Monday, October 30, 2017

"Halloween" by Siouxsie and the Banshees

A Goth classic from 1981.
"Halloween" by Siouxsie and the Banshees.

The night is still
And the frost, it bites my face
I wear my silence like a mask
And murmur like a ghost

"Trick or treat"
"Trick or treat"
The bitter and the sweet

The carefree days are distant now
I wear my memories like a shroud
I try to speak, but words collapse
Echoing, echoing

"Trick or treat"
"Trick or treat"
The bitter and the sweet

I wander through your sadness
Gazing at you with scorpion eyes
Halloween... Halloween

A sweet reminder in the ice-blue nursery
Of a childish murder, of hidden lustre
And she cries

"Trick or treat"
"Trick or treat"
The bitter and the sweet

I wander through your sadness
Gazing at you with scorpion eyes
Halloween... Halloween

Sunday, October 29, 2017

BEAUTY: Art For Halloween

Top to bottom: Untitled (Sisyphus) by Mark Rachlis; Carpe Diem (Verges, Spain) by Michael Dunev; Procession 3 (Verges, Spain) by Michael Dunev; Skeleton Performing Zazen On The Waves (1787) by Maruyama Okyo; untitled Day of the Dead image by Wiley Wallace; See You Out There by Ryan Troy Ford; unknown

Friday, October 27, 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Skeleton Art For Halloween

Top to bottom: Jan August Hendrik, Baron Leys (1815-1869)--Still Life of Three Skulls; unknown illustration; Wladyslaw Podkowinski (Polish, 1866–1895)--Skeleton Study (Dansing Skeleton); unknown illustration; William Cheselden, from "Osteographia," 1733; unknown; Van Sishem--The Boy in the Skeleton, 1581

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Madness of Olivier de Sagazan

I've been meaning to post something about extraordinary French performance artist Olivier de Sagazan for quite some time, but I never followed through. His art is captivating but disturbing. So it seems appropriate to share it with you during a season that is dedicated to the macabre, the disturbing, and the frightening.

But please don't misunderstand: Olivier de Sagazan is not a "Halloween" novelty or a "horror show" trope. His art is based on the physical and psychological transformation of the human being. He layers clay, paint (only black and red, and pointedly so), hair, and dirt onto his face and body in a transformation that is truly a descent into a state of madness, a state of complete and total surrender. It is the transformation of the logical, rational, controlled modern human into a kind of ferocious, visceral, animalistic, ancient state. Along with whispered or shouted ranting and startling pre-language vocalizations, he contorts his face and body into grotesque, deformed shapes, rendering the human form down into featureless components, or into what could be tribal masks and body modification from indigenous cultures or ancient races.

"I am flabbergasted in seeing to what degree people think its normal, to be alive. Disfigurement in art is a way to return to real life!" says de Sagazan.

In this way, I feel that de Sagazan's art goes beyond "scary" or "frightening" because it plays not on our fear of monsters, ghosts, vampires, or serial killers, but on our universal fear of the dissolution of ourselves, the loss of our identity and minds, of who we are, reverting to some primal state. I might even venture to say that, by extension, his performances are also connected to our fear of death itself, of the idea of ultimate transformation. And of course this is so effective precisely because we all still have this primal, raving creature inside us...and we all must reconcile ourselves to our final transformation. His work is shocking and penetrating because it's about what is INSIDE of us, not something scary or frightening "out there."

He appeared in the classic film "Samsara" (previously here) in a short sequence that encapsulates his ideas.

Here is a version of his foundational performance, "Transfiguration."

And in one of his most mind-boggling, horrific performances, he just collaborated with English designer Gareth Pugh (a protégé of Rick Owens and Michele Lamy, previously here and here) in a film presentation of Pugh's Spring/Summer 2018 collection. Their performance together takes the first six minutes of the film. It's intense...forewarned is forearmed.

Monday, October 23, 2017

BEAUTY: Painting for Halloween--Jessica Burke

Jessica Burke paints skeletons dressed up as pop culture figures and icons.

Top to bottom: Lil Red and Coyote; Myopic Green Knight; Nightmare Dressed As A Daydream; Old Salt and Crow; Sleeping Beauty; The Dark Knight

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sweet Fruit Bats

Sweet furry fruit bats for Halloween...

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Saw this poor guy at my local pharmacy. He has been waiting for a prescription for a very long time...