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Ralph Slatton
All Mimsy Were The Borogroves:

All Mimsy were the Borogroves

title: "All Mimsy Were the Borogoves," ink wash, 21x29", 2008, artis: Ralph Slatton


The title, All Mimsy Were the Borogoves, of this drawing was appropriated from Lewis Caroll's poem, Jabberwockey, from the lines:

"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."

Much like the non-sense poetry of Lewis Caroll, Ralph Slatton's work also uses a kind of nonsensical visual representation of personal ideas. Slatton does not always concern himself about explaining everything in his work. he states that the visual language can become less effective if too many words used to interpret or embellish it. Unfortunately, for the artist, words will always be required by the critic. The spoken and written language are somehow obligatory in the visual arts, regardless of how striking the image.

This drawing was a study for an intaglio print. The rabbits represent an adoring mass of rabbits, who follow their leader, positioned in the center of the circle of rabbits. The central character is also a rabbit, who is bound with ropes, which also binds a star to the rabbit's ears. The star is a metaphor for crown, an overshadowing of the fact that accolades often are accompanied by the weight of the responsibility.

Ralph Slatton's vision is further strengthened by the contrasting background and development of tonal areas through the use of crosshatching lines. These element give an illustrious character that is prevalent in Slatton's work. Slatton says that his line is an important language to the process of printmaking. Not all printmakers use line, but those that do are often obsessed by the mark-making allure.

Slatton's work is influenced by the animated movie, "Watership Down," in which animals are used to represent the social groups and how corruption of its leaders are always a threat to the well being of the group. This is obviously a parallel of our human world. Slatton's work also borrows those human elements that are found in our darker psyche.