Tag Archives: Horror Art

Top 5 Macabre Artists

Update:

Hello my goulish friends!! I wanted to first apologize for my neglect.  I recently graduated with a master’s degree and decided to put my focus on job hunting.  Luckily, I landed a public relations job with an agency in the Detroit area and will be moving this weekend!

This post shall be brief because I am supposed to be finishing a book chapter for one of my professors on advertising and the Great Depression… I’m procrastinating at the moment.

Brittni’s Top 5 Macabre Artists

This is in no way accurate, it’s just a list of some of my favorite macabre artists along with a photo of their work and a brief description.  I tend to shy away from gore and surrealism, so you won’t see any of the amazing artists who focus in those areas on this list.  I prefer dreamscapes, psychological horror and skeletal interpretations. http://blog.designnocturne.com/2012/03/01/the-art-of-zdzislaw-beksinski/I’ve written about some of these artists before, but a little reminder never hurt, right?

5. Zdzislaw Beksinski (Feb. 24, 1929-Feb. 21, 2005)- Beksinski was a renowned Polish painter whose work focused on post-apocalyptic landscapes, nightmarish scenery and death. His technique included a dark vs. light color palette of oil paints. Beksinski was found dead in his Warsaw home with 17 stab wounds, two of which were confirmed to be fatal.

4. Edward Gorey (1925-2000)- First of all, what a great name!  Gorey was an American author and artist most known for his Gothic illustrations. His past work includes illustrations for Dracula by Bram Stoker and War of the Worldsby H.G. Wells. My sister bought The Gashlycrumb Tinies, which was written by Gorey, for me because the artwork reminded her of me. ha! It is a small book that lists the alphabet along with a child whose name begins with the accompanying letter and a grim description of that child’s passing.  It has a dark humor to it and reminds me of American poet Shel Silverstein mixed with Tim Burton. I highly recommend it.

The first two pages of “The Ghashlycrumb Tinies”

3. Mia Makila (1979-present)- Ms. Makila is a Swedish artist who specializes in mixed media, painting, drawing and digital art.  Her work is FANTASTIC!  It is usually colorful, whimsical and humorous.  In her blog, she says, “You could describe my art as horror pop surrealism or dark lowbrow.” She accepted my friend request on Facebook! I’m excited to stay updated on her latest work! I imagine her status updates will be art-related and sarcastic-my favorite kind! I chose to show this darker artwork because it offers a different side to Mia’s work.

Weird Baby

“Weird Baby” is mixed media on an antique photo.

2. Sylvia Ji (1982-present)- For those of you who know me, it will be easy to see why Ji’s work is one of my favorites.  Not only are her paintings absolutely stunning, her interpretation of the Day of the Dead is engaging, sad and beautiful.  According to her blog, “Sylvia Ji is at once contemplative, spiritual, enigmatic, and yet whimsically funny. Above all else, it is perhaps beauty that emerges as her defining characteristic, and her art reflects this: an extension of herself; a passionate appreciation of simple aesthetic pleasure fused with intimately complex subject matter.”

1. Tim Burton (1958-present)- Tim Burton is probably most known for his work in film.  While he is a successful director, writer and producer for such cult films such as Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland and Beetlejuice, he is also a celebrated illustrator.  His partnerships with composer, Danny Elfman and actor, Johnny Depp have proven a recipe for success as he continues to wow audiences all over the world.

His work has been featured at an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  Illustrations, film screen shots and sculptures were all available for viewing.  Above is a photo of “Untitled (Romeo and Juliette)” which was on display in another exhibit at LACMA in Los Angeles.  His illustration techniques include pen and ink, colored pencil, water color and marker. His high contrast in color creates a whimsical world for his misfit characters to live.

Untitled (Romeo and Juliette)

I leave you with a recorded interview with Tim Burton at MOMA in New York so you can hear for yourself his process, inspiration and character.  He is truly a visionary, and I’m always excited to see what he’ll do next. *cough* Frankenweenie. In conclusion, I love Tim Burton. His work makes me feel better about the scary, awkward, and lonely parts of the adolescent experience I had.


Mixed Media Art and Macabre

Excuses and Mixed Media

I’m bAAAaaaack!!!  Now that I don’t have the class that forced me to hammer out these posts every week, I’m finding more and more excuses to neglect this poor blog.  In honor of the Halloween season full of The Walking Dead, zombie video games and pumpkin-carving madness, I decided to resurrect the ol’ Acrylic Zombie.  Now, I’m not-so-fond of uber-gore, but I can appreciate the concept.  Today’s post will be dedicated to mixed media art that has a horror focus and tones down the queasiness.  Mixed media art is a combination of different art mediums (paint, texture, found objects etc.) to create a piece that reflects several techniques.

The Mechanical Man by Rena Hopkins

Now this is my type of gore: subtle yet mind-bending. Artist: Rena Hopkins.

