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You can’t write or make art without collecting some things now and then, and I have amassed quite the assortment of unique odds and ends… I am an avid junk thrift fiend, and I cannot help but pick things up, especially the more unusual they are. Here are a few glimpses into my art collection of some of my more macabre findings.

assorted figurative pieces from my personal collection

From left to right: a very old doll with those eyes that open and close but with no eyewhites who a friend described as a laudanum addict; a tiny Buddha figure with hands over the face and surrounded by a cobra (if anyone knows what specific deific representation this is please let me know); a photograph by my friend Cindy Royal of her rescued Cedar Waxwing and one of her creatures (I love her creatures so much); a doll I made based on my Unselfie avatar in costume regalia with mirror over the face; and a graphite drawing by Kathy Gomric of a demonic rendition of my friend Cindy

assorted eerie pieces from my personal collection

From left to right: a pair of brass bookends I altered to lose their hands and faces as a found object artwork later shown in response to COVID; a photocopy montage by my friend Jonathan Stangroom of his face with a drawing of an eye Xeroxed on clear and superimposed over his closed eye; Triple Moon Goddess bas relief sculpture by Wild Goose Studio; alien abduction with volcano by Ra De; Baby Metropolis – a Precious Moments head given to me by my friend Cindy and altered by myself

assorted monsters and clowns from my personal collection

From left to right: Gods and Monsters original canvas of Frankenstein’s Bride by my friend Aunia Kahn; Fuggler funny ugly monster plush of Bigfoot with “stolen” teeth; photo of the Berlin Wall graffiti from before the wall was dismantled by Ed Murray; found photo postcard of Frankenstein and his bride superimposed on famous image of Navy sailor and nurse kissing after WWII; clown tipping his hat by Mildred Barone

assorted skeletons and creepy crawlies from my personal collection

Skeleton Key ceramic by myself; Sinister serpent wood staff held by the Grim Reaper by Beth Vannatta; skull painted rock by Jane Wees Martin; blue and white porcelain snake headed man in Asian robe; cultist ceramic commissioned from Clayworks; All Seeing Monkey Paw hamsa with eye on monkey hand by Caitlin Zachow; decorated plaster skull mail art sent by William Evertson and friends; computer mouse crab by Bruce Wood of the Glass Ingot

Duchess Mitsi Posh von Schitz III otherwise known as Da Ting
Duchess Mitsi Posh von Schitz III otherwise known as Da Ting

And the pièce de résistance… a real life taxidermy shih tzu. I kid you not, this was an actual dog, and not a recent under-the-rug China-imported real dog pretending to come from another fur bearing animal, but a prized pet that the inheritors of the estate likely didn’t know what to do with. I found Da Ting at an antique mall and splurged on her for my birthday, much to my mother’s chagrin. (For those of you in the know, these kinds of things aren’t easy to come by; they are often buried with their beloved owners or stay in the family.) I even held a naming contest for her on Facebook which is how she wound up with her name, Duchess Mitsi Posh von Schitz III (otherwise known as Da Ting). Here she models a pastel purple boa; she also borrows my rhinestone princess crown from time to time…

What do you collect? What skeletons lurk in your closet, or even out in the open in the parlor?…

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Jennifer Weigel is a multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist residing in Kansas USA. Weigel utilizes a wide range of media to convey her ideas, including assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, jewelry, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, video and writing. You can find more of her work at: https://www.jenniferweigelart.com/ https://www.jenniferweigelprojects.com/ https://jenniferweigelwords.wordpress.com/

Original Creations

Zombie Christ – Second Coming Art by Jennifer Weigel

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So I probably should have taken a before picture, but I found a faux wood stained plaster Jesus statue and turned it into Zombie Christ. Because it’s the second second coming. Or something. It’s kind of an offshoot of my nail polish paintings reappropriating thrift store art

Anyway without further ado, I present…

Zombie Christ remake statue by Jennifer Weigel
Zombie Christ remake statue by Jennifer Weigel

I was a little concerned that I made him too green at first, but I’m happy with the finished result. This statue just looked so anguished. It’s eyes had been closed but I like them better open and even painted them with blacklight reactive nail polish so they will stand out even more and be interactive in other ways to add creepy factor.

Another view of sculpture
Another view of sculpture
From the top...
And taking it from the top…

Sadly I don’t have a blacklight anymore or I’d share a picture that way too. Oh well. I’ll leave you with a fun detail shot instead.

