Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 31 - Natali Koromoto's Treehouse of Horror

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! You guys we did it! Cue your favourite 80s synth track (because the best horror is silly 80s horror) we’ve made it to Halloween! 31 creature features and I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have.

For our final foray into the spook filled work of illustration I’m going back to the ever fantastic Natali Koromoto. Natali has done something that no one has ever managed to do. She has made me want to watch the Simpsons (yeah there’s your Halloween scare, I’m not big on the Simpsons…). 

As a -*nerd *- I LOVE references to films, music and tv programmes hidden away in the backgrounds of, well, each other. Recently I’ve loved listing off the movie references packed into Stranger Things (yes I’ve watched it all already, I can’t believe you haven’t yet). It’s like fan art, incredibly geeky fan art. And when fan art is done well it is just another level of “aaaah how did they come up with that?!!” and Natali ,every year, for the past four years has taken on The Simpsons (I give in) utterly brilliant and, sometimes a wee bit scary, Treehouse of Horror special episodes.

There are so many tiny details packed into every corner of these illustrations that I don’t even care that I haven’t seen the specific episode they are referencing. Tiny creatures peek out of corners of rooms, prints on household objects somehow throw back to something so vague but so on the money, scenes unfold not only around the character but outside through their bedroom windows!

Natalie has added her stylish girls to her cool and approachable style and thrown them head first into her favourite part of Halloween. The effect is a little bit spooky and just so much fun. Just like Halloween should be. Keep up with her ever awesome work here and HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 

Monday, 30 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 30 - Angela Deane

Good evening loyal ghouls and gals we are nearly there! Thank you for sticking with me through this both dark and brilliant journey and it's not quite over yet.

I've been hanging on to my favourites to bring in Halloween properly, and truly, I can't think of anyone better to share as we head into All Hallows Eve than the ghosts of Angela Deane.

Angela has said that using her ghosts she is exploring human memory, in how strange and how fleeting it is, but also in the way that these photographs are someone's memory but to us they are just ghosts, figuratively and now literally. There is a belief that time can record itself into walls and battlefields and the ghosts we see there are simply time repeating itself. These altered photos seem stuck between a loving memory and a simple moment in time caught on film.

It would be easy for these altered found photographs to become morbid after Angela's treatment but her tenderness for the subject shines through. Her ghosts have families and go on outings to Disneyland. They may be stuck in that specific moment but Angela is going to make sure it's a good one.

This body of work is HUGE so I hope this little collection of spirits has peaked your interest enough to take a look through Angela's incredible body of work. She has even started giving witches the ghost treatment, so I've included one of those here, because honestly how could I not?👻

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 29 - Martin Wittfooth

Erggh good evening Halloween fans. I wish I could tell you to take that "erggh" as a spooky opening noise but that erghh is more because I feel like a zombie. I love Halloween y'all but I hit my peak at about 1am last night. So let's ease on in to this post shall we?

Martin Wittfooth is yet another brilliant talent to come out of Toronto. Seriously guys, what is in the water over there? Martin's pieces centre on creatures and the places they govern. Those places though seem to be what were once ours. These animals at first are strange and otherworldy. Goat's horns drip with blood while conquering their usual predators, dead animals sprout huge bouquets of flowers making their death into something beautiful, and monkeys ride huge flaming elephants through the streets of cities.

This work somehow goes through the fantastical and comes out as scary. However not scary in the way I have been sharing with you guys. Martin's work wants to push the message through to you that this once was the world of animals and the natural world and we should be careful about where we are heading into now. So there's your scare for the day. The scare that we are killing these magical beings. 

This got way too heavy for my hangover, but hey remember to compost those pumpkins and check out more of Martin's world with a warning on his website.

Happy Halloween - Day 28 - James Jean

It's finally the Saturday where you will be heading out as an over-sexualised mouse, a kid from Stranger Things, a political pun, a zombie or (as Jillian Temaki suggested ) a sexy boiled egg. But if you really want to head into a true Halloween filled world you have come to the right place.

