Friday, 13 March 2009

My latest love: Bruno 9Li

A dozen snakes encroach around a deathly tribal mask, as a wretched spectre issues from its lips. This is the distinctive vision of Bruno 9Li, the young Brazilian illustrator whose bold handiwork and eerie characters have made an equally striking impression on a host of recent admirers, Amelia’s magazine and Creative Review included.

Despite its limited palate, the cryptically titled Doze Segredos (Twelve Secrets) channels vibrant energies. Heavily-penned serpents writhe for attention against a delicate wilderness. Haunted by ancestral ghosts, 9Li’s apparition conjures both Aztec and African facial representation as well as the spine-tingling aura of Tutankhamun’s funeral mask. The choice of pastel hues and a bold style may have kitsch appeal but the image threatens ancient voodoo. Whether the Medusan warrior is aided or destroyed by its serpentine mane, viewers shouldn’t hang around to find out. Medusa may paralyze but Bruno 9Li has the power to hypnotise.

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