Provocative Illustration

Wenjia Wang
Illustration (School of Graduate Studies)

About this Item

Provocative Illustration
Contributor Names
Wang, Wenjia (Author)
Reitschel, Barbara (Thesis advisor)
Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. Illustration (Degree granting institution)
Degree Information
M.A. Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York 2022
Department: Illustration
Advisor: Barbara Reitschel
Committee member: Brendan Leach
Grotesque, horror, fantasy, and erotica are considered as different genres in Illustration, but they all have similarities which can best be described as one distinct genre, “Provocative Illustration.” This paper will consider Provocative Illustration to incorporate unnerving and/or illogical subject matter and intense picture composition. It might be said these types of illustrative work are often created purposely by illustrators to challenge the audience, in order to push them outside their comfort zone.
By looking at artists and illustrators as early as Hieronymus Bosch (from the fifteenth century) and contemporary ones such as Tetsuya Ishida and Mu Pan, this paper will discuss the artist’s intent and how the cultural context of each artist influenced their work and puts it in the provocative genre. Visual techniques employed in Provocative Illustration: composition, line work, color, and graphic design elements, as well as how different audiences react to such work will help prove this thesis.
This paper will introduce Provocative Illustration as a new way to define its four distinct modes: the grotesque, the horrific, the fantastical, and the erotic. It will show that provocative illustration’s uniqueness is as an illustration genre that stands out from other genres and showcases its importance and beauty.
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FIT Repository ID: etd_000983


Wang, W. (2022). Provocative Illustration [Master's thesis, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York]. FIT Institutional Repository.
Wang, Wenjia. Provocative Illustration. 2022. Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, Master's thesis. FIT Digital Repository,
Wang, Wenjia. "Provocative Illustration." Master's thesis, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, 2022.