Saturnalia – new works from Le Gun co-founder

Although it’s a good three weeks until Halloween, illustrator Neal Fox is starting the scares early with his Saturnalia show.

Slow Train Coming
Slow Train Coming

Fox, who co-founded art collective and journal Le Gun, is continuing his brilliant explorations into the unnerving with his new series of works on paper.

The works are on show at an exhibition at Daniel Blau Gallery in London, and are influenced by Saturnalia, which through Fox’s lens, challenges All Hallows Eve in the frightening festival stakes.

The Roman festival in honour of the Saturn deity was held in December, and boasted such treats as partying, gift-giving, a public banquet and – legend has it – a good old human sacrifice.

Neal Fox in his studio with All the Young Dudes, 2013
Neal Fox in his studio with All the Young Dudes, 2013

In Fox’s interpretation, however, the roles of ruler and servant are reversed, with the slaves who would have waited on the rich revelers holding court at lavish banquets and engaging in their own debauched festivities.

The surreal and sublimely detailed images exemplify the chaotic spirit of the carnivalesque, updated for the 21st century viewer.

Sangre de los Pervertidos
Sangre de los Pervertidos

Motifs and cameos include everyone from cartoonist Robert Crumb to painter Hieronymus Bosch to novelist William S. Burroughs; creating a gloriously debauched tableau of anachronisms.

Daniel Blau Gallery says, ‘Drawing upon motifs from the collective unconscious, and with a cast of pop culture figures ranging from Hunter S.Thompson to Ziggy Stardust, Fox employs his iconoclastic touch and unravels – with great humour – the grotesque in a world turned upside down.’

Nightmare at the Villa Diodati
Nightmare at the Villa Diodati

Neal Fox Saturnalia, New Works on Paper runs from 11 October – 2 November at Daniel Blau Gallery, 51 Hoxton Square London 
N1

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