Heart of Darkness
By Matt Kish (Illustrator)
(Tin House Books, Hardcover, 9781935639664, 132pp.)
Publication Date: November 2013
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Following his epic Moby Dick in Pictures, artist Matt Kish has set himself upon an equally impressive, and no less harrowing, task: illustrating each page of Joseph Conrad’s masterpiece, Heart of Darkness. Kish’s rich, imaginative drawings and paintings mirror Conrad’s original text and illuminate Marlow’s journey into the heart of the Congo, and into the depths of the human soul. Heart of Darkness is a text ripe for analysis and argument, formally and thematically; it explores matters of imperialism, racism, gender, and the duality of human nature. Kish’s illustrations add another layer, and another voice in the conversation. His visual interpretation of Heart of Darkness is not just essential for fans and students of Conrad; it's a work of art all its own.
Kish’s introduction lends context to his approach, details his relationship and struggle with Conrad’s work, and illuminates his own creative process. An index in the rear of the book catalogs the sentences and phrases that inspired each of the one hundred original pieces of art.
Joseph Conrad is widely accepted to be one of the greatest writers in the English language. Along with Heart of Darkness, he's the author of Lord Jim, Nostromo, and numerous other novels, stories, and essays.
Matt Kish is a self-taught artist from Ohio, where he lives with his wife, their two frogs, and far too many books. He has created one illustration for every page of Moby-Dick, fully illustrated Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and had his work appear in The Chicagoan, Propeller Magazine, and the Salt Hill Journal. He has also illustrated The Alligators of Abraham by Robert Kloss and the upcoming The Desert Places by Robert Kloss and Amber Sparks.
"The brilliant mind behind Moby Dick in Pictures is back to illustrate Joseph Conrad’s classic."
"Darkness never looked so good: Matt Kish's illustrated edition of Joseph Conrad's classic follows the template he created with Moby-Dick In Pictures ."
The National Post
"For your friend who slept through English class, an illustrated version of a classic: Heart of Darkness, written by Joseph Conrad and illustrated by Matt Kish."
The Airship (picked Matt Kish's Heart of Darkness as one of the best books of 2013!)
"Two years after his infinitely wonderful illustrations for every page of Moby-Dick, which ranked among the best art and design books of 2011, self-taught Ohio-based artist Matt Kish returns with an equally exquisite edition of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (public library). With one haunting acrylic-paint-and-ink illustration for every page, Kish whose artwork was included in the excellent compendium The Graphic Canon, Vol. 3 reinvigorates the Conrad classic and its timeless themes of race, gender, power, privilege, and the dualities of the human soul."