DEATH HEAD DEVOTION: Joe Murtagh. Colourful digital art and illustration


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“I do love colour, and the effect it has on certain subject matter. I use strong colour to sugar coat certain themes. To give a false sense of cheerfulness. It also adds an element of humor. Looks misplaced and not quite right. I also like how colour can bounce off each other, and make something far more vibrant and vivid, even trippy”


“The older I get, the more aware I’ve become of how quickly it goes. And how we lose loved ones along the way. One book that I go back to from time to time is The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. In it it describes how we can’t appreciate life without accepting death. That notion has fascinated me, and has become part of my philosophy. No light without shade etc etc.
The skulls and the skeletons are a short hand for me, a nod at mortality. Also a sly comment on how dead our society seems at times, dead to what really matters in life. They can also represent taboos, the dark side of our human nature, like guilt or regret. But also what drives us.”