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When Pigs Fly: 1977 TV commercial for Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’
03.18.2015
03:53 pm

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd
Hipgnosis


 
During Danny Boyle’s short film “Isles of Wonder,” shown as part of the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the camera flies from a small stream in the country down the Thames and into the Olympic venue. When the camera gets to the Battersea Power Station, a floating pig flies by, a fun wink, of course, to that most iconic of album covers, the 1977 Hipgnosis-designed sleeve for Pink Floyd’s Animals album.

Animals, a bitter Orwell-inspired anti-capitalism screed needed an image that was appropriate for the dark vision of humanity heard within its grooves. Before they settled on the porcine zeppelin—Roger Water’s concept—Hipgnosis had pitched the group on the notion of a child discovering his parents fucking like… animals. Which could have been interesting, but instead they hired noted Australian artist Jeffrey Shaw to design the inflatable pig, which was then manufactured by the German company Ballon Fabrik, who constructed the Zeppelin airships of the early part of the 20th century.
 

 
The 30 feet (9.1 m) long pig balloon—dubbed “Algie”—was inflated with helium and positioned in place on December 2, but bad weather delayed the shoot and the following day the balloon broke free of its tethers and floated off, ultimately ending up in a farm near Kent where it apparently terrified a herd of cows.

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art
03.18.2015
01:16 pm

Topics:
Art
Science/Tech

Tags:
brains


Marjorie Taylor, “Mark’s Brain,” 2002
 
When you first hear about the Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art, one immediately wonders whether its purpose is in any way therapeutic or perhaps that actually plays some kind of odd and unexpected research role. But no, the point appears to be far more mundane: some embroidery enthusiasts just find brain scans and fMRI images visually appealing and enjoy reproducing the vibrant and oftentimes striated outputs of the complex medical devices in the form of embroidered quilts.

“I couldn’t help but look at them with the eye of a quilter,” says Taylor, a psychologist at the University of Oregon and a key contributor to the museum’s holdings. “I thought the folds of the cerebral cortex would be great in velvet.” Taylor’s first piece was a quilt with a cerebral cortex in blue velvet on a silver background; it took her several years to complete four brain-scan quilts. “Not very many,” she admits. “They take a long time to do.”

Curator Bill Harbaugh, whose day job is economics professor at the University of Oregon, welcomes visitors to the site with the following message:
 

This is the world’s largest collection of anatomically correct fabric brain art. Inspired by research from neuroscience, dissection and neuroeconomics, our current exhibition features a rug based on fMRI imaging, a knitted brain from dissection, and three quilts with functional images from PET. The artists are Marjorie Taylor and Karen Norberg. Techniques used include traditional Nova Scotian rug hooking, quilting, applique, embroidery, beadwork, knitting, and crocheting. Materials include fabric, yarn, metallic threads, electronic components such as magnetic core memory, and wire, zippers, and beads.

While our artists make every effort to insure accuracy, we cannot accept responsibility for the consequences of using fabric brain art as a guide for functional magnetic resonance imaging, trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, neurosurgery, or single-neuron recording.

 

Marjorie Taylor, “Warm Glow, or fabricMRI: Bill’s Brain,” 2009
 

Karen Norberg, “The Knitted Brain”
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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And then Andy Warhol took another one of Man Ray
03.17.2015
12:11 pm

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Andy Warhol
Man Ray


Andy Warhol, Portrait of Man Ray
 
This is easily the best thing I’ve seen all day. In 1976 Andy Warhol was conducting a photo shoot in the Paris apartment of the legendary photographer Man Ray. A camera crew was present and asked for a description of the goings-on, which were apparently fairly recursive in nature. Warhol in his semi-witting way, uncorked a mesmerizing batch of verbiage. It’s truly something to behold.
 

 
There’s a transcript of the interview in Kenneth Goldsmith, ed., I’ll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews, 1962-1987, which I’ve taken and brushed up just a touch here and there. Here’s the chunk of the video that’s been embedded below:
 

And then he took a picture of me again and I took another Polaroid of him and then we had the Super X… the camera 70… Super 70-X uh… And then I took one of um… ahhh… And then I took another picture of Man Ray and then I took another one of Man Ray and then I took another one of Man Ray. Then I took another with my uh… uh… with my funny camera, what’s it called? The funny camera? It’s called the uh… the portrait camera. And so I took another one of Man Ray and I took another one of Man Ray and I took another one of Man Ray. And then I think he signed one… one of them, and then I took another one of Man Ray. I took another picture of Man Ray, another Polaroid portrait of Man Ray and another Polaroid portrait of Man Ray, another Polaroid portrait of Man Ray and then another Polaroid portrait of Man Ray and then I took another Polaroid portrait of Man Ray and then I took another Polaroid portrait of Man Ray. And then I took another portrait. And then I think he took another portrait of me and then he signed that one for me and I put it in my sss… my Brownie shopping bag.

