Macabre Artists of 2017

Macabre Artists: Noteworthy Artists of 2017

Circus Living’s Featured Macabre Artists

Since it is October, I am almost inclined to present this post as a Halloween-themed feature of sorts. Given that Circus Living does celebrate Halloween and all things spooky all year round, however, it almost seems superfluous to do so. For those of you not familiar with Circus Living, we feature artists who create macabre or morbid artworks outside of the month of October.

Truth be told, I am not much a fan of lists when it comes to featuring artists. I am also a realist, however, and have come to accept that with the time and resources I have, presenting artists worth showcasing in a list is better than not at all.

So, without further delay, and in no particular order, Circus Living presents our first ever list of noteworthy macabre artists to follow.

1 - Sean Whitlock (Sculptor - Skulls, Bones)

“The dark theme is inescapable because I work with bones. It's art to look at and it's a wearable art piece. I like to work the skulls and bones into something that I think is cool or a bit different. I also think since most of my art deals with death, by repurposing the bones into another different state they are beautiful, yet again in their own way. There's more to it, consciously and subconsciously, but it's a layer of the onion.” - Sean

For more info on Sean Whitlock:
Sean Whitlock on Facebook

2 - William Sandell (Sculptor - Kinetic Art)

“The textures and colors of dark art appeal to me. this kind of art can be full of history and backstory and that is interesting to me. I’ve noticed with my kinetic art, that if I use some doll parts it instantly draws people’s interest and gives it another layer of mystery. I don’t know...I’ve always been interested in paranormal subjects, ghosts, witches, UFO’s , Bigfoot, I’ve got it bad." - William

William Sandell with the book he created for film "Hocus Pocus"

For more info on William Sandell:
William Sandell's website

3 - Sheila Bentley (Sculptor - Art Doll)

"I have always loved Halloween, spooky stories and movies, so after sculpting Santas and Angels for many years I decided to try my hand at sculpting witches, goblins and all things creepy!" - Sheila

For more info on Sheila Bentley:
Sheila Bentley's website

4 - Sarah Dozelal (Sculptor - Mixed Media, Oddities)

For more info about Sarah: Circus Living’s Feature on Gears on Acid

"I guess I got into macabre-themed work by accident. I really just focus on what I think is beautiful and make that. I follow the flow that my work tells me to move in and make things. I guess it's just in my blood." - Sarah

5 - Jennifer Hepler-Takens (Sculptor - Halloween Art Doll)

"I was a self-professed contrary child. If my parents wanted me to wear a red dress coat with little red patent leather mary janes, I opted for black. It wasn’t until I read Secret Garden and heard Mary Lennox described as a disagreeable child that I realized I too could be described as disagreeable. True be told, I’ve always been attracted to the most interesting stories that involve some bit of macabre. I collect odd eccentricities in my home studio. As I create, the peculiar nature of the objects I surround myself with to whisper. If I listen closely, the macabre sneaks quietly in and from under my hands, as I sculpt I see the stories of dark and light blending together. For that reason, I know my work isn’t for everyone, it’s only for those whom embrace the dark and the light together. I think the macabre sneaks into my work because down deep, I desire to create something that is magical to someone. In my mind, some of the most macabre things are the most mysterious." - Jennnifer

For more info on Jennifer Hepler-Takens:
Prim Pumpkin website

6 - Candice Angélini (Sculptor - Hats and Headdresses)

"Lorsque j'étais petite fille, j'étais déja fascinée par les maisons anciennes et les objets d'un autre temps. Je me souviens que lorsque je suivais ma mère dans les brocantes, je me sentais vraiment dans mon élément. Je m'amusais à immaginer les vies passées liées à tous ces objets d'antiquité. C'était pour magique pour moi!

J'ai conservé cet amour du passé et plus particulièrement du 19 eme siècle. Cette période de l'histoire a plusieurs faces sombres (les conditions de vie: des femmes,des enfants particulièrement. L'Art du souvenir immortalisé par les photos post mortem, l'Art du tissage de cheveux pour des bijoux ou reliquaires par exemple..) J'ai peu à peu découvert cette tranche de l'histoire à travers des livres, des romans. Je suis dans ma vie d'adulte, passionnée par l'Histoire.

Je pense que mon attrait pour cette période romantique et un peu obscure influence mon travail artistique. Je ne crée pas volontairement des oeuvres sombres, elles sortent de cette façon". - Candice

For more info on Candice Angélini:
Candice Angélini's website

7 - Jen Musatto (Sculptor - Art Doll)

"I’ve always had an interest in the macabre. I was born this way. Lol. I really can’t pinpoint why. So when I started creating dolls it was just natural for me to give them dark personalities. People often ask me why I make dolls. My answer to them is that In 2004 I was diagnosed with clinical depression/panic disorder and an autoimmune disease that makes my depression amplified at times. Making the dolls brought me a great deal of relief. It became my coping method, my personal therapy." - Jen

For more info on Jen Musatto:
Jen Musatto on Facebook

8 - Shelby Elizabeth (Illustrator - Pen & Ink)

"I've always loved horror movies and mysteries, from urban legends to short campfire stories. Pen and ink lends itself very well to the horror genre, and the detailed nature of my work allows me to interpret stories in an interesting way." - Shelby

For more info on Shelby Elizabeth:
Shelby Elizabeth's website

9 - Heather Rose (Illustrator & Painter)

"My art has been dark for as long as I can remember. I was drawing vampires and goblins when I was 5 years old. It probably started because of the types of movies I liked and books I read. I was a huge Stephen King fan as a child. By age 12 I had read everything he'd ever written. There's so much more emotion in dark art. It often makes people feel things they didn't know existed. " - Heather

For more info on Heather Rose:
Heather Rose's website

10 - Ioanna Tsouka (Sculptor - Art Doll)

For more info about Ioanna: Circus Living's Feature on Anima ex Manus

"Morbid curiosity has been a research subject for many biologists, anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists: the basic claim is that the more disturbing, gore or even “disgusting” what we see is, we become most attentive and are able to remember the content better. There’s a quite accurate explanation by M. Stevens, using a mnemonic strategy that goes like this: “We like disturbing things because we like to SCREAM. They give us Strength, Catharsis, Reality, Exploration And Meaning.” I think this attraction to macabre art is a subconscious desire to experience someone else’s suffering, but remaining physically safe. There’s reportedly an inherent attraction to darkness, and when we encounter it, we simply can’t look away." - Ioanna

11 - Vio Arts (Sculptor & Illustrator)

"My dream would be to make movie monsters! Usually my creatures are just the product of my imagination and dreams." - Britt

For more info on Vio Arts:
Vio Arts on Facebook

12 - Kathryn Hall (Sculptor - Art Doll)

"This doll was made in 2016 and was given to my daughter-in-law, who also loves Dia de los Muertos." - Kathryn

For more info on Kathryn Hall:
Kathryn Hall on Facebook

13 - Tara Mals Hauntiture (Sculptor & Painter - Art Dolls, Custom Furniture)

"I have worked in Haunted Attractions, created grand prize Halloween parade floats, created themed Hayrides for two different towns, decorated Witches Balls in Salem, and Halloween themed parties for organizations." - Tara

For more info on Tara Mals:
Tara Mals on Facebook