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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Matt Kish on PBS Newshour

Artist Matt Kish, whose book Moby Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Each Page that I raved about this summer even though the book is not yet out from Tin House, is interviewed at PBS Newshour Art Beat blog here.

An excerpt from the interview is below:

ART BEAT: By taking on this project you became more intimately involved with "Moby-Dick". Did you discover new things about the book or have new interpretations?

MATT KISH: Sometimes I feel it's easier to define my project more by what it's not than by what it is. It is certainly not an attempt to create the definitive "Moby-Dick". My illustrations are not even remotely historically accurate at all. Many of them are rather fantastic. The whole illustration project is an intensely personal exploration of the book and what the story is to me. Doing this project, though, was really the most personally intimate I had ever been with the novel and near the end it began to be really more of a mirror of myself and some of the things I had experienced, and what my life had been like so far, and how the book had been a companion to me throughout my life.

So in a sense these illustrations are just as much a representation of me as an individual as they are of the novel. And, you know, it took me to some pretty dark places at times. The book, near the end, is frightfully bleak and nihilistic and it exposed some of those elements inside myself and really made me confront some of the things that had been plaguing me for a long time. It really was an ordeal, it really was a long journey. But by finishing, I really feel that I was able to put some of those things to rest and close a part of my life and move forward.


For more of the interview, and to see a slideshow of 20 of the drawings and pages, click on the link.

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