Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Over the Years

Halloween has always been a muse of mine. While cemented by date, the holiday, almost like the avatar of some dead god, has shadowed high-points and low-points of my life, and has been especially important to me, for reasons beyond nostalgia and love of autumn, since I can remember. Halloween to me is pure America in that it's a melting-pot. Borrowing lore and customs from several dozen nations, and while less obvious than a carved turnip or a stack of cabbage stalks piled on the hearth; Halloween unites the world with something old, vital, and highly taken for granted; the harvest. Every aspect of the holiday, in some way or another, is rooted in the fact that every civilization, since agrarian activities began, have made note of the end of the growing season, stockpiling of grain, coming of winter, and the fact their lively-hood was largely decided by the harvest. Some held feasts and festivals, others prayed for safe deliverance to the thaw, and still others consulted passed loved ones; the whole world simultaneously stops and in some grand spectacle or brief thought, acknowledges how frail life is and how lucky they are to be on this side of the dirt beneath them.

I love every kernel of candy corn and piece of skeleton paper ephemera. Even the heavy commercial aspect and fact that everybody is slowly forgetting the true nature of the holiday holds a place in my heart, and makes it all the more special when I see children excitedly going door to door, too young to understand the role-reversal they participate in dressed as devils and witches. Nothing compels me more to put ink on paper than Halloween, and year after year, I find myself creating art in homage. I figured this year, since I'll probably be celebrating on the quiet side with a stiff drink and cigar, I'd post a sort of retrospective of my Halloween inspired art. The work spans the last eight years, so you can kinda see a progression in my hand. Hope you enjoy, and happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!


Really_Rather_Not_Nice said...

Stunning. I write a ton of Halloween themed... whatever each year, and never before have I heard anyone put the season into such a clear, sharp contrast of livelihood vs death before. The artwork communicates this beautifully. thanks for this.

Sam 'Catfish' Heimer said...

Thanks for the kind words. I highly reccomend David K. Skall's 'Death Makes a Holiday'. It's a slightly more contemporary look at Halloween that I read every year before Hallows Eve.