 
Amazingly, this is only a small portion of what he said…. you can see a full transcript of Warhol’s remarks here.

Just watch it, you won’t regret it.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Renaissance portrait or rapper?
03.17.2015
07:00 am

Topics:
Animals
Art
Hip-hop
History
Music

Tags:
Renaissance
Rappers


 
NYC advertising creative director Cecilia Azcarate has an apparent fondness for the art of the Renaissance and a gift for connecting it to the present-day. Her Tumblr Ikea B4-XIV cleverly identifies centuries-old analogues to Swedish housewares in Renaissance paintings, and she curates a Twitter feed that’s heavy with the art of that era as well. But she’s hit on a rich vein of astonishing material with her Tumblr B4-XVI, wherein she highlights “an invisible conversation between hip hop and art before the 16th century.” The connections Azcarate identifies between painted portraits from the Renaissance and photographic portraits of 21st Century rappers are, at times, frankly amazing.
 

“The Adoration of the Magi” by Hugo van der Goes VS Wiz Khalifa
 

“Portrait of Henry the Pious, Duke of Saxony” by Lucas Cranach VS Takeoff of Migos
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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There’s currently a life-size model of Bishop from ‘Aliens’ for sale
03.16.2015
09:24 am

Topics:
Art
Movies

Tags:
Aliens


 
Is your home décor lacking a certain je ne sais quoi? If so, might I tempt you with this life-size silicone model of android Bishop from Aliens? He would make an excellent accent piece to any livingroom, bedroom or office space. 

Made by Florida-based artist Neil Goldsmith, the model is currently for sale on Etsy with a pricetag of $3000.


 

 

 
via Laughing Squid

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Amazing photographs of Harlem during the summer of 1970
03.16.2015
08:38 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion
History

Tags:
Harlem
Jack Garofalo


 
Captivating photographs of Harlem in July of 1970 taken by French photographer Jack Garofalo for the October issue of Paris Match magazine. Garofalo was sent on assignment to document the changes happening to the neighborhood after the 1960s.

Here are a few statistics about Harlem in the 1960s per Wikipedia:

...about 75% of Harlem students tested under grade levels in reading skills, and 80% tested under grade level in math.In 1964, residents of Harlem staged two school boycotts to call attention to the problem. In central Harlem, 92% of students stayed home. In the post-World War II era, Harlem ceased to be home to a majority of the city’s blacks,but it remained the cultural and political capital of black New York, and possibly black America

As the 1960s ended, many Harlemites were able to escape the crumbling, crime ridden neighborhood in search of better school systems, safer streets and more livable homes.

Jack Garofalo‘s photographs documented the people who stayed. A snapshot in time we’ll never see again.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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John and Yoko shine on in these rarely seen photographs from 1980
03.13.2015
12:38 pm

Topics:
Art
Books
Music

Tags:
Yoko Ono
John Lennon
Kishin Shinoyama


 
These rarely seen photographs by acclaimed photographer Kishin Shinoyama were taken over the course of several days in September of 1980 for John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s album Double Fantasy. It was the last studio recording by Lennon before his tragic murder in December of 1980 and these photographs are particularly bittersweet in light of what was to come.

Kishin Shinoyama and Yoko Ono are releasing a book of photo essays called Double Fantasy published by Taschen this month in a limited edition of 1,980 copies (1980). Money can’t buy you love but it can buy you this book for $700. If you’re a fan it may be some kind of love.

Here are photographs from the book and a video on Shinoyama and Ono’s collaboration on its making.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Smutty snuff bottles of the Qing Dynasty
03.12.2015
08:53 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Sex

Tags:
pornography
Qing
snuff


 
During the Qing Dynasty (the final imperial Dynasty of China, 1644 to 1912), smoking tobacco was illegal, but the use of snuff was permitted for medicinal purposes. As the habit became pervasive throughout the country and across every class, beautiful little snuff bottles were produced, made from materials like jade, bone, ceramic, glass and ivory. Many of the bottles depicted pastoral scenes or images of nature. Others—like the ones pictured here—were hardcore and would make pervy potter Grayson Perry blush!

If you’re in the market for a tiny antique porn collection from China—or you just want to do bumps from a smutty little snuff bottle—you can find them for around $50 on eBay or Etsy (much cheaper if they’re missing the stopper-spoon). If you’re really looking to drop some serious dough, Sotheby’s and other high-end auctions sell Qing snuff bottles that will run you thousands of dollars. It can be difficult to tell a reproduction from a legitimate Qing, but a little research will help you find the real thing (and for a reasonable price). For instance, many knockoffs are made of light-weight resin, and real Qings are often dated on the base.

There’s something so charming about these itsy-bitsy explicit tableaux—how could you resist?
 

