The Sordid Perils

Edward Koren

The Sordid Perils


Griffoner, which means to scrawl, scribble, or scratch, affirms the creative motions of the artist’s etching needle. Griffoner is precisely the word to describe the pen work of Edward Koren. His is not a long line, not a line of grace; rather, his line is constructed out of a kind of tentative, exploratory scratching, a feeling of the way toward a contour, a surface, the building of form out of individual strokes.

In the particularly hairy creatures of 1979, the pen strokes bring a body into existence around an empty core that we may read as face or merely nose; the various shapes that result from areas of untouched paper constitute physiognomic variety within the group.

Noses, and beaks, assume a primary role in establishing personality in many of Koren’s creatures, as do, of course, eyes or their absence. The multiple strokes that give life to these fuzzy bodies reflect the artist’s continuing intimacy: the draftsman’s hand is an integral part of the imaging mind. Populated by the creatures of his own fantasy, his art becomes an extended family for the artist.

The titles assigned to these hairy beings assembled on paper add a further dimension to their already troubling presence, a significance implied. Such titles suggest a resonance that further engages us, challenges us, as viewers, to imagine meaning.


Work Date:
14 7/8 x 20 7/8 inches
Pen and India ink on buff BFK Rives paper
Credit Line:
Courtsey of the artist