The 72 demons, devils and monstrous beasts constrained within this 'book without words' by Ayis Lertas 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.
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