Alex CF painstakingly creates these cryptozoological specimens encased in bell jars and elaborate, gorgeous display cabinets replete with the paraphernalia, notes, and mementos of the scientific ventures that captured these exquisite specimens. He almost creates complete miniature scenes around the specimens: there are reliquaries, study cases, vampire slaying kits, portable bio-aetheric animation laboratories, coffers, and sarcophagi. The specimens are drawn from literary works, including Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Dante’s Inferno, H. G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, H. P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness and Chthulhu Mythos, as well as folklore and legend. The array of allusions to classical eerie fiction is delightful.
He reimagines and renders these cryptic, bizarre, mythical creatures and beings, sirens, faeries, mutants, succubi, devilspawn, atrocities against nature, resulting in specimens that are disturbingly lifelike and real enough to touch. They are repulsive and yet alluringly detailed. The displays also come with beautifully drawn illustrations, which are as fascinating as the specimens themselves.
Tags: alice in wonderland, anatomical illustrations, anatomical-themed, artifacts of the past, autopsy, babies, bizarre, chthulhu, corpses, creature, creepy, cryptid, cryptozoology, eerie, exposed anatomy, fairies, fairy tales, fleshy, gory, grotesque, hunter/hunted, illustrations, macabre, monsteresque, mythos, natural history, religious imagery, sculptures, sideshows, sinister arts and crafts, taxidermy, vampires, vials, victorian, vintage, visceral, vivisected, weird science projects
These eerie, alluring, adolescent life-size dolls were created for the theater/performance pieces collaborated on by writer Dennis Cooper and Gisèle Vienne since 2004. As Cooper says, “We consider the dolls to be actors in our works almost on a par with the human performers, and, although the dolls aren’t credited individually in the works, they each have names and fictional biographies constructed by Gisele. These biographies are used to determine which roles might be suited to their ‘personalities’. Some of the dolls have been featured in multiple works, and several have played both male and female roles.”
Thomasin Durgin makes interesting conceptual jewelry, pushing beyond traditional ideas of what jewelry should look like, beauty and glamor, to explore intriguing and often weird concepts. Examples include this ring below, made out of a creepy porcelain doll head wrapped with copper wire.
Tags: anatomical-themed, avant-garde, bizarre, bugs, conceptual, environmentalism, jewelry, macabre, religious imagery, sinister arts and crafts, skeleton, sterling-silver jewelry, thomasin durgin, unique rings, wearable art
Tags: bizarre, ceramic, colorful, exposed anatomy, fleshy, flora, flour-white face, flour-white flesh, flowers, grotesque, horns, sculptures, unnaturally colored flesh, visceral, weird sculptures, wound
Tim Lewis‘ Pony is a bizarre and uncanny kinetic sculpture that was exhibited at 2009′s Kinetica Art Fair. Unsettling and uber-realistic, Pony looks somewhat like a surreal ostrich-esque creature composed of human arms, pulling a small one-seater carriage behind itself; motion-sensitive, and appearing to “walk” in a very eerie and delicately articulated fashion, it is another creepy and brilliant intersection of art and science, and a provoking piece of interactive sculpture. Its title also suggests a veiled commentary on the relationship between humans and animals.
Kinetica Art Fair is produced by Kinetica Museum and is the first of its kind in the UK. It brings together galleries, art organisations and curatorial groups from around the world who focus on kinetic, electronic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and multi-disciplinary new media art, science and technology.
Tags: articulate hands, biological/organic/alien, bizarre, conceptual, creature, eerie, human/machine hybrids, installation art, kinetic sculptures, life-sized, realism, robots, sculptures, surreal, weird sculptures
1990′s The Reflecting Skin, directed by Philip Ridley, is a weird movie and rather obscure. It’s very interesting, and quiet, bizarre, grotesque, over-the-top, and terribly beautiful, all at once. Visually, it’s amazing. The cinematography is gorgeous, very unforgettable. It has such atmosphere… Eerie, chilling, ominous, cryptic, ascetic yet lush. Admittedly some of the acting is just god-awful (especially the child actors!), but the movie overall is kind of brilliant. Destined to be thought terrible and intolerable by many, I loved it. It is quite possibly the movie that most embodies an “American Gothic” quality/aesthetic, a haunting sense of desolation and hopelessness, mirrored by the land, and a hypocritical, unforgiving puritanism.
Taking place in rural America in the 1950s (whose landscape of yellow wheat fields and desolate, isolated, gray wood frame houses standing in the midst of them is shot very impressively and gorgeously), The Reflecting Skin is, sort of, about child abuse, innocence, imagination, death, mortality, and love. The main character is a young boy named Seth Dove who creates an elaborate fantasy around a mysterious, otherworldly-seeming English widow who lives nearby, believing her to be a vampire who is preying on his loved ones. I suppose it’s partly about the unimaginable innocence of youth… Instead of registering and owning a sense of evil in the world, Seth displaces it onto this mysterious figure, a source of external, supernatural evil, thus allowing him not to understand these strange, horrific, traumatic events around him.
The “vampire,” pale, regal, and obsessive, is such a strange, lovely, macabre, spectral, enigmatic character, with the most absolutely haunting speeches, remote yet intense, vehement, and unnerving meditations on aging and love. Icily menacing yet alluring, preternaturally quiet with sudden outbursts of piercing, violent, grotesque, deeply primal, forlorn emotion, mercurial as a madwoman, she was played pretty much to perfection by Lindsay Duncan. She should be an iconic figure, in my opinion.
This movie is fascinating, and even if you end up not liking it, you should definitely see it. The cinematography alone is worth it.
The entirety of the film (from the Japanese DVD) is up on YouTube.
Tags: 1950s, abuse, bizarre, children, cryptic, dark, film reviews, fragility, hauntingly beautiful, innocence, innocence/menace, macabre, metaphors, puritanical, religion, sexuality, strange beauty, surreal, surreal horror, trailers, vampires, visceral, witchy
Black and Blue is a sculpture piece by Emily Kaelin, resembling a disembodied clump of long black hair ethereally embedded with bright blue butterfly wings, also severed from their proper owners. It is made of synthetic hair, Morpho butterfly wings, and glitter.
Emily Kaelin is a young artist who constantly deals with repulsion vs. beauty, in installations, mixed-media art, and paintings, mimicking human organic materials that are generally thought to be disgusting, such as flesh, hair, blood, and bone, and creating pieces that are conflicting, visceral, and unlike anything else out there, pushing her art farther and into new territories.
She describes her own art in these words: “push and pull of appealing and repellent, comforting and upsetting, lovely and ugly; inability to look at or render self objectively; impulse and intuition and instinct; emotionality; flesh; hairiness”
Her art constantly intersects the descriptors of ugly, strangely beautiful, alluring, repulsive, bizarre, off-putting, interesting, intriguing, fleshy, raw, delicate, otherworldly, and original. It expresses agony incarnate in the body, in its materials of ink and parchment (blood and skin).
A few more examples of her work below:
Richard Stipl’s obscene, gory, and irreverent sculptures and installations are lifelike to the extreme, and revolve around subverted religious imagery and images of corrupted dignity. He also creates mixed media works, such as Pentagram (below).
Tags: bizarre, blood, death/religion/sex, distorted bodies, flour-white face, gory, installation art, realism, red and white, religious imagery, richard stipl, sculptures, unnaturally colored flesh, weird sculptures
MadinSpain is an annual design and creativity convention in Madrid. This amazing little video is Toch Studio‘s opening titles for this year’s conference, which took place on June 3-4. Sound design by Cypher Audio and typography design by Pablo Abad.
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