by Luis Royo
Cover Artist: Luis Royo
Review by Gayle Surrette
Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 1561634840
Date: November, 2006 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Dark Labyrinth is a collection of sketches and finished works by Luis Royo with a simple story of an apprentice struggling to understand the new direction that his admired mentor has taken in his art.
In the story a painter has noticed the darkness that has crept into the work of an artist he admires. The painter travels to the artist to ask him what has happened to change his focus. The artists invites the painter to be his apprentice. Now the apprentice notices that the artist paints in a special room but when he brings the painting out to the workshop it's solid black with texture. The apprentice becomes engrossed with the black canvases and caresses them until he can hear, see, and appreciate the work. The apprentice leaves and opens his own studio working until one day he too begins to add a covering darkness to his works.
The sketches and paintings in this volume will be familiar as the sensual depiction of women as sirens, victims, warriors, witches, and witches. Of course the focus is on the body and its curves and beauty. For me, I find the faces of the women fascinating -- they're not jaded or harsh and you wonder how they came to be where they are. The few works featuring men are fairly standard warrior/wizard/demon fare seen in most fantasy art.
It's an interesting collection and, for fans of Royo's art work, a chance to study his work from sketches to finished piece.