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 *** 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!!!
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!!!
Looking for inspiration for your night of horror? Come by Pen of the Damned and read what we have brewing. Here’s a taste:
- Open your eyes and see the world for the first time.
- “Wizard or Warlock, which shall it be?”
- It was no longer needed
- I mix well and put it in a flask
- How much lovelier we would be if we were dead.
- Pass me the glasses,
- Drink Deep
- Here’s to us darling!
And there are prizes but I think you need to climb in a coffin to claim them.
Enjoy Pen of the Damned today as we have a treat for you. Each of us has written a flash fiction (100 words) based on the picture prompt (above). The words I have placed below is dark compilation. Come over to the Pen and feast in our dark banquet hall.
The weeping was for all who, on small feet, come, hands overflowing with offerings; the dead screaming in their endless burn. They prowl the shadows, “You cannot flee, ” says a voice that is not his own. Husks of comforting strangers fill my head with their thoughts.
“I always laugh last.”
~ and so they are all damned
Small Sacrifices ~ Nina D’Arcangela
Damnation ~Dan Dillard
The Ruin of Man ~ Tyr Kieran
Palace ~ Joseph A Pinto
The Lost Message ~ Leslie Moon
Ghoul’s Last Laugh ~ Blaze McRob
THE OTHER PLACE ~ Thomas Brown
Dementia ~ Daemonwulf
Photograph: “Monument” © Copyright Dark Angel Photography.
The knob creaked as I gave it a twist.
I’d been able to breathe last time I’d been here.
Imprisoned behind an unlocked gate of decorative iron, I watch the world carry on without me.
Shadows beckon; so soon shall I dance.
I am plummeted to the world beyond my fears.
My mind bleeds for what should have been, for the chance never to have seen you.
The rooftop glitters, wet with slime and sunlight on old stone.
Theirs is a multitude of ignored voices; immeasurable lives ending as grist to be chewed by holy teeth.
From down the hall, the words do come, and with them now, a screeching hum.
Enjoy Pen of the Damned today as we have a rare treat for you. Each of us has written a flash fiction (100 words) based on the picture prompt (above). The words I have placed here are just appetizers of each author’s work. Come over to the Pen and feast in our dark banquet hall.
A Picture Paints 100 Words, by Dan Dillard , Veneration, by Daemonwulf
Poisonous Hope, by Tyr Kieran, Sacred Charge, by Nina D’Arcangela
Refuge, by Joseph A. Pinto, Vacuum, by Leslie Moon
Sleeping Dogs, by Thomas Brown, Inner Sanctum, by Blaze McRob
Welcome Home, Baby! by Hunter Shea