THE DARK SIRE magazine strives to bring you a banquet of the best in horror, gothic, fantasy, and psychological realism. And what is a banquet without desert? It’s high time that The Dark Forest paid well deserved kudos to the TDS artists. In an earlier blog, we said that a good horror story provokes an emotional response in the reader. Good art does the same. From the first issue to the latest one, TDS has incorporated various photographs, drawings, and other forms of art to add to the emotional stimulus that is our magazine.
A good piece of horror artwork, stays with you. It cannot easily be forgotten. In our debut issue, we presented you with the art of Christian-Rhen Stefani and the photography or Dee Espinoza. Ms. Stefani’s acrylic on ceramic tile entitled Shadow Still graced our first cover. We hoped that it would catch your attention and draw you into the magazine. It had a particular kind of intensity, one with out explanation, one that would captivate you with its abstract power. Between the covers, we gave you Ms. Espinoza’s Preston Castle Play Room. The black and white photograph leaves a lingering imprint and one can only image the loneliness and despair of the children who, once upon a time, had to survive there.
In our second issue, Rorschach by Doria Walsh appeared on our cover. This India ink on paper possessed an eerie tranquility that makes you look twice. Is it a soul catcher? Or something alive? The question is different for each viewer as is the answer, if there is one. In side, you discovered Lonely Soul by Paula Korkiamäki. It’s a haunting piece that shows her impression of the universe and the spirit world occupying the same place in space and time. As beautiful as it is, there is an instinctive discomfort as one contemplates the overlapping boundaries.
THE DARK SIRE is not about horror for horror’s sake. The metaphors and allegories reach far beyond the printed page. They make us look at ourselves from a different angle, adding a further dimension to the impression of our lives. In our third issue, you were treated to twelve pastels from our featured artist, Shaun Power (who was a guest in our Creative Nook interview series). His work invokes images that would warm the heart of Edgar Allen Poe, himself. There is an intimacy to his work that allows each individual viewer to suspend belief and enter into the art themselves. His work grants the viewer permission to become as much involved with the piece as they dare, perhaps demanding of the viewer concessions that they would not normally be willing to make.
In our fourth issue, we added the works of Dena Simard, Kibbi Linga, Juhi Ranjan, Brian Michael Barbeito, and Lam Jasmine Bauman (respectively). Shaun Power returned, as well, rounding out this group of talented artists. These works of art elicit an emotional response in the viewer which is exactly what we wanted them to do. In some cases, they inspire horror and dread; in others a reexamination of our objectivity. They evoked thought and a need for the dissection of our world and of ourselves – a contemplation before the storm. There is a paradox involved – and that, perhaps, is the greatest tribute we can give to our artists: They challenge the viewers to examine the world around them through an abstract artistic lens that only the great masters of the past could muster.
In our fifth (and most recent) issue, we combined the artwork of Shaun Power with the illustration of Kailey Reid, whose drawings have a peculiar kind of elegance to them. Yet, nothing is exactly as it should be. While Power supplied the horror of being overtaken by the dark, Reid provided the necessary undertone of “the other side,” the place in which the lost souls of mankind inhabited. Doing this created a mood that was fearsome, absurd, and unsettling all at the same time. The mix of both Power and Reid, then, became synonomous with the meaning of our latest issue: Halloween, and the meaning of the darkness on the most frightening day of the year.
Art is a collaboration between the artist and the viewer. At THE DARK SIRE, we try to offer our subscribers works that challenge their imaginations. It’s not just the dark and gruesome but also the magical that provides a release from an internalized fear, stimulating fascination with the dark and mysterious. And let’s remember: Not all art has to be innately horrific to be horrifying – for the world is filled with horrific things that come in bright packaging. That’s the beauty of art and abstracts – they can be anything the viewer envisions.
If you like art that touches your soul, subscribe to The Dark Sire – and tell a friend.