Welcome everyone to the 2017 DARK ARTS Themed Gallery. We have quite the lineup of talent for this show and I am so proud to be hosting it. We called on artist from all mediums to create emotional and enticing pieces that embrace the darker elements of self-expression and the emotional aspects of the human experience. I do believe we have fulfilled our mission! Please take a look around and enjoy! We will be announcing the winners for the awards October 31st.
Hello Everyone! We are tallying the votes and waiting on the final word from our judges to determine the winners, we will send out an email to all of our participants as soon as we get the final decisions so keep an eye out! thanks again for all of our artists and our voters, we are so happy to be putting on this event! (Oct 30)
The Votes are in! here are our winners, Thank you everyone for your wonderful work and participation, we hope to see more from all of you in our future shows. please feel free to contact us for information regarding artist spotlights and solo exhibits. (Nov 1)
Grand Prize $75 Rene Martinez (The Bath)
Honorable Mention $50 Ana Penic (I Decide Your Fate)
Double Take $25 Olivia Beattie (From December I Wasn't Real)
Popular Vote TBD Nicole Wilson (Cinching)
Gwendolyn (Quinn) Hsu
Jilly Huynh (SXP)
Julia Kobus Arbigaus
Amber von Nagel
Nilangana (Olive) Banerjee
CAST YOUR VOTE FOR
FACES OF THE WORLD
This photography is part of a series done with the model Keth Gertler, which translates her emotional state into images. This particular photo shows a moment of agony and confusion. In our lives, we manage with ups and downs, and art comes in the moment where we are in the darkest of places. The movement of the hair and fabric combined with the body’s posture makes this image dramatic, as well as the contrast of light and shadow. Keth writes a passage, “...and in this it doesn’t matter, little by little I was being emptied, until I was a lose chapter in the past…” (In the original português, “...e nesse tanto faz, fui esvaziando pouco a pouco, até virar um capítulo solto no passado...”).
You Think You Know Me, But Do You Know All Of Me?
Digital Photography 10x3.5
I created this piece in an attempt to showcase the various emotions and personas we take on as human beings. My main goal was to show how temporary emotions are by using shattered glass as a symbol of the manifesting and departing. On social media, it is rare that we see the darker emotions because everyone wants to be seen as always happy. This sort of filtering can be damaging to some who are easily influenced into believing they too should be happy all of the time. I made the most emotionally distressed identity the main focus for this reason. I dyed my hair multiple colors so that I had the option of styling it to give a more dramatic representation of multiple personas. I really tried to deliver each emotion in the best way that I could and I hope others can relate to my work.
Amber von Nagel
Acrylic on cradled wood panel
After having a beautiful, close encounter with a raven over a year ago, corvids have become a common theme in my art. Ravens especially have meant a lot of things to people all over the world, and my art explores what animals and nature mean to us. I often use gold paint as backgrounds of many of my works with a similar intention to artists like Giotto and other medieval painters, but in this piece, I left the wood panel as a bare matte black and made the raven’s form out of gold. I use gold to venerate animals and portray them as having great power (or as being powerful spirits). Practitioners of witchcraft and folk magic acknowledge the significance and power of corvids, and this painting seeks to reflect that power
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
acrylic and chalk 27.5x39.4
In a society run by materialistic aspirations and values emotions are left behind, and increased deprivation of emotional life is compensated with physical and materialistic pleasures. By this moment that kind of lifestyle became so normal and socially accepted that any desire for deeper emotional action is considered a handicap. Instead of serving as a driving force of life, emotions have negative connotations. They are considered weakness and disadvantage for success. Exchanging emotional for physical pleasure that allows uninterrupted progress reached the level where people are becoming less and less aware of it. Terms of love and emotions are now adjusted to new values, and subordinate to the needs of contemporary society. Drawing connection with quote from the Bible that represents old values people feared and respected, distorted and adjusted to contemporary world where everything is subordinate to success. Emotional connection, that is not just neglected, but also unwanted, is replaced with cold satisfaction of needs.
