In my art and art history studies, we often compared and contrasted the work of different artists. When you compare an artist against himself, you deal more with his style than differences. If you look at the two pieces there are many similarities: the visual tension, the use of black and white to create an abysmal feeling, and an inability of the subjects to speak. One thing I thought curious, as Kubicki tends to deal with the darker, captive images, is the direction or flow of the two images. On the top image do feel the eyes trying to grasp what is beyond? I thought of a child staring out of a window on a rainy day – the pathos is so thick. Now look at the movement in the second image: There is a tense inner struggle. The bound figure is fighting and the more he fights the more inward he seems to be pulled. There is a great sense of a tug of war going on. No words are conveyed out of either’s lips, but one speaks with his vacant eyes and the other in his fight with the bandages.
There’s so much more I could say. I’ll leave you with this – what are beneath the layers in each of Kubicki’s subjects? Are there just more layers…
“That damned fog is thick, Jack. Chest high and dense enough to cut it with a knife.”
The bartender pours another beer for Fred and sits it in front of him. “Damned thick, Fred! I, for one, am not leaving here until it’s gone. Shit! You can’t see the fucking road anyway. How could you get home in this?”
“Funny how it waited until the place was packed before the fog rolled in. It’s almost like the fog can think,” Fred says…
… A murmuring of approval spreads throughout the bar, everyone knowing that on nights like this, evil things happen, and it appears the Inn is smack-dab in the middle of a festering of growing horror. It’s not just the fog that’s thick tonight: the impending terror awaiting them all sits heavy in the air. The stench of old injustices and the need for retribution is everywhere. For some of them, it is difficult to breathe, the presence lying thick and heavy on their chests…
… Through the fog he comes, easily 6 feet 5 inches and broad as an ox. The heavy moisture falls below his massive chest, and his eyes, black as coal, focus on the Inn. A broad grin covers his square jaw and face, and he slowly walks towards the beckoning door. “
~ Blaze McRob is a regular writer for Pen of the Damned. The short story Old Van Tassel in its entirety is excellent with a twist. (click the link you can read the story in full)
you can find Blaze hanging out on Facebook
his blog is Blaze’s Blog
and on twitter @wyomingbob
The art by Jarek Kubicki is an excellent pairing with the Pen of the Damned horror writers. You can find his Numbers Collection here.
“A complete, debilitating darkness veils my vision. For several moments, I wait, hoping that my eyes simply need to adjust, but no details emerge from the ink-black void.”…
…”Where am I? Is this a dream?”
“I experience nothing but total darkness in either direction.”…
“Ice crystals bloom inside my skull and my eyes bulge, still seeing nothing. My ears twitch and tingle in wait of a sound. Then a sound came.
A muffled string of words calling from the void, too distorted to comprehend despite their utterance so close to my ear. My entire body jerks. Startled and instantly terrified, I start screaming. My shrieks, too loud in the confined space, shoot spikes through my eardrums, but that pain is overshadowed by the agony coming from my fingers as I pull at the seam. I feel my nails tear free as a paper-thin beam of light slices into my eyes.”
This story and the art went so well – I just had to show them off together. Beyond Trapped can be read in its entirety here. It’s a must!
Tyr you get some extra horror love this week.
Blaze McRob is not only an acclaimed writer of Horror but behind the mask he does much good for so many people and causes. He is the mind and heart behind Visionary Press.
Recent releases: Snow Blood
Beware the Mold released in the summer
Jarek Kubicki’s” The Art of Numbers” will be available for purchase on November 3rd!!!
the baton is raised
one in a series we play
cast the first stone
lives touched beyond my reach
Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water in one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side.
The last prompt for Chevrefeuille’s Carpe Diem 2 year anniversary is Movement. A vast topic to be sure.
If you look at the contrasts of the two artists (Bosch and Kubicki), you see many. One is black and white and one is color. There’s alot of movement in Bosch‘s The Harrowing of Hell as well as symbolism in this rendition of Hell. Do you hear the flames licking at the pleading souls? People are looking for an escape from the worst part only to find a new horror.
There is a different kind of horror in the Kubicki something akin to an inability to run. Look at the strands of hair; they closely resemble glass broken at a harsh angle. Is there a way out? No! Is the skin drying out (starting to melt) from a similar heat?
Symbolism in art is rich. As you look deeper you will see more even if you wish you had not delved into the dark.
“When the Birthday boy or girl doesn’t blow out all the candles in one breath, they get the Candle-Curse.”
“And the remaining flames act as a doorway from Hell where demons escape to exact their dark deeds upon the failed candle blower,” Barney explained, speaking in a campfire spook-story voice.”…
…Dustin dreamt of fire…
…A hot and hungry blaze tore through the house. He was upstairs at the table, watching. He stood motionless, petrified by the sight of demons leaping into his world through the flames. His spine froze and he shivered despite the rising heat around him…
… It reached out a hand, stopping the upturned fist inches from Dustin’s face. Slowly unraveling its fingers, the demon revealed a single candle, standing straight in the palm of its hand.
~Tyr Kieran is a regular writer for Pen of the Damned. His short story Anti-Wish can be read in its entirety here.
… the portrait you drew is beautiful. The careful way you have rendered each fine stroke of my eyelashes and hair. My eyes are large dark orbs, the light in them extinguished. The drawing stares back at me from the page, frail and petrified. It is as if I was really there before you as you drew me. You have captured it well, that is how I feel. But there are a few things about me you are yet to glimpse.
