While some people embrace the candy canes, jingling bells and good feelings the winter holidays bring, others are a little less excited about all the bright colors and tinsel.
If you are looking for a great place to shop for that little dark cloud in your life, The Dark Market — Louisville’s curated night market focused on the eerie and the odd — returns to Haymarket Whiskey Bar on Friday, Dec. 23.
Insider caught up with one of the market’s new organizers, Jada Lynn Dixon, to discuss the niche the market fills and the advantages The Dark Market has over similar events in town. We also chatted with artist Justin Kamerer, who designs and creates under the name Angryblue, about his work and why he likes being a part of The Dark Market.
“It’s something different,” says Dixon, describing why Louisville needs The Dark Market. “There’s a common thread with all the artists who are involved, in that each of us has an appreciation for the darker side.”
At a typical Dark Market, you’ll see macabre sights, strange taxidermy, creepy lamps. But in addition to the sometimes sinister tone of the objects, Dixon mentions another unifying element: “I think all of us have humor, too.”
Dixon first joined the market as an artist. She can paint, sculpt, photograph and manipulate images digitally, but frequently her work combines elements of all her skills.
“The things I make for Dark Market have to do with dolls — doll lamps out of doll heads, I do shadow boxes that might have little dolls I have hand sculpted, or digital images of dolls that belong (to me),” she says.
When the market’s founder, Cathe Crabb, moved away, Dixon and her husband Tony took over running the show. “As long as the artists are interested and the patrons are still interested in The Dark Market, we’ll keep coordinating it,” says Dixon.
It should be noted that those artists are carefully selected. The limited space of The Dark Market makes it necessary for the organizers be a little choosier about whom they feature. As a result, the list of guests reads like a who’s-who of my favorite local artists: Dick Starr, MissHappyPink, Ryan Case, Yoko Molotov, Matt Barnes of Studio Post Office and, of course, Angryblue.
Angryblue, who’s been working under that name for 15 years now and has made a full-time living as a designer and artist for the last decade, is known for his art prints and show posters. He says the main draw for participating in any of the art fairs around town are pretty straight forward: “To find an audience that wouldn’t naturally stumble upon you,” he says.
But he does admit there is something special about the curated show. “It’s a cool thing to get all our creepy friends, all our kooky dark crafts together in a room,” he explains. “To celebrate each other and hang out — we sell our stuff for a few hours.”
For Friday’s holiday market, Angryblue will bring a wide cross-section of his work. “I bring a good chunk of my art prints and rock posters, and small goods like the enamel pin game everybody has gotten into.”
Angryblue describes his art: “Most of my art tends to show a still frame in the middle of a story. And I like the idea of … trying to figure out what the hell is going on with the rest of it, what the context is.”
A good portion of Angryblue’s commissions are rock posters, which he enjoys immensely.
“It’s the opportunity to make a love letter to a band you like,” he says.
In addition to working on posters, he’s also designed other merchandise for bands, but it’s not as much fun. “There are guidelines and restrictions, but (with) a poster … you can look at a band’s full career and get to actually just play in the sandbox and do what you would love to do for them if there weren’t managers and all that other stuff.”
As a designer and artist, Angryblue has worked with a pretty rad list of artists, including Slayer, Metallica, Paul McCartney, Swans, Genesis, Foo Fighters, Iggy Pop, Primus, Mastodon, Gwar, Faith No More, Puscifer, Blink-182, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Lil’ Wayne, and “Flight of the Conchords.”
Alongside the curated art, DJs Thulsa Goon and Talamasca will spin a selection of goth, metal and other theme-appropriate tunes.
Angryblue adds one other reason he and other artists get excited about the market: “I like being near people who have had a couple of drinks and are ready to make mistakes.”
Check out Dixon’s creepy dolls, Angrblue’s macabre design-oriented work and a dozen other oddity purveyors at The Winter Dark Market on Friday at Haymarket Whiskey Bar, located at 331 E. Market St. Admission is free, and it runs 6-11 p.m.