AC BANANAS may seem like an odd title to an article filled with dark, intricate illustrations and paintings, and even more so as the preferred name of this talented illustrator. It seemed ironically fitting that this artists’ chosen handle seems to reflect the polar opposite of what his name would suggest, and in turn what this article would contain. Many artists with anonymous monikers eclipse their often nonsensical names with immense technical abilities, this man is no exception.

Legally known as Elli Egilsson, this Icelandic visual maestro has been scribbling and creating since a very young age, relentlessly attacking his fathers nearly finished paintings and drawings with his mothers red lipstick. Not limited to other peoples paper and canvasses, AC BANANAS initial artistic exploration extended to the ruthless augmentation of the walls and tiles of his childhood home, again with the lipstick.

His illustrative style is unique, revolving around a substantial catalogue of photo manipulation in a non traditional sense; illustrating on top of the original photographs, altering or amplifying the original tone to deep, dark new depths. Whilst this approach is an established technique, the unique feel of his images gives AC BANANAS his identity, which has seen him become somewhat of a style icon in his native Iceland.

The twisted imagination of Mr. Bananas seems to stem from years of exposure to death metal and black metal music, of which he has been privy to all facets; performing in his own band, creating artwork for bands and simply originating from a northern European country virtually makes the various genres and surrounding culture of metal virtually inescapable.

Illustrating within the logical thematic landscape of black metal music, AC BANANAS work focuses on themes of anatomy, blood and fire with excellent abilities and non intrusive accuracy. His subject matter might not be what one traditionally associates with picturesque imagery, but the skill exhibited by this artist makes each piece fascinating, in all its gory glory. So get comfortable, push play on some Flames of Hell, stick on a fake beard, chuck on some chains, a mask and a faded tour t-shirt from that time that band came through town and take a journey through the strange mind of the man we now know as AC BANANAS.


Words: Darcy J