Anaylse the drawing system of Paul Noble in his series Nobson Newtown

Analyse the drawing system Paul Noble uses in his series Nobson Newtown in relation to the content of his work and the positioning of the viewer. Support your argument with reference to a drawing which makes use of a different system

Paul Noble is defined by his knack to appropriate the stylisation of architectural and technical design to manifest the sublime Nobson Newtown – a dystopian Metropolis which festers within the growing corruptions of the Western and Eastern politics and religious societies. Amongst the rugged detail of the 4H pencil; he installs this Eden like paradise, surrounding morbidly structured monuments, within enthusiastically crafted walls and scripted symbolisms – there lay darker characterisations of sex, paraphilia and idol worship – standing out indirectly from those who had preceded him. His style emulates the erotic crudeness of H.R Giger, instilling engraves and textures that inflict a certain mood upon the panoramic scenery; reflecting the altering times of day, to the mannerisms of the Nobson inhabitants.

The biblical references found within his on-going saga of Newtown, are exceedingly adopted word for word from the Ten Commandments; the visually grotesque caricatures of faeces amplifying the betrayal of true spiritual faith within humanity of God, Allah or Jehovah of Abrahamic belief systems whilst ironically stating the excessive commercialisation of not only religion but the connotation of art and the industry within itself.

Further study shows, that he manufactured the essence of his world upon the interpretations of good and evil, inflicting his thoughts on the mythology of Heaven and Hell upon the composition of the buildings and atmosphere’s expression. His approach to this condones the philosophies of nihilism, the struggle of secularism, and the advancement of antitheist movements’ – atheism and secular humanism.

Nihilism philosophy is commonly associated and popularised by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche whom of which was involved within its counterpart movement existentialism. Its school of thought concentrates upon the misinterpretation of reality, and loss of significance within society; it’s strongest feature the artificial attachment towards organized religion and its manifestoes (i.e. idols). Catholicism is Nietzsche’s “muse” in this deduction, for Catholicism was the first and most significant organisation of Christianity in the Western world, additionally the most influential.

I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him? All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment .” (Nietzsche, 1883/1885)

Nobston Newtown withholds this quote subconsciously as a visual metaphor for the primitive aspects of the inhabitants, inclusively the mock hieroglyphics taken from pre-Abrahamic cultures, moreover upon Paul’s Palace, where the paraphilia of faeces and eroticism is adopted in placement of dieties. Consequently, it may refer to Noble’s deliberate manifestation of stereotyping male mind-sets – offsetting the limited aspects of some men, thus himself as an individual – upon the association with the popularization of pornography within the commercial industry.

In addition to this, Nietzsche’s description of humanity against the theoretical over-man refers to humanity’s lack of confidence to repel against the instinctive repression to ridding itself from superstition, thus the signifying of faeces representing our desperate belief in a deity. Noble ventured into the Ten Commandments to demonstrate that perhaps the corruption of today’s world is so reliant upon a being of higher power, that we are attempting to take God’s place with a human being in a high status – politicians, musicians, royalty and scientists are examples of people with such a status. All these aspects of human society have influences upon the industry, and inflection upon us as people – like a deity.

Behold, I teach you the overman. The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poison-mixers are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them go. Once the sin against God was the greatest sin; but God died, and these sinners died with him, to sin against the earth .” (Nietzsche, 1883/1885)

Referencing the previous nihilist work ‘The Gay Science ’, Nietzsche is inflicting a premonition of the future exploited corruption of organized religion, initiating the theory of the growing loss of faith in any belief system. Referring back to the philosophy of nihilists, it validates that the physical representations of dogmatic religion has no influence; describing the deliberate misuse and misinterpretations of many religious symbolisms; i.e. Nazism, Satanism – and incredibly, the prompting of iconoclasm – the destruction of religious icons, socially formed within a religious group.

The association with Noble’s interpretation of Heaven and Hell exhibits characteristics of such structures, the slow destruction of a dystopia through the plagiarisms of people – reflecting the warnings stated by Allah, Jehovah or God within the Old Testament; the biblical tale of Sodomy and the fall of Eden.


I use very hard pencils, very rarely softer than 4H. Sometimes the pencils are so hard it seems they would rather scratch a hole in the paper than give up their pale graphite .” (Noble, 2009)

Hardened lines within the commencement of this practise were once established in accordance to necessity rather than to uphold a denotation, in subliminal or mindful state.

