. 

     The pictures more often than not depict beautiful women undergoing grotesque biomechanical metamorphoses.  The cover art, a sepia-toned photo of a scantily clad hottie whose torso is separated from her posterior by wires and rods, gives a good idea what to expect from 1019’s art: the real and unreal seamlessly married in beautiful and bizarre conjurations.

     Other stand-outs include “Aristocracy 2032: Mistress Linn Unplugged From Securities For the Sake of Unconditional Love,” picturing a nattily dressed man cradling a robotic woman’s severed head; “A Meditative State on Becoming Real,” depicting a flesh-and-blood babe with jointed wooden legs; “Stem Sell 2032: A Presentation of Our Results (Part 1),” whose subjects are Siamese twins joined at the head; and “Machinery, Freedom and Visual Literature,” one of 1019’s most iconic pieces, showing a nude woman reading this very book as the skin of her legs and pelvis opens to reveal robotic wiring underneath.

      Some of the pictures are fantastic and grotesque in the extreme, notably “The Manifestation of Mutations Brought About By Acceptance of Self-Destruction” (a woman with a literal butt head and a myriad of legs, arms and pistol-wielding hands) and “A Modern-Day Failure: Man-Made, Machines-Made” (a crucified chick whose body tapers off into a worm-like womb).  Others are considerably less so, like “Case 58” (a dude with his hands over his face), but all demonstrate a talent shared by the great surrealists, namely the ability to illuminate the darkest regions of the subconscious. 

     Here that feat is rendered all the more impressive by the fact that every one of 1019’s images started with real world photographs.  The results are distinct and unique, giving rise to an entirely new genre: mutant-android pornography!

 


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