Inside The World Of Macabre Maven Nyxturna

Photo courtesy of Nyxturna

Meet the ultimate “woman of darkness”

If you saw Fay Nowitz on the street, you might not know who she is, although since the gothic creatrix would likely be clad in leather or lace, like a bat out of her cave, you'd probably be able to guess her witchy proclivities. And then upon closer inspection, you might recognize the artist from her pins or jewels. Depending on her mood, it may be anything from a butcher's knife with the words “femme fatale” sprawled atop it, or a coffin with “woman of darkness” under a crescent moon, spider webs dripping delicately from it. On her fingers, you may see a jewelry featuring bats and other things from the night sky, pieces that look like the lovechild of brass knuckles and blood milk jewels. You'll want to look closer. And you should: Nowitz is also known by her Instagram handle of Nyxturna; she's a queer artist from Chicago who’s creating an empire of macabre treasures for all the magick-weaving women and men out there.

Born to artist parents, Nowitz grew up with a camera in her hand, apt to capture anything that caught her attention. With a training in fine arts, she’s been able to combine her penchant for ethereal aesthetics with creation as a form of coping, fashioning everything from collage work, experimental videos, and sculptural pieces; she also engages in silversmithing and mixed media work. Her art is informed by many things—her time spent in Scotland, gothic and art nouveau architecture, and vintage films. But more than anything else, it’s Nowitz’s identity as a queer witch that lends itself to her work.

Being queer isn’t something I can turn on and off—it’s something that’s always there, it’s ingrained into the fiber of my being, and I find power and inspiration in it. I fully embrace the term queer,” she says. And since 95 percent of her friends identify as queer, there is an ongoing conversation on what that designation means right now and how it impacts them in Trump’s America. One solution? To make queer art. "I especially enjoy making queer collages and video art; taking something traditionally heteronormative and spinning that on its head and queering up the conversation," says Nowitz. "I’m interested in the intersection of queerness and magick and what that means, especially in the current political climate.” 

Nowitz is determined to use her own visibility as encouragement to other queer artists. She believes it’s vital in this modern day. To support other queer witches, she started the hashtag #SupportQueerWitches so that building community and elevating one another could become a priority. “I also think as a queer person, we go through so much shit that heteronormative folks don’t have to deal with or even think about, especially queer and trans people of color. There is this idea of psychic death, and that is part of what queer people have to resist and fight against in the growing fascist regime,” she says. 

Nowitz’s art has an unapologetic brashness to it; it’s a little sexual, a little queer, and a definite identifier for the person wearing it. Magick and spirituality also weave themselves into the narrative of Nowitz’s work, which all have the feel of a vintage occult pulp book or films mixed with the work of Victorian grimoires. There’s a rawness that’s only available to those who are willing to dive into the shadows, which the artist manages to do. She cites her long-term abusive relationship as a catalyst that sparked her to create work centered around magick, protection, and armor, both psychologically and physically. Most of the jewelry she makes doubles as a weapon, giving a new age double entendre to the notion of being “dressed to kill.” 

And like many modern witches and artists, creation and magick go hand in hand. For Nowitz, this means creating her own ritual tools, altars, and instruments to use in magick and ritual work. “For me, my spirituality always ties back into my art practice. Art is a ritual for me. It’s how I work through ideas and connect with the earth, the goddess, or anything that moves me. It’s often how I center myself, and it can be so cathartic. I really consider my artist's practice a ritual in and of itself, and I’m so fascinated by that,” she says. 

Art is also cathartic to Nowitz, whose next collection of jewelry-armor is tentatively set to launch in late May. The pieces have been in the works for two years, culminating in a treasure trove of items that are as delicate as they are fierce. Inspired by silver armor, the collection of rings and necklaces will feature Nowitz’s penchant for duality; light and dark, soft and harsh, delicate but protective. These are emblems for the maiden, mother and crone; the woman who doesn’t apologize to anyone and who’s ready to save herself whenever danger beckons.

Perhaps more than anything, that’s what Nowitz manages to do so well. Her art invites us to weave our own web of melancholic light, one that beckons us to dig into the deepest corners of our souls, dust off the cobwebs, and enjoy the beautifully somber shadows flickering on the walls, no judgment necessary. 

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

He announced the news today

On Monday, Bernie Sanders announced that he is running for president again, after he lost the primary in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. And although he was very popular during the 2016 election, his announcement is drawing mixed reactions online.

Many of his previous supporters, including celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, were excited about him joining the 2020 race, voicing their support of his announcement.

But others seem to want him to disappear, even pretending not to know who he is. And these reactions have turned out, in some cases, to be hilarious.

The lack of excitement for his announcement may be because of the recent allegations of sexual assault which apparently occurred within his 2016 campaign, and which he claims he didn't know about. It could also be due to his base, who supported him even after he lost the primary to the detriment of Clinton's campaign.

Some are also calling out the fact that Clinton has been effectively shunned following her loss, while Sanders seems to be being welcomed back with open arms.



Photos courtesy of American Apparel

The pieces will take your athleisure look to the next level

American Apparel just dropped its first activewear line since the brand's relaunch last year, and I can already tell that these looks are going to make up my entire summer wardrobe.

The new line, called FORWARD, offers a variety of styles in lightweight fabrics like flyweight satin, which is an imitation of boxing gear; lame tricot; and cotton Spandex. All of the fabrics feature a four-way stretch, making the clothes "suitable for training but also designed for life outside the gym."

With the collection, American Apparel also launched an inclusive campaign called How We Play, which shows a diverse range of models, including blind Paralympic runner David Brown and curvy yoga instructor Luisa Fonseca.

The collection's styles offer a wide range of looks which will fit with just about any aesthetic, whether you're going hard at the gym or looking for a casual off-day outfit. Personally, I'm excited about the iridescent looks and the rainbow patterned bra and bottoms, which I will definitely be rocking at Pride this year.

The entire line is also super-affordable, capping out at $48, with most products priced in the $20-to-$30 range. You can shop FORWARD collection online, now.