YAY, here we are with our TAKE OVER for September!
As you already know, we choose every month one of our favourite creatives to TAKE OVER Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s social media for the whole day. Mothmeister, our favourite “postmortem fairytale photographers” shared their seven muses who inspire the team to create such dark, whimsical and surreal visuals.
Sounds tempting?! You bet!
Just in case you missed the spectacle live on our social media, you can catch up below and check out the curation of Mothmeister and their seven muses.
Hi peeps, we, Mothmeister, are truly honoured and stoked to share that we’ll be taking over the socials of the international contemporary art magazine Beautiful Bizarre Magazine today. As from now, we’ll be sharing our favourite line-up of seriously intriguing artists that trigger our restless psyche. And thus subconsciously infect our post-mortem fairytale-like universe. Some of them might have crossed your paths already. Nevertheless, keep your eyes peeled as we dredge up the muses that are in the nooks and crannies of our imagination.
Candice Angelini // Our Morbid Muse
First up is our French ‘coup de foudre’ and truly magical morbid muse Candice Angelini. From day one, Candice has been feeding the grimmer side of our psyche that harbours our darkest virtues by creating the most obscure and often melancholic post-mortem masks and intriguing headpieces. Each of her unsettling sculptures, entirely handmade with papier-mâché, antique fabrics, ink, wax and often real human hair or teeth embodies our mutual fascination for the 19th century and the Victorian obsession with death at that time.
Edward Kienholz // Our Assemblage Muse
Grim. Sordid. Depressing. Revolting. Blasphemous. The otherworldly tableaux and environmental assemblages of the controversial American installation artist Edward Kienholz arouse a plethora of emotions, which of course is all what art is about.
When we visited his retrospective exhibition in Berlin back in 1997 we were both moonstruck. And instantaneously felt home. Sculpted grotesque characters using leftovers of antique mannequins, plaster casts of real people, materials salvaged from garbage belts, scruffy taxidermy and an abundance of bits and bobs that didn’t belong together… His stream of consciousness, way of working and so-called theatrical art of repulsion felt very familiar. And reflects not only the way we ‘sculpt’ our characters. But also triggered the way we decorated our environmental cabinet de curiosité-like home.
Annie Montgomerie // Our Recycling & Storytelling Muse
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we are both obsessed with the whimsical animal-human hybrid dolls of Annie Montgomerie looking as if they were genuine stuffed animals with this slightly peculiar – and therefore intriguing – anthropomorphic touch. Like our post-mortem fairy tales characters, her vulnerable and almost hypnotising figures often cling to tiny, innocent versions of themselves, creating this intimate relationship while breathing all kinds of childhood memory emotions. Whether they look upset. In a bad mood. Behave perky. Or naughty. When it comes to soul-stirring storytelling, Annie did her kiddies more than proud.
Outside that, we do have something else in common: the insatiable urge to go treasure hunting. Annie also creates her drop-dead gorgeous figures with mostly recycled materials foraged at flea markets and second-hand stores. We also have a weak spot for moth-holed, itchy costumes with old sweat stains smelling even more pungent than a bloated dead whale. Everything must bow to achieve the desired patina.
Joel-Peter Witkin // Our Controversial Muse
If there’s one notorious photographer out there that has been tickling our mind from day one than it must be the controversial and undeniably provocative Joel-Peter Witkin. Witkins’ enigmatic, tumultuous and bewitching universe depicting macabre and often grotesque scenes with cadavers, dismembered corpses, hermaphrodites and dwarfs – to name a few- is simply in a class by himself. His complex and confronting tableaux flirting with death, religion, myths and taboos definitely stir up an array of emotions making one feel like a cat on hot bricks, iffy or baffled. He seriously galvanised our grey matter for sure. By scratching the negative, bleaching or toning the photo with chemicals Witkin intensifies these scars of life in a truly brilliant way.
Kirill Zherikhov // Our Clownesque Muse
The clown. Once the archetype of the jolly, silly and innocent childhood friend. Slightly naughty but usually cuddly like hell. But as soon as the clown leaves the whimsical circus arena, the giggling freezes as (s)he becomes melancholic, lonely and anxious. Not to say creepy. It is this dark, tormented soul lying behind the exuberant, cheerful layer of make-up and iconic red nose that intrigues us immensely. Hence why we are both drawn to the dark, dystopian and truly enigmatic clown masks created by the highly skilled and beautifully dark Russian artist Kirill Zherikhov.
Paul McCarthy // Our Grotesque Muse
Intrigued by culturally created caricatures – from Miss Piggy to Popeye to Santa Claus – Paul McCarthy has delved into America’s dark side and the underbelly of western culture and the horror of its results. By using the grotesque in his play on popular illusions and cultural myths, fantasy and reality collide in a deliriously relentless, violent and truly traumatic visual language. His perverse array of grotesque characters have unmistakably left a mark on our characters. As The Guardian once stated: “It’s not McCarthy who’s weird and gross, it’s the world itself. Real life has just finally caught up with him.” We couldn’t agree more.
Walter Potter // Our Taxidermy Muse
From kittens wearing extremely elaborate Victorian brocade dresses and frilly knickers to frogs being spanked and eccentric dressed up ‘Men’s Club’ squirrels aping human behavior. The anthropomorphic tableaux of the Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter became icons of Victorian whimsy. No surprise that he’s the one to blame for us having caught this nasty taxidermy bug, a mere 30 years ago. The truly memorable way Walter showcased stuffed animals mimicking human life – almost to the point of kitsch and parody – has definitely fired our imagination. And gives our post-mortem Fairy tales that little, lovely quirky twist.
A gigantic THANK YOU to Mothmeister for sharing their muses with us and creating a wonderful space for dark-surreal artists and imagination!
Enjoyed Mothmeister’s Take Over? Did their muses inspire you as well? Then connect with Mothmeister on their social media!