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Gorgeous images from the opening sequences of James Bond films (without the text)
08.17.2016
12:38 pm

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Art
Movies

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A shot from the opening sequence for the 1964 film, ‘Goldfinger.’
 
Back in 1961 visual artist Maurice Binder (who got his start creating department store ads for retail giant Macy’s) presented an idea to Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli that would become an intrinsic part of their James Bond movie franchise—the famous title sequence that featured naked girls, guns and of course Mr. Bond caught in the sights of a gun barrell.
 

The famous ‘gun barrel’ shot originally conceived by Maurice Binder. This one taken from 1969’s ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ starring George Lazenby.
 
According to Binder his pitch to Saltzman and Broccoli was put together on the fly after he had been contacted by the studio when his title sequence for the 1961 film The Grass is Greener caught their attention. Binder was asked to adapt some similar ideas for the opening sequence for Dr. No. The storyboard that Binder brought to the fateful meeting was cobbled together with white price tag stickers that served as a means to convey gunshots floating across the screen. Needless to say Saltzman and Broccoli dug his pitch and Binder’s overall original concept—that included the image of a Bond viewed through the scope of a gun—became an important part of the films’ success.

When it comes to how later Bond titles sequences would come to be realized, we have Robert Brownjohn to thank. As a student at the Institute of Design in Chicago Brownjohn studied under the tutelage of Hungarian-born artist, painter and photographer László Moholy-Nagy. Moholy-Nagy, a former professor of the Bauhaus School helped influence a technique used by Brownjohn of projecting in-motion footage onto the bodies of his subjects (which Moholy-Nagy used in his early films in the 1920s) when he created the title sequences for From Russia with Love in 1963 and perhaps the most memorable Bond title sequence in the franchise’s history, 1964’s Goldfinger. Brownjohn was also the brainchild behind covering model Margaret Nolan in gold paint. Shortly after Goldfinger’s success the artist’s relationship with Saltzman and Broccoli became contentious and Binder returned and would go on to create every Bond film title sequence until 1989’s Licence To Kill. He too often used the technique of projecting films onto the models.

I can’t lie—I’m a sucker for the Bond franchise especially the ones that star Sean Connery (and the dashing George Lazenby who briefly took over for Connery for 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service). When I was recently watching yet another James Bond marathon I became focused on the opening sequences. What struck me was the gorgeous placidity of the images when you got to gaze at them for a moment without the credits popping up. Which sent me off in search of finding said images sans credits—and I wasn’t disappointed. And I’m sure you won’t be either. Check them out below and a video of what the opening sequence looks like without the help of text for A View to a Kill.
 

‘The Spy Who Loved Me,’ 1977.
 

‘Licence to Kill,’ 1989.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Keith Haring’s vision of Manhattan as lots and lots of penises
08.16.2016
02:21 pm

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Art
Queer
Sex

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Of the ‘80s class of NYC artists, graffitist Keith Haring probably punctured the mainstream deepest of all (lots of points awarded to Barbara Kruger for “I Shop Therefore I Am,” though). But while middle America delighted in t-shirts and tote bags of his famous “Radiant Baby” and three-eyed smiley face, Haring directly confronted Apartheid, perceptions of homosexuality, and the AIDS crisis, especially between his 1988 AIDS diagnosis and his 1990 death.

But well before that diagnosis, Haring depicted gay male sexuality much more playfully—in the late ‘70s, he executed a series of simple graphite drawings depicting Manhattan as an island of dick. Buildings, streets and people are all rendered as the kind of cartoon dicks you can find any given 8th grade boy doodling in study hall, but Haring being Haring, his renditions are quite wonderful. They’ve been compiled onto the new book Manhattan Penis Drawings for Ken Hicks. Per Hyperallergic:

Haring envisions the city as a kingdom of phalluses: he transforms Manhattan’s churches, skyscrapers, and fire hydrants into architectural penises. The Twin Towers become twin penises. There are penises drawn in front of Tiffany’s, in front of the Museum of Modern Art, while “waiting for a yam.” There are minimalist penises, composed of as few lines as possible. There are also Gucci penises, alphabet penises, flying torpedo penises, optical illusion penises, deconstructed penises, “actual size” tracings of penises, and clusters of penises on the subway at rush hour.

