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Jonny Hannah Merrell Publishers Illustrated Greetings From Darktown

September 3, 2014

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A huge vote of thanks to those fab people over at Merrell for sending me a copy of their latest book, on artist Jonny Hannah. He works with Heart Agency and also St Judes to illustrate his wonderfully eerie worlds of mayhem and mischief. The book is a real treat for lovers of typography, colour and nostalgic nods to a bygone and often rather downtrodden era. It’s lavishly produced and with over 170 pages, it reveals the many sides of the man behind the work and is a wonderful collection and exploration of the artist’s work to date.

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Jonny loves to drift into a bizarre and sometimes darkened world inside his imagination. From there he creates illustrations based on the sea, bowler-hatted skeletons, sea monsters, tattooed sailors, sailing vessels etc. Darktown is his imaginary collection of run down establishments inhabited by Jazz Artistes, the Action Hero Rocket Man, shady characters and people you probably wouldn’t want to bump into at two in the morning in a remote seaside resort in wintertime. Thoughts of a Morrissey song pops into my head as I peruse the book, with lines like,

…Everyday is like Sunday
Everyday is silent and grey

Hide on the promenade
Etch a postcard :
“How I Dearly Wish I Was Not Here”
In the seaside town
That they forgot to bomb
Come, come, come – nuclear bomb…

Also Rickie Lee Jones’s song ‘We Belong together ‘

But a sailor just takes a broad down to the dark end of the fair
To turn her into a tattoo
That will whisper
Into the back of Johnny’s black hair
And now Johnny the King walks these streets without her in the rain
Lookin’ for a leather jacket
And a girl who wrote her name forever…

However Jonny Hannah’s work is anything but silent and grey, it’s vibrant, lively and full of pattern, surface texture and ornate typography.

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Born in Dumfermline, Jonny studied illustration at the Cowdenbeath College of Knowledge, Liverpool Art School & then the Royal College of Art.

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For the last twelve years he has been a freelance illustrator. His many clients include The Sunday Telegraph, The New York Times & The St. Kilda Courier.

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Any spare minute is spent working on news projects for his own Cakes & Ale Press, busily creating books, posters, prints & occasionally t-shirts.

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These 3-d sculpture paintings are great fun. Like some kind of modern folk art, this stunning book on Jonny’s work is due to be released early september so order your copy from Merrell Publishers today.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. 54paintings permalink
    September 3, 2014 10:33 am

    Absolutely yummy!

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