Burn Baby, Burn!
DECEMBER 21, 2008
I was recently asked by Bryan Gray to make an illustration of John Newton for Liberty magazine.
Once a captain of a slave ship, John Newton underwent a religious conversion and became a leading voice for abolition and religious tolerance, notably during the Gordon Riots of 1780. He went on to compose music, including the famous hymn "Amazing Grace". With very little reference of Newton to go on, I found myself contemplating a very traditional solution until I decided to incorporate an allusion towards the London riots by burning the edges of the painting. I'm really not sure if this painting is any good (to be honest, I never am) , but it definitely got better once I set it on fire.
The final illustration in the layout