Πέμπτη, 28 Ιουνίου 2012

Käthe Kollwitz, her Death works

Death grasps children

Käthe Kollwitz (1867 – 1945) was a German painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work offered an eloquent and often searing account of the human condition, and the tragedy of war, in the first half of the 20th century. Her empathy for the less fortunate, expressed most famously through the graphic means of drawing, etching, lithography, and woodcut, embraced the victims of poverty, hunger, and war. Initially her work was grounded in Naturalism, and later took on Expressionistic qualities. In July 1936, she and her husband were visited by the Gestapo, who threatened her with arrest and deportation to a Nazi concentration camp; they resolved to commit suicide if such a prospect became inevitable. However, Kollwitz was by now a figure of international note, and no further action was taken. She outlived her husband (who died from an illness in 1940) and her grandson Peter, who died in action in World War II two years later. She was evacuated from Berlin in 1943. Later that year, her house was bombed and many drawings, prints, and documents were lost. Kollwitz died just before the end of the war. Kollwitz made a total of 275 prints, in etching, woodcut and lithography. In the mid-1930s she completed her last major cycle of lithographs, Death, which consisted of eight stones: Woman Welcoming Death, Death with Girl in Lap, Death Reaches for a Group of Children, Death Struggles with a Woman, Death on the Highway, Death as a Friend, Death in the Water, and The Call of Death.

Death embraces woman
Death holds a child
Death grasps a woman
Death grasps a mother
Death grasps a mother
Death grasps a child
Death grasps a child
Call of Death

Σάββατο, 23 Ιουνίου 2012

Bone Art by Francois Robert: Stop the Violence

Francois Robert is a photographer. He obtained a complete human skeleton and made an anti-war collection with patterns by using these bones: weapons, political and religious signs that are used to divide people, words that mean death etc. Take a look at his site for the complete collection.

Δευτέρα, 18 Ιουνίου 2012

Gustav-Adolf Mossa

Salome, 1908

Gustav-Adolf Mossa (1883-1971), was a French Symbolist painter under the influence of Gustave Moreau, Lucien Levy-Dhurmer, Edgar Maxence, Emile-Rene Menard. He was impregnated by his readings, Mallarme, Baudelaire, Huysmans, and he was inspired by masters of the Quattrocento, the Pre-Raphaelites, Art Nouveau. He painted extensively for fifteen years, until 1918, but most of his Symbolist works are discovered after his death. He found inspiration in the work of the great writers, especially Baudelaire. His works were often dramatic compositions, often caricatured, analyzing situations in life showing a certain psychological insight. The work of Gustav-Adolf Mossa is a set of references to myths, fables he handled like a psychoanalyst: conflicts of life instincts and impulses of death, Eros and Thanatos, especially in the depiction of Salome that haunts almost all the Symbolists, but also in those of Sappho and Delilah.

Mary de Magdala (1907)
Salome (1904)
La Sirène Repue (1905)
Elle (1906)
Valse Macabre (1906)
Circé (1904)

Les Mortes (1908)

Τετάρτη, 13 Ιουνίου 2012

Carlos Schwabe (1866 – 1926)

Carlos Schwabe (1866 – 1926) was a German Symbolist painter and printmaker. Schwabe was born in Altona, Holstein, and moved to Geneva, Switzerland at an early age. After studying art in Geneva, he relocated to Paris as a young man, where he worked as a wallpaper designer, and he became acquainted with Symbolist artists. His paintings typically featured mythological and allegorical themes; as an essentially literary artist, he was much in demand as a book illustrator. He illustrated the novel Le rêve (1892) by Emile Zola, Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal (1900), Maurice Maeterlinck's Pelléas et Mélisande (1892), and Albert Samain's Jardin de l'infante (1908). Schwabe lived in France for the rest of his life and died in Avon, Seine-et-Marne in 1926.

Two distinct styles are recognized in his art. Before 1900, Schwabe's paintings were more individual and experimental, indicating the idealism of the Symbolists; conventional, allegorical scenes from nature became more prominent in his later work. Images of women were important, sometimes representing death and suffering, other times creativity and guidance. His first wife was his model for angels and virgins, and "Death" in The Death of the Grave-Digger (1895) resembles her. The death of a close friend in 1894, when Schwabe was 28 years old, engendered his interest in representing death.

