Those who know me well, know all too well my disposition towards the grim and dark humoured, especially in music, books and art. For these reasons, those who know me will not be surprised by this project.
Over the last few weeks I have been working on a series of four illustrations. They depict female serial killers, in my usual silhouetted style, surrounded with various grisly body parts and an array of weapons and tools. Before you all start backing away from me slowly I want to explain why…
Part of the inspiration came for these while listening to one of my favourite bands, the pAper chAse. For those of you who maybe unaware of them, advance with caution. Their discordant, avant garde fusion of rock, punk, noise and strings is not for everyone, and certainly not for the faint of heart. They are though, an excellent band to listen to if you are feeling particularly angry, vicious, malevolent or sour. The Boif always worries when I am listening to them for fear my wrath might be heading his way, but honestly I find comfort in the contorted, dark sarcasm of the lyrics and the echoing themes that tie each album together. John Congleton’s twisting lyrics and soul scratching music have been my soundtrack on and off for the last decade. There was a time when their 2004 album, God Bless Your Black Heart, didn’t leave my stereo for a year.
The other jigsaw piece that led me to make these images is the media’s (especially television) preoccupation with serial killers at the moment; Dexter, Hannibal, Bates Motel, The Following to name a few. I thought I would spin the predominantly male genre and give it a lady twist.
In these shows, the killer is the protagonist, we are rooting for them and you only have to spend 5 minutes on tumblr before you stumble onto someone fawning over Dr Lecter or Dexter Morgan. Female serial killers are as rare in real life as they are in fiction. When they do appear it is more shocking, more unthinkable, that a woman could be responsible for such heinous crimes, be them works of the imagination or the real life human psyche.
So with that, I present to you the nonchalantly macabre “Black Hearts” with the song’s that inspired their titles…
Other notable tracks that helped me through:
Polkadot Cadaver – Sex Slave
Janelle Monae – Give Em What They Love
Devo – Girl U Want
A Pale Horse Named Death – Shallow Grave
Jack Off Jill – Fear Of Dying
Henri Rene – Sleepwalk
Gogol Bordello – Illumination
That Handsome Devil – Loving Parasite & Kiss The Cook
Well, I hope I haven’t scared you away…I am going to watch a Disney film now to balance myself out. Tell me though, what dark and weird books and music do you like?
P.S. I love the new televised version of Hannibal, exponentially more than I ever thought I would. Dexter on the other hand can go suck a fuck, that show is terrible!