Out of My Head

The Imaginary Creatures of Joseph Baqué

publisher: Fantagraphics
publish date:
language: English
coloring: full color
pages: 528: Hard Cover

A gorgeous art book that also tells the unbelievable story of Joseph Baqué, a police officer and secretive artist who created 1500 imaginary creatures during the fascist era in Spain
(1930s-60s) and told not a soul about them during his lifetime. Part Medieval-style bestiary, part natural history treatise, this remarkable body of work by Joseph Baqué came to the public's attention only in 2011. With this book, author Brian Chidester has penned the first-ever critical biography of this enigmatic creator and of his strange, whimsical creations. Threading 20th century art history, Spain's fascist era, and what record there is of Baqué's personal life, Chidester presents a full picture of one of the most fascinating "outsider art" careers of the
20th century. Grouped into nine distinct taxonomies - wild beasts, primitive men, bats, insects, giant spiders, snakes, cephalopods, crustaceans, birds, and fish - each creature is placed against a blank white backdrop and surrounded by a pencil-drawn square box. Despite setting up his creatures as species classifications instead of individual characters, the artist imbued each with an individualistic personality and self-awareness. They often gaze outward, perform as if on display, and even feel around for possible ways out of their aesthetic cage - which speaks to Baqué's visual fondness for carnival posters and freak show banners of the era. Collectively they represent a rich visual imagination at odds with the conformist political climate in which he created them.

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