Honoring the body through the occult with artist Allan Spiers (part two)

CHICAGO — Photographer Allan Spiers is a self-taught artist whose life began in Peru surrounded by the magic and religious beliefs of its culture. After moving to the United States at the age of 13, he carried a natural call and love of Witchcraft and the occult into adulthood and, eventually, into his professional career. As highlighted in part one of our interview, Spiers recently merged his artistic talents with his spiritual beliefs to launch several multi-image projects, allowing for a new level of artistic freedom. In his newest project The Sabbath, Spiers explores both the male form and occult expression. In part two of our interview, he talked with us about the specifics of the project, its inspiration, and how his unique and evocative imagery fits into the extensive canon of traditional western-based Witch visuals. TWH: Considering the attention given to the female body and sexuality with regard to Witchcraft imagery, your use of male fitness models creates an irony.

Honoring the body and the occult with artist Allan Spiers (part one)

CHICAGO — Looking across western culture, women and women’s bodies have dominated mainstream depictions of Witches and the practice of Witchcraft. In a famous drawing from 1798, two nude elderly witches fly on a broom over trees and fields (Francisca Goya, Linda maestra). In 1497, artist Albrecht Durer depicted the meeting of four nude young witches (Durer, The Four Witches). Far more recently, in popular films like Witches of Eastwick (1987) and the cult classic The Craft (1996), the transformation from average woman to witch is depicted visually with increased displays of female sexuality and body exposure. For better or worse, the woman’s body has had profound meaning within traditional western-based visual witchcraft narratives.