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Wakeling: The Art of Magda Boreysza

New Orleans-based artist Magda Boreysza takes inspiration from nature, mythology, folk tales, and medieval painting. Her drawings and poetic comic strips express innocence and transformation with a precise yet free tenderness of style. Her artist statement on her Website reads, “I look forward to a world where trees grow and shatter the cities, and we can finally all be creatures together.” The fairytale tangling of lost child and vulpine beast, tree and comet, hair and sea, serves to create an atmosphere of endearing surreality.

The naive faces of the beings who inhabit her worlds, surrounding each other in wave-like masses like melancholy homunculi, resemble those of children who are feral but ethereal and fragile. They are attended and surrounded by, often intertwining with strange and sweet animals which are the harbingers of metamorphoses internal as well as external. Boreysza describes her art as telling “stories of a world filled with mysterious creatures: animals with human faces and wild children, who wander a vast, dreamlike forest, both dark and innocent, gentle and violent.”

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Without Love – Alice Glass

This is the nostalgically colorful and enchanting music video for “Without Love” by Alice Glass (formerly of Crystal Castles), directed by the enormously talented Floria Sigismondi. Among others, Sigismondi has also directed the music videos for Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People,” The White Stripes’ “Blue Orchid,” and Sigur Rós’ “Untitled.” Her video work is consistently lyrical, beautifully vivid, and unforgettable. I have also long admired her photography, a few examples of which are below.

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The Purple Crucifixion: Photography by Casstronaut

The hyper-saturated photographic works of Casstronaut/Cassie Meder remind me of crystalline pomegranates. Brittle and glossy, there is a proliferation of vivid, sharp, bright reds, purples, and blues, highlighting the fleshy texture of lilies and ruby-crystal blood, creating an atmosphere of visual opulence. She plays with crispness versus haze, doubling and super-imposition, in her renderings of Catholic themes including stigmata, paraphernalia of the church and liturgical rites, the dominion of death, and vanitas. This vibrantly hued modernity contrasts with the somber and antique subject matter depicted. Her photographs of venerable old cathedrals are also lushly gorgeous.

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“I roamed this earth like life had also left me”: Masks by Candice Angelini

Candice Angelini is the creator of unique, disturbing, and startlingly beautiful masks. Exploring the idea of memorialization, her unsettling and magnificent sculptures, reminiscent of death-masks or mummified remains, are made with paper, wax, ink, beads, antique materials, and often real human hair and teeth.

Three of her masks are currently available in the Morbid Anatomy shop, The Witch of the Mountain, and collaborative gift sets Half of Heaven and The Silence, which include a hand-written card by Angelini and a photo print by the incredible Mothmeister.

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A Paean to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

{But you mustn’t look away from the horror it does offer,
because you cannot overcome suffering if you refuse to look at it.}

I’ve long hesitated to write anything about Hellblade because I love it dearly. We superstitiously seek to avoid tarnishing the things we cherish with words unworthy of them. However, I may as well try to articulate a little bit what makes this such a special game for me. I shall not attempt to evaluate it from the viewpoint of gameplay or mechanics, nor did I go into the experience wishing to be entertained by something not created lightly. I simply observe it as a work of art, in terms of aesthetic, emotional, and narrative efficacy.

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The Human Mystery: Art by Miles Johnston

The romantic, extremely detailed, luminous drawings of Miles Johnston remind me of classic Surrealism combined with a delicately beautiful modern aesthetic. Dealing with themes of doubling, recurrence, division, and distortion, the wavering, haunting, gentle gorgeousness of these graphite and paper works depicts inner states of being: crisis, sublimeness, desolation. What I particularly love about his drawings is the tenderness of the light, which is so palpable, yet so dreamy. Johnston manifests a wistful and almost idyllic feeling towards the subjects as in their melancholy radiance they undergo surreal transformations and expressions of interiority. The lyricism and tremendous realism of Johnston’s art resonate deeply with the viewer, invoking nostalgia as well as strangeness.

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Masks and Phantasms by Damselfrau

Damselfrau’s enchanting masks, bizarre, gorgeous, totemic, resplendent and larger than life, are reminiscent of some imagined and heretofore-unknown folk culture. These portraits of a fantastical people are often featured with an arrangement of flowers, which also lend their explosive vividness to the ultra-saturated and violently jubilant palette. Damselfrau says, “I have used fine lace, carried by the nineteenth-century Norwegian author Camilla Collett, hair from two-hundred-year-old Japanese geisha hair pieces, as well as everyday stuff, found in the street….I am led by the phantasms appearing in the process of the making and the materials themselves.” I am quite a monochromatic creature personally, so I appreciate the incredible vibrancy and wild color of Damselfrau’s outré creations.

Artist Magnhild Kennedy interprets the moniker Damselfrau (frau referring to married women and “damsel” being an unmarried young lady) as “married to oneself.”

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