Justell Vonk is an artist from Moscow, Russia, who creates stunning drawings inspired by folklore and the occult. I recently discovered her through instagram and was immediately captivated by her surreal dark images, that brilliantly combine horror with a sense of twisted humor. I interviewed Justell about her own experiences with death and how she magically adds her beliefs and visions into her art.
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Caitlin Doughty is an LA-based mortician, author, and founder of The Order of The Good Death, a group of professionals in the funeral industry who are committed to making a difference in our death phobic culture. She also has one of the most addictive YouTube channels in which she discusses delightfully morbid topics, from the secrets of embalming to the miracle of coffin birth. I got a chance to ask Caitlin about her current projects, her experience with OCD and what she envisions for her own funeral.
Jeremie Saunders is a 30 year old actor, yoga instructor and co-host of Sickboy Podcast, a show in which he discusses the heavier sides of living with a disease together with his friends Brian and Taylor and their guests. With their show, these guys are determined to break down the stigma associated with illness. Jeremie himself has a genetic lung disease called Cystic Fibrosis (CF). I asked him about the awesome work he is doing with Sickboy Podcast and how he copes with CF.
Diego Gravinese is a painter from Buenos Aires, Argentina, who creates hyperrealistic works of art. His large scale oil paintings draw the audience in immediately and take them on a journey to gorgeous places with a sacred vibe that very much resemble paradise. I went into conversation with him and asked him about his experiences with death, his thoughts on consciousness and the mystical meaning of it all.
Culinary genius Annabel de Vetten is nicknamed Annabel Lector, which you will understand is for obvious reasons once you take a look at her work. She fabricates hauntingly delicious cakes, or rather “edible sculptures”, of the darkest of themes. From creepy looking animal skulls with sweet cake on the inside, to white chocolate baby heads and extremely detailed anatomy models that taste way better than the wax originals – Annabel can do it all. I chatted with her about her part in the death positive movement and her thoughts on the subject of death.
Born in New York and residing in Johannesburg, Roger Ballen is a photographic artist who captures expressive portraits with an eerie undertone. His work reflects an exploration of existential subjects and invites the audience to go on a journey within themselves. I sat down with Roger and asked him about his experiences with death, and how the theme of mortality is embedded in his life and art.
German artist Alexander Binder was born under the perfect morbid circumstances: on Halloween night, in the midst of the famous Black Forest in Germany. Drawing his inspiration from symbolism and the occult, the self-taught photographer uses vintage lenses and other optical accessories to manipulate reality and capture its shadow side. I asked him about his experiences with death and how the subject of mortality influences his art.
Warren Ellis is a graphic novelist and author, known for his acclaimed comic book series ‘Transmetropolitan’ and his best-selling novel ‘Gun Machine’. He’s also shared his reflections on technological and cultural matters on several platforms like VICE and Wired and is currently working on his latest novel ‘Normal’, a provocative techno-thriller that comes out later this year. I picked his brain on morbid matters and his own contemplation of death.
Nona Limmen is a Dutch artist who is best known for her way of combining ethereal human beauty with barren landscapes. Through her photography she channels the darker side of life and captures it in a breathtaking way, painting gloomy fairytales with the camera’s lens. I asked her about her beliefs about death and how she lets herself be inspired by this.
Colin Hector van Eeckhout is a multi-talented musician. He is the frontman of Belgian post-metal band Amenra, has a solo project that goes by the abbreviation of his own name, ‘CHVE’ and is part of several side projects. The way he explosively blends the darker urges of mankind with an almost enlightened view on reality has fascinated his followers for many years. I asked him about his views on death, and how the subject has evolved for him through time.
Laura Bochove is a 27 year old mortician from Haarlem, the Netherlands. She’s a mother of two and wrote a book inspired by her fascination with death and her personal experiences in life. I sat down with her and talked about her views on the death industry, the pros and cons of being a mortician and how she arranged a funeral for her own dog.
Chris Girard is an LA-based artist and writer, or, as he prefers to call himself, “a hustler with a Ph.D”. Over the years, he has expressed himself through various mediums: from photographic self-portraits back in the days when selfie wasn’t an official word yet, to video art and poetry. I asked him about his video death poem “Shadow Shadows Tomb” and his thoughts about death.