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Marina Mika

Marina Mika is a Croatian artist currently based in Berlin, whose stylish drawings are both minimalistic and highly detailed. Her graceful, attenuated figures are reminiscent of Art Deco illustrations. Influences from Japanese art are also visible in the sinuous contours and depictions of natural forms. Languorously long-bodied, berobed, bedizened with streams of flowers, stars, and feathers dripping like luminous pearls, these precisely drawn, poisonously elegant creatures with their mysterious smiles hover on the obscure brink between witch and fashion plate. One imagines their thin, spiderlike movements, their romances and intrigues beneath strange heavens, as their endless hair spills forth beautifully into the dark air. Black and white, meticulously rendered in pen and ink, Mika’s illustrations also contain hints of delicate color, splashes of dull gold – antique gilding fading off from a decadent world.

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Withermore: The Creations of Caitlin McCormack

The uncanny fiber sculptures and paintings of Caitlin McCormack convey a sense of torment, embattlement, and even tenderness. There is an organic sensation of movement, chaotic groupings and orchestrations, and also an element of whimsy and grotesque humor. These little crocheted creatures, as strangely alive as strokes of paint would render them, embody all the rancor, violent struggle, and darkling energies inherent in the mysterious world.

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Heavenly Inferno – The Church of Sanctus

The new Heavenly Inferno collection from longtime favorite of mine, Sanctus, is available today at 9pm BST. Featuring bishop sleeves, puffed velvet sleeves, trailing hems, fine lace, corsets embroidered with Immaculate Hearts, in gorgeous shades of red, blue, and green, these pieces are each designed and lovingly handsewn by Lucinda Sinclair. They perfectly blend religious iconography with historically inspired silhouettes, dramatic, lush aesthetic conceptions, and modern ethical garment-making.

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The Carnivorous Rose: Art by Kristin Kwan

Kristin Kwan’s realistic, sweet, and melancholy paintings explore themes of life, death, and rebirth through the prism of mythology and lore. Her work, characterized by gorgeous flowers, alien landscapes, animals pierced by flora, and maidens surrounded by serpentine swirls of hair, has elements of surrealism and fantasy, allegory and whimsy, and is sometimes reminiscent of historical portraiture and Madonna paintings. She has a solo exhibition currently showing at the Nucleus Gallery in Portland through October 4th.

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Fine Art and Fashion Design by Hogan McLaughlin

Hogan McLaughlin is an excitingly fantastic, dark, romantic, architectural fashion designer as well as dancer and visual artist. His spidery and highly stylized illustrations, reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley, are full of elegance, melancholy, and bespeak a world of decadent, spindly, eerie beings with outlandish proportions of garment and roiling, torrential masses of hair. The historical influences in his art and design are gracefully eloquent, and he is wonderful at combining stark, structural silhouettes with the soft, romantic, and flowing.

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Tribal Macabre: Miyu Decay

Miyu Decay is the jewelry label of fine artist and designer Stephanie Inagaki. Her signature bat skull is a motif that adorns many of her accessories. Cats, crows, and wolves also have their place among Miyu Decay’s themes. Influenced by her studies in Middle Eastern dance as well as by Victorian mourning jewelry, her designs often amalgamate the tribal, the macabre, and the mystical. The delicate detail of the tiny skulls is contrasted with the talismanic power of the pieces.

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Dream Sequences from Come True (2020)

The most remarkable part of the intriguing and effectively atmospheric sci-fi horror film Come True is the dream sequences, which are absolutely fascinating, enigmatic, hauntingly beautiful, brilliant. They resemble graphics in the best kind of video game, extremely crisp and precise, exquisitely rendered, but imbued with a poetic quality and symmetry, fluid movement and eerily divine choreography. After the appearance of the first dream, I found myself looking forward to each next one, and being riveted to the uncannily elegant images as the camera inexorably moved through them. In a sense they transcend the film itself, and can be taken on their own terms, as a startlingly distinct new interpretation of dreams in animation. The dimly lit, monochromatic dream imagery is bleakly lovely and restrained although breathtakingly impressive.

Within what I initially took to be a symbology of trauma, the viewer slowly, steadily, effortlessly and resistlessly moves towards these strange landscapes inhabited by sinister human-like figures as object after object looms closer and makes its contours known as you pass through a series of cavernous and mountainous spaces, vast unknown spaces, doors, and rooms and rooms. The way that natural and man-made objects are combined is quite interesting, just as dreams tend to intertwine the monumentally magnificent with the trite tokens of your daily life. Utterly gray and gloomy environments are swept with somberly radiant beams of light which illuminate the elements that need to be seen as they come to the fore. It’s quite a shame to watch it in such low quality, but the video above will give you a sense of the foreboding and horrifyingly graceful nature of those beautiful sequences. This is nightmare poetry at a new height. It almost indicates a new visual language for dreaming.

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Collage by Jane Windsor

Jane Windsor creates lovely three-dimensional collages assembled from historical, natural, and occult imagery. Pastel and lush, elegant and precise, these collages display a delicate playfulness with aesthetic finesse. Arch ladies of yesteryear, their dimpled hands and upturned eyes, combine with symbolically sinister animals such as ravens, foxes, rams, and rabbits, as well as flowers, mushrooms, and other tokens of memento mori, objects of growth and decay, luxury and rot. An exhibition of her new works will be showing at the Ghost Gallery in Seattle from July 7th through August 8th.

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Theeth Jewelry

Mushrooms entwined with crystals and small animals are the signature of Theeth Jewelry, hand-crafted by Portland artist Kimi Kaplowitz. These unusually beautiful and intricately delicate pieces are brilliant in design and marvelously executed. Macabre, lovable, unique, with the little imperfections born of the process that make them more astonishingly memorable, they are cast from original specimens and tiny things, spiders, cicadas, serpents, mantises, ferns, and the omnipresent mushrooms with their fragile striated gills. The resulting dear objects are odd, captivating, and spectacularly special.

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