I have to confess.  I am a horror move junky.  And the gorier the better.  Give me a few skulls, some blood and psychological intrigue, and I’m hooked.

In my attempt to take advantage of the arts in my backyard (NYC), I went to see Loot!, a jewelry exhibit, at the Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle.  But while I was riding up the elevator to the show, the doors opened on floor 3 and what hits me is a wall full of skulls made out of dead elements from nature.  I realized then that no matter how beautiful and unique the jewelry designs were going to be, I knew EXACTLY where I was going to spend my precious one hour of alone time.

It turns out this floor has a special exhibit called Dead or Alive: Nature Becomes Art.  Artists from around the world “transform organic materials and objects that were once produced by or part of living organisms — insects, feathers, bones, silkworm cocoons, plant materials, and hair — to create intricately crafted and designed installations and sculptures.”  The exhibits are creepy, amazing, and gross — all at the same time.  And yet, they were beautiful.  There were walls covered with thousands of dried insects mimicking vintage wallpaper; imaginary animal skeletons made from pulverized bones; and a shadow version of a 24-foot Song Dynasty painting using only vegetable parts, weeds, leaves, and roots.  My favorite was a skeleton of cow wrapped around a motorcycle (see pic below).

What intrigued me about all of this?  Why do I think it’s beautiful?  Coming face to face with nature’s beauty and death makes our own mortality that much more apparent.  But instead of getting depressed, we feel more ALIVE as a result.  Perhaps this is why I’m so drawn to horror movies.  I certainly don’t wish death upon even my worst enemies (not that I have any but it sounds more dramatic, no?).  The scariest I get is when I get my face lasered, as you may remember fondly.  Maybe this fascination with dead stuff is just a way to shock me from time to time into reminding how precious and beautiful life is.

Oh, Silence of the Lambs is playing on cable.  Gotta go … (ha, ha)

source: http://beautyskew.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/mad_cow_motorcycle.jpg?w=300

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