A Not-So-Private Hell

By: Deean Yeoh

Photos courtesy of @primalscreamingwithfriends and @melodieperrault

Photos courtesy of @primalscreamingwithfriends and @melodieperrault

I came across these two amazing artists on Instagram, today. Their artworks are dark, sometimes comical, but always, somehow relatable. The collage above showcases some examples that I found myself, a young, college-aged female, relating to the most. In the momentum of assignments, fast-approaching midterms, job applications and complex love lives, I want to dedicate this article to all my fellow peers at BU. To those who feel as though they are going through the most tumultuous time of their lives, or facing a recent, unforgiving heartbreak, this is for you. Let’s project our frustrations in art and celebrate our demons – after all, private hells are never truly private at all. Right?

The black and white sketches are by @primalscreamingwithfriends and the colored sketches are by @melodieperrault. In Primal’s artwork, human vices are celebrated as demons, beasts and sacrificial goats. I love the various interpretations that his artwork arouses: does the bottom right image seek to show the “power of fate,” “insignificance of daily anxieties,” or simply just “a fact”? Whichever way you choose to interpret it, I’m sure most people can agree that because our lives are so busy, we sometimes can’t even enjoy a shower with a clear mind.  

One of my favorite sayings is, "the only difference between a good girl and a bad girl is who the good girl chooses to be bad with." The saying reaffirms the fact that we all have secret vices. Melodie’s colored sketches speak to these vices. To me, her art celebrates the paradoxes of beauty, aggression and sexuality in females - the latter two attributes traditionally shunned and deemed “inappropriate” by society.

The she-devil in the top left corner of the collage is my favorite.

On one hand, I appreciate the illustration’s feministic message; on the other, it also reminds me of a forbidden love we maybe all have experienced. Perhaps the illustration reminds you of a cause-less lover, or one who undeservingly held your heart - or maybe he still does. Maybe he’s the one we wish away with our minds while our skin continues to remember the feel of his touch. The one who opened up to you, only to shut off. Like a good song, the illustration reminds me of a time in my life that I hope to never forget, but also to never re-live.

Take a good, hard look at the illustrations of these artists. I hope you find yourself as enthralled in their projections as I do.

For many, college is a turnkey of experiences, and, like people, these experiences come in many forms. I hope you embrace them all, good and bad. We often mislead ourselves to believe that our problems are idiosyncratic – that we live in our own private hell, or maybe that we’re “too busy to talk about it anyway.” I hope these artists have helped you falsify those beliefs. After all, private hells are never truly private at all.

Right?