I have left it for you here, this is where we part for now. By the time you enter the warehouse I will be gone, slipping away into the dark maze of the city, far from you…
And then you will finally find her, over by the wall, bound to a chair with heavy tape. Will a scream, sharp as a razor, catch in your throat?…
…With a face lift and a short dark wig she looks just like me, don’t you think? My scent on her body now. I dressed her in the lingerie and dress I wore when you first saw me. I thought you would like that. The first time you singled me out from the crowd, the first time I felt the suffocating weight of your gaze. Yes, our time is coming soon. We are destined to meet, as both you and I know. But not tonight.
~ Magenta Nero is a regular horror writer for Pen of the Damned her story Black Widow is featured this week. Please check here for the entirety of the short story (Stalkers) that is excerpted above.
Blog: Magenta Nero – Dark Fiction Author
Find Tyr on Amazon
Many thanks to Jarek Kubicki who has graciously allowed me to put his art with the horror “pieces” this week. His book (below) comes out in 4 days!!!
kono tsuki o imachi nemachi to yubi o ori
should this moon be waited for by sitting or lying down …? I calculate with my fingers
- Sujyu Takano (1)
by moonlit waters
memories caress the shore
blue moon dance
casting a pebble
blue waters ripple outward
Prompt at Chevrefeuille’s Carpe Diem: Moon in the Haiku Tradition ( yes a favorite subject).
Art Craig Cloug Moon Art
breath in my laughter
where do I look now for life?
I live in black
A Departed Soul is the haiku prompt at Chevrefeuilles Carpe Diem today. Please go to the site to read the wonderful haiku.
Dia de los Muertos
Suspended above the clouds
captive of a swoon
what magician’s trick
hung me by the moon
life leaves me in sleep
celestial I drift
all Hallow’s calamity
my blood forever drips
DRIP, Drip, drip…
silent as the dead
the jack-o-lantern jeers
fear we now instead
notes that gave a tip
to get inside our head
wiggle with our fears
more we have to dread
a new report we get
she shot twice in the head
little ones are dear
no hallows – early now to bed
Zodiac killer rips
a community is fed
killings through the years
we can only hope you’re dead
My first poem was written before Susan put up the completion for the Poet’s United prompt: The real story what is Halloween to me? To many of us who were in the San Francisco Bay Area- Halloween meant the Zodiac killer might be on the loose. I was trying to compose a short story about this killer and what it was like as a child growing up with a killer on the loose for years. The Zodiac serial killings is a cold case; the man killed 20 (or more people) and would send chilling notes through the newspapers making his threats.
This painting is a remake of Henry Fuseli’s Nightmare. I normally couldn’t do this to art but everyone else tends to mess around with Fusseli.
Please forgive my theatrics- I am having way too much fun with blood this week.
And while the blood drips why not follow the grim reaper in catching some horror book giveaways over at Coffin Hop!
I’m taking a moment to listen to the voice and the meaning of the two pieces of art. Do you hear it – The sound that is not allowed to escape the confinement of the box?
Munch gives it away in his title “The Scream.” I remember studying this piece by Expressionist Edvard Munch several times and having to make an educated guess about what was behind or in front. I personally hear footprints approaching the subject. In this work by Kubicki, there is a visceral scream that emanates from the pieces of the body that remain and the shadowy screams from what has been taken away. This piece reminds me of the opposite of Michelangelo’s captive where man is trying to escape the confines of the marble. This man (or woman) is being made a captive by what… a horrific parasite? Enjoy the words that you don’t hear and then read the words of Jon Olson and Hunter Shea.
“Let’s see you live through this, asshole,” Michael whispered in the Erwin’s ear.
With that he tilted Erwin’s head back and cut deep into his neck.
Erwin gurgled and blood gushed out. Michael held him for a few minutes, enjoying the feeling of taking another man’s life until Erwin went limp. The gurgling slowed and then went silent…
…I can’t remember how many times I’ve died; how many times I seen the light, reached out to accept its embrace only to be pulled back into this fucking existence so that I may die again.
I have felt the pain that the body goes through as each internal organ shuts down. I have felt my heart stop more times than I want to remember. My body has been stabbed, crushed, and shot many times yet somehow it always heals itself.”
~Jon Olson is a regular writer for Pen of the Damned. Go to PEN to read Phantom Pain in its entirety.
Jon’s Blog: Monster Lane
You can also find Jon’s work at Siren’s Call Publications.
I needed light. It was impossible to face the ghoul in the dark. My spirit wavered between bravery and death by panic. I fumbled around the desk until I found the matches.I struck one against the desk. It sputtered for a moment, then fizzled out. The sounds in the corner stopped. I could feel the ghoul’s penetrating gaze cut through the dark. I grabbed another match, and with unsure hands, tried again. The match stick broke in half, falling to the floor. Clack, clack, clack, clack. Those odd footsteps again. Now a gurgling sound, a bubbling death rattle of a cry.
“Please, dear God, help,” I whimpered as I reached to pick out another match.
My cry was answered, as my thumbnail flicked across the match head, a brilliant flame roared to life. And in that same instant, I wished I’d never brought light into the parlor.
“Lucy!” My doll, my porcelain companion, stood on two small legs, leering at me. Its face had turned a mottled green, and bloody teeth sprouted from a mouth that was never designed to open…
…“It was the demon in Jessamine. It became a ghoul. When it left Jessamine, it hid inside Lucy. You can see it, right there!” I screamed, pointing at its lifeless body…
Hunter Shea is a writer for Pen of the Damned. He has several published works of horror. To read his short story Mercy in its entirety go here.
Hunter Shea’s Blog
“Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye…it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.” E. Munch
Hunter Shea Hell Hole on Amazon
The Montauk Monster on Amazon
So grateful to Jarek Kubicki for allowing me to use his art for Horror Week. It is exceptional art. I’m excited for his book release in 5 DAYS!!!
Before the blood dries why not take a spin around this year’s Coffin Hop
. Plenty of book giveaways!!!