John Gray: Black Mass

Black Mass cover - Rik Rawling

My 2012 drawing ‘The Altar’ mocked-up as a cover for John Gray’s Black Mass. Gray’s allegedly weapon-grade pessimism goes into overdrive as he critiques the sociopolitical psychosis of the early 21st century:

Towards the end of the last century the pursuit of Utopia entered the political mainstream. In future only one kind of regime would be legitimate: American-style democratic capitalism – the final form of human government, as it was termed in the fleeting and now forgotten mood of hubris that followed the Soviet collapse. Led by the United States, western governments committed themselves to installing democracy throughout the world – an impossible dream that in many countries could only produce chaos. At the same time they launched a ‘war against terror’ that failed to distinguish between new threats and the normal conflicts of history. The Right was possessed by fantasies, and like the utopian visions of the last century – but far more quickly – its grandiose projects have crumbled into dust.


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