“Merchant of Death”
Hosted by The Grin Creeper
G&C: Madame Talbot -- I am a true fan of your hypnotic illustrations -- some of the most detailed and astounding artwork I have ever seen -- both creepy and beautiful. It's the type of artwork which I'd like to add to my crypt. I too collect old magic poster (i.e. Carter The Great, Fak Hong and George) and also game box covers from the turn of the century, such as Le Diable S'Amuse which I found in Paris. Of corpse, I also love old circus sideshow posters, as hard as they are to find. You inhabit a dark creepy Victorian world.
MT: I love old magic posters and for a while collected them along with old circus posters. The illustrators of that era were so amazing.
G&C: Some of the words that popped up on a search of your name include: Curiosity, eccentricity, mystic, wunderkammer, ghoulish, morbid, spookish, weird, eerie, macabre and nightmarish. Why do you think you are compelled by this imagery and art?
MT: My interest in death imagery first took hold at a very young age and my inspiration today comes directly from my current surroundings.
The first funeral I ever attended was when I was seven when my Danish grandmother died. I remember at the church it was open casket -- the first time I had ever seen a dead body, and all I could think of was that she looked like wax. People were going up and kissing the corpse. Suddenly, my Aunt Lottie threw her whole body into the coffin, wailing and gnashing her teeth, flailing about wildly until the men ran up and had to literally pry her out of that coffin.
After the funeral, we all went back to the church basement in order to dispense with Grandma's personal items. If two people wanted the same thing, it was settled with an arm-wrestling match. I had my eye on this wonderful cheap tin brooch that said "Mother." My cousin Donald also wanted it, and so we had to sit at the card table set up in the middle of the room and arm-wrestle for it. I am pleased to say, I won and I still have it to this day.
Continued in print issue…
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