Why does it take surprise to make us pay attention to today's modern works of art? This shock factor has been applied to much of our entertainment, our television, magazines and books are generally swamped with real life stories, violence and vulgarity. These have been attributes of our media for a long time.
What is gothic art? Often created with an appreciation for the 'strange' and the macabre, it is not always easy on the eyes, easy to please, or easy to read. Gothic artwork goes much deeper than a pretty picture you can hang above your bed. It reflects on our worst fears and nightmares. So why would anyone find pleasure in articulating their bad dreams within the medium of art?
One of my most influential sources for my own gruesome creations has arisen from a love of horror films, such as Hellraiser and Alien. As a child I was, like many others intrigued by this form of film making. Gutted of the fuzzy happy endings that so much of our PG cinema is known for, this type of media was good, because it was shocking, and led too much of the science fiction and gothic work that lives today.
Somewhere within the idea of Gothic Artwork, is the concept of individuality, the want and possible need to be the root of shock, and sometimes, disgust to do the exact opposite of what is expected of a 'normal human being' This to some may seem to be somewhat of a 'teenage cliché' however, many artists, have taken this ideal into adulthood, and are now developed in this non-conformist world to such an extent that these ideas have created lifestyles, and beliefs from ideas. Music, fashion and art designed to instil the exact same feeling that our horror cinema once did.
Our modern gothic artwork is much more surreal than the medieval architectural design it once was and in some cases 'gothic' has been replaced by surrealism. We have taken what was once used to display various religious beliefs and superstitions and given it newer and more relevant meaning. Once when our greatest fear was to disappoint or anger god, we painted things that would instill good behavior in people. In a current, almost none religious country, The U.K, this idea stands alone. Our tastes as far as our fears are concerned have changed. And our gothic artwork is now horror, grotesque, and gruesome. It makes you wonder what we could possibly think of next. What is there to be scared of once you find that the 'boogeyman' does not live under your bed after-all?
Our modern 'gothic' art reminds us of what we fear, what gives us goose bumps and creates our paranoia. In my opinion, our horrors are not always irrational, and this is what makes this genre of artwork so effective. It will stick in our minds because we refuse to accept the possibility of our fears existence as it niggles away at us in the dark. However, a subjective view is to be taken and although claimed to be 'alternative' this is an area of art that we can all relate too. We can all empathize with, and therefore it will always have a place in the art world.