“I speak Vampire!” I declared at the opening of Of The Mind art show, at Casa Colombo, when interviewed by Sally Deering for the Riverview Observer. I don’t only speak vampire, I also photograph vampires, too. And thanks to a few wonderful friends, I’ve been able to keep my vampire photography portfolio quite up to date. That’s why here, in this blog page, I’ll be sharing a few of my vampire images, together with my take on how to photograph these dramatic, dark, dangerous, and also very much desirable creatures of the night.
Artist Statement–Vampire Fantasies
Our fascination with vampires does not start with Edward Cullen (Twilight Saga), Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) or Vampire Lestat (Interview with the Vampire). It doesn’t start with Forks or New Orleans, but with an enigmatic, far-away place called Transilvania (or Transylvania, using English spelling), a region in a country called Romania, the homeland of the original vampire—Count Dracula.
Dracula goes by many names: Vlad Tepes, Vlad the Impaler, or Prince of Darkness. Ever since his death, his legend has lived on, surpassing centuries and generations. Dracula is the original vampire, the one who started our fascination with this enigmatic creature of the night, the dark predator whose very survival depends on bloodshed and, ultimately, death, human sacrifice.
Vampire characteristics have transformed and evolved, becoming trends of today’s fictional vampire—the vampire as a source of inspiration for our creative selves. Over the years, the vampire character has also evolved—from a hideous monster to a fabulous predator, a hero and even a protector of human life; from a creature of Darkness to one who can survive natural light; from a solitary individual to someone able to blend in perfectly and live among humans in modern society.
Yet, some things do remain the same when it comes to vampires—their blood-thirst, their super-human powers, the wooden stake and, still, natural sunlight. While in the past these beliefs used to fuel our fear of vampires, nowadays they add to our fascination with vampires, to our intrigue and desire to break through their enigmatic aura and, quite possibly, fall for them.
It is precisely the mystery surrounding vampires that seeds related myths and beliefs, which, in turn, help elevate the vampire character to a subject of art. In this sense, art becomes a vehicle through which we express our feelings, our beliefs, fantasies and desires for these creatures of Darkness.
‘Til next time, I’ll leave you with a few vampire words–vampires, by other names:
Vampire. Vampir. Strigoi. The Cold Ones. The Undead.
Thanks for stopping by!