Published on Dec 24, 2019

Dark Art Background Images

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Dark art is a general term for artwork that is violent or otherwise unsettling in nature. It has strong ties to the horror genre and the gothic subculture.

Dark art can encompass a wide variety of worldviews, from a melancholy romanticism to a gleeful nihilism. Oftentimes it can have sadomasochistic overtones, featuring erotic depictions of vampires or other supernatural beings. It can be colorful, but is more often depicted using near monochrome, especially red, black, and gray.

Artwork leaning in the gothic direction will often have a fascination with the mystical and darkly romantic, with influences from neopaganism. Love is a common subject matter, especially when it takes the form of betrayal, tragedy, or obsession. Images will often embrace demonic imagery, though its intent is shock value and stance taking, not satanic worship.


Horror-influenced art will have a more intense focus on violence. Death is a common subject, with blood commonly featured. Vampires, zombies, and other undead creatures tend to be heavily featured. There is often a great deal of overlap with the urban fantasy genre. While the subject matter is dark, it is often less melancholy in tone than gothic art. The violence is more likely to be depicted in a glorified or comical manner.

It can also take on influences from the abstract and surreal art movements. These tend to be more psychologically dark in nature, relying less on romantic or supernatural influences, and dealing more with internal demons. Distorted depictions of the human body and face are common. This type of artwork is more likely to take a nihilistic or relativist worldview.

Dark art as a whole is often about the destruction of beauty. It is similar to other modern and postmodern art cultures in this respect, and yet it paradoxically tends to take on an aesthetic form that is more easily appreciated by the layman. While abstract art may deliberately challenge our views about what is beautiful, dark art tends to depict a more literal destruction of beauty.

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