Witches, Wicked Bodies, and the Whore of Babylon

December 28th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

While visiting Phantasmaphile, a favourite blog of mine, I saw a post about a show next summer at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Witches and Wicked Bodies will explore how witches and witchcraft have been depicted in fine art over the past 500 years.

As described by the museum, the show,

“will be an investigation of extremes, exploring the highly exaggerated ways in which witches have been represented, from hideous hags to beautiful seductresses.”

Some of the artists represented include Albrecht Dürer, Francisco de Goya, William Blake, Paula Rego, and Kiki Smith.

I’d love to see this show, and if I happen to be Scotland between July 27th and November 3rd, I’ll definitely be there.

But whether I make it to Scotland or not, I’m already struck by the William Blake picture being used to promote the show.

It’s called The Whore of Babylon and was created by Blake in 1809.

I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between it and Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot card #11 – Lust, (more commonly known as Strength) painted by Lady Freida Harris in the middle of the 20th Century.

It also features the Whore of Babylon and the 7-Headed Beast. Take a look …

Whores of Babylon by Crowley/Harris and Blake

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Modern Art and the Occult

November 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

As Mary K. Greer has shown in her research on Cartomancers in Western Art, artists have long been inspired by the process of divination. And not just divination, general themes of the occult have infused artistic expression throughout the ages.

Pam Grossman, curator and creator of the wonderful mystic art blog Phantasmaphile, will look at the subject of artists and the occult in an illustrated lecture this coming Friday, November 18th. Her talk is called The Occult in Modern Art 101.

If you happen to be in Brooklyn, New York that night, you might want to check it out. She’ll be specifically looking at the influence of alchemy, Spiritualism, Theosophy, and shamanism in modern western art.

Different periods will be covered, including works from the Symbolists, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and today’s visionary art.

As she explains it, the lecture is meant to be a ‘visual primer on the existence of magic in our museums and galleries.’

It’s sounds fascinating.

The Occult in Modern Art 101 is part of an ongoing series of lectures and events at Observatory, an art and event space in the Gowanus neighbourhood of Brooklyn.

Take a look at their schedule. They’ve got everything from Tarot classes to instruction on the art and ritual of animal mummification.

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