comment on "Friends Without Benefits" by Nancy Jo Sales
— Samwise Bateman
under the guise of keeping people “fair” and “honest,” they have created a hostile environment for anyone who is different than them or thinks differently than they do. because they are louder than us, we have to bend to their rules that appear, from the outside, to be based at least in some kind of human decency. but even that isn’t true.
what it boils down to is this: they are imposing on us, breaking down our boundaries to hold us to this “standard.” and the standard is that everything we do, everything we say, must be said or done with what they believe (which we are to take as fact, but it isn’t) in mind and explicitly stated to bookend whatever we might have said about our own fandom.
if we do not do this, we’re subject to the tumblr equivalent of stoning. we are screeched at by the people who have truly lost their grip on reality, and there’s no way to combat that other than to do what i did, which was to run.
keep this in mind. no matter what anyone complains about, no matter what kind of twisted logic they attempt to use, this situation is not, and never will be, fair. if someone is fighting you about fairness, queer erasure, or a misplaced sense of respect, they’re probably bullshitting you.
another gorgeous example of dark themes in japanese art, this time sexual/gore-y as well. the above is based off of the story of st. sebastian; below is based off of salome.
of course, one cannot mention salome around me without me immediately thinking of oscar wilde. wilde and takato were both heavily influenced by symbolism.
initiated by bauledaire by his publication of Les Fleurs du mal and his translation of poe into french, the symbolists relied heavily on imagery and tropes to create their works of art.
i’ve always been fascinated by the use of symbols. alchemical art has long held my attention, both for its beauty and for its incredible depth. the use of symbols, to me, makes a piece so much richer, gives it depth and places it in the context of something much larger than itself. i think this is because of what jung called the collective unconscious. there are commonly used images that care so much additional information and connotation with them - as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.. although it could also be said that a word is worth a thousand words, or maybe even more. our attempts to define words could never capture the full connotation contained therein.
takato’s use of a common imagery makes his paintings live and breathe. his use of dark, muted colours gives the piece a dead, corpse like feel, further emphasized by the unraveling muscles and visible ribs and spines- the flow of which provides an twisted, spiraling avenue of movement to the eye of the viewer.. they are coiled around flowers and eyes, which give the piece a macabre, dia-de-los-muertos feel. the teddy bear and the mask in the above image are particularly vocal. the mask in particular brings to mind one of my favorite sequences in one of my favorite comics, gunnerkrigg court.
tom siddell, the author of gunnerkrigg, always layers his pieces with multiple layers of symbolic meaning. i want to start learning more about alchemy, and study more of symbolist artists, to include this tradition in my own work (and subvert it when applicable)