Unlike his “popnography” works in series like Sex is Life is Sex, Manhattan Penis Drawings are about as erotic as Dr. Seuss creatures, desexualized and abstracted into weird shapes ... they’re a light, playful version of his then-controversial pop celebration of gay male sexuality.

There’s sort of an underground precedent for a collection like this in Raymond Pettibon’s limited artist’s book Thinking of You, but that’s a much darker work—Pettibon’s penises are shadowy and menacing monoliths compared to Haring’s sprightly everydicks. Images here are reproduced from the book’s publisher, the Zurich-based Nieves. Since they’re, you know, pictures of dicks, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to be careful if you’re reading this at work?
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Revolting Teens Lose Their MINDS! The awesome illustrated covers of ‘Punk Magazine’
08.16.2016
01:03 pm

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Amusing
Art
Punk

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The cover of the first issue of ‘Punk Magazine’ featuring an illustration of Lou Reed by John Holmstrom, January, 1976.
 
Many of the excellent illustrated covers of Punk Magazine in this post were done by the zine’s cofounder John Holmstrom—the man behind the cover of the Ramones album Road to Ruin and Rocket to Russia as well as other illustrated oddities since embarking on his long career as an artist.
 

Members of the Sex Pistols and Malcolm Mclaren perusing issue #12 of ‘Punk’ featuring an illustration of Robert Gordon on the cover
 
A dear friend of mine recently gifted me with a copy of Holmstrom’s 2012 book The Very Best of Punk Magazine and I haven’t put the massive thing down in a month. Though Punk only published for a few short years the book itself is a literal goldmine of punk rock artifacts from beautiful reprints of hard-to-find early issues of Punk, photos, essays and even handwritten anecdotes from Lou Reed, journalist Lester Bangs, Debbie Harry, cartoons drawn by R. Crumb and other visual time-capsules too numerous to mention.

While I’m sure that many of our DM readers already own a copy of this heirloom, if you are not one of them I highly recommend picking one up as it is a much a joy to read as it is just to look at. One of my favorite parts of the book were the images of the illustrated covers of Punk the epitome Holmstrom’s cartoony DIY style which some liken to a giant punk rock coloring book. It’s almost criminal that you can find hardcover copies of the book for about $20 bucks out there but you can and it’s well worth the small investment especially if your memories of the 70s are fuzzy thanks to all that bad acid you dropped and whatnot.

Holmstrom recently announced that he is selling some items from his personal collection such as the first issue of Punk
(pictured at the top of this post). More comic-styled images from the covers of Punk follow.
 

The cover of issue #10 of ‘Punk Magazine’ featuring a big-headed version of Blondie.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Moebius Collector Cards’: Gallery of Moebius trading cards from the early 90s
08.15.2016
11:56 am

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The Coordinator
 
Jean Henri Gaston Giraud, or Moebius, is one of the great visionary cartoonists of our time. He cofounded the influential magazine Métal hurlant in 1975, which was the venue for his fantastic stories Arzach (which used no words at all) and The Airtight Garage. Moebius famously teamed up with Alexander Jodorowsky for the L’Incal series as well as the much-lamented movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, but it never came to pass.

In 1993 a company called Comic Images put out a gorgeous series called “Moebius Collector Cards,” of which there were about 100. We’ve selected a few for you below, but you can see the entire set at catawiki.
 

Sexual Sorceress
 

“Sir”
 
More Moebius after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The king of rolling joints and his smokable artwork
08.15.2016
08:34 am

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Amusing
Art
Drugs

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001smokejes.jpg
 
Tony Greenland is the king of rolling joints. Not just your standard doobie but a whole array of incredible joint artworks—from comic book superheroes and cartoon characters to dinosaurs, guns and Jesus.

