Airships and Tentacles.

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How can we not feature something that boasts airships, Arctic wastes, tentacles and sensuality – all at once? Impossible, I say! So here is the “Airships and Tentacles” Series by Myke Amend, combining Vernian and Lovecraftian atmosphere and concepts into strange-fiction fantasy horror mashups:
—- What are your influences, besides the obvious Lovecraft references and airship-induced themes?
“I would count my artistic influences over my lifetime as: Gustav Dore, Pieter Brueghel (the Elder mostly, but I admire the entire family’s work) Zdzislaw Beksinski, Bethalynne Bajema, Michael Whelan, Derek Riggs, Dave McKean, and Gerald Brom – though recently I have found myself very drawn by the works of newer artists such as Brian Despain, Travis Louie, Chet Zar, and Chris Mars.
I don’t see any of which really showing in my works, regretfully, but they are there – each encouraging me to try something new and experimental in the styling, media, or feel of each work I do.
I am also influenced by the written works of Edgar Allen Poe, Algernon Blackwood, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Robert W. Chambers, Gordon R. Dickson, Tolkien, Jules Verne, Terry Brooks, H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, Neil Gaiman, and Warren Ellis.
In my teen years, it was music – gloomy gothy music, deathrock, horror punk ordered by mail or shared through duplicated cassettes – and the largest assortment of obscure and semi-unknown metal and progressive metal bands – many of which I picked out of the music store almost entirely according to their album art, hence Derek Riggs (Illustrator for Iron Maiden) listed in my artistic influences.
Most influential, especially in my youth, outside of Dungeons and Dragons and Dark Sun campaigns, were the entire series of Final Fantasy games, the Dragon Warrior games, as well as Chrono-Cross and Chrono Trigger – leading into my earlier adult years with games such as the Heroes of Might and Magic series, Xenosaga, Dark Cloud, and Dark Cloud II.
Audio-visual eye-candy tends to grab me more than anything else these days. This perhaps because I regrettably find myself with less time for reading or for visiting my favorite museums.
Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Golden Compass, Stardust, Mirrormask, Pan’s Labyrinth, City of Lost Children, Chronos, Howl’s Moving Castle, Casshern, Brazil, the Adventures of Baron Munchausen account for much of what I have been doing over this last year or so.”
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“The Machine” was done for for Josh Pfeiffer/the Steampunk Industrial Band “Vernian Process”.
see more via Dark Roasted Blend: Airships and Tentacles.

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disturbing-artistic-creations-10Desperate, tender, doomed—Beksinski’s couple are heartbreaking.
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In one of the most directly affecting pieces on this list, Zdizslaw Beksinski presents the charred and skeletal forms of a couple clinging to one another in the aftermath of some disaster.
The red and orange palette suggests some form of fiery destruction, whether nuclear or solar, and the vague backdrop suggests a sandstorm whipping at their remains.
The desperation in these individuals is prevalent even in death, and the brilliant combination of raw human emotion and death at its most grotesque, makes for one disturbing image.
via 10 Disturbing Artistic Creations › Illusion.

France in “The Future.”

France_in_XXI_CenturyFrance in the Year 2000 (XXI century) – a series of futuristic pictures by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists issued in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910.
Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the year 2000.
There are at least 87 cards known that were authored by various French artists, the first series being produced for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris.800px-France_in_XXI_Century
See more images via France in the year 2000 | The Public Domain Review.

The Surprising Origins of Tarot.

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Above: Cards from a Tarot de Marseille deck made by François Gassmann, circa 1870. Photo courtesy Bill Wolf.
The Empress. The Hanged Man. The Chariot. Judgment. With their centuries-old iconography blending a mix of ancient symbols, religious allegories, and historic events, tarot cards can seem purposefully opaque.
To outsiders and skeptics, occult practices like card reading have little relevance in our modern world. But a closer look at these miniature masterpieces reveals that the power of these cards isn’t endowed from some mystical source—it comes from the ability of their small, static images to illuminate our most complex dilemmas and desires.
“There’s a lot of friction between tarot historians and card readers about the origins and purpose of tarot cards.”
Contrary to what the uninitiated might think, the meaning of divination cards changes over time, shaped by each era’s culture and the needs of individual users.
This is partly why these decks can be so puzzling to outsiders, as most of them reference allegories or events familiar to people many centuries ago. Caitlín Matthews, who teaches courses on cartomancy, or divination with cards, says that before the 18th century, the imagery on these cards was accessible to a much broader population.
But in contrast to these historic decks, Matthews finds most modern decks harder to engage with.
“You either have these very shallow ones or these rampantly esoteric ones with so many signs and symbols on them you can barely make them out,” says Matthews.
“I bought my first tarot pack, which was the Tarot de Marseille published by Grimaud in 1969, and I recently came right around back to it after not using it for a while.”
Presumably originating in the 17th century, the Tarot de Marseille is one of the most common types of tarot deck ever produced. Marseille decks were generally printed with woodblocks and later colored by hand using basic stencils.
Read on via Tarot Mythology: The Surprising Origins of the World’s Most Misunderstood Cards | Collectors Weekly.

“Dystopian Worlds”.

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Trying to categorize or summarize the genre of Alex Andreev’s digital paintings is nearly impossible.
Part science fiction, part dystopian future, the scenes are equally disturbing and beautiful, his characters inhabiting a world Andreev tells me is deeply influenced by Soviet-era literature, music and movies.
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via Paintings of Dystopian Worlds by Alex Andreev.

The Bearded Man of the Future.

lnkoyz4evktvimktg9edThe February 1, 1939 issue of Vogue ran this photo of the 21st Century man.
The caption appears below.
The picture can also be found in the book Exit to Tomorrow: World’s Fair Architecture, Design, Fashion 1933-2005.
Gilbert Rhode banishes buttons, pockets, collars, ties.
The man of the next century will revolt against shaving and wear a beautiful beard, says the designer of boilers, pianos, clocks and metal furniture.
His hat will be an an antennae – snatching radio out of the ether. His socks disposable, his suit minus tie collar and buttons.
via Bearded Men of the 21st Century (1939).