The Catalogue of Imaginary Beings is an exciting collection of fantastical collages by artist and illustrator Johanna Goodman. Goodman, who studied at Parsons School of Design has that remarkable ability of being able to create shockingly good work in a myriad of styles. This is no mean feat. Chopping and changing styles, and being successful with each of them, shows a true creative talent. And with Goodman, a quick Google search will turn up an array of varying illustration styles including a large portfolio of painterly portraits, a technique that has landed the artist with gigs for the likes of TIME Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Esquire and The Wall Street Journal.
However it’s Goodman’s Imaginary Beings, an on-going personal series, that stands out as being wondrously refreshing. Using various textures and body parts, Goodman collages together bizarrely beautiful formations. The costumes and figures that fill the catalogue are strangely disjointed, with cumbersome proportions and voluminous gowns made up from a selection of textures that keep surprising you at every turn. The playfulness of it all recalls the joyous absurdity of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, the haute couture of COMME des GARÇON, or dare I say it, the costumes of The Hunger Games. They’re odd, wildly imaginative and strangely beautiful, and surely, they reveal a little bit of Goodman’s own whimsical nature.