Bury Us Beneath Occult Books: The Ritman Library Digitized

This drear, accursed masonry, Where even the welcome daylight strains But duskily through the painted panes. Hemmed in by many a toppling heap Of books worm-eaten, gray with dust, Which to the vaulted ceiling creep. –Goethe, Faust, Part One Located in Amsterdam, The Ritman Library, aka the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, is a private library housing […]

A Little Haunt and a Little Peace: How to Hold by Christina Mrozik

The work of Portland, OR-based artist Christina Mrozik is no stranger to Haute Macabre. We’re all enamored with her ouevre. A new print or book release is always cause for excitement around here, to say nothing of the tides of emotion conjured and stoked by her creations. And so, it’s with a deliciously melancholy ache […]

Waking Medusa: Ray Harryhausen’s Movie Models Restored

I owe the wonder of one of my earliest cinematic memories to legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen. I was spellbound by Clash of the Titans from start to finish, which was also one of the first times I experienced that intoxicating combination of being amazed and thoroughly frightened at the same time. Between marvelously monstrous Medusa and […]

Winged Ghosts of Lake Natron

I’m endlessly fascinated by naturally occurring places that are completely inhospitable to all or most forms of life. It’s one thing when humanity so thoroughly destroys an ecosystem that everything there dies – such things, at this point, still upset but no longer surprise me. But when it’s all up to nature herself, that’s…not a […]

When Yorick Dreams…

Today we’re coveting this 19th century Japanese ivory carving of a human skull with a snake coiled around its crown and three toads and a tree frog climbing around on the skull and the snake. Measuring a mere 4.25″ (10.9 cm) high, this marvelously detailed carving is an okimono from the Meiji period, circa 1890. Okimono […]

The Exquisite Agony of Passing Through

  We’re excited to announce tonight’s opening of Passing Through, a hauntingly beautiful photography exhibition at Central Tattoo Studio in Philadelphia. “Passing Through is a symbolist and surrealist exploration of beauty, femininity, isolation, and pain. Each photographer in this exhibition creates a narrative in which they, themselves, are the subject, or they use models to represent the emotional, […]

Haunted by Cope-Arnold’s Vedas

I’ve been sitting here for far too long trying to find the words to describe Vedas, a captivating combination of photography and fashion created by Los Angeles-based studio Cope-Arnold. Vedas was inspired by the fabulous high-contrast B&W photos of fashion photography legend Irving Penn. More that simply write about them, I want to do things with these images, […]

They Wore the Universe Round Their Fingers…

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour…” –William Blake, from “Auguries of Innocence”   We’re spellbound by this 16th century gold ring that unfolds to reveal an ornate astronomical sphere. It’s part of […]

Roq La Rue’s Incandescent Ghost Heart

We’re all aswoon over the new paired exhibitions at Seattle’s Roq La Rue Gallery: “Ghost Heart” by American sculptor and jewelry designer Debra Baxter and “Incandescence” by Vancouver, BC-based narrative painter Rebecca Chaperon. “Roq La Rue is very pleased to present two dynamic shows for the month of April. Both artists explore natural forms, most particularly crystalline shapes, in […]

We Can Be Heroes: David Bowie Songs Reimagined as Sonic Pulp Adventure Book Covers

I love those moments when you encounter a fantastic pairing of properties that had never crossed your mind, but makes such perfect sense upon seeing it, it’s as though somehow you already new it existed. Screenwriter and graphic artist Todd Alcott has created one such sublime pairing by reimagining some of our beloved David Bowie’s […]

Twinkle, twinkle, little bats…

There’s something especially delightful about beauty found on extraordinarily small scales. Today we’re coveting this exquisite Ivory Bat Seal from the research collection at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Hand-carved by a Chinese artisan in the early 20th century, it measures barely 2.5 inches tall and just over 1 inch wide. The twinkling black eyes of those two wee bats, […]

Luminous Lunar Visions: The Astrophotography of Andrew McCarthy

Thou silver deity of secret night, Direct my footsteps through the woodland shade; Thou conscious witness of unknown delight, The Lover’s guardian, and the Muse’s aid! By thy pale beams I solitary rove, To thee my tender grief confide; Serenely sweet you gild the silent grove, My friend, my goddess, and my guide. E’en thee, […]

A Sentiment of Spirits: Conversations with Handsome Devils Puppets

Maika: Speaking from a writer’s perspective, interviews are funny things. Although this introduction is what you’re reading first, it was the very last thing written. It was also, somehow, the hardest part for me to write. Sarah and I had a wonderful time composing questions for Han. The hard work, as far as I’m concerned, […]

A Beautiful Ghost at Roq La Rue

Brian Despain – Flow, oil on panel Back in 2016, even though the decision was made for very sound and noble reasons, I was heartbroken when it was announced that owner and curator Kirsten Anderson was closing the Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle. The closure of a gallery that, for nearly 20 years, wasn’t just Seattle’s flagship for […]

