Monster Brains

Russian Satirical Journals from the Revolutionary Upheaval of 1905-1907

Zarevo, Interior Art, 1906 pres2012-0707-332 Zhupel, Issue 2, Interior Art, 1905 pres2012-0720-39 Rus, Issue 11, interior art, 1907-11 Plamia, Issue 2, 1905 Plamia, Issue 4, 1905 Zabiiaka, Issue 3, 1905-06 Vampir, Issue 1, 1906 Anchar, Issue 1, 1906 pres2012-0731-3 pres2012-0711-21 Buria, Issue 4, Interior Art, 1906 Zhupel, Issue 3, Interior Art, 1906 pres2012-0005-2 Kosa, no. 1, February 10, 1906 Sekira, vol. 1, no. 8, February 10, 1906-1 Sekira, vol. 1, no. 10, 1906-1 Bureval, Issue 1, 1906 Leshii, Issue 1, Interior Art, 1906 pres2012-0707-1 Kosa, no. 2, 1906 pres2012-0005-9.2 Zarevo, Issue 3, 1906 Zhupel, Issue 1, 1905 Sekira, vol. 1, no. 12, 1906-8 Sekira, vol. 1, no. 6, January 27, 1906 Zhurnal, Issue 1, 1906 Burelom, Issue 3, 1906 Shershen', no. 10, March 10, 1906 Ovod, Issue 1, 1906 Zritel', vol. 2, no. 2, January 8, 1906-1 Skorpion, Issue 2, 1906 Buria, Issue 4, 1906 Gvozd, Issue 2, 1906 Zhupel, Issue 3, 1906 K svietu. Issue 1, 1906 Zhupel, Issue 3, Interior Art 2, 1906 Vampir, Issue 3, Interior Art, 1906 Bureval, Issue 1, Interior Art, 1906 Maski, Issue 5, Interior Art, 1906 pres2012-0700-26 pres2012-0754-3.2 Zhupel, Issue 3, Interior Art 4, 1906 Luvenal, Issue 1, 1906 pres2012-0754-2 Zhupel, Issue 3, Interior Art 3, 1906 Zabiiaka, Issue 3, Interior Art, 1905-06


"This collection documents some of the most important events of the period known as the first Russian Revolution of 1905-1907. It was during this unprecedented rise of national self-identity that the first Russian Constitution and Russian Parliament were initially created. The first Russian Revolution was a period of struggle for political, social and human rights, and the press, which had previously been subject to censorship, enjoyed a new freedom which had never before appeared in Russia.

Nevertheless, disillusionment with the political and social reforms was expressed through political satire and caricature, published in numerous journals all over the country. The pages of these journals served as an arena for political parties and the newly born social classes of Russia – both the bourgeois and the workers. The explicit satirical form of these publications and their subsequent immediate distribution to interested readers attracted many well-known writers and artists who were either contributors or, occasionally, editors of these journals. The journals in the collection present a unique and sparkling collaboration amongst famous Russian authors such as Konstantin Bal’mont, Ivan Bunin, Maxim Gorky, Aleksandr Kuprin, Valerii Brusov, etc., with the artistic talents of Ivan Bilibin, Boris Kustodiev, Léon Bakst, Valentin Serov, Alexandre Benois, and others.

As the Russian autocracy regained its power, the unprecedented freedom of the Russian press diminished and then vanished. While some journals were published continuously for months afterward, many others were either closed or suppressed, and their editors prosecuted, with the entire publishing run of some issues confiscated and destroyed by the authorities. " - quote source

Images mostly found at USC Libraries.

Richard Tennant Cooper (1885–1957)

Richard Tennant Cooper  - Representation of Chloroform, 1910-1912Chloroform
 Richard Tennant Cooper  - Syphilis, 1910-1912Syphilis

Richard Tennant Cooper  - Representation of Diphtheria, 1910-1912Diphtheria
 Richard Tennant Cooper  - Representation of Bubonic Plague, 1910-1912Bubonic Plague
 Richard Tennant Cooper  - Representation of Leprosy, 1910-1912Leprosy
 Richard Tennant Cooper  - Representation of Breast Cancer Surgery, 1910-1912Breast Cancer Surgery
 Richard Tennant Cooper  - Representation of Cholera, 1910-1912Cholera
 Richard Tennant Cooper  - Representation of Syphilis, 1910-1912Syphilis
 Richard Tennant Cooper - Henry Hill Hickman performing experiments on suspended animation, 1910-1912Henry Hill Hickman performing experiments on suspended animation.
 Richard Tennant Cooper  - Representation of Typhoid, 1910-1912Typhoid
 Richard Tennant Cooper  - Representation of Tuberculosis, 1910-1912Tuberculosis


Paintings commissioned by Henry S. Wellcome between 1910 through 1912. The artworks depict scenes of various diseases and medical procedures on the human body.

Artworks found at the Wellcome Collection.

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano Curator in Residence May 3 - 9 2020


 MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano Curator in Residence May 3 - 9 2020

LE POITEVIN, Les Diables de Lithographies,1832Impish devils dance, make merry, kidnap young maidens, engage in scatological activities, make mischief upon men and women. and generally have a hell of a time as rascals frolicking in diabolical fun. It is the most famous of all works, paint or print, by Le Poitevin, whose "Devilries" established a genre in the wake of the Romantic school's Mephistopheles and Faust, from scenes to fright to scenes that, as here, delight with lively charm. Le Poitevin's devilries with their light, devilish humor became extremely popular with other artists, such as Michael Delaporte and Bayalos. Le Poitevin (1806-1870) was a French painter and lithographer. As a painter, he specialized in marine art , as a lithographer he is best-known today for Devilries. He was a contributor to The Journal of Painters and Charles Philpon's La Caricature. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, a pupil of Louis Hersent and Xavier Leprince. Very popular in his time, he exhibited at the Salon from 1831 until his death in 1870
Josh StebbinsJosh Stebbins is a native of Enid Oklahoma. Josh works predominantly with pen and ink (which he is certainly not limited to). He has been doing art, drawing and illustration since he was very young. With only basic art courses in school and college, he is able to foster his pursuit for progression while expanding his own creative horizons. He is very thankful these days to be recognized for all the work he has produced on his journey in life thus far.
Josh tries to convey in his style and subject matter a sense of duality, strengthened by his choice to work mainly in black and white. His subject matter presents undertones of beauty in darkness. These subjects can run the spectrum from religion to horror, often looking at the human experience, mostly from a darker side. Josh says of his work, “People generally realize it’s there [the darker side], but don’t want to face it…for me the garden of Eden has long since had a ‘Sorry, We’re Closed’ sign on its gate.”
Barry William HaleBarry William Hale is a Sydney based artist whose work over the past 20 years has included painting, drawing, installation, video, sound and performance. He is considered one of the key exponents of esoteric art, specifically creating work which responds to concepts of western spirituality, philosophy and ritual.
Wolfgang Grasse (1930 - 2008)Wolfgang Grasse was born Dresden, Germany in 1930. At the age of 14 Wolfgang Grasse saw firsthand the hell and horror unleashed during the British and American bombing of the city of Dresden. This event traumatized him for the rest of his life.

His work has been categorized as surrealist and also as fantastic realism. The latter was how he liked to be described. Grasse died in 2008, four days after his muse and wife tragically drowned.

He is a stand-alone artist in our culture - and, perhaps, even in our times.
Das Kloster, weltlich und geistlich.  1845-1849Das Kloster ("The Cloister"; full title Das Kloster. Weltlich und geistlich. Meist aus der ältern deutschen Volks-, Wunder-, Curiositäten-, und vorzugsweise komischen Literatur "The Cloister. Profane and sacred. Mostly from older German Popular, Miraculous, Curious and especially Comical Literature") is a collection of magical and occult texts, chapbooks, folklore, popular superstition and fairy tales of the German Renaissance compiled by Stuttgart antiquarian Johann Scheible in 12 volumes, 1845-1849. Vols. 3, 5 and 11 are dedicated to the Faust legend. Vols. 7, 9 and 12 dealing with topics of folklore and ethnography were written by F. Nork (pseudonym of Friedrich Korn, 1803–1850).

Art in the time of the pandemic - Dance with Death as interpreted by David Deuchar 1778David Deuchar (1743-1808) had his dance of death published  in London 1788 .
Hollar's plates were much inspired by Arnold Birckmann's interpretation of Holbein's work, Deuchar has chosen the exact same variants that Hollar had chosen.
Deuchar's plates are signed HB i for "Holbein invenit" and DD f for "David Deuchar fecit" (i.e.: Holbein has invented the design, Deuchar has executed it). At the bottom of the frames it says "David Deuchar fecit".
Matthew DuttonMatthew Dutton is a multidisciplinary artist whose dark yet satirical works offer interesting commentary and insight about self, experimentation, and current events, .  Dutton received a BFA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  His work has been exhibited across the United States and internationally at art fairs and galleries such as The Blooom Art Fair in Cologne Germany, The Morbid Anatomy Museum in NY, the Wunderkrammer exhibit at The Bell House in Brooklyn, and published in the New York Times, Hi-Fructose magazine and many other notable exhibits and publications. 
Dutton keeps a studio in Chattanooga Tn.
Luciana Lupe VasconcelosLuciana Lupe Vasconcelos (b.1982) is a Brazilian artist whose work explores the realms of the mythic, the mystical and the occult through the use of traditional techniques, with a particular focus on the exploration of automatism in water based media. Her very distinctive style alludes to influences from symbolism and surrealism and marks a continuation of the tradition of women artists working with the subjects of magic and the occult. She has illustrated numerous book both in english and in Portuguese, including a Brazilian edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. Her work has been exhibited internationally and was featured across online and printed media alike. She works and lives in Teresópolis, Brazil.
Ray Robinson - The Third Door.Witches? Poor DevilsEach of the paintings has a true circumstance…and the result of my ‘being there’
My general observation of my contribution was, as I wrote at the time‘When reason sleeps in the minds of the wiseWitches burn and demons rise’
Selections from lobby card and ephemera collection



Selections from Stephen Romano Gallery






     about Stephen Romano

Tim White (1952 – 2020)

Tim White - Cover for ‘The Mask of Cthulhu’ by August Derleth, Grafton Books, 1987Cover for ‘The Mask of Cthulhu’ by August Derleth, Grafton Books, 1987

Tim White - New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, 1988New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, 1988

Tim White - HP Lovecraft Omnibus 3, The Haunter of the DarkH.P. Lovecraft Omnibus 3, The Haunter of the Dark

Tim White - The Trail of Cthulhu, 1988The Trail of Cthulhu, 1988

Tim White - H.P. Lovecraft Omnibus 1, At the Mountains of Madness, Grafton Books, 1985H.P. Lovecraft Omnibus 1, At the Mountains of Madness, Grafton Books, 1985

Tim White - HP Lovecraft Omnibus 2, Dagon and other Macabre TalesH.P. Lovecraft Omnibus 2, Dagon and other Macabre Tales

Tim White - Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, 1988Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, 1988

Tim White - Devil's DreamDevil's Dream

Tim White - Marion Zimmer Bradley's Star of Danger, 1994Marion Zimmer Bradley's Star of Danger, 1994

Tim White - Cover art for Christopher Priest's novel, The Space Machine, Pan Books, 1981 Cover art for Christopher Priest's novel, The Space Machine, Pan Books, 1981

Tim White - Cover art for The Courts of Chaos (The Chronicles of Amber series), alternative paperback cover, 1986Cover art for The Courts of Chaos (The Chronicles of Amber series), alternative paperback cover, 1986




"Artist Tim White, 68, died April 6, 2020 after a long period of poor health. White was a prolific SF cover artist from the ‘70s through the ‘90s.
 
