Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A collection of illustrations inspired by lines from every single page of the 552-page Signet Classics paperback edition of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick
Inspired by one of the world’s greatest novels, Ohio artist Matt Kish set out on an epic voyage of his own one day in August 2009. More than one hundred and fifty years following the original publication of Moby-Dick, Kish began illustrating Herman Melville’s classic, creating images based on text selected from every page of the 552-page Signet Classics paperback edition. Completely self-taught, Kish refused to set any boundaries for the artwork and employed a deliberately low-tech approach in response to the increasing popularity of born-digital art and literature. He used found pages torn from old, discarded books, as well as a variety of mediums, including ballpoint pen, marker, paint, crayon, ink, and watercolor. By layering images on top of existing words and images, Kish has crafted a visual masterpiece that echoes the layers of meaning in Melville’s narrative. In retrospect, Kish says he feels as foolhardy as Ishmael, the novel’s narrator, and as obsessed as Captain Ahab in his quest for the great white whale. “I see now that the project was an attempt to fully understand this magnificent novel, to walk through every sun-drenched word, to lift up all the hatches and open all the barrels, to smell, taste, hear, and see every seabird, every shark, every sailor, every harpooner, and every whale,” he says. “It was a hard thing, a very painful thing, but the novel now lives inside me in a away it never could have before.” Kish spent nearly every day for eighteen months toiling away in a small closet he converted into an art studio. In order to share the work with family and friends, he started the blog “One Drawing for Every page of Moby-Dick,” where he posted art and brief description about his process on a daily basis.
the same hand, and slain; when the two irons, both marked by the same private cypher, have been taken from the body. ACRYLIC PAINT AND INK ON FOUND PAPER 11” x 7.75” 03/11/10 197 Was it not so, O Don Miguel! thou Chilian whale, marked like an old tortoise with mystic hieroglyphics upon the back! INK AND MARKER ON FOUND PAPER 10.75” x 13.75” 03/13/10 198 Do you suppose that that poor fellow there, who this moment perhaps caught by the whale-line off the coast of
sufficit, si rex habeat caput, et regina caudam.” Bracton, l. 3, c. 3. Latin from the books of the Laws of England, which taken along with the context, means, that of all whales captured by anybody on the coast of that land, the King, as Honorary Grand Harpooner, must have the head, and the Queen be respectfully presented with the tail. A division which, in the whale, is much like halving an apple; there is no intermediate remainder. ACRYLIC PAINT, COLLAGE AND INK ON CONSTRUCTION
slay him the more securely there... INK ON WATERCOLOR PAPER 6.75” x 10” 12/27/10 513 As the unsetting polar star, which through the livelong, arctic, six months’ night sustains its piercing, steady, central gaze; so Ahab’s purpose now fixedly gleamed down upon the constant midnight of the gloomy crew. INK ON FOUND PAPER 8” × 11.5” 12/28/10 514 ...Ahab seemed an independent lord; the Parsee but his slave. Still again both seemed yoked together... COLORED
Lord save me, thinks I, that must be the harpooneer, the infernal head-peddler. ACRYLIC PAINT, INK AND MARKER ON FOUND PAPER 8.5” x 11” 08/25/09 21 His bald purplish head now looked for all the world like a mildewed skull. ACRYLIC PAINT AND BALLPOINT PEN ON FOUND PAPER 7.75” x 11” 08/26/09 22 ... he fumbled in the pockets, and produced at length a curious little deformed image with a hunch on its back, and exactly the color of a three days’ old Congo baby.
natural bearing, ye insult me. It’s an all-fired outrage to tell any human creature that he’s bound to hell. Flukes and flames!” ACRYLIC PAINT AND INK ON FOUND PAPER 11” x 7.75” 11/17/09 77 But I had not proceeded far, when I began to bethink me that the captain with whom I was to sail yet remained unseen by me... ACRYLIC PAINT AND INK ON FOUND PAPER 6” x 7.75” 11/18/09 78 “Besides, my boy, he has a wife —not three voyages wedded —a sweet, resigned girl”