‘Neo-Victorian Maximalism’ is the first solo show from Fiftyseven, the pseudonym of London based illustrator, typographer and graphic designer Steve Mitchell.
Fiftyseven’s unique style is built from a dizzying mix of decoration, pattern and symmetry and typography, an overload of quasi-religious, occult and masonic symbolism and anything else that fits. Working with a restricted colour palette and especially favouring metallic inks, his screenprints are usually based around a simple visual concept, revealing more and more detail the closer you look.
Fiftyseven developed the illustration style he calls Neo-Victorian Maximalism when a love of 19th century typography led to designing flyers for steampunk events. From there came the desire to “push the aesthetic as far as it could go, to the point of absurdity”. He’d like to say he’s inspired by the whole history of art and design, but really it’s mostly just heavy metal album covers… further influences include Ian Miller’s intense Tolkien art, the book illustrations of Harry Clarke and (of course) the wood engravings of Gustave Doré.