In early 2009, a little house was built in a sea of dark artists, designers, and jewelry makers on the internet.
We were two independent artists from the rural areas of Western Pennsylvania trying to reach out for some recognition in a small and low income community. Indepent artists and misfits that had been deemed "freaks" all of our lives, the collaboration was never planned, in was born out of frustration and lack of the community's respect for a "darker art form". People from the area weren't buying art, very much less supporting the kind of creations that we were producing independently. Only able to showcase at "halloween shows", our work was only appreciated once a year and never actually purchased to hang in local homes, aside from friends who shared our love of odd.
We started as friends hanging out and having morbid, little painting parties for fun. After working with each other for a time, it was fairly clear that we were able to motivate each other and that was what we were lacking seperately. We call it "one upping". One of us would paint something phenomenal and it would drive the other to want to create something equally amazing, if not better.
We had previously discussed doing a website featuring our designs and illustrations on tee shirts, but we were discovering that there was a whole other spectrum to our creativity. Our paintings eerily collaborated with one and other, although they were crafted with different techniques. Our color schemes and thoughts were meshing together in some sort of creepy harmony and were forming a collection without intention. Our website tumbled from morbidly sarcastic tee shirt designs, into a gallery for neo victorian inspired horror art.
We painted and we planned in the months that followed as we built the site and began networking before our launch. We built our profiles on social networking sites and began teasing people with our dark senses of humor and the promise that "something wicked this way comes".
In February of 2009, The House of Oddities was born. It was inhabited by those dark, little voices in the back of our minds that most people ignore. We named them Dr. Morose and Miss Macabre and instead of keeping them locked up, we built them a house to run rampant.
By the end of February we were producing artworks, post mortem shadow boxes, dolls, and simple jewelry made from pewter stampings and began selling them in our Wicked, Little Shoppe via Etsy.
Although not prepared or planning for any sort of immediate success, to our surprise, our oddities were selling......well.
Shortly after, we hit the road. We built 2 giant, bloody walls with mounts for paintings and strapped them awkwardly a top a Ford Focus hatch back and headed south in the cramped, art-packed car. Morose & Macabre's House of Oddites made our first public appearance as a collaborative in Charlotte, North Carolina in late May and early June of 2009 at Shiprocked! and Kabarett Vulgare. With the help of our dear friend, Deville, it was a flying success.
Since then, we have traveled, shown, and evolved at an amazing rate that neither of us had ever hoped, nor dared dream. Our jewelry has snowballed from simple pewter stampings on chain, to hand crafted wearable art in our Strangulations collection and Arachnophilia collection. Our paintings continue to collaborate all on their own and now incorporate mixed medias of both fibers and dead things. We branched out to do a fully dimensional installation monstrosity which we lovingly named "Mary".
Best of all, we became ring masters for the Atrocity Exhibition, Morose & Macabre's first independent event that houses sideshow entertainers and showcases our fellow dark artists and artisans. The first event was a raging success and we were not only able to promote our work, but bring all of our misfit friends and comrades together from all over for one unforgettable evening and share our success with these talented folks who supported US for so long.
That brings us to the present....
We have so much more to come. We have so many people to thank. Most of all, our supporters. We are constantly being appologized to for not "being able to afford" our work. In all honestly (from the bottom of both our black, little hearts), it's not the money that keeps us going. It's the feedback, the appreciation, and the encouragment from all of those creeps out there who know what it's like to be a little odd. YOU are what we were missing and are the final piece of The House of Oddities and it's completion and success. We can never thank you enough for supporting two deeply disturbed, independent artists.
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
Morose & Macabre