Rena Hopkins

Over the summer I went to a local art festival in little Cambridge, Ohio where I met mixed media artist, Rena Hopkins.  Not only did I spend 40 minutes bugging her with questions, but I also managed to spend a large chunk of my summer’s disposable income at her booth.  Needless to say, my apartment looks phenomenal with its high-class spooky.  Check out her Etsy page to see prints available for purchase.  There’s just something about this horror and steampunk mixture that catches my attention.

Zombie Girl by Rena Hopkins

This is the pretty little print that graces my black-and-white striped bedroom wall. The Zombie Girl by Rena Hopkins

In a stalkerish Facebook chat, I learned that Ms. Hopkins is busy gearing up for Halloween performances (she’s also a burlesque dancer and vocalist) and has been inspired to create a new line of steampunk-ish necklaces which will probably be available at her second Etsy site.

Starting next week (October 24, 2011) [I’ll be] working on a new line of necklaces made using vintage compasses. A bit higher of a price point than my watch line by virtue of the difficulty finding the compasses. Also a line of Steam Punk /Found object lockets and a group of collages created from old bingo cards.

Halloween Rant

hermmermferm's Flickr Stream

If anyone can tell where this amazing (and terrifying) homemade Halloween costume idea came from, I'll send you a Halloween spider ring.

Not only is this the only time of year in which my blog is relevant to most people, but it’s also the time of year in which we all get to escape ourselves to become someone else!  I’m a firm believer in adult costume parties with Michael Myers themed Pandora stations, Hallow Weekends at Cedar Point and the long-awaited release of Paranormal Activity 3.  My only issue is the bad rep halloween brings to college campuses with its drunken nonsense, jaywalkers and slutty animal costumes.  Please put some thought into your costumes this year!!  If I see another slutty cop, Snooki or Playboy Bunny, I might think about gouging my eyes out.  Put some clothes on!!  It’s cold outside!!


The Art of Nightmares

Childhood Fears

Bed Monster

A Joshua Hoffine Horror Photo

Everyone is afraid of something.  When we were children, it was easy to rattle a list of scary, horrible things.  Our imaginations were full of doubt, fear of what’s lurking in the dark and of over-detailed nightmares.  I was terrified of the dark when I heard strange noises, felt scrutinizing eyes on me or saw unexplainable shadows.  My first line of defense was to hug my stuffed bear as hard as I could and “hide” under my covers.  If  I couldn’t see the monster, then it couldn’t hurt me.  My mom was forced to spritz “Monster Spray” (a mixture of water and perfume in a spray bottle) under our (my younger sister and I shared a room) bed and in the closet to protect us from monsters so we could sleep.

Fear and Sleep

Traumatizing events and anxiety are fuels to experiencing nightmares and night terrors.  According to WebMD, nightmares are vivid situations that seem real until the person wakes up, while night terrors are more confusing because the person wakes up extremely scared but don’t know why.  Duration, subject and the frequency of nightmares vary from person to person, but there are similarities.  The most common nightmares involve inability to escape danger and falling from steep heights.

The nightmares I remember have strong helplessness and time-constraining themes.  I also remember some outrageous nightmares that make no sense:  Forks marching under an orange sky while holding samurai swords with loud saxophones playing in the background.  I mean, it gets pretty ridiculous.  Other common themes in nightmares include violence, pain and suffocation.

Horror Artists

A horror artist is dedicated to recreating unpleasant feelings through photography, painting, sculpture, etc.  Mia Makila is a painter who mixes humor and death into her work.  Joshua Hoffine finds inspiration in psychology and fear for his photos.  Zhang Peng reveals cultural flaws through mixed media.  Below are some quotes from these artists with a sample of their work.  Each tells a different story for a different cause with different perspectives, and they all fall under the horror artist umbrella.  Take a look!

Mia Makila

“I guess everyone’s calling me a “horror artist” because I deal with difficult emotions and themes such as fear, angst, madness, rage and sorrow in my art. But I also use a lot of humour. Making my demons having fun on the canvas. You could describe my art as horror pop surrealism or dark lowbrow. My work includes mixed media, paintings and digital collages.”

Horror Painting by Mia Makila

"That Little Girl" by Mia Makila

Joshua Hoffine

“I am interested in the psychology of fear.  We are born with certain inherent and instinctual fears, such as fear of the dark, fear of lurking danger and fear of being eaten.  As we grow older, these fears lose their intensity and are slowly shuffled away into our Unconscious.  Horror, as an art form, draws its strength from the Unconscious.  Horror photography is able to present these abstract and forgotten fears in literal terms.”

Demon Robot Photo

Joshua Hoffine's Demon Robot

Zhang Peng

“In a broad sense, all of my works demonstrate a kind of oppression. If condi­tions allow, parents plan a future that they think will be good for their children. If they are not wealthy enough, they hope their children will have a skill and then they force them to develop it. As children grow up, their character is dis­torted by the inappropriate pressure of their parents and their school. The appearances of my figures drift between real people and dolls. While the image is aesthetic, I also want to reinforce the strong sense of distortion.”

Depicted Nightmare Art

A suffocation nightmare depiction by Zhang Peng