Noir, an examination of the dark side of human nature, has had a longstanding relationship with the art world. From 19th-century charcoal drawings of contemporary life to 21st-century graphic novels, artists have always been fascinated with noir’s ability to capture the shadowy side of the psyche. Rotterdam-based artist Tim Soekkha has a penchant for all things noir. Soekkha is inspired by everything from the hardboiled crime fiction of Dashiell Hammett and old-time radio detective drama Pat Novak, for Hire, to Louis Malle’s 1958 film Elevator to the Gallows and David Lynch’s neo-noir tale of fractured identities, Mulholland Drive.
The artist recreates the murky atmosphere of noir with washes of ink, watercolor, and scratchy pen work, but integrates an element of the everyday. Moody drawings of dim rooms boast text about the mundane, giving each work a twist of humor or the surreal. Speaking of his process to Flavorwire, Soekkha said: “Sometimes it starts with a text which comes to my mind, other times I just start drawing and find the right lines to it. I’m trying to construct an atmosphere of stills from non-existent movies where the texts/titles may give some lead to stories which the viewer can make up or think of by one self.” And the number of cats in Soekkha’s work is no accident. “Cats appear organically in the series lately, they just seem to fit in,” he explained.
Take a closer look at Soekkha’s noir universe in our gallery. See more of the artist’s work on Instagram.