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The Sad Truth: Nauseatingly profound illustrations of what the world is turning into


 
Everything that’s bleak about the modern world is wrapped-up like a perfect, little package with these illustrations by London-based artist and animator, Steve Cutts. Rampant consumerism. Shitty jobs. Environmental devastation. Disinformation. Nonsense. Billionaire psychopaths. Overcrowded cities—all present and accounted for. We’ve featured Cutts’ work here on DM before with his dark animation about the current lives of ‘80s cartoon characters.

If a picture paints a thousand words, these pieces are Molotov cocktails for the mind.


 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Top this, Burning Man! Amusing new ‘Domestikator’ building is semi-NSFW
08.21.2015
08:28 am

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Art
Sex

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The theme of this year’s Ruhr Triennale in northwestern Germany is “Seid umschlungen,” a phrase from Friedrich Schiller‘s “Ode to Joy” that translates as “be embraced”—a directive that may have been willfully, and amusingly, misunderstood by one of the festival’s contributors.

The Dutch design company Atelier Van Lieshout has created a massive edifice in Bochum, Germany, called “Domestikator” that includes two linked structures that look distinctly like two human beings in the throes of sexual passion. The fuller installation of which it is a part is called “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
 

 
The centerpiece of the installation is the “Refectorium,” and it also includes the “BarRectum,” which “takes its shape from the human digestive system,” according to designboom

According to Lost at E Minor’s Inigo del Castillo, the building is intended “to symbolise humanity’s abuse of power, domesticating anything and everything it can get its hands on, including taboos and ethical dilemmas like bestiality.”

Yeah, right.
 

 

 

 
via Lost at E Minor

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Delightful photos of heavy metal fans, captured in mid-headbang
08.20.2015
08:56 am

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Art
Music

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One of the aspects of heavy metal music that keeps it a young person’s game is the centrality of headbanging. For instance, it is very, very difficult to do your taxes while headbanging, and this fact constitutes a central part of its appeal. Along with pogoing and moshing, there is a visceral thrill to headbanging that perfectly fits the music to which it is linked.

Danish photographer Jacob Ehrbahn spent the summer of 2012 traveling to various European heavy metal festivals (specifically Denmark’s Copenhell, Germany’s Wacken Open Air, and Sweden’s Metaltown) and capturing those jubilant instants in time when the heavy metal fans were at the moment of extreme exultation—in mid-headbang, naturally.

Ehrbahn’s intense, joyous portraits of music fandom in action have been collected in a book called Headbangers, which will be available in September and is available for pre-order.

We’ve collected a few gems here, but you can see more at the Great Photojournalism website.
 

 

 

 
More pics after the jump…...
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Hustlers’: Magnetic portrait series of NYC and LA male prostitutes
08.19.2015
06:18 am

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Art
Queer
Sex

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Eve Fowler‘s captivating series, Hustlers, is not your average coffee table book of photography. Between 1993 and 1998, Fowler photographed young gay men selling sex in the West Village and on Santa Monica Boulevard, to startlingly familiar effect. The project coincided with Fowler’s own coming out; her subjects are—in a way—an extension of her own identity.

The men themselves remain anonymous, and the viewer is left to wonder about their lives and personal stories. Street hustling has never been the safest way to make a living, and deaths from AIDS only stopped climbing after 1995—it could be tempting for a less humane photographer to portray her subjects as little more than gritty icongraphy, but Fowler doesn’t seem to direct these men at all. Some of them pose, others pout, and some simply smile, as if for a family snapshot. 
 

