Exquisite Corpse: “The Unforgettable”

My eleven-year-old son and I drew this collage before breakfast. He named it. After breakfast, we colored but did not embellish the drawing. The style of the drawing is called “exquisite corpse”, cadavre exquis, for some reason. Probably a textualization of this process.

This is like “Mad Libs”, but for drawings.

  • You need at least two people.
  • Divide the drawing space into specific regions. Each region is covered with something to conceal almost all of the drawing up to that point, save for a small bit of lines jutting out from under the concealment.
  • Step-by-step, parts of the picture are drawn and covered, each tile of the mosaic connected tenuously to the next.
  • Concealing the drawing subspaces in such a way as to hide the image from the other participants is very important. No one should know what someone else drew. For this reason, eliminating color is a good method for making the picture weirder.
  • The finished drawing should be completely covered by the final participant. Prepare for the unveiling!
  • Voila! The unique picture is revealed. An “unforgettable” image, one might say.

This format can be executed using an unfolded cube of thick paper. You gradually unfold and tape the cube faces to the drawing surface. The last panel can use all areas of the drawing space. Notice the cityscape creeps beyond the dots that mark its subspace. Sprawl.

Sharpie and Crayola markers on scroll paper.

The Unforgettable, J. Phillips and C. Phillips, 2019

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