La mort du fossoyeur 
(The Death of the gravedigger, 1895) 
is a compendium of Symbolist motifs, 
including death, an angel, 
pristine snow, and dramatic poses.

Παρασκευή, 8 Ιουνίου 2012

"Wicker man" a disputed custom of human sacricife of the past

A 1676 engraving 

A Wicker Man was a large wicker statue of a human used by the ancient Druids (priests of Celtic paganism) for human sacrifice by burning it in effigy, according to Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentary on the Gallic War). While other Roman writers of the time, such as Cicero, Suetonius, Lucan, Tacitus and Pliny the Elder, described human sacrifice among the Celts, only Caesar and the geographer Strabo mention the wicker man as one of many ways the Druids of Gaul performed sacrifices. Caesar reports that some of the Gauls built the effigies out of sticks and placed living men inside, then set them on fire to pay tribute to the gods. Caesar writes that though the Druids generally used thieves and criminals, as they pleased the gods more, they sometimes used innocent men when no delinquents could be found. One medieval commentary, the 10th-century Commenta Bernensia, states that men were burned in a wooden manikin in sacrifice to Taranis.
poster and still from 1973 movie 

In the modern world, wicker men are used for various events. The figure has been adopted for festivals as part of some neopagan-themed ceremonies, without the human sacrifice element. Effigies of this kind have also been used as elements in performance art, as display features at rock music festivals, as thematic material in songs, and as the focal point of a cult British horror/mystery film, The Wicker Man (1973) starring Christopher Lee. Much of the prominence of the wicker man in modern popular culture and the wide general awareness of the wicker man as structure and concept is attributable to this film. A remake of this film was released in 2006, starring Nicolas Cage.
poster of the 2006 movie


Κυριακή, 3 Ιουνίου 2012

Marilyn Manson's paintings

Marilyn Manson (1969-) is an American musician, artist and former music journalist known for his controversial stage persona and image as the lead singer of the eponymous band Marilyn Manson. His stage name was formed from juxtaposing the names of two 1960s American cultural icons, namely actress Marilyn Monroe and convicted multiple murder convict Charles Manson as a critical and, simultaneously, laudatory appraisal of America and its peculiar culture. The seemingly outrageous styles for which he models and the controversy surrounding his lyrics have led to his public appeal.

Manson claimed in a 2004 to have begun his career as a watercolor painter in 1999 when he made five-minute concept pieces and sold them to drug dealers. On September 13–14, 2002, his first show, The Golden Age of Grotesque, was held at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions Centre. Art in America's Max Henry likened them to the works of a "psychiatric patient given materials to use as therapy" and said his work would never be taken seriously in a fine-art context, writing that the value was "in their celebrity, not the work". On September 14–15, 2004, Manson held a second exhibition on the first night in Paris and the second in Berlin. The show was named 'Trismegistus' which was also the title of the center piece of the exhibit – a large, three-headed Christ painted onto an antique wood panel from a portable embalmers table.


Manson named his self-proclaimed art movement Celebritarian Corporation. He has coined a slogan for the movement: “We will sell our shadow to those who stand within it.” In 2005 he said that the Celebritarian Corporation has been "incubating for seven years" which if correct would indicate that Celebritarian Corporation, in some form, started in 1998.

Celebritarian Corporation is also the namesake of an art gallery owned by Manson, called the Celebritarian Corporation Gallery of Fine Art in Los Angeles for which his third exhibition was the inaugural show. From April 2–17, 2007, his recent works were on show at the Space 39 Modern & Contemporary in Florida. 40 pieces from this show traveled to Germany's Gallery Brigitte Schenk in Cologne to be publicly exhibited from June 28 – July 28, 2007. Manson was refused admittance to Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), when he was in the city to attend the opening night. This was, according to Manson, due to his makeup.

Manson revealed a series of 20 paintings in 2010 entitled Genealogies of Pain, an exhibition showcased at Vienna's Kunsthalle gallery which the artist collaborated on with David Lynch.

“The Black Dahlia” 
for the unsolved gruesome murder 
 of Elizabeth Short in 1947.