Red Demon's Inferno by Julie Marks

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This is another piece in my series of monsters who dwell in an infernal landscape referred to as Hell, the one place that no one want to go to, but everyone wants to explore. It is a place of pure legend and yet it holds power over the mind of humanity unlike any other locale. Even with no shred of evidence a majority of us firmly believe in its existence. Perhaps it is the notion of is dark eternity of punishment with demons cloaked in robes of time and ancient cultures that spark the imagination. Whatever the allure, the vividness of this place has not diminished over the millennia. It is fire, it is torment, and it is demons. It is Hell, the ultimate journey of the imagination; a place of epic danger that no one has chronicled with an objective eye. I find this a fascinating subject since the whole of human existence has been colored by the duality that between good and evil and perceptions of the underworld are probably older than recorded history and as current as multimedia in fiction, television and the epics in role-playing video games. It is a place that resides in the subterranean realms of the unconscious, both personal and collective. I am fascinated with the realm of otherworldliness creating imaginative alien worlds and stories about intergalactic adventures. The great science fiction writers captured our imagination with such classics as H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds to contemporary movies about alien invasions. Whether aliens do exist is another subject that intrigues me and I was very interested in reading the narrative off Midnightdreamer, an artist on redbubble who asked us to consider some provocative questions. I recommended the book by Jim Marrs, The Alien Agenda to address many unanswered questions about extraterrestrial activity. The issue of good and evil, to me, transcends the boundaries of religion. They are the core issues of ethics, what it is to be human and the nature of human evil. Scott Peck who wrote the popular, Road Less Traveled also wrote a book of more depth, People of the Lie that explores the nature of human evil, something relevant in the destructive actions towards our planet and our own species. Once we limit ourselves as artists to issues of comparative religion, we are entering another debate that gets sticky and does not focus on what interests me on a broader scale that is my artistic and creative vision of the underworld. Hell is atmosphere to me as much as it is a place. Hell is both very old and just born emphasizing the timelessness of Evil. Demons come in many forms and my artwork is my photography is my vision of these forms infinitely varied. These visions prompted me to write a narrative accompanying this piece as the counterpart of the blue demon inferno. The blue demon has an icy exterior that when provoked reveals his volcanic red fury bent on destruction. These images may be disturbing to some, but having access to our dark side or shadow in Jung’s terminology is what we need to tame the evil that lives within us and is projected externally. Scott Peck describes the damage done by people as the embodiment of human evil. I learned early on in my training to form a working alliance with the monster. One very young boy banged his head so hard on walls and hard surfaces trying to destroy the evil he felt lurked inside and made him act in destructive ways. He told me he had no control over them and when I asked him to draw them one by one, I realized the challenge of forming an alliance to tame the monsters that held him captive. I told him that we could not take them all on at once since they were so overwhelming, but we would work with each one until he had control over them. If we killed them, we had no power since they could return with more revenge. Using metaphoric communication with children is the language we need to speak to reach the unconscious so we can illuminate the darkness to facilitate awareness and change. It took several years and with the help of our evil companion, Sinister Seymour we prevailed in the end. I do not believe in Hell in the traditional sense, but I do believe we are living through our very own Hell. How is it possible for a world that gave us Da Vinci, Shakespeare and Bach to also give us Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin? In the new millennium we face a future world fraught with nuclear and biological terrorism that could jeopardize our very existence as a race. That concept is almost too large to comprehend and so we satisfy our appetites with the darkness closer to home. The evening news is composed of war, tragedy and murder. What is it that lies beneath that enables humans to commit blatant acts of cruelty and selfishness? Are too many people living anaesthetized against the imminent dangers that Al Gore dramatically reveals in his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth? I wrote a piece in the writing section since I believe it important to convey the tragic consequences of global warming and the destruction to our ecosystem as portrayed in Gore’s alarming documentary. We seem to live in a world of dwindling ethics and expanding dangers. And those hells that we create in art and fiction cannot begin to compete with the hells that we as a race have inflicted upon ourselves. Hell exists and sadly, we need not look to far to see it. The demons lie within.


  • Angi Baker
    Angi Bakerover 6 years ago

    WOW! Very inetersting shot, looks cool…

  • MooseMan
    MooseManover 6 years ago

    I guess if the vast majority of people believe that a Hell exists in an afterlife, I really am different from most people. So, I’m with you in the need to play with semantics in order to arrive at definition of “hell” that might be real. When I first saw the picture you’ve posted, I saw tree bark that had been played with on the computer… it all depends on the mindset, eh?

  • Julie Marks
    Julie Marksover 6 years ago

    Tree bark on the computer? Are you hallucinating? When have I ever used tree bark to project imagery or write powerful narratives about the existence of hell? You must think I am very dim to only have one source of inspiration.

  • melynda blosser
    melynda blosserover 6 years ago

    very cool , good lighting and texture and great colors

  • Linda Sannuti
    Linda Sannutiover 6 years ago

    great peice of art, can see many things

  • Faith Puleston
    Faith Pulestonover 6 years ago

    Interesting image, Julie. The end of your narrative seems to have been truncated after the line “… compete with the hells that we….”. Maybe it’s only my screen, or could it be that there is a limit on the length of commentaries?

  • Em3rge
    Em3rgeover 6 years ago

    wow. beautiful beautiful work. very capturing. love it.

  • Faith Puleston
    Faith Pulestonover 6 years ago

    EEEEEEEk. I reloaded and the text is entirely visible now. How odd! sorry about the false alarm.
    Now I’ll comment briefly. I am always intrigued by commentaries on evil. Are human beings born evil, or do they learn it? Who from? Well, presumably from those who have gone before, from the experience that bad often triumphs over good. Whether it is wise to wax metaphorical with kids is something I am not qualified to judge. Describing my childhood foibles as devils and then proceeding to exorcize them with whatever tools a therapist uses (or a priest, for that matter) would have frightened me then and still does now. How much evil do adults actually project onto children? Is it possible that a therapist equipped with diverse knowledge and the previous experience of thinkers, might errr? Our future as a race is jeopardized by evolution. We are the first and only species to have developed so far as to be able to invent the weapons to wipe ourselves out. The question now is how long will it be before global warming, atomic warfare or insidious killer diseases do the job. Anyone living in a warzone or under extreme circumstances of any kind will tell you that they are in hell. Hell is also man-made. But if you believe that, then heaven is also a construct, not to mention religious beliefs. But then you have to go further and include ethics and morals and there we are, back at hell’s or the pearly gates. A wild animal has no choice but to kill in order to survive. We have choices. ITo be truthful, think your commentary is too packed with diverse mental challenges to really drive home your message. In fact, I’m not quite sure what it is in SIMPLE terms. Enlighten me, please.

  • Robin Brown
    Robin Brownover 6 years ago

    Torure room springs to mind Julie. There’s a white figure restrained in the middle. He’s looking to his right our left. His left hand is up towards our right hand corner again restrained. There’s a demon in his face, eye to eye contact, looking for pain & fear in his eye’s. Another demon slighly further back is ripping open his chest. Some how he shows no pain or fear. Like he know’s something they don’t. The demon’s look perplexed. They cant understand his lack of fear or pain. They’ve torn him apart ripped of his flesh but he’s not made a sound. What does all this mean; I guess what I see is that despite all the suffering in the end we’ll find peace. But that’s just a guess based on what I see.
    Ps I’ve not read yuor narrative, didn’t want to be influenced by your words.

  • shapiro
    shapiroover 6 years ago

    Julie…what a wonderful eye you have; if this is another piece that you’ve managed to capture in the landscape and then refer it Hell ! Wonderful!S

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