 

 

 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Barbie Swiss Army knife
08.18.2015
08:09 am

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Art
Design
Feminism

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American parents have become increasingly nervous about sharp objects over the generations, and I think it’s time the culture eased up a bit. I’m not saying toddlers should be wielding machetes (although that is totally a thing in quite a few cultures), but a simple pocket knife was a pretty significant part of my own childhood (even if its actual use was limited to absentmindedly whittling sticks to points). At the same time, there are aspects of more traditionally “girly” toys that I think are great too, so why not combine them in one handy-dandy multi-tool/toy? Behold, the DIY Barbie Swiss Army knife, brought to you by Instructables user Mikeasaurus, who says of his unholy union:

Empower young girls to expand their horizons beyond playing with stereotypical gender reinforcing toys by combining a everyone’s favourite pink girl-centric doll with something a little stabby.

A multi-tool is hidden inside the torso of the Barbie, where the blades can be pulled out from a slit in her side. The body also separates at the waist to reveal a screwdriver hidden in the legs. The two halves of this doll are connected by magnets, so she holds together when fully assembled. Barbie never looked so good!

I doubt these are actually particularly safe for kids—a knife mounted in a doll’s abdomen is probably a bit less stable (and therefore more dangerous) than the knife alone, but it’s so darn cute and creepy, I may just have to make one to keep in my purse. You know… for protection.
 

 
Via Instructables

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Why don’t you love me?’ Teddy Ruxpin speaks your social media emotions
08.17.2015
09:14 am

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Amusing
Art

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Teddy Ruxpin
 
You know what I remember about the 80’s? Not a lot. And the things I do remember I generally dismiss as useless, with some exceptions. Like the time I decided to put an actual cassette tape (it was Blizzard of Ozz in case you were wondering) in the back of a Teddy Ruxpin that belonged to a kid I used to babysit. Those were good times.
 
TED interactive exhibit
 
Back in 2012, artist Sean Hathaway created an interactive installation called “T.E.D.” (Transformations, Emotional Deconstruction) that featured 80 Teddy Ruxpins hanging from a wall that seamlessly culled 24 different human emotions that were expressed through social media. According to Hathaway, the installation was kind of like “taking the collective emotional pulse of the Internet.” The speech that flows from the Teddy is accompanied by music composed by Portland-based musician, Carlos Severe Marcelin. The dreamy, sometimes creepy and often sad video from the installation that may ruin your childhood (in case someone hasn’t done that for you already), follows.
 

“T.E.D.” or Transformations, Emotional Deconstruction interactive exhibit

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘In Heaven’: The Lady in the Radiator from ‘Eraserhead’ live in concert
08.17.2015
08:14 am

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Art
Movies
Music

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Welcome to Twin Peaks has just announced that Laurel Near, the dream-haunting Lady in the Radiator from David Lynch’s debut feature Eraserhead, will perform her character’s signature song “In Heaven” in Philadelphia, as part of PhilaMOCA‘s annual Eraserhood Forever Lynch tribute. The event is being held on Saturday, October 3rd.

The Lady In The Radiator from Eraserhead, Laurel Near, is set to perform Peter Ivers’ haunting “In Heaven” song LIVE at PhilaMOCA‘s 4th annual David Lynch celebration, Eraserhood Forever. The event space is a former tombstone and mausoleum showroom located right in the middle of the neighborhood that inspired David Lynch for his first feature as he lived there across the old city morgue on 13th and Wood. To make it even more otherworldly, the actress/singer will be backed by the Divine Hand Ensemble, an enchanting chamber orchestra led by Mano Divina on theremin.

 

 
Eraserhood Forever is becoming quite the large event—a call for artists was recently issued for a related art exhibit, and the full lineup includes Lynch-themed bands, audiovisual works, DJ sets, and even Lynchian burlesque which could either be the hottest or most terrifying thing ever.

Here’s the song. If you’re totally unfamiliar with Eraserhead, this is going to seem utterly baffling and nightmarish. Don’t worry, I’ve seen it a zillion times and it’s still baffling and nightmarish to me, too. This is actually quite calming compared to her OTHER scene.
 

