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‘Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich’: Beloved, off-putting actor recreates photography masterpieces
07:05 am


John Malkovich
Sandro Miller

Andy Warhol, Green Marilyn (1962)
Holy fuck, has it really been fifteen years since Being John Malkovich came out? I still think of that as a “new” movie, but of course it’s not anymore.

Everyone’s favorite scene from Being John Malkovich is the brief reverie in which we discover what happens when John Malkovich himself descends into the Malkovich portal (that scene is embedded below). If you’re in Chicago this holiday season, you might want to take an hour to check out an amusing photography exhibit that seems inspired by that very scene, even the title. Sandro Miller’s “ Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters” is a whimsical and yet, by all appearances, high-overhead project in which Miller has recreated roughly thirty of the most famous portraits of the twentieth century, by photographers famous enough for you to have heard of—names like Avedon, Arbus, Lange, Warhol, Mapplethorpe, Halsman, Leibovitz, etc. You can catch it from November 7 to January 31 at Catherine Edelman Gallery on 300 W. Superior St in Chicago. The whole thing is quite a hoot—Malkovich’s fleshy mug manages (in part thanks to Being John Malkovich) to imbue every last pic with a feeling of faux-pompous levity.

Miller and Malkovich have collaborated before. In 2011 we brought you this bizarre video short called “Butterflies,” directed by Miller and featuring Malkovich.

Diane Arbus, Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967)

Arthur Sasse, Albert Einstein Sticking Out His Tongue (1951)

David Bailey, Mick Jagger “Fur Hood” (1964)

Philippe Halsman, Salvador Dalí (1954)

Pierre et Gilles, Jean Paul Gaultier (1990)

Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936)
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Firearms are a girl’s best friend: Handguns beautifully embellished by Tiffany’s
05:02 am



Smith and Wesson .44 New Model No. 3 Single-Action Revolver, serial no. 25120, sent to Tiffany’s in November of 1888
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany that would make your head spin—lighting, jewelry, furniture, stained glass landscapes—all manner of lux design with those trademark Tiffany saturated colors and organic shapes. It was a family business. It was only after the death of his father Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1902 that Louis Comfort Tiffany start really focusing on jewelry design and more romantic pieces.

Prior to Louis’ redirection of the brand, the Tiffany name was associated with luxury glass and silver goods of a much more robust variety, like the collection of handguns you see here from the Met. There is art nouveau, distinct middle eastern and Japanese influences, and ornate engraving reminiscent of scrimshaw. Some of the pieces were displayed at exhibitions to demonstrate Tiffany’s gorgeous work, the others were commissioned for wealthy patrons. One would imagine such finery would be kept somewhere in a glass case as a conversation piece, but you’ll notice some wear and tear on some of the pieces that may be evidence of use.

Detail from the 25120

Detail from the 25120

Detail from the 25120

Smith and Wesson New Model No. 3, .44 Caliber Double-Action Navy Revolver, serial no. 23060, shown at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago,1893

Detail from the 23060
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Pricasso: The artist who uses his penis as a paintbrush (NSFW)
07:07 am


penis art

Meet Pricasso—the artist who uses his penis as a paintbrush.

Australian artist Pricasso (real name Tim Patch) started using his dick as a brush after watching a performance of Puppetry of the Penis in 2005. Inspired by those genital gymnasts, Tim decided to see if he could draw a smiley face with his wang on the back of a public urinal. He did, and this first success encouraged Patch to paint with his wee man.

After telling friends of his newly discovered penile skills, Patch was dared to paint portraits at a New Year’s party. In 2006, Tim became Pricasso, (allegedly) the only artist who paints with his penis.
Over the past eight years Pricasso has entertained audiences across the world painting portraits and landscapes with his dick, balls and ass. Sometimes he paints at parties—but these “can get a bit out of hand,” and he’s even “painted directly onto naked women’s bodies.”

Pricasso’s portraits look like the kind of caricatures painted by artists around tourist hot spots in London, Paris, or Rome—happy, smiling faces in bright primary colors. Speed is of the essence and Pricasso can paint a recognizable portrait in twenty minutes. As regular paints erode the skin, Pricasso has created his own water based colors. He further protects his skin by covering his genitals and buttocks with vaseline before applying the paints with his manhood. Looking a bit like Frank N. Furter’s Rocky, the buffed and toned sixty-something Pricasso paints in the nude, and a commissioned portrait will cost between $299 and $1,000.
But slapping his genitals all over a canvas is not Pricasso’s only talent, he enjoys writing poetry about the thing that is closest to his art:

I’ll always remember the words my mother said
the day I was born- as she lay in her bed
as they handed me too her- here is your son
those words they still haunt me
He’s bloody well hung.