Timothy Thomas Anthony white was born April 4, 1952 in Erith, Kent, England. He studied art at the Medway college of Design, and subsequently worked in advertising for two years. He began doing cover paintings for New English Library and Science Fiction Monthly, and illustrated works by authors including Piers Anthony, Robert A. Heinlein, Bruce Sterling, E.C. Tubb, and A.E. van Vogt. He was nominated for six British Science Fiction Association Awards for Best Artist from 1981-86, and won in 1983. He largely retired from painting around 2000 due to health problems. White’s work was collected in The Science Fiction and Fantasy World of Tim White (1981), Chiaroscuro (1988), and Mirror of Dreams (1994). Mouches  (1983) is a wordless graphic novel." - quote source

A complete bibliography of White's work can be found at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano Curator in Residence - Selections from Stephen Romano Gallery

Unknown artist, found in an estate in Maine.  Early 20th century, oil on canvas.  The painting seems to depict a dryad, a tree nymph or tree spirit in Greek mythology. ..
Fritz Gareis (1872-1925) “the Light” circa 1920 ink and watercolor.
Andreas Cellarius Harmonia macrocosmica : sev Atlas universalis et novus, totius universi creati cosmographiam generalem, et novam exhibens 1708
Bookplate THE INFERNAL GRAND PRINCE MARBUEL. excepted from "Doctor Johannes Faust's Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis"Marbuel is the seventh grand prince of hell. He stands under the planet, his regent is called Gabriel, a Throne angel of the Holy Jehova. He appears early on Mondays at 1, 4 and 9 o’clock, but at night at 10 and 12 o’clock in a human form with a grey cowl and holds a key in his hand.Excepted from "Magia Naturalis" 1848.full illustration here
Iconic Devil Andirons circa 1930’s, flame cut steel
M.A. Smith "Last Reveilie" circa 1950's made in a V.A. Hospital.








Unknown artist , Germany circa 1900 "Execution of a Witch" Oil on Canvas with handmade painted frame.
Unknown artist , Germany circa 1900 "Execution of a Witch" Oil on Canvas detail.

Unknown maker, Masonic Birdhouse, painted wood, circa 1940's

Unknown maker, Masonic Birdhouse, painted wood, circa 1940's

Unknown Maker, Midwestern USA, circa 1880 - 1900 Arc of the Covenant Angels, Handcarved and polychromed wood,

Unknown Maker, Midwestern USA, circa 1880 - 1900 Arc of the Covenant Angels, Handcarved and polychromed wood,

Unknown Maker, "Venus", date unknown, Plaster cast of Venus De Milo, red velvet, hand carved frame.  Found in an abandoned lodge in Michigan in the 1950's, possibly a Rebekahs  lodge.  This work was included in the show "NO STARS: A Twin Peaks Tribute Exhibition" in NYC in October 2019.

Hermon Finney.  Eve With Serpent.   Plaster with paint. circa 1950's.

Unknown artist, Illustration, possibly for pulp magazine, circa 1940's, Ink and Gouache on carboard.

Aeron Alfrey “Gorgon Scrambler” Ink on paper 2017

Erna Kd (Indonesia) "The Sorceress" ink on paper 2015Alex Kuno Untitled Pencil on paper 2016
John Everard “ADAM'S FIFTH RIB” 1935 Photogravure
Walter Bird "Devil Dancer" photogravure 1930

Jaya Suberg Untitled 2019 photgraph

Alexis Palmer Karl "The Serpent", production still from "The Persistence of Ritual" film, 2019  photograph

Dolorosa De La Cruz "Invocation of la Reina Roja 2" 2014 gouache pencil and gold ink

Soey Milk "Propinquity" Pencil and watercolor 2014

Aurore Lephilipponnat “William Mortensen Inspired” 2017 pencil on paper
Eldon Garnet “NO.” #3 1997 Chromogenic Color Print

Lacaze Théophile Diablerie Demons Writer Baudelaire 1839, pencil

Unknown maker, American, ceramic Devil, circa 1940's
Unknown photographer, Mourning Woman, circa 1875. 
1929 Press Photo Mourning 1920s Women Dressed in Black Madame Foch France
Large Painted photograph Victorian Woman in Mourning circa 1875
Keystone View Company, 1894

Press photo 1949, London

Ken Weaver "It Was Eternity That Reached Out First" 2019 Daguerreotype printed on aluminum
 Studio photograph 1923

 Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1940's

Original Lobby card Virgin Witch (1972) Director: Ray Austin

Bookplate American medical journal, after De Monstris, 1865

Inge Vandormael "Offering" 2018  pencil on paper


Dan Barry “Krampus” 2015 antique frame, found paper, graphite, elmers glue

India Evans "Cosmic Connection" 2016 Mixed media collage
Eddie Adams Desciple of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh 1979, Poona, India.

Unknown photographer, "Devotee of a Witchcraft Cult in Brazil", 1956, Silver print.

Unknown photographer "Native Tibetan Devil Dancers with Masks, Lamas" 1910, postcard.

Burt Shonberg (1933 - 1977) "Edith (I should have Loved you Better)" 1958 Casien on panel.
H. Freitag, Germany 1939, watercolor.

Unknown artist (Niko Lucassem) "Tanzteufel" (Dancing Devil), 1948 pastel on black paper
Unknown Maker, American, circa early 1900's "devil and Dancer", carved and polychromed wood.
Emily Andersen "Enter 3 Witches" 1944 Oil on canvas
Unknown maker, WW2 War Painting with Satan, gouache, circa late 1940's early 1950's.
H.C. Evans & Co. Devil Freak Show Banner Remnant. early 20th century
Pipe Rack with Lincoln Imp, carved and painted wood with ornamental metal attachments, c. late 1800's.
Pipe Rack with Lincoln Imp, carved and painted wood with ornamental metal attachments, c. late 1800's.
Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos “Anatomy of Madness” 2018

Tiffany Hsiang “Manatee” 2016 pencil on paper
Unknown artist, Group of 9 watercolors depicting shrunken heads, British, circa 1940's
 Unknown artist, watercolor depicting shrunken head, British, circa 1940's

 Unknown artist, watercolor depicting shrunken head, British, circa 1940's

Romeyn de Hooghe (1645 - 1708): bookplate from “Hieroglyphica — Symbols of Ancient People” 1735. MYTHOLOGY-ICONOLOGY-EVIL-HYROGLYPHIC
Plate 28 shows evil Gods. This plate shows A. Herimis; B. Joosje Tidebaic; C. dragon; D. Abaddon; E. Temptation in the Garden of Eden; F. treasure keeper; G. treasure guard; H. goblins; I. pagan dance; K. De Witte Vrouw (the White Lady); L. Larunda; M. Harpies; N. Wrath of the harpies; O. Nightmare; P. Earthquake; Q. Scylla; R. Charybdis; S. Syrtes.
Full series here

Bookplate, Illustration from "Oeuvres diverses de M. de Fontenelle." 1728

Bookplate, excerpt from Scheible, J. (ed.) "The Flying Leaves of the XVI. and XVII. Century, in so-called one-sheet prints with engravings and woodcuts, first from the field of political and religious Caricature"
Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn, “The Grail”, screen print, circa 1930.Full series here

Unknown Maker, Hand Painted Serpent Mirror, late 1800's, American.
Unknown Photographer "THH GHOST" circa 1880 - 1900 Glass plate negative with wax paper wrapping with pencil.

 Unknown Photographer "THH GHOST" circa 1880 - 1900 Glass plate negative.

 Unknown Photographer "THH GHOST" circa 1880 - 1900 Print from glass plate negative.

John Godwin "Anton Szandor LaVey" 1972

Nyahzul C Blanco "Starman" from the exhibtion "Saint Bowie" at Stephen Romano Gallery
Manuscript page depicting demons in Hell Rajasthan, India, early 20th century
Cynthia Marshall (1945 - 2018) "Venus" undated, Acrylic on canvas
W.M. Morris "Judgement Day", American 1924, Oil on canvas.







Masonic funerary ceremonial taxidermic bird, circa 1875 - 1880.  Found in midwestern lodge, in a handmade glass case.

Photograph of Masonic funerary ceremonial taxidermic bird, circa 1875 - 1880.  Found in midwestern lodge.
Colin Christian "Teeth" 2015
Colin Christian "Alive" 2015
Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1950's
Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1940's
Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1940's
Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1940's
Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1940's
Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1930's
Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1940's
Japanese erotic snapshot 1940's
Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1930's
 Unknown photographer, "ELECTROPLASM"©, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1930's

 Unknown photographer, "ELECTROPLASM"©, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1930's


 Unknown photographer, "ELECTRORB",© Vernacular snapshot, circa 1930's


 Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, 1941

Unknown photographer, "Seance" vernacular snapshot, circa 1940's
 Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1930's

Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, date unknown

 Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1940's

 Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa pre1940's

 Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, 1949.

Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot,  circa 1920's

 Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, circa 1930's

 Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, date unknown

 Unknown photographer, Vernacular snapshot, date unknown


Unknown Artist, American, Watercolor depicting "9th Circle Treachery" of Dante's Inferno

Unknown Artist, American, Watercolor depicting "Geryon Leading Dante To The 8th Ring Of Hell" of Dante's Inferno

Unknown Artist, American, Watercolor depicting "Virgil At The Entrance Of Hell" of Dante's Infernofull series here
Man with Skull and Open Book photo-postcard c. 1900
ODD Fellows Banner, c. 1880, Texas.
Bookplates illustrating the works of Jacob Bohme 1665
More images here

Jen Bandini “The Black Lodge” 2019 ink on paper


Japanese Vernacular photograph 1940's depiction vampiric woman
Unknown Maker, circa 1940's "The Black Stag" Carved and polychromed wood, antlers.
Unknown Maker, circa 1940's "The Black Stag" Carved and polychromed wood, antlers.
Unknown maker, "The Venus of Detroit", 1940's, African American Fertility figure found in Detroit Michigan.  carved and painted wood.  More views here.
Kim Bo Yung "Sentinel" 2015 ink and watercolor on paper.
Ceremonial Wand, Boston MASS c. 1800 Carved and inscribed Scrimshaw bearing the inscription "AMASARAC" the demon entity possessing magical and transformative powers over spices and herbs. Presumably this wand was used to handle such spices and herbs during ceremony, while conjuring AMASARAC to empower them.

Unknown Photographer, "Woman with Tiger Mask" circa 1930's
Unknown photographer, "Nude with Devil Mask" circa 1940's, photograph
Leonard Frontinak Tiger painting. Exhibited "Opus Hypnagogia" Morbid Anatomy Museum
Unknown Photographer Veiled Woman with Shrunken Demon Head. circa 1920's, Photograph 
William Hope, Group of 3 spirit photo, photo postcards, 1920's
Jack Edwards, Spirit photograph at Camp Silver Belle PA, circa 1940's.
Jack Edwards, Spirit photograph at Camp Silver Belle PA, circa 1940's.
Robert Boursnell Spirit photographer  circa 1900
Falconer Brothers Spirit Photographers circa 1930
Édouard Isidore Buguet, Spirit Photograph of Madame and the materialization of Allan Kardek May 28 1874. Kardek was the founder of the " Revue Spirite" Part of the message of the sign reads: "Amis, continues propager notre doctrine, adieu pour toujours" "Friends, continue to spread our doctrine, goodbye forever"
Apocalyptic Painting by unknown maker (signature illegible) circa 1940's, Midwestern American Unknown medium, probably enamel or house paint.
Pair of Apocalyptic Paintings by unknown maker (signature illegible) circa 1940's, Midwestern American Unknown medium, probably enamel or house paint
A. Fiorello (dates unknown) "The Right To Arm Is The Right To Kill" circa 1960 - 1970 painted plaster relief

A. Fiorello (dates unknown) "Behold the Profit-Patriots & Their Greed-Power Guardians " circa 1960 - 1970 painted plaster relief
A. Fiorello (dates unknown) "Duality Of Extremes" circa 1960 - 1970 painted plaster relief
Wolfgang Grasse "The Broom" ink on paper 1981

Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013) - Oil on board painting from the estate sale in 2015, possibly used for reference for Sinbad, Ray Harryhausen in pencil on reverse of frame, framed, 23 x 36 inches
Wolfgang Grasse "Dresden" 1977, Acrylic on panel
Wolfgang Grasse "The Throne of Death" 1999 Acrylic on panel
Wolfgang Grasse "The Kingdom of Death" 1999 Acrylic on panel
Wolfgang Grasse (1930 - 2008) "The Fallen Angel of Love or Sodom and Gomorrah" 1999
Wolfgang Grasse (1930 - 2009) "South East Garden". 2000, Acrylic on panel.  Depicts  Jiutian Xuannü, the Chinese goddess of war, sex, and longevity.




Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) "Aero Bomba" 1921 Further images here
Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) "Goose" 1898
Charles A.A. Dellschau "Aero Myo" 1918
Charles Dellschau "Sky Lubrication" 1920

William Mortensen "Mort De Guillaume" (Death of William). Depiction of William the Conquerer being lowered into his tomb.  1935, photograph

William Mortensen (January 27, 1897 – August 12, 1965) was an American photographic artist, who first gained acclaim for his Hollywood portraits in the 1920s in the Pictorialist style and later for viscerally manipulated photography, often touching on themes of the occult.
www.williamortensen.com
William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Initiation of a Young Witch" Photograph 1928
William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Old Hag with Mask" Photograph 1928
William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Old Hag with Incubus" Photograph 1928
William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Old Hag" Photograph 1928
William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Preparation For The Sabbath" Photograph 1928
William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Sorceress" Photograph 1928

 William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Sorceress" Photograph 1926

 William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Courtney Crawford with Masks" Photograph 1926

 William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Faye Wray with Masks" Photograph 1928

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Balphagor and the Lost Souls"1928 Photograph
William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Schrapnel" 1929 Photograph

William Mortensen "The Heretic" 1926 Photograph

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Circe" 1932 Photograph

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Self Portrait with Courtney Crawford" 1926 Photograph

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Elemental" (also titled "A Hindoo Woman") 1928 Photograph

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) Untitled ("Saint Courtney") 1926 Photograph

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Old Hag" 1926 Photograph

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Victory Ball" 1926 Photograph

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Madame de Pompadour" 1926 Photograph

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Hypatia" 1926 Photograph

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) Untitled 1926 Photograph

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Nicolo Paganini (The Devil's Violinist)" 1934 Photograph

 William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Jezebel" Photograph 1928

 William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Isis" Photograph 1928

 William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Witch Lady Morgan y Dylwythen Deg" Photograph 1926

  William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Witch Lady Morgan y Dylwythen Deg" Photograph 1926

  William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Witch Lady Morgan y Dylwythen Deg" Photograph 1926

  William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Tantric Priest" Photograph 1932

  William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Madame LaFarge" Photograph 1934

  William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "The Heretic" or "A Spider Torture" Photograph 1926

William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) "Woman with Mask and Skull" Photograph 1926


Darcilio Lima (1944 - 1991) "The Prince" ink drawing, 1968Exhibited at Reina Sophia Museum, MadridExhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Darcilio Lima, "The Magi" Lithograph, circa 1975Exhibited at Reina Sophia Museum, Madrid


Darcilio Lima, Untitled Lithograph, circa 1975Exhibited at Reina Sophia Museum, Madrid


Josh Stebbins Untitled pencil drawing 2019
Josh Stebbins on MONSTERBRAINS
Josh Stebbins "Tragedy / Devil"  pencil drawing 2018

Josh Stebbins "Mortensen's Incubus"  pencil drawing 2018
Kris Kuksi "Auto Cephalic Supplicating Machine" 2011 Mixed Media

Kris Kuksi "Venus Admiring Mar's Gun" 2008 Mixed media.
Kris Kuksi "Seraphim at Rest" 2015

Barry William Hale ‘Phantasma Phantasia: Milites Diaboli - [the soldiers of the Devil] Triptych” 2016 paint and marker on paper mounted on illustration board
Barry William Hale on MONSTERBRAINS
Barry William Hale "Dwellers on the Threshold" Automatic drawing Triptych, marker or paint on card, with photographic print of magical caligraphic ritual floor design. 2019
Martin Wittfooth "Entheogen" 2012 Oil on canvas
Ray Caesar "Sisters" 2005 digital media
Unknown maker, California, circa 1930's - 1940's.  Group of figures, mixed media, possibly poppets used in ceremony.  more details here

 Unknown maker, California, circa 1930's - 1940's.  Group of figures, mixed media, possibly poppets used in ceremony.

 Unknown maker, California, circa 1930's - 1940's.  Group of figures, mixed media, possibly poppets used in ceremony.

Unknown maker, California, circa 1930's - 1940's.  Group of figures, mixed media, possibly poppets used in ceremony.  
 Stewart Farrar "Alexandrian Witchcraft Initiation Ceremony of Janet Farrar (nee Owen), U.K. 1970"

Stewart Farrar "Alexandrian Witchcraft Initiation Ceremony of Janet Farrar (nee Owen), U.K. 1970"

Group of Shaman's prayer alter objects, Guatemala circa 1970's.  mixed material.Shaman's prayer alter object, Guatemala circa 1970's.  mixed material.

Hans Baldung Grien "The Witches Sabbath" date unknown
Theodule Ribot (1823 – 1891) "The Witches"  circa 1935
Roland Hendrickson "Season of the Witch" c. 1960. Signed photogravure
Solar Eclipse, Yerkes Observatory glass lantern slide, 1918  
LE POITEVIN, Les Diables de Lithographies, 1832Full series on MONSTERBRAINS
LE POITEVIN, Les Diables Erotique de Lithographies, 1834Full series here
Unknown photographer, Witch photo, late 1800's, American.
Excerpted from "Vol 2 - Das Kloster" , 1845 published by Johanas ScheibleFull series here


Jullian Baker "Knight Death and the Devil" oil on panel, 1960.
Grimoire page by an unknown hand, British, possibly 19th century, ink and unknown substance on cloth.
Grimoire page by an unknown hand, British, possibly 19th century, ink and unknown substance on cloth.

Grimoire page by an unknown hand, British, possibly 19th century, ink and unknown substance on parchment.

Grimoire page by an unknown hand, British, possibly 19th century, ink and unknown substance on parchment.

Grimoire page by an unknown hand, British, possibly 19th century, ink and unknown substance on cloth.

Grimoire page by an unknown hand, British, possibly 19th century, ink and unknown substance on parchment.

Cast bronze depiction of demon Pazuzu.  18th century.


Mario Mercier, production still from "La Papesse" ( A Woman Possessed)  1975
Unknown photographer, "Devil and Dancer" circa 1930's
Josh Stebbins "The Patron Saint of Lost Causes" Pencil on paper 2019clockwise Wolfgang Grasse, Rosaleen Norton, William Edmondson, Henry Darger,Charles Dellschau, Darcilio Lima.  Center Stephen Romano.  Based on the concept of a spirit photograph.


about Stephen Romano

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano Curator in Residence - Selections from lobby card and ephemera collection



Onibaba (1964)
Director: Kaneto Shindô
Stars: Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Kei Satô |
Two women kill samurai and sell their belongings for a living. While one of them is having an affair with their neighbor, the other woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre mask.
















House of Usher (1960)Director: Roger CormanStars: Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey Upon entering his fiancée's family mansion, a man discovers a savage family curse and fears that his future brother-in-law has entombed his bride-to-be prematurely.Vincent Price with painting by Burt Shonberg

Virgin Witch (1972)Director: Ray AustinStars: Ann Michelle, Vicki Michelle, Keith Buckley |Christine gets her big chance at modeling when she applies at Sybil Waite's agency. Together with Christine's sister Betty they go to a house in the country for the weekend for a photo shoot. Sybil has lured Christine to the castle for more than modeling: she is recruiting a virgin for induction into a witch's coven, led by the owner of the castle, Gerald. To their surprise, Christine is more than eager to join the coven, but begins her own secret battle for control.