Zombie Christ detail with eyes
Zombie Christ detail with eyes

Next time I may make him more gray than green though. We shall see…

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

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Original Creations

Jennifer Weigel Art Collection Highlights Part 3

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So it’s been awhile since we’ve looked at some of the things I have gathered, so I thought I’d bring back my art collection for another round… Here are the first and second highlights in case you missed earlier explorations.

Art Collection highlights

From left to right: M Pena Windstone Editions bat-winged flap cat, bone mask by Terry and Susan Wright, wood cat in skull by labcreature, real hair art by myself, pencil drawing of Barbarois Elder for Vampire Hunter D anime cel

Art Collection highlights

From left to right: Barbarois Elder for Vampire Hunter D anime cel, Turn Me Royal portrait of my father and stepmother as Frankenstein’s monster and his bride, painted horse skull

Art Collection highlights

Left to right: Overgrowth by Ellie Bradley, heart by TenderFlesh, praying devil girl by Torman’s Treasures

Vintage plastic Jack O LAntern

And a vintage plastic 2-foot Jack O Lantern I got at a yard sale and have kept on display on his very own stool in the living room since. So happy.

Anyway, there are some more highlights from my art collection, as it is always growing and evolving. I have lucked into several of these pieces at antique and thrift stores or acquired them from the artists or more. And yes, I still have Da Ting the taxidermy shih-tzu from the first of these posts.

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

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Original Series

Nightmarish Nature: Assassin Fashion

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I thought about featuring some sort of Father Nature bit for Father’s Day, but having already explored Perilous Parenting I decided to focus on more creepy insects instead. Because we love creepy insects here at Haunted MTL. Thus, I present Assassin Fashion, featuring the Assassin Bug…

Assassin Bug drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Assassin Bug

Fashion Plates

Now I don’t know about you, but my first thought after snagging my prey and slurping out their dissolved innards is that I totally want to wear the dried up husk of their now lifeless body. Like that necklace made of nothing but shrunken heads. That is some first-rate fashion right there, and no one would dare to say otherwise lest they want to become a part of the dead-flesh coat… And this is exactly what the Assassin Bug does. Like a spider, it stabs its unsuspecting prey, turns it into a giant protein shake inside of its insectoid shell-glass, sips it out, and then attaches the corpse’s carapace to its ever growing collection atop its back.

Aside from being totally badass, these nightmarish embellishments serve a number of additional functions. They help the Assassin Bug blend in among its prey, masking its own odor and helping it to appear as a mass of insects that belong in or near the nest (especially among those more social networking creepy crawlies like ants and termites). In fact, it may even draw the attention of those clean up crews seeking to bury their dead, luring them in to become part of the body snatched horde. And the horrifying additions also act as a sort of armor and potential decoy for other predators like lizards and birds, who can end up with a mouth full of dead bug bodies rather than a bite of juicy Assassin Bug.

Wearing the Latest Trend in Dead Ant Bodies, drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Wearing the Latest Trend in Dead Ant Bodies

Kissing Sucks

And Assassin Bugs don’t just carry around one or two dead bodies, they may totally pile them up, as well as use other insects’ and plants’ secretions to their own advantage. Here’s a cool video from Deep Look that shows a partnership some Assassin Bugs have with Tarweed, keeping moth caterpillars from eating all of its flowers so that it can itself reproduce and spread.

Fortunately humans are too big to be susceptible… Or are we? There are also parasitic Assassin Bugs known as Kissing Bugs or Vampire Bugs that feed on mammal’s blood at night; they even act as a vector for other parasites that can cause disease years after feeding, which are associated with Chagas disease and are transmitted to mammalian hosts when the Assassin Bug poops while feeding and the host animal smears the poop into the bite when itching it.

pencil drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Pencil Drawing by Jennifer Weigel

So here’s a pencil drawing I did of a dead bug I found (I had a whole series of these back in the day). I hadn’t at the time known what it was, but it turns out to be an Assassin Bug. I wonder what its fashion sense was like…

So remember, if you want to be at the forefront of creepy horrific fashion, just look to the Assassin Bug for inspiration. If you’ve enjoyed this segment of Nightmarish Nature, feel free to check out some previous here:

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Vampires Among Us

Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

Cannibalism

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Terrifying Tardigrades

Reindeer Give Pause

Komodo Dragons

Zombie Snails

Horrifying Humans

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Giants Among Spiders

Flesh in Flowers

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