Aves Artiste: Anne-Julie Aubry

Anne Julie Aubry is a French artist and illustrator who’s work depicts dark whimsy with a humble self portraiture. Crows and blackbirds appear often in her paintings, inspired by her personal environment, childhood, and dreams.

She is a distant dreamer, a sleepwalker on the lookout, a traveller from the shadows who loves labyrinths and unanswered enigmas, fairy tales and girls with white socks. At night, her heroines are lost in a nebulous kingdom full of dragonflies and snowflakes.

Visit her Artist Gallery , Blog , and Etsy Shop

Fine Artist: Veronica Foster

Veronica’s father encouraged her at an early age to be creative. He shared his love of drawing, painting, creating with her; teaching her to draw from books on the old renaissance masters. The powerful figurative drawings of the renaissance artists inspired Veronica to become an artist.

Veronica’s unique style has evolved out of this experience and reflects a sense of timeless antiquity. All of her work is on a fresco like plaster and has a sensuous texture with tiny surface cracks and fractures. The work is intentionally emotional and expressive creating a sense of memory, movement and the passage of time.

Visit the entire gallery here

Damien Hirst – Crows on Exhibition

Damien Hirst is known for his macabre twist on modern art and taxidermy who rose to fame very quickly in the last decade. His cross-sected horse was featured in the film ‘The Cell’ and  he had a medicinal pink canvas covered in (probably rare) butterflies sell for over 2 million dollars at a New York auction, drawing criticism about his actual artistic merit.   In spite of his celebrity status and shock value, his recent exhibition in London ‘Nothing Matters’ is a return to his roots – classical painting with a corvid twist.

The themes of insomnia, anxiety, and Francis Bacon are strong throughout this series. “I feel like I’ve arrived somewhere … In a completely different way, I feel I’ve got the tools to navigate somewhere. All that expression – doubts, fears, everything – can come out in this arena,'”Hirst told the late Gordon Burn in an interview published to accompany the exhibition.

Obscured by Light – Remains of Winter

Sometime back in January, I was sitting in my office on a particularily cold mid-morning. Everything beyond my windows was a shade or two of grey, interrupted only by streaks of icy white cruelty. Since moving permanently to Zagreb in 2007, I had never experienced cold such as this, nor for so long.

I was pondering how many sweaters to put on when a jackdaw slammed into the north facing window. The sound was so loud I thought one of the neighbor’s kids had thrown a soccer ball at it.  I shot up out of my chair, ran over to the ledge, and leaned into the window-well to view the tiny lifeless body cushioned eight feet below in the snow beneath our pear tree.  After several moments of ringing my hands and standing there saying ‘oooh no. oh no no no’ over and over again, I finally grabbed a coat and my sneakers and went outside.

The cold immediately seized my lips for thought to speak. Each breath was like inhaling needles. As I approached the bird, I could see red trailing from his little beak. My face scrunched up in a rictus of horror. His eyes were half closed in the slumber of death. Under normal circumstances, I would have grabbed my camera and shot an entire series, but for some reason it seemed more apt to remain in the moment. I took him in my hands, checking his warm little chest for a heartbeat. His head lolled loosely on his shoulders, and as I sniffled away my first tear, should it freeze upon my cheek, I chuckled to myself upon closer inspection of the beak – it was smeared with the remains of his last berry, likely fermented in the clutch of winter. The cold and the poor food had probably addled his mind, and he misjudged his launch from the tree branch to another likely reflected within my window.

I cradling him along one sleeve of my coat, and walked half a mile into the forest to lay him to rest in the nook between a young chestnut’s sprawling roots. To this day, I am haunted by how warm his little body was.  Today, it is 24C and beautiful, and my hooded crows Kara and Kaine are busy meeting the demands of their hatchlings.

This past winter hit Bucharest equally as hard, and one of our readers captured the compelling photos in this post to document the effect it had on corvids in the area.

As he describes it, “The Remains of Winter series refers to the dead birds lying in the parks, killed by the cold weather, hunger or thirst, during one of the most bitter winters in the last twenty years. Among the children’s playgrounds you can spot these creatures lying on the ground.”

To view more Obscured By Light photography, visit the artist’s photography blog here.

The Electrical Avian Mercenary

Ryan Abegglen is clever, talented, but most of all hilarious. His sharp design hits on the subtle nuances in our animal friends that can be the most unpleasant and makes them adorable.  If you survived Monday of this week, we hope this makes your Tuesday that much better.

“It’s generally believed that I began speaking in complete sentences when I was only seven minutes old, immediately demonstrating a mastery of complex sentence structure and an affinity for whiskey, humility, and irony. Since that time I have become a skilled dinosaur jockey, traveled to the moon on several occasions and written a handful of self-help books. My work is largely cobbled together from a collection of cat fur, spit, twigs, pizza, hamster farts, and fever dreams. As always, my promise to you is that I’ll try harder next time.”