Suspiria (1977)Director: Dario ArgentoStars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio BucciAn American newcomer to a prestigious German ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a front for something sinister amid a series of grisly murders.




Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper
A disfigured composer sells his soul for the woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, an evil record tycoon betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise.





Häxan (1922)Director: Benjamin ChristensenStars: Benjamin Christensen, Elisabeth Christensen, Maren PedersenFictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in modern Europe.

Simon, King of the Witches (1971)
Director: Bruce Kessler
Stars: Andrew Prine, Brenda Scott, George Paulsin
Simon, a young man with magic powers, invokes the help of the evil forces in order to take revenge on a man who cheated him with a bad cheque.
















La Papesse (original title)
A Woman Possessed (1975)
Director: Mario Mercier
Stars: Lisa Livane, Erika Maaz, Jean-François Delacour
Laurent, a seemingly normal young man, is looking to join a witches' sect that resides in a forest near his house. The only thing is Laurent's wife Aline also needs to join the sect in order to complete his initiation. Aline is understandably reluctant, so the sect heads design a series of events designed to break her down.





























La Goulve (original title)
Erotic Witchcraft (1972)
Directors: Mario Mercier, Bepi Fontana (co-director)
Stars: Hervé Hendrickx, César Torres, Anne Varèze
Axel, the magician, raises a boy into adulthood. When Axel dies, it's the young man - son of a murderer, and well tutored by a magician - to keep on the tradition of guarding the Daughter of the Golem.








The Demons (1973)
Director: Jesús Franco (as Clifford Brown)
Stars: Anne Libert, Carmen Yazalde, Doris Thomas
A group of nuns become possessed by demons and are then tortured in a dungeon of horrors during the inquisition.






Voodoo Devil Drums (1944)



She Demons (1958)Director: Richard E. CunhaStars: Irish McCalla, Tod Griffin, Victor Sen Yung Heroic, but dull, Fred Maklin and beautiful, but spoiled, Jerrie Turner wash up on an uncharted tropical island. They are soon captured by ex-Nazi Colonel Osler, who also has imprisoned a bevy of beauty contest winners whom he allows to be whipped by his slavering Nazi storm troopers. 



about Stephen Romano

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano Curator in Residence - Ray Robinson - The Third Door.



"..and so pass through the matrix of memory and throughThe archetype that defined the first vision and set our ParametersTo an inner meaning without external references,
THE THIRD.DOOR
Witches?Poor DevilsEach of the paintings has a true circumstance…and the result of my ‘being there’
My general observation of my contribution was, as I wrote at the time‘When reason sleeps in the minds of the wiseWitches burn and demons rise’
THE ART OF RAY ROBINSON: THE THIRD DOORby Charlotte Rodgers, October 6 2016
‘NO ONE CAN MAKE A JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY BOWL..THEY GROW FROM THE HANDS OF THE MASTER AND THE NEEDS OF THE CLAY…THE MASTER ALLOW"
Ray Robinson
History is littered with visionaries who change our perception, Often, in these people’s lifetime their work, their art is only glimpsed out of the corner of an eye and whilst it changes you, the change isn’t necessarily acknowledged at source.
It usually takes another visionary to stop, pause and recognise the impact. Rarely is the originator of the change of awareness still alive at this moment of recognition.
I often wondered what it would be like to communicate with one of these iconoclasts. If I met Austin Osman Spare for instance, would I have the ability to recognise him, to pause, and open myself up to a different way of seeing?
I first encountered Ray Robinson’s work when I was interviewing Gallery Owner and Art Dealer Stephen Romano, and I found it to be some of the most powerful art I’ve come across.
Stephen suggested I contact Ray, and thus started one of the most magical mystery tours of an interview I’ve ever done.
Now I’ve interviewed many artists and spiritual teachers, but this particular conversation fell into neither camp and was in a league apart from both.
A good interviewer adapts themselves to the individual rhythm and dance of those they are conversing with and there can be a huge variation in movement.
In this particular instance I have been challenged, insulted, taken on mystical journeys, had the most incredible dreams, but never, NEVER had a question directly answered.
Truth to tell I loved the process, infuriating as it was at points.
The following relates portions of conversations with a great artist who will change you. Recognise it, allow it, and for gods sakes try and see Ray Robinson’s work in actuality.
Ray, I’m not a formally trained art critic so this discussion won’t be focused on academic interpretation of your work. Hopefully you wont be insulted by any ignorance on my part but instead regard it as way to communicate as freely as you want without having to adhere to any particular approach.I’ve read your ‘Grandmother Chronicles’ which perhaps gives an insight into your structuring of reality and art.Words are often so limited but this is an astounding piece of writing.The trauma of leaving your home in WW2 London, going to stay at your grandmother’s and undergoing an initiation of sorts into different perceptions of vision and interpretation is wonderful, as is the way you describe the re-presentation of perceptions of light, time and space.Now it would be easy for me to turn this into a conversation where I grill you about aspects of your work that I’m personally fascinated by, constantly interrupting you with my irritating over enthusiastic asides, but I won’t. I am an untrained artist who has written a few books and my personal creative interests, what I focus on and what I often write about, are spirituality and power that are contained within objects and art. The older I get the more I realise that the line between art and magic is so fine as to be non existent.
So who are you?
Very brave (I am not sure whether Ray is referring to himself or me for approaching him in that statement) Stephen Romano can cover the exterior for the last 40 years. (follow below link) I live in Nova Scotia but am originally from London, England. I am a very trained artist who has also written a few books. I have lived a life with the fact that there is no line at all.Nothing has ever inspired me. Mine has been a search for ‘why’ I do not know. I know that I do not know, but why the great gaps in a humans basic understanding? The senses to not sense but, still, humans survive.Inspiration surely is the source of the creative process and if creativity doesn’t exist, then what is an artist and who and what are you? What are the images you produce? Premeditated? Actual?No not premeditated.No not actual.No not channelledAllowed
Allowed by who or what?By the subject.At the beginning of the ‘Grandmother Chronicles’ you use a quote by Magnus Roundtree ‘how you see the world shows how it behaves, change how you see the world, and the world changes’And that leads into the memory of a child leaving the grey chaos of London to a world ordered by nature and a near crystalline perception that is the antithesis of before, but makes complete sense and is very real and actual.
In a memo to Stephen Romano you said that,’ sculpture as a pure visual art form cannot and does not exist, Form has measurable three dimensions but is not to human vision, three dimensional. Human vision can only see half of any form. A simple glass globe described visually is half convex and half concave! Multiple views of a single object do not give an experience of the whole.’ This is fascinating – and challenging for the artist.
This is developing into a conversation, which at the moment I cannot support. I know Stephen has a good reason for suggesting you talk to me. His project at the moment required that he asked me for some comments on my art…I suggested that this was not really a good idea given his understanding of my basic views. I sent him a quick and short sample of what my replies to his questions might be, in this case my basic view of my sculpture. His reply was to send you to me???
Ray and I worked through this and I began to realise that Ray was a visionary who communicates through his art. Interpretations of his work are incredibly important to him, and are something he wants translated properly and accurately. I also needed to try not to get too absorbed in Ray’s fascinating philosophies, and retain a degree of distance and professionalism. So we continued the dance…‘Humans have two ways to understand reality, each world taken to the logical conclusion of living. First a world of conception and secondly a world seen with perception. However only if you understand these words and without the ‘isms’ of art doctrine you do not need to question me, however even after that there are still much to be learned.’ Ray Robinson
Tell me about the series of paintings Sleep of Reason and Sleep of Reason II
Stephen was mounting many shows on the subjects of witches. To me the basic truth of this was totally unreasonable until I thought of the sleep of reason in the midst of these people and after that, total empathy. As with all art, total empathy between artists, materials and subject.These works are not some airy fairy illustration; they are real. Real in fact, real in space, real in time. All I did was write it all down. All that is except the hanging…I could not write down the smell and the visual truth was more than my brush could summon.
Witches?Poor DevilsEach of the paintings has a true circumstance…and the result of my ‘being there’My general observation of my contribution was, as I wrote at the time‘When reason sleeps in the minds of the wiseWitches burn and demons rise’
 "Vision After The Sermon, The Gift" 2015 Acrylic on Board 24 x 32 inches

"Samboism Fire in the Shadow of Dolbadarn Castle" 2015 - Acrylic on Board 26 x 32 inches

 "Birth of a Witch" 2016 Acrylic on Board 24 x 32 inches

 "Beltane, Now It Begins" 2015 Acrylic on Board 24 x 32 inches

"Janey Horne 1727" 2015 - Acrylic on Board 26 x 32 inches

"The Day the Witch Lya Burchett was Given Short Shift and Hanged. Her Body Burned in the Grounds of Dolbadarn Castle" 2015 - Acrylic on Board 26 x 32 inches
"Battleground" 2015 - Acrylic on Board 26 x 32 inches

"The Scrying Pool"  2016 Acrylic on board 24 wide x 32 inches high


 Ray Robinson - "The Sleep of Reason, Witch and her Dog Executed on the Same Day" (Dog was shown Mercy and was Strangled before Burned) 2015

Acrylic on Board 24 x 32 inches



As you may have seen from my words I have rendered a much sanitized version of the hanging; they were in fact all hung from a single tree branch, this being parallel to the road. They were swung out into space from a plodding horse and cart. I have tried to give back some dignity…but perhaps it is all the more terrifying for being just a road side event.

True horror. The old, the deformed..tortured and murdered. Your being within this process via the creation of the work must have been akin to bring in Hell…did the painting of the series affect you terribly?

They were not old. No different in any way to their accusers.

Did the work (Sleep of Reason) affect me? If you mean adversely, then no, they ascended the grim subject matter to become as I needed them to

Do you believe in reincarnation? Or fluid time?
No I do not believe in reincarnation. I do not believe in the existence of time.
I have walked a long road, with many road side attractions. There is a dark side but beauty is ever to be sought for

Why did you move your profession from mathematics to art?
One quick answer- probability management.
I worked in Mayfair London on Brooke Street…the head offices of a multi billion dollar corporation, Allied Iron Founders, I was one of two advisers to the board of directors. My predictions were sound and I rose..the usual bonuses’, car, house in the suburbs etc. Then two things coincided to blight my brilliant career. The director who had the most faith in my predictions was killed in a car crash and I was told my eye sight was failing and that if I continued to work as I did (this was the days before computers, just slide rule and paper) I just had a couple of years left of vision.
I resigned.
What to do? My wife suggested the furthest thing imaginable from practical. Why not do what I always dreamed of doing, go to art school!
I did and all else followed, place at Slade and the Rome prize (declined)
Why did you decline the Rome prize?
My new wife was pregnant with the twins.