Tony has made a career out of his joint rolling skills. He resides in Oregon where recreational marijuana was legalized in 2015. He spends his time dreaming up and then creating weird and wonderful designs which can be smoked. Check out his other designs at Smokeable Art.
 
00smokedino.jpg
 
002smokepicka.jpg
 
More stunning joint works, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Highly detailed action figures of King Diamond, Alice Cooper, Lemmy, Mad Max & more!
08.12.2016
01:57 pm

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Art
Movies
Music

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A custom figure of Lemmy Kilmister by ‘Elvis 1976’ (or Sébastien Bontemps’ if you prefer…)
 
If you read Dangerous Minds on a regular basis then you know that from time to time myself or one of my intrepid colleagues enjoy spotlighting various action figures based on bands like Crass or perhaps a poseable version of Al Pacino’s portrayal fictional cocaine-gobbling drug lord Tony Montana from Scarface. If you dig these kinds of posts then I’ve no doubt that you will soon be coveting the custom action figures by Brussels-based artist Sébastien Bontemps who works under the moniker “Elvis 1976.”

Bontemps’ interest with action figure customization started with a Joker figure released by DC Comics in the late 2000s and though his exceptional creations are generally “one-offs” it does appear that the talented artist sells his figures from time to time. You can find out how to purchase one by contacting the folks over at One Sixth Warriors for more information.

If you’re more of a movie memorabilia kind of collector I’ve no doubt that Bontemps’ highly detailed take on the most famous mohawked member of Lord Humungus’ Marauders from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, the completely badass crossbow-wielding Wez will make your head spin. Images of some of my favorite inhabitants of Bontemps’ ultra-cool world follow. 
 

King Diamond!
 

Super Duper Alice Cooper.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
AR-15s, raw meat, cupcakes and kittens: The luscious, hyper-realistic paintings of Marc Dennis
08.12.2016
10:52 am

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Art

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Marc Dennis, Dragonslayer, 2011
 
Painter Marc Dennis has a cheeky meta-style often incorporating famous works of art into his hyper-realistic paintings. He has one that features a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader viewing a Picasso, and another where a museum-goer’s head blocks the vulva in Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World. Dennis also likes iconographic figures like rappers or say, the Incredible Hulk, and his paintings tend to be a blend of modern pop and recognizable art world imagery. It can be a little heavy-handed at times, but the stuff in his Honey Bunny show—which takes its name from a Jeff Koons balloon bunny reproduction trinket featured in some of the paintings—is a bit more subtle and intriguing.

Dennis goes hard for contrast—kittens and guns, a fluffy dog and raw meat—favoring firearms with desserts or cute things to convey strangely masculine still lifes and pet portraiture. Dennis views his work as a sort of statement on paternity, saying in a live gallery interview:

The body of paintings that are represented in this exhibition have to do with one, my being an American male, a husband, a daddy—but most importantly a parent and the whole notion of being the dragon-slayer, the ultimate protector of my family. Hence the guns, the meat, the carcasses, the death, fragility.

The work is pretty macho for sure, but it has a sense of humor about itself, and the paintings themselves have a lushness and mystery that draws the eye.
 

Marc Dennis, Biggy Kitty, 2011
 

Marc Dennis, Divine Love, 2011
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
They Drive By Night: The bizarre, profane and fantastically WEIRD art of QSL cards (NSFW)
08.11.2016
05:31 pm

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Art
History

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I recently discovered the fascinating world of QSL cards, artifacts of an era before the Internet and iPhones when truckers and ham radio operators employed lines of communication made of tubes, transistors and magnetic coils. While surfing the ‘net, I stumbled upon Michelle Cross’s truly amazing collection of QSL cards. It was a stunning find: Thousands upon thousands of some of the weirdest art I’d ever encountered. It was mysterious and evocative. An underground culture where taboos were broken and secret off ramps lead to hidden worlds where truckin’ met fuckin. Racist, sexist, mucho macho and sometimes satirical, QSL cards were Facebook for the men (and few women) who drove by night. Lonely, restless, jacked-up on greenies and white line fever, looking to connect on the asphalt Interweb, always suspended in a state between here and there.

