Esao Andrews, a young and growing artist from Mesa, Arizona, created this wonderful piece. This work, called Test Cover for Vertigo, was one of his earlier pieces. He used oil paint as his media, which is typical of most of his art. Esao moved from Arizona to New York in 1996 to complete his BFA in illustration at the school of visual arts. He graduated in 2000, quickly landing a major show at Fuse Gallery. His art and name got very popular, fast. I actually know of him because of the work he has done for the band Circa Survive, creating 4 of their album covers.
In this actual piece, I notice a lot of details and characteristics that contribute to the surreal, dark, and enchanting mood that is created. The basic depiction of this piece is a girl-like creature deep in thought, oblivious to the stalking wolf man behind her. You will notice a theme among Esao’s characters that gives monsters human-like bodies. They are always very thin and lanky, with emphasis on the tone and shape of muscles. Every one of his displayed paintings are oil based.
The first thing I notice about this image is that the angle of the horizon is tilted. This is actually the only piece by Esao that I have seen that does this. Next, the obvious details appear to me. The characters are secluded in a forest. The girl has huge, feathered wing. Her hair and wings are bright, electric blue. The thin wolf character in the back is covered in hair and has an extremely sharp claw motioning to be quiet to the audience. If you look at the character’s expressions, you notice the girl has a very content, happy look on her face. She seems to be at peace. The wolf’s face is almost evil looking, with an invisible grin. To me, it looks like a huge symbol of good and evil. The evil is stalking the innocent, which is possibly a symbol of defiling innocence. It leaves you with a very dark and disturbed feeling.
There are some uncertainties I have about this painting. Art can be interpreted many different ways, so I wonder what other people get out of this image. What is the girl thinking about, and why would she be alone in the forest? What are the wolf-man’s motives? What does the whole scene represent, symbolically? What does each character represent? Was there any significance to the tilted horizon? Why are all of Esao’s characters so thin and lanky?
My personal opinion of this work, along with the rest of Esao’s art, is extremely high. I think his creativity and ability to create is unbelievable. He has the success to show for it too. In one art showing, Esao made over $5,000.00. As an artist, I am very impressed and aspire to be as good as Esao Andrews someday.