Παρασκευή, 28 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Hyman Bloom (1913-2009)

Old Woman
Hyman Bloom (1913-2009) was a painter. His work is influenced by his Jewish heritage, Eastern religions as well as artists including Grunewald, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, William Blake, among many others that he uses to explore themes of the harrowing and the beautiful and glimpses of the supernatural. Many of his works feature macabre subjects such as skeletons or corpses based upon his experience in a morgue and influences including Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp 1632, Chaim Soutine's Carcass of Beef, 1925, and have modern day comparisons to Damien Hirst's experiences in a morgue and dissected animal sculptures. Bloom's still life paintings continue to explore the theme of the harrowing and the beautiful creating modern day vanitas paintings featuring Amphora Pottery that was influenced by the Aesthetic Movement and Symbolists. His drawings and paintings of Lubec, Maine woods continue to explore the relationship between the natural and spiritual realms. His work is survived by his wife Stella. There is also a SITE with his works

female cadaver back view
female cadaver front view
flayed cadaver
severed leg
female dissected cadaver
Old woman
On the astral plane-Beelzebul

Κυριακή, 23 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Andres Serrano's works for Metallica album covers

The cover of the album is original artwork entitled "Semen and Blood III." It is one of three photographic studies by Andres Serrano created in 1990 by mingling the artist's own semen and bovine blood between two sheets of Plexiglas.

The cover of the album is original artwork depicting urine and blood. It is one of three photographic studies by Andres Serrano created in 1990 by mingling the artist's own urine and bovine blood between two sheets of Plexiglas. Concerning the two albums and the criticism about the change of Metallica's music, I think that they tried to explore their style to other genres. The result was very good in my opinion. Bad was their celebrity arrogance, and their anethical attacks to music file sharing sites.

Τρίτη, 18 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Sleep paralysis in art as demonic visitation

Nikolaj Abraham Abildgaard, Nightmare (1800)
Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which people who are either falling asleep or awakening from sleep temporarily experience a sense of inability to move. More formally, it is a transition state between wakefulness and rest characterized by complete muscle atonia (muscle weakness).

Henry Fuseli, the Nightmare (1781)
Henry Fuseli, the Nightmare (1790–91)
Henry Fuseli, The Incubus Leaving Two Sleeping Women (1793)
Hallucinations are symptoms commonly experienced during episodes of sleep paralysis. There are some main types of these hallucinations that can be linked to pathologic neurophysiology. These include the belief that there is an intruder in the room, the incubus, and vestibular motor sensations. Many people that experience sleep paralysis are struck with a deep sense of terror because they sense a menacing presence in the room while they are paralyzed which will hereafter be referred to as the intruder.

Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin (1809 – 1864)
unknown artist and date

Sensing a malignant presence in the room during an episode of sleep paralysis is believed to be the result of a hyper vigilant state that is created in the midbrain. More specifically it is believed that the emergency response is activated in the brain when individuals wake up paralyzed and feel extremely vulnerable to attack. This feeling of helplessness can intensify the effects of the threat response well above the level typically found in normal dreams; this could explain why the hallucinations experienced during sleep paralysis are so vivid.

Jean Pierre Simon, The Nightmare (1810)
Normally the threat activated vigilance system is a protective mechanism used by the body to differentiate between dangerous situations and to determine whether the fear response is appropriate. This threat vigilance system is evolutionarily biased to interpret ambiguous stimuli as dangerous because the survival of the organism is greatly increased if it is more likely to interpret situations as life-threatening. This could serve as an explanation as to why the presence sensed by those experiencing sleep paralysis is generally believed to be evil.

Eugène Thivier, The Nightmare (1894)
The incubus hallucination is associated with the belief by the individual experiencing sleep paralysis that an intruder is attempting to suffocate them, usually by means of strangulation. It is believed that the incubus hallucination is a combination of the threat vigilance activation system and the muscle paralysis associated with sleep paralysis that removes voluntary control of breathing.

Fritz Schwimbeck , The Nightmare (1915)
Vincenz Georg Kininger - The Dream of Eleanor (1795)
The original definition of sleep paralysis was codified by Samuel Johnson as "nightmare", a term that evolved into our modern definition. Sleep paralysis was widely considered to be the work of demons and more specifically incubi, which were thought to sit on the chests of sleepers. In Old English the name for these beings was mare or mære, hence comes the mare part in nightmare.

