top of page

Not Just Skin Deep with Mandeep Singh's Dark Art

Mandeep Singh Malaysia Dark Artist Drawings
Behind all the skin and bone, there's a profound meaning to all of Mandeep's gory works.

You can’t get any more badass than being called a Dark Artist (consider your resume game upgraded). His art may look like it can deck the halls of Slytherin but for all the skeletons, blood and bone, it’s not as sinister as you might think. In fact, @mvndeep’s art captures the tragic wonders that is the fragility of life based on a classic Latin phrase.

You describe yourself as a "dark artist" — what does that exactly encapsulate?

To me a “Dark Artist” is anyone who uses darker or more macabre scenes/depictions in art as a way to get the viewer to stop and look inwards, and think about themselves. In my case, the cross-section with the skeleton showing is this constant reminder of death. I want people to stop and think about this thing we all go through, to realise how it can come at any time and to anyone and use that when making decisions in their lives. Would you really worry about banal things if you could die later today? Would you say this thing out of anger to someone you love if it meant you might not see them ever again?

A lot of the art you depict surrounds the idea of mortality — how does that play into your own personal art philosophy and ideas about art in general?

I subscribe to the philosophy of Stoicism and a specific concept that stuck with me was “memento mori”, literally translating to “remember that you must die”, and it made me rethink a lot of my daily actions and attitudes. It’s a practice that I believe everyone should do as it reminds you that death can happen at any time, to you or your loved ones and how important it is to live everyday like it could be your last one. Cherish those around you, and live virtuously.

I felt the best way to meditate on this idea was to create art that incorporates this idea of death. I did this by taking the most beautiful figures you can think of; the Gods and adding the skeletal elements to them. So, it became this mixture of Life and Death, a reflection of our own mortal coil.

You have a very distinct artistic style that we think is so interesting! What first got you into this type of art and what is it about it that made you stick to it until now?

It’s really funny actually because I came by it on accident! I really like dark themes to art, and I love the idea of “memento mori”, so I decided to take a stab at it pretty early on when I first started sharing. People really seemed to connect with the idea as well and it really snowballed from there!

Biggest misconception people have about you?

I’ve had people who I’ve talked to that later DMed me to say that I’m a lot friendlier and more optimistic than they thought I’d be after seeing my art, which I take as a good sign! My art is dark, but I am quite the opposite!

Can you share with us what your creative process is like? Are you the planner or someone with a more spontaneous spirit?

I’m definitely a spontaneous spirit! No doubt about it, I’m usually working on a hundred art projects at any given time when I’m suddenly struck with inspiration and I have to drop what I’m doing and get started on the next. Recently since I’ve started sharing my art on Instagram, I’ve developed a routine of drawing daily and it hasn’t been that difficult especially since I’m already working on a ton of things at a given time anyway!

Your favourite Greek God and why?

Apollo, the Greek God of Art, the Sun and a million other things. The first reason is easy, he’s the God of Art! Other than that, I’ve always resonated with his myths and stories. He’s got his twin sister Artemis, who is the Goddess of the Moon and there’s a duality there like in my art; The Sun & The Moon, Life & Death.

Best compliment you received as a creative so far?

It’s always when people tell me I’ve inspired them in some way or another. I got this long wall of text once in my DMs from this girl who told me how much she looks forward to seeing my art every day and that I inspired her to pick up a pencil and start learning how to draw. It was probably one of my favourite moments ever.

Also, every time somebody gets a tattoo of my art. Still feels so surreal to me that people love it so much that they would get it inked onto their body forever. That’s one of the best compliments I could ever get.

I subscribe to the philosophy of Stoicism and a specific concept that stuck with me was “memento mori”, literally translating to “remember that you must die", and it made me rethink a lot of my daily actions and attitudes.

What do you wish to achieve with your art and your journey as an artist?

I would love to impact people with my art and hopefully get them to get out of this “autopilot” mode most of us seem to be on where we drift through life without ever truly being present in the moment. It’d would also be my dream to one day do this full time as an artist!

Lastly, please share with us 3 of your local creative crushes and their IG handles that you wish to shoutout!


bottom of page