Mad About Macabre

 Although it may not be very “PC”, the creepy, scary side of life can be pretty titillating at times. 

CSI and Twilight have millions of fans for a reason – the macabre is fascinating.  It's fun to 

dive into the dark side of life, especially for the straight-laced among us.  Sure, we like our 

structured, polished lives.  But something about the morbid and sinister gets the skin tingling. 

So here’s to being a little naughty at least once a year.  Go ahead, get your freak on! 




Blackman cruz bronze skull lamp 
Blackman Cruz is an L.A. based firm that specializes in eccentric objects and furniture. 

The Bronze Skull lamp is one of their original and most famous designs.  It was the

frontrunner of what became the skull trend pandemic of the last several years. 

Their bronze Bat Incense Burner below is even more unconventional.


Blackman cruz bat incense burner - Copy



Taxidermy rabbit 

Taxidermy - cute or creepy?  This little fella is an antique rabbit from London.   

He has a happy home at And Beige in Adams Morgan.  




  Gold toad

Baker furniture is currently reproducing several pieces from the collection of the

incomparable Tony Duquette.  The Gold Toad was one of his most intriguing designs –

a cast skeletal sculpture plated in 24K gold.  The 2009 version doesn't have emerald (!) 

eyes like the original, but it's still just as coveted.  In fact, Gold Toads have been

stolen from showrooms in both DC and New York.  Tony would be shocked!





Spider cuff Skull earrings 

Yes, spooky and chic can go hand in hand. 

Spider Cuffs by Jessica Kagan Cushman  and Jet Drop Skull Earrings by Bettina Louise.





I discovered the work of Jim Fiscus because I'm a fan of Dexter (see more on that below).  His photography

is both irreverent and flawless – an unusual combination that makes for gorgeous, intoxicating images.







I saw a powerful exhibit titled "Art, Genius and Madness" at the Santa Maria

della Scala museum in Siena this summer.  It explored the connection

between artistic genius and insanity and featured a collection of paintings,

drawings and sculptures spanning 300 years.  Beautiful, provocative and

often disturbing, the exhibit was like nothing I have ever seen.





A haunting painting by Enrico Colombotto Rosso. 




"Concert in an Egg"  (1550) by Hieronymus Bosch.  The Dutch artist's

paintings are recognizable for their bizarre and disturbing subject matter.



Messerschmidt busts 2 

 Busts by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt from his "character heads"

series (1770) depicting contorted facial expresssions.



  Saturn devouring his son 

  Not included in the Siena exhibit, but a painting that always frightens me.
 "Saturn Devouring His Son" by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya (1819).


Girl-watching-scary movie 

My favorite macabre activity is watching scary movies.  I can't get enough.  And when better to sit down,

 dim the lights and curl up with a terrifying flick than Halloween?  Below are ten of my favorite fright fests. 

Psycho (1960)

The Birds (1963)

Excorcist (1973)

Jaws (1975)

Alien (1979)

Poltergeist (1982)

Aliens (1986)

The Ring (2002)

Hostel (2005)

The Strangers (2008)

And for those of us who like to get our regular fix of brilliant gore, there's Dexter. 

The series is smart, humorous and completely addictive.  If you don't subscribe to

Showtime, you can download episodes instantly through Netflix.













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