A book without words
As the season darkens, we are delighted to reveal our collaboration with the artist Ayis Lertas, whose work 72 will be published, as a mutus liber and as a letterpress print, in the New Year.
The 72 demons, devils and monstrous beasts constrained within this 'book without words' are iconic of all the vices, ills, impure appetites and perverse passions that thrive in the life of humankind.
In a style evocative of illustrations from medieval manuscripts, the artist presents, without explanation, a study of the afflictions that vex, tempt, thwart and harm us. These he has extracted from raw experience and distilled through art, so that a multitude of malign forces might be captured in the form of images to illuminate the obscure depths of the psyche. Contemplating these illustrations, unmediated by text, will provoke a personal response in the viewer, the images acting in accordance with one's capacity, or resolve, to penetrate the wilder reaches of the inner world. For some this will be a medicine, or a drug, for others a source of sensual and intellectual arousal.
The phantasmagoria of 72 draws from the long history of European demonology, but is marked by the acuity and black humour of the artist.
Ayis Lertas is a multidisciplinary artist from Athens, Greece. His work ranges from album and book cover illustrations to fashion and jewelry through his brands O.W.H.H.R.M. Garments and ∴THIS∴ Craft. The themes of his work traverse the erotic and mystical to the absurd, comedic and grotesque, merging primitive and ancient aesthetics with pop art and contemporary culture.