Wednesday, 23 May 2012 03:38
Dark Gothic Fetish Erotica
Gerald Brom is one of the most fascinating American artists currently working in the genres of gothic fantasy and erotic art. With a monstrous imagination combined with extraordinary skill, he produces art that is truly unforgettable.
Brom was born in 1965 in the southern United States, but as the son of an army pilot he moved around a great deal. His family lived not only in the U.S. but also abroad in Japan and Germany, which is where the young Brom graduated from high school. Some of his early influence was from the literature of writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert Howard and, particularly, Michael Moorcock, whom Brom credits with inspiring his particular brand of gothic fantasy.
The artist's talent was prodigious, and at the ripe age of 20, after two years at a technical art college in Georgia, he was working full-time as a commercial illustrator. By age 21 he was working with an impressive list of clients, including CNN, Columbia Pictures, IBM and Coca Cola. He eventually landed a full-time job doing fantasy illustration with TSR, Inc., the hugely successful gaming company that produced, among others, the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game.
After four years with TSR, Inc., Brom rejoined the freelance world. Since then his powerful imagination and artistic skills have been employed in a wide variety of genres. He has done paintings for novels and book covers, including those by Terry Brooks, R.A. Salvatore, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Michael Moorcock as well as the War of the Spider Queen and Avatar series for Wizards of the Coast. He has worked on popular computer games, including Doom II, Diablo II, Heretic, Heretic II and Skyborg: Into the Vortex. He has contributed to movies and TV as a concept artist on Galaxy Quest, Sleepy Hollow, Cleopatra 2525, Ghosts of Mars and Scooby-Doo, among others. Early in his career Brom came out with his own set of fantasy art trading cards and he has produced fetish toys, bronze and porcelain figures and even pocket knives. His art has also been published in book form in Darkwerks: The Art of Brom, Brom's Little Black Book, and Offerings.
All of this work is part of Brom's huge success, which is also attributable to an enormous cult following. His art is clearly the product of a unique vision, translated onto canvas by enormous technical ability. He claims not to have ever really made a decision to become an artist; rather, it was the only path available and the right doors opened at the right time.
Brom has characterized his own art as "gothic fetishism," and a browse through his gallery would lead most to agree with the suitability of the term. There is something sinister about his work, which lends the erotic pieces a supercharged sexuality. It is the eroticism of danger and darkness. In Brom's world, beauty is contorted, fused with monstrosity and infused with mystery. Yet he claims that it comes less from a conscious attempt and more from his natural artistic aesthetic.
One can see a clear line of influence from the master of fantasy Frank Frazetta, which the artist acknowledges, but he also claims a number of other influences. These include Richard Corben (best known for his illustrated stories in Heavy Metal magazine), Rick Berry, N.C. Wyeth and, rather surprisingly, Norman Rockwell. One of Brom's greatest strengths, something that can also be seen as one of the greatest strengths of his primary influences, is composition. His paintings achieve a balance of form that immediately draws the viewer closer.
Besides having his art published in book compilations, Brom has also recently taken to writing illustrated novels. The first of these, titled The Plucker, featured over 100 paintings and received a variety of accolades, even winning a Chesley Award from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. His second illustrated novel, The Devil's Rose, a tragic western set in hell, was released in 2007.
Gerald Brom currently lives in the Seattle, Washington area with his wife and two sons. His current activity, according to his own website, involves the following: "when not eating bugs, he is ever writing, painting and trying to reach a happy sing-a-long with the many demons dancing about in his head."
worked as commercial illustrator for a variety of major corporations including CNN, Columbia Pictures, IBM and Coca Cola.
worked for major gaming company TSR, Inc..
produced paintings for novels and book covers, including those by Terry Brooks, R.A. Salvatore, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Michael Moorcock.
worked on popular computer games, including Doom II, Diablo II, Heretic, Heretic II and Skyborg: Into the Vortex.
contributed to movies and TV as a concept artist on Galaxy Quest, Sleepy Hollow, Cleopatra 2525, Ghosts of Mars and Scooby-Doo.
published art compilations: Darkwerks: The Art of Brom, Brom's Little Black Book, and Offerings.
written two illustrated novels: The Plucker and The Devil's Rose.