At school I exposed it to all of the kids
the big ones all loved it- and I loved what they did
my schoolwork shrank- and I got lots of spankings
but it rapidly grew- from constantly wanking.

Pricasso has traveled all over the world, and will be visiting Miami in November. Check here for more details.

More from the undisputed master of penis painting after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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‘My Rules’: Glen E. Friedman book documents hardcore punk, hip hop, skaters and YOU NEED IT
07:18 am

Pop Culture

Glen E. Friedman

I don’t normally write posts and say “you must own this!” but… you’ve gotta get this! Glen E. Friedman’s new My Rules (Rizzoli) is simply stunning. A real masterpiece! I was happier than a pig in shit when I got it in the mail a few weeks ago. It was a very pleasant—and unexpected—surprise indeed. I couldn’t wait to unwrap it out of its packaging and tear through it! The book is a glorious MONSTER, with huge color photographs and amazing B&W images. Hugeness is a major factor in its favor, and the hardcover is sort of “quilted” and textured in a manner unlike any book I’ve ever owned. As an object/publication, it’s… a simply stunning presentation of a photographer’s life’s work, one of the best you’ll ever see. An event! Who is there… what ONE photographer was around as many important scenes as Friedman? Hip hop, hardcore, skaters, he was there, he was in the midst of it and with this book you really get a sense of that. It’s not just a bunch of amazing photographs, the selection becomes a sort of autobiography of the person who documented all of these moments: He was there.

Darren “Buffy” Robinson - Fat Boys - 1985 - Venice Beach, ©Glen E. Friedman
Glen’s work splendidly captures historic moments in time. Moments of 70s skate culture, punk, post punk, hardcore, 80s hip hop and early-90s indie rock. Underground cultures that will never happen again (or at least not as cool as they were then!). I have to admit though, I got really nostalgic and almost a bit weepy while looking at these photographs. They reminded me of being young again. My youth. Something I ain’t ever going to get back. They drummed up memories of me hanging out with my childhood friends (some sadly deceased now) just kicking it in my parents’ basement playing records or driving around in my first boyfriend’s pick-up truck blasting Minor Threat. Fun times. Good times.

I love this book for so many reasons.

The Make-Up - 1995 - New York City, ©Glen E. Friedman

Think of any iconic image of Run DMC, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, and Beastie Boys, or the gravity defying revolutionary skateboarding legends Tony Alva, Jay Adams, or Stacy Peralta. It is almost certain that Glen E. Friedman was the man behind the camera. Since the mid-1970s as a young teenager, Friedman has been chronicling quintessential moments of underground and counterculture movements.

Glen E. Friedman’s My Rules serves as a history book for the three powerhouse countercultures—skateboarding, punk, and hip-hop. From the earliest days Friedman was present to capture the pivotal and defining moments in music and street movements that were largely unknown or ignored. The energy and rebellion comes through in these famous and some never-before-seen iconic images.

Moses Padilla - 1978 - West LA, ©Glen E. Friedman

As a side note: It was extremely difficult for me to pick the images for this post. I mean, they’re all so damned wonderful! ALL of them! Here are a few choice selections from My Rules below:

Jello Biafra - 1981 - Hollywood, ©Glen E. Friedman

Flavor Flav and Chuck D. - 1987, ©Glen E. Friedman

Junk Yard Band - 1986 - Washington D.C., ©Glen E. Friedman

More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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‘The Diatomist’: Explore the creation of microscopic kaleidoscopic Victorian-era artforms

The Diatomist is a short documentary about Klaus Kemp, master of the Victorian art of diatom arrangement.

Diatoms are single cell algae that can be found virtually anywhere where there is standing water. Drains, ponds, bird baths, that’s where they live, invisible to the naked eye until the discovery of the microscope. For protection, the tiny organisms create a glass-like shell around themselves, almost like they are living jewels. During the Victorian era, microscopists would arrange diatoms into elaborate and kaleidoscopic patterns—think of it as a rough equivalent of building a ship in a bottle, but with some of the tiniest microorganism to be found on Earth. Their meticulous works, marrying art and science could only be viewed under a microscope.