This is the work of the ever incredible legend that is James Jean. You want a sci-fi world on another planet full of robot workers, giant weapons and enough travelers on monsters to give Star Wars a run for its money? You got it.

You want a psychedelic drug scape complete with dripping monsters and no way out? You got it.
You want a haunted Japanese school where spirits peek through windows and push through the walls possessing school girls? You got it.

Need I go on? I told you I was saving the best and my favourites until last and they don't come better and spookier than James Jean. If you've got a spare hour between costume building I suggest a click through his MONOLITHIC body of work. 

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 27 - Tina Lugo

It's the final Friday of October so it's time for something suitably disturbing. I toyed with whether to share this artist with you for quite some time, not because this space needs to be kept particularly PG13 but the work of Tina Lugo is a little confronting to scroll through on a Friday afternoon, so I've deliberately chosen some of her work that doesn't have quite so much dismembered penis in.

Genitals aside Tina's work is still horrific in the best possible way. Featuring nightmarish bed fellows that resemble demons, severed limbs everywhere, faceless pretty girls, haunting titles and this is just the beginning! Tina pulls her influences heavily from Ero Guru Nansensu movement; a very particular kind of Japanese art that focuses on the erotic, meeting the grotesque, culminating in the bizarre (or nansensu ie nonsense).

That degree of nonsense feels important. Halloween definitely can be both sexy and scary (and sometimes that's the coolest costume going) but it's good to remember that it's all in good fun to stop it becoming overwhelmingly confronting. Tina plays with that line with impeccable skill. 

Once you're home safe tonight (and away from work place computers) perhaps chance a scroll through her website but maybe check under your bed and err under the covers first.

Happy Halloween - Day 26 - Sloane Leong

Happy Thursday Halloween lovers. For today I'm sharing an artist I've been keeping up with for a few years who originally I didn't think would fit the bill for this month's postings but the more I delved into their work the more scary it got. In a good way.

Sloane Leong's work shows a world beyond ours. She seems to illustrate snippets of folklore and intertwines them with long lost stories to create strange and brilliant characters with infinite backstories.

Sloane's work often occupies an interesting space where there's a message and a feeling that makes you somewhat uncomfortable. Kind of like a David Lynch film. You're sort of completely lost and trying to make sense of what you're seeing because once you've grasped whatever it is she wants you to try to grasp, you'll be completely sucked in.

You can see more of her intriguing work on her website.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 25 - Yuko Shimizu

Happy final humpday of this spook filled month! As the end of this project draws in I'm sharing some big Halloween hitters with you and somehow this one had passed me by until yesterday when a kind friend introduced them to me.

Yuko Shimizu's work is simply heaving with back story. There is so much narrative woven into everything from illustrations for news articles to full on story books. Of course where you find story books you'll usually find monsters and Yuko's work is no exception.

A strong supporter and collaborator with the Society of Illustrators Yuko knows how to tame the incredible strength within her style to tell the creepiest of stories even in the blandest of situations. I can only imagine Yuko, when faced with a brief for a hair removal company, would create pieces filled with screaming tufts of hair.

I won't let her work pass me by anymore and you shouldn't either, keep up with her (quite frankly the most brilliantly linked and kempt website and blog i've ever seen in my life) on her website

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 24 - Kuno Yoko

For this Tuesday's post I want to hit upon that unique fear that comes from waking up somewhere that doesn't quite make sense. Without a shadow of a doubt the most frightening dreams I've had involve me waking up (yes in the dream) in a world somewhat like my own but not quite.

Kuno Yoko's pieces call upon this strange sense of surrealism so that whilst her illustrations are full of sacharine themes, cute colours, and comfy cushiony forms, they don't quite make sense. What appear to be dolls seem to have lives where they can grow and sleep and err...drive. 

