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Soap bubbles become psychedelic works of art
03.17.2017
10:52 am

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Art

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‘Bubblefish I’ a photograph of a soap bubble by William Horton.
 
Here are some photos that will bring you right back to your childhood and the days you spent outside trying to make giant bubbles with your giant bubble wand and a bunch of dish soap in a frisbee. Or perhaps looking at these incredible images will bring you back to that last acid trip you took. Either way, the photos of soap bubbles taken by William Horton equal one thing—good times.

Horton’s images are reminiscent of colorful aquatic animals such as jellyfish. To capture the bubbles in action Horton used a controlled lighting situation as well as plenty of high-tech tools and the results are absolutely mesmerizing. While I shouldn’t advocate the need for you to break out your bong in order to enjoy viewing Horton’s trippy bubbles, that kind of thing has always worked for me. Horton’s photographic portfolio is vast and well worth looking through. The talented artist also has many items that feature his work for sale at his website.
 

‘Syzygy.’
 

‘The Wanderers.’
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
3-Dimensional movie posters that play movies: Hand-painted VCRs that look like giant VHS boxes
03.17.2017
08:56 am

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Art
Movies

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These hand-painted working VCRs feature painstaking recreations of classic movie art.

I first discovered the artist, who goes by the online noms-de-plume Sorce CodeVhs and Sorce122, a little over a year ago and profiled him here at Dangerous Minds.

Since publishing that piece, Sorce CodeVhs has created so many more incredible works that a revisit was in order.

This artist has been making waves in the VHS collector community with his incredible attention to detail in the artwork that transforms these retro video cassette players into large-scale VHS box art. The artist calls them “3-Dimensional movie posters that play movies.”

When he first began, he was offering these finely-crafted works at the insanely low price of $70 each. Due to the extremely high demand for these pieces, the price has been raised to $300 per commissioned unit. The VCR’s are guaranteed to be in working order.

Here’s a gallery of some of these one-of-a-kind pieces:
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Painted Ladies and Broken Figurines: The dark feminist art of Jessica Harrison
03.17.2017
08:54 am

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Art
Feminism

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There must have been thousands of these figurines perched on shelves, mantelpieces and end tables in suburban households across the land. I know my grandmother had about half-a-dozen of these porcelain figurines of fair-skinned women lifting the hem of their dresses that mysteriously billowed like a sail from some absent breeze. Some held poesies or baskets crammed with yellow daffodils and roses. They were difficult to keep clean. Dust clung limpet-like in tufts. My grandmother accidentally broke them all at various times—usually when trying to remove resistant clumps of dust. Hands cracked at the wrist, arms amputated at the elbow, noses chipped off. She always stuck them back together again which made these scarred, now imperfect figures seem oddly more real.

I suppose this in part explains why I like Jessica Harrison’s beautiful and dark creations made from such popular mass-produced figurines. Jessica is an Edinburgh-based artist who refashions these found objects into quirky and visceral works of art. She works with a scalpel and electric saw, and then paints.

My original attraction to these objects was precisely because of this image they portray of the female body – my desire was to counter it and present its opposite within itself. This was quite simple to do, by breaking apart the hollow cast pieces and ‘revealing’ the interior, a standard formula in Western knowledge for making discoveries about the body. The female interior is a space still laced with taboo in a way that the male interior is not, and for me this gender bias of what is most often an invisible space in our everyday lives was a fascinating and important one to address.

Harrison has produced several exhbitions using these startling figurines—her solo shows Broken (2011), Pink, Green, Blue and Black (2016) and most recently in the group show Between Poles and Tides (2017). More of Jessica Harrison’s work can be seen here.
 
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More of Jessica Harrision’s beautiful art, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘F*ck You All’: 1998 interview with the great Glen E. Friedman
03.16.2017
03:10 pm

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Art
Music

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The achievements of Glen E. Friedman are, in a word, staggering. Between the mid-1970s and the late 1980s he emerged as the defining photographer of three distinct, related, and very important subcultures—the skateboarding scene of Dogtown in southern California, the hardcore scenes of L.A., D.C., and elsewhere, and the rap scene of NYC.

The hardcore and rap scenes of the early 1980s had some overlaps, as evidenced by the careers of Beastie Boys and Rick Rubin, for instance, but it wasn’t common for photographers to be so at home in both worlds during that time. It’s tempting to find refuge in the insecure hidey hole of saying how “easy” it would be to take these pictures if only you had been on the scene, but it was the overpowering passion of Friedman that caused him to seek out and find a place there. The truth is that it wasn’t “easy” at all, as evidenced by the fact that he was the only person to accumulate a portfolio of this range and quality.

In the mid-1990s he published his first book of pictures, called Fuck You Heroes, an overview of the first 15 years of his career, and also put together a traveling exhibition. In 1998 that show went to Rome, under the title Fuck You All, and while he was there an Italian film crew put together a stimulating documentary structured around a lengthy interview, under the obvious title of Fanculo a Tutti, which is Italian for “Fuck You All.”

In the film he explains why this phrase “Fuck You” is so important to him. The act of saying “Fuck you, I don’t care, fuck you” is actually integral to creating art that is compelling and dangerous in a cultural and oftentimes political sense. As he says, his subjects are “heroes because they say ‘Fuck You’. ... They’re people who say ‘Fuck You’ and they’re heroes because of it.”

Amen.

My favorite bit is when he brings in a nearby tradesperson to punctuate a point he is making about the importance of hard work in getting things just right.

Friedman’s been a friend of the website for many years now—we love his work as well as his outspoken blog What the Fuck Have You Done? (which often features posts from DM as well). His other books include My Rules, Fuck You Too, and The Idealist: In My Eyes 25 Years.
 

Dogtown
 

Jello Biafra
 
More GEF images, and the ‘