Did changing your life path to become an artist, make you happy?

At the time, yes and no. After Slade I had the proverbial plum job, teaching at The Bath Academy. It lasted four years, and ended with a trial, as my teaching was considered to be a destructive influence. The college lost said trial and I moved to Canada. It was all rubbish of course. I said then, pretty much what I say now but really it was my insistence of working from the figure, which was being dropped, that was the cause of the conflict. My trial was followed by student riots nationwide, which perhaps proved the argument for the prosecution!

During my trial I had a letter from Queens University in Canada, offering me the job of heading the Department of Sculpture in their New Department of Art Education. After the trial I accepted the offer but has misread the letter and arrived a year too early to take up the position. To fill in the year I was asst. curator of the Gallery in Sania, a year at Queens but did not like Kingston, offered sculpture at H.B.Beale Secondary School and I loved it. Great kids, and what an amazing idea, a High School that offered a major in art!!! It was then that Jake Moore (Canadian Billionaire) offered me patronage. All I needed was a three day a week job, so on to Fanshawe. While at Fanshawe I had the offer to head up the Department of Art at Lambton. After my interview I met Bill Arnold, we talked…here we had all the makings of a Department of Art at Lambton. I said that I would stay for two years; I stayed for eighteen! We turned it into a great art department. Within a couple of years our Arts Fundamentals Students were offered a place in second year University and we attracted students from as far away as China. My teaching methods had been justified.

I retired and Bill took early retirement. The Department closed behind us.


‘..and so pass through the matrix of memory and through
The archetype that defined the first vision and set our
Parameters
To an inner meaning without external references,
THE THIRD.DOOR’

Ray Robinson

A tiny portion of an exchange that hurtled me through time, change, light, reality and the nature of art. At the centre of this is a man who lives in Nova Scotia, ‘a beautiful place’ with, I imagine a clarity of space that works well with Ray Robinson’s vision.

Ray Robinson "The Beginnings of Religion, Leaping the Betane Fire" 2015 Acrylic on Board 32 x 24 inches

"Two Witches Burned In Madson Heath, March 22nd" Acrylic on Board 26 x 32 inches
"Chose - Left or Right" 2015 - Acrylic on Board 26 x 32 inches

 "The Beginning of Religion, Ogham Script" 2015 - Acrylic on Board 26 x 32 inches


"When Witches Burn and Demons Rise" 2015 - Acrylic on Board 26 x 32 inches

I moved closerThe twigs were catchingThe wind across the moorBlowing red into orangeThen the screamThe womanThe windThey screamed higherOn and onI ran.."July 1692" 2015 Acrylic on Board 24 x 32 inches

Hanging
We arrived early
The old horse was still going
Forward under the scaffold
I heard her feet scrape as she
Reach the end of the cart
She rung into space to join the
Other four
Women strangling…animal sounds
Bit I remember the smell
Deaths discharge…their skirts,
Their feet, the road
Everywhere



about Stephen Romano

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano Curator in Residence - Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos

Babylon

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano Curator in Residence - Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos

Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos (b.1982) is a Brazilian artist whose work explores the realms of the mythic, the mystical and the occult through the use of traditional techniques, with a particular focus on the exploration of automatism in water based media. Her very distinctive style alludes to influences from symbolism and surrealism and marks a continuation of the tradition of women artists working with the subjects of magic and the occult. She has illustrated numerous book both in english and in Portuguese, including a Brazilian edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. Her work has been exhibited internationally and was featured across online and printed media alike. She works and lives in Teresópolis, Brazil."
"What is the secret of the sphinx? Mystery of mysteries, art is a domain still not entirely conquered by the rational mind. Few are the artists who dare to explore the uncharted territories. The ones who do, however, return forever changed. Those are the torch bearers, able to see what others can’t.

It can be said that Lupe Vasconcelos is such an artist. Her work is marked by a disturbing beauty that can only be conceived under a crepuscular light. Mysterious women, horned priestess, demons, ancient goddesses, chimeras. All these beings come unto light by the work of her insight. Strange ceremonies take place under the thread of brush and ink lines. Images of primordial chaos are born among ruins of black and red.

Possessing the power of an ancient enigma, the art of Lupe Vasconcelos fatally captures the imagination of the onlooker. The singularity of the artist’s vision and the fierceness of her technique set her art apart from the rest. It’s a journey to the underworld, and one cannot help but come back completely transformed."

Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos
Interview with Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos and lexiconmag.
Why do you think there is a revival in interest in all thing occult and esoteric in the arts?
LLV: It seems to me that western civilization is going through a very disenchanted moment not only in culture but in general. This could help explain the resumption of the interest for anything that might offer a relief from this state of dismay that seems so ubiquitous these days. Occulture and the esoteric offer a different point of view from the one we been having since rationalism and scientificism took over. Of course the occult has been around for a long time, regardless of what mainstream culture makes of it, but now it seems to be one of those times when conditions are just right for a big comeback. And in addition to that there is, of course, the dissatisfaction of young artists with the insipidity of current art trends. Many artists are engaged in creating art that has soul, in opposition to the sterility of traditional contemporary and conceptual art and mass culture. This growing interest in the occult and esoteric is above all a reaction. I see it as a good thing.


Do your position yourself as a shamanic presence within the culture?  Are the art objects you make functional as healing devices?
LLV: Like most artists I'm an essentially self-centered person, so my motivation for creating art is first and foremost an externalizing effort. But I'm aware of the fact that once that it's given materiality, a piece of art becomes an entity let loose. So it can function as a healing device too, as I notice it does sometimes. This fact could position me as a shamanic presence within the culture, yes, but I'm definitely not actively pursuing such outcome. To me his healing effect seems to be more of a "side effect" of all art that is imbued with meaning and soul. 


To what extent does the artist bear any responsibility for adverse responses to the works?  Bad memories that are unearthed?  Ordeals or trauma? Suppressed memories?
LLV: Well, I particularly believe that art should never be subject of neither inner nor outer censorship. One can't possibly predict possible reactions each viewer might have, be they good or bad. But it's exactly this potential for causing a reaction that can turn art into an instrument for healing. Feeling uncomfortable about a piece of art can point to some internal issue the person might have and didn't know about, for example. Of course this goes way beyond "uncomfortable" to people who can be triggered because of trauma. But this aspect is absolutely out of the artist's control, each person should be informed of what they might be seeing in a show and choose to go or not.   


Do you have any concern about being persecuted because of your subject matter and materials, particularly in a socio political environment whereby evangelicals and puritans seem to have such enormous influence? 
LLV: Yes, I do. Unfortunately. Like in the US, there is a heated political and cultural debate going on in Brazil right now, and conservatism is making a huge comeback. Brazilians were never as tolerant and friendly as the world usually thinks. Being different here was always difficult. Brazilians are conservative by default. But for a brief time it seemed that this was finally starting to change, until economic and political crisis hit and put everything to waste. There's a hunt for scapegoats, and they have chosen the same targets they always do: artists, thinkers, human rights activists and such. Recently a queer art show was cancelled after aggressive right-wing protests, and the curator is now being prosecuted for "promoting pedophilia". Something similar happened after a nude performance in the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo. The theorist Judith Butler was here last week to take part on a symposium, and protesters gathered in front of the building, setting a big puppet of her on fire to the screams of "burn the witch". She was also aggressively harassed at the airport. Those are just the most prominent recent incidents. It's a worrying situation. Even if my work is very under the radar here, I still feel far from safe because of the general climate of intolerance. It's starting to spread fast, and everything points to a turn for the worse.
Elixir

What drives you?  Is it inspiration?  A calling?  Something you were born with?
LLV: I would say it's a calling, a continuous one that has been within me since I can remember. I enjoy immensely the simple act of drawing, and as an introvert I always take refuge in doing it whenever I can. One can conjure things into existence by putting them into a surface as a two-dimensional image. It's a source of power, so to say. And it's something that's out of my control, this need to draw. 


Can you explain the path you have walked to become the artist you are?  Who were your inspirations and influences when you began your journey as an artists and what other artists have you discovered along the way?
LLV: It's a long path! I was very into illustrated books and comics as a kid, so I began to draw my own little illustrated stories at a very early age. As I grew I got acquainted with a variety of brazilian comic book artists who would inspire me to make my own zines. In my late teens I produced a lot of stuff, although most of it is now lost. But the style was very different, more to do with the comics of Peter Bagge, for example, than with what I do now. I also loved (still do!) the Love & Rockets series, it was a huge early influence on the way I draw. I love working on black and white, and this is something I think comes from comics. Also, it's important to consider is that I had little contact with "high art" during my formative years. It was mostly illustrated books and comics. So my basic visual education happened via graphic arts. So I decided to go to graphic design school and worked with that for a couple of years, which I didn't enjoy at all. After another couple of years dabbling with tattooing, I got a job as an illustrator a local newspaper. This was 2006. It was an important move for me, because it was when I really got to be paid to drawn. And it was when I learned to work under pressure and in less than ideal conditions. But my style was still completely different of what is now. After a year and half I got out of the newspaper and began illustrating children's books as a freelancer. During this time I became increasingly interested in developing my skills beyond my then limited cartoonish style. So I started reading books and frequenting workshops and courses to learn more about different techniques. And as the internet got "bigger", so did the availability of images. At this point my main influences were illustrators such as Ronald Searle, Aubrey Beardsley, Edward Gorey, Harry Clarke, Arthur Rackham and John Bauer. I was already giving my first steps into the "art world", having participated in a couple of group shows and making mural paintings. My interest in "dark" things, that had always been there, began to show in my work at this point. Then the big change happened: I moved out of my parent's house and to another town, in another state. It was the turning point. Teresópolis is a small mountain town famous for its beautiful rock formations, mild climate and insane mist. It was in this new magical setting that I began exploring my inner world through meditation and the use of psychedelic drugs. At the same time I was getting more and more acquainted with occulture. Having been a wiccan in my teens, the occult wasn't completely alien to me. One day during my explorations on the internet I stumbled upon the work of Cameron. I was deeply impressed by her amazing ink drawings and paintings, and I felt an immediate connexion. It was a very powerful encounter and it changed the way I make art. I got to know the work of lesser known artists who would become part of my personal pantheon, like Leonor Fini, Austin Osman Spare, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Rosaleen Norton. Recently I was also introduced to a virtually unknown brazilian artist, Darcílio Lima, and it was a revelation. I've been obsessed with him ever since. Another big source of inspiration to me is music. Some of my pieces were literally inspired by songs I like.






