Lysander Xanthus is an emerging Antelope Valley artist building a portfolio that leans heavily toward a Gothic sensibility. I could be wrong, but Xanthus’ art seems to take up ideas of ancient religion and bring them to life in ways that are reminiscent of certain manga and graphic novel styles. He brings a touch of King Arthur’s court into his work, finding a space between the mysteries Druids and Naruto.
Despite the dark pallet used here, this is art drawn from a the lighter side of the Gothic – playing on a Romantic, poetic affection for the Gnostic aspects of the pagan play book, as it were, and on the traditional nature worship associated with Pan (and other avatars of Mother Earth).
After all, the concept of magic is rooted not in slight of hand but in ideas of the unseen. The flip-side of this notion is also part of the historical view of magic – to penetrate illusory surfaces, to see that which is veiled. This aspect of magic is fun. It’s empowering and hopeful and even playful, though it is often depicted – as it is in Xanthus work – in dramatically dark ways.
Magic is apparent everywhere in the drawings and paintings of Ly Xanthus and there is a sense that his figures are part of a larger story than a single canvas can tell.
As far as his own story, Xanthus recently had his drawing of the Oracle of Delphi selected as the winner for the Pagan Day Fest t-shirt design contest.