(scanned image is slightly crooked due to my lousy scanner, not the art itself)
Title: WITCH-KING OF ANGMAR
Artist: Jake Clarke
Once again, I know very little about the artist Jake Clarke beyond the indication that he is an illustration student from the Yorkshire Dales. I spent quite a bit of time looking at the work on his site, and there is a marvelously macabre and decidedly disturbing streak running through many of his drawings. I feel like I can see strands of Beksinski there but I’m not sure if this is accurate or simply me projecting.
I was very pleased when Jake agreed to take on this commission, and even more intrigued by the message that accompanied the piece. According to Jake, he has been a passionate fan of Tolkien and his world since he was very young, and has internalized many of the images and descriptions. For Jake, really nailing this commission and getting it just right was crucial to him, and reading that meant a lot to me. This is an honorable man and a dedicated artist. Jake said that he started this piece 11 or 12 times before finally shaping something that was true to his vision, and for that intense labor and near obsession I am deeply grateful.
I think you can see the familiarity with and love for Tolkien in Jake’s piece as well. There are strong elements of the character as he originally appears in the novels, but the drawing is still decidedly unique and strangely modern. It is, in subtle ways, one of the most haunting, compelling, alien and horrifying visions of the Witch-king of Angmar that I have ever seen, and I am honored to give it a place on my wall.