Ask anyone what their biggest fear is and no two answers will be exactly the same. That’s why Netflix’s hit movie, Bird Box, doesn’t show its villains. Nothing is scarier than what lives deep in our own imaginations.
Inspired by that thought, Netflix asked several artists to use the medium of their choice and show their own personal fears. Basically, it’s what they might see if they were in the world of Bird Box and their blindfolds came off.
Brain cancer attacked my father without warning like a hateful poltergeist mutating his mind and body with violent force. Having witnessed this, it has become a insidious specter that will haunt me forever. How do you fight something that can’t be seen, comes without warning, and has no cure?
The idea I had for this piece was what lurks out of forests and dark corners and under beds — forgotten lost things that look monstrous all gathered together, and given a voice of innocence in the guise of a child like a puppet.
Being stuck in a finite closed space and circling round through pitch black, featureless rooms, and eventually realising that there is *no way out*, House of Leaves style, is the thing I am most afraid of.
My inspiration for this illustration was my childhood phobia of bugs! To this day, just the idea of them crawling on my skin or finding their way into my nose or ears makes me get all squirmy. So with that said, being buried in bugs seemed like that natural way to go.
Sight is almost like a character in Bird Box, so I chose invisibility as a major theme for the artwork. The scariest things are always those you can’t see coming. I wanted to work with concepts like transparency, obstruction, and darkness.
This is a shadow that might chase me in a bad dream. Parts of my dream might be very clear—the trees, the underbrush—and parts might be blurrier and more emotional, like this creature.
It’s empty here, but I can feel them lurking from just out of my sightline. I can feel their gaze all around me, weighing me down so low that I’m beginning to break. Eventually I’ll crack in half and become empty too.
Vanesa R. Del Rey:
In the lines of fear of fear itself. It’s about the physical materialization of fear in the body. For most it feels like something sinks from the chest to the stomach, there is pain in the physical body, but nothing is in fact hurting the body. It is an anticipated pain reaction for the concept of a threat to the well-being (no pain) of the physical body.
Bird Box is now on Netflix.