Τρίτη, 28 Αυγούστου 2012

Album "01011001" by Ayreon (2008)

A great concept album about earth destruction by humans through a sci-fi story. Ayreon is a musical project by Dutch composer and musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen. Ayreon's music is mostly heavy metal and progressive rock but combines them with genres like folk, classical and electronica. The majority of Ayreon's albums are dubbed "rock operas" because the albums contain complex storylines featuring a host of characters, usually with each one being represented by a unique vocalist.Read about in All music and in Rock and Ecology blog

Πέμπτη, 23 Αυγούστου 2012

Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901)

selfportrait (1872)
Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901) was a Swiss symbolist painter. Influenced by Romanticism his painting is symbolist with mythological subjects often overlapping with the Pre-Raphaelites. His pictures portray mythological, fantastical figures along classical architecture constructions (often revealing an obsession with death) creating a strange, fantasy world. Böcklin is best known for his five versions of Isle of the Dead, which partly evokes the English Cemetery, Florence, close to his studio and where his baby daughter Maria had been buried. An early version of the painting was commissioned by a Madame Berna, a widow who wanted a painting with a dream-like atmosphere. Clement Greenberg wrote in 1947 that Böcklin's work "is one of the most consummate expressions of all that was now disliked about the latter half of the nineteenth century." Böcklin's paintings, especially Isle of the Dead, inspired several late-Romantic composers.

War (date unknown)

War, 1896

Island of the Dead (1883)
Island of the Dead (1886)
Isle of the Dead is his best known painting. Prints of the work were very popular in central Europe in the early 20th century — Vladimir Nabokov observed that they were to be "found in every Berlin home." Freud, Lenin, and Clemenceau all had prints of it in their offices. Böcklin produced several different versions of the mysterious painting between 1880 and 1886. Böcklin himself provided no public explanation as to the meaning of the painting, though he did describe it as “a dream picture: it must produce such a stillness that one would be awed by a knock on the door.” Many observers have interpreted the oarsman as representing the boatman Charon who conducted souls to the underworld in Greek mythology. The water would then be either the River Styx or the River Acheron and his white-clad passenger a recently deceased soul transiting to the afterlife.
 One version was used as a cover for 2010 Atlantean Codex album "The Golden Bough"

Medusa (1878)

Shield with 
the Head of Medusa
, 1897

Plague (1898)

Σάββατο, 18 Αυγούστου 2012

Paul Cezanne's skull paintings

Working in isolation in the last decade of his life, Paul Cézanne  (1839–1906) frequently alluded to mortality in his letters: "For me, life has begun to be deathly monotonous"; "As for me, I'm old. I won't have time to express myself"; and "I might as well be dead." It is possible that the death of his mother on October 25, 1897—she had been a protective and supportive influence—accelerated his meditations on mortality, a subject which had obsessed the artist since the late 1870s, but did not find pictorial form for another twenty years. Cézanne's health started to deteriorate at the same time. The dramatic resignation to death informs a number of still life paintings he made between 1898 and 1905 of skulls. These works, some painted in oils and some with watercolor, are more subtle in meaning yet also more visually stark than the traditional approach to the theme of vanitas.

Paul Cézanne's interest in the subject may have had roots in thoughts other than the contemplation of death. He could have been drawn to the skulls' volumetric forms, just as he was to those of fruits and vases, and he supposedly exclaimed "How beautiful a skull is to paint!" They also share physical similarities with his self-portrayals: "the skulls confront the viewer straight-on in a manner reminiscent of the artist's portraits." In both sets of works the mass of the cranium is emphasized: in the self-portraits the lower half of his face is obscured by his beard, while the skulls lack lower jaws altogether. In both series attention is focused on the round pate and eye sockets. There would have been further reason for the subject to interest Cézanne: skulls were prominent in the homes of Catholics, and Cézanne was a devout Catholic knowledgeable in ancient Christian texts. Human skulls had also long been common accessories in artists' studios.

Δευτέρα, 13 Αυγούστου 2012

Painters' Self portraits as mememto mori

Albrecht Bouts, 1451-55
Various painters made self portraits with skeletons or skulls on their sides. All of them depicted their personal perception and attitude towards Death. Others seem to feel terrified, afraid or at least pensive, others seem to be brave and courageous, and some seem to be carefree and playful. Watch each painting and guess their attitudes.

David Bailly "selfportrait" (1651)

Salvator Rosa, 1647
Thomas Smith, 1680
Antoine Steenwinkel, 17th cent.
Johan Zoffany, 1776
Arnold Böcklin, 1872
Oskar Zwintscher (1897)
Lovis Corinth, 1896
Jacek Malczewski, 1902
Stevan Aleksić, 1909
Stevan Aleksić, 1919
Luigi Russolo, Self-Portrait, 1909
Odd Nerdrum (1944-) self portrait with child's skull

Carel Willink, Self-portrait, 1936
Bernard Buffet, 1981

Τετάρτη, 8 Αυγούστου 2012

Keith Thompson

A modern artist of various horror macabre, sci-fi, steampunk art. Visit his SITE for more of his works.

Παρασκευή, 3 Αυγούστου 2012

Dave Kendall

Dave Kendall is a contemporary artist. Let him speak about him in his SITE:

I am an illustrator specialising in Fantasy, Horror and Sci-Fi art. I have worked for a large number of companies and their number continues to grow. My first professional work was Psycho Killer for TOXIC! Written by Pat Mills. From there Necroscope for Brian Lumley beckoned and a comic for the rock band Metallica. The Metallica and Necroscope work featured in 'Sound & Fury' an exhibition of Heavy Metal Imagery in Bradford Museum and around the country. An illustration from the Necroscope comics has also appeared in the Brian Lumley Companion, from Tor books. I have illustrated Prospect Place, an unpublished as yet, modern day horror story, written by Poppy Palin. Currently working in the areas of comics and role playing games. Have recently completed work for 2000ad, and contribute work to the anthology Event Horizon from Mam Tor. I work for a number of publishers producing book covers and illustrations.