|You can see some of my collages in the center image.|
|Never Looked Better|
|Mixed Anatomies (top), Masks (bottom)|
|My Dark Heart|
|Remorse (on easel)|
|Spiral Staircase (top) and Party Hat (below)|
|Grouping of the above, along with Death on the Wing (top left) and Aunt Letitia's Parlor (Tribute to Edward Gorey) (lower left)|
If you're in Pittsburgh, please stop by the Waterfront in Homestead and take a look! Most Wanted Fine Art (#9 on the directory map in the link) is located on Amity Square behind Leow's Theater, across from Starbuck's, next to the Gap. (Ironic, no?)
Bizarre! Bazaar! Shoppe is the brainchild of Dr. Morose and Miss Macabre, aka Nick Noir and Macabre "Mac" Noir. Artists, performers, entrepreneurs, magician, seer, they encompass a variety of talents, sensibilities, and knowledge both arcane and mundane, in their amazing personages. And they are really nice people!
|Nick and Macabre Noir|
Here are links to the original posts for some of the artworks at BBS (I've changed some of the titles):
As you can gather from the name of the shop, Bizarre! Bazaar! caters to those with a darker sensibility. Capitalism with a twist! I’ve been interested since childhood in the macabre. Like my Mom, I loved ghost stories and scary movies. Still do. I’m also interested in the sinister aspects of history, art and literature and I thoroughly enjoy producing collages in that vein. Although my work isn’t all “dark,” a lot of it tilts in the direction of irreverence and irony. It’s a short slide down a slippery slope from that to outright tilted. So…why make “dark art”?
Dark art is, first of all, fantasy. Fantasy without the pink-tailed unicorns and glittering fairy-godmothers come to save the day, but like all fantasy, it is an escape from reality. It can also be an attempt to explain an indecipherable existence, or to build a safe space against an intolerable one. Or simply a way to amuse yourself. Or, perhaps it is just us trying to get comfortable with our own mortality.
Death can be a great enigma to us body-bound souls, lumbering about in our meat machines. (Are we driving it, or is it driving us?) I guess we usually envisage departure from the meat machine as a traumatic experience, even though, "we" are not destroyed, only sent on to the next leg of the journey, or perhaps reunited with the Source. Yet death evokes all kinds of worrisome questions: Will it hurt? (I doubt if it will be comfortable, if only because the m.m. struggles against its demise.) Will I go to Heaven? (Only if you truly believe you will—click your ruby heels together and repeat three times…) Will I see my departed Loved Ones? (I certainly hope so!) Will I meet the Grand Overall Designer? (Not if you believe that’s some grouchy, white-bearded patriarch, sitting on a cloud smiting and smoting and generally behaving like a prick.)
Albus Dumbledore, revered by many of us, said: “To a well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” So why do we Fear Death? Probably its simple fear of the unknown: we can't know for sure what is really, REALLY going to happen beyond that portal. Some of us are comfortable with Mystery, others not so much (they have Religion, the great comfort blanket, instead.)
My very perceptive son recently commented that there are people who get psyched out by the realization that there is whole, working skeleton, right inside them, all the time! “Ewww, creeeeepy!!!” So let us get used to the fact that we all carry our own creepiness within us. Putting it into artwork is, I think, preferable to letting it turn us into monsters (which, as we see every day on the news, Religion can certainly do.)
NOTE: if you are the easily offended type, please disregard the parenthetical statements above. HA!!
Another individual revered by many of us, the inimitable Edward St. John Gorey, was asked by his long-time friend, Paul Theroux, (quoted in Theroux's excellent book, The Strange Case of Edward Gorey) why "stark violence and horror and terror were the uncompromising focus of his work." Gorey replied, “I write about everyday life.” In other words, being alive is not for the timid. Witness the Gashleycrumb Tinies! So we use dark art to help us cope, help us laugh--or at least grimly smile-- at the bigger Darkness ahead and within.
Speaking of Albus Dumbledore, I once took a “Sorting Hat test” years ago, on one of the many Harry Potter sites. It put me in Slytherin House. That explains a lot! I was not pleased at the time, but now I say, Wear Your Darkness Proudly!
There is darkness inside all of us…
We are what we are because of it, or perhaps in spite of it.
Some use it as a shield to hide behind, others as an excuse to do unconscionable things. But, truly, the darkness is simply a piece of the whole, neither good nor evil unless you
make it so.
Jenna Maclaine, Bound By Sin