John Couthart goes beyond his usual level of excellence with his amazing interior images for Bruce Sterling’s forthcoming PIRATE UTOPIA.
Coulthart also contributes an essay discussing his thought processes and the historical influences behind the work.
Energy—especially of the machine variety—sets the Futurists apart from some of the more inward-looking and formulaic Modernists working before and after the First World War. There’s no Expressionist angst to be found in the artists and writers who celebrated the “cleansing” value of modern warfare, but all the avant-gardists of the period share with the Modernist writers the sense that everything which had seemed fixed in the Nineteenth Century was now to be examined afresh: questioned, broken apart, then either discarded or pieced together in startling new forms. PIRATE UTOPIA isn’t the first book I’ve worked on which has mined this fervid decade for artistic potential, but the graphic novel I spent most of the 1990s creating with David Britton,
HORROR: REVERBSTORM, pastiches the styles of the Cubist and Expressionist painters, especially Picasso, along with borrowings from the Bauhaus designers. PIRATE UTOPIA forced me to look much more closely at the Futurists than I had done before.
The revolution comes your way this November.
For more info on PIRATE UTOPIA, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover and images by John Coulthart