Vogue Hong Kong
ARMOUR OF COUTURE
Published: March 2022

Szilveszter Mako – Photographer
Szilveszter Mako – Art Director
Lisa Jarvis – Fashion Editor/Stylist
Sean Kunjambu – Fashion Editor/Stylist
Massimo Di Stefano – Hair Stylist
Vanessa Icareg – Makeup Artist
Marina Fairfax – Casting Director
Siyan Chen – Producer
Lauren Ernwein – Model
Haute Couture designs: Dior, Giambattista Valli, Didit Hediprasetyo, Stephane Rolland, Charles de Vilmorin, Alexandre Vauthier, Maria Grazia Chiuri, and Fendi.

Images source: models.com

 

 

 

 

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Hello, fans of moody art capturing the morbid, melancholic, and macabre! Here’s something fun!

Pre-order your copy of The Art of Darkness by August 31 from any retailer and be one of the first 100 readers to enter your information into the Quarto form and you’ll receive a lovely thank-you-package including a The Art of Darkness postcard, sticker, and autographed bookplate from me, the author! Link in comments!

https://www.quarto.com/campaign/art-of-darkness-preorder

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Well, hello friends of midnight shadows and all that lurk in those murky corners! It is cover reveal day for THE ART OF DARKNESS: A TREASURY OF THE MORBID, MELANCHOLIC AND MACABRE.

I am so extremely-over-the-moon thrilled with the somber, surreal, multi-layered magnificence of Alex Eckman-Lawn’s cover art–it’s really a dream come true for this artist’s incredible work to be gracing the cover of a book that I’ve written. Aside from the cover art, I’ve been extraordinarily fortunate to work with SO MANY DREAM ARTISTS to include in these pages!

So, what else can you expect to find this the pages of this darkly artful tome?

Throughout history, artists have been obsessed with darkness – creating works that haunt and horrify, mesmerize and delight and play on our innermost fears. While these themes might scare us – can’t they also be heartening and beautiful? In exploring and examining these evocative artworks The Art of Darkness offers insight into each artist’s influences and inspirations, asking what comfort can be found in facing our demons? Why are we tempted by fear and the grotesque? And what does this tell us about the human mind?

Of course, sometimes there is no good that can come from the tenebrous sensibilities of darkness and the sickly shivers and sensations they evoke. These are uncomfortable feelings, and we must sit for a while with these shadows – with a book, from the safety of our armchairs.

The Art of Darkness and all of its dreamy, disturbing gloomy glimpses will be released into the world on September 6, 2022! Stay tuned for more details.

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27 Feb
2022

@alexaspaddy // Alexa Spaddy

 

@alexeckmanlawn // Alex Eckman Lawn

 

Knight Ally by @teresenielsenart // Terese Nielsen

 

@jairaphaelart // Jai Raphael

 

@jeansebastienrossbach // Jean-Sebastien Rossbach

 

@chikuwamiel // Chikuwamiel

 

@debishapirophotography // Debi Shapiro

 

Dracula, Motherf**ker, by Yuko Shimizu

 

@kreetakreeta // Kreetta Järvenpää

 

Cyril Van Der Haegen

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Kazimierz Stabrowski
Inside me are two wolves and they are both paintings by Kazimierz Stabrowski.

 

Amelia Bauerle
when they won’t shut tf up about meal prepping

 

Henry Meynell Rheam
when you didn’t do it but if you *did* do it maybe they deserved it

 

Max Frey
don’t talk to me or my giant sea slug ever again

 

Frederick Sandys
not me definitely poisoning your ass

 

Cosmè Tura
get in loser, we’re seeking out irreverent mischief

 

Prieto Muriana
When you’re an eternally cursed creature of the night, but you got places to be.

 

Esteban Maroto
if your nighttime skincare routine doesn’t involve separating your head from your body what are you even doing

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For many years now I have been obsessed with the sublimely ridiculous cover art for ‘Geisterjäger John Sinclair’ (Ghosthunter John Sinclair), a pulpy German horror detective fiction series wherein Sinclair, a Scotland Yard chief inspector, tirelessly battles all kinds of undead and demonic creatures. Apparently, he is the reborn soul of both King Solomon and Knight Templar Hector de Valois. Wow!