“I decide your fate”
Plaster, iron, wire, canvas 31.5x17.7x37.4, 39.4x19.7x19.7
“A person's most advantageous advantage is freedom to exercise his or her will, to go contrary to what others expect and what reason dictates. In the extreme, a person who feels completely determined, would go insane on purpose, just to be immune from reason“
F. M. Dostoevsky
During different periods and societies, regardless of current power and government structures and political ideology that was shaping conditions and quality of life, throughout history there was always aspiration for certain level of romantic idealism. However hard reality got, people had a hope for a better life in the future for themselves and their children, and that hope gave them the will and strength to carry on. Average educated resident of developed country in contemporary world is concentrated on materialistic values. People are preoccupied with work and collecting goods without higher purpose. Emotions and relations between people are pushed aside and as soon as they become setback for „success“, removed. As such they are found very low on the scale of ideals and values. Moving towards turning people into machines is not anymore imposed by society, but internalized as a characteristic of contemporary man, and our choice. Love, togetherness, happiness, peace, became utopian nonsenses still found only in fairy tales, that don't interest an average person focused on forming a successful life. With those connotations, respected and admired ideals from the past are losing their value and credibility, and becoming part of naive fantasy that doesn't belong in the real world. Trapped inside ourselves in the world that has taken our potential to fight, because we have invited it to be a part of us by accepting its ideals. And finally, we're losing awareness of values and becoming one with the system.
Death of utopia (Self portrait of unconsciousness)
Plaster, iron, wire, canvas 37.4x 15.7x31.5
Trapped in unemotional world, we're trying to get out, but the thing trapping us is not outside anymore. Our ideals and obsessions are leaving us without possibility of happiness, because that term is now cut out from reality. Aspiration of a person to be happy has the same weight as a child's wish to be a superhero. It's not the matter of external circumstances that don't allow emotional action anymore, it's about people willingly rejecting it in favor of materialistic values. Motif of physical decomposition represents separation of identity. With becoming our own enemies we found ourselves in a situation with no other way out. In a hopeless fight against oppression of our own mind, how can we win without losing ourselves? In a state of constant psychological battle, we are suppressing feelings and personality to preserve ourselves in unemotional world. Pain that arises from not expressing emotions in the world that doesn't accept them personifies as physical decomposition that comes to its final stage with fading of a human being. Construction (skeleton) made from wires and old metal parts covered in rust is hidden with canvas from the world. As a contrast to cold corroding metal, outside is made of warm material we use to cover ourselves, protect us from the cold, and hide us from unfavorable outside circumstances. Canvas is carefully covering a few pieces of humanity left, at the same time protecting it and hiding it from the world.
In Waiting Charcoal on Paper 8x10
My art is based on the exploration of nature: its sinuous shapes and interior forms. Growing up in rural Russia and then upstate New York, I was frequently rescuing creatures; birds with broken wings, squirrels that needed weaning, and bugs of every shape and size. Summers were punctuated with time outside, collecting plants and seed pods. These organic shapes instill nostalgia like old photographs do for others. I am always collecting on my walks and travels and filling my studio like a wunderkammer, taking out objects of inspiration to draw from. Dark Art to me is an evocative, emotional language that communicates by instilling visceral responses. There are few more emotive scenes that I can conjure than organic forms in a state of decay. By capturing and transforming them through drawing or painting, they are given an opportunity to live on in a different form.
Oil Paint and Pencil on Paper 10x8
Unraveled Pencil on Paper 8x10
Mixed Media 9x12
This piece fits the theme well in my opinion, because of the feeling I get everytime I look at it, the feeling of the unknown. Two aliens on either side beckon the viewer to come inside of the drawing, to another dimension, and behold the detailed temple. What lies inside are the secrets to everything, all unknown to be answered, but only after the walk over the bridge and up the steps to the inside. This dim tension in which the aliens call us to is the dimension of the abstract, a dimension in which art prevails, but only the art of the unknown.
Mixed Media 8x12
This piece goes along with the theme because of well-intentioned color choices and subject. Red eyes signify sleeplessness, the worms in the face signify death, and the head on a chain represents being trapped, so foreseen that it can be worn as a necklace. The moon is out and shining on a glorious piece of art on a pedestal. The piece of art on the pedestal is a small sculpture that represents the abstract side of art, one which I enjoy when it is done right. All of these elements combined show that my upcoming death makes me sleep less. I am trapped in this life and death situation, so I create.
Ink on Watercolor Paper 8x12
I chose this piece because it was one of my most suitable creations for the “dark arts” theme. This fits the theme because it is black and white, no color to reduce insecurity. The subject is something unusual, something that people don’t see in their everyday lives, a lump of hatred. This is the actual physical embodiment of negative emotions, what they would look like if they had physical form. I was inspired to create the image with no background purposefully. So the viewer can focus on the detail and the idea of the subject with no distraction. The image took several days to create. I drew for an hour or so a day and came back to the image when I had time.
Alcohol Ink and Metallic Pearl Ex Pigment on Yupo Paper 11 x 14 (16 x 20) Framed
My work is inspired by color and movement – both free flowing and unpredictable. When I’m painting and creating, I’m often driven to juxtapose strength with vulnerability and exploring the beauty in darkness pushes that juxtaposition.
I’m always challenging myself to push beyond just “pretty paintings” and explore creating images that make me uncomfortable and I don’t necessarily stick to a plan or formula. I create art to step outside of myself and connect with others in a way that is personal for them. My art is not about me – it’s about implanting a warm feeling that may be one of happiness/sadness, a flashback of an old love or the memory of a passed on relative. I tell the story as I feel it and allow the viewer to create their own ending. All of those endings aren’t happy…some are Sad and Dark.
Alcohol Ink on Yupo Paper 11 x 14 (16 x 20) Framed
Alcohol Ink on Yupo Paper 23 x 35 (24 x 36) Framed
Stone, seashell, skeleton figure 5x3x4
Skeletons juxtaposed into any random scenery are innately creepy, no less so when only 3” tall. ‘Neptune’s Minion’ is my take on hermit crabs: a fierce, though diminutive, skeletal creature inhabits a vacated sea shell, brandishing a tiny weapon. Beware - ‘dark arts’ come in small spooky packages. This piece is my homage to 1960s-era animation genius Ray Harryhausen.
Repurposed book, bird carcass 11” x 8” x 3”
Death fascinates me - specifically the decomposition process [somewhat dark in its own right] which eventually breaks down once-living things to combine with the earth. The bird carcass enshrined in ‘Overdue’ was found while it still retained its avian shape. Arcane, exotic definitions and images from witchcraft reference books are found inside the cover. Titles such as “Avia Mortis” were briefly considered for this piece, but the humor factor won out. “What do you call a book with a dead bird in it?” “Overdue.”
Repurposed book, dragon figurine 13x10x6
Disclaimer and reassuring statement: No real bible was harmed in creating the art seen here. A repurposed book and a Xerox copy from the Book of Revelations were deftly combined with a dragon figurine, to produce a visual concept of Dark Art. I have collected dragon figures for decades. Not having been raised in the Christian faith, I was amazed and excited to discover that they are in the Bible. Here’s one now!
Daniel Alegria (The Third)
NO MORE TEARS
Digital Collage 16x16
The following image was inspired by the artist ‘Memoryloss5602307’ and the music genre ‘witch house’. Both sources of inspiration deliberately capture and invoke emotion on an extremely primal and violent level so I felt inclined to stay true to that aesthetic of darkness. I wanted to create something that would express a particular statement while also allowing the viewer to interpret and create their own sense of feeling.
at whiskers, dried flowers, pocket watch, crystal; dead bird; frame
12” x 14” x 2”
“Heritage” is part of a series I am creating entitled ‘Animal ~ Vegetable ~ Mineral’ focusing on art composed of materials from the natural world. This piece includes dried rosebuds, a quartz crystal... and the ‘dark’ portion ~ a mummified bird carcass resting on an old silver tray. The genteel frame and background also showcase a worn pocket watch and a vintage wood spool holding cat whiskers [shed by the same cat that provided the bird...]. Antiques can appear so boring at first glance. My advice: look more closely.
Daniel Alegria (The Third)
Digital Collage 16x12
This collage piece is extremely personal to me as it expresses my struggle with chronic illness. To be specific chronic Lyme Disease. There is nothing darker than losing yourself slowly and painfully to a debilitating illness and I have always wanted to capture that feeling somehow. Visually this image was inspired by an internet art genre called cyber goth started by the artist ‘Memoryloss5602307’. They have taken the typical collage format and attempted to make it relevant and fresh for this current generation.
Daniel Alegria (The Third)
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Digital Glitch Art 16x12
The following piece was inspired by my love for classical gothic art. There are numerous classic paintings featuring skulls that have always been some of my favorite images. I wanted to capture that same sense of morbidity while also creating something new and modern. I basically took my love for gothic still life and combined it with the computer love of pixel art. This particular image was made using a computer coding software called Processing and the image editor Pixelmator
Ink and Acrylic on Paper 10x11
As a child, I was frightened of many things. In particular, snakes and death was something that didn’t sit well in my gut. To me, the only way to diminish this fear was to create a painting that will help heal this emotion and thought. I decide to paint an illustrative self-portrait in an eerie yet playful way. I placed a colorful snake in the painting as a symbol of life, change, and longevity. Also, Instead of viewing the snake as a negative thing, placing it on the arm symbolizes closeness, friendship, and overcoming fear. This piece is detail with a crescent moon, mountain, flowers, and other positive and negative decorative marking. The medium used in this piece was primary black and gray wash ink with hints of color acrylic on the snake. I believe that this piece fits with the theme because of its eerie, dark aesthetics and how it envoys ones aspect of emotion.
Gwendolyn (Quinn) Hsu
Oil Painting on Canvas 30x40
I have never had the best impulse control. Sometimes it feels like my impulses take control of me, change me, become who I am. What scares me is I like the loss of control. I like what I’m becoming. I like the feeling of power. In this self-portrait, I combine the human form with the mantis, a powerful insect I have significant respect for. The mantis is often feared, but I find them deadly in a beautiful way: they court their mates, copulate, and then the female often devours the male. As the mantis consumes her mate, I fear my impulses consume me from the inside out, until only my impulses peer out from behind my eyes.
Stone Lithography 13x20
From the series entitled “Espelho Litográfico” (Translation “Lithographic Mirror”), feature prints of fragmented representations of my most intimate being. Through the long and meticulous process of lithography I found a way of interiorization, and after almost two years of studying technique and my own poetic, the series is complete. Although most of the works in the series fit well with the Dark Arts theme, “Gut” is the one that speaks most to my dark side. The work was done in two lithographic stones, one for each color. The figure was drawn with quill and ink directly on the stone and the background was done with gouache and water. It represents physical pain and the impact that has on our emotional side and our essence as a human being. The intestines are showing because of my health condition called Crohn’s disease. The body is disfigured and the face is not defined, something I feel when I am ill and in great pain. Although the figure is grotesque and off-putting, the detailed fabric around the figure’s waist reminds the viewer of a Classic representation of beauty, kind of like Venus of Milo. This piece reminds me that my pain is the reason I make art and art is how I get past it.
Three Dimensional Collage/assemblage in a handmade pine box and repurposed gilded gold frame
Dedicated to Mark Pendleton, Karl Barber, Marley Heim, and Lauren Smith who have all perished on or near a one mile stretch of rural road in Contra Costa County over the last several years. Mark was bicycling and was struck by a hit and run driver. Karl (age 20) lost control of his motorcycle and hit a stone retaining wall. Marley and Lauren were teenage passengers in a car that lost control and crashed. I frequently ride my bicycle on this road and was paying my respects. While looking at the memorial and messages by friends on the retaining wall that Karl hit, I imagined seeing a door in the pattern of cracks and voids. This created the inspiration for this piece. Although the pine box is 5 inches deep, the door entrance is approximately 3 inches from front which provides an unseen space. Most of these photos are from the memorials along with leaves, asphalt and debris found nearby.
15.5"x12"x3" Light box/assemblage.
I was working on this box when I learned that a friend had passed due to cancer. This project then took a religious tone as I imagined him passing through to the other side. On the side of the box is a port that allows the viewer to see a hazy slide image of a family sitting at a table waiting for their guest. The front of the box is X-Ray film and the cross-like welcoming figure standing in the passage has a mirrored face to provide the viewer with the slightest reflection of themselves.
I Feel Blue
9.5"x9.5"x6" Mirrored box.
This perfectly square and physically deep piece with concentric circular cut-outs and mirror creates a pale blue reflection of the viewer and surroundings as if they were looking into a deep reflecting pool. This captures those “Blue” days.
Ink on Wood 9x4
This piece came to me almost out of nowhere—I had been thinking about what it means to identify as female and the power inherent in the feminine, and suddenly had the urge to make this. It plays with the theme a bit by asking us to consider what ‘darkness’ means, which to me implies a social outsider status, particularly by something that is meant to be feared or suppressed. Pagan beliefs of all stripes, including European witchcraft, have been painted as dark, demonic, and as a counter to dominant theological narratives, even when the imagery or beliefs being expressed are not (as is the case in this work). Similarly, female practitioners of pagan systems have been pushed to the outside of narratives, particularly when proudly expressing their female identity.