But scarily they also seem lifeless in the way they hold themselves and seem to merge into the background and more frighteningly eachother. 

Kuno has created a world much like ours, that looks inviting and beautiful but on closer inspection perhaps creates its very own form of bizarre menace. You can explore more of her work on her tumblr. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 23 - Sarah Kipin

Good evening readers, I hope you've all had a good Monday. I left this particular artist to post later on in the month as she is also tackling the challenge of posting every day of October.

Sarah Kipin's work often seems to lean towards the paranormal. Her work often features haunted looking characters or hidden little leanings towards the occult. However, her Halloween project is what caught my eye. Sarah has taken on the interesting and by no means easy feat of putting together a piece featuring vampires every day of October.

What set Sarah apart for me is that I haven't seen a vampire quite like hers'. Her vampires whilst lythe look almost like dancers. They are dark and wrapped up in each other without having that arrogant holier than thou air about them. 

There is also a fantastic cohesian to them so far that makes them less of a project and more a brilliant body of work. I can't wait for her next instalment of toothy beauties and you can support her in this thankless task on her tumblr.

Happy Halloween - Day 22 - Alison Scarpulla

Good evening Halloween fans. For this crisp evening I've decided on the work of Alison Scarpulla. Alison's work has the quality of someone living amongst a tribe or perhaps in this instance a cult.

 A group of people made up of solitary hunters, elusive herb gatherers, witches, and those exhibiting an altogether more magical quality.

Undoubtedly she does this through her incredible skill to harness the magick quality that the woods and the sea give off if you look in the right places. 

She also does this brilliant thing where she intentionally damages her photographs to give odd effects that somehow interact with her subjects.

 I hope you feel as intrigued as I do with Alison's strange and isolating work and want to look through more of her incredible collection of photographs on her website.

Happy Halloween - Day 21 - Charles Freger's WIlder Mann

On the weekend I like to give you something to really get your teeth into and considering I have been going back to Charles Freger's Wilder Mann series for years for inspiration I couldn't think of anyone better.

Yes monsters again but look a little harder. Charles has been traveling Europe looking for the enigmatic "wilder mann" of yore. He explores the myths, traditions and national costumes of the indigenous people he meets and photographs their most fantastic, and sometimes frightening costumes.

Some of these costumes are so bizarre it makes you wonder quite how they were inspired. What did those people see to create such unique toothed creatures or stoic long necked faceless beings? 

There is a sense of foreboding to all of his photographs, like you'll never truly understand what they are but can only hope you won't one day run into one of these wild things. Or if you're me you'll hope to see one every day...

For my fellow monster hunters you can see all of his incredible work on his website.

Happy Halloween - Day 21 - Christopher Burk

Happy Friday evening readers. I've deliberately left this one until this time of day to bring something to your attention. This is the first of the two weekends that usually mark Halloween parties. Recently I found myself walking home in the dark down a surprisingly quiet residential street.

 There's something about when the weather changes and the night draws in so much faster than you expected. Every sound under your feet becomes amplified and being alone on a street suddenly seems less the blissful strolls of summer and more unnverving.

I found myself looking up at the houses to stop myself feeling shaken up by quite how dark it had gotten but only some houses had their lights on and somehow the glow coming from those windows made it all the more obvious how late it was and how alone I was. Now, I was perfectly fine, but have you ever experienced that? A light on in a house's window you've never seen on before? A glimpse of a colourful glow behind a garage that doesn't seem quite right? A street lamp illuminating a shape that might have been just a cat or was it something else?

Christopher Burk's murky Hopperesque paintings of suburban houses at night fill me with that Stranger Things style dread that I feel walking home on Autumn evenings that reminds me that Autumn is well and truly here. Maybe as you're headed home one night this weekend and look up at your own house to think, did I leave that light in my attic window on?

You can see more of Christopher's decidedly less spooky but still great work on his website.