Before we can really dive into macabre, it’s important we agree upon a definition. Macabre translates to death. In art, macabre is a sub-culture dedicated to grim and horror. It’s difficult to say when macabre began because demons and spirits have been part of life since the dawn of time. Religious literature tells us about evil, cave paintings tell us about evil, and stories from others’ experiences tell us about evil. People always say that without a villain, it’s hard to sell the good guy’s story. It’s impossible to imagine how we all would’ve developed without the knowledge of evil and horror. Fear is such a huge part of how we live (or don’t live).
Fear mixed with imagination has helped create and shape the world of macabre. Zombie portraits, gory photos, suicide depictions, dead bodies, monster attacks, alien abductions, and anything else that means death and horror to someone can be used to create something incredible. It’s definitely a niche market. I mean, most people probably prefer oil paintings of landscapes or black and white photos of their loved ones, but for those of us interested in the darker side of things, we have macabre.
It’s interesting to think about macabre before movies were possible. We only had photos, paintings, and stories. In Victorian times we had theater and costumes. In Biblical times we had stories of Eve and the snake of temptation. Every era brings a new perspective on evil and horror. Now we have video games and fashion. Each decade pushes the envelope, I remember hearing about blood painting in undergrad. Who knows what the next medium in macabre might be. Hopefully this blog will help me connect with macabre enthusiasts across the globe, so we can stay up-to-date on the latest news and artists. I just want to be in the loop.
Personally, macabre reminds me to appreciate life, to remember the fact that our time ends eventually and sometimes unexpectedly, and not to take what I have for granted. I’m not sure if any piece of photography or painted material featuring a skeleton counts as macabre, but I plan to investigate. I’ve always been interested in the villain, in darkness, and in horror, but I’ve never dived in beyond an entertainment standpoint to learn about it. I watch movies, I play zombie video games, I like black clothing, but I’m missing out on a wonderful opportunity to explore grim art.
This journey down the rabbit hole of terror should nothing less than interesting. I hope to learn about how others incorporate macabre into their lives and art, and maybe make some friends along the way. It’s only fair to hear all sides of a story. Art can be nice, it can be moving, it can be beautiful, but it can also be disturbing and enlightening. The most terrifying painting I’ve ever seen is by Salvador Dali. His melting clocks scares me. *shudder* It makes me feel eerie and out of control. I can’t stand it. Maybe our own fears are what bring macabre to life?
I’m ready to figure this out. I packed a flashlight, so let’s do this.