Reading Richard Gessner’s book The Conduit and Other Visionary Tales of Morphing Whimsy was like drawing a tarot card out of a magical deck. Reading it triggered a rare recollection of sensations into a neural pattern of synesthesia. These infrequent and unusual bits of writing guides the reader into a dream time, a metamorphosis that operates in harmony while under the influence of an autoscopic hallucination. An illusion of observing selves. There is a hypnagogic arrangement that dissolves once you fully notice your in a dream but with Gessner’s work the afterimage stays for a long visit. It doesn’t evaporate. I enjoy the metaphorical compounds in Gessner’s visual work, it’s an erotic and tantric iconography. Gessner builds a unique mythology. His graphic representation of aquatic fantasies are arranged in the formula of deep unexposed thought waves, waves we glide on in abbreviated gestures.
Richard Gessner is a Left-handed, self taught Visionary writer and artist. In the visual work he often packs dense interconnected imagery into tight spaces.
“I am a left-handed, self taught Artist. I pack dense, interconnected imagery into small spaces. I have an ongoing epic series of the Surf Goddess and the Strongmann that evokes a timeless world of iconic Man & Woman acting out romantic flirtatious dances with the mercurial forces of nature.”
Surf Goddesses, Strongmenn, Sirens, Vixens and other Burlesqueness
The Strongmann is semiaquatic, cerulean blue, with flipper feet and king crab like arms and hands, expressing the raw forces of the instinctual Freudian Id. He shifts from heroic to rapacious, from crude to chivalrous in a moment’s notice. Sometimes he’s an alpha at the top of the food chain, only to be usurped by rubber ducks or Sirens he romantically courts in the waves of an endless sea.
4 a.m. Drawings
A fool, fat sluggish and smug, was turned into a bowling ball by a gang of husky drooling village idiots.
With pontifical glee, the fool had waddled onto the idiots’ grassy flatland turf, making the fateful mistake of underestimating their strength and ability.
The fool felt superior to the idiots, and feared not the clumsy thrusts of their silly toy swords slicing off his blubbery arms and legs becoming an instant set of bowling pins…
Read more from the online journal of arts and letters Sein und Werden
Gessner’s speculative fantasy fiction has been published in literary magazines since the 1980’s. He clarifies his drawings and paintings do not illustrate his stories.
The Conduit and Other Visionary Tales of Morphing Whimsy Paperback
The Conduit and Other Visionary Tales of Morphing Whimsy Audible