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Bēhance

Ken Taylor vs. Moby Dick

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  • Last week Ken Taylor completed his poster design of Moby Dick for the exhibition ‘Required Reading’ at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles. Ken chose the penultimate moment when Ahab is dragged to his death by his awesome albino nemesis.

    All the symbols of mankind retreat into the dark shaddows of Ken’s limited colour palette, but the great white whale shines victorious. In this poster, Moby’s gnarly eye pays homage to all the human traits that Melville gave Moby in the book. Melville humanized the whale in order to aggrandize Ahab’s vendetta with the whale into a metaphor for mankind’s many struggles well beyond the sea.

    Your eye arrives at the nose of the great white whale, then travels along the harpoons and down the mast before swinging around to the defeated Ahab. Then from the safe perspective of the aftermath you read the quote from Captain Ahab that Ken placed like a plaque at the bottom of the sea/poster and you get a feeling for the intensity of the struggle.

    What an epic collaboration of two great storytellers in the element of their own medium. No wonder the limited edition of 130 posters screen printed with a metalic silver sold out in minutes.