Tag Archives: Halloween

Art Inspired Halloween Costumes

Vanitas by Jana Sterback, 2007. Photo: http://www.rue89.com

A perfect costume for Halloween which requires some planning ahead and some investment. I actually saw this dress in the flesh (ha!) at the Pompidou Centre in 2009 and it was definitely a powerful image. The photo above shows the artist wearing her freshly butchered flank steak (option #1), which obviously served as inspiration to Lady Gaga and her designer. Below is the dried version (option #2) which looked fabulous. This lovely form fitting number had interesting seams and layers, and with a little organza wrap you’d be all set for a smelly evening out. In the end, option #2 isn’t quite as unsettling and disgusting as option #1. Your choice, but you will have to spring a fair bit for all that meat.

Vanitas all dried up. 2009.

Here’s another option, which I’d recommend only doing with someone rather close to you since your pas de deux will involve gnawing on a piece of pickled herring all evening. Any hairy hat will do, and pickled herring is easy to come by. Your investment will be minimal.

Skeletons Fighting Over A Pickled Herring by James Ensor. Image:www.popculture.soup.io/tag/belgia

This is Bosch’s vision of hell and would require a brave group willing to romp around semi-naked, looking punished and petrified all evening, seeking solace from the odd donation of candy. A really economical choice.

Finally, we have Goya’s offering where you can get back to basics and tap into your primitive urges. Once again, you would be semi-naked, looking rather hairy and unkept, but you’ll have your little friend to keep you company throughout the evening. Costs would obviously be minimal.

Saturn Devouring One Of His Sons by Francisco de Goya,1821. Image: http://www.museodelprado.es

Good luck, hope these options help. Feel free to send photos.

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Halloween Crackers

For all of you who can’t bear those rubbishy cracker toys and are equally unimpressed by the flimsy hats that never fit properly, I encourage you to elevate the status of the cracker! It’s been with us since Victorian times and appears to need a little help. Why not have kids make their own fabulous polymer clay minis to put inside, along with an assortment of yummy, quality candy, and some printed words for inspiration or a few laughs. These crackers won’t pop when you open them, but there’s still that satisfying feeling of destruction that comes with pulling them apart.

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Odd Little Creatures

How wonderfully disturbing to greet your guests with these odd little creatures lurking in your entrance. They were inspired by a exhibition I saw, pictured below, by Annette Messager, where she explored the idea of covered things which are half hidden and half revealed. Perfect for Halloween.

Les Piques by Annette Messager. Centre Pompidou, 2009.

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Creepy Garden

This creepy little garden was inspired by Tim Burton, whose wonderful characters and swirly landscapes have always been part of a Halloweenesque world. A terrific exhibition just wrapped up at MoMA and will be coming to the Tiff Bell Lightbox in Toronto in November, offering a selection of paintings, drawings, shortfilms and so on, spanning his career. While it won’t be on time for Halloween, it’s still a great idea to take your kids so they can enjoy his work, and the many activities that will be offered.

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Lovely Bones Necklace

Halloween legitimizes all sorts of bizarre ideas and takes them mainstream. So the next time you silently chew on your chicken, don’t be afraid of recycling the bones. At this time of year, you will not be considered a crackpot, and you’ll be helping your children think beyond the typical costume offerings at the local Walmart. It’s always good to encourage originality.

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Origami Bat

Bats have always lived in dark and mysterious environments, and long been associated with witches and vampires. This legendary creature remains a popular symbol of Halloween, and therefore an essential part of this month’s fun. The spooky little bat pictured above can easily be made and enjoyed by the youngest of  merrymakers.

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And so begins the month-long journey towards the most splendid holiday of the year. You’ll find shrunken apple heads perfect for turning your home into a Halloween house of horrors, and a big hit with kids. Although I don’t remember making them as a child, I certainly recall coming across the real thing in National Geographic, which routinely featured stories about indigenous peoples and their curious practice of decapitating enemies and collecting their heads as trophies. I propose we begin the festivities with a little headshrinking of our own. This sort of thing takes time, so lets get started.

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