Paper, gouache, acrylic, ink and pencil on canvas 16x20
This piece is one of several I have been using to think about different ways of accumulating and expressing knowledge about the world. Many modern knowledge systems value reason over feeling, and product over process. However, as someone who practices healing magic, I understand that there are different modes of understanding that are heart-driven, intuitive, and cannot always be expressed in words. I see both these ways of knowing as two sides of the same coin: one encouraging us to be articulate and scientific in order to understand and build upon each other’s work, and the other encouraging connection, care, and community that otherwise can get lost in the march of scientific progress.
I see the connection between head and heart in old herbals and receipt books—where newly emerging scientific methods are grappled with, and combined with age-old knowledge of how to prepare a remedy that (until then) may not have been written down. I used Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, along with traditions of handwritten family recipe books, as the inspiration for this work. Using Culpeper’s entry on Moonwort, I created a layered piece that has elements of a manuscript book (ruling, illustrated capital letter, calligraphy) along with imagery of a stark mountain range lit by moonlight, which his description evoked for me. I chose moonwort because it is a plant that is meant to help the practitioner invoke the power of the moon, and Culpeper’s description is an attempt to describe this traditional practice within the bounds of scientific understanding.
modeling paste, paper, acrylic, and gouache on canvas 48x36
In 2013, I lost three grandparents as well as a handful of friends. This piece is one of the ones I made as a part of my coming to understand what was happening and, like untitled, was a piece that I had no framework for when I started. The piece began with a transcript of one of my grandfather’s letters: We used to write letters to each other on our typewriters, and it was (and is) a daily reminder of his absence to check the mail and not find a letter from him. I used a letter where he talked about my grandmother, who died about six months before him, and typed out a copy on my typewriter. I added this, along with shreds of newspaper, a calligraphy version of the letter, a tree, and a series of circles made using the compass set of my other grandpa, who was the third family member to die that year.
Found Objects, Modeling Paste, Ink and Acrylic on Canvas 16x20
This piece was the culmination of about a month of serious self-doubt. I felt unmoored and isolated, and this piece was how I worked through that by putting down layers upon layers reaffirming the value of the work I do and the feelings I have for it. The beginning layers were modeling paste carved into with poetry in Akim cursive and impressed with objects from my grandfather’s toolbox. He was an avid inventor and insatiably curious, and his constant curiosity is a trait I inherited and try to cultivate. As layers and layers were added, I ran the gamut of emotions in doubting my work, convincing myself that it (and I) am worthwhile, and finally asserting my love for myself and my art. This piece was entirely process-oriented for me: I had no idea what it would look like when I started, and was curious what the finished product would have to say. In the end, I had an artwork that is overwhelmingly positive, but with layers that acknowledge the blood and tears (literal and figurative) that go into creating and nurturing what you love.
Oil on Canvas 22x34
This piece depicts some of the darker aspects of Greek mythology. This painting is specifically showing the punishing relationships between the Greek gods and titans. The face is an abstracted portrait of the Titan Kronos. Kronos is wearing a mask with the figure of a scythe, which was his iconic weapon. Another scene in the painting shows the character Prometheus being forced to helplessly endure an eagle eating his liver. The other notable scene is the Titan Atlas who is forced to bear the weight of the sky. In both of these cases, the Greek god Zeus was the one who delivered these punishments. The development of this piece started off with the idea that there was going to be a face intended to evoke feelings of mystery. As the process continued, I decided to add more of a story to the painting. By incorporating Greek mythology, I was able to tie in a subject that I was fond of for much of my childhood. Altogether, masking the face and adding the scenes of punishment give the painting a dark atmosphere.
El Chupacabras Ataca
Ink and Watercolor 6x8
This piece deals with el chupacabras which literally translates to the goat sucker. This monster became famous during the nineties after a number of sittings throughout the Americas and later around the world. Unless you believe in monsters the story of el chupacabras is much like the stories of aliens and Bigfoot.
MLJ Illustration / Jacobo Monico
The subject of my work usually revolves around Mexican culture and aspects of living within the Mexican community. For my Dark Arts submissions I chose to make three pieces dealing with the scary stories and monsters that you learn about as a young Mexican child. What I wish my piece does is spark the memories of those who remember these stories growing up and that it can become a fun point of conversation trying to remember what version of these stories you heard, who told you, or where you were when you first heard these scary stories. My process usually begins with a bit of research of the story and picture references to better understand what I want to portray. After a few pencil roughs the preferred image is selected and transferred to watercolor paper for the inking. Shadows and a first color base is painted over the image and then repeated until colors are built up I can finally let myself call it done!
