Written by Chloe Zofia
In 2018, we put out a themed Inscape issue centered around Mary Shelley’s legendary novel Frankenstein. The issue was in honor of, and to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the book’s publication way back in 1818. Frankenstein is an important piece of literature for a host of reasons, but the story especially relates to Inscape because we are primarily a staff of young writers dancing and stumbling through life lessons. Many of these life lessons are explored thematically in Frankenstein, from ambition to fallibility, family and society, romanticism and nature, to prejudice and loss of innocence. These topics we hold close to our heart, especially in times of transition, like in college.
Artist Ashley Geiger submitted three digital art pieces for Inscape’s 2018 Frankenstein-themed issue. She is an associate professor of humanities hailing from Toledo, Ohio. The three selected digital works of art paint some hauntingly surreal depictions of our 2018 Inscape issue’s guest of honor, Frankenstein. Each of the three pieces has their own individual style, yet as a series they work together as a cohesive body of work.
All three pieces are portrait-style interpretations of the Frankenstein character. Two of the images are highly textural, lending a more luscious experience to the viewer regardless of whether viewed on the internet from a screen or printed on paper. The piece pictured to the left employs color in an experimental way, with a primarily monochrome grey image, sprinkled with cyan, magenta and green bits. The result is a mind-altering stereoscopic effect, like those 3-D images they had on the back of early 2000s cereal boxes, the kind that had to be viewed with cardboard glasses boasting one blue lens and one red lens. The art is familiar, yet disorienting-- a perfect nod to Frankenstein’s overall vibe as a half person, half monster.
Beyond the obvious relevance to the subject matter to our 2018 theme, the textural qualities of these images suited the Frankenstein character wonderfully. In the first image pictured above, the digital manipulation creates a sort of metallic quality. The surface of what appears to be metal is glistening in the way that a thin layer of oil shimmers when floating on water. The result is mysteriously holographic. Like Frankenstein, the materials depicted in these three works of art tantalize the viewer’s imagination, tickling their curiosity without revealing specifics.
“Although I possessed the capacity of bestowing animation, yet to prepare a frame for the reception of it, with all its intricacies of fibres, muscles, and veins, still remained a work of inconceivable difficulty and labour. I doubted at first whether I should attempt the creation of a being like myself, or one of simpler organization; but my imagination was too much exalted by my first success to permit me to doubt of my ability to give life to an animal as complex and wonderful as man.” --Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Chapter 4
Oftentimes with both art and literature, it is what remains unsaid which can most delight the audience in new and unusual ways, as opposed what is overtly stated. In the case of Ashley Geiger’s three digital Frankenstein-themed works of art, the mystery is as alluring as it is perplexing. Are they dyed linen, etched metal, holographic, 3-D film, or “intricacies of fibres, muscles and veins” like the monster himself…? Here at Inscape, we take pride in showcasing artwork that dazzles the mind as well as the senses. It is for this very reason we decided to select artist Ashley Geiger’s three-part digital series.
Chloe says, " I'm submitting a piece I wrote for Inscape entitled "Why We Chose It." It's about why a specific submission was accepted by Inscape, in this case, artist Ashley Geiger's three-part Frankenstein digital art series. Our readers might enjoy an insight on the "why" behind our accepted submissions."
PCC Inscape Magazine, housed at Pasadena City College, is following Coronavirus protocols. At this time our staff continues to read submissions and publish web content. Our Spring 2020 issue is at the printer! Our Fall 2020 issue is coming soon!
Blog Posts reflect the opinions of the writer and not the opinions of Pasadena City College or Inscape Magazine Editorial Staff Members.