Handmade Halloween 2017: Dead Spider Hands aka Ally Burke

Last year I did a Handmade Halloween post and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d do it again this year. This time I’m featuring an artist whose work I’ve been collecting for a few years now and who has a wonderfully creepy vibe: Ally Burke aka Dead Spider Hands.

This spooktacular print of Haunted House ($20) features a sort of Frankenstein’s monster-inspired woman with a ghost filled house in her hair, complete with planchette hair clip. I really enjoy the minimal use of color in this piece, which was from Burke’s Inktober 2016 series. I’m also almost positive that this was inspired by Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, which I just finished reading.

If you’re in the market for original art, Burke has a number of pieces available. Above is Spookyberry Twins ($100) and it’s done in her newer style. Since I’ve collected her work for a few years it’s been really interesting to see how it’s changed, with more detail, color, and shading being added over time. I really like how the black lips are shaded on the left of the two faces.

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Junko Mizuno’s Ravina the Witch? Show at Gallery Nucleus

Junko Mizuno’s newest show, “Ravina the Witch?” at Gallery Nucleus, includes artwork used to make her book of the same name. It runs from August 5th to August 20th 2017 and features both paintings and graphite drawings, as well as a limited edition print and signed copies of the book. Below are some of my favorite pieces from the show and my thoughts on them.

The featured piece for the show is “Ravina and Crow” (above) of which I was lucky enough to buy the graphic drawing. This piece is available as a signed, limited edition art print; the edition size is 50. The original piece sold in preview.

Above is a cover study for “Ravina the Witch?” I almost bought the drawing of this piece before ultimately deciding on the one I got, but this piece is really fun. The original painting and graphite studies have all sold.

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My Collection: Jigoku Dayu (Hell Courtesan) 1 Print by Junko Mizuno

I recently picked up this Junko Mizuno print “Jigoku Dayu (Hell Courtesan) 1” from Gallery Nucleus and thought it would be fun to post a review here. The entire show, entitled Rising, is worth checking out; it’s probably my favorite Mizuno show so far.

As for the print it is a Giclee and is a signed, numbered, limited edition of 100 with a total print size of 24″ x 18″ and 3″ of white space all around. The cost before shipping is $150 which is entirely reasonable and it surprises me that any are left in stock as of this writing. I am intensely jealous slash proud to say that a friend of mine owns the original; just wanted to toss that out there </humblebrag>.

First, the amount of white space around the print is very much appreciated. When you frame a large print – and this doesn’t seem large until you see it in person and realize that it’s huge – you generally want a larger frame to balance the weight of the piece. This usually means leaving a good 2″ of border and matting it so that there’s space between the print image and the thick frame.

The image itself seems to be reproduced at actual size, but in person the detail seems slightly blurred or off; I had assumed the had enlarged the image slightly for the print. It’s not a deal breaker, considering the price, but still. Also, the original (like so many Mizuno pieces) uses gold metallic. It reproduces will enough into a print, but it would have added something if gold detail had actually been added post-production. Those are my only gripes though and they are relatively minor.

On the whole though I’m thrilled to have this print in my collection and I can’t wait to see it framed.

Adventures in Framing: Yoskay Yamamoto Print

Yoskay Yamamoto Diesel Fuel Print

Since I am in the process of having a lot of my collection framed right now I thought it would be fun to start an “Adventures in Framing” feature. I’m told that most art collectors spend more money on properly framing a piece than on the art itself – one of the odd ironies of being a serious collector – and one just assumes the value of the art will “catch up” one day. It’s also about respecting the art and artist enough to keep something in a shipping tube until you can do it justice rather than slapping an Ikea fame on it and tossing it up on the wall without UV protection (no judgement, we have all been guilty of this). Also, I kind of don’t give two figs about the value of the art, I collect art for the love of it, but there’s a logic behind that line of reasoning even if it’s not mine.

Instagram, not color-accurate, but fancy!

The piece that I am the most excited about getting back is “Diesel Fuel” (title presumed) by Yoskay Yamamoto. It’s an absolutely gorgeous print and almost exactly two years ago he sold 10 AP (artist proofs) on his website. The original print was only an edition of 60 and it was made for a kind of out-of-the-way “gallery” by (I believe) Diesel printing so it’s not exactly a well known piece of his. It’s also not on the main gallery of his website, which is surprising to me because, as far as I’m concerned, it’s one of his best pieces.

No, thank you!

The print came in a sturdy cardboard package shipped flat (thank goodness) and included a bunch of pretty bonus postcards as well as a small thank you note, yay! The print measures 12″ x 12″ square and is a silkscreen with spray paint accents, but the APs come with gold accents which are a lovely addition. The weight of the paper is really nice, which is a relief because with a full bleed print like this you almost have no choice but to float it when framing. I have it over a 2″ mat of silk linen that’s mostly iris but has some vari-colored bits in in too. The frame itself is gold, which I usually shy away from, but this piece really calls for it. I think this print will look amazing when it comes home so I’m very excited to see it. I will post photos when it arrives back and hopefully this feature idea isn’t a snooze!