Guess what day it is? It’s Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s social media TAKE OVER day, distilled into a convenient article for your reading pleasure! As joyfully addictive as scrolling through social media pages can be, we realize that there are some days when conspiring forces prevent us from getting our fix. Perhaps you were otherwise predisposed when we first unveiled our TAKE OVER with Forest Rogers across our social media accounts earlier this month.
Craving an artistic pick-me-up? Wondering if there is a new-to-you creative individual whose efforts will part the clouds in your sky? This article is designed just for you!
Creative inspiration is akin to a spark of magic, isn’t it? Twelve times a year, we ask a different member of our art community if we can peek through their artistic lens of appreciation. Ohhh, the things you can learn about a person just by seeing what kind of imagery they gravitate toward.
Throughout the years, this once-a-month event has enabled us to revisit old artsy favorites as well as discover new gems. We are sure that the inspired curation of Forest Rogers, surreal sculptress extraordinaire, will deliver few tasty creative treats to your field of vision.
Thank you for joining us and three cheers for Forest Rogers’ sharing and caring spirit!
Forest Rogers // “Octopoid Descending”
Often I need to hang in the deeps like an oarfish, still but for the rippling of my dorsal fin, sinking into the sanctuary of the larger self. Since the Self, much like Doctor Who’s TARDIS, is immeasurably bigger on the inside and can transport one instantaneously anywhere, heading inward is a jailbreak. For me, this piece is about the diving bell of contemplation, and what I might discover in the midnight zone of the soul. Solitude can be a sacrifice, a necessity, a luxury, sometimes a torment, and also a paradox: it feels to me as if the deeper one delves alone, the closer one comes to an indissoluble unity. This Octopoid was a commission for the Illuxcon show, where she was in fabulous company, lucky girl.
Lou P. Rogers // Oil Painter
Lou was my mother, and I grew up surrounded by the beings she summoned in paint. Many were seven feet tall, or more. Her work possesses power and remoteness that speak to me of longing for something entirely Other. Her visions opened the portal of my own work for me. She died in 2007. Late in the final week of her life, when she was already almost out of reach, I brought her a cup and said, “Here’s some grape juice.” Suddenly she was present. She said, “Does this mean men and women everywhere can be Dionysus?” I thought, ah, you are still there, only wandering in the wild places that are your own, where I cannot follow yet. She loved the tales of Arthur Machen, one of which gave this piece, “The Great God Pan,” its title.
Skink Chen // Sculptor
Skink Chen achieves a strangeness as wild as reality, and that is saying a very great deal. His creatures could consort with anglerfish of the abyss and hold their own. His textures create a tactile reality that entangles my eye and makes my fingers want to touch. Anatomy and proportion seem both impossible and perfect. I feel I’ve been transported to the weirdest, most obscure gallery of some great natural history museum filled with secrets. Humor runs through this work, akin to the apparent humor of nature. Then there’s the narrative in “Undead Creature” – what is this astonishing insectoid about to do with, or to, the tiny man? Is it warning, instructing, chastising, about to flick him off the perch? Only the enigma itself knows, but the pleasure of speculation is ours.
Yoann Lossel // Graphite and Gold Leaf Artist
Some art offers sanctuary, and such are the works of Yoann Lossel for me. Here are secrets and solitudes of mesmerizing delicacy, sublimely wild altarpieces in a world of glimmering shadow. When I enter these visions, I feel a stillness that allows the usual boundaries of self to dissolve a little bit, to relax out into the presence of mystery and remembrance of magic. This image is a doorway. Go through, explore further, absorb, allow reverie. You will find an exquisite, luminous realm to suspend the grind of time and wash away the grit of mundane struggle.
Scott Radke // Sculptor
There is a kind of communion, in a wood, on a mountain, by a sea cliff, that can only be had alone: even the most beloved human presence can disrupt it. Contemplating this Witch, I feel I see an embodiment of that communion. She is intent, secret, utterly herself. She is true to her own being from the feathered paddles of her garment through her reaching twigs. For me, she implies a world that was, and is, and will be despite the crash of our cities, the pain of our strife. I trust her as I trust things possessing the perfect honesty of nature. I would like to meet her in the wildwood. I imagine we would say nothing, but I would gather much in a wordless way that began before language and moves behind it still. I would come away wiser and more rooted in peace.
Goto Atsuko // Mineral Pigment Painter
Running my eyes over “Smashed Illusion” feels like touching some otherworldly silk. The slight, exquisite drag of texture, intricate, subtle, delicate beyond what seems possible by human agency. Then my mind nibbles the edges of the subject: the lovely, damaged butterflies, sweet feathers abandoned in that tangle of grace. But it is the face that has haunted me since I first saw it. It will be speaking to you already. I will only say it took me time to see that the living bird holds the end of the mouth-thread in its bill. Is this hope of release? I do not know. It happens I care for a dove the color of milky coffee, and this morning when he nestled soft in my hand and preened my fingers with the lightest, fleeting touch of his beak, the works of Goto Atsuko came to mind.
Rovina Cai // Illustrator
Great birds so gently rendered but perhaps somehow ominous, masks medievally remote with an echo of Venice, and flowing lines like an oncoming storm. At once I see these qualities in “Fake It ’til You Make It”. Then I come to the memories I find here. Strivings to “fit” that fall short, uncertain disguises, traveling contrary to the press of the flock. Secrets of identity. Pending transformation. I notice the unsettling fingers, sharpening to points, and wonder whether they are becoming clawed feet or something else. The feathered pattern over human hair, and glimpse of a garment I can’t quite guess at. I pause within the melancholy face of a great dark bird, bounce off the pale, alien eye of another. Note the leaves — petals? — falling with a hint of lavender.
Allen Williams // Illustrator
“Unbearable” speaks to me of the solitude of sacrifice and endurance. Strength moving through suffering like a great ship through a burning sea. There is tremendous power and solidity emerging from the ineffably subtle touch of this artist. I think the eloquence of this piece may be rooted partly in that contrast, a tension between subject and technique. And wherein lies the power? The flesh is vulnerable to dissolution, spiked with arrows, yet informed with an indomitable, numinous presence. Is this threat or warning or injunction to endure? Doom manifest? What of that circle, like a sunken halo? The Allen Williams works that inspire me are legion, and some are even more wonderfully strange, but this one, in this moment, says to me, “Prevail.” I feel the small wrinkles disappearing into the deep shadow of the face. I remind myself to move forward.
Here is the last line of the extraordinary narrative that Williams presents with this piece: “…and they shall be made to see the last thing.”
With that, Kind Friends, I end this day’s exploration of wonders.
This is the final creative inspiration that Forest Rogers selected for her Beautiful Bizarre social media TAKE OVER. Thank you Forest for compiling such intriguing visual stimulation for our art community. We really appreciate your effort and generosity!