Etchings of Germanic medieval artists Master E. S and Konrad Witz; pre-1350, right through to the late-15h century were dealing exceptional exhibitions articulating with a pioneering technique, ‘bracelet shading’ . It was later industrialised by draughtsman Durer of the sixteenth century, becoming standard equipment for draughtsmen throughout Europe. Bracelet shading was achieved by the broadened depth, and curve of the line, through the usage and definition of pen.

To delineate plasticity, as his contemporary Mathias Neithardt-Gothardt – affectionately named Grunewald – they adapted the linear concoction of their illustrations with the infusing tone definition of the pen to establish revolutionary lifelike shape upon a flat layout

Practiced in collecting visual and physical data, Noble succeeded to expand past the limits of two-dimensional imagery, capably expressing the ability to construct the illusion of the three-dimensional; defined by the tactical exaggeration of the hand gesture, and pressure placed upon the medium of his choice. His technique therefore duplicates the stigma of the medieval etchings of the 14th and 15th century, prior works of similar design being accumulated from Greek vase painting
Said vase paintings are noted to configure a reality of subconscious motion because of the thickness and penetration of the chisel – comparable to that of an etching; where the function of shadow; illustrates an unconscious depth to the theme – holding a similar foundation, only that the “pectoral” muscle goal is to represent the early instruction of animation and movement.

The visual phantasm to demonstrate an effect by the mere stroke of a pencil, no matter how thick the lead is relied upon his talent with perceiving kinaesthetic or tactile learning – the illusionary aspect of the mind that can intimidate the memory of touch. It is a memorising ideal demonstrated in detail within industrial and commercial design – guerrilla marketing and film making; notably the dynamic build of motion and computer graphics, usually instructed to blend by controlling established pixel imagery.

I arrange the objects of my drawings on a spatial plane using cavalier protection. The origins of this projection lay in military cartography – fore, mid and background are got rid of and everything depicted is equally close and far. The viewer becomes the architect and the drawing, an architectural plan. He or she is no longer earthbound but hovers like an angel over the described scene, taking in the entire design ” (Noble, 2009)

There may be a possibility that the introduction of tactile or kinaesthetic learning was adopted by post-polytheist and early 20th century art movements, inclusively illusionism and surrealism.

Illusionism, the term founded by 5th century artists and painters, Zeuxis and Parrhasius, was a movement of which not only stepped into both an influentially high-tech aspiration of art, inspiring modern day magicians but a philosophical doctrine. The facility was to infuse illusion with atmosphere to present the misconception of the scenery, permitting the viewer to experience a believable landscape – in means of them taking immediate notice upon the art, and the hallucinations.

The concept of Surrealism implements the status quo of the primary foundations of Illusionism, in the process illuminating the art culture with many founding fathers; of whom which inputted their own twists and eccentricities upon paintings and letter-forms; inclusive of French writer and poet Andre Betron (1896-1966), Spanish painter Salvador Dali (1904-1989), and contemporary Swiss artist H.R Giger as previously familiarised within the introduction.

Surrealism broadened the depths and curiosities of humanity, by not just luring society to step into a three-dimensional world; but to allow them to inquire into their own thoughts, psychologically revealing their own inner insecurities. How such undeniable efforts were achieved were through the exaggerated figurines, and everyday objects; enforcing the terminology of “hallucination” to a whole new reality

The mentioning of Giger, and the potential comparison stems from the inventive approach to sexualise a dystopian Metropolis, through the outrageous stimuli of cyborg women and creatures; comprehending the futuristic concoction for the alienoid Xenamorphs of Ridley Scott’s Alien film franchise. The conceptual art of H.G Giger’s “alien” was revolutionary, for the creatures alone ventured his vision of transhumant theories of the Metropolis myth into a broader scale, entwining his art into film genres of psychological thriller and horror – reminiscent of the original 1927 Germanic feature film of the same name.

