URBAN AESTHETIC: Beyond Good and Evil

Beyond Good and Evil series displayed at Centrespace art gallery with person looking at the work

URBAN AESTHETIC: Beyond Good and Evil Collection

This collection features five pieces that were inspired by literary concepts of good and
evil, and how characterisation of these concepts is developed in popular culture. In
literature, moral concepts are often represented through characterisation, and no
more obviously is this done than in comic books, particularly early versions of some
Marvel Comics.

As much a visual medium as a piece of literature, early comic books employed
rudimentary colour designs for their characters to ensure easy differentiation
between the good guys, and the bad guys. The formulae was fairly straightforward,
heroes are pure of heart and thus appear in primary colours – the ‘pure’ colours. For
example, Ironman is yellow and red, Spider-Man, blue and red, Thor, red, yellow, and
blue, whereas villains, conversely, often appear in secondary colours, purple, green,
and orange.

The manipulation of colour is a simple but effective tool, and remains a common
practice which is often used in politics, by sports teams, artists, the media, and
advertisers, to attract our attention and influence our thinking.
For these pieces I wanted to combine this colour practice with complimentary works
of famous literature that would further explore the power of language and art.

Inspiration was taken from the Medieval Icelandic anthology, Edda, Beyond
Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche, The Virtue of selfishness by Ayn Rand, La Morte
de Artur, attributed to Thomas Malory, and Homer’s Odyssey.

Original collage painting on wood blocks by Stephen Tribbel. Image and text from Gregory Maguire's Wicked, ink, and acrylic paint. Shades of green and purple. Sold.
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