Since he was a teenager, Mr. Kemp has devoted his career to creating stunning diatom arrangements and is acknowledged as the last great practitioner of this artform. Matthew Killip’s exquisitely beautiful short film The Diatomist showcases his incredible work.

Director’s Statement:

I’m really interested in the way people interact with the natural world (I’ve previously made a series of short documentaries for UK TV about working relationships with monkeys and apes. I’m also a huge admirer of the Victorian naturalists ... So I was very excited when I recently saw my first Diatom arrangements, by the German master JD Möller (1844 - 1907).  The arrangements really embody that beautiful combination of art and science one can find in the period, and I loved seeing the hand of man display the work of nature so beautifully. The overwhelming variety and intricacy of diatoms can’t help but recall Darwin: “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

I was very curious to see if anyone still practiced diatom arrangement and also to find out how it was done. I managed to track down Klaus Kemp in the UK—he’s really the only person doing this to a professional level (he’s able to make a living from a small base of collectors) - and filmed with him for one afternoon in December 2013. During the filming Klaus told me all the Victorian diatomists took their secrets to the grave, so there was no accurate information on the practice when he first started, aged sixteen. It has taken him years to be able to create these stunning microscopic slides of arranged diatoms, and although The Diatomist is a modest short film I hope it does some justice to what really is Klaus’ life’s work.


All diatom arrangements and photographs by Klaus Kemp. Soundtrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Bernard Herrmann and Cults Percussion Ensemble.

Matthew Killip is an English filmmaker living in New York. His documentaries have been broadcast on UK television and exhibited in festivals around the world including Sundance and True/False.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Local Grandmother Quilts Giant Penises’ (SFW)
06:19 am



Holly Stewart, aka “HollyPolyester,” manages to combine cute, funny, feminist and kitsch with her Master’s thesis “Local Grandmother Quilts Giant Penises: An exploration of the phallus as the site of female empowerment and the rightful status of the crone in contemporary society.” The Kansas City grandmother is studying Studio Art at University of Missouri-Kansas City. and she worked for a time in a sex-toy factory, removing dildos from their molds. So really, her foray into chintzy wangs was an artistic inevitability! Though Stewart enjoys the giggles, her (pink) press release manages to convey an exhibit of genitalia with remarkable dignity:

UMKC student Holly Stewart (HollyPolyester) is to present her M.A. thesis exhibition, which will feature a variety of both large and small sculptural works and installations. Utilizing craft-oriented techniques and materials such as quilting and beading, Stewart appropriates the penis as a symbol of power while contextualizing her work within “third wave” feminist theory.

They’re not just penises, people—they’re penises with artistic legitimacy (which is way more than you could say for most dicks in art.) Today is actually the last day her work will show at the UMKC Gallery, but with all the praise her phallic crafts have received, perhaps her show should be extended.

Size is one thing, but duration’s really the key!

A Mike Kelley-influenced clusterfuck?






Via Beautiful Decay

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Keeping your eyes and mind busy: Jasper Johns Ideas in Paint
08:51 am


Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns is circumspect when talking about his work. He has said it does not matter what art evokes “as long as it keeps your eyes and mind busy.”

You’ll come up with your own use for it. And at different times you’ll come up with different uses.

Johns thinks the meaning of art is a mood created between the viewer and the work. What inspired the work or what the artist thinks it may mean is of little interest—well, as far as Johns is concerned.

The thing is, if you believe in the unconscious—and I do—there’s room for all kinds of possibilities that I don’t know how you prove one way or another.

Saying too much can undermine the mystery which makes his work so involving, while explanations can often sound banal.

One would like not to be led, avoid the idea of the puzzle which could be solved, remove the signs of thought, it is not thought that needs showing.

Yet the human need for narrative structure and resolution has created a weight of academic and critical texts that range from curious insight to indefensible bullshit.

Though Johns has said he does not want his work to be an exposure of his feelings, his most recent exhibition Regrets shown early this year at MOMA centered around the loss of friends (Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon) and lovers (Robert Rachensberg, Cy Twombly). The source for his series of paintings and prints was an old photograph of Freud seated on a bed (taken by John Deakin, commissioned by Bacon) which seemed to offer a fascinating glimpse into Johns’ feelings on the death of his friends and lovers.

