Monsteryfing is the use of monsters to help a user better understand or interact with a taboo subject matter.
I have always been fascinated with monsters and they are often the subject of my visual art. The reason for this is that since they are not real, they can represent something above actual nature and the interactions that we have with people. I have used them to portray various human emotions, and I have also used them to recreate various situations that a person might find him or herself in.
Monsters are more relatable for humans. This might seem quite ridiculous for a person to be able to relate to a painting of a monster more than he or she would to a painting of a person, however because these creatures are so fantastical, there is nothing for them to be compared to on earth. They do not actually exist and therefore they are above all stereotypes and all race, gender, religion, and age. They are universal.
This makes it easier for all people of all ages to relate to them. Rather than judge monsters – the way we do people – we are able to relate to their facial expressions and circumstances without being clouded by the biases that we have developed towards people.
Working with monsters as the subject removes some of the bias that we have and allows us to look at the situation a bit more clearly. I personally designed my creatures, and no one has seen them before viewing my work. Because of this, they do not think that the creatures are black, white, or anything in between. They just are.
Bioartist Louis Bec says that we don’t research enough of “what life could be.” Working with monsters and dealing with all kinds of issues - be they scientific or social - helps us to see and start looking at the way that things could be, rather than the way that they always have been due to the absence of prejudicial thoughts.
PROJECTS USING MONSTERFICATION:
• THE DENDRONSTER PROJECT
• CRITICAL CREATURE CARDS
Monsterfied biblical scene of the Garden of Eden
Monsterfied prototypes of biracial families
Early prototype of Critical Creature character