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  • Writer's pictureHakan Öztunalı

The Rose Cuts, the Sword Heals w/ Iris Montori

Greetings! November have rushed insidiously. The harbinger of winter, fiendish silhouettes will walk among us freely once more again. Don’t ever forget, the rose cuts, the sword heals, therefore do not step on their foot, if you don’t have a desire to be knock knock by them. Consequently, please salute Iris Montori. The solitude wise lady devoted herself to eerie stuff.

iris montori
(Courtesy of Iris Montori)

Iris Montori
(Courtesy of Iris Montori)

Could you please reveal yourself for our audience?

Iris Montori: Hello! I’m Iris Montori, I’m a Spaniard poet with Spanish Italian heritage, dark artist and aspiring filmmaker, founder of the disturbing world of Maned Goblin.

Why did you entitle yourself as Goblin, but any other creature?

Iris Montori: It wasn’t an easy task to choose a name. I wanted it to be easy to pronounce and remember, and that somehow embodied the essence of my work.

At first, I tried going for something gothic and witchy-ish, I tried many ideas and variations but nothing really clicked for me.

Then, I was listening to one of Goblin’s songs (an Italian band most notably known for their film scores for giallo filmmaker Dario Argento), in addition, it came to mind David Bowie’s character in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Jareth the Goblin king.

I love horror in folklore and grotesque creatures, I do make art with that kind of aesthetic, hence, I thought, that is that!

the rose cuts the swords heal
(Courtesy of Iris Montori)

How did you involve and design your artwork through macabre beauty?

Iris Montori: For Maned Goblin I take quite of inspiration from surreal, eerie folklore and early and experimental horror.

But in general, for all my photography and stories, I’m inspired by a vast variety of unorthodox and esoteric art and ideas; from films to literature to paintings, music to really anything that can invoke in me a macabre image and emotion.

Although doesn’t even necessarily have to be something scary or weird in it of itself, sometimes my imagination and subconscious mind do all the work. I suffer from sleep paralysis, and my hallucinations, every so often do play a role in what I create and how I decide to experiment with it.

Tell me about your nocturnal instincts, how do you perceive this world?

Iris Montori: Oh, I feel compelled to say that we are entering into blasphemous territory here [laughter] The way I perceive this world might confuse some people…

I kind of go about life truly feeling that it is all a dream, somewhat of a by-product of humanity’s insecurities and deeply rooted fears of our past and doomed future as a society.

The 3D is fake, it’s only a mirror image of our subconscious programming. In short, to get my point across, I’ll just quote this character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dr. Seward: ” I sometimes think we must be all mad and that we shall wake to sanity in strait-waistcoats.”

the rose cuts the swords heal
(Courtesy of Maned Goblin, If you zoom in & look closely, you will see something fixated in your eyes watching you, which I realized while editing this photo..)

It is not for everyone to go into the woods, there might be unusual events could occur. What do you do when you visit sylvan?

Iris Montori: I am aware that going deep into the woods can be unsettling, but I believe there’s a mystical kind of beauty in the unknown and in solitude…

What I usually do is explore, I climb rocks like my favorite animal, and if there’s a river I need to jump in, it’s a must.

But I also take my journal and my phone to meditate, surrounded by nature. Afterwards, I take whatever I see and/or hear and write it down in random order, plus the feelings, thoughts and emotions that they provoke me, to practice my own form of what is called the William Burroughs method, to create a story.

About capturing low key, moody photos, where do you find places to install your equipment, is it predetermined by you?

Iris Montori: My photography is mostly taken on my phone, all by myself. I do not have enough money to buy proper equipment, I am working on that, but it’s not going to stop me. I like to find places that I can make to have a nightmare- inducing and claustrophobic aura, in a way, about them.

How far do you think you can push forward yourself to create immersive content?

Iris Montori: I crave experimenting and challenging myself in any way, I cannot do something over and over and over again, I just find it strange to stay in the same hill, in the same point of view all your life.

I’ve always been certain that this is what I was born to do. To create horror, to mess with people’s sanity, to unapologetically defy conventionalism, it’s what makes me feel good.

And the fact that I have such a narrow audience, that majority of the population doesn’t like what I do, is what most drives me to push forward, no matter how hard, no matter how long it takes.

But I don’t want to feel attached to creating horror for anyone else but myself, it’s my mechanism of self-discovery and self-expression.

the rose cuts the swords heal
(Courtesy of Iris Montori)

Would you like to uncover one of your secrets?

Iris Montori: Oh…[laughter] I guess it’s not much of a secret but I am an actual Witch in real life, I am what’s called a “Solitary Witch” , which means that I don’t belong to a coven, but by my own choice.

I practice eclectic witchcraft but I do have messed around a bit with black magic, although not for evil purposes, I just wanted to invoke an Incubus.

As French Theologian John Calvin suggested that, you are either evil born or pure. What do you think about this suggestion?

Iris Montori: Well, throughout history, we definitely have committed plenty of heinous and wrongful crimes in the name of righteousness, which is the cruel irony of faith, any faith. But at the end of the day, I firmly believe that we are good in nature.

Granted, good and evil need to coexist in order to bring balance, and some are more inclined, due to genetics, mental illnesses and emotional and spiritual intelligence, to follow the latter’s path.

Any uncanny story you have to share with us?

Iris Montori: I’ve had quite a few creepy experiences, I truly live in a haunted house. I have never seen anything, but I have been feeling the energies of my close deceased relatives all throughout this past decade.

But that also happens whenever I go urban exploring, a lot of times I do feel a heavy energy attached to a different set of emotional baggage, depending on where you are.

Which folkloric tale boils your aspiration and makes you proactive?

Iris Montori: I guess The Alp, from German folklore, will always rest comfortably in my madness, since he is the demon responsible for sleep paralysis! [laughter] there is this a very famous painting by Henry Fuseli from the 18th century about this creature that does have influenced me a lot.

But there is one folktale that I recently read for my next piece, called The Penanggalan, from Malaysia. She is a horrid disembodied floating head with a harrowing thirst for blood. The creature’s entrails hang in mid-air, dripping blood and gore, as she floats around in search of its prey.

Any last words or a wish?

Iris Montori: I just want to give thanks. I’m not on social media to get famous, but it is rewarding to see that I am seen by some people. I’ve been working so hard for the past years, and yet, I could not see my seed growing at all, not IRL either.

This year 2022 has been a turning point though, I’ve been having so many opportunities, like this interview, I’ve met people who their own journey has inspired me to start getting through a very toxic mindset, little by little day by day, but I’ve been growing so confident in my talents, thank you so much.

P.S The world has sucked since horror was corrupted by the greedy man. So I am going to suck your entire blood for fun. – Iris Montori.

the rose cuts the swords heal
(Courtesy of Iris Montori)


Iris Montori’s Instagram Page: @irismontori

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