In 1988, Jasper Johns represented America at the Venice Biennale where he presented a series of:

...difficult works, intense, even hermetic, loaded with personal symbols, involved with issues of mortality and fate, with which American modernist art after Abstract Expressionism has generally been uncomfortable.

He won the Grand Prize and was hailed as the heir to Rembrandt. In this documentary Johns Jasper: Ideas in Paint we follow Johns in preparation for the show, hear friends and fellow artists discuss his work, and are given a rare interview with the artist himself, where he remains quietly cautious.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Awesome ‘Rockford Files’ diorama available on eBay
08:43 am


James Garner
The Rockford Files

How incredible was the charm of James Garner? This is true: When I was a kid in the 1970s, my parents watched zero prime time TV programming, none; they were way too snobby for that, they looked down on TV. Back then there wasn’t anything good on TV, it would be said just constantly that TV was a cultural wasteland and there was nothing good on it. But such was the unsurpassed, easygoing likeability of James Garner that my parents did watch The Rockford Files. I’d be put to bed, and before nodding off I’d hear, from the next room over, that infectious theme song.......

Garner passed away in July, which makes this an excellent moment to indulge in this incredible diorama of Jim Rockford’s beachfront trailer situation, available on eBay. An enterprising Minnesotan put his or her blood, sweat, and tears into this beauty, and it can be all yours for ... well, we’ll see how much when the auction ends in a few days.

User toastiecoastie writes:

This is an HO scale diorama of the famous tv series The Rockford Files.The base is 12x12 inches.None of the details are attached to the base other than the rocks and foliage. This way you can set up the diorama any way you wish. All the details that you see in the photos are included. All is scratch built. The vehicles have been modified to represent those in the show. The figures are easily detached from their base as they are hobby tacked down.

I wonder if this diorama would be less alluring to me if I lived in Los Angeles…. the romance of a crappy trailer on the beach, it’s powerful stuff.





Here’s a supercut of all of the answering machine messages from the credits of Season 1:

via Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Move over Tom of Finland, macho Japanese gay comic art is soooooo hot right now
01:28 pm



Watch out Tom of Finland, there’s a new milieu of gay nationalist iconography in town! Massive is a new brand producing clothing, accessories, art and original and translated books centered on gay manga—meaning Japanese comic books celebrating bears, bears and more bears! I’m generally of the opinion that pin-up art has jumped the shark, but these manly men are just as delightful as they are niche—sort an army of Bettie Gay-ge’s!

The art itself is really charming: sophisticated, without being pretentious or self-important. Japanese artist Jiraiya comments on his work for the the sweatshirt above:

These two guys have the same muscle mass, but I’d guess different body fat percentages. In my opinion, they’re a perfect couple. But if they fight, their house will be partially destroyed.

And how!

I don’t know about you, but much I’d rather wear this than one of those bland, now ubiquitous American Apparel “Legalize Gay” shirts. Between that jumper and my Hüsker Dü tee, bear culture will always have a place in my wardrobe… but never in the closet!



More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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World’s first ever cake-themed edible Halloween ‘horror farm’
10:07 am


Miss Cakehead

As grotesque as the above image of a life-size slaughtered pig is, it’s actually a very well-crafted vegan cake made by Miss Cakehead. I’ve been following her work since 2009 and she never lets you down with her genius edible creations. Perhaps you’ll recall back in 2013 Miss Cakehead made a deliciously demented life-size Dexter cake in honor of the TV show’s final season.

This year for Halloween she’s outdone herself with the World’s first ever edible horror farm.

What is a horror farm you ask? Well don’t pry too much because we all know how the curious cat ended up… If you do want to come and investigate the strange goings on here though, you might do well to bring a friend – we don’t want anyone picked off. Those select few brave enough to venture into the woods will witness, gorge, and be hunted through the world’s most terrifying cake installation, and those that make it out will ensure it is THE most talked about scare attraction of 2014.

Now, I’m not entirely sure of this installation’s message since all the “animals” are made of cake. Is it to show meat is murder? The reality of a slaughterhouse? Or is it just a gross-out Halloween attraction that’s not really all that gross in the end? I don’t know.

The “edible horror farm” will be open to the public starting on October 29 and runs through November 1 in Letchworth Garden City, England. More then.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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