JAMES JARVIS: “De Profundis”

Out of the depths of toyland, British Illustrator and Designer toy-maker, James Jarvis returns with a new book, “De Profundis”.

Words: Aimstar
Images: Courtesy of James Jarvis and PictureBox Inc.

De Profundis, James Jarvis’ first graphic novel in five years, is as its title suggests. Latin for “out of the depths” or as it is most commonly known, a spiritual lament for those seeking mercy from the heavens, Jarvis’ storyline follows an artist, as he battles his inner demons along a lonely path through the wilderness and into an abandoned metropolitan square. What he is searching for, and just who this artist that Jarvis’ character is implicating is anyone’s guess (perhaps Jarvis’ metaphoric soliloquy?). But what’s most interesting is the novel’s timing—the world is currently undergoing a massive shift, but to where?— which shows just how in tune Jarvis, as creator tapping into what’s happening on the ground, really is.

Okay, no need to be that deep, this is a graphic novel after all, right? But Jarvis digs further. His illustrated protagonist eventually meets a robed character—”a priestly being”—the latter, who employs the pensive artist, asking him to “decorate a temple to nameless gods”. One has to wonder if Jarvis has—during his tenure as co-founder of Amos (miniature plastic workshop and anything-Jarvis-related distributor), alongside Richard Kenworthy, or even before that, during his time lacing graphic work for Nike, Nokia, Sony or Stüssy—run into any sketchy, “priest-like” figures in his own life, who may have offered him the world, in exchange for his art (of his creation, but not of his intuition) to be appreciated by the worthy. (Haven’t we all?)

Either way, Jarvis wins with De Profundis, and you should cop the book now.

James Jarvis will be in New York City on Thursday, November 10th, signing a limited number of copies of his new book, De Profundis, at The Standard Hotel from 6-8pm.

Follow James Jarvis on Twitter, @studiojarvis

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