Subtle mentions of religion hide within the industrial “biochemical landscape”; notably considered in “The Spell VI” (2011) enhancing the strength, and intellectual beauty of the chimera Baphomet (Fig.1), sometimes known as the Goat of Mendez. It is a figure prominent of early Christian scriptures – such as Gnosticism, The Knights Templar and Ophites – Paganism, and co-ordinated with the Satanist belief system. Its position, because of its inbred history differs according to that belief. Though the creature’s significance is not disputed for example – balance of the Left and Right path, good and evil (i.e. light and darkness), man and woman (i.e. Yin-Yang); the origins of said being. It is reported to either be a Christian deity, of which the Pagans adopted into their belief system, and vice versa. The legend of Abrahamic cultures see it as the lovechild of fallen Arch-angel Lucifer and demon Lilith , or the symbolic manifestation of angel Samael; a spiritual being of Judaism of whom could pass between all three dimensions – Heaven, Earth and Hell, thus transcend to cherish all three attributes. It holds common ancestry with other formations of deity that characterise harmony, or bonded to Earth; Pan of Greek mythology is a notorious example.

(Fig.1. “The Spell VI” transpersonalspirit , 2011)

(Fig.2 “Satan I” , 1976)

With further study, evidence of biblical influences can be seen within an earlier piece, “Satan I” (Fig.2). A reviewer of established a connection within the current corruption and manipulation of Western world religions; the symbolic metaphorical structure attacking the genuine nature of Christianity. Such manifestoes are found inside the basis of many conspiracy theories surrounding the New World Order and the misconceptions of the Illuminati.

According to contemporary spiritual superstitions, the purpose of these two infamous societies are meant to oppress human civilization; suppressing human rights through the façade of dictatorship; its institution influenced by Luciferian and Satanic belief systems.

Alternatively, there is an theological assumption basing the review upon the creation of Lucifer, the fallen angel of Enlightenment, that “he” was the first and only angel to be on an equal status with his creator; God, Allah or Jehovah. Because of this careful conception, the arch-angel was deemed the threshold to adorn those who seek the deity with knowledge; enlightening the onlooker with the power to beseech his creator. Thus additional assumptions that the Bringer of Light’s influence amongst humanity was the fundamental creation of three important aspects of religion; aspects that are themselves condemned by many; reformed religion, atheism – in connections with agnosticism – and Satanism – the counterpart of Luciferianism.

Reformed religions are in themselves theological, and spiritually open-minded to embrace things that fundamentalist religions do not; atheism, through agnostics is the refusal to belief in deities, replacing their faith in a God into science, whether it to prove or disprove that a deity or deities existence.

Through Luciferianism and Satanism, the darkened counterparts of Christianity, these belief systems instead swap the power from God to his offspring Lucifer; as both an individual guide and God in his own right.

His own approach towards his morbid surrealism was, and is achieved by the use of a stencil procreated with scrap piece of metal with controlled metallic equipment puncturing into the material; a practise resembling that of an etching, only upon a rawer magnitude. The artist’s skill was documented by American psychologist and writer, Timothy Leary (1920-1996). He revealed for the release of Griger’s “H R GRIGER/N.Y CITY” (1982)’ a biographical concept art book of H.R’s work, and later concieved in 1997, originally conceived in 1981; the inspiration for the metallic stencil was given to him by colleague Cornelius de Fries – of whom had been working for the electronic industry at the time of the stencil’s discovery.

Therefore it expanded upon Paul Noble’s designation to imply those who view Nobston Newtown to become a part of the town themselves. Those who observe, the onlookers of his master-piece, reveal a holographic, psychosomatic scheme. He is defying the audience with the concept of enchantment, through a dystopian outlook.

Are you a viral visitor staring with your petalled-poppy eyes into our reproductive organs? ” (Leary, 1982)

(Fig.3, “Erotomechanical VIII” Museum , 1979)

Nobson Newton arose from Noble’s invention of a cityscape whose buildings double as an orthogonally projected typeface. The result is a semi-legible architect. The rows of structures spell out the name of the town, which is the title of the work. The overall result is like Swiftian parodies of municipal planning done by a sadistic autocracy. “Town planning as self-portraiture” is how the artist explains the total lack of inhabitants; he being the only citizen”.

Noble as an artist is a skilled magician of illusion, the architect of fantasy and dreams (Fig 3), and the draughtsman to stimulate his creation to life. Through the delusion of mundane imagery, he has cleverly plagiarised tactics only found in politics; to dismiss and distinguish reality from fiction – a stepping stone away from H.R. Giger (Fig.4); Paul deliberately masked his distorted mind, making his panoramic works savoury from a distance. His touch is of subtly, consequently allowing unknowing victims to walk into an exhibition without a clue of what to expect.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing.


December 12th 2012


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