Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Purple Haze

As mentioned previously, Splendor must periodically get her head scalded…er, “foiled” to maintain a proper (or rather improper appearance.) Passing the time while the NOXIOUS CHEMICALS do their thing usually involves reading some creepy magazine that would otherwise be avoided like the plague. Damn, bad choice of words…perhaps avoided like (fill in the blank, dear ones).
There are the token hipster magazines filled with people we have never heard of, doing things that we would never do. And of course the predictably disturbing Cosmo - “How to Improve Your Bikini Line with a Blow Torch and A Can of Oven Cleaner” (we swear that was the title of the article…or at least it should have been.) And last but not least an assortment of “Style” magazines (we use the word style loosely – didn’t Sunset magazine cease publication around 1943?)
Now while reading one of these lovely publications we ran across an article about a web based design service that will remain nameless (maybe it rhymes with roost, maybe it doesn’t.) The site is apparently the devil spawn of team of evil computer geniuses and an interior designer / accomplice. It promises to help you define your personal style and then suggest items for you to purchase. This is all achieved by a simple pictorial quiz…sounds fun? We thought not…
Well the quiz turns out to be onslaught of dreadful rooms that one must rate love it, hate it or somewhere in between. Now the opinion of a leather sofa in the color of mildewing grout is NOT a multiple choice question. And rooms featuring fuzzy white areas rugs with upholstery reminiscent of natty bath robes can bring to mind only one answer. Suppose it goes without saying, “HATE IT!!!” was marked on every image except a somewhat benign chest and a room featuring some wicked pitchfork wall art.

When it was time for the survey results, we rather expected our personal style to be coined as “URBAN BOHEMIAN BLACK METAL”, but surprise, surprise! It seems we are 50% Traditional Asian and 50% Hollywood Glamour and were then prompted to buy a crappy 40’s inspired lamp and a tansu. Now this whole experience got us thinking 1) that it is time for a cocktail and 2) that luscious shades of purple, violet and mulberry look lovely when placed throughout an interior. Whether used as a dramatic wall color (think gorgeous auborgine) or as unusual upholstery (amethyst, perhaps?) this color will not only command attention, but will scare away your timid neighbors. Here are some of our favorite rooms gathered for your enjoyment. ENEMIES OF BEIGE UNITE!

And as all lights turn'd on were
And the first act is begun...
...and the last my mouth I open'd
I, purple sage in the universal
And I speak in tongue unknown
And behold all stood in flames

(The Universe Illumination by Behemoth)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth…

It can be stated with full certainty that Seraph + Splendor have embarked (quite some time ago) on a path less chosen. When we were mere cherubs (dented halos and wings askew) our parents were fond of referring to “the phase” that we would inevitably “grow out of”. (HA!) In our humble opinion things have turned out well indeed for a pair of miscreants such as us. We are (somewhat) well adjusted, law abiding (really, don’t laugh) members of society. Pillars of the community, in fact. (If you consider the community the large flock of crows that live in our neighborhood, as well as the army of spiders that reside under our bed. And of course the ghosts…)

The Light Bearer (Infernal Stag)
24” h x 16” w x 12” d
© Seraph + Splendor 2009

Like any other fine community leaders we spend our afternoons collecting body parts (hearts and hands are our favorites) and keep a jar of human skulls in several sizes and colors. Now before you, dear readers, get overexcited, we are of course speaking of our materials for our current series of sculptures and needless to say (…?...) the hearts, hands and skulls are miniature in scale and made entirely of metal, wood or ceramic composite. There is at this point no need to mention the several boxes of bones we have recently received in the mail … or the fact that we are in the process of making a helm inspired by a certain nefarious winged deity.

Recently we have completed the first of a series of pieces that will be incorporated into Seraph’s Blood Etching project. The Light Bearer is a ritual sculpture and performance object in the semblance of an infernal stag. Reborn into a skin of death and armored in shrouds of blasphemy. Shards of firmament shattered and impaled upon hoof and bone. Adorned with a crown of living fire, the guardian of the Altar of Sound awakens…

This image (above) was taken by Seraph the night before we began creating this sculpture. The stag is pictured in an unadorned state and wears only a small brass crown at the base of his horns. The image has not been retouched or enhanced and the energy captured should speak for itself…

One of the final elements to be placed was a bronze candelabra entwined among the stag’s horns. The candelabra is fully functional and when lit forms a trident of illumination. The radiance of infernal grandeur will light the path which lies ahead…

Beloved Prince (The Charge)
In progress
© Seraph + Splendor 2009

The next object currently being conjured is a helm representing the Fallen. A rising to arms, full charge. Beloved Prince. The Morningstar rendered in a jagged ray of light, seeped in gems and jewels of kings. Chains unbound, victorious again…

The enigmatic Seraph himself holding a Crown of Bone and Wing…and Splendor among the horns. To the Death and Far Beyond!

