Monday, 24 September 2012

About Gothic Art Books, and where is Goth Art going (part 2)

I shall be a bit shorter than what was the original plan. It is partly because I really am not an expert in contemporary art, and partly because I have had an extremely busy fortnight. As I said, next is Hell Hound: New Gothic Art by Francesca Gavin.

In this book there is no chapters per se. There is an introduction and the artists. What is to be noticed is that Gothic is not used as a synonym to Goth (as a sub-culture) it has certain similarity, but it is not representing the sub-culture or it's collective view of art.

I am going to aggravate a tiny bit, to make the differences between books more visible and also perhaps to stir some objections.

As said, compared to the earlier book, Gothic Art NOW, there is no chapters, or one could say each artist is a chapter. In Gothic Art NOW the artworks presented are more the popular view of what does Gothic (in the sense of being submissive to the term Goth) art look like. There was a point, that some of the artist presented in Gothic Art NOW do not consider themselves to be goths or their art to be gothic.

In Hell Hound I think it is even less that way. In the introduction term Gothic is almost reduced to mean the same thing as fear. The artists introduced are somehow dealing with fear, politics and society or the concept of art itself in their work.

Of coarse it is quite visible why goths like these artists, or why people in general consider them to be presenting dark aesthetics. There is a certain sinister allure in the artworks mentioned whether they are paintings, video installations or statues. I can't say I instantly fell in love with every artist or liked every work, but they do give a bigger picture of all art that could be considered gothic or even goth.

The variety of styles, methods and concepts is remarkable considering the way Gothic Art Now presented different works of art, or artists.

Nevertheless, I strongly recommend to explore both of the books I shortly presented. 

Next time: Degradation and Renaissance: Decadence in Finland's Fine Arts and Literature

Thursday, 13 September 2012

About Gothic Art Books, and where is Goth Art going (part 1)

There is no strict definition of what is "goth" and what is not. So it is no surprise that this applies to gothic art too. There are still some generally approved indicators which can lead to a conclusion of something being goth. For example descriptive words like sinister, twisted, wicked, creepy, dark and decayed are marks that can point something being gothic. (But can very well not point, it depends of the density of these words, are they used by many people or many of them at the same time and so on.)

I'm now in separate posts going to present two art books that use word "Gothic" in their title and one book, which is in Finnish but the title can be translated as "Degradation and Renaissance: Decadence in Finland's Fine Arts and Literature".

I'll start with Gothic Art NOW by Jasmine Becket-Griffith, which was published 2008. It introduces many fine pieces of art like Dorian Cleavenger's The Chambermaid, for which Dita Von Teese modelled, and Jessica Joslin's sculptures.

There is also quite a number of artists introduced whose work looks like something one finds in Deviantart, made by thousands of others.  Those digital paintings are pretty, but they are more posters and market art (I'm not sure how this is said in English, but in my language this means something pretty but not of good quality or not that significant).

Left Shannon Hourigan, right Rachel Anderson

In Gothic Art NOW the artworks are divided into eight chapters like Femme Fatales, Men in Black and Gothic Elegance. In Femme Fatales there are women, but those art works do not differ in style or use of equipment from Men in Black chapter's content. Or from others on that matter. I would say that the first three chapters are quite fan-art and J-pop oriented.

Somehow different is chapter Lurking Horror where are probably the best works and there are many different styles. More great works are in chapter Creepy Creations and there is even some statues. It differs from other chapters too, in a positive way.

This might sound really negative, but I do not mean it that harsh. I'm only saying, that if the content had been organized in some other way, the book would give much more professional feel. I do think that almost every work it presents is pretty or intriguing.

What do you think, what does "gothic art" mean to you?

Next time: Hell Hound: New Gothic Art.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Being open-minded leads to cool purchases.

Today is hopefully my first lesson of the year. I am planning to start to study French, but I was not lucky enough to fit into the group. Unfortunately I do not know what is my position in the queue to the course. Well, it is to be found out in the next hour. I hope somebody will cancel and I get to learn a new language.

I have also one other thing on my mind. I wanted to show my new school bag, which I bought in Warsaw. My hunch says it is for about 10-year-old boys, but I like it. My mini laptop fits in it perfectly!
What can one learn from this? At least to be open-minded about shopping in different sections and not to stare the label of the product.

As I mentioned, I bought a wig to use, since I have dreamed of a black/blue hair but can not keep it up by dyeing. So this is today's style.