We appreciate him making Cecil nearly bullet-proof.  Many of his crow brothers would love to have the same super power!

GothicCrow – Etsy Spotlight

“I always had photography in my life. My dad was a professional photographer and we grew up with a dark room in the basement and a studio in our living room. It just feels natural to be working with photographs. I use both film and digital cameras and my computer acts as my dark room. I have sold my pictures at art fairs, stores and on line for a few years.
I also care about the treatment of animals and support local animal groups in my area. I have several pets that were once in dire straights, they are now part of my family and inspire me everyday.”

There are so many beautiful images of New York’s carrion crows among the chilling landscapes, graveyards, and spires, that we had a hard time choosing some to feature!

Visit GothicCrow’s Etsy shop for more!

Rodriguez Munro

rooks*** by Rodriguez Munro.

When the rooks were laid in piles
by the sides of the road
crashing into the aerials
tangled in the laundery line
and gathered in a field
they were burned in a feathering pyre
with a cold black eye

crow III by Rodriguez Munro.

When the swallows fell from the eaves
and the gulls from the spires
and starlings in the millions
will feed on the ground where they lie
the ambulance men said there’s
nowhere to flee for your life
so we stayed inside
and we’ll sleep until
the world of man is paralyzed

it is me - crow serie by Rodriguez Munro.

Oh the falcon heir awakes
to the sound of the bells
they’re heading southbound
they’re leaving it alive
and each empty cage just rings
and is heard like a bell
underneath these cold stars
and this troubled night
and the cries of man
let the kingdom come to nigh
let this dream be realized

what we are. - crow serie by Rodriguez Munro.

*play dead by Rodriguez Munro.

View the entire series here

(Poem from Shearwater – Rooks)

Fiona Messer – Recycled Crows

Fiona Messer is a Scottishmised media artist and illustrator who combines her love of history, medieval studies, books and book making with her love of calligraphy  and photography. She has a special soft spot for crows, which show up repeatedly in her work.

“For many the common crow is just a pest. We hardy seem to notice them, but they notice us. They are wary and fearful and not without good reason. What started out as idle curiosity turned into a passion for me. Not a day goes by where I do not notice the crows that share the world I live in.Crows are amazing creatures that have adapted to man’s ever need for claiming all wild spaces and integrated themselves very nicely in our society, be it as city crows, eaters of garbage along with the seagulls or masses wading through the fields after harvests. After chasing them. Being completely outsmarted by them, and still managing to capture a few of them on film, I have come to realize that I don’t need to interest the masses in these creatures, if people listen carefully, the crows will tell their own stories and be interesting in their own right.”

The black and white images presented here represent just a few out of the hundreds of images taken during a three-year period. They are a mixture of American Crow, photographed in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Rooks, or Saatkrahe photographed in and around Ahrensburg, Germany.

Says Fiona of her painting exhibitions, “The RE-Cycled project came about as I tried to combine my deep-seated interest in melding with the machines, the idea of cyborg technology was too fascinating to let go of, and my deep appreciation for the actual beauty of the singular components that go into making up our personal PCs. These two things joined up and mixed with my own concerns about what we are doing to this planet I decide to perhaps rescue some of the planet by recycling some of the junk.

They go nowhere, they sit in garbage piles and landfills or they get silently shipped off to poorer countries because these bits and pieces never break down, never return to a useful earthly state and never ever go away. What is more, they are toxic.

I took my love of colour and texture, and melded it with my love of technology and dreams. I painted canvas with acrylics and pastes, added textures and metals and the much cherished precious pieces of old computers and turned it all into art.

I hope that by elevating these little bits of computers to the status of art, that perhaps other people would take a second look and appreciate the beauty of these chips and boards and other bits of the machine. Perhaps if we can see the beauty in the machine we can see beyond throwing these things away and also help to save our planet from being overwhelmed by junk that never breaks down and never goes away. Sitting in landfills and garbage piles as reminders that we will drown in junk if we don’t re think, recycle and re-use the things we take every day for granted.”

To keep up with Fiona, visit her blog here

Audrey Kawasaki – Karasu no Jyou

The themes in Audrey Kawasaki’s work are contradictions within themselves. Her work is both innocent and erotic. Each subject is attractive yet disturbing. Audrey’s precise technical style is at once influenced by both manga comics and Art Nouveau. Her sharp graphic imagery is combined with the natural grain of the wood panels she paints on, bringing an unexpected warmth to enigmatic subject matter.

Audrey updates her online journal frequently with new work, pieces in progress, information about shows and more. Click here to visit Aud’s Journal.