Beast of Deep Desire
The Awakening of the Will
Mystery
The Origin of Being
Untitled
Ainigma
Alchemical Wedding (detail)
Vanitas MMXIV
May This Evil Abide
FurFur
The artist’s studio
Sketchbook drawing
Poster for the book Zon
Sketchbook drawing
Green Man
The Ancestors
Flight to the Sabbath (sketchbook drawing)
Drawing in progress
Sketchbook drawingRed Star
Anima
Nemesis
Vanitas MMXV
Witch KingGrey Days
Embrace
Embrace
Vociferous
Diverse linoleum prints
Oraculum
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Agnosco Veteris Vestigia Flammae
Babylon
The Soul of the Enchantress
Sketchbook drawing
Wip photo
Untitled
Capricorn Sun
Sphinx
Heka
Untitled
Vanitas MMXVI
Evil Eye
Spirit Dagger (in progress detail)
Spirit Dagger (detail)
Spirit Dagger (detail)
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
The artist’s studioDiverse works
XV
Ophidian Cup
Wildcat
Sketchbook drawing
The Love Witch (sketchbook drawing)
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Nocturna (sketchbook drawing)
The artist
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Orpheus
Untitled
Sketchbook drawing
- Alchemical Talisman (in progress)
Pomba Gira (sketchbook drawing)
Sketchbook drawing
Suscitate
Djinn

Abrahadabra

Dark Vision (for William Mortensen)
Sketchbook drawing
Untitled
The artist
The Minotaur
The Red River Spring
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Universal Key
Transformation
The Wailing
Cat Creature
- Sketchbook drawing
The Werewolf
Night is a Black Cow
Ascension

Psyche
Untitled
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Goure
Sketchbook drawing
Sketchbook drawing
Morning Star
Illustration for the book The Raven
The artist
Capricorn Sun
Lunar Kala
The Great Chimera
Katabasis
Katabasis (detail)
Untitled
Lucifer Lux Mundi
Lucifer Lux Mundi
Demons
The Huntress
Untitled
Katadesmos I


Katadesmos II
Iblis
Luna
Sketchbook drawing
Priestess and Idol
Sketchbook drawing
White Chimera
Ascension
Albedo
Khaire
White Ceremony (detail)
Aequilibrium
Fire Walk With Me
Sketchbook drawing
Destruction Falls on All that Remains
Work in progress
Collage
Untitled (detail)
Kiss
The Unfolding of Vision
Cruel Bird (detail)
Sketchbook drawing
Oil painting in progress
Oil painting in progress
Sketchbook drawing
The artist
Sketchbook drawing
Death and the Maiden (detail)
Sketchbook drawing
painting in progress
Green man (detail)
Sword
Voodoo in my Blood
Ave, Babylon!
Anatomy of Madness
Avis Rara
Pink Sphinx
Djinn
Eros Vessel
Keryx
Spiral
Untitled
Hex
Praeses
Untitled
Alchemical Talisman
The Cup of Suspicion
The Soul of the Enchantress
Undulatio
Sketchbook drawing
Untitled
Desert Spirit




about Stephen Romano

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano Curator in Residence - Matthew Dutton



Matthew Dutton is a multidisciplinary artist whose dark yet satirical works offer interesting commentary and insight about self, experimentation, and current events, .  Dutton received a BFA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  His work has been exhibited across the United States and internationally at art fairs and galleries such as The Blooom Art Fair in Cologne Germany, The Morbid Anatomy Museum in NY, the Wunderkrammer exhibit at The Bell House in Brooklyn, and published in the New York Times, Hi-Fructose magazine and many other notable exhibits and publications. 
Dutton keeps a studio in Chattanooga Tn.




















































MIDNIGHT PARACOSM
full gallery installation at Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn
March - June 2016.

"My studio work aims to consolidate opposites.  Balancing the duality of attraction and repulsion, the work tends to lean heavily towards attempting to strike harmony between beautiful and horrible moments.

I have noticed a few recurring principles that have adhered to my art making practices. Try something new when the opportunity arises; find a place for things once forgotten; explore relationships where surfaces, ideas, and techniques intersect.

A lot of what I do in the studio is driven by experimentation. I am very interested in exploring the limitations of the materials and techniques I use.  Having an understanding of material basics allows me to persuade them into non-traditional outcomes. Within each project I try to incorporate a new material or new technique to test. New things that are successful become part of my visual lexicon to call upon as needed.  Stumbling upon a studio discovery is what tests aim for.

Harnessing the power of charged objects into my work is another desire I covet.  I try to keep my aesthetic antennas tuned to receive hints from whatever the universe sends across my path.  I often take notice of random object that catch my attention, old and discarded things that once had a life but are now forgotten call to me to become reborn into a new form.  An insatiable compulsion to collect and reassign has always permeated my practice and life.  Restoring desire to things considered to be waste is a staple in my practice.

Surface intersections are important to my work.  As my material usage varies so greatly, confronting the relationships they create when combining has to be considered.  Extruding hand colored silicone combined with borax grown crystals might nest against felted dryer lint patches and 1970s gaudy trophy parts.  This approach to my additive building process allows me to consider the whole world as a source for art supplies! Alongside material variety, I’m interested in subtle idea projection, current political climate, and satirical irony.  A kind of whimsical horror often comes across through my work which seems inescapable considering the world around us these days.  It’s hard not to trend toward a darker shade of subject matter as a reflection of the craziness we are bombarded with daily.

Juggling work and home life often leaves me with a limited amount of time for my studio sessions.  This forces me to work very spontaneously and viscerally at times.  I’ll simmer all day (sometimes dreaming of it at night) on how to address a particular solution for a work, once I am in the studio I get into an automatic state of creating to maximize efficient time wrangling.  Drawing from mountains of collected materials, my ‘fine art’ practice serves to fulfill my personal art making cravings but there’s more.  I take on a lot of commercial art projects that call upon a whole different approach to creating.  Way more planning, budgeting, communicating, and calculating take place. Studio works are championed to let most all of those things go to the way side. "   

Matthew Dutton.
































































MIDNIGHT PARACOSM, second version






















about Stephen Romano

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano Curator in Residence -Art in the time of the pandemic - Dance with Death as interpreted by David Deuchar 1778



"Mors sceptra ligonibus aequat. ""Death confounds the sceptre with the spade.

The Dance Macabre consists of the dead or a personification of death summoning representatives from all walks of life to dance along to the grave, typically with a pope, emperor, king, child, and laborer. It was produced as memento mori, to remind people of the fragility of their lives and how vain were the glories of earthly life. Its origins are postulated from illustrated sermon texts; the earliest recorded visual scheme was a now-lost mural at Holy Innocents' Cemetery in Paris dating from 1424 to 1425. 
"The dances of death, through the various stages of human life: wherein the capriciousness of that tyrant is exhibited: in the forty-six copper-plates". David Deuchar 1788.Collection of Stephen Romano, Brooklyn.each plate is approximately 2 x 3 inches.
David Deuchar (1743-1808) had his dance of death published  in London 1788 .

Hollar's plates were much inspired by Arnold Birckmann's interpretation of Holbein's work, Deuchar has chosen the exact same variants that Hollar had chosen.

Deuchar's plates are signed HB i for "Holbein invenit" and DD f for "David Deuchar fecit" (i.e.: Holbein has invented the design, Deuchar has executed it). At the bottom of the frames it says "David Deuchar fecit".
The full story here.
















































































































about Stephen Romano

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano Curator in Residence - Das Kloster, weltlich und geistlich. r 1845-1849






Das Kloster, weltlich und geistlich; meist aus der ältern deutschen Volks-,Wunder-, Curiositäten-, und vorzugsweise komischen Literatur Wunder-, Curiositäten-, und vorzugsweise komischen Literatur

The monastery, secular and spiritual; mostly from the older German folk, miracle, curios, and preferably comic literature miracle, curios, and preferably comic literature.


Publisher Johannes ScheiblePseudonyms: Willibald Cornelius; Democritus1809 - August 15, 1866
Johann Scheible specialized in books on mysticism and magic which he published under the general series title of "Bibliothek der Zauber-, Geheimniss- und Offenbarungs-Bücher und der Wunder-Hausschatz-Literatur aller Nationen in allen ihren Raritäten und Kuriositäten" ("Library of magic, mystery and revelation books and the miracle house treasure literature of all nations in all their rarities and curiosities”).
also published Doktor Johannes Faust's Magia naturalis et innaturalis oder Dreifacher Höllenzwang, letztes Testament und Siegelkunst. Nach einer kostbar ausgestatteten Handschrift in der Herzoglichen Bibliothek zu Koburg herausgegeben in 5 Abtheilungen. Stuttgart 1849. 

Das Kloster ("The Cloister"; full title Das Kloster. Weltlich und geistlich. Meist aus der ältern deutschen Volks-, Wunder-, Curiositäten-, und vorzugsweise komischen Literatur "The Cloister. Profane and sacred. Mostly from older German Popular, Miraculous, Curious and especially Comical Literature") is a collection of magical and occult texts, chapbooks, folklore, popular superstition and fairy tales of the German Renaissance compiled by Stuttgart antiquarian Johann Scheible in 12 volumes, 1845-1849. Vols. 3, 5 and 11 are dedicated to the Faust legend. Vols. 7, 9 and 12 dealing with topics of folklore and ethnography were written by F. Nork (pseudonym of Friedrich Korn, 1803–1850).

Germany is a land of fascinating customs and traditions. Through the work of the many authors, its folk and fairy tales have become widely read around the world. German folklore has also inspired numerous literary, artistic, and musical works. This collection is an accessible introduction to German folklore. It provides numerous examples of German folkways and presents a wide ranging selection of texts. This collection provides insight into the pervasive influence of German folklore on literature and popular culture. Das Kloster ("The Cloister"; full title Das Kloster. Weltlich und geistlich. Meist aus der ältern deutschen Volks-, Wunder-, Curiositäten-, und vorzugsweise komischen Literatur, or in English—"The Cloister. Profane and sacred. Mostly from older German Popular, Miraculous, Curious and especially Comical Literature") is a collection of magical and occult texts, chapbooks, folklore, popular superstition and fairy tales of the German Renaissance compiled by Stuttgart antiquarian Johann Scheible between 1845 and 1849. In addition to the Das Kloster volumes, this collection provides additional 94-volumes of unique perspectives on Central European culture and tradition. Included are texts essential for the study of German folk traditions, the Reformation, wit and humor and 19th-century literature.

