The Disturbing Final Self Portraits of Bryan Charnley

If you were to search for artwork by Bryan Charnley, what follows is a collection of unhinged and chaotic scenes. A shocking yet gripping insight into the world of mental disintegration.

Charnley’s unmistakable use of extreme and sometimes violent serialism is very recognisable in the world of outsider art. But the work that stands out to most people is his 17 final self portraits, alongside a diary, that documents a tragic story about his struggles living with Schizophrenia, right up until his final days before committing suicide in July 1991.

In this video we are going to explore the mind of this troubled yet talented artist, as well as the final self portraits that reflected a mind so desperately in decline.

King Soopers Shooting, Buoulder Coloroda, immediate aftermath cellphone footage

‘The drum needed a blood sacrifice’: the rise of dark Nordic folk

Heilung jam with Siberian shamans and play with human bones, while Wardruna record songs submerged in rivers and on burial mounds. Now this vibrant undergound music scene is finding a wider audience

“You can almost call it method-recording or method-composing, where I’m the instrument and the themes are the composer,” says the frontman, who describes himself as animistic – a believer that all objects and living things possess their own spiritual essence. “It subtly promotes this idea that nature is something sacred. Something we are a part of, not the rulers of.”


More Xen related material

The timing of this interest in The Dark Watchers of Big Sur is very interesting considering it coincides with the release of Xen. Just sayin’

When visitors come to the Big Sur wilderness on California’s central coast, they’re often struck by how mystical and remote it feels. Some people even return with tales of encounters with a “presence”  —a fleeting glimpse in the sun-dappled shadows, an eerie feeling in the stillness of the trees. Could such accounts be the result of a sensitive imagination or are they a validation that the Dark Watchers live on? Stories of these elusive beings persist and get passed down from generation to generation.


For centuries, Big Sur residents have seen ‘Dark Watchers’ in the mountains

To fully understand the relevance of this post, you’ll need to read Xen: The Zen of the Other

If you want to see a Dark Watcher, you should wait until the late afternoon.

As the sun begins its descent behind the waves, look to the sharp ridges of the Santa Lucia Range, the mountains that rise up from the shores of Monterey and down the Central California coast. If you are lucky, you might see figures silhouetted against them. Some say the watchers are 10 feet tall, made taller or wider by hats or capes. They may turn to look at you. But they always move away quickly and disappear.

For centuries, tales of the Dark Watchers have swirled in the misty Santa Lucia Mountains. Most stories begin with the local native tribes, which allegedly spoke of the shadowy figures in their oral traditions. When the Spanish arrived in the 1700s, they began calling the apparitions los Vigilantes Oscuros (literally “the dark watchers”). And as Anglo American settlers began staking claims in the region, they too felt the sensation of being watched from the hills.

Accounts vary, although everyone agrees the beings are more shadowy than human and more observant than aggressive. They took their most solid form in the first half of the 20th century, when two legendary writers memorialized them.

In 1937, Robinson Jeffers, poet of life along the Central Coast, drew inspiration from the watchers for his collection “Such Counsels You Gave To Me and Other Poems.”



Ahhh, a fellow traveler. -EB

Wouter Kusters is a Dutch philosopher and linguist, he is best known for his books in which he describes his own experiences with psychoses. He is the author of Pure Madness, A Quest for the Psychotic Experience. In this episode we discuss his latest book The Philosophy of Madness: The Experience of Psychotic Thinking, alongside discussions on phenomenology, zero, psychosis and time.

Xen: The Zen of the Other ebook out now

You can currently read the ebook with Kindle Unlimited for free or download a free Kindle copy this Friday, 03-05, until next week, Tuesday, 03-09.


This and the print book will only be available on Amazon until the currently in-production audio play/ebook combo comes out on the Veil of Thorns record label in a few months.