La Llorona En El Rio
Ink and Watercolor 6x8
This piece deals with the story of La Llorona who drowned her children in a rage, and to this day wanders the night crying out for them consumed by the shame and regret for what she had done.
El Cucuy In My Closet
Ink and Watercolor 6x8
This piece deals with el Cucuy. In simple terms el Cucuy is like the Mexican boogey man to some, but can be something much more sinister than that. When I was growing up el Cucuy was parallel to the devil himself and somebody you definitely did not want coming for you. So growing up you had to be a good kid or you would hear the ominous threat from your parents that if you were not being good el Cucuy would come and drag you away by the feet!
Acrylic on Canvas 12x12
Capturing Love at its darkest, was something I wanted to capture. Even after Death, love can be as strong as ever. This piece was inspired by romantic novels and movies, such as Dracula. The Skull can be seen with vampire style teeth and I wanted to incorporate a mystery among the two subjects. You can’t decide what exactly is going on, and that’s the whole point, you don't know if this was a lover that died, or a friend or even just admiring the skull. It makes you wonder about the entire painting.
Acrylic on Canvas 5x7
This piece was inspired by the movie “Beetlejuice”, Lydia Deetz character mixed with a Tim Burton Style. I wanted to paint the eyes sunken into the character. I wanted the viewer to dig deeper into the soul of the person. Even if you couldn't tell where this character originated from, you can find a way to connect with her emotions.
Viva La Vida
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas 8x10
This piece was inspired by Frida Kahlo, I wanted to create life after death. Her life and the powerful art she left behind, is still existing, even after her death. When people pass, we celebrate their lives as though, they are still with us, and be inspired from that, I wanted to create a skull with life with it. Having the dark elements into the work, the flowers represent life and growth, as time passes, changes occur. Death can be beautiful…
Watercolor and Ink 12x24
This piece was inspired by one of the deadly sins. Wrath, full of dark anger and hate for anything cute, beautiful, pretty, or meaningful. The background also explaining the poison that takes over the mind while wrath becomes a part of you as you lose sight of what’s in front of you.
Build and Destroy
This sketch I did is to show a darkness trait in humanity itself. How corrupt we become, how we build things beautiful blocking beauty in and of itself. Being so involved in the city life, wanting to escape, and having life in the back of your mind while destroying yourself trying to search for it. Somehow always out of reach.
Watercolor and Ink 18x24
Trap is a very feared and dark heavy word. Darkness ensues the piece with never ending traps that can leave you feeling vulnerable and powerless. Let alone the seduction you push out into the world that is ready to snare you, especially if you make yourself more noticeable to your own susceptibility.
The following pieces Hestia, Glare, and L’ Amour illustrate my expression of the relationship between the artist and model. This relationship is at times obvious, subtle and sometimes dark. Each participant is contributing to the creation of the art. For my part, I have tried to capture what the model is feeling and interpret her body language into a form that is expressive and descriptive. In the Hestia, I have felt a sense of mysticism. To enhance this, I have referenced the underwater photography of Jose G. Camo, which enhanced the etherealness her expose form. Glare is the model calmly confronting her observer, while the harsh brush strokes and clawed hand are revealing her anger at objectification. My last submission is a L’Amour, a painting inspired by the work of William Mortensen. In which is there is a dark depiction of strange affection beauty and the beast.
Gouache, Graphite, Ink and Gesso 16x20
This piece explores that hidden reason why we work to change our appearance; something so deeply secret that a person is almost ashamed. They will quietly and relentlessly work at it to a destructive point. This is inspired by my own struggle growing up as a woman of color, striving to meet white beauty standards.
This work intends to subtly illustrate this dark ambition and begins with the internal chaos displayed in the background which is also slightly visible parts of the skin to show how her internal struggle is breaking through the surface. The copper skin tone indicates the figure is a person of color and provides sensual overtones. The ropes are a historical nod and symbolize the torture her body is put through to make it “better.” The red lining further indicates the pain. Finally, she reaches out but is trapped within the frame, unable to attain this desire.I created this piece layer by layer. First, I worked the graphite into the gesso with my fingers, then painted the gesso detail over that. The figure was drawn in and painted with a thick coat of gouache and finished by outlining the body and rope in red ink.
