Art: Monsters United Nations, where all the wild things sit and talk and talk and talk about their world.
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that really make you smile. The Monsters United Nations by Sarah Gordon is exactly one of those things. Well, 193 of them eventually.
You may well have seen Gordon’s work previously in various anthologies; Solipsistic Pop, Paper Science, or as part of Words + Pictures. But this is a rather weird diversion from comic making, undertaken on a return from a 3-month break, and rather a massive undertaking as well, first of all imagine all 193 delegates of an alternate Monsters United Nations and then to commit to draw them all.
So far she’s up to B, Belize, entry #18, but what she’s managed so far is awfully silly, wonderfully inventive, and frankly obsessive beyond the call of duty!
As she so succinctly puts it on her website
The Monster UN is an organisation that runs parallel to (although completely separate from) the Human UN. It was set up to promote peace and security, economic and social development and other forms of international cooperation (such as provision of aid to monsters in need and the application of international monster law) throughout the monster nations of the world.
The Artist in Residence at The Monster United Nations is Sarah Gordon. She is responsible for the series of portraits you see on this website, and more of her work is available for perusal at ratherlemony.com and in her digital portfolio.
It’s looking to be a great series, and something I’d love to see her complete.
Having said that there’s a few nagging questions hanging over me about this; first and foremost a huge WHY? 193 prints for sale may be the end result, but it’s a huge undertaking. But the most important question is whether there’s a meaning to the monsters beyond just being silly, funny, scary, or whatever. Does she have some nationalistic identity in mind? Or is it simple a product of my own fevered mind that I’m not only looking to find meaning and cultural identity in each picture but actually managing to find some along the way?
Australia surfer dude monster, chilled out to the point of catatonia (look at the eyes, all of them, look at the smoke). Or Austria, some weirdly germanic monster, bookish and smart yet still running the show? or maybe the ogre from the Little Red Hat folk tale?
Or maybe I’m smoking the same stuff the delegate from Australia is?
Anyway, within the project you’ll find every shade of monster, from the weird and the silly, to the very, very scary…
You do have to wonder just what the heck Gordon has against the Bahamas don’t you?