Ferdinand Hodler (1853 - 1918)
In Finnish and Swedish folklore, sleep paralysis is caused by a mare, a supernatural creature related to incubi and succubi. The mare is a damned woman, who is cursed and her body is carried mysteriously during sleep and without her noticing. In this state, she visits villagers to sit on their rib cages while they are asleep, causing them to experience nightmares.

wood engraving from J Cazotte's 1845 book, Le Diable Amoureux, entitled "The Nightmare"
Folk belief in Newfoundland, South Carolina and Georgia describe the negative figure of the hag who leaves her physical body at night, and sits on the chest of her victim. The victim usually wakes with a feeling of terror, has difficulty breathing because of a perceived heavy invisible weight on his or her chest, and is unable to move i.e., experiences sleep paralysis.

Olaf Gulbransson (1873 – 1958) 

Warren Criswell , Incubus
In Turkey, sleep paralysis is called karabasan, and is similar to other stories of demonic visitation during sleep. A demon, comes to the victim's room, holds him or her down hard enough not to allow any kind of movement, and starts to strangle the person. To get rid of the demonic creature, one needs to pray to Allah with certain lines from the Qur'an.

Dennis Culver
Andy Paciorek
Andy Paciorek

Πέμπτη, 13 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Max Klinger (1857–1920)

Max Klinger (1857–1920) was a German Symbolist painter, sculptor, printmaker, and writer. His best known work is a series of ten etchings entitled Paraphrases about the Finding of a Glove (printed 1881). These pictures were based on images which came to Klinger in dreams after finding a glove at an ice-skating rink. In the leitmotivic device of a glove—belonging to a woman whose face we never see—Klinger anticipated the research of Freud and Krafft-Ebing on fetish objects. In this case, the glove becomes a symbol for the artist's romantic yearnings, finding itself, in each plate, in different dramatic situations, and performing the role that we might expect the figure of the beloved herself to fulfil. Semioticians have also seen in the symbol of the glove an example of a sliding signifier, or signifier without signified—in this case, the identity of the woman which Klinger is careful to conceal. The plates suggest various psychological states or existential crises faced by the artist protagonist. Klinger was cited by many artists (notably Giorgio de Chirico) as being a major link between the Symbolist movement of the 19th century and the start of the metaphysical and Surrealist movements of the 20th century.

From the Cycle "Intermezzos" Cupid, Death and the Beyond, 1881
From the Cycle "A Glove": Abduction, 1893
From the Cycle "On Death Part I": On the Tracks, 1897
From the Cycle "On Death Part II": Plague, 1898-1903
From the Cycle "On Death Part II": Dead Mother, 1898
Death in the desert
From the Cycle "A Love" Death , 1903

Σάββατο, 8 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Sally Mann photography- Body Farm

Sally Mann is an American photographer, best known for her large black-and-white photographs—at first of her young children, then later of landscapes suggesting decay and death. Mann’s fifth book, "What Remains", published in 2003, is based on the show of the same name at the Corcoran Museum in Washington, DC and is in five parts. The first section contains photographs of the remains of Eva, her greyhound, after decomposition. The second part has the photographs of dead and decomposing bodies at a federal Forensic Anthropology Facility (known as the ‘body farm’). The third part details the site on her property where an armed escaped convict was killed. The fourth part is a study of the grounds of Antietam, the site of the bloodiest single day battle in American history during the Civil War. The last part is a study of close-ups of the faces of her children. Thus, this study of mortality, decay and death ends with hope and love.

Mann has a gift for provoking strong reactions ("I like pushing buttons") and her pictures of rotting corpses certainly do that. She took them at the University of Tennessee's anthropological facility at Knoxville, aka the "body farm", where human decomposition is studied scientifically. The bodies are mostly left in an outdoor setting and lie there for months or even years. In Steven Cantor's 2006 television documentary about Mann, she is observed happily wandering from cadaver to cadaver, prodding this body part and stroking that one, unfazed by the maggots and reek of decay. (wikipedia)

"Death makes us sad, but it can also make us feel more alive," she says. "I couldn't wait to get there. The smell didn't bother me. And you should see the colours – they're really beautiful. As Wallace Stevens says, death is the mother of beauty." (the guardian)Visit her SITE for more of her work.

A body farm is a research facility where human decomposition can be studied in a variety of settings. The aim is to gain a better understanding of the decomposition process, permitting the development of techniques for extracting information (such as the timing and circumstances of death) from human remains. Body farm research is particularly important within forensic anthropology and related disciplines, and has applications in the fields of law enforcement and forensic science. Five such facilities exist in the United States, with the research facility operated by Texas State University at Freeman Ranch being the largest at seven acres.