 
And for no other reason than that it’s awesome, here’s the Pixies’ cover of the song.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Artist creates hyperrealistic sculptures of LA gang members as skin-rugs
08.14.2015
07:54 am

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Art
Crime
Race

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Check out artist Renato Garza Cervera‘s super-disturbing series “Of Genuine Contemporary Beast.” Cervera created sculptures depicting L.A. gang members as rugs, complete with the hokey feral faces a taxidermist would give a tiger or bearskin. If you’re revolted by such a racist and inhumane depiction of dead young men, congratulations—that’s the intended effect; Cervera’s work is supposed to produce discomfort with blatant dehumanization.

Societies always invent new beasts in order to make others responsible for their problems, to express their fears and to invent them a new cover. Mass media play a very important role on this world-wide scapegoating process, by presenting some minorities as uncapable of thinking or feeling, delayed and dispensable people.

The startling detail in the tattoos and skin of each sculpture—right down to their anuses—contrasts so intensely with the uniformity of their faces; the effect is the kind of uncanny creepiness that inspires nightmares.
 

 

 
More of these creepy and provocative artworks after the jump…...
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Move over, Naked Cowboy! There’s another New Yorker showing off his butt
08.13.2015
10:23 am

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Art

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Photo: Don Stahl
 
I’ve lived in or near New York City for virtually my entire life. One of the challenges of living in a city as fiercely romanticized and idealized as New York is finding that little bit of the city that hasn’t been defined to death already—it’s so easy to fall into the trap of saying, “This cupcake shop is really cool because Lou Reed used to shoot up around the corner!” And yet the city is always rapidly changing, so the dynamic you may have craved from even just ten or fifteen years ago might already be long gone, even as it shapes your current expectations.

One of the many things I love about “Levenbutt,” Jeremy Levenbach’s whimsical series of Instagram city scenes—in which he appears naked, with his back to the camera—is that it captures a New York I can really relate to, whether it’s the Astor Place cube or the familiar facade of Pearl Paint on Canal Street or the bizarre, monolithic blue Ikea premises in Red Hook. (You have no idea how strong the instinct is to use the word “selfie” above—but clearly, it would be quite strange if any of them were selfies!)

I’ve known Jeremy for nearly a decade; for most of that time he has been the booker for the city’s best latenight standup showcase (when Aziz Ansari and his Human Giant collaborators were hosting it, it was called Crash Test; when Leo Allen took it over around 2008, it became Whiplash; there was also a transitional show called Cavalcade). As a regular attendee in the intimate Upright Citizens Brigade Theater most Monday nights for several years, I got to know Jeremy a little bit, and he remains one of my favorite people in New York, invariably good-natured and contributing to the city in a singular way—actually, multiple singular ways, if that makes any sense.

A little bit after we became Facebook friends, Jeremy started posting these occasional pics of himself standing naked, facing away from the camera, in some familiar NYC location. He would tag these images “Levenbutt,” and they’ve enhanced my Facebook feed for the last several years.

For me the Levenbutt pictures work precisely because they’re not sexualized; they’re absurd and deadpan. Naturally they also acquire a good deal of their impact from what one might call stunt value: “Did that guy really go into that intersection and stand there?” etc. It’s always more interesting to watch people doing something you would never do.

The other day there was a good piece about Jeremy’s “Levenbutt” project in Joanna Goddard’s blog Cup of Jo, complete with an interview that is far more thorough than anything I could muster—I recommend checking it out if this post intrigues. Here’s my favorite bit from that post, something that photographers the world over would probably instantly understand—Jeremy’s comments on how his own mental attitude affects the, ah, visual appearance of his cheeks: “The average time is about 20 to 40 seconds while I’m standing there naked. That’s when you feel really vulnerable. I do one of those 100-yard stares. I’ve noticed if I’m tense, my butt cheeks do a weird thing. I need to relax and everything kind of loosens up.”

Jeremy was kind enough to take a little time to discuss the Levenbutt project for DM.

