Halloween is nearly upon so we thought it was a great time to showcase a few of the spookier prints and more macabre editions we have here at artrepublic. Traditionally the festival of ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ revolved around the theme of using humour and ridicule to confront the power of death; a subject that continues to occur frequently in contemporary art.
Magnus Gjoen often explores the symbolism attached with the art of Vanitas in his elegant and meticulous constructed digital images. Vanitas art is an intriguing genre, which dates back to the Dutch Master painters of the 16th and 17th centuries. Object such as skulls, rotting fruit and melting candles are used to represent the fragility and brevity of life. In his work Magnus has often depicted the image of a skull constructed out a contrasting material such as Delft porcelain to challenge the viewer’s preconceived notions regarding the object.
Eelus is artist whose style is very appropriate for Halloween particularly due to the influence of horror and B-movie characters in his work. Eelus even had an exhibition last Halloween at our sister gallery ink_d which featured a set of 3D collages of some of the most well known faces of the Horror film genre. A ‘Werewolf’, ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’, ‘Count Dracula’ and ‘The Creature From The Black Lagoon’ were all transformed into layered, hand cut paper masterpieces. Eelus is a highly collectable artist with his prints ‘The Warmest Place to Hide’ and ‘Creature Comforts’ brilliantly characterizing the scary cult films in his imitable style.
Tom French creates dynamic monochrome paintings that seamlessly blend academic tradition with contemporary urban realism. His dramatic compositions of skulls in ‘Vanitas’ initially appear sinister but in actual fact are intended to encourage a sense of awareness and feeling mortality in the viewer. His paintings are often a kind of ghoulish optical illusion. At first you see one thing, then on closer inspection other faces and features emerge from the darkness creating their own narratives.