In a chaotic world - as ours has never seemed so clearly to be - one can answer it with reason, although that voice could just as well scream into the void. Or, one could answer with chaos. Esotericism, magick and other forms of spiritual expression rely on that which is unknown, unprovable and largely, an agent of chaos. In this realm, CVSPE’s illustrations capture the mood.
Bearing a striking similarity to the art often found on tarot cards, CVSPE depicts death and its many faces, like a conceptual project of the infinite configurations that the Death card could take on. Both the gothic and grotesque hang over the artist’s work where many figures are cut up and reassembled in a monsterous reimagining of their already grusome form.
Predominantly monochromatic, either balck and white or a yellow sepia tone - a handful of images do have splashes of colour, mainly a deep blood red which lends to the horror of them. Although these images are still, there’s a sense of foreboding about them. Whatever the fate was of the image’s protagonist, could well be coming for you.
Fractured faces and images laden with cracks and slices tell a very expressive narrative of overwhelming hopelessness and sorrow. Their sorrow isn’t melancholy as much as pure terror though. These images don’t want your sympathy.
Having collaborated with record labels and bands on artwork for covers and merch, CVSPE has situated themselves well within a particular sphere of darkness, punctuated by the howls and lo-fi production of metal, these illustrations seem built for a great deal more than Instagram. Packs of playing/tarot cards, graphic novels, film posters, clothing range. The scope is huge, testament to the holistic perspective of the artist.
This kind of style of art has had a renaissance, facilitated by the accessibility granted to it by platforms like Instagram. It’s not just that it’s easier to see them that have made them popular though, but because people are now able to seek them out. The growing indifference with the vacuum contemporary life imparts on our spiritual one has caused people to actively search for something more meaningful.
One of the places it has manifested is in grassroots art. The internet isn’t all cat videos and Tik-Toks. Authenticity is often amiss in amongst the plethora of fame-hungry faces littering our newsfeeds. Isn’t it refreshing then, that not only have many people found solstice in the artwork of CVSPE, but no one knows who he or she actually is?
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