Sunday, 16 October 2011

Apocalyptic visions

Hi Sylwia
You sent in a query about further lines of enquiry for your dissertation on theapocalyptic vision in art, fashion, film and photography.  You have already covered a lot of the key artists from the Renaissance, eg, Durer, Bosch and Memling through to the more recent visualisers of Hell, such as the Chapman Brothers. Have you looked at John Martin, with paintings such as The Great Day of his Wrath (1853), and Sodom and Gomorrah. There is currently an exhibition at Tate Britain, called John Martin: Apocalypse. It also shows his influence on artists who followed. They've also made a film trailer for the show. Watch the trailer!

John Martin: The Great Day of his Wrath 1853
Other artists from the past who have covered the theme, include William Blake, Gustave Dore, and various medieval illuminators. The best book that I have come across is The Apocalypse: The Shape of Things to Come edited by Frances Carey. The Apocalyse - link to Amazon  This covers a wide range of imagery and films, with essays by a variety of specialists. Some of the stills from the films provide interesting visual stimuli. Another thought, is Alfred Kubin, who wrote a weird novel called The Other Side. It was really about fears of the first world war and the sexual politics of Vienna, but quite apocalyptic.

Alfred Kubin

The fashion designers you have looked at, particularly Mitanovksi, are stunning.


There are similarities to Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh.
You could look at cyberpunk fashion, although you'd have to be very selective, as it can get too close to comics/graphic art. You don't mention the Terminator series of films, but this kind of fashion links to this. Blade Runner, and other films with dystopian themes also come to mind.

Gareth Pugh

For the cyberpunk designers, look at Sandra Buckland, Scherer Gonzales, and Iris Van Herpen.

Iris Van Herpen

Sandra Backlund

Scherer Gonzales

In photography, have you also looked at Arthur Tress, and further back, Atget?

Eugene Atget

Arthur Tress
Arthur Tress

Or Angus McBean?

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