Wednesday, December 17, 2008

State of the Arts

I was lucky enough to make it down to Art Basel Miami earlier in December and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share some first hand glimpses of the amazing sculptural works that were on hand. 

 While this is only a VERY small cross-section of the sculpture that was represented, these very few examples still show the vast range of mediums, techniques and individual voices that can be conveyed in the dimensional form.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nature is Ancient

Last week I stumbled upon the work of photographer Maleonn.

He works in a variety of styles, blending nature and open spaces with human strangeness and kitch. Some of his photos are black and white, and some are black and white with meticulous hand-coloring with watercolors.

Nothing is left un-damaged by his aging techniques, which leaves the viewer, after seeing his body of work as a whole, with feelings of another expanse, a non-knowing of what is around him. It's all very moody stuff, I recommend it highly.

Monday, November 24, 2008

tattered fairy tales

The folks at Gibbous Fashions create their couture out of scraps of discarded clothing, textiles, and other fabrics. Some from today, many from yesterday. The pieces are carefully matched, mis-matched, frayed, hemmed, stitched, and twisted onto each other, creating beautiful layers of color and texture.

Their artists' statement (of sorts), tells us that they believe that clothing should be lovingly kept, worn out, repaired, worn out again, and cared for like a cherished object. With the beautiful layers and stories woven into their pieces, it would be no challenge to treat them with such tenderness.

Monday, November 17, 2008

so softly

Lyndie Dourthe is a french artist who makes beautiful objects - and LOTS of them.

The appeal of her art is not only in the beauty of the objects themselves - small studies in color, texture, form - but the repetition of the forms, and how they are arranged; in identical boxes of the same color, in rows, or in giant masses.

Her sense of color is wonderful; the palettes soft and lush and feminine and downright gorgeous. Light and texture seem almost tangible in these internet photos - i can only imagine how these lovely pieces look in real life.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008


Andy Paiko is a U.S. artist who blends form and function in his glass pieces.

Check out both his "Sculpture", as well as "Sculptural Vesselware" on his website, for striking designs, some holding organic shapes. I really like how layered and ornate the work is - a jar that only needs to be five inches tall has a gigantic layered finial on top, just to show off. Glass is a beautiful and difficult medium to work in, and I really appreciate this artist's work.

Special thanks to DF reader CuriousArt who turned me on to Andy's work!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Yes yes, I've been slacking on the posts. As Mandi has stated before, we belly ourselves up to the all you can eat buffet of work and fill our plates on a regular basis. Sadly fun things tend to fall by the wayside when I get busy.

I thought I'd just post a really beautiful (only one among many) and haunting video by Sigur Ros.
Directed by Floria Sigismondi, who is probably best known for her Marilyn Manson videos. Which,have a certain aesthetic that we rather like around here as well...I'll totally admit to it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I can't quite figure Ryohei Hase out.

His work seems to not know where it fits either - at his best, he creates amazing, moody, visceral, motion-filled works with the same grimy flesh-realism that I appreciate in Odd Nerdrum's work. But at his most questionable, he creates pieces that seem more at home on the cover of a paperback science fiction novel than a gallery wall. And then there are the creature-design sketches.

Regardless of its application, this artist's talent is apparent, working digitally instead of with a brush and paint. I mean seriously, we're talking detail down to the reflections in a rabbit's eyes, and individual pieces of fur. Pop on over to his website or DeviantArt gallery (with beautifully large pictures so you can see all the detail).

Monday, September 29, 2008

play your hand

Dear readers, I am so sorry for our absence. Time moves so quickly sometimes, I cringe when I realize almost a month has passed with no update to this Dark Forest. It seems that both Chris and I fill our life to the very top with things, and we often discuss whether or not it is such a good idea to be so full of "to do". But that is for another day.

Today I am looking at the haunting work of Valerie Hammond.

Her works are mixed media - paper, encaustic, graphite, other things, all carefully rendered upon the page. The colors are natural yet dreamlike - I don't feel like they are connected to this world, yet incredibly grounded at the same time. In this series, she just does hand after hand after pair of hands - maybe a repetition, but of such an iconic and expressive form. It doesn't even need to be attached to an arm or a body to speak volumes.

I love the ferns, the flowers, the coral. All laying still on a washy field of color. For something so simple, and careful and centered, they really are very evocative.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Check out the photography of Lauren Simonutti. On her Flickr page, she asserts that her photographs are all done without the aid of digital effects - all manipulation is done in camera, or in the darkroom. Certainly refreshing these days.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Darker Forest

What began as cottage industry catering to wealthy Victorian tourists in the Swiss town of Brienz in the early 1800's, Black Forest wood carvings escalated to a highly respected and sought after art form being exhibited in many great international exhibitions in the late 19th and early 20th century.

