Thursday, March 5, 2009

More Creepy Paintings

I've been meaning to post more scary paintings after my last Creepy Peepers post, here are just a few I thought I said in the other post, it's hard to paint creepy without also being inadvertently hilarious. I think these pass the test...these are all creepy because they have a dark, supernatural element.

You thought waking up to find a spider on you was bad. In this painting "The Night" by Ferdinand Hodler, a man wakes up to find an apparition or something worse squatting on him. For some reason this is not sexy but completely scary. Anyone whose woken up at night in a pitch black room and seen "shapes" knows what I mean. The hunched over pose of the apparition adds to the "wrongness" of what is happening and adds a spectral, demonic seeming element.

Speaking of wrong, check out this Jesus. Painted by an anonymous Flemish painter in the 1500's, this is one of those paintings that really fascinate me, on one hand I hate it and on the other I love it. Meant to depict the Trinity, something that should be sublime and holy, the two eyes that almost look normal combined with the three lower faces is somewhat upsetting, off putting, and uncomfortable. But mesmerizing.

"Toutes Les Lumieres" by Paul Delvaux. Delvaux always kind of creeps me out- but this one in particular. Though it actually is somewhat peaceful and has a touch of the Procession about it, the lighting makes it very hallucinogetic. The characters seem to be moving very stiffly and adds to the unnatural, ghostly quality. This reminds me of dreams where it's very weird and beautiful and you are trying to convince yourself it's good, but then something awful comes creeping into the picture to your sheer horror. Um, or maybe that's just me.

This one should be sort of funny since at first glance it's some kind of pterasaur/nazgul steed making off with a ladies glove in impish glee. However, the story changes when coupled with the title of the painting "The Abduction" (alternately known as "The Rape" and "The End of the Dream")
which is part of a series of etchings called "The Glove" by our pal Max Klinger, and the anguished hands bursting through the glass window in a vain effort to catch the ghastly manifestation. Something about those hands makes this etching not funny, but very disturbing.