Ossian Brown is an English artist and musician whose book “Haunted Air” gives us a rare glimpse at the vintage celebration of Halloween in America, c. 1875-1955. Anonymous photographs collected from family albums depict the traditional macabre costumes from ages past.
“I find their haunting melancholy completely absorbing; all of these photographs <…> now torn out, disembodied and forgotten <…> they’ve now become fully and utterly the masks and phantoms they dragged up as, all those years ago.”
Compared to today’s flashy, pop-culture inspired Halloween costumes, these get ups of are capable of giving viewer the chills. Black and white photographs feature children and adults dressed with strange DIY masks and robes. Popular motifs contain disguising as devils, witches or animals.
According to Brown, he was fascinated by the wild imagination of these people who at the time were living in great poverty but still managed to create “these incredible and phantasmagorical apparitions”. From whatever inanimate objects, they would construct truly haunting costumes and kept with the essence of tradition which is overlooked nowadays.
To give the book even more mystery, the foreword was written by David Lynch. A short excerpt presented here:
“All the clocks had stopped. A void out of time. And here they are – looking out and holding themselves still – holding still at that point where two worlds join – the familiar – ant the other.”
If you’re familiar with the films of David Lynch, then you know the subtle uneasiness that he makes you feel. It doesn’t just stop with movies, as Lynch is also a photographer. Between 1980 and 2000, he shot monochromatic images of factories in Berlin, Poland, New York, New Jersey, and England. The result is a book of photographs titled The Factory Photographs, selections of which are currently on view at The Photographers’ Gallery in London.
It’s clear that the filmmaker’s eye transfers effortlessly between the moving picture and a static one. These landscapes are beautiful, but desolate and haunting; Their moodiness makes them feel as if they are of a different time and dystopian future. “I love industry. Pipes. I love fluid and smoke. I love man-made things. I like to see people hard at work, and I like to see sludge and man-made waste,” Lynch writes in his book.
The photographer practices transcendental meditation, and his penchant for delving into the strange and unconscious part of ourselves is not lost on these photographs. In the exhibit’s press release, Lynch says, “I just like going into strange worlds. A lot more happens when you open yourself up to the work and let yourself act and react to it.” These provocative images invite us to do the same. (Via Fast Company)
Originally from South Korea, artist Stella Im Hultberg has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and California. After studying industrial design, she worked as a designer of toys, among other products, for several years. In 2005, Hultberg turned her attentions to painting and began practicing her craft more extensively. Since making this transition, her works in ink, oils, and watercolor have been shown at galleries throughout the country. Most recently, the artist contributed a piece to Copro Gallery‘s group show celebrating the 20th anniversary of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.” You can catch the show in Santa Monica, CA now through May 12th.
Interview Project is a new web-based video series presented by David Lynch and created by his son, Austin Lynch, as well as Austin’s friend, Jesse S. Austin, Jesse, and their team took a massive road trip around the US, traveling on back roads and interviewing the people they encountered. Some of the interviews are striking for the crazy stories they have to tell – one man, Tommie Holiday (pictured above), talks about his true love who is in jail for killing an ex-boyfriend. Other people have more ordinary stories, like Clara, who is a mother and grandmother to a perfectly lovely flock of offspring in Colorado. They all, however, have some rather profound things to say about life.
Unfortunately the videos were rather difficult to embed, so you can either see some video stills after the jump or click here to go to the Interview Project site.