The second part of our artistic homage to the human skeleton brings us to a variety of pieces ranging in date from the Victorian era up to the contemporary period. This first piece is a stunning 19th century Russian rocking chair. I don’t know the artist, so I am just going to put it up sans identifying info. This falls into what is commonly called fantasy furniture, which we will take a look at properly sometime in the future. God, I would soooooo love to have this . . .
Nikolai Kalmakov was an outsider artist of Russian heritage who spent much of his life in Paris, France. Once an aristocrat, he later became a recluse, living alone and producing his work quietly in his cramped little room; it remained completely undiscovered until his death in 1955. You can peruse a nice selection of his incredible Symbolist-inflected work at this site. I really encourage you to take a look.
Noriyoshi Ohrai is a Japanese illustrator best known for his Star Wars posters and book covers, as well as a variety of other science fiction work. This piece dates from circa late 1970s and seems to be a commentary on the Vietnam War, but don’t quote me on that.
Sam Weber is an illustrator and graphic designer based in NYC. That’s about all I know of him.
Painter Chris Peters has opted to work in the long tradition of the Vanitas painting, which, if you don’t know, is an artwork in which a skull or other representation of death is incorporated to remind the viewer of his or her own mortality, although Peters takes it in a much different direction than usual by using full skeletons in common poses as the central figures.
Mathias Lopes Castro (a.k.a. Mathiole) is another recent discovery. His work is a wonderful fusion of old and new styles and reminds me a bit of the incredible James Jean.
Michael Whelan is one of the most recognized names in the illustration biz today, and for good reason. This piece was used as one of the covers for the DAW anthology series The Year’s Best Horror Stories.
I have no identifying information on this final piece, but it was too beautiful not to include. If someone knows the pertinent info and/or has a larger and higher quality version of this they wouldn’t mind shooting my way, I’d very much appreciate it.