Blue Abstract Skull and Lines

Blue skull with geometric lines extending from teeth, over bare blue background. Surreal art by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Circa B.

As I mentioned in my post about the pink version, Circa A, this is one of the earliest examples of my juxtaposing geometry on photography.

It was a minor dalliance initially, but began to seem like a non-negotiable part of making art. I just love the way it looks. Plus its latitude is vast, something that couldn’t be said of some other directions I’ve gone. Well, at least if you go even more abstract than here, such as in all this work.

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Tan Skull Floating Over Blue Space

Tan skull floating in bare blue space. Surreal art by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Blue Altitude, simultaneously literal and poetic.

Insofar as a skull can look pensive, this one is. It’s probably thinking about its prior situation being mounted on a museum wall, till I came along and liberated it via photography and editing software.

Much better to be hovering around in nondescript blue-green space with no mounting brackets screwed onto your head.

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Skull With Mouth Merged Into Spiked Bone – Sepia on Blue

Skull with mouth merged into a bone with spikes at the end, on a textured blue background. Surreal art by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Blue Syzygy.

This series marks the end of a creative era. Or error, depending on how you feel about skulls. But based on this stint and the reactions it elicited, there’s a high chance you’re not quite as enamored of them as I am.

Mind you, there’s a segment of the population who’re there with me—so maybe you’re one of them if you’re reading this. Certainly I found huge groups of skull art enthusiasts on Facebook at the time.

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Skull With Mouth Merged Into Spiked Bone – Tan on Red

Skull with mouth merged into a bone with spikes at the end, on a textured crimson background. Surreal art by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Low Syzygy. Syzygy is a word I came across that I immediately knew had to be appropriated for a title. It has a few meanings, but the one invoked here refers to connected things.

(Normally more meaning related than literally connected, but I took a bit of poetic license. Seems reasonable though, things don’t get more related than actually being joined.)

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Skull With Mouth Merged Into Spiked Bone

Skull with mouth merged into a bone with spikes at the end, on a textured tan background. Surreal art by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: High Syzygy. The word high is a gesture toward the high-key light in the picture (see this on Wikipedia for details if you’re interested). The same way ‘low’ is used in Low Syzygy, a dark red variation. I talk about the word syzygy itself in the Low Syzygy post too, so I won’t rehash it here.

The long bone and spiky ones at its end are from various photos I took, most from a bird skeleton display at a museum. I isolated them in editing and arranged them as you see, to create a new structure. A digital sculpture if you will.

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Pink Skull Floating Over Green Space

Pink skull floating in bare green space, surreal art by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Green Altitude, the second with this format, the first being Blue Altitude.

Actually, it’s a similar piece in general, save the colors. And this skull is quite different, which in turn changes the mood. This guy has an unnerving blank stare. It looks like he’s just uttered Heart of Darkness’s “The horror! The horror!” Particularly because half its face is missing and it looks like it’s been on the receiving end of some very hard times.

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Decayed Skull With Serpent Body

Decayed skull with arched serpent body. Surreal artwork in blue by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Cranium Ophidian, ophidian basically meaning of or relating to snakes, and cranium referring to the skull.

The serpent body here is actually a bent metal pipe isolated from a photo of some playground equipment. The matching angle with the skull was just luck (and searching)—I didn’t take the original photo with this in mind. Actually, it was from years before.

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Black and White Decayed Skull With Serpent Body

Decayed skull with arched serpent body. Black and white surreal art by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Cranium Ophidian Ashen. The ashen part is to signify its black and whiteness.

I think the base photo was taken in the Natural History Museum of London. It’s difficult to keep track—I took as many skull photos as possible for a while. Despite that, I felt like I never had enough for what I was doing at the time, and occasionally resorted to public domain images, and even played around with computer generated ones.

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Skull Impaled on Needle – Black and White

Skull impaled on a needle hanging by a thread. Surreal black and white art by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: By a Gray Thread. I added the word gray to reflect the lack of color, and also to distinguish it from By a Thread, which is the original and in color.

As I write this it’s been a while since it was created, but the crazy perspective still amuses me. Perhaps it’s as light-hearted and fun as an impaled skull can be. Or my sense of humor is way off.

Still not sure if I want it to be a giant needle or a mini skull. I’m leaning toward the latter, though.

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Skull With Mouth Merged Into Long Bone

Skull with mouth merged into a long bone. Surreal black and white art by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Anoesis. Basically meaning raw perception without thought.

Funny, I’m writing a year or so after creating this, and it’s interesting to note emerging patterns. It’s possibly the start of my using exotic words as titles to help color the visual experience.

That’s something I continue now, and not only flavors the art, but it’s a fun way to indulge my love of language. Win win.

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