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Ian Murrin

Artist statement:

I created this series as my way of addressing the issue of our world in peril. 

We as humans have always held to our predictions of the end times, even when they don’t actually arrive. It is the journey to the end, the issues of disaster and cataclysm, that fascinate the human mind. Today there are always issues present that could endanger the world, and I am afraid that we as a species are not taking the steps to address them. I worry we have buried our heads in the sand too deeply to see that we are at, or perhaps beyond, our turning point. I see the world ignoring the issues of today and instead thinking they shall blow over like in the past. 

ian murrin

My series is my own personal reminder that the problems today are not ones that will go away with time. In fact, a majority of them are direct effects of issues the world had ignored in the past, such as climate change and economic instability. I wanted to show that while we have always had prophets of doom, today’s issues, ranging from environmental disasters to nuclear arming, are making the prophets’ words more reliable than ever before.

The style of my work is reminiscent of the woodcuts from the Gothic era, though more ragged through my linework shading. This is a conscious decision on my part, as I see the Gothic as one of the more recognizable forms of religious art, which corresponds with my subjects being from the Book of Revelations in the Bible. The use of the modern graphics behind the heads of my Gothic figures is to help create both dynamism in the work, and to show the divine nature of the figures through the allusion of halos in these circular patterns. The figures in the series are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Each Horseman has a king and queen to represent them, as I wanted to show that the apocalypse which our world is running towards does not discriminate who it tramples. 

The central focus of my work is meant to showcase what issues I see today that will have lasting, devastating effects on our world; some shown are truly world-ending themselves. I chose to pack as many references to a modern understanding of the apocalypse into Seal itself. The disasters and conflicts shown here are real, and I wanted to convey their seriousness with what we are seeing today in the world. It is meant to be an omen of the Apocalypse, showing no aspect of the world shall be free from the inevitable if we do not change our course as a species for the better. 

If anything must be gained when viewing my series, I only ask that you think of the world today, at present, and do what you can to avoid this end I have put forward in my work.