Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dalek (James Marshall)

I don’t exactly remember when I first encountered Dalek’s work, but it was a couple years back and I instantly was drawn to his style and body of work. Dalek is an illustrator and painter, who make both commercial work and fine art for exhibitions in gallery spaces. His commercial work can be found with in the skateboard culture from clothing designs to actual board graphics.

The first time you look at his work, it’s extremely hard to take in all at once and the viewer has to take some time to comprehend and interpret the work. Dalek’s work is known for it’s intense color pallet, super precise line work and attention to detail. A good majority of his work looks very similar, due to color choices and line work, but all send a different message and have a noticeable difference in appearance. A lot of his paintings are very geometric and based off some sort of grid to maintain order and fluidity within a piece. Sometimes he throws in a character of sorts and surrounds the character in a surreal world of color and dimension. I feel his work can be appealing and appreciated by almost anyone, and it’s almost hard to not enjoy or appreciate his paintings.

Roughly a month ago Dalek’s work was exhibited here in Chicago at Rotofugi gallery, which I had the pleasure of going to. His paintings in person absolutely blew my mind and furthered my appreciation for his imagery, precision and dedication to creating beautiful work. At the opening I briefly talked to him about his work and how he ended up where he is now. Turns out he left his home and family at an extremely young age with no money and wandered around the country with no direction or promise for the future. The only thing that remained constant in his life was drawing cartoons and creating his own world through a pen, paintbrush, and spray can. I personally love to hear artist’s stories such as Dalek’s, the idea of having nothing to lose and doing what you truly love to keep your sanity and mature as a human and as an artist. Dalek and his work are extremely influential to myself, and I appreciate the hell out of his process and end result when it comes to his paintings and drawings. It was an honor to shake his hand and see his beautiful paintings in person, and hopefully they’ll make it back to Chicago sometime soon.


  1. It was cool reading about his background story from when you met him. I really like the different patterns and colors in this piece. Though there is a lot of stuff going on here, it comes together to form a very in depth scene. Very interesting post :)

  2. Did Dalek come up with the album art for Starfucker? A lot of this stuff reminds me of the diamond design they use.