Boris Artzybasheff - As I See (4 stars)

Boris Artzybasheff - As I See

On a trajectory from the surreal to the satirical Russian-born New Yorker lies somewhere between Man Ray and Gerald Scarfe. First published in 1954, As I See is a collection of striking illustrations reflecting, among other things, the burgeoning psychiatric movement on America’s east coast. Themes of cultural vanity, phobia, machismo and mental discombobulation are all dealt with in the artist’s inimitable grotesque and anthropomorphic style.

There is modernity to Artzybasheff’s work that is absurd, gleeful and troubling. Playful and full of hallucinatory illusion (a style later picked up by the Youth International Party and the hippie movement), oeuvre is ripe for re-evaluation and this is a pretty good place to start.

As I See is published by Titan

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