I asked Michelle Cross to write about her incredible QSL card collection (200,000 and growing) and she responded with enthusiasm. Read and enjoy.

When citizen’s band (CB) radio technology emerged in the early 1960s, operators initially used QSL cards in much the same way as ham operators did, to confirm and follow up on contacts made over the air. As CB radio grew in popularity in North America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, QSL cards became a more creative and freeform hobby, and a community formed around them. Participants would design a card or have one designed for them, get copies printed locally or by mail order, and start trading and collecting.
 

 
Not every CBer got involved with QSL cards; to put it in perspective, there were tens of millions of people on CB radio during its heyday, but only tens of thousands making and exchanging QSL cards. Those who did would often make and exchange hundreds or thousands of cards each, often without ever having spoken to one another over the air.
 

 
Professional illustrators and printers began to offer QSL card services. Some artists would create collectible numbered series of their work. Enthusiasts would order multiple cards from different artists and printers. QSL swap clubs were started to facilitate collecting and would have dozens and sometimes hundreds of members. CBers would meet up at events, jamborees or what they’d call “coffee breaks” and could trade and order more cards in person. The hobby spread across North America, and had a presence in Europe and the UK as well. It began to decline in the late 1970s and was essentially over by the early to mid 1980s.
 

 
I first encountered some QSL cards in an antique shop in the early 2000s. Growing up in the 90s I was really into independent and underground art, media and culture, especially zines, so I’d always gravitated towards obscure printed matter. QSL cards definitely resonated with me on a similar level as zines had, but it took a while to figure out what on earth they were. I did some research and found a few more, but there was almost no information outside of what was contained in the cards themselves and whatever I could find out from people who were originally involved. There was no evidence that anyone had made a systematic attempt to preserve and document them, so I started a website and kept collecting. It’s now the largest known collection of its kind. It currently numbers around 200,000 cards but is by no means complete or exhaustive. Information is hard to come by. Often the original participants have passed away or have forgotten many of the details after half a century, so the history is patchy, but the cards themselves provide a lot of information and insight.
 

 
The cards were a form of social media for their time, a snapshot of almost everything going on in society and culture, taboos and all. I like to showcase the cards that hint at strange, underground and taboo activities and themes, but as a whole, QSL cards were never limited to one particular subculture or scene.
 

 
QSL graphics range from primitive line drawings to R. Crumb-like stylishness. I have yet to track anyone down who can tell me anything about Michel Dumais and his artist Henry Paul. They designed hundreds of cards and were pretty much the only professional QSL card printer and artist in Quebec. “Runnin Bare” is a man named Jesse from the Pacific Northwest. He was not only an artist but a printer too. His company printed millions of cards designed by him and other artists in the 1970s. He designed a few thousand Runnin Bare cards himself, and also hired a few artists to draw series under his name. Runnin Bare himself was not a very sexy or explicit artist—his cartoons and jokes are mostly tame and lighthearted. Between the demands of the work and a personal tragedy (the loss of a young daughter) he eventually burned out on the caricature cartoon style and gravitated more towards nature drawings by the end.
 
More QSL excitement after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Tour the bohemian Lower East Side of 1995 for alternative fashion, underground art and punk opera!
08.11.2016
11:02 am

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Art
History
Music

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These videos, from documentarian Corey Shaff, are a record of a New York long since passed, despite being only 20 years old. Yes, the rapid gentrification of the Lower East side has rendered the areas you see here nearly unrecognizable, but before you bemoan the lost “real” NYC, it’s worth remembering that the changing landscape of New York is its most consistent feature—you’ll notice some of the subjects in these shorts talking about how different the neighborhood is from the one they remember. Of course the most recent changes in New York has left it all but unlivable for the working people and artists it once boasted, though somehow they keep coming, and finding a way to stay.

