Once again this month I'm giving my editorial column over to an artist we sadly lost recently. We featured Nick Kushner in our Arts Of Darkness series back in 2013, but he was someone I'd been following and had periodically communicated with since the early 2000s prior to his launching of The Nachtkabarett website, which was one of the most in depth explorations behind the career and work of Marilyn Manson. I was keen from the inception of the Arts of Darkness series to have an interview with Nick and to try and explore his creative process deeper.
Kushner may have started primarily as the driving force behind The Nachtkabarett, but it wasn't long before he began to showcase his artwork on his own website, The Third Angel Sounded, which immediately grabbed people's attention in part due to the surreal mix of photo-realism and occult themes, but also because his chosen medium was blood. He went on to take part in several exhibitions of his work and at the same time found some notable celebrities amongst his admirers as a result.
The process of using blood as a medium infused his art with something deeper and more personal than paint and ink to create a distinctive, striking and more technically challenging image that required a unique process to create. The process scarred the artist and caused the resulting image to effectively be a part of himself.
“Blood is a sometimes volatile medium which behaves differently than more conventional art mediums. It decays and changes composition over time. It varies in hue, viscosity and texture as to whether it's painted directly from a fresh wound or whether it's used from a pre-dawn supply. The painting and application itself can sometimes be likened to sculpting and moulding in the manner that it's blended. It's a slow and gradual building of layers to achieve tones, textures and gradients. Elements that often appear to be chaotic and crimes of passion are most often-times developed gradually with much forethought and building necessary to achieve the effect. The color also changes throughout work on a piece which, again, can be compared to the metaphorical death and rebirth/transformation as the cells themselves slowly fade and die throughout the building of the piece.”
Sadly his website and The Nachtkabarett are both offline. Hopefully in the coming weeks/months they will return to preserve his work. But in the meantime I'd urge you to, if you haven't already, check out our interview with him from 2013 and have a look at the artwork he graciously let us use for the article (such as the piece at the top of this page).
“I think it's important to make every day and every action something magical and ritualistic, rather than make the distinction between something that's meaningful and that the remainder of time is spent immersed in the trivial.”
We here at Intravenous Magazine would like to extend out sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Nick Kushner at this difficult time.
Finally, as always make sure you have these links in your favourites: