J. K. Potter
(American, b. 1956)
Jeffrey Knight Potter is a self-taught artist greatly influenced by the photographs of John Laughlin, the creator of the first American surrealist photography. Potter believed that he could make a living doing photographic fantasy illustrations after seeing Laughlin’s work and his book of photography of antebellum architecture titled Ghosts Along the Mississippi.
For ten years Potter gained experience in the field by working for several photo labs in photo-retouching by using airbrush techniques. Once he began creating his own horror/fantasy images, fans quickly emerged for his work featured in Nyctalops, Xenophile and Weirdbook magazines. Soon after, his unsettling works were also in demand for the covers of science fiction and fantasy hardcover books. The sophistication of his disturbing imagery is a dramatic departure from the pulp art world of previous decades.
A combination of photographic collages, airbrush techniques and textured pen and ink illustration without the use of digital computer manipulation set Potter’s work apart. His interest in cinematic effects influences the scenes he creates, which he refers to as “movie stills without the movie.” The pairing of photographic images with surreal and horrific elements makes J.K. Potter a unique, visual innovator of the truly creepy.