Shift Souls: Iris van Herpen Spring 2019 Couture

Where cutting-edge design fuses heavenly bodies, celestial chimera, with the future of human evolution is where we find ‘Shift Souls,’ the captivating new spring Haute Couture collection from Dutch designer Iris van Herpen, recently unveiled at Palais des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The ‘Shift Souls’ collection was inspired by early celestial cartography and its representations of mythological […]

Adipocere at Stitch Fetish 7

When it comes to working with needle, thread, and linen (or needle, thread, and flesh), Melbourne-based artist Adipocere works a singular sort of magic. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to learn that they whisper incantations over their stitches as they conjure dreamlike images of delicate figures interacting with creatures, plants, and flowers, each […]

10 Years of Haute Macabre: Unearthly Realms: The Photography of Nona Limmen

Maika: I cannot get enough of photographs that transports me out of myself, photographers whose lenses serve as liminal zones that draw me in and make the world around me fall away as I’m drawn through a portal of their own creation. Nona Limmen is one such photographer. Would that I could afford to surround […]

10 Years of Haute Macabre: The Melancholy Visual Fables of Laura Makabresku

Maika: My favorite photographers tend to be those who create entire worlds, both large and small. Worlds that I wish I could myself inhabit, but instead may only experience via tantalizing and tormenting glimpses, and perhaps what bits manage to permeate my dreams. The singularly beautiful and haunting work of photographer Laura Makabresku has been one […]

10 Years of Haute Macabre: Exploring the Daydream Spaces of Scott Radke

Maika: When I began writing for Haute Macabre in 2016, one of the very first things I wanted to do was share an essay I’d already been writing and rewriting for years. It’s about the work of artist Scott Radke, one of my favorite contemporary artists, who has since become a friend. Each time I […]

Inside the Los Angeles Oddities Flea Market

I can scarcely believe the next Oddities Flea Market is less than a week away. While I wish I could magic myself there, it seems like only yesterday I was finally attending one of these dazzling events myself. Every time the market has taken place in New York, I’ve watched from my home, clear across the country in […]

We Believe Women: Mary Anne Carter reminds us that the truth is out there

Last Monday, as I was sitting in LAX waiting for my flight home to Portland, my stomach and chest both unpleasantly writhing knots of feels about current events, Sonya sent me a link to this fantastic shirt that their friend, Seattle-based artist Mary Anne Carter, had recently made. Carter redesigned the iconic “I Want To Believe” […]

How Not To Be Seen: Unlearning Invisibility – One Year Later

It’s Pride Month and nearly a year has passed since my essay, “How Not To Be Seen: Unlearning Invisibility,” was first published here on Haute Macabre. So lately I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on that particular piece of writing which, to my surprise and subsequent joy, ended up helping more people than myself […]

Behind “The Yellow Wallpaper”

As Haute Macabre readers, I expect many, if not most of you are already well acquainted with a certain late 19th century short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman entitled “The Yellow Wallpaper.” However if that title is unfamiliar to you, before you read further, I urge you to take a few moments to experience an […]

Anouk Wipprecht’s Spider Dress: Robotic Arachnid Guardian Chic

Today we’re coveting the most recent version of Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht‘s fabulous Spider Dress (here’s the first). We remember when it first debuted back in 2015, but when isn’t reactive robotic futuristic spider couture relevant? Wipprecht’s arresting 3D-printed mechatronic design reacts to the respiration of its wearer and movements of nearby people using Intel’s Edison […]

Macabre Muse: Arran Shurvinton

The first time I encountered the wondrous creature that is Arran Shurvinton I was transfixed, but I had no idea who they were. Like many people, I’d simply found a viral video of someone wearing fantastic Nosferatu makeup and prosthetics, dressed in a shiny gold halter top and frilly ivory bloomers, dancing in a vintage […]

Diaphanous Knitting And Gossamer Knotting: Wearable Art By Nora Fok

Southeast England-based artist Nora Fok creates exquisite works of wearable textile art that look like they were woven using spider silk. In reality Fok uses her own two hands and a fine nylon microfilament, not a team of highly specialized and unusually cooperative arachnids, but I’m no less amazed by her weaving, knitting, braiding, and knotting achievements. […]

A Valentine For A Great Old One

I’m not terribly moved by Valentine’s Day. I’m a hopeless romantic in the right context, but the commercial holiday generally feels pretty hollow and forced to me. Or rather, it did until I found just the right angle from which to approach it. It started as one of those fanciful questions born of woolgathering: What if a sea […]

Haute Macabre Staff Favorites For 2017: Maika’s Picks

Some personal thoughts on 2017… Oh 2017, you were a very challenging and full year. In addition to all the weight, worry, and woe about current events, my personal life was fraught with stress, growing pains, and heartache, none of which was actually new to the year itself. But the tide well and truly turned […]