Series Digital Archives
The following series is based on one of the most common yet underestimated psychological conflict that is faced by people at large. It focuses on the complexities of the thought processes that the human mind undergoes, in the quest of deciding who “he” wants to be. It shows the dips and dilemmas of the self, in deciding the self, pinpointing towards the stereotypical realm of society bred thinking, anything ideal, is perfect or anything perfect is always ideal. This series tries to reflect upon the current state of the self, of the protagonist, which he is highly dissatisfied with. It encompasses the struggles faced by the protagonist in deciding what the ideal self would be, or should be. Followed by this, the series tries to highlight the desperation in the protagonist to reach the ideal self, which leads to a complete psychological breakdown that causes the protagonist to lose both, the current self and the ideal self. With an attempt to signify the importance of the need to strike a balance, this series is focusing primarily on the psychological craving of becoming a so-called ideal individual and the utter dissatisfaction with the existing self. It also focuses on the perilous side of the “perfect”, or the “potential one” and tries to run on the lines of the following quote,
“If you look for perfection, you will never be content.” – Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina).
These art pieces are digitally shot and done with the technique of multiple exposures. The idea was to keep the same model (the protagonist) going through different psychological stages (the personality conflict). _My inspiration for this project is the human psyche, which intrigues me to create conceptual psychological series by incorporation intense dark sides of the mind, and I think, it therefore fits the theme of the gallery show, The Dark Arts.
From December I Wasn’t Real
Acrylic on Canvas
“From December I Wasn’t Real” was created as a reflection of my own personal struggles with depersonalization disorder, which separates victims from the sensations of their own body, and creates massive anxiety. I suffered from a severe bout of DPD for six months in 2015, and as a result I was agoraphobic and housebound. This painting is meant to evoke that experience. The looming presence of the moon separated from the subject by barren branches and surrounded by darkness symbolizes the victim’s struggle to be reunited with the comfort of light and the familiar.
The moon is itself a brooding half-light, penetrating and evoking the dark side of our psyches. The tree represents not only the starkness of winter, but also the promise of recovery through new growth in the coming spring. It also resembles dendrites and neurological pathways that are dark and dormant. The unemotional and monochromatic presentation of the portraiture leaves a cadaverous impression--the deadened state of DPD. My hope in creating this dark, emotional landscape is to generate a sense of the resulting despair, but with the implicit possibility of recovery from a transient state.
This painting represents the darkness of the soul. It was created in times of turmoil, difficult decisions and questioning life’s purpose…only to realize that it’s during those times when we find the strength of our spirit, and the power to influence our surroundings…The making of this piece was a joyful thing: paper mache for the hair, crackle paste for the skin, eggshells and gold-leaf for the fire, then the vibrant colors to set the tone…
Acrylic Airbrush and Spray Paint on juiced wood, gold leaf & resin 40x40
Supreme Being is a painting of Zeus. In Greek and Roman mythology Zeus is the God of sky, lighting, thunder, law, order and justice. He is God of the Gods, known as the
Supreme Ruler. His brothers are Hades, God of the Underworld and Poseidon, God of the Sea. This piece fits the theme of The Dark Arts because he is Powerful, he holds the power to create natural disasters and furious Thunder, Lightning storms. There is a darkness that comes with any power, and this piece is my perception of his dark wrath. This piece started out with a nice piece of plywood cut to its size. First I put it through my "juicing" process which is highly dangerous and advised to do. Next I used spray paint and used recycled mail as a stencil to guide the paint. Intricate details were used with an airbrush. Gold Leaf was applied before the first coat of Resin. Sanding after each coat and airbrushing more in between to give it a layered effect.
God of Gods
Acrylic Spray Paint on juiced wood, liquid gold leaf & resin 24x48
God of Gods is a painting of Zeus. In Greek and Roman mythology Zeus is the God of sky, lighting, thunder, law, order and justice. He is God of the Gods. His brothers are Hades, God of the Underworld and Poseidon, God of the Sea. I believe this piece fits the theme of The Dark Arts because he is Powerful, he holds the power to create disasters and furious thunder and lightning storms. There is a darkness that comes with power, and this piece was inspired by my perception of him while overthrowing his own father to take the thrown and rule all the other gods. This piece started out with plywood cut to its size. First I put it through my "juicing" process which is highly dangerous and advised to do. Next I used spray paint and used recycled mail as a stencil to guide the paint. There is was NO airbrush used in this piece, just spray paint using cardboard as a stencil guiding the spray. Gold Leaf was applied after the paint, the last step prior to applying the Epoxy Resin.
