Dark Paintings That Actually Scare You

General / 27 September 2019

I can't say that it happens often, but every once and awhile I do get scared of a painting. My journey into dark paintings started with Hieronymus Bosch and Francisco Goya. I'd say that they are the forefathers of what is known as dark art.

For Goya especially, there is something visceral and completely twisted about his work. Goya's The Black Paintings are some of my favorite artwork. Of all time. Saturn Devouring His Son makes my stomach turn every time I stare into the weird and creepy expression of the giant figure consuming his child. Check out The Dog by Goya as well. Not as creepy, but it's quite haunting with the dog staring up at the sky.

The Dark Paintings of Ken Currie

Ken Currie is a contemporary artist from Scotland, known for his dark portraits. Often of himself. In my opinion, Currie has a perfect balance between surrealism and realism. His figures do make sense, but there are distorted parts that don't. Surreal dark art that meets the real world.

Ken Currie might not be considered a well-known artist, so defiantly check out his work. Especially the painting called Gallowgate Lard. 

Dark Abstract Art

Complete realism isn't really that interesting to me. It's more of what you can achieve in the in-between – or dreamland if you like. That space is so hard to define. A space that some might call uncanny. Dark abstract art has an effect on me where it really can demand something out of me. I have to really think about what's going on in the painting. But I guess that's true for all art – not just dark abstract art.

Check Out These Dark Art Paintings

So. I've listed some of my favorite work up here. If you wish to explore the subject of dark art further I suggest that you look into these paintings:

  • Saturn Devouring His Son – Francisco Goya
  • Gallowgate Lard – Ken Currie
  • Odilon Redon – The Smiling Spider
  • Nicola Samori – Sordina
  • Zdzislaw Beksinski – Valley of the Dead
  • Pablo Picasso – Guernica