Shaff covers some fascinating ground in these three little shorts. There’s a five-minute tour of Ludlow Street, where little theaters and punk bridal shops and millineries exist alongside older businesses, like a pillow shop where the owner still uses techniques from the old country. It’s a cool look at at artistically thriving area with old and new artisans—there’s even a shot of The Mercury Lounge with its original signage at the end. The longer second film centers on 2B, a gritty art space that operate for nine years before being replaced by a corporate drug store. My favorite film is the third one, a look at the Amato Opera House on the Bowery. The tiny little venue had world class artists crammed onto a tiny stage, spitting distance from the audience, for a truly intimate yet grand experience. Shaff’s wife Stefanie Lindahl says the documentary was a little too gritty for some viewers:

I remember how Corey wanted to juxtapose the Bowery ‘bums’ with the goings on within the opera house, but PBS nixed the idea as ‘too scary,’ so he had to cut out the footage.

It’s a weirdly selective documentary that covers the Bowery in ‘95 yet leaves out the bums, but this is the sentiment and aversion that has shaped the New York of today—one that prefers Applebee’s to artists.

Watch ‘em after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘The Insult’: The web comic that makes a mockery of making a man out of ‘Mac’
08.10.2016
11:45 am

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Amusing
Art
Pop Culture
Sports

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“The Insult that Made a Man out of ‘Mac’” (or a variation on the theme) was impossible to avoid if you read practically ANY comic book between the 1940s and the 1980s—and maybe beyond. It was an ad for the Charles Atlas “Dynamic-Tension” fitness program—our hero, a weakling named “Mac,” is humiliated in front of his girlfriend by an archetypal sand-kicking bully on the beach. Later, at home, wounded by the affront, Mac subscribes to the Atlas Dynamic-Tension program and quickly becomes a he-man cut like a Greek statue. He returns to the scene of his emasculation to knock the bully down with a single punch and become the “HERO OF THE BEACH!” His girlfriend of course immediately returns to his side, but other women are taking notice of the musclebound Mac, sooooo…
 

 
I am frankly baffled by a contradiction as regards the longevity of that ad. Not that it doesn’t deserve its classic status—disregard for the moment the cringeworthiness of its deference to violent machismo and misogyny and note how well it adheres to the “Hero’s Journey” template, though it first appeared years before Joseph Campbell named and described that literary trope in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. My problem is just that, OK, look, obviously people were buying the program or the ad wouldn’t have run in every comic for decades, but male comics fanatics aren’t exactly reputed for being chiseled physical specimens (obviously there are exceptions but go to a con and tell me how much beefcake you see). If the ad was so successful, wouldn’t the opposite be the case? Wouldn’t the comic shop guy on The Simpsons be an Adonis instead of an obese, embittered, overlooked snob?

I’m tempted to conclude that nobody who bought the book actually followed through with it.

The ad’s eternal appeal has made it fit matter for parody, and indeed, it’s been parodied plenty. Recently, John “Derf” Backderf, the Eisner-winning author of Trashed and My Friend Dahmer (we’ve told you about him before), hipped me to “The Insult,” a webcomic that’s detourned the ad nearly 100 times. Currently, its creator Scott Marshall is posting a new one every day in a lead-up both to his own birthday and to this weekend’s Dartmouth Comics Arts Festival in Nova Scotia. If you have an idea for an “Insult” strip, Marshall maintains an online suggestion box.

Here’s an assortment of strips. Dangerous Minds’ column width makes them a little small to read properly, but a mouse click will spawn an enlargement.
 

 

 
More ‘Insults’ after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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