Spine-Chilling Paintings Of Suffering by Dr. Kevorkian, Practitioner Of Assisted Suicide

Dr. KevorkianDr. KevorkianDr. KevorkianDr. Kevorkian

The late Dr. Jack Kevorkian, known for his life’s work of advocating assisted suicide and for helping to end over 130 lives with his ominous-sounding Thanatron, or “machine of death,” was also an oil painter. The doctor, who spend 8 years in prison, created a little-known body of work tinged with the horror of pain; illustrating his controversial ideas on compassion, the paintings take aim at his religious critics and appeal to a nuanced moral ideal where death is seen simultaneously as a terror and an escape.

Kevorkian’s Thanatron takes its name from the ancient Greek personification of death; in his paintings, he also uses mythological themes. In “Fever,” he illustrates a hell composed of the ill and suffering; like Dante’s Virgil, he leads his painted patient through the depths of agony and fear with wide, sweeping brushstrokes. The Christian Brotherhood is reimagined as a monster characterized by multiple grotesque, sharp-toothed heads vaguely reminiscent of Inferno’s Satan.

Seemingly drawing inspiration from symbolist painters like Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch, the artist, often referred to as “Dr. Death,” distorts the form of his subjects so that they might express psychological despair and heightened anxiety. In one image, titled “Coma,” a man, draped in a bed sheet, is inhaled by ghostly skull, his body absurdly foreshortened and his lined feet disproportionately swelled to express profound weariness. As the monstrous spirit of “coma” sucks him in, his tiny, darkened eyes beg for release. In “Paralysis,” the body becomes a prison, the brain removed and bound in chains.

When exhibited alongside the doctor’s paintings illustrating his love of music (Johann Sebastian Bach, a treble and bass clef), as they are at Gallerie Sparta, the more frightful images take on a strange operatic quality, evoking eery tonal climaxes with expressionistic bursts of color. 11 of the doctor’s paintings will be on view through April 30. (via Huff Post)
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Photographs By Olivia Locher Mock Bizarre Laws In The United States

Olivia Locher - Photography

In Texas it is illegal for children to have unusual haircuts.

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In Alabama it’s illegal to have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at all times.

Photography

In California nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.

photos of bouncing pickles

In Connecticut pickles must bounce to officially be considered pickles.

In Texas, it is illegal for a child to have an unusual haircut. In Alabama, you can’t carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time. You can forget about riding your bicycle in a swimming pool if you’re in California. Yes, that is illegal, too! All states have weird and obscure laws that don’t make any practical sense. But, we love to laugh about them, and photographer Olivia Locher has taken this one step further. Her series, I Fought the Law, depicts some of these absurd laws in some equally absurd photographs.

Locher has some great source material to work with and does it justice. Formally, her photographs are beautiful. They are colorful, well-lit with engaging compositions. Even something as mundane as pickles is made interesting. While some images are just simply nice to look at, others are more narrative, like the man biking in the swimming pool. I’m also curious at the potential story behind the several dildos places among fine China.

The eight photographs of I Fought the Law has whet my appetite for more. I’m happy to know that Locher intends to disobey the laws of all 50 states and continue this series. I’m looking forward to seeing what my state, Maryland, has come up with! (Via Feature Shoot)

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