Monday, July 25, 2011
|Stained Glass "Jeebus Cthulhu" by Future-Vintage|
Art based on H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional nightmares is very often oriented toward two dimensional works. Great paintings, charcoal sketches, and awesome graphic designs have arisen over the years to pay homage to Cthulhu and other monstrosities, giving Lovecraft’s stories an obscene illustrated life. As a result, we have books like The Art of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, and Centipede Press’ legendary tome, A Lovecraft Retrospective:Artists Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. While stunning two dimensional products by Lovecraftian professionals is well worth the attention, it causes interesting three dimensional pieces to be overlooked.
The fledgling stained glass industry is one such underground beast. It’s difficult to know what ever inspired artists to freeze Cthulhu’s image in mystic glass. The occult wisdom of such a move notwithstanding, its success makes Lovecraft the only weird fiction author to date with stained glass made in his image.
Glass designs thus far have been extremely traditional. The saint-like iconography of everyone’s favorite Great Old One brings an eerily realistic edge to this art. Meanwhile, Lovecraft’s profile takes on a sacrosanct position. The cultural memory surrounding stained glass certainly makes these odd works seem like valuable relics.
|A Santa Cthulhu sun catcher ornament by Seward Street Studios|
Unsurprisingly, the more menacing and serene depictions of Cthulhu and his creator in glass are followed by the humorous. Glassworks like Santa Cthulhu as Christmas tree ornaments show the Cutethulhu phenomenon’s unwavering hold over the minds of artists. In fact, the split of seemingly serious to light hearted Lovecraftian stained glass is about 50-50. Humor, then, is as much an impetus as horror for those who choose to bring Lovecraft to this art form.
One day, it’s possible that Lovecraftiana captured in stained glass will grow into a respectable mini-niche. When that happens, it’s only a matter of time until it begins showing up in future volumes celebrating the highly talented and nearly esoteric quality of Lovecraftian art.