You know what your Christmas tree needs? A misshapen, fleshy orb with zombie bites, fake blood and the words “Silent Night” carved into it. Or what about a “dead fairy” doll, or a sick-looking eyeball?
If you have a morbid sense of humor and don't want to celebrate your Christmas in the same boringly cheery way others do, take a walk on the horror side at the Dark Art Emporium in Long Beach, where a cadre of cadaver-y, twisted holiday art and handmaid merchandise is showcased. Since opening in September, Dark Art has hosted art and artists and their strange, morbid, eerie creativity that not only gets under your skin, but also appeals to those who appreciate the creepy and unusual. Whether you're into taxidermy (Dark Art offers classes!), odd sculptures, or weird paintings and drawings that would make Scary Stories illustrator Stephen Gammell proud, you're in for a macabre treat.
Dark Art's exhibit “Creepy Christmas” will be up for at least another week, so snag some of the gruesome art and toys on display while you can. Fearsome portrayals of Santa Claus as a not-so-jolly bogeyman by Eric Swartz, Kris Hallford, Creepcake and Todd Robey will totally make you think twice before letting him come down your chimney this year. Larry Talavera's oil painting Donner's Party features a portrait of a disturbing little Victorian girl sitting in the snow while holding an animal skull (it should be a human skull, bruh). Of course, what's a gruesome holiday art show without Christmas' own formidable foe, Krampus? Themed art by Jamie Straw, Jeremy Cross, Cesar Buenrostro and Robey give life to the now-hipster Alpine legend. Alternatively, you can get yourself a terrifying Krampus puppet made by LA-based puppetmaker Rasputin's Marionettes, as well as a slick enamel pin–a subtle way to stay true to your horror-aficionado taste at your next holiday gathering.
The scary, fun art, sculptures, oddities and ornaments you find at Dark Art Emporium will surely deck your halls with abundant Christmas cheer—or, better yet, fear.
Dark Art Emporium, 252 Elm Ave., Long Beach, (562) 612-1118; www.darkartemporium.com.
Aimee Murillo is calendar editor and frequently covers the Orange County DIY music scene, film, arts, Latino culture and currently pens the long-running column Trendzilla. Born, raised, and based in Santa Ana, she loves bad movies, punk shows, raising her plants, eating tacos, Selena, and puns.