I'm Preston Cram. I was born in the Colorado Front Range area to a working-class family in the early 1980s. A lifelong enthusiast of drawing, the content of my images was heavily influenced in my early life by the entertainment culture of the '80s and early '90s. Fantasy and horror films like The Neverending Story, The Thing, Labyrinth, and Hellraiser were a prominent aspect of the era, and for me as a child they were portals into other dimensions -- an exciting adventure into worlds far beyond my safe and uneventful suburban neighborhood.
My enthusiasm for drawing and supernatural fiction was ignited around my tenth birthday when my father bought me my first metal album (Megadeth's Countdown to Extinction) and my first comic books. I was hooked. I spent my early adolescence entrenched in old-school metal music and comic books, soaking up the absurd and violent themes of Savage Dragon comics alongside early Gwar and Slayer albums. Like the movies before them, these forms of fantasy were a riveting mental getaway into worlds where anything was possible.
In 2020, as an adult living through the Covid-19 pandemic and its restrictions on travel and social gatherings, I discovered a new form of absurd and violent storytelling to provide an escape from my daily routine: modern politics and contemporary culture. Aggressively biased news articles from both political perspectives mingle with conspiracy theories to paint adversaries as monstrous, vile creatures, while oppressed citizens take to the streets in violent and sometimes deadly protests.
Horrifying and fantastic, these stories stimulate the same part of my brain that has traditionally escaped into dark fantasy. In the stew of my imagination and subconscious mind, reports of Donald Trump embracing a deadly virus at superspreader events and tales of Joe Biden's cannibalistic pedophilia mingle with the sounds of heavy metal and images of undead medieval warriors.
I stir those ingredients together in my art as a means of exploring and satirizing common public perceptions and our collective cultural tendency to lionize or villainize public figures in ways that blur the line between objective analysis and fictional storytelling. Through the lens of my lifelong love for old-school metal, horror movies, and comic books, my artwork embraces tales of the absurd, the grotesque, and the fantastic in our present-day world.