Acrylic on Panel 10x12
This painting addresses the nature of sin. Being a part of our nature, yet constantly oppressed by social conventions, it results into an inner conflict. The depiction shows Eve, the original sinner, sacrificing herself through the process of cutting the iconic apple.
Oil on Canvas 18x24
A strange something that hides deep inside our head while also staring at us somewhere from the distance. It keeps staring, analyzing, controlling, judging, judging, and judging. Naked and scared we are under its gaze, yet there will be no shelter for no man can run away from his shadow.
Skin I Live In
Oil on Canvas 24x18
A symbolic self-portrait that addresses the conflict between the outer (public) and inner identities.
Cycles of Abuse
Many people live their everyday lives and become blind to issues that are hidden. Drugs and alcohol are a global problem that many do not come to understand. Many in which, lead to cycles that cannot get out. Drugs and alcohol are a deep abuse that humans do or have experienced. Growing up in a neighborhood where drugs and alcohol are normal, also became the normal to me. Viewing my parents abusing this painted cycle influenced my cycles as I grew older. I became abusive with drugs and alcohol to the point where it was a part of my everyday lifestyle and believed that I did not have a problem. Cycles of Abuse, is a way to emphasis on the abuse that falls into the shadows. When using a drug, or drinking alcohol, there is a moment where it is just you and that drug. This is shown by the negative space within the oil paintings. This series took research on the important abused drugs that affected my life. Creating a wide opened negative space, I could precisely focus on the objects within the 8”x8” canvas. Cycle of Abuse, are individual pieces of art but together it emphasis the human experiences of abuse.
I like paint in a slightly abstracted perspective. In creating this piece, I wanted to do individual pieces (Acrylic on 5”X7” Wood Board) of my four favorite Classic Monsters. I studied each monster from film and reference photos. I then abstracted and freehand drew out each image. Then I painted on the wood boards in grayscale to add to the 1930’s vibe. From there, I wanted to mount them on a creepy, crypt, crate like surface. I found wooden panels that I painted black to give it an eerie vibe. The individual wood boards (Monsters) are painted black on their edges. This makes the monsters pop and standout, reaching out to grab you the viewer.
Bump in the Night
Mixed Media 14x26
Till Death Do Us Part
Acrylic on Canvas Board 18x22
I like to paint subjects that capture people or subjects in the moment; in a slightly abstracted view, utilizing vibrant and free flowing coloration. I feel that an abstracted design quality, along with the use of arbitrary coloration can transform a piece into something that is both visually pleasing and intellectually interesting. I like to thin out my acrylic paint to lie extremely flat, giving the painting an almost digital quality. Under glass the painting really “pops” and adds to the unique quality of the art. With “Till Death Do Us Part,” I wanted to utilize blue hues and abstracted design to give a haunting quality and beauty to the scene. I visited many interesting cemeteries while in New Orleans a few years ago. I took numerous pictures that helped me design the background scene. For the lace on the bride’s veil, I utilized a technique I had learned in design class. This piece is one of my favorite works I have done for both the subject matter and the haunting beauty of the bride and setting.
Dogs of War
oil paint on shellacked newsprint 24 x 30
Man's best friend is a perspective and a privilege. In the aftermath of war, when we are reduced to burnt parts and our thoughts and desires matter no more, we are just meat. When nature and hunger guide animals, a dog that was once a loving companion becomes another living thing just trying to survive. Stripped of all culture and domestication, we are animals.
oil paint on shellacked newsprint 24 x 30
A father washing his child is a beautiful thing and a bond that cannot be compared to. But washing your child after she dies at the hands of others, is a different kind of connection. Humans have bathing rituals for both the dead and the living. I document the last bath a father gives his child before she is buried.
My work documents the darker side of human nature and the cold indifference of reality by showcasing taboo imagery and challenging subject matter that confronts the viewer visually and emotionally. From the colors to the subject matter, my choices are conscious in capturing what it is to be human and suffer; this is I believe is a perfect pairing to the show you want to exhibit
oil paint on shellacked newsprint 20 x 24
This piece documents the capacity of men to use others as an example to generate fear. From public executions to messages left by drug cartels, using human flesh as a warning sign has persisted in our cultures.