At Birds N Bones, we realize we’re not the only ones who find inspiration in darkness. The seductive allure of the supernatural and the mysteries of nature have motivated some of our favorite contemporary artists. This week we’d like to shine a little light into the shadows to introduce two of our favorites: Dilek Baykara and Jessica Joslin.
Dilek Baykara is an illustrator based in Brooklyn, NY. She is firmly embedded in the metal scene, but her portfolio includes posters for bands from Pentagram to the Mountain Goats. Her stunningly intricate illustrations often feature powerful women as the focus, sometimes as an outside supernatural force (a man with a penetrating look emerging from a cloud of smoke, a satyr in the moonlight, eerily sentient vines) is trying to seduce or ensnare them. It doesn’t ever look like that force will win. At the age of 25 she has already done the aforementioned band posters, skate decks, a piece for BUST Magazine’s article on female ghosts, and an illustration for the Boston Globe’s book review. At only 23 she was awarded with The Village Voice’s Best of NYC “Best Concert Poster Designer.” With such an immense amount of talent at such a young age, we’re waiting in anticipation to see what detailed, dreamy, masterpiece she comes up with next. If you’d like to see some of her work in person, she is currently featured in an exhibit at Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park, NJ. If you’re not in the area, check out her work online here.
Jessica Joslin is an incredibly unique sculptor. Growing up, she was fascinated by the Victorian osteological and taxidermy exhibits in Harvard’s Natural History Museum. These exhibits helped her diagnose an as yet unknown problem with her vision, an experience you can read more about in Hi-Fructose’s excellent interview with her here. Upon viewing her work, it is easy to see how she has been influenced by the craft of taxidermy, but she has described her process as being similar to that of a watchmaker. Her work uses ethically sourced bones and natural objects found on family vacations, which has caused her to describe each piece as a sort of “secret scrap book.” These “scrap books” take the forms of whimsical creatures, covered in brass beads and scrollwork. What is most incredible about her pieces, other than the intricate detail, is the life she is able to give them. Their expressions vary from playful, to curious, to kind. It takes a very special talent to breathe life into the dead. We also love her collaboration with macabre chocolatier, Conjurer’s Kitchen. You can find her special edition white chocolate sculpture here.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our brief foray into the dark corners of the art world, and that the light we’ve shined in will give you the courage you need to venture even deeper. If it isn’t enough, consider wearing our Xenarthra Pendant. This armadillo vertebrae will give you the spiritual armor to hang with whatever goes bump in the night, and to discover some awesome new artwork too.