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Veins and Skulls Hardcover – December 15, 2013
Top Customer Reviews
Veins and Skulls, Daniele Serra's beautiful, dark, and hauntingly surreal study on the complex layers of the human condition, is both a visual and emotional masterpiece. From cover to cover, this book is a stunning display--a gorgeous publication in which one could easily be lost for hours upon hours, again and again, finding threads and ties that bind each theme to its respective imagery.
As Jeff Mariotte says in the introduction, Serra "opens our hearts to the suffering of others . . . By showing us his dark side, he makes us feel better about our own. Precious humanity is his gift, and we, viewing his art, are the lucky recipients."
Serra's graceful artwork translates seamlessly onto the page. The watercolor feel and texture from his canvas is captured in consistent somber hues that lure the viewer in by becoming, for lack of a better word, familiar. Perhaps this lends itself to Serra's evident connection to us all; as humans, as artists, as lovers of dark beauty and concepts and imagery which might be deemed taboo by others who do not share our fascination with grimness and morbidity. Or rather, it might be his innate ability to understand what it takes to truly draw us into his art: finding a way to connect--to make us want to keep searching, feeling, dreaming--losing ourselves in these portraits and landscapes to interact with and imagine what lies beyond with infinite possibilities left unsaid by his brushstrokes. These are not still-lifes, sculptures, or conceptual art forms we are seeing here--they are essences, ideas, specters and shadows--they are places to which we are transported and presences we need to understand more about on a profound and unsettling level.Read more ›
This writer was introduced to Daniele Serra’s work through Cheryl Mullenax at Comet Publishing and was fortunate enough to have this award-winning artist and illustrator do the cover artwork for my debut dark crime novel, THE VENUS COMPLEX. Serra has now produced an entire book of his creations called VEINS AND SKULLS, published by Short, Scary Tales Publications, with a foreword by author Jeff Mariotte.
Yet again, Serra’s intricate, sinister, sexy, humane, emotional and darkly disturbing work floors me. You look at these works of art and yearn to know the back stories that live behind them. Why does the woman on the cover hold the skull with such tenderness and passion? Why does another beautiful woman dream of skulls and deserted, blasted cities?
There is a great sensuality in these paintings, where a look in a woman’s eyes seems to be enticing you, yet at the same time, there could be danger lurking in those enthralling orbs. Many of the images indeed focus on women and, not surprisingly, on the titular veins and skulls. I’m personally fascinated by skull imagery and Serra clearly is as well. Skulls represent not only death and hint at evil, but are emblematic of mortality, sex, human sacrifice, repentance, poison, humanity and knowledge persisting beyond death. One could imagine that many of these symbolic representations could be the sources of Serra’s inspiration.
"I think there are two aspects when I create a painting: one is extremely playful and experimental; the other is the need to communicate. It is these two elements that best express my attempts to create my art." – Daniele Serra