The first movie series that spoke to me as a young human were the Star Wars trilogy. So when I saw this visual mashup from Jeff Bennett, where he took the famous paintings of the late Thomas “Painter of Light” Kinkade and added in Star War themes, I got mad hyped. So stop what you are doing and step into the new universe called War On Kinkade…May the force be with you!
Los Angeles has been many different things to me and I have always known that it’s not what you see on TV. In the 80′s, I saw this city through the lens of a young outsider, and at night I roamed the streets of Hollywood. Another thing happened to me around this time – I really fell in love with graffiti, and believe it or not, Los Angeles has some insane street artists! The other day, CVLT Nation photographer Matthew Grant Anson turned me on to the most on point street photographer I have ever seen – I don’t know his or her name, but the site is packed with insane photos of street art. What I saw was L.A. through the lens of real underground art. Enough of me talking, check out this mammoth gallery of L.A. street art!…
A relic hunter dubbed ‘Indiana Bones’ has lifted the lid on a macabre collection of 400-year-old jewel-encrusted skeletons unearthed in churches across Europe. Art historian Paul Koudounaris hunted down and photographed dozens of gruesome skeletons in some of the world’s most secretive religious establishments. Incredibly, some of the skeletons, said to be the remains of early Christian martyrs, were even found hidden away in lock-ups and containers.
Russia has gotten a lot of bad press lately – very understandably – but I don’t want to forget that in this massive country, there are millions of people who are creative and doing positive things for their community. One such person is street artist Nikitia Nomerz, who takes abandoned or dilapidated buildings around Russia and gives them character by turning them into faces. Sometimes eyes look out from a dark doorway, or hands reach out at passersby, and others are smiling faces looking out at an often bleak landscape. Nomerz is among the world’s most visible street artists, and his work has gained him notoriety both in Russia and around the world. Street art like Nomerz’ is so far from vandalism that it is laughable to think that it can still be punished by law. By contrast, his work offers a bright spot on the landscape, something to bring a bit of light into people’s lives as they pass by an otherwise ugly building or decaying structure. Check out some of his work below and a video of one of his projects, “Mr Barrel.”
Having lived in Texas as a youngster, I can honestly say that it’s a strange place, both good & bad! This state is known for producing individuals that dance to their own beat. In the 80′s, some of the most weird and original bands to come out of the hardcore scene came from the Lone Star State. Right now, the land of the longhorn has some of the most interesting street artists influencing the world with their creativity. The three artists I’m speaking of today have deep roots in the punk and metal community – GIVE UP, Jason Barnett aka Cursed Death and Eye sore all have different styles, but they all share the thirst for creativity and see their urban environment as a living gallery. All three of these artists should be saluted for having the courage to step outside of the law and share their works with the world.
Today is one of those days where I want to stare at spectacular images that make my jaws drop. So this is why I headed over to Monster Brains – to me it’s the greatest ghoulish resource online! I can’t put my finger on it but I’m never bored when I’m trolling this site…So now check out some of the creatures that are getting me hyped. Peep this huge gallery of mind melting imagery – I hope you aren’t afraid of the dark!
Robert Cook creates haunting illustrations inspired by his concept of Norot, or the artistic expression of mythical, esoteric and occult elements through different media, aural and visual. Entering his illustrated world, I feel overwhelmed by the powerful figures that I confront there. I am but an observer, but they speak to me in ancient tongues and radiate a pantheistical energy and power. Cook is an expat American living in Ireland, and you can certainly see the Celtic influence on his artwork, where many lines intersect and cross each other to create interwoven and seemingly infinite patterns. His inspiration is clearly deep-seated and intellectual, based in profound contemplation of humanity and our subconscious relationship with our world. There is a lot of emotion and intuition in Cook’s work, and it draws the viewer into its universe easily, asking us to contemplate what lies beyond our rational mind. Check out more of Robert Cook’s illustrations below…
Although the Internet can be a black hole of perversion and idiocy, it can also be a place of fascinating beauty and hidden information. For example, how else would I be able to look at anatomical texts from all over the world, conceived and illustrated in the 14th to 19th centuries? The US National Library of Medicine has a digital exhibition of said texts on their website entitled Historical Anatomies, allowing us to see how the human body has been portrayed in medical terms over the past seven centuries. It’s amazing to see the difference between a text written in 1390 and one in 1790 – from a more rudimentary, yet accurate, portrayal of our nervous and skeletal systems to a skeleton gracefully posing in front of a rhinoceros (?), or against a backdrop of marble and lush garden. These images would have once been restricted to a select group of scholars, and now are available to the entire world. Check out some of my favorites below the full texts here.
A couple days ago, Sean and I were walking through a stunning BC rainforest reflecting on the connection many metalheads feel to nature. As we looked around at the cycle of growth and decay that flourished around us, we talked about how a disdain or even hate for status quo human society goes hand in hand with a love for the natural world, because one exists at the expense of another. Nature also embraces death and decay because it is at the foundation of life itself, when many human belief systems and societies fear and hide from death and death imagery, all the while obsessing over it. That’s why I am so fascinated with artists who explore human decay, and create images that celebrate its beauty, even when it is instinctively ugly. Hermann Försterling is a painter and photographer whose images remind me of our inevitable demise, twisting our faces into masks of pain and covering our bodies in earth. His work is ugly in its corpselike celebration of the human body, but at the same time it is joyful, celebrating our place in nature and its cycle of life and death. He uses copper plate etching to create haunting imagery that is bathed in the greys and blacks of decomposition. Take a peek at one of his photographic collections below and make sure to explore his site for more.
Lango Oliveira works out of Skull & Sword Tattoo in San Francisco, CA, and while he is a very talented tattooist, the work that really blows me away are his murals. The streets of San Francisco are blessed with his vibrant artwork, adorning brick walls, trucks and doorways with bright splashes of gore and mutant blood. Looking at one of his murals, it’s almost as if the wall itself is moving, being whipped by supernatural winds or attacked by demonic forces. His murals are gateways into another universe, places of immense darkness that scream with color. The fact that you can walk around San Francisco and just happen upon one of these masterpieces is amazing! Check out a gallery of his work below, and also be sure to check out his tattoos as well!