Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Benny Kusnoto - Artist Review

Snail Jester by BennyKusnoto

Vivid and translucent, BennyKusnoto's art is vibrant enough to be alive.  Which is particularly disturbing once you see some of the horrifying configurations of his monsters.

On his Deviantart page (linked near the bottom), you'll find insane, grotesque mishmashes of human parts that juxtapose beautiful ladies' legs, raw red maws, and fiendish insectoid hooks.  These monsters are so detailed and the light so delicately rendered as it falls over them that they are elevated from being merely scary, to being real.  This is what sets BennyKusnoto apart from your typical tentacled-horror scrawler.  His work doesn't rely on blood and guts to get a point across.  Rather, it leverages the texture of pallid flesh, the glistening of mucous.

However, this is just his latest work.  As you explore the page, you'll see that the artist is quite varied and that his style can shift dramatically.  There is definite quality in the earliest submissions to deviantart, that include a lot of really badass Batman fan art.  Later, there's a series of artfully smudged black and white pieces that remind me of Stephen Gammell's nightmare-inducing illustrations for "Scary Stories to Read in the Dark".   Then, there are moody, dramatic portraits of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster and the Mummy.  As you scroll on, you'll pass glossy background textures, and a steampunk beagle.  A STEAMPUNK BEAGLE.

My personal favorites are his horror creatures, though.  I'm glad that the artist seems to find the Joker inspiring because it brought about some of the most amazing scary-clown art I've ever seen.  And I'm not talking Killer Clowns with Big Teeth, I'm talking this:

Tears of a Clown by BennyKusnoto
Those tiny eyes....  (shudder).

Finally, some of the monsters are a bit more conventionally built, but extremely well-designed.  They capture something otherworldly, but in their execution are deeply plausible. There are squid-bats that look like David Attenborough should be narrating them, and aliens that might well skitter under distant foliage, if not the hull of one's spaceship.

Creatura by BennyKusnoto
This sense of reality is, in my opinion, what makes horror art really compelling.  The ability to create an image that suggests a fully-realized, if sinister, world is a talent not many possess.   BennyKusnoto, with his wrinkles and glimmers, creates such worlds.

If you're looking for some extremely high-quality horror illustrations, or just want to check out a super-cool looking redesign of Darth Vader, I will gladly point you to the link below.  

Check out more of his awesome artwork here:


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