There’s no such thing as bad art

First the bad news: I’ve had to put the second half of the short story, ‘What Syd Barrett would have done’, on hold for the present. Don’t worry – good things come to them who wait. It will appear before Christmas.

Now the good news: The reason I’ve not been expending energy in the short story direction is that I’ve been working on the final chapters of my novel, ‘The Psychonaut.’ It’s quite a gripping experience and, just as they have throughout the story, the characters are almost writing the ending themselves. I’m writing thousands of words a day rather than the usual hundreds. So, I hope you’ll forgive me for not meeting Syd Barret’s deadline.

For this week’s post, I wanted to share some incomparable horror artwork I’ve recently discovered. A friend of mine once told me there’s no such thing as bad art – only stuff you like and stuff you don’t. Well let’s see if any of this collection dunks your biscuit.

First off, is the Swiss-Swedish artist, Hans Arnold. He first came to my attention through the album artwork of ‘Storm Corrosion’, a partnership between Steve Wilson (of Porcupine Tree fame) and Mikael Åkerfeldt, frontman for the prog metal group, Opeth.

Storm corrosion

The album is a masterpiece and not what you would expect given both musician’s respective backgrounds. Very dark and atmospheric.  don’t know for sure if Arnold painted the picture as a commission, but it suits the mood of the album, which features lengthy epics such as ‘Drag Ropes’ and ‘Hag.’ You can still get the album here if you’d like to check it out (make sure you listen to it during daylight hours!) – There’s an excellent animated video of ‘Drag Ropeshere too.

Arnoldclaw

 

Unfortunately, our Hans passed beyond the veil in 2010 but he left behind a great body of work to admire and inspire.

You can dip into more of his art at my Pinterest board here:

Hans Arnold

 

 

The next master of the dark art is Arnaud de Vallois. He has come to my attention because one of his paintings is the cover art of TE. Grau’s collection of stories, ‘The nameless dark.’

Dark(Yet another zarjaz author to check out btw.)

When I look at his pictures there’s almost two elements to them. Firstly, there’s the focal point – in this case (left), a slumped, naked torso, the head of which wears a smile; yet the eyes, either removed or non-existent leave you in no doubt that this apparition is either suffering a great deal – or about to inflict it.

Then there’s what just lies out of sight. There’s a suggestion of horns on its head – or is that just hair? The legs are absent. Hidden in shadow or immaterial? And what of the wisp-like mirror image on the left? Is the thing literally leaning against a mirror, or has it emerged from it? Questions and more questions. Here’s another couple of images to help you get the measure of this man:

PoeValloismonster

You can view more of of Vallois work on his site at: http://arnaudv.blogspot.co.uk or on my Pinterest board

Beksinski2

Now, I’ve saved the best until last. I only came upon this man’s work in the last couple of days via Pinterest. His name is (or was – more about that later) Zdzislaw Beksinski, a Polish artist. He has quite a remarkable story. His wife died young due to illness and his son committed suicide. Beksinski himself was found stabbed to death in his apartment. Their were 17 separate wounds n his body. No wonder people called his family cursed. He named every one of his works ‘no title’ and apparently hated all of them!

His paintings take your imagination to the extreme, then wrench it, screaming, beyond those limits by several light years.

Beksinskihorse

They’re eerily familiar, like something I’ve seen in a nightmare but tried to drown sometime in the past. Now their bloated corpses are floating to the top of the swamp again to haunt me day and night.

Beksinski4

 

More disturbing work can be seen at:

Pinterest – Beksinski

 

 

 

 

 Hustle in your hedgerow

That’s just about all for this week. Just the usual exhortation to leave a comment at the bottom of this piece and tell me what you thought. If you haven’t checked out my twitface links yet, then it’d be great if you gave me a follow or a like. I usually post some trivia once a day just to darken the mood or lighten it as appropriate. You’ll find the links in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page. Do recommend my blog to anyone you consider to be a horror or dark fantasy afficionado – my offer of a free novel and story from last week still applies.

Until next time,

Excelsior.

Tom

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