Leslie Ann O’Dell: Haunted Harbingers and Feral Phantoms

I gasped audibly the first time I set eyes on the work of contemporary artist Leslie Ann O’Dell. Entirely self-taught, O’Dell combines photography, digital art, and sometimes traditional elements to create portraits of nightmarishly beautiful creatures, each born of her own imagination yet to me feel like still more characters from unknown folktales I’m now yearning […]

Biblio-alchemy: The Liquid Library of Annalù Boeretto

Here at Haute Macabre there’s no such thing as too many books. We each live surrounded by overflowing shelves and stacks of books, old and new, and exist between their covers. But some books aren’t made for reading, they’re made for aesthetic appreciation and today we’re coveting these dynamic book sculptures created by Italian contemporary artist Annalù Boeretto. Primarily […]

Christina Mrozik: Metamorphosis, Quietus, and In-betweens

Although I can’t remember when I first discovered the work of Midwest-born, Portland, OR-based artist Christina Mrozik, I know I was already aware of her the first time I got to see some of it in person, right here in Portland at a group exhibition at the Antler Gallery in 2016. That was where I met a marvelously surreal piece, […]

How Not To Be Seen: Unlearning Invisibility

A few months ago Sam invited the staff writers to pen some personal pieces for Haute Macabre. I’ve since considered writing about a variety of subjects that interest me, but there’s something else, something much more personal that’s been on my mind for a very long time and this suddenly seemed like a singular opportunity to […]

Brooke Shaden: Visceral Visual Narratives

Every so often I encounter lists of wonderful words that describe emotions for which there are no English equivalents. (Saudade remains my most favorite.) Brooke Shaden accomplishes the same feat with photography, complex and raw emotions expressed in single square narrative images. The very first time I saw one of Brooke Shaden’s self-portraits she’d squeeze herself into a freezer for a piece […]

Playing With Death: The Morbid Curiosity Game

Death can be a tricky subject to discuss, even for those of us more morbidly-minded than most. It’s also endlessly, irresistibly fascinating and affects every single one of us. As our beloved Caitlin Doughty often reminds us, ignoring topics that frighten or make us uncomfortable only makes them scarier, whereas openly talking about them brings […]

Going Home to Twin Peaks

I’ve lived in the PNW for nearly 17 years, first in Seattle and now in Portland. But no matter how long one lives in a place, conversation eventually turns to where you lived might’ve lived before, which then glances over its shoulder and asks how you came to live where you do now. My answer […]

Own your own Handbook for the Recently Deceased

Good news, deathlings! We no longer need to wait until we meet our respective demises in order to obtain a copy of the Handbook for the Recently Deceased, that oft-coveted yet inscrutable guide to the afterlife first seen in Beetlejuice. Think Geek has released an exclusive, officially licensed replica of the dearly departed Maitlands’ very own handbook. The Handbook […]

The Poignant Beauty of Anne ten Donkelaar’s Broken Butterflies

For all their splendid colours, intricate patterns, and exquisite shapes, I find the most beautiful aspect of butterflies is how all those characteristics occur in such fragile, short-lived bodies. They remind me of a favorite line written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Beautiful and Damned: “There’s no beauty without poignancy and there’s no poignancy without the feeling […]

Savoring the celluloid hues of colorpalette.cinema on Instagram

Color is a uniquely powerful tool in the art of cinematic storytelling. We’re all naturally sensitive to color and its impact doesn’t require our conscious awareness in order to be felt emotionally, psychologically, and even physically. For some filmmakers, the role of color is so important it may as well be considered a character unto […]

Unsettling Ceramics by Sarah Duyer

All we want to do today is chase after this skittering teapot creature, which is the work of San Francisco-based ceramic artist and painter Sarah Duyer and undoubtedly contains some incredibly powerful elixir. Duyer also created these marvelous skeleton and severed finger ring bowls, both of which look like perfect places to store all the Blood Milk jewels we […]

So we met at the Cemetery Gates: An Interview with Nathan Graves

I freely admit that I first fell in love with the Pacific Northwest from afar while watching Twin Peaks back when I was attending high school in Chicago, but I’ve actually lived in the PNW since 2000. With its deep, lush forests, stormy beaches, and seemingly endless chains of grey, rainy days, the PNW is a wonderful […]

SÉANCE: Spiritualist Ritual and the Search for Ectoplasm by Shannon Taggart

The ever-inspiring Pam Grossman (recently interviewed here by S. Elizabeth) just tipped us off about the forthcoming release of a fascinating new book by Brooklyn-based photographer Shannon Taggart, who specializes in contemporary spirit photography. Entitled SÉANCE: Spiritualist Ritual and the Search for Ectoplasm, the book combines Taggart’s ethnographic study of Spiritualism with her processes for photographing spiritualist transformations, including such […]

Mysterious Maidens and Menacing Idylls: The Paintings of Stephen Mackey

Because the (admittedly fictional) Pevensie children discovered a magical portal to the land of Narnia in their caretaker’s wardrobe, I’m convinced that my house must somewhere conceal a gateway to the fairy-tale oil paintings of British artist Stephen Mackey, a land rich in haunting symbolism, as beautiful as it is disquieting. Inspired by oil paintings from the […]

Immortal Love from Decorus Macabre

In the grand scheme of things, loving the living is easy. There are countless ways to show your animate loved ones that you care. But what about those paramours who’ve shuffled off this mortal coil? What if you’re crushing on a ghost or perhaps there’s a phantom beyond the veil who’s pining for you. The Forever Collection from UK-based oddity shop Decorus […]

Remembering the Morbid Anatomy Museum

  There’s a Morbid Anatomy-shaped hole in our hearts. Last year, on December 18th, the Morbid Anatomy Museum first announced that they would be closing their doors. Shortly thereafter the museum was beautifully eulogized by Evan Michelson. Now we here at Haute Macabre would like to raise a glass in tribute to a singular institution that was dear to […]

The Skeleton Rocker: A Cozy Reminder of Our Mortality

Until this moment I had no idea that my house has been desperately missing a skeleton rocking chair. Modeled after a mid 19th century Russian chair, these beautiful, elaborately hand-carved rockers were made in the US in the 20th century, most likely during the 1930s. With an estimated auction value of $2,500 to $3,5oo, this isn’t the most […]

Unearthly Realms: The Photography of Nona Limmen

Dutch photographer Nona Limmen is based in Amsterdam, but her marvelous analog photos capture visions of a vast, mystical world nebulously bordering our own. This mysterious land, woven of dreams and memories, is inhabited by powerful women, liminal creatures wielding arcane forces so great they sometimes fracture their very being. Some of Limmen’s women are eldritch pagan priestesses conversing in whispered chants with […]

The Melancholy Visual Fables of Laura Makabresku

I’ve been quietly in love with the work of Polish photographer Laura Makabresku for years. Her otherworldly photographs fall into that special category of things that feel too personal and precious to mention to another living soul. Or rather, that’s how I once felt about certain things I held dear: that sharing something intensely meaningful […]

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion

For visionary Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen, fashion is tantamount to worldbuilding. Since 2007 she has been dazzling the fashion world with collections inspired by everything from lucid dreaming, scanning electron microscopy, synaesthesia, and Egyptian mummification to fluid dynamics and crystallization, radiation, and black magic and alchemy by virtue of a murder of crows living near her […]