The main thing I was curious about was whether Jeremy had in some cases used any unseen clothing on his frontal side—he insisted that well, “naked” means “naked”: “Yes, 100% naked. Generally my clothes are thrown just out of frame or stashed behind objects.”

I was especially taken with the picture in which he is standing next to the beekeeper, and asked him if he had gotten stung that day. He replied,

Nope, the beekeeper was someone I met briefly at Smorgasburg. She’s Dutch and was totally into the idea. We (photog Christian Torres) met Marleen in Queens at a public city garden that she had taken conservatorship over. I was expecting/dreading getting stung, but I didn’t get a single angry bee. Marleen said, in her accent, “My bees must like you!”

One of my favorite pics is the one of Jeremy standing in the middle of oncoming traffic. I mistakenly identified it as one of the avenues on the East Side, but two-way North-South thoroughfares without an island in the middle aren’t very common in Manhattan. It turns out it was 42nd Street near 2nd Avenue. I was glad to hear that it’s one of Jeremy’s favorites as well:

That shot was taken from the Tudor City overpass. It was the idea of my photographer, Benjamin Joseph Mistak. We planned on (and shot) at the Flatiron building, and Ben suggested we do a shot from the “place where all those people take Manhattanhenge photos.”

Photos where I’m far away from my photographer are always the scariest (and Ben was really far away up on the walkway) because to anyone who walks by, I’m not some weirdo taking a dumb art photo, I’m some lunatic that is just standing around (in the middle of traffic, in this case) naked.

There’s a black SUV in the lane that I’m standing in, it got to that shaft of light (maybe 20-30 ft from me) , before I ran back to the sidewalk. We also did that shot twice, because the first time I was standing in the middle of the street, legs on straddling the traffic lines, it looked cool, but the yellow lines were too similar in tone to my body.

Jeremy’s role as NYC’s top alt-comic impresario gives him access to some of the most successful touring comedians, a few of whom have been incorporated into the project. We’ve included a picture that includes Zach Galifianakis here, but Aziz Ansari, Bob Odenkirk, and Pete Holmes have also been roped in. Not one to stick rigorously to the core idea just because that’s what a big fancy artiste might do, Jeremy has also included whimsical artworks that are consistent with the Levenbutt project, as for instance this lovely drawing of Levenbutt perched on a giant Valkyrie by Matteo Lane or this funny appropriation of the New Yorker’s Cartoon Caption Contest.

Jeremy’s a little worried that Instagram is going to shut down his account, but so far they’ve been a good sport about it. Here’s a little gallery of Levenbutt highlights, but you should check out the original feed for yourself, there are tons of great ones I didn’t include.
 

Photo: Benjamin Joseph Mistak
 

Photo: Benjamin Joseph Mistak
 

Photo: Christian Torres
 
More excellent Levenbutt pics after the jump…...
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Glorious, gory & (sometimes) goofy foreign film posters for horror films of the 1960s and 1970s
08.13.2015
07:40 am

Topics:
Art
Movies

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The Giant Spider Invasion (Japan)
The Giant Spider Invasion (Japan). Based on the low-budget 1975 film produced by Transcentury Pictures, directed by Bill Rebane
 
As a huge fan of horror films, especially those of the vintage variety, I really enjoyed pulling together this post that features foreign-made film posters advertising various horror films from the 1960s and 1970s.
 
Suspiria movie poster (Italy)
Suspiria (1977) movie poster (Italy)
 
The best thing about movie posters made for consumption outside the U.S. is that they are so much more adventurous. Few of these posters would have ever seen the light of day in a U.S. theater lobby due to their their liberal use of unorthodox imagery and nudity. Some of what follows may be considered NSFW—which is precisely why you MUST see them!
 
The Exorcist movie poster (Turkey)
The Exorcist (1973) movie poster (Turkey)
 
Dracula AD movie poster (Italy)
Dracula A.D. (1972, Hammer Films) movie poster (Italy)
 
More of these marvelous posters after the jump…...
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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