Collection of Stephen Romano, Brooklyn


Volume One(1845), 840 pp, ch. 1-4 Volksprediger, Moralisten und frommer Unsinn(Popular preachers, moralists and pious nonsense: Sebastian Brand's ship of fools with Geilers von Kaisersberg sermons about it and Thomas Murner's prankster, completely based on the old prints and their pictorial representations)full illustrationsfull volume






















Volume 2(1846), 1074 pp, ch. 5-8, Doctor Johann Faust(Doctor Johann Faust. 1: I. Faust and his predecessors (Theophilus, Gerbert, Virgil etc.); II. Georg Rudolf Widman's major work on Faust; III. Faust's compulsion to hell; IV. Verbatim copy of the first edition of the first book on Faust, from 1587. (Previously drawn in doubt, now found) full illustrationsfull volume







































Volume 3(1846), 1065 pp, ch. 9-12, Christoph Wagner, Don Juan Tenorio und verschiedene Schwarzkünstler und Beschwörer.  (or Christoph Wagner, Don Juan Tenorio and various black artists and conjurers (or pacts with the devil or the black artists of different nations and the summoners of hell and heaven for wealth, power, wisdom and lust)full illustrationsfull volume






























Volume Four(1846), 840 pp, Der Theuerdank by Thomas Murner (The Thanksgiving or Thomas Murner's writings and his life, along with his fooling and the mockery: whether the king of England is a liar or Luther.)full illustrationsfull volume












Volume Five(1847), 1160 pp, Die Sage vom Faust bis zum Erscheinen des ersten Volksbuches,mit Literatur und Vergleichung aller folgenden(The saga from Faust to the publication of the first folk book, with literature and comparison of all the following or Doctor Johann Faust. 3: The saga from Faust to the publication of the first folk book, with literature and comparison of all subsequent ones; Faust on the Volksbühne, in the puppet or puppet shows; Spell library of the magician: compulsion to hell. - Triple and quadruple compulsion to hell. - The great sea spirit. - Wonder book. - The black raven. - Ghost Commando.– Practice magica. - Treasure trove, etc.)full illustrationsfull volume

























































Volume Six(1847), 1106 pp, ch. 21-24 Die gute alte Zeit, after the manuscript collection of Wilhelm von Reinöhl(The good old days. 1: On the history mainly of city life, traditional costumes, housekeeping, children's games, dancing, jugglers, banquets, women's shelters, magical means, church festivals, pilgrimages etc. From Wilhelm von Reinöhl's handwritten and artistic collections)full illustrationsfull volume
















Volume Seven(1847), 1120 pp, F. Nork, Der Festkalender, enthaltend die Sinndeute der Monatszeichen, die Entstehungs- und Umbildungsgeschichte von Naturfesten in Kirchenfeste (The festival calendar, which contains the meaning of the monthly signs, the origins and transformation history of natural festivals in church festivals)(on the liturgical year and its evolution out of pagan festivals)orThe festival calendar: containing: the meaning of the month's signs, the origins and changes in the history of natural festivals in church festivals, description of the uses that occur in them and the interpretation of their symbols; Characteristics of martyrs and heroes of faith worshiped with words and swords on the 366 days of the leap year; Interpretation of many miracle stories, etc full illustrationsfull volume




















Volume 10(1848) 1184 pp, ch. 37-40, Johann Fischart's Flöhhatz, Weibertratz, Ehezuchtbüchlein, podagrammisch Trostbüchlein etc.(Johann Fischart's Flöhhatz, Weibertratz, Marriage book, podagrammatic consolation book etc.)or(10: Johann Fischarts Flöhhatz, Weibertratz, marriage breeding booklet, podagrammatic consolation booklet collects toes smaller writings; Thomas Murners From the Lutheran fool, church thief and heretic calendar, and seven satyrs against him: Karsthans, Murnarus, Leviathan, etc)full illustrationsfull volume






















Volume 13also known as"The Flying Leaves of the XVI. and XVII. Century, in so-called one-sheet prints with copper engravings and woodcuts, initially from the area of ​​political and religious caricature."or(The flying leaves of the XVI. and XVII. Century: in so-called one-sheet prints, with copper engravings and woodcuts; initially from the area of ​​political and religious caricature. From the treasures of the Ulm city library. Stuttgart)
full illustrationsfull volume
























about Stephen Romano

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano curator in residence: Wolfgang Grasse (1930 - 2008)

Wolfgang Grasse (1930 - 2008) "The Throne of Death" (The Merry Go Round) Detail, 1999


Wolfgang Grasse (1930 - 2008)








Wolfgang Grasse was born Dresden, Germany in 1930. At the age of 14 Wolfgang Grasse saw firsthand the hell and horror unleashed during the British and American bombing of the city of Dresden. This event traumatized him for the rest of his life.

Afterwards, he left Germany for Italy to study art under his grandfather, Friedrich Grasse. In 1948 Grasse was arrested by Soviet authorities for an anti-Soviet cartoon of Stalin hanging from the gallows. First sentenced to death, his sentence was reduced to 25 years at hard labor in a gulag in Poland, where he said there were 12,000 other male prisoners. He spent eight years in prison, and says that the only way he survived was by his art. Grasse would bribe the guards with drawings of erotic images or portraits of their family in exchange for food and protection. Once released, he resumed his artistic career in Berlin working as an illustrator, and continuing his own art practice of painting and drawing.In 1968, Wolfgang Grasse joined an exodus from Germany to Australia. After living in Sidney for a year, he relocated to Penguin Tasmania, where he was a freelance illustrator for The Bulletin. He had several exhibitions and swiftly settled into the Australian art scene, writing and illustrating children’s books and even making a feature-length film.

Grasse has stated that even while living in the bucolic beauty and tranquility of Tasmania, he still suffered from terrifying vivid nightmares, in particular about his time in the gulag, which led him to become a devout Christian. Grasse stated that he wasn't certain if he was actually living a life in Tasmania and having nightmares about prison, or if he was really still in the Gulag, and only dreaming there about having a tranquil life.

"I paint objective, figurative art with high technical perfection to create beautiful, valuable and qualitative works with interesting visions. My art is called Fantastic Realism (Vienese School) influenced also by French surreal and Japanese art (Hokusai, Kunisada, Hiroshige)."

Fantastical and metaphysical; such is the art of Wolfgang Grasse. Some called him a “wise old magician who through his paintings casts a spell on the viewer.” Some compare him with Bosch, Bruegel and Max Beckman.

Much of his art has a gruesome edge, often dwelling on death and sometimes even on apocalyptic events which reflect the ordeals of his experiences in Germany.

Then again, it can be limpid and dreamlike, lavish and mischievous. HIs themes are many, his ability undisputed. It is incredibly intricate and technically skilled.

His work has been categorized as surrealist and also as fantastic realism. The latter was how he liked to be described. Grasse died in 2008, four days after his muse and wife tragically drowned.

He is a stand-alone artist in our culture - and, perhaps, even in our times.



Wolfgang Grasse - Throne"The Throne of Death" (The Merry Go Round) 1999
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Wolfgang Grasse - Kingdom"Kingdom of Death", Acrylic on Panel, 2000
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Wolfgang Grasse - TemptationWolfgang Grasse (1930 - 2008) "The Temptation of Saint Anthony" 1983Collection of Damian Michaels, Australia
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"Ein gewissen Dr. Ming" (A Certain Dr. Ming), Ink on paper, 1962

"Ein gewissen Dr. Ming" (A Certain Dr. Ming), Ink on paper, 1962

"Ein gewissen Dr. Ming" (A Certain Dr. Ming), Ink on paper, 1962

"Ein gewissen Dr. Ming" (A Certain Dr. Ming), Ink on paper, 1962

"Ein gewissen Dr. Ming" (A Certain Dr. Ming), Ink on paper, 1962



Wolfgang Grasse - Fire"Firestone" Acrylic on panel, 2004
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Wolfgang Grasse - Dragon"Gustrow" Acrylic on panel, 1977
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“Der Wahnsinn” (The Madness), ink on paper, 1958
“Der Selbstmorder Vorm Spiegel” (The Suicide in Front of the Mirror), Ink and acrylic on paper, 1959
"Der Flotenspieler" (The Flute Player), Ink on paper, 1960
"Der Baum" (The Tree), Ink on Paper, 1961
Untitled, Ink and acrylic on paper, 1960
"Selbstbildnis Mit Tod" (Self-Portrait with Death),  Ink on paper, 1957 
"Luna", Ink on paper, circa 1980

Wolfgang Grasse - Dresden"Dresden", Acrylic on Panel, 1977
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Wolfgang Grasse - Fortune"Death's Victory" Acrylic on panel, 1960
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"The Broom" Ink on paper, 1981
www.wolfganggrasse.com



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MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano curator in residence: Barry William Hale


The Devil Our Lord, 2013


Barry William Hale is a Sydney based artist whose work over the past 20 years has included painting, drawing, installation, video, sound and performance. He is considered one of the key exponents of esoteric art, specifically creating work which responds to concepts of western spirituality, philosophy and ritual.

“My work is a synthesis of Art and Magick, and the residue of my esoteric endeavors. It is essential for me to forge a magical link to the metaphysical subject matter. There is great power in the things people are afraid of. The Devil is the name some new regime gives to the God[s] of those whom they oppress. These repressed forces become the locus of forbidden power imprisoned by the walls of taboo. For me, these Crowned Anarchies become the agencies of liberation. My work is Gnostic in the sense that it gives primacy to direct experience with the divine. In the spirit of the Rebellious Promethean spark of the Luciferian fire." - Barry William Hale

Artist Barry William Hale, New York City 2017.  Photograph by Stephen Romano
Baphomet Rex Mundi, 2015
Japanese Devil Boy, 2013Hell Attendant II, 2014

Hell Attendant I, 2014
Hell Attendant III, 2014

IO:EVOE: The Transvocatory Media of Barry William Hale, Robert Fitzgerald for ABRAXAS Journal, Fulgur"

Barry William Hale: folding darkness, intersecting shadows & opening the Book of Spirits

The intolerable formlessness must be named, a name that struggles to contain the idea of the Devil and Legion in one composite figure: At best these provide a borderline or isthmus of transformational exchange between the horde and the sorcerer. Legion 49 ,BWH, Fulgur 2009

I have spoken elsewhere of the specificities that wove themselves into the thread whose knots captured my inspiration, that lead to the production of the primary artistic series of Beelzebub and the 49 Servitor. From the cthonic pantheon of the Mexican Amerindian paper-cut tradition which was fused with Spanish Inquisitional demonology. To the Servitors of Beelzebub from the Book Abramelin and following the result of the clairvoyance of a ‘prominent’ Irish psychic, at a sitting of the Ghost Club. Which were included in Crowley’s book of homoerotic poetry ‘The Scented Garden...’ otherwise known as the ‘Bagh-i-muattar’.