While the style is undeniably the inspiration for many new products in home decor as well as the driving force behind many an artisan, it's difficult to find a central resource on the web. That being said, I am more than happy to showcase some of our favorite carvings to save you the surfing. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

seven deadly sips

Hamilton Design has created a conceptual set of seven red wine glasses based on the Seven Cardinal Sins. All nestled in plush burgundy velvet and polished wood, they look like an antique glass medical device.

Each handmade glass, representing a different sin, is almost painfully clever in concept - the Envy glass is full of holes, rendering what is most desired (the wine) all but unattainable, and the Lust glass is suspended from above, the only way to release the liquid inside being to manipulate a frosted glass globe with the tongue.

I don't even want to guess the price, but these absolutely exquisite sets are available for purchase at their website.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

windy city

Both of us will be in attendance in Chicago this saturday for the opening. Amanda has done some amazing work that has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Also I will have two sculptures on display that we both collaborated on. See you there.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

the magic eye

Like Mandi said, it HAS been too long.  Our real lives can tend to get very busy with our various projects, but we'll do our best to keep bringing you inspirado!

Music videos can be a perfect excuse to present amazing avant garde stories.  There are so many to choose from, I narrowed this week's selections
to these two from Unkle and The Knife.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

it's been so long

Our apologies to you, Darkened Forest readers. We realize that it's been almost a month since our last post. Chris and I have both had a lot going on, between work, art shows, preparations for ComicCon, and home rennovations...that doesn't leave either of us nearly enough time for blogging.

But I'm going to try and make it up to you this week, while Chris is at Comic Con.

For my first trick, behold the art of Paul Toupet:

His fondness for rabbit masks, rotting fabric, and tattered cotton ticking has every ingredient to make me love it instantly.

His website is, admittedly, a bit of a pain - made in flash with load-times seemingly for no reason at all. But the work is great, taking inspiration from old tribal masks, baby dolls, and childhood toys from a forgotten age.

The work is ambitious, especially considering the fact that the artist is somewhere in the vicinity of 28 years old.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

killing you softly

Sam Weber falls into a small, distinct group of illustrators that have a way of making a beautiful delicate image out of something that would otherwise seem frightening. His work is handled with the proficiency and aesthetic of an ancient Japanese calligrapher, while at the same time conveying heavy illustrative concepts.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I believe in fairy stories

I'm going to post something unabashedly girly because Chris can't stop me.

Whichgoose handcrafts absolutely beautiful fantasy crowns from natural materials, ribbons, beads, and tiny birds. The subdued palette and organic nature of them just fits my "fairy tale ideal" to an absolute tee. Her colors, photos, and textures are like a hand-colored photograph from the turn of the century. I might have kind of a girl-crush on her....okay, I do.

If you are going to a medieval fair this summer, or need something for a niece or daughter for dress-up, or if you're like me and feel your own need to play dress-up, be sure to check out her Etsy shop!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

who's afraid

Okay, I know that animal-head busts in classical patterns, or in solid mod colors are kind of a "thing" right now, and we here at Darkened Forest like to pride ourselves on having an aesthetic that is somehow beyond trends (a delusion, yes), but I saw this and just couldn't resist.

It's a resin wolf's head, papered in a black and white damask-type pattern, with beautiful, stoic green eyes. This would look amazing above my red velvet sofa, if anybody wants to buy it for me. Or, if you'd rather purchase it for your own sitting room, you can find it, and other papered creations, in the artist's Etsy shop.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison create fantastic, beautiful, surreal, and impossible photo collage works.

Subject matter ranges from desolate, isolated spaces, wounds, anachronistic men in period suits attending to various tasks, and colorful butterflies gathering in natural and man-made arrays. Their works are photographic collages, seamless combinations of images that tell a story. This Wikipedia entry has a lot of great information.

While many of their works are cleaner, lighter, and more colorful, these pieces from the exhibition "The Architect's Brother" (of which there is also a book) are dark and timeless, with pollution and open space, and labor.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

earthen vessels

Laura Zindel creates beautiful and functional ceramic pieces.

Flora and Fauna are artfully arranged on her plates, bowls, and cups, like specimens in a museum. The best part, of course, is that they are available for purchase on her website.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Askewed View

Former Tattoo artist, Chris Conn Askew creates amazing narrative imagery that feels very much of a different time and place.

With technical proficiency and a serious handle on capturing the mood of the moment, you would never suspect that he has had no formal art training. From what I know of the tattoo industry though, is that working your way up through the ranks is harder and more intensive training than you would ever receive in any cushy institution . HIS SITE is still under construction, but there are plenty of images to chew on in his myspace gallery.