Happy Halloween! Stay safe and have fun. And remember: if you hurt a little kiddy, this guy will come after you . . .
Nocturnals.com (Official Site)
Trevor Brown. What can I say about him? Well, I’ll start with: he is pretty much the epitome of the nude/erotic child meets darkness/corruption trend in underground art. He also (I believe) coined the phrase ‘baby art’ or ‘baby doll art’, the modern day equivalent of the big-eyed waif trend of the 70s. In fact, his website is named after it. Brown’s stuff is by turns disturbing, amusing, erotic and colorful, but love it or hate it, it is always interesting. And, I must say, it is largely because of Brown that I began to get really interested in the contemporary love/hate relationship with the erotic child in art, because I think it underscores something incredibly important about the society and culture we live in and where it’s heading. But that’s a topic for another day.
Trevor Brown – Baby Art (Official Site)
From Rev. Benjamin M. Root IV on October 29, 2011
I own a pink terrycloth cover version of Little Miss Sticky Kiss, and a signed, black rubber cover version of Rubber Doll.
Though, really, it’s not my favorite little girl art. For me…bouguereau.
From pipstarr72 on October 29, 2011
Speaking of Bouguereau, I have some interesting Bouguereau-related stuff coming up next month.
And no, it’s not anything by Bouguereau . . . exactly. Ha ha, now I’ll get you to guessing . . .
From Ron on May 19, 2012
Brown also composed some Alice-based images. One I find compelling is Alice lifting a sweating Humpty-Dumpty off the ground.
From pipstarr72 on May 19, 2012
Yes, I know. I have what began as a monthly feature called Eye on Alice, where I feature Alice images by theme. In the future I will make some posts on the darker side of Alice, for which I’ve been saving the Trevor Brown Alice material.
Here is a sweetly morbid (yes, I said sweetly morbid) illustration by Anne-Julie Aubry:
The Art of Anne-Julie Aubry (Official Site)
If evil bunnies, zipper mouths and girls with tentacles are your thing then Kathie Olivas’s work is tailor-made for you.
I’ve featured some of his work before, in my post on the Tarot. His name is David Aronson and he’s the artist behind Alchemical Wedding. Not all of Aronson’s work is dark, but some of it certainly is. First, a few of his Alice-themed pieces from his take on Alice Through the Looking Glass:
Now some of the illustrations done for Tom Bradley‘s book We’ll See Who Seduces Whom:
The Alchemical Wedding (Official Site)
From Rev. Benjamin M. Root IV on October 27, 2011
I’m not against edgy, or even creepy. But I just dont “get” this style…
There’s disturbing that you just can’t not look at.
And then there’s disturbing that makes me just say “why bother?”
From pipstarr72 on October 27, 2011
Ah, but aren’t you making the mistake of projecting your impressions and feelings onto others? There are pieces that are disturbing enough to me that I can’t really stand to look at them for long (though they’re rare), but other people seem to have no problem with them. And, after all, many people are disturbed by simple child nudity in art, and yet I find it to be incredibly beautiful in most contexts. We are all different.
One question that arises with regard to disturbing art is desensitization. Is it good for us to get used to such things as violent imagery? I suggest that many people arguing against imagery that desensitizes us are begging the question. The assumption that desensitization is necessarily a bad thing is intrinsic to such moralist arguments. Personally I think a degree of desensitization is not only okay, it is good for us. Who wants to freak out at a little violent or sexual imagery? To me that is far more unhealthy and neurotic than being desensitized to nearly everything.
As for Aronson’s style, well it is rooted in the lowbrow art movement, which combines pop art, children’s illustration, fine art . . . it pretty much appropriates everything. The point, I think, is to eschew limitations, both cultural and social. As with a lot of lowbrow art, Aronson often mixes humor and horror for a rather peculiar effect that is its own kind of transgression. The fact that we don’t always know how to feel about these pieces is, I think, precisely the point.
From Rev. Benjamin M. Root IV on October 27, 2011
Just as a caveat…I want to defend my position by just reminding that it’s only a position. I enjoy art to the point that I even enjoy not liking art. It’s part of what makes art. ‘Tis better for art to offend than to have no effect at all.
If you’re interested in science fiction and fantasy art at all, then you’ve no doubt heard of Michael Whelan. He’s one of the best. Below is a cover design he created for the hardcover edition of the novel Firestarter by Stephen King. It’s one of King’s early novels, and in my opinion one of his best. I would like to do a longer post on Firestarter art, including covers and imagery associated with the 1984 film with Drew Barrymore as the flame-generating lass, Charlie McGee.
Michael Whelan (Official Site)
I admit it: Greenberg’s End Times series of photographs bothers me. Not just because the children in these photos are clearly emoting for real, but because the manner in which these emotions were elicited could be considered exploitative, similar to some of the accusations against Jacques Doillon with regards to his young actress in the film Ponette. I’m also a bit irritated by the fact that beautiful nudes of children are considered abusive by many people despite the feelings of the children participating in them, and yet these images, in which children were made to cry for the sake of Greenberg’s art, hardly stirs them. This is a clear-cut example of the skewed priorities of the West. I feel that Greenberg may frequently get a pass on this because of her feminist credentials.
And yet, in the end I cannot deny that her work is powerful, which is, after all, what the best art is about, and it’s certainly well-executed. There can be no doubt either that it falls in the ‘dark art’ category, and so here it is.
Jill Greenberg Studio (Official Site)
This guy’s work is fantastic (in both senses of the word), but also quite dark.
The Paintings of Fred Einaudi (Official Site)