Over the span of his career, Bwana Spoons has been using his highly stylized and imaginative art to create Forest Island—a hyper-kinetic and super-saturated place that his surreal characters call home. A compilation of pieces that could easily stand on their own, and short narratives, Welcome to Forest Island may actually form some grand narrative from cover to cover. Spoons, as a multi-media artist, combines his abilities in painting, design, screen-printing, and toy making in these addictive 144 pages.
Lending itself to several look-throughs, the book carries some sort of revelation upon consecutive viewings, whether it be a bit of obscured writing or a nuanced background. Spoons’ art has a tendency toward to the cartoonish, as surreal artwork usually does, and each page rustles with motion as Spoons often layers his art—dark, defined lines over nebulous and colorful brushwork.
The book is neatly sized for observation, unlike some daunting art books that darn near envelope the audience. With Welcome to Forest Island, Spoons graciously allows us to stumble through and explore the madness of Forest Island from a safe distance. And it’s wildly fun.