Thursday, March 11, 2010

Karn Evil 9

Okay, while I was in college I really set my sights on becoming a fantasy illustrator. Having devoured the works of Frank Frazetta, Jeffrey Jones and ingesting a monthly dose of Heavy Metal and Epic Illustrated, I was hooked. Fantasy art combined the elements of make believe, other worldliness, and no boundaries. I saw common threads between a lot of the music I was listening to and this style of art. "Progressive rock" is to me one of the best things to happen to music. Groups like King Crimson, Jethro Tull, early Genesis, Pink Floyd and Yes were all showcasing some very talented musicians. Some people view prog rock as elitist, much the same way they malign those who enjoy classical music. To me it's just a different form of music, which relies more on the listeners' ability to let their imagination cut loose.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer joined forces with lyricist Peter Sinfield to create an album entitled Brain Salad Surgery. It was, and is an amazing listen, even though it's close to forty years old. One song was titled Karn Evil 9, and had elements of a dark carnival side show. That song was the basis for this painting, which I did in 1983.


  1. Well now, this is definitely something different than what I'm used to seeing from you! A little creepy, but cool! I love how you made the wood look and the woman's hair.

  2. Thanks. The woman to the left was modeled after Stevie Nicks, and the guy on the right was modeled after Bob Dylan.

  3. "Come inside, the show's about to start!"

    Another Prog Rock fan here! Love the pic!