The Visitor

The Visitor is a series of four hand-crafted art "books" inspired by Roald Dahl's use of humour and macabre in his adult fiction.

British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter and fighter pilot Roald Dahl's short stories are an experience made up of often darkly comic content, featuring villainous adult enemies.
The Visitor is a series of artist books inspired from Roald Dahl's adult fiction. Inspired by Dahl's characteristic style of blending humour with macabre, the project explores the unravelling of our animalistic tendencies hidden behind the facade of everyday, ordinary scenarios. 
The project is a series of narratives drawn from true incidences that are glimpses into the lives of four individuals who have led deceptive lives and are involved in crimes that are identified much later. The stories signify our own capacity for destruction and come away a better person for it. They also go to show how every individual is more than just his or her face value – both good and bad.
“He is one horror writer who rarely spills blood”. - Alan Warren
When studying the short stories of Dahl, it’s impossible not to notice his frequent use of macabre which is often left unspoken. It’s a technique often used by Dahl to leave the macabre implicit. It is used to illuminate the character and the essential plot points of the story that cause a certain distress and triggering suspense in the minds of the reader. This method engineered by Dahl sets up a deceptive stage for the readers and towards the end slowly, tactfully reveals the suspense.
Drawing from these characteristic style of writing, the books consist of fictionalised accounts of four individuals based on true incidents along with papercut diorama.
The stories used for the project are:
1. Issie Sagawa - the man who cannibalised a dutch woman
2. Ed Gien - murderer known for his shocking creations out of human corpse
3. Partha De - found living with the skeleton of his sister and dogs
4. Swami Shradhananda - who buried his wife alive in her own house
Issie Sagawa, a Japanese man who was pursuing PhD in Literature, invited his Sorbonne classmate Renée Hartevelt to dinner at his apartment under the pretext of translating poetry for a school assignment.
Read the story
Details of the illustration
Details of the illustration
Ed Gein, a handyman from Wisconsin, murdered a Plainfield hardware store owner, Bernice Worden, had exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin. Read the story here.
A close view of the illustration to show details
A close view of the illustration to show details
Partha De, a one-time employee of a software giant, was found living with the remains of her dead sister and two dogs. Read the story here.
A close view of the illustration to show details
Swami Shraddhananda, the second husband of Shakereh Khaleeli, buried his wife alive in the courtyard of her own house. Read the story here.
A close view of the illustration to show details
All artworks are hand-painted with gouache. The visuals inside the book are layered papercut artworks, also painted in Gouache.
Miles Davis and paints go very well together.
Image of one of the pieces that I ripped apart out of frustration.
The layers inside the book are separated from each other using strips of sunboard of various thickness for varied inter-distance between each layer to achieve a sense of depth.
Photograph of the cover images for the books.
*Special mention to Vivek for the photography!

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