In 2014, Evil Tender released its first limited edition screenprint, The Planet Chamber by Swedish illustrator Kilian Eng. At the time, Evil Tender was simply an outlet I created where I could explore the lives of working artists. After graduating from art school and spending time in the creative field I found myself with a boring job in Silicon Valley. I was looking to connect my creative past with my unknown future. I still had hoped to return to an art career, and my wife and I had started saving so I could make a short film from a script I had written.
Work on the film began slowly — getting bids on equipment and working on the budget. Somewhere along the way, somehow, the grip the film had on me loosened. I was spending more time on Evil Tender, interviewing artists, and growing my poster collection. I was a printmaking major my first two years of college but switched to film because I thought it would be easier to make a living working on set and doing post-production gigs, which is how I supported myself for over a decade. But, studying the lives of working artists slowly morphed into a focus on illustrators and printmakers and a rekindled adoration of the work they were doing.
Something clicked or broke inside. I’m unsure — both seem correct. I decided to forget about the film and put all the money towards posters and Kilian’s art was always in the back of my head. It spoke to me in a way that art hadn’t done in a long time and if I could do something to bring more of Eng’s work into the world that is all I wanted to do. I found Kilian’s work on Tumblr and then bought his books, eventually interviewing him for the site. He had done quite a few illustrations for film posters and soundtracks, but his personal art mostly lived online, with a few giclees available. His art feels enormous, showing the impossible expanse of the universe. Eng is able to reach the edge and keep moving, exploring the special unknown of the cosmos.
When I reached out to Kilian I told him I wanted it to be a 24″ x 36″ screenprint and he could do whatever he wanted. He returned with two concepts and I chose what would become The Planet Chamber. It reads like a nesting doll with the size evolving — an enormous temple houses a towering being, and within it rests an endless galaxy and there we are, minor human lives at the steps taking it all in.
The catalog of Evil Tender releases has been slow, but it is not something I want to rush. Each poster I’ve released has a story and a specific reason for existing. I can look at The Planet Chamber and see my own past and future. I have no ownership over it, it is Kilian’s work, but I live with it and its place in my own story.