Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Painting with the Colors of a Corpse

I have a fascination with the dead, in case you couldn't tell. I like to look at dead bodies -- I've been to Egyptian museums to see mummies, the Body Worlds exhibit to see plastinated people, and I even own a few (legally acquired) human bones. Why should this be? It's hard to say. I think to some extent there's a sense of excitement from it -- the dead are a sort of 'safe danger' in that their state of no longer being alive means they're really almost the safest kind of person you ever could be around, yet there's kind of a built-in fear around the dead in most humans, probably to help warn you out of danger (since, in the wild -- or even in some modern cities -- finding a dead person means that whatever made them dead might still be around and ready to get you next.)

But beyond all this, I think the dead are just extremely interesting and even pretty in their way. Now, some people think that looking at the dead and gaining any sort of pleasure from it is disrespectful, or at least disgusting.

If such a person is you, I advise you to turn away now, because you're not going to be happy with the rest of this post.

Now, for those who are at all intrigued by where this is going, I found a perfect act of morbid beauty in which to pass an evening by indulging. We must begin our little project with some photographs of corpses -- the more colorful the better (which pretty much means you want photos of the rotting ones.) I snagged a couple from

One you have your photos, upload them to a palette generator such as this one. This will break down the photo and determine the major colors in it, and allow you to know what their basic colors are.

You now have a palette. Now, match these hues up with the colors of house paint, and start decorating. If you register, even has a thing that lets you try them out on sample rooms (or pictures of your own home if you want to get fancy and download some software from them.) The results of this experiment are strewn about this post -- the painted room pictures are all done with colors derived from the palettes of the corpse photos above. The African corpse's colors look good in almost anything, I found. The morgue photo, meanwhile, is a bit harder to use -- you have to have the right kind of room for those colors, which are much cooler and duller, to really be able to have them stand out.

As I'm not in a position at present to actually repaint my house at all, this project is but mere speculation; nevertheless, it sure sounds like a suitable Gothic Martha Stewart plan to me; it's Cemetery Goth but with a little more subtlety, and with hues like "Victorian Gold" and "Grape Leaves" constantly cropping up, it can merge well into just about any style as a subtle memento mori that won't freak out your house guests.

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