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Joker, 2021
A Mixed Media by Richard Sele

No editions of this artwork are available


I loved doing this scratchboard piece of the Batman villain, the Joker. I searched for references of the character starting with his first appearance in 1940. I wanted to do a portrayal more realistic in appearance. I believe that is what makes this character so terrifying. Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck character made a brilliant joker. Then by chance I came across this version from the "Justice League" played by Jared Leto. A friend of mine sent me a photo of Leto's Joker and asked if I could do a scratchboard. It was exactly what I had been searching for but not yet found until this point. Zoom into the face of my scratchboard and look at the eyes. They scream of the criminally insane. I used a tattoo needle to get more texture on the white face. I didn't want it to look like a cartoon or too flat. The face needed that thick blotchy texture to make it look real. The blackness around the mouth and eyes gives it that demon-like appearance often seen in horror films. This character, evil inside and out, is an interesting comparison to my other piece "The Laughing Man." The latter looks hideous with the permanent grin carved into his face but on the inside, that character is actually a warm hearted and humble human being. Yet, this laughing man served as the inspiration for the original Joker.

Available Editions

Limited Edition | Scratchboard, 5" x 7" x 0"

Other Works in Macabre

The Four Horsemen
Pazuzu - Regan
The Laughing Man
Travis Bickle
Twilight Zone
Wendy, I'm Home