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Paulo Correa in Piercing Pieces: Reimagining Palahniuk

A Parallel Planets piece by Unknown

Parallel Planets presents Paulo Correa
in Piercing Pieces: Reimagining Palahniuk
Story by Julia Escaño

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Misfits leap from one page to another, turning their little self-contained worlds upside down, inside out, sometimes even literally. This is a theme commonly tackled by Chuck Palahniuks’s books. However Palahniuk’s brand of transgressive fiction doesn’t just content itself with satire or irony, or the unspeakable horrors of forced normalcy. His characters don’t just worm themselves out of their own questionable sanity or their environment’s oppressive order. He also does it in such a way that somehow makes you feel as if he’s wringing your brain between his fingers, and letting all your brainjuice drip to the floor while you watch, mortified but captivated. The grotesque and horrific weave seamlessly into scenes of everyday life, that you get sucked into the surrealism before you even know it. That is, until it explodes in fantastical gore all over your face.

With concepts so depraved they’re tantalizing, how can one artist possibly leave the writer’s works alone? Paulo Correa sure as hell couldn’t. Thus he embarked on Reimagine Palahniuk, a personal project where he rehashed various book covers as if they were low-brow gig posters.

Paulo’s visual style in essence is not very far from Palahniuk’s written imagery. His pen, ink, and digital works are often comprised of amorphous creatures with twisted pseudo-limbs floating in a myriad of intertwined ambiguous elements. His visions are dark and disturbing, despite exploding in bright, happy colors; perhaps no different from a lot of Palahniuk’s protagonists: rebels, outcasts hiding in plain sight. As such, applying the grotesquerie of his own art onto Palahniuk’s literary pieces wasn’t such a big leap.

Conceptually, Paulo’s philosophy doesn’t differ much from Palahniuk’s either. While the writer’s works may seem nihilistic, Paulo believes that they are actually reality, just allowed to run away and roll over-the-edge. Despite the absurdity and exaggeration, Paulo believes that they are still anchored on a deep foundation of truth, just presented with such rawness and honesty that it makes you cringe and want to look away. He says that they make you think, they make you question.

For Reimagine Palahniuk, Paulo based the main visuals on each book’s main character. Each cover-poster features a “human” element, either signified by a face or a head, as in “Invisible Monsters” and “Rant”, or parts of a face and head, as with “Choke” and “Survivor”, or, when the obvious becomes too boring, other human body parts, like shoulders in “Snuff”.  He then throws in secondary characters or major plot details in the book morphing in and around of the main visual. For example, “Haunted” shows the main character with his head unravelling to reveal some of the gruesome plot details contained in the book. Meanwhile, “Fight Club” shows a corporate man beheaded with a man-like bird – with balls, at that – revealed to take over his other self. Though they may seem like random lines and haphazard details at first glance, all of the elements combined create a captivating, albeit curious, almost histrionic snippet of each book’s story. Paulo says each cover art is like a hybrid creature, a chimera of sorts, but that’s really a huge understatement.

Much like Palahniuk’s, Paulo Correa’s works make you think, make you question. They make you glance, look away in alarm perhaps, but they will always, always make you look twice. Then stare. Then start to wonder. Perhaps it’s not the bold colors or the skilfully executed lines that capture you in the end though. Perhaps it’s the misfit imagery leaping from the page, turning your little self-contained world upside down, inside out – but hopefully not literally. Let’s not get too carried away. – Julia Escaño

About the Artist: Paulo Correa is an advertising art director based in Manila. He has an unconventional sleeping habit. To make himself useful in those sleepless nights, he does illustrations for brands to “bring home the bacon”. He loves bacon and doughnuts. Everybody loves bacon and doughnuts. And coffee.

More from Paulo Correa: Behance, Facebook, Twitter

Disclaimer: In lieu with Parallel Planets' general aesthetics, almost all images found on this website appear in black & white. Hover on them to view the original versions and click them to see in high resolutions. All media files solely belong to their respective artists, some of which are exclusive for Parallel Planets only. If you wish to use any of these, please contact the author or artist first. Thank you!
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