Monday, June 1, 2015

May Monster Madness 2015

'Tis that marvellously macabre time of year again - May Monster Madness time! Thank you to Annie Wells, Little Gothic Horrors and Something Wicked This Way Comes... for hosting this fab blog party for the fourth time, and thank you to Maynard from the Horror Movie Diary for suggesting this year's insect theme. 

As it so often does, my mind went straight to art, so I have gathered together my favourite creepy crawly pieces by some of my favourite artists, as well as a classic horror movie poster or two. Enjoy!

'Queen Bee' by Mark Ryden 
This piece was created for Mark Ryden's 'The Gay 90's: West' show held at Kohn Gallery last year, a continuation of his 2010 'The Gay 90s: Olde Tyme Art Show' at Paul Kasmin Gallery. The frames used were all either vintage or designed by Ryden, as this one was.

'Beehive Skull' by Jack of the Dust
Australian 'Skull Lord' Andy is the creative director behind Jack of the Dust, using plastic human anatomy skulls (moulded off real human skulls) to form the basis of his sculptures. 

'Cabinet of Curiosities Specimen No. 61 -
The Black Widow Spider' by Mab Graves
Each one of Mab Graves' Cabinet of Curiosities insect specimens has a tiny lover's eye cameo set into its back, painted with a one-haired brush. 

Beetle in resin necklace - oxidised silver
by William Llewellyn Griffith

Master jeweller William Llewellyn Griffiths recently received an order for another one of these, but said it took him months to find another beetle that was as amazing as this one.

'Herman And Morris' by Travis Louie
This piece was created for Travis Louie's 2011 show at Merry Karnowsky Gallery featuring characters with unusual pets. According to the artist, "Herman found his prized huntsman spider in the basement of his parents’ house. It followed him wherever he went for most of his adult life. He named it Morris because it reminded him of his Uncle Morris, who had long spindly legs and a strange gait that often confused people as to which direction he was about to step in. Although it was common to have large insects as pets in this town, it was frowned upon to have an arachnid as a pet. When they would go for a stroll or take in a show at the theatre, Morris would hide in Herman's stovepipe hat and watch through tiny holes near the top of the hat band. Herman could even hear him clapping at the close of the each performance. It made him laugh out loud every time."

'Spider' by Camille Rose Garcia
Camille Rose Garcia made this piece available as a digital download in her store for Halloween 2013.

A work in progress for Ryan Heshka's
'Mean Girls Club' comic extension
Last year, Ryan Heshka published a comic to accompany his 'Mean Girls Club' show at Wieden + Kennedy Gallery. He has recently completed work on an extension of the original comic for a UK publisher, sharing the above teaser with his Instagram followers in April.

'Halloween Girl Red' by Stephanie Buscema
Stephanie Buscema released this print for Halloween last year. 

'Shared Umbrella' by Mizna Wada
Mizna Wada shared this piece with her Instagram followers last year. Her drawings are available for purchase from Gallery Nucleus  

'The Society' by Kurono
This piece was part of Japanese artist Kurono's self-produced poster series in 2013. It was quickly noticed by Auguste Clown Gallery, and is now stocked there alongside several other Kurono works.

'The Silence of the Lambs' movie poster
And last but not least, here is the poster for one of my all-time favourite films, 'The Silence of the Lambs.' The skull on the moth used in this shot is a copy from a photograph entitled 'In Voluptas Mors' by Philippe Halsman. The original photo features Salvador Dalí with seven women posing to make a skull, itself inspired by a Dalí drawing - 'Human Skull Consisting of Seven Naked Women's Bodies'.

Thank you for joining me for May Monster Madness! The links below will take you to visit the other partygoers :)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bleeding Hearts Day Challenge

Dear Debi of Easel & Quill has given us all a Bleeding Hearts Day Challenge to complete this Valentine's weekend, and while the aim may have been to come up with an original pairing, I could not resist dedicating this post to my beloved Munsters, Lily and Herman.

Fred Gwynne and Yvonne de Carlo as Herman and Lily Munster

The original series comprised only 70 episodes and ran from September 1964 to May 1966, although it continued to grow in popularity and is still widely adored to this day. 

Fred Gwynne and Yvonne de Carlo as Herman and Lily Munster
Fred Gwynne and Yvonne de Carlo as Herman and Lily Munster

I was first introduced to this wonderful show when I was a small child, and have loved it ever since. The opening theme, below, never fails to put a smile on my face. :)

Of course, no post about 'The Munsters' would be complete without some gorgeous photos of the characters who inspired their creation. 

Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride

Lily and Herman were based on Universal Studios' depictions of Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride in their 1930s films. 

Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster and Bride

Not only did Universal Studios produce 'The Munsters', they also brought in Hollywood horror make-up legend Bud Westmore, who had pioneered many make-up effects and designs for Universal's Monster movies.

Bride, Lily, Frankenstein's Monster and Herman Munster
Thank you for hosting, dear Debi!  

The Vampire's Day Soiree 2015

Ah, Valentine's Day - the perfect day to celebrate one's love of vampires with one's fellow darklings! Thank you for hosting this fabulous event, lovely Holly - I am raising a glass of blood wine in your honour. ;D

My contribution to the evening's festivities is a collection of  gorgeous vampy art, created by some of my favourite artists.

First up this evening is Dark Shadows' Barnabas Collins by the queen of gothic illustrations, Abigail Larson:

'Barnabas Collins' by Abigail Larson
Next is a piece published earlier today by The Happy Undertaker, aka illustrator Drazen Kozjan - thank you my dear Little Gothic Horrors for introducing me to Drazen's work!

'V is for Vanya Vampire's Valentine Kiss'
by The Happy Undertaker
Lowbrow graphic artist and illustrator Marcus Jones, aka Screaming Demons, is responsible for more than a few items on my wishlist, but I particularly love his monster mugshots. Here is his Nosferatu:

'Nosferatu Mugshot' by Screaming Demons

Having only discovered his beautiful dark art earlier this year, I have fallen fast for the work of Rick "Dienzo" Blanco - I'm sure you can see why:

'Scarlotta' by Dienzo

Not technically a vampire painting, but this one features my favourite vampire slayer as depicted by the godfather of Pop Surrealism, Mr Mark Ryden

'Slayer' by Mark Ryden
This vampire bat painting is one of many gorgeous illustrations featured in Ryan Heshka's spooky-cute children's book, 'Welcome To Monster Town':

Illustration from 'Welcome To Monster Town' by Ryan Heshka
The next two pieces are the work of Mr Monsters 'n' Martinis himself, lowbrow painter Mike Bell:

'Marilyn Noir' by Mike Bell
'Smarmy Extraordinaire' by Mike Bell

Here is ladies' man Dracula again as depicted by the utterly fabulous painter, illustrator and designer Josh "Shag" Agle: 

'Dracula - Dark Hall Mansion's Universal Monsters X Shag'
Folio by Shag
And finally, speaking of fabulous, here are some vintage monster valentines:

Vintage monster valentines
Happy Vampire's Day everyone!