Halloween is meant to be scary, I get that, but it can also be beautiful. I love beautiful artwork and noticing the the nuances of color and playing with light and dark. And there are so many amazingly talented artists to choose from. And you don’t have to sell your kidney to get this beautiful artwork in your home. With sites like allposters.com and prints.com (among others), you can inexpensively add a touch of class to your dollar store decorations.
The ones I chose for this year:
Normal Rockwell’s “Ghostly Gourds”. This is a throwback to simpler times (or more dangerous times – that kid is HOLDING the pumpkin while the old man wields a sharp knife in front of him!). I love how straightforward this piece is.
Another option: El Greco’s “View of Toledo”
This is for sure the one that gets the most notice. Some people assume it’s somewhere we’ve been. Others have said it looks “Tim Burton-esque.” But everyone agrees that it is beautiful. The dark colors make the buildings look almost haunted – which is why I chose to add it to my Halloween collection.
Don’t even judge – yes I chopped off about 2 1/2 inches to make it fit in my frame. I’m an awful person. I still love having what’s left of it in my living room.
A third option: Pablo Picasso’s “Don Quixote”
I know what you’re thinking: That’s not Picasso. But it is. Before he explored (or rather, invented) the world of cubism, he did several black and white sketches. This piece has zero to do with Halloween obviously, but the stark contrast of the black and the white and the imperfect lines make it very fitting for a holiday that is far from “cutesie.”
The fourth one I chose: Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”
Most of you will recognize this painting. Not because you are a student of Edvard Munch’s, but because of how many times it has been parodied. Seriously, look it up. So of them are very clever. This one needs very little explanation as to why I chose it for Halloween. The use of orange and black shades, the subject who resembles a skeleton – even the fact that he seems to be scared. Ideal for our spooky holiday.
Other artists who could easily be added to this collection:
Guayasamin – virtually anything by him could be added to your October decor.
Paul Gustave Dore – He has some super freaky stuff, but also did several pieces depicting Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.”
Frida Kahlo – Lots of her work could be construed as “scary.”
Photographs are certainly not off-limits. I love Martin Puddy’s “Buddhist Monks in Window of Monastery”
Or if you like optical illusions, there’s “L’amour de Pierrot.”
Or display your favorite Halloween movie poster:
There are so many wonderful pieces of artwork to consider. So let’s start a movement where we elevate our spiderwebs, bats and ghosts