by: James Burr
The Artist woke up face down on the wall, his favourite Braque print digging uncomfortably into his ribs. It seemed that gravity must have shifted 90° as he slept as he was now lying on the far wall of his bedroom looking up at his bed, which seemed to be hanging from what was now the ceiling. Yet it couldn’t be that gravity had shifted 90°, as his bed was where it always was, albeit at an utterly unfamiliar angle, and the rumpled covers still lay on it. Similarly his desk and chair were still in the corner of the room, although from his perspective, now wedged into the far corner of the ceiling. He stood up. Aside from his own position in the room, everything was much as it had always been.
He yawned and then made his way to the bedroom door, now embedded in the floor at his feet. He pulled it up and looked down. There was a drop of around 6 feet to the hall wall but then he would have to navigate a 20 foot drop to get to the far wall of his open-plan living room. He was already behind on several commissioned canvases and this damn gravity-thing was the last thing he needed. Still, he was an artist and it was the nature of the artist to explore experience. So he flipped over the door frame and dropped to the hall wall, his feet punching through the plasterboard. “Damn it!”
Prying his feet free, he then walked down the wall to the living room door, shaking the dust from his feet as he did so, before getting to his knees so he could peer over the edge of the doorframe, into the room below. The sheer drop was somewhat broken by the cupboards and units of his kitchen area below the wall he was currently kneeling on. But did this phenomenon extend to the entirety of his apartment? He could see his sofa and telephone twenty feet below on the floor/wall opposite.
I suspect that I have transcended the limits of ordinary reality and now perceive the world with the agility of a mind freed from entrenched perspectives, thought the Artist, and he grew eager to explore further.
If he could somehow swing from the doorframe across the room, it was only a drop of ten feet or so to his tall cupboard which, if he could reach it he could then land on before dropping down to the rest of the living room. Gingerly, he edged his way over the doorframe and then carefully lowered himself until he hung over the opposite wall. He then started to swing forwards and backwards as he tried to build momentum, before with one final kip, he flung himself across the room, landing on the side of the tall cupboard. However, as he landed he smashed his face into the wall and he could feel himself dropping backwards into the living room below. Desperately he reached out and managed to grab the side of the sink, and he pulled himself forwards. Above him were his other kitchen units, herbs and spices, yesterday’s Chinese wrappers, coffee jars and kettle all still resting, perpendicular on the worktop, in defiance of the phenomenon that seemed to be afflicting him. Damn it. He could do nothing in the morning without a morning coffee, but making one would involve climbing up the wall, perhaps using the side of the window frame as a foothold and then somehow monkey barring his way across the kitchen units, if they could even take his weight of course. So the Artist shifted position and sat on the edge of the unit; it was just a ten foot drop to the far wall of his living room.
The only logical explanation for this situation is that it is the manifestation of my will to transcend boundaries yet my apartment’s continuing existence continues to prove that humans may attempt to defy gravity but never wholly escape, thought the Artist. This could in fact be a manifestation of the human impulse to reach beyond our present reality.
He sat on the edge of the unit and again, dropped down until he was hanging from its side. And then, the distance minimised as much as he could, he let go, landing in a heap on the far wall. Grumbling, he got to his feet and looked above him, at the walls, paintings hanging horizontally, his dining table and chairs now suspended on a wooden wall, fifteen feet above him.
The Artist grew excited at this fresh development in his creative life. This physical experience could provide a radical shift of perspective so I can look at the world through a completely different lens. This phenomenon provides an opportunity to reimagine the physical and psychological reality I previously thought of as fixed as something more flexible, mutable, and light. Feverishly, he considered the artistic possibilities his new perspective afforded. He considered the colours, the shapes the conceptual possibilities that he could now exploit. He looked around these familiar yet strange surroundings for his easel and paints before remembering with a shudder that they were in his bedroom.
And so he jumped and jumped and jumped. But as he leaped, arms outstretched for the kitchen units out of reach above him, he realised there was no way back out of his living room.
And it was then that he finally saw the true gravity of his situation.
An English writer of dark, humorous, paranoiac fiction, James Burr is the author of Ugly Stories for Beautiful People and is working on a novel titled Razor Moccasins. You can follow him on Twitter and find more of his stories here.
Send your weird little stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Sam Reeve
Mark Prent is a Polish-born Canadian sculptor and performance artist whose grotesque work has caused a stir since the 70’s. In 1972 and ’74 his work was exhibited in the Isaacs Gallery in Toronto, and both times the police tried shutting it down after a public morality group complained about the nature of the art. The gallery’s right to display the art was successfully defended each time.
Born in Lodz, Poland in 1947, Mark’s parents immigrated to Canada when he was still an infant and he was raised in Montreal. He now lives in Vermont with his wife and continues to create his disturbing sculptures. Although he hasn’t exhibited in years, he uses them in his performance art, and his son (a videographer) records the sessions.
After checking out the gallery below, be sure to visit his website to see more fucked up art!
By Sam Reeve
Shintaro Kago is an ero-guro manga artist. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s basically a style that plays around with the grotesque (in the malformed, bizarre sense) and eroticism. I feel like my description may not be doing it justice, so go right ahead and click that link.
Kago, a Tokyo native, has been a major contributor in the area of scatological manga. In an interview with Vice ge admitted that though he draws a lot of messed up sexual acts, he really doesn’t have an interest in pursuing those things in real life.
I’m a much bigger fan of his satirical, brightly coloured work, but I’ve also included stuff from some of his mangas. Enjoy!
By Sam Reeve
Today mark’s the last of Weird Art Month for 2012. We survived both the apocalypse and Shitmas together, and are now hurtling into 2013, towards unknown adventures and misfortunes! Thanks to all who’ve followed along with us this month, and keep watch every Saturday for a Weekly Weird Art post.
At some point this week I’ll get around to rounding up all the artists and listing them on one page with all the links.
By Sam Reeve
Erik Mark Sandberg was born in 1975 in Minnesota and now resides in Los Angeles. He received a BFA and now teaches at several different art colleges.
By Sam Reeve
It’s time to take a cute break! Today’s artist creates some of the cutest (yet weirdest) little creatures you’ll ever lay eyes on. Chris Ryniak comes from Michigan and draws inspiration from Saturday morning cartoons, insects and wildlife. You can visit his Flickr photostream to see more of his work, or visit his website here.
By Sam Reeve