Nov 17, 2011

Review | Hell Bound: New Gothic Art | Francesca Gavin

Hell Bound: New Gothic Art, is a collection of different artist that have similar yet drastically different styles in what the author, Francesca Gavin, has dawned “new gothic art”. The author sheds light on the artist that have taken a darker side in the art world, showing their gruesome and anarchic visions of death and horror. Reading through each artist section, most of these artist came to their artwork by being drawn to the darker side of what surrounds us on a daily basis. Skull and skeletons, blood, black ink, gore and dead animals are a common fixture in this kind of art.

Some of these artist are even inspired by horror movies, incorporating images from different movies into their photos or actual films of their own. Others are inspired by music like heavy metal or punk, infusing the imagery and lifestyle into their own dark interpretation.
Although these artist are brought together in this book by what kind of art they make, each artist has reached this place by different backgrounds, mediums, tools, thoughts and inspiration. There are so many different pieces of art by different artist in this book that standout, but there are two that really caught my eye when reading. 
Gabriela Fridriksdottir, Tetralogia, North(still), video
The first is Gabriela Fridriksdottir from Iceland, originally studying sculpture, she is known for her drawings and videos of strange characters often with faces made out of bread dough. David Noonan depicts live performances and layers different scenes on top of each other forming a jumble of sometimes unclear pictures. 
Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Kiss of Death, 2003
The author Francesca Gavin, a writer based in London, does a great job describing each artist in such a small amount of text. She gets right to the core of the minds of each artist focusing on the inspiration behind there art from their lives and the things that surround them, along with quotes from the artists themselves. I was extremely pleased to find this book, finding artist that take a different path in making art or deriving different feelings or memories for there are is, in my opinion, very refreshing and satisfying. Much like artist in different types of art like music or film who reach for something more from the underground, these artists ignore the mainstream and listen to themselves. 
What are we so afraid of? Anything that transgresses the safe, cultural codes of 'civilization'; anything that crosses between reality and fantasy, social laws and taboos, the rational and irrational. Much of the art in this book is a manifestation of contemporary fears – of death itself, of the war in Iraq, of serial killers, paedophiles, guns and gang culture, apocalyptic fears about environmental disaster and global warming. (Gavin, 2)
- Matthew Jones


  1. ContributorNov 20, 2011 02:16 PM
    This is awesome. Now I want to go buy the book because I love dark art. I love when art isn't just something pretty but scary and hard to translate. Artist like these really capture a new type of gore that brings movies and fiction right before our eyes.
    -Anna Julian
  2. ContributorDec 5, 2011 06:18 AM
    Fantastic! This is so cool! From the cover I really was not too excited on the book and what may be inside. But my, it's quite different and I don't think the cover does any justice what so ever! I loved your blog over this, so well done!!

    - Erin Davis