Last Saturday, CHG Circa showed us every kind of giant you can think of with their group show “Giants Among Us” (previewed here). Giants are a timeless myth that has inspired artists for centuries. For Circa’s contemporary artists- Anita Kunz, Andrew Brandou, Armando Marino, Benjamin Bryce Kelley, Eric Joyner, Joe Fenton, John Brophy, Korin Faught, So Youn Lee, to name a few- giants are monstrous beasts, revered figures, a narrative and a concept. With so many literal and wildly conceptual ideas, it becomes a sort of game to find the giant in each.
British artist Joe Fenton infuses his immensely detailed graphite and mixed-media drawings of interplanetary iconography with inspiration from religious artifacts from centuries past — the ornate frames of gilded Orthodox icons, Tibetan Buddhist altars with their elaborate wood carvings. East and West come together in these large, fantastical works. Fenton is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, but his personal work tackles heavier topics. The artist says that much of his drawings explore the idea of death, namely the fear of death — an anxiety many appease through religion and spirituality. Fenton’s baroque, intense scenes are cramped with hellish visions and strange spirits, densely filling each page with deities and demons from a fantasy belief system rife with occult symbols.