I am Black Blood
I am the veins of your Earth
Black Bones rise
The Star’s in my eye

(“Lucifer Victorious” by Blood Etching)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Book Worship Volume VIII

Divinely Decadent by Stephen Calloway

Now here at Chintz of Darkness we regard Stephen Calloway as nothing short of genius. He is our Household God of D├ęcor and of course the Patron Saint of All Things Decadent. While nothing can quite compare to the unparalleled book Baroque, Baroque: The Culture of Excess, Divinely Decadent is a lovely continuation into the lavish, eccentric and ethereal world of High Design. The book is a joyous romp though the Seven Deadly Sins all gloriously acted out though the art of interior design and decoration. The sins in question are of course pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth (for anyone out there that has lost their list) and we will now take a moment to explore some of our favorites…

WRATH is certainly a sin worthy of any interior or collection. Decadent design must include a bit of the exquisitely morbid and sinister. The display of horns, skulls and taxidermy is adequate starting point, but there are more ways as well. Many strange things occupy our walls and cabinets and the colors burgundy and onyx run though our residence much like the Tigris and Euphrates ran though ancient Persia.

While some might find our collections menacing our goat head masks clad in silver armor have never really bitten anyone and the masks weeping jeweled tears are surely ones of joy. And just because all of the furniture is drenched in black doesn’t make it bad natured…

LUST, GREED and ENVY seem to go hand and hand when it comes designing and collecting. Who among us does not have something that they compulsively collect? We have all seen our rivals at thrift stores and flea markets scurrying around trying to find the buried treasure before anyone else or at antique stores jealously guarding their newest acquisition lest someone whisks it away. Collections are meant to be lovingly amassed, displayed and worshiped…what is the sin in that, we ask you?

We think perhaps that the sin know as SLOTH should be replaced with the color BEIGE. Beige is the most base and vile substance known to man. We promise you, if you willing have more than three beige things in your home YOU ARE GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL!!! And we do not mean the “cool” Hell (no pun intended…) where Chintz of Darkness resides, but the Hell were SATAN turns out to be MILEY CYRUS and the entire Underworld looks like a gigantic DANCING WITH THE STARS set…and yes, we need not remind you that sequin uniforms will be required…It just is not worth the price, dear ones.
Now tell us, what is your deadliest sin?

Divinely Decadent
By Stephen Calloway / Photographs by Deidi von Schaewen
© 2001Ocypus Publishing group London

In decadent darkness I grew black wings
Wings of Destruction, a sign of devastation

(“Mankind Murder” by Urgehal)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bad Hair Day

Now we have all had one of those days when one’s hair refuses to do as it is told. Whether it is an outright rebellion or simply disobedient, crooked, crimped or otherwise confused hair demands immediate attention.

Seraph + Splendor are quite divergent in their hair related issues. Seraph has opted for a sleek and easily maintained look. Thus avoiding brushes, combs and the general laws of physics (but that is a story for another time…) Splendor on the other hand, must deal with two feet of unruly, demon possessed hair on a daily basis. Perhaps the phrase RAT’S NEST could occasionally apply or perhaps not... no one will ever know.

Anyone who has had their hair colored can relate to Madame Yevonde’s lovely photographs. The image above (depicting the goddess Arethusa on the left, Ceres to the right) rather reminds us of the strange and disturbing ordeal of a partial foil (or a full foil if your hair stylist is feeling extra sadistic…) There is nothing quite like the experience having NOXIOUS BOILING CHEMICALS applied to one’s hair, which is then folded into small sheets of aluminum foil (rather resembling packets of leftovers or an alien abduction experiment) and then placed under a hair dryer for hours on end…You can usually tell when it is over when your scalp begins to SMOLDER.

Don’t you hate it when you have an aquatic related hair malady? Sea shells, coral and starfish should be used as a hairstyle by PROFESSIONAL MERMAIDS ONLY!
Wearing flowers in your hair is one of those girly notions that we do not quite approve of. Perhaps you can get away with it if you are a nymph (as in a mythological nature deity) NOT a nymphomaniac (as in every other Cradle of Filth song.) Now to anyone NOT familiar with CoF, we suggest you DO NOT go looking them up on the internet, for it will only ruin your day…) The jewel encrusted tiaras pictured below are rather tempting, but we still prefer to go unadorned by floral hair contraptions.

And finally GOING FOR BAROQUE is another interesting hair related strategy (tragedy?) Now we rather like Erte’s solution (see lead picture of) of balancing your bouffant with a tassel and birdcage skirt but the idea of planting an orchard upon one’s head is taking things too far…

I will trace the knot of serpents in your hair
Plot your face, then ascending marble stares
You shall pluck me, masked, from roses-in-despair
Tasting my blood
That runs from worming tongue like prayer

(Medusa And Hemlock by Cradle of Filth)
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