Writing about Gothic art I choose to step away from the first definition where it was a branch of the medieval art that developed in France out of Romanesque art in the mid 12th century. Join me in this fantastic journey through beauty combined with the bestiality that can be found in this world or worlds beyond ours. Modern Gothic art is about the contrast of the horrible and the beautiful, the monstrous and the angelic. And for many artists also about finding beauty in the darkest places. Where would we be as human beings if we couldn’t find beauty in the smallest things living in a world filled with so much misery. Maybe have you found yourself finding a sense of peace looking at graveyards filled with old thumb stones. What is it that triggers this feeling of peace where one can find silence in the stories of the death of others? Is it the lives that has been lived or the sense of love one share standing together sharing the same loss of a loved one all with different stories of how they connected with that person and grew a bonding.
In this article I’ll start this journey through the different artists that shows a sense of Gothic art in their creations. I must say that the style of Gothic art is always evolving, and only a decade ago it seemed as something that could only be found fascinating and pretty by a certain type of people. I guess there is a reason that it keeps evolving as more people find some connection with the pictures that can be found. It may be filled with contra dictionaries. But remember so is also our world. I must say that even if its stretched beyond the boundaries by adding fictional characters as angels and demons it contains a certain kind of truth of what stirs in the “human feelings” of ours.
To quote Jasmine Becket Griffith:
Gothic art aims to inspire and intrigue: transporting you to alternate realities, to elegant pasts, and to nihilistic futures. Not to be seen always as simply eye candy, a common undercurrent in most Gothic art relies on deeper meanings, symbolism, social commentary, alternative ideas, mortal reckonings, and cultural explorations. That said, sometimes a hot vampire chick is just a hot vampire chick ,and should be no less enjoyable.
I guess most of us know about Luis Royo and Victoria Frances, watching their beautiful pictures and how the darkest of creatures both monsters and vampires can seem so gorgeous. Where the vampires promise of eternal life dazzles me and how the shame of something as horrendous as a monster can seem so perfect. I wanted more, but where to look and how to find masterpieces that moves me the same way that the art of Luis Royo and Victoria Frances have.
Hoang Nguyen is an artist based in California. He was born in August 1966 and moved to the US with his family during the Vietnam war at the age of nine. Hoang started his career as a comic book artist and illustrator, working for Dark Horse Comics. When he does his art he says that he is always out to capture a certain mood or an emotional state, usually someone in deep thoughts or sadness, daydreaming he thinks: “How I can paint all day and travel the world, absorbing all the different cultures, taking pictures and documenting places that I’ve been to?”
Growing up due the Vietnam war he has enough experience of the worlds cruelty to be able to paint about them, but in these feelings he manages to capture a glimpse of beauty even if it is in someones sorrow over a lost love. Dealing with the horrors of war making pictures with such beauty one can conclude with an eye for small details that tells a story or gives us a conclusion of a melancholic or nostalgic feeling.
He started his career of drawing using chalk drawing small characters on every surface he could find. He eventually studied architecture but as his math failed he got set on illustrations which made more sense to him. That is when he found other ways to express himself through art using oil paint, water color and acrylic. All his money went to buying art supplies and started to paint and slowly build up his portfolio. After seeing Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo’s work he decided that his career to pursue was a career as a cover artist.
Artist commentary: I wanted to portray a girl caught in a moment, lost in time. I wanted to capture her essence,pain sadness,elegance and beauty. I decided to incorporate imagery from the world war II era and tattoos. Using Adobe Photoshop I was going to draw a serpent or a dragon for tattoo, but I decided to create something non distinctive, hoping to represent various past memories in an interesting way.
artist commentary: I started out using Tria markers, then transferred the drawing into Adobe Photoshop and proceeded to paint over it. The piece is about lost love and what could have been, or love that was never meant to be. It is based on a poem I wrote in Kanji. Translated it reads.
Love awaits on the edge of eternity
reaching far, forgotten and long lost
in the distance, beckoning
come away, away
for there love waits
For inquiries,questions,subjects or articles contact :
Gerdi Olsgaard aka Frøya Montezino