"In Memory of the Late Mr. and Mrs. Comfort", was the title of a collection of fashion fine art photos by Richard Avedon, featuring model Nadja Auermann and a skeleton, for "The New Yorker" magazine (6 November 1995). The famous danse macabre motif "Death and the Maiden" in modern interpretations.
Ling Chi, or Slow slicing, or the lingering death, or death by a thousand cuts , was a form of execution used in China from roughly AD 900 until its abolition in 1905. In this form of execution, the condemned person was killed by using a knife to methodically remove portions of the body over an extended period of time. The term língchí derives from a classical description of ascending a mountain slowly. Lingchi was reserved for crimes viewed as especially severe, such as treason and killing one's parents. It was meted out for offenses against the Confucian value system such as acts of treason, mass murder, parenticide or the murder of one's master or employer. Emperors used it to threaten people and sometimes ordered it for minor offences. There were forced convictions and wrongful executions. Some emperors meted out this punishment to the family members of his enemies.
mailed postcard depicting Ling Chi execution
The process involved tying the person to be executed to a wooden frame, usually in a public place. The flesh was then cut from the body in multiple slices in a process that was not specified in detail in Chinese law and therefore most likely varied. In later times, opium was sometimes administered either as an act of mercy or as a way of preventing fainting. Lingchi could be used for the torture and execution of a living person, or applied as an act of humiliation after death. So, the punishment worked on three levels: as a form of public humiliation, as a slow and lingering death, and as a punishment after death. According to the Confucianism to be cut someone to pieces meant that the body of the victim would not be "whole" in a spiritual life after death.
This method of execution became a fixture in the image of China among some Westerners. The last executions late 19th early 20th cent. were extensively photographed and printed in postcards. Three sets of photographs shot by French soldiers in 1904-1905 were the basis for later mythification. The abolition was immediately enforced, and definite: no official sentences of língchí were performed in China after April 1905.
Virgil Finlay (1914 –1971) was an American pulp fantasy, science fiction and horror illustrator. While he worked in a range of media, from gouache to oils, Finlay specialized in, and became famous for, detailed pen-and-ink drawings accomplished with abundant stippling, cross-hatching, and scratchboard techniques. Despite the very labor-intensive and time-consuming nature of his specialty, Finlay created more than 2600 works of graphic art in his 35-year career.
Les Edwards (born 1949) is a British illustrator known for his work in the horror, science fiction and fantasy genres, and has provided numerous illustrations for book jackets, posters, magazines, record covers and games during his career. In addition to working under his actual name, he also uses the pseudonym Edward Miller to paint in a different style and to overcome restrictions placed on him by his association with horror. He has won the British Fantasy Society award for Best Artist seven times, and was awarded the World Fantasy Award in 2008. A portion of one of his illustrations, originally created for The Devils of D-Day by Graham Masterton was also used as cover art for Metallica's early single, "Jump in the Fire", whilst his painting The Croglin Vampire appeared as the cover of an album by German band Krokus. More recently he produced the cover for the album Music for the Jilted Generation by The Prodigy. Visit his SITE for more illustrations.
And the two artworks for Krokus and Metallica album covers:
The exquisite art of Takato Yamamoto (1960-)explores themes of darkness, bondage, vampires, metamorphosis, love and death. The perspective is always calm and serene - never depicting violence - rather, it is impending or just completed. Experimented, refined and developed his Ukiyo-e Pop style to create his "Heisei Estheticism" style, producing illustrations for mainly esthetic novels, fantasy novels, sensual novels, and period novels, and he also did cover paintings for cultural magazines and hardback books, and publicity illustrations for commercial media(akatako.net)
Αλλά πάντα από την αποστα- σιοποιημένη ματιά της τέχνης
Εργα τέχνης που απεικονίζουν σκοτεινές πλευρές της ιστορίας και του ανθρώπινου ψυχισμού, όπως ωμή βία, ρατσισμό, κακοποίηση και σφαγές άλλων -ΔΕΝ ΠΡΕΠΕΙ ΝΑ ΛΟΓΟΚΡΙΝΟΝΤΑΙ!! Πρέπει να αντιμετωπίζουμε πρόσωπο με πρόσωπο την ωμότητα και να πασχίζουμε να την κατανοήσουμε με κριτικό και αποστασιοποιημένο τρόπο, αν θέλουμε να φτιάξουμε έναν καλύτερο κόσμο.
Graphics that depict dark aspects of history—such as violence, intolerance, racism, aggressive nationalism, war and atrocity, abuse of others and of the environment in general—have not been censored. We must confront such harsh images directly—and struggle to critically understand them—if we hope to ever make a better world. ocw.mit.edu