These covers feature all manner of bizarre and tawdry evils, from vampire nightclubs to skydiving ghouls to horror discos–and it turns out that the artist responsible for some of my freaky favorites is Catalan painter and illustrator Vicenç Badalona Ballester (1929-2014.) From 1973 until his retirement in 2007, Ballestar produced an incredible number of covers for these books — nearly 1,000!! — and later went into fine art, where via his published books he became a renowned instructor of watercolor techniques.

A brief article over at Frieze from 2013 sums up his style pretty well:

“Aesthetically speaking, the world that Ballestar created for the duration of his career belonged to the 1970s and early ’80s. His paintings are populated by figures that could have stepped out of an advertisement from the era, if their faces weren’t etched with fear at the horrors they confront. With his broad palette and use of light, Ballestar derived a garish Pop pleasure from sinister darkness in a way previously found only in Roger Corman’s legendary Edgar Allan Poe films starring Vincent Price, where terror joined forces with Technicolor.”

 

I’ll confess, I have never read a single John Sinclair story. I almost can’t bear to. What if they are not as much fun as the cover art? But when I am feeling down or bummed out, I treat myself to translations to the various synopses for the stories, and their garbled silliness never fails to make me laugh:

“He was a legend of evil. No one knew if he really died or just lost. Most of Kansas residents just wanted to forget about him anyway. But as twelve tourists simply disappeared, he was remembered again. Suddenly fear passed away, and one sentence went round: ‘Sheriff death is back… “

“When Mike Prentiss and Cindy Mallory are just on their way home from the old castle disco, they pass by a closed cemetery.” Mike finally persuades his girlfriend to follow him to enjoy the togetherness there a little more uninterrupted. But for a long time, the silence on the ancient God’s sucker does not last, because suddenly the two of them are attacked with a sharp knife by a spritual woman… “

Anyway, as usual, this post is just an excuse to show off some favorites from an artist whose works I dig. Enjoy!

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From the desk of Unquiet Things cohort and sometimes correspondent, the entirely ineffable and ever-ensorcelling Maika!

“A thousand dreams within me softly burn.”
-Arthur Rimbaud

Art has always been nourishing for me. What with the ongoing peri-apocalyptic state of the world, art feels more vital than ever. And while I might not be located anywhere near Chicago, it does my heart, mind, and soul worlds of good to know that artists like sculptor Jessica Joslin and painter Jared Joslin are busy creating beautiful and inspiring works of art.

In fact, they’ve been creating their respective works of art side by side for over a quarter-century. Their new shared exhibit, Dreams Take Flight, is a celebration of “over 25 years of two kindred spirits, working side by side, pursuing their dreams.”

The only thing more inspiring than inspiring works of art are works of art created by artists as they inspired each other.

 

The opening reception for Dreams Take Flight happens this Friday, November 5, from 6-9pm, at the LivingRoom Gallery 1530 West Superior St. Chicago, Illinois

Show dates: November 5 – November 28.
Hours are 12-5 on Sundays, or by appointment.
Please note that masks AND proof of vaccination are required.

Click here for a preview of Jessica Joslin’s sculptures and here for a preview of Jared Joslin’s sculptures

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“Araneia” by @jessica_joslin // Jessica Joslin

The month of October is a most marvelous time to see spooky new art emerge on social media while darkly-inclined artists all over the world are participating in eerie seasonal art challenges …and I eagerly await its arrival every year! There’s such a fantastically diverse variety of styles and mediums, from painting and illustration, to photography and sculpture, and even tiny creepy puppets. I am here for all of it.

See below for a gallery of frightful, fabulous favorites…!

@munichartstudio // Becky Munich

@seidmanart // David Seidman

@quintanarte // Dan Quintana

“I want to see everything burn” by @xyz_k_

@forestnoir // Alyssa Thorne

“Dracula’s Candelabra” by @bunnydee // Danielle Gundry Monji Moyle

@wenzdai // Wenzdai

VAMPIRES by @melissa_kojima // Melissa Kojima

SAM by @handsomedevilspuppets

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16 Oct
2021

Another horror cheat day! I am still processing some recent things I have watched and read, so while that all simmers on the back burner of my brain’s greasy stove, I thought I’d take you on a tour of some of my horror-related or generally creepy/eerie art! These are probably things I have shared before, but it may be a new sight for new friends and followers (hello to all one or two of you!)