Staring into the face of which another knoweth their Devil
Through the darkling speculum myriad manifestations,
terrible and strange, monsterous and fantastic,
the Devil may be known. BWH

To give some insights into my artistic practise which can be seen as a series of different ongoing magical explorations, that I continually return to time and time again. To develop through aesthetic elaboration and further magical research. Adding to an existing corpus of knowledge which continues to grow and inform itself. The Resultant artistic residue of this process is expressed through a number of creative disciplines with a variety of artistic outcomes.

Speaking specifically about the magical source of current works in question, which emerged form a magical operation to Beelzebub. Of my own method and construction based upon personal knowledge of a variety of traditions of spirit conjuration and evocatory arts with particular reference to those that have Beelzebub within there register of spirits2.

My own magical operation endured for the span of eleven months, and was in conjunction with the writing and completion of LEGION 493. By which time the devils where bound and an irrevocable link with that mighty Devil forged. The very process of the Art Magical serves as a veritable Liber Spirituum which captures the spirits and binds their essence within the body of the work which is its pages. For the devils live in the residue of the entire magical artistic process. Therefore we are to conceptualize the entire body of work as a magical talisman dedicated to Beelzebub and Legion.

Once the magical link has been forged, and the Devil and Legion bound to the Book of Spirits sealed within the pages. The essential requirements of the magical operation -like those found within the old grimoires- are dispensed with.

It is not my purpose to expound the revelations and the full extent of the knowledge and experiences had during the course of the magical working with Beelzebub. That Mighty Devil without Solomon’s Temple would not have been built, who was at the side of Jesus as he was upon the Cross. Beelzebub is both the mortar of God’s Temple and its corrosion, eternally in flux and transition as an essential embodiment of the forces of Chaos and multiplicity. .

























































Drawing from this rich source, artist-practitioner Barry William Hale has produced a series of eleven symbolic images based upon an alternative form – a sigillic wheel – once described by Crowley himself. Around this wheel are interlocked figures that ‘symbolise the ordeal of the Adept, upon the soul’s journey.’ As author Robert Fitzgerald cites in his introduction to the work;

“The eleven compositions of CODEX 231 center around twin wheels that house the branches of two trees – the Domes and Prisons of LIBER CCXXXI and their respective sigils. The interlocked figures comprise a chimeric embodiment of these trees, and fulfill the literal ordalium of the Sorcerer, Mystic, Adept and Magician as they struggle with the demons and angels within both Tree and Self. These entities are thus portrayed in Hale’s CODEX 231 are united, both in nature and composition, and held together by each other’s feet and hands, yet ultimately by the Wheels themselves. This unity represents primordial Opposition and Integration, Control and Constraint, of the forces within both the living Adepti and their symbolic representations.”
























H&H 231 #3, 2000-2001
H&H 231 #8 upright, 2000-2001H&H 231 #8 averse, 2000-2001
H&H 231 #5


about Stephen Romano

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano curator in residence: Josh Stebbins







Josh Stebbins at "No Stars: A Twin Peaks Tribute Exhibition" curated by Stephen Romano October 2019.  

JOSH STEBBINS

Josh Stebbins is a native of Enid Oklahoma. Josh works predominantly with pen and ink (which he is certainly not limited to). He has been doing art, drawing and illustration since he was very young. With only basic art courses in school and college, he is able to foster his pursuit for progression while expanding his own creative horizons. He is very thankful these days to be recognized for all the work he has produced on his journey in life thus far.

Josh tries to convey in his style and subject matter a sense of duality, strengthened by his choice to work mainly in black and white. His subject matter presents undertones of beauty in darkness. These subjects can run the spectrum from religion to horror, often looking at the human experience, mostly from a darker side. Josh says of his work, “People generally realize it’s there [the darker side], but don’t want to face it…for me the garden of Eden has long since had a ‘Sorry, We’re Closed’ sign on its gate.”





Josh Stebbins in Queens New York October 2019. photo by Stephen Romano

SLASH on stage wearing Josh Stebbins' designed shirt from Black Market Art.



















































































about Stephen Romano

MONSTER BRAINS - Stephen Romano curator in residence: LE POITEVIN, Les Diables de Lithographies, 1832








LE POITEVIN, [Eugène Modeste Edmond]. Les Diables de Lithographies. Paris / London: Chez Aumont / Charles Tilt, n.d. [1832].

Stephen Romano collection, Brooklyn NY.

Impish devils dance, make merry, kidnap young maidens, engage in scatological activities, make mischief upon men and women. and generally have a hell of a time as rascals frolicking in diabolical fun. It is the most famous of all works, paint or print, by Le Poitevin, whose "Devilries" established a genre in the wake of the Romantic school's Mephistopheles and Faust, from scenes to fright to scenes that, as here, delight with lively charm. Le Poitevin's devilries with their light, devilish humor became extremely popular with other artists, such as Michael Delaporte and Bayalos. Le Poitevin (1806-1870) was a French painter and lithographer. As a painter, he specialized in marine art , as a lithographer he is best-known today for Devilries. He was a contributor to The Journal of Painters and Charles Philpon's La Caricature. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, a pupil of Louis Hersent and Xavier Leprince. Very popular in his time, he exhibited at the Salon from 1831 until his death in 1870 .

"Tout autre est Eugène Le Poitevin, le peintre de marines, qui popularise un genre bien différent mais dont le retentissement ne fut pas moins grand. Procédant en droite ligne du Méphistophélès de Faust et des tendances au bizarre de l'école romantique, les diableries de cet artiste vinrent jeter une note pittoresque et amusante au milieu des estampes sans couleur du consciencieux lithographe. Pendant un temps ce ne furent plus que diables et diableries, diables souvent érotiques, diableries plus ou moins légères. Les Diables, Petits sujets de diables, Bizarreries diaboliques, Encore des Diableries; c'est sous ces titres que se répandaient partout les albums à couverture brune de Le Poitevin qu'imitèrent bientôt de Bayalos avec ses Diablotins et Michel Delaporte avec ses Récréations diabolico-fantasmagoriques. Diables blancs et diables noirs suivis de diables rouges et de diables verts. Le diable se glissait partout, commettant mille incongruités, relevait les robes des femmes, les déshabillait comme par enchantement, les mettait en cage, les tirait par les cheveux, ayant toujours à son service un nombre incalculable de petits diablotins courant à tort et à travers les feuilles. Il y eut une telle invasion des sujets de messire Satan que ce ne fut plus, comme dans la chanson, « Vive la lithographie, » mais « au diable, les polissonnes" (Grand-Carteret, Les Moeurs et la caricature en France, p. 174).

"Quite different is Eugène Le Poitevin, the painter of seascapes, who popularized a very different genre but whose repercussions were no less great. of this artist came to throw a picturesque and amusing note in the middle of the colorless prints of the conscientious lithographer. For a time they were only devils and devils, devils often erotic, devils more or less light. Diabolical oddities, Encore des Diableries: it was under these titles that the brown-covered albums of Le Poitevin spread everywhere that Bayalos soon imitated with his Devils and Michel Delaporte with his Devilish-phantasmagorical recreations. White devils and black devils followed red devils and green devils. The devil slipped everywhere, committing a thousand incongruities, raised the robes of s women, undressed them as if by magic, put them in cages, pulled them by the hair, always having at their service an incalculable number of little imps running erroneously and through the leaves. There was such an invasion of the subjects of Messire Satan that it was no longer, as in the song, "Vive la lithographie," but "au diable, les polissonnes" (Grand-Carteret, Les Moeurs et la caricature en France, p . 174).

Le Poitevin (1806-1870) was a French painter and lithographer. As a painter, he specialized in marine art , as a lithographer he is best-known today for Devilries. He was a contributor to The Journal of Painters and Charles Philpon's La Caricature. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, a pupil of Louis Hersent and Xavier Leprince. Very popular in his time, he exhibited at the Salon from 1831 until his death in 1870.



























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































about Stephen Romano

Peter Klúcik - Illustrations for unpublished version of J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" 1990

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 01

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 02

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 03

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 04

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 05

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 06

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 07

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 08

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 09

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 10

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 11

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 12

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 13

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 14

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 15

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 16

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 17

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 18

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 19

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 20

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 21

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 22

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 23

Peter Klucik -The Hobbit, Illustration 24


"Long-time illustrator Peter Klúcik was asked to illustrate J R R Tolkien's The Hobbit soon after communism fell in 1989. For this project he created around 40 illustrations that were rich in detail and conveyed the mysterious atmosphere of the book very well. But the publishing house commissioning them failed to adjust to the market economy and lost the right to publish the book. A second one approached him, but only for the book's cover. Then a third publishing house appeared on the scene - after the Tolkien-mania prompted by the 2001 release of the first film in The Lord of the Rings sequence -- but this was denied the copyright.
After all that, Klúcik made a decision: "I have had it with illustrations. I am going to paint!" He switched from illustration to painting, and since then he has been creating a fantasy world of mysterious animals using oil on canvas. He finds inspiration in the real animals he sees in books and on television documentaries, such as tigers, zebras, and rhinos. To these images he applies his wild imagination, twisting their bodies and playing with their fur and colours until they are transformed into new, unknown creatures living in fantastic surroundings. 
Before he gave up illustration, Klúcik created pictures for around 40 books, including Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren and Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. But the book that enabled him to expand his imagination the most and brought him to the path he later set out on was the last one he illustrated - Tolkien's The Hobbit. From the evil-looking but funny hairy squirrels to the curly tails on the flying dragons, it was an easy transition to his dreamed-up world inhabited purely by animals." - quote source
Artworks found at the Toto! Gallery
Much smaller resolution versions of these were previously shared here in 2006.

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