This particular image by Alfred Kubin suggests to me the possiblity of drawing as a channel for the imagination, a form of escapism although not necessarily to a brighter place. The soft tones, detail and fantastical content remind me of the pictures in books that held most allure for me as a child – their message is a mysterious, haunting one.
I think they’re interesting for their timelessness – on seeing his work at an exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary I was shocked to learn that they were over a century old. Drawing used like this seems to relate most closely to the person who produced it than the time it was produced in.
Kubin lost his mother at a young age, attempted suicide age 19. He was working prolifically at the time Freud first published ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ and was heavily influenced by Nietzsche. Especially when looking his other early work, this context isn’t vital – you can infer that the artist who made the drawings was using them as an outlet for a troubled mind. (The message is manifest.)