“In the dark, all cats are black.” – John Cage
Source: “Saint Mark’s Place,” V Magazine – The New York Issue #67 (Fall 2010), model Agyness Deyn photographed by Alasdair McLellan and styled by Beat Bollinger.
Source: “Wolf 11” by Dan Newcomb Photography (Flickr Profile)This winter season, I have drawn immense inspiration from Northern California’s forests. In December, I spent a week exploring the beautiful, verdant counties of Mendocino and Humbolt. Driving along the Avenue of the Giants, a serpentine road that is eternally shaded by the great redwood trees that border it, transports you to a mystical world. Here, you walk beneath blankets of fog that hover gently above you and over carpets of redwood sorrel that delicately shroud the moist earth below you. Everywhere you look, you are surrounded by lush, budding vegetation. Hiking through Hendy Woods sparks your imagination and triggers childhood memories of watching FernGully (Bill Kroyer, 1992). There is a fairy tale element here that allows you to escape the “real” world and embrace the blissful peace that this expansive, yet nurturing space provides. In one word, it is Sacred.
Borrowing from my previous post, “In Pursuit of Hallowed Ground”, the section below illuminates how music serves as inspiration during my art-making process.
If you could only see the beast you’ve made of me
I held it in but now it seems you’ve set it running free
Screaming in the dark, I howl when we’re apart
drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart
My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in
You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl
“Howl” by Florence + The Machine (LISTEN)
I listened to the albums Lungs and Ceremonials repeatedly while painting “In Pursuit of Hallowed Ground.” The music of Florence + The Machine impresses a seductive fatalism on the psyche, transporting you to a primordial place of carnality, rapture, vengeance, and struggle. There is a dark, epochal quality to the music that envelops you, and entices you to join in. You feel awakened into a trance-like state that beckons you to abandon all control in favor of satisfying your primal, even savage, desires. Most vitally, the music grants you the opportunity to let go, to release the “demons” inside you.
Source: “Spellbound,” W Magazine (Fall 2012), photographed by Steven Meisel and styled by Edward Enninful. Models: Anniek Kortleve, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Mae Lapres, Meghan Collison, Peyton Knight, Rachel Trachtenburg, Aaron Vernon, Yuri Pleskun, and Ethan James.
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