Of course, I hope you’re okay with trio of weirdos accompanying us. These are various Halloween masks I have stolen from my brother-in-law over the years. Except for the cat, which I bought and paid for with my own money during a hurricane when I was meant to be out, procuring supplies.

On a nearby wall is a massive poster of the fabulous Lucy Westenra, by the artist Sara Deck. Honestly, she could recreate every scene in this version of the film and I would poster my whole house with them. Especially this iconic trio!

This is the back wall in my office. It used to appear a bit more finished, but we moved the day bed that was directly underneath this grouping of arts. That means…that …I can continue the arrangement down to the floor, right? Woo hooo!

A listing of the artists, going with the top photo where you can see the whole group:
Top row, left to right: Colette St. Yves, Caryn Drexl, Beautymarkings, Caryn Drexl, Becky Munich(x2)
Second row, left to right: Adele Mildred, Alice Havens, Mon Petit Fantome, Charmaine Olivia, Mon Petit Fantome
Third row, right to left: Darla Teagarden, Tin Can Forest, Darla Teagarden, Adipocere, Maika

 

This is a view just above a small bookcase in my parlor. It’s a spot that could certainly use a bit more fiddling with, but though it’s imperfectly arranged, I really do love these pieces. The eye is from corpsehaus, the ghostly hand (“The Uninvited”) is by David Seidman, and a spooky lady from Jessica Dalva.

Who are some of your favorite illustrators of darkness and artists of the eerie and the macabre?

 

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14 Oct
2021

You may recall that I mentioned early in the month that this year’s version of 31 Days of Horror may be a cheat. So far, I think I’ve done pretty well, but I think I’m calling in a cheat day today because I don’t think I have anything I am quite ready to talk about just yet.

So instead, here is a list of the horror movies I have watched this year. Some of them might be horror-ish, or horror-adjacent, but I’ve kept them all on the list. This is actually from an ongoing Google doc that I continually update throughout the year. Does anyone else do this? I’ve marked the ones that I’d actually recommend to people with asterisks and yes, I did like the really dumb Disturbing Behavior. There’s something about stories that take place on isolated island communities that are just an immediate win for me.

Some definite standouts for me this year were the ghostly eerieness of Lake Mungo, the batshit insanity of Queen of Black Magic, and the quiet, freaky dread of The Wind. And the final .02 seconds of Saint Maude was the most horrifying thing I have ever seen. Noroi and Pulse are two Japanese horror film staples of the early-mid 2000s and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to watch them. They are both so very deeply unsettling.

Old or new, or new-to-you, what are some of your favorite horror films that you’ve watched this year?

1/27 Perfect Blue (rewatch) ***
2/12 Vivarium
2/14 His House***
(?) Interview with the Vampire (rewatch)
(?) Impetigore
3/18 Queen of Black Magic***
4/2 Noroi***
4/14 Pulse***
(?) Seance on a Wet Afternoon***
4/19 Unfriended

4/26 Lake Mungo***
(?)Saint Maud
6/24 Sator
7/4 Fear Street ***
7/5 La Llorona (not the Linda Cardellini one)***
7/10 Fear Street II ***
7/17 Fear Street III***
7/28 Pandorum
7/29 Slice
7/30 Disturbing Behavior***
(?) When a Stranger Calls
8/8 Scream 3 (rewatch)
8/10 The Binding***
8/12 Werewolves Within ***
(?) Brand New Cherry Flavor***
(?) Los Espookys***
9/5 The Old Ways***
9/6 The Wind ***
9/12 Malignant
9/13 Halloween (rewatch)
9/14 Halloween 2 (rewatch)
9/15 Halloween 3
9/18 Halloween 4 (rewatch)
9/24 The Abyss
10/2 Candyman (the new one) ***
10/4-10/7 Midnight Mass ***
10/7 Things Heard and Seen
10/08 Halloween 5 (rewatch)
10/9 Nightmare on Elm Street 3&4 (rewatch)
10/10 Blood Red Sky***
10/12 Dolls***
10/13 Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers (rewatch)

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