Visions of hell: Dark Souls’s cultural heritage

It’s the trees; the twisted, whorled trees, their skeletal branches raking the belly of the looming sky. Those are Caspar David Friedrich trees, unmistakably corkscrewed and bent. They rise out of collapsing stonework just like Friedrich’s do, and are touched by the same fading light, decapitated by the same dusk shadow. They crowd like pious pilgrims around ruined churches and abbeys, as if, like Friedreich’s painted forests, they were about to pull those ruins to the ground. Perhaps a few branches are woven here or there between the stone work. Getting a purchase, working their way through a century-long demolition,…


Degraded portraits of royals reflect their obsessive inbreeding

It is commonly known that the in-marrying of families was an aristocratic trait used to ensure the purity of a monarchy or empire’s bloodline. Unlike the infamous incestuous relationship between Cersei and Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones, these relationships held significant political power, and weren’t considered subversive, but rather the norm. Michelle Vaughan explores this idea through the Spanish-Austrian Habsburg royal family in the exhibition Generations. the idea of degradation through the pursuit of improvement In these works, Vaughan works conceptually with the idea of degradation through the pursuit of improvement. Hyperallergic likens this, aesthetically, to our modern pursuit of perfecting digital images,…