I thought I would do a post about Victoria Frances and Joseph Vargo together since I got into them at around the same time. I love Victoria Frances’ depictions of dark, mournful women, especially as they are usually wearing the sort of dresses and corsets that I have always been drawn to.
I’ve always loved darkly romantic settings like forests, graveyards, snowy landscapes, haunted castles. There’s something so deliciously mysterious about Gothic tales and Victoria Frances really captures all of that for me in her images.
Victoria Frances has produced 3 lavish and lovely hardback books in her Favole series. Obviously, the big attraction for me is the art, but the images are accompanied by quotes from novels such as Dracula, and also Victoria Frances’ own words. I own the series in Victoria Frances’ native Spanish and also English, but I’m not sure if something somehow got lost in translation as the stories don’t really seem to make much sense to me; almost stilted. I think I prefer to let the images tell their own story….
Another reason why I love Victoria Frances, is that she also has many images depicting masquerade masks. There’s just something about the idea of wearing a gorgeous ball gown, ornate mask and dancing through the streets of Venice. In Victoria Frances’ images, the scene is usually of a lone woman on the fringe of the festivities or perhaps the end and there’s a pervading feeling of sadness in those images that is very evocative.
Victoria Frances also has a wonderful way of depicting romantic trysts. There’s always a sense of forbidden love and tortured lust that I’m such a sucker for.
As if being a talented artist isn’t enough, Victoria Frances is also envy-inducing due to being exceptionally pretty and has posed in several photo sessions. I love looking at pretty ladies wearing the sort of clothes that make me a bit giddy, partly because it’s something I would love to do myself.
Joseph Vargo’s style on the other hand, is quite stark, but no less dark. He has a very restricted colour palette but this tends to lend an ominous feeling to his images which I think works really well.
There’s no getting away from the Gothic with Joseph Vargo! I love his images of vampires, spirits and gargoyles. There’s a strong sense of the malevolent in his images. I think he leans more towards the horror of Gothic, rather than the romance.
There’s one image in particular that has long been a favourite of mine, of a woman completely submitting to the darkness. You can see the lust and longing she has for the dark force that has enchanted her.
Joseph Vargo doesn’t just create dark images, he also along with other authors, writes his own stories based on his illustrations. I actually have a copy of his book Tales from the Dark Tower. As if painting pictures and writing stories wasn’t enough to pour his creative energy into, he also produces haunting music in the guise of Nox Arcana.