 

 

 
More smutty snuff bottles of imperial China after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘My life couldn’t fill a penny post card’: A glimpse of Andy Warhol’s early correspondence
03.11.2015
09:47 am

Topics:
Art
Media

Tags:
Andy Warhol


 
In its December 1949 issue Harper’s published a short story by John Cheever—the story was called “Vega,” and it was illustrated by a young artist named Andy Warhol, who was all of 21 years old at the time.

The editor of Harper’s at the time was Russell Lynes, and at some point he wrote Warhol asking him for some biographical information. Warhol responded with an unmistakably Warholian document, featuring a cute drawing, an upbeat greeting, and a bare minimum of upper-case letters (there are five in all). Perhaps fittingly, Warhol plays the humble card, insisting that his “life couldn’t fill a penny post card” and that he has spent the previous few months “moving from one roach infested apartment to another.” (Warhol lived in at least two such apartments with his old school chum Philip Pearlstein.)

The short letter dates from an interesting time in Warhol’s life. He was fresh out of college, and the alacrity with which he secured some high-profile illustrating gigs may have been a sign of future successes to come. He illustrated two album covers, A Program of Mexican Music by Carlos Chávez and a recording of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky by the Philadelphia Orchestra. He worked as a commercial artist for Glamour, Vogue, and Seventeen and also, we get this tidbit from the Tate Modern in London: “Infatuated with the writer Truman Capote, Andy inundates him with fan letters and telephone calls until Capote’s mother asks him to stop.”

Here’s a transcript of Warhol’s letter:

Hello mr. lynes
thank you very much
biographical information

my life couldn’t fill a penny post card i was born in pittsburgh in 1928 (like everybody else — in a steel mill)

i graduated from carnegie tech now i’m in NY city moving from one roach infested apartment to another.

Andy Warhol.

 
The letter comes from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. It appears in the dazzling new book More Than Words by Liza Kirwin, published by Princeton Architectural Press (for more information about the archives, visit aaa.si.edu). It’s highly recommended, as it’s jammed with visual treasures just like this one.

(Click on the image for a larger image.)
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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The remarkable rabbits of Sigmund Freud’s niece
03.10.2015
10:50 am

Topics:
Animals
Art

Tags:
Sigmund Freud
Tom Seidmann-Freud


 
These remarkable dreamlike images come from a 1924 book that came out in Germany called Buch der Hasengeschichten (“Book of Rabbit Stories”). The author published under the name Tom Seidmann-Freud, but her given name was Martha Gertrud Freud—her mother, Maria Freud, who went by “Mitzi,” was one of Sigmund Freud’s five sisters. Martha was born in Vienna in 1892 but her family moved to Berlin in 1898. As a teenager she adopted the name “Tom.” In 1920 she met a writer named Jakob Seidmann, whom she married two years later.
 

Tom Seidmann-Freud
 
In 1924 Seidmann-Freud published Buch der Hasengeschichten through the Peregrin Verlag (Peregrin Publishing Company). Over the next few years, she published a number of incredibly distinctive children’s books, the most famous of which is Die Fischreise (The Fish’s Journey) of 1923. As Marjorie Ingall writes in Tablet, “She hung out with Berlin’s avant-garde crowd, as well as with her family’s academic and Zionist friends. … Her style involved outlining folk-art-y, simple illustrations precisely in ink, then filling them in with watercolors. She frequently used stencils and paint together in a bright, lively technique called pochoir.”

In the space of few months, both Tom and Jakob committed suicide for reasons stemming from financial troubles. Sources differ on the exact reason—German Wikipedia says blandly that they had founded Peregrin Verlag, which ran into difficulties when the global financial crisis that started in 1929 arrived. Ingall isolates the problem with a separate venture called Ophir Verlag, which was to be a publishing company specializing in Hebrew books for children. That story involves a third party named Chaim Nachman Bialik, whose failure to live up to his obligations led to their suicides. Ingall cites a letter from 1925, suggesting that the money problems had been going on for a while, although the culpability of Bialik is simply not established in her account. Whatever the reason, it was clearly financial in nature; Jakob hanged himself in October 1929 and, now suffering from depression, Tom died of an overdose of sleeping pills in February 1930.
 

 
According to Ingall, during the Nazi regime her children’s books became destroyed in great numbers as part of the purge of Jewish authors—we’re lucky that her works survived the Third Reich, thanks for Seidmann-Freud’s family members as well as art lovers. 

Will Schofield calls the book “whimsically apocalyptic,” which seems entirely apropos—I’m a little puzzled for his use of the term “rabbit dreams,” which seems a little misleading. Seidmann-Freud was trained as a Jugendstil artist, and her vibrant, imaginative, purposefully “flat” images definitely have a powerful, untethered, dreamlike quality all their own. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
via 50 Watts

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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