Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Gothic Art in Spotlight: Hugo Simberg's Death and Devils

It has been a while since I posted about art, but no worries, I have not stopped my dear hobby called art completely. In this post I am shortly introducing Hugo Simberg's paintings, which I find to fit the idea of Goth I have.

Hugo Simberg (1873-1917) was a Finnish painter, whose work is mostly categorized as symbolism. Simberg's works are mainly from the era of National Romanticism in Finland and as I have mentioned before, at the same time in Europe decadence was rising, especially among Parisian art scene, where inspiration and role model for a nationality was searched. Finland was not independent during that time, the idea of Finnish people as a nation or at least something more than a part of Russia or Sweden was on the rise.

Simberg's art divided people, because there are some decadent aspects, or even touch of macabre, which was not wanted in the patriotic and romantic point of view. A huge problem was also, that some of Simberg's work did not go that well along with the traditional christian symbolism and way of depicting things.

For example The Garden of Death, which was painted for the cathedral of Tampere year 1896. As you can see, there is no traditional symbols of afterlife, the heaven or skyline. As a consent, there is a small path in the background, but the viewer can not see where it is leading. Therefore there is no christian salvation in the painting.

The Garden of Death is open for so many interpretations, one can see the skeleton characters maleficent, waiting to take the lives of those little flowers, or one can see them caring and loving those plants. Also, are those flowers souls of the living, which death harvests, or are those the afterlife state for the soul? What if the heaven is to became a flower in Death's Garden?

Simberg has many other fascinating artworks in which the skeletons dance and make people feel uncomfortable both in the painting and the viewers. I shall not talk about them, instead I am drawing the attention to another frequent motif in Simberg's work: the Poor Devil.

Simberg's devil is not a powerful and evil creature. He is more like a poor little wretch, trying to do his part as tempting people to sin, but failing. My personal favourite of Simberg's devil painitings is Piru ruusupensaassa (The Devil in a rosebush). It was painted 1907 and I believe it is at the moment in another famous Finnish artists atelier museum, at Ruovesi. It is the old atelier of Gallen-Kallela a painter who acted as a tutor for Simberg. At least I saw the poor devil in that building last summer.

In this painting I think the little poor devil is adorable, playing his little flute. But I'll leave further interpretation to you.

Monday, 2 September 2013

DIY: "Doctors & Drug Addicts" Party & Make Up Inspiration

Last Friday I had a party with my friends and in this post I am showing what snacks and other fun factors I made for the party. I also tell how some of them failed.

I had blood red punch, including an ice heart, which was also shown in a previous post. I also made a heart out of jelly. It was rather difficult to get the jelly out of the cast, but after some rude words and a tiny bit of violence it came out just fine.

I was also serving some other alcohol to the guests, but I replaced the bottles labels. On the other side is a sign of poison and on the other side reads "Tincture for Gout".

I had this great idea of making drug-like candy, but unfortunately my plans failed. As you can see from the picture below, I found some really colorful candy with the perfect shape and they actually were the original inspiration for this party theme.

First I tried to make a white frosting and dip candies so that half of the candy would be white and the other half some other color. The frosting was not concealing enough. Then I tried to saw candies in half and mix and match them.

They became more like Frankenstein's Creature, so I ended up serving candy and other "pills" the usual way. I guess some fancy cake paint from a special store would do the trick, but I did not have time nor money to go and get one at that point.

My other nifty idea for a party of Docs and Drug Addicts was to shop at an apothecary. I decided to make cocktail sticks, so what would be more macabre than to use hypodermic syringe!

I am pleased to tell that people thought they were really wicked and cool.

When having a theme party, it is no surprise people were wearing costumes. We had many addicts, a male nurse form an asylum, another nurse clearly gone psycho herself with blood all over her clothes and of course Doctor Who! I myself was just a heroin addict. An hour before the party was starting, I noticed my latex horror skin had dried up, so I had to improvise with make up.

This infected needle mark is made with wine red and black eye shadow, black eye-liner and skin color concealer. I have not done this sort of masking before, so I was really pleased with it. I have heard, that one can fix make up to hold better, if one sprays some hair spray on it. Well, I tried it and did not notice any difference on how my needle mark was preserved, but did not care that much, it was so fun a party. :) Of course some new people were moving to the block of flats that night, so my new neighbors saw me with this arm, since I had to go a few times down stairs to open the main door for my guests.