Tag Archives: Tim Burton

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.

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Tim Burton is Macabre

Tim Burton

Tim Burton

It hit me today that I have yet to pay tribute to my favorite movie director, illustrator and storyteller, Tim Burton.  That was unbelievably rude of me.  If you’ve only experienced his movies, (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, etc.) then I highly suggest you investigate other avenues of his work.   Before you dive into your research, allow me to give you a summarized version of the fantastic journey in which you are about to embark.

According to his bio at IMDB, the California native began his career with a fellowship from Disney.  He worked on mainstream animation (The Fox and the Hound) but was also granted the freedom to pursue his own ideas, thus his 6-minute film, Vincent.  This short production is full of life and sadness with a powerful message.

The Director

I’m not philosopher, but every time I watch a Tim Burton movie, I’m left with lingering thoughts about relationships, time and meaning.  If you let them, the films leave us with so much to think about.  The dialogue, characters and cinematography are only the obvious things.  His use or lack of color and what that means to the story is always fascinating… and I will admit that when I come to these realizations on my own, I feel smart.  For example, one of my favorite claymation films is Corpse Bride because the living world is dark and lonely while the deceased world is colorful and lively.  This is parallel to El Dia de Los Muertos within my own culture and I appreciate that. The truth behind the visual effects is scary, but the storytelling is playful.  Is it ironic?  Yea, I think so.  See for yourself below.

His vision is original, relatable and genius.  The stories are not too far removed from what we experience every day.  Some of his films are dark and creepy (Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) while others are bright and odd (Mars Attacks! and Beetlejuice), some are revisions of classics (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice In Wonderland) while others are hypnotizing tales through life’s journey (Big Fish and Edward Scissorhands).

The Poet

A poet is an artist of words.  Language can be an eerily dividing thing or an incredibly unifying thing.  Crafting a message that’s both full of symbolism and realization takes us on a semantic journey to wherever we want to go.  The power of interpretation creates an individualized experience that can make one stanza more personal than anything else you can think of.  I could spend hours analyzing a line of poetry from Edgar Allen Poe and just get lost in the meaning.  It’s a beautiful thing.

I am the proud owner of a copy of The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy which is a roller coaster of epic proportions.  Romance, comedy and tragedy all wrapped into one little book of poems.  One of my favorites is called Voodoo Girl.  Which one is yours? Like all poetry, this book can be interpreted in infinite ways.  It’s simplistic rhymes and smooth rhythms are addicting and the accompanying artwork is beautifully executed.

Opinion Paragraph

I wish I could say that I transform into something more artistic when I experience Tim Burton’s work.  The truth is that I don’t change into what I wish I could be, instead I reflect on where I’ve been, how I want that to change or continue and why I ended up where I am.  That reflection is important in growth.  How can I evolve without understanding where I come from?  All I can say is that I am a collector of Tim Burton’s work for reasons that are beyond visual appeal.  The $300 Deluxe edition of The Art of Tim Burton will grace my bookcase when I get my first big-kid job after graduation.  I don’t worship the guy, but I appreciate his work.