Posts Tagged Beauty

Interview With A Mad Artist

Last week, I got a chance to catch up with one of my favorite artists, Michelle E. Fusco (aka Libertina Grimm).  She has a unique talent for creating enchanting visions of enigmatic musicians.  Her subjects in the past have included Alice Cooper, King Diamond, Jim Morrison and Dani Filth.  She manages to capture the magniloquent beauty of these artists in a way that is both memorable and uncanny.  Recently, she has turned her attention towards rendering the image of Michael Jackson in a respectful and deeply loving manner.

What was the moment you discovered you had artistic talent like for you?

I was about 11 or 12 & mostly I remember being happy to have made my father proud of something I did, because he was very hard to please.

Why do you choose to create art?

Once I discovered I could do it, it became my strongest mode of self-expression, and a very effective escape from troubles, stress and reality.

What artist or artists do you feel the deepest connection to?

I feel the deepest connection(s) to Mozart, Michelangelo, Rene Magritte, Michael Jackson, and Stephen King.

You have created art based on many well-known musicians over the years. What makes you settle on a certain subject to work on?

I am only truly inspired by performers that are “outside the box” and seem to have something speaking through them. Like they’re mad to create or something… I’ve explored music in search of these true artists, to whom creating their music is truly an extension of themselves and their lives. Once I find someone who seems to be REAL in that fashion, I feel I must portray them in some paintings, as if somehow to express my appreciation for their efforts in being real artists.

What about Michael Jackson, your current subject, do you most connect to?

My first thought on this one was ‘what DON’T I connect to?’ . I had a difficult childhood and this leaves one feeling like it was stolen away. I identify with Michael’s eternal child-like qualities and attempts to create his own dream world around himself, and stubbornly (needed to) live there, despite the ‘real’ world’s repeated attempts to tear it down. He had to live in his own reality because no one really understood him. I definitely connect to that. The feeling of isolation, creativity needing to be shared with the world, but yet no one truly understanding it.

Have you ever felt as if you created something that was perfect?

I have never created something perfect. I sometimes have thought I was working on a perfect drawing or painting, or at least one I would be satisfied with, but invariably, somewhere along the way, I end up feeling like I let myself down yet again, didn’t do as well as I had hoped to, & must set my sights on the next project, because apparently the next one is always the best one.

What is beauty?

To me it is some sort of otherworldly aura or essence that is shocking in it’s perfection, whether it’s Dani Filth as a flawless Gothic vampire, or Michael aspiring to the heavens, the wish to create something with a perfect effect is there and is beautiful. Like Michelangelo’s “David”. Perfection of form and grace, but also with a deeper meaning.

What environment are you most comfortable creating in?

I always work at the same old work-desk with a great stereo so I can hear my subjects. I always must create a music program to accompany each project, to create an appropriate ambience/atmosphere. I’ve been doing that since childhood and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t draw anything without the accompanying soundtrack.

If you could no longer create art, what would you do?

If things were as they are now and I could no longer create art, I would die. But if I could have any career as a replacement, like if I had a genie or something? Then I would be a dancer.

What about raising chickens appeals to you?

Chickens are great! They’re funny and sweet, and generally misunderstood. Probably my favorite thing about them is that if you raised them from babies, they’re your friends for life. I have full grown hens that still insist I’m their mother. They bond for life if treated right, which of course makes them excellent pets! I also like to rescue them from bad situations with people who don’t understand and give them proper shelter.  It can be very rewarding. One of my older hens, Ivy, was left without food when her owners moved and couldn’t take chickens to their new place. They just abandoned her. I found her wandering in the road. I took her home and now she’s one of the family.  Chickens need more people who understand that they are intelligent, compassionate creatures worthy of respect and love.

For a look at more of Michelle’s art, check out on her Facebook page or her website www.doors-of-perception.com.

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Jason X: A Spiritual Journey

 

Watch out…Plymouth Rock might land on you!

James Isaac’s classic 2001 film Jason X proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that horror films can be about much more than blood and guts.  Instead of plodding down the well-worn path of past slasher films, Isaac takes the series in a bold and beautiful direction.  In Jason X, Jason Voorhees discovers that there is more to life than simply killing frightened co-eds with chainsaw.  He has tired of a life of senseless murder and finally finds inner peace.  Jason X is the redemptive tale of Jason’s conversion to Islam and the strange course it sets his life on.

The film begins with Jason’s arrest and capture for the murder of 827 people at Camp Crystal Lake.  While in prison, Jason begins to feel a deep sense of inner sadness for his crime.  He is lost in a sea of sorrow when he meets Baines, a convict who changes his life forever.  Jason is introduced to the Koran and the way of Muhammad and for the first time begins to see something greater than himself in the world.  One of the most poignant scenes in recent memory comes when Jason, feeling terrible remorse for his crimes, begins to cry uncontrollably.  The image of tears rolling down that hockey mask is something I don’t think I will soon forget.

Jason is finally released 20 years later.  He returns to society and begins to work for Elijah Muhammad, one of the day’s great religious leaders.  At first, he gives speeches supporting Muhammad, but quickly becomes a well-known, popular leader with a slew of his own followers.  In order to stop Jason from taking over the Nation of Islam, Muhammad has Jason kidnapped, cryogenically frozen and hidden in the basement of a local public library.

Jason is re-awoken in the year 2455 by a crew of space travelers who are returning to reclaim the Earth (which was abandoned years earlier because of global warming and high taxes).   At first, when the crew discovers Jason they treat him well, but soon they begin to harass and chide him because of his unwillingness to take off the hockey mask.  Jason’s spirituality is tested as he begins to consider taking a machete to the explorers in revenge for their taunts.  Will Jason overcome his demons and chose the path of peace or will he go absolutely berserk and start killing people with random power tools?  The conclusion is a deep and powerful statement on the human condition and on the effects of liquid nitrogen on a person’s skull.

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