{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


Vultures Await


From a Void City to what might be a Vulture City, this is an illustration I produced last September for San Jose psych rock band Vultures Await. I would have mentioned it sooner but the following months were very busy and I was also waiting for the band to make the artwork public. Stylistically, this is another piece of collage Surrealism à la Wilfried Sätty, an illustration approach I’d like to keep developing for a while yet. The forthcoming Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities will have more Sätty-inspired pieces, although my contributions there tend towards the decorative. There is, however, a connection between this piece and the Cephalopod Bride.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Wilfried Sätty: Artist of the occult
Nyarlathotep: the Crawling Chaos



Posted in {collage}, {design}, {music}, {surrealism}, {work}.

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16 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Gabriel McCann


    Let me guess.
    The vulture is the groom of the bride?

  2. #2 posted by Gabriel McCann


    …or the circular image with what looks like suns rays coming from it is reused in this one.

  3. #3 posted by John


    Yes, it’s that circular motif which is from an old occult illustration. I’m using it again on something I’m working on at the moment; it might be a good idea to find something new.

  4. #4 posted by Gabriel McCann


    Not related to this. A nice picture of Thombeau’s mystery date from a while ago.

  5. #6 posted by Wiley


    Austin Osman Spare once wrote something, and I am not ‘directly’ quoting, but to the basic effect, that we ought to toast to the vultures for they are our future, or perhaps they hold the keys to our future.

    Either way, the quote of Spare’s that I am trying to recall now is in regards to vultures and the sentiment is the same. This picture, with the deified vultures looking down upon all the oblivious, self-important human cattle, reminds me quite a bit of that sentiment.

  6. #7 posted by matthew brandi


    @Wiley: “Oh, I say, how misanthropic!” [Twiddles moustache, and does not look up.]

    But … I’m gonna stick my neck out and say that neither the AOS witticism nor the JC picture is misanthropic.

  7. #8 posted by lord cornelius plum


    Yeah, i dig this. Hope the band lives up to such a great cover.This might be my favourite album cover of yours, John. Really impressive.

  8. #9 posted by John


    Wiley: There’s also a couple of Spare drawings of vulture heads I can think of which probably relate to that quote. The idea behind this was piece was intended to be open to interpretation, it’s obviously ominous but there’s no indication as to what the vultures represent. In India, for example, vultures have a positive role in disposing of the bodies of the dead after they’ve been left on the Towers of Silence.

    LCP: Thanks!

  9. #10 posted by matthew brandi


    I always rather liked the idea of towers of silence.

    Sadly, there seem to be too few vultures in India & Pakistan, these days. Various theories have been offered (drug residues, etc), and I don’t know whether the mystery’s been solved, yet.

  10. #11 posted by Wiley


    Matthew: It was not my intention to sound resolutely misanthropic, people are what they are, regardless of what an individual may wish people were. It applies just as much to me as it does to vultures. The pair of carrion fowl ‘do’ seem to be looking down at all the people, and seeing as how they have wings, why wouldn’t they? They need to eat, just as anyone else does.

    I tend to agree with John’s interpretation of Spare’s end pieces (they are end pieces to one of the books I have by him, having just recalled this in memory), yet having read much from Spare, not just gazing at his artwork, which I ‘do’ like better nevertheless, one would could not say without being naive that Spare had any great measure of respect to the accepted practices, philosophies, and institutions held in high esteem by humanity at large in his time, or this time for that matter.

    Again, people are what they are. I wouldn’t consider Spare so much of a misanthrope, as I would say he simply saw no need to constantly apologize for what he was, even while being surrounded by a world wherein this was expected of him.

  11. #12 posted by Thombeau


    I really like this, John. In fact, I love it!

  12. #13 posted by Dior


    I was blown away by your amazing artwork done for this CD, which is.. YES.. amazing as well. I’ve been a fan of your work for quite sometime, but this is, of course, my favorite.

  13. #14 posted by Steve


    I love this too John. Thanks so much for creating this for us. We are printing posters to go along with the CD. The artwork is amazing and in large format is stunning. We have done our best to create cd that is worthy of this artwork.

  14. #16 posted by John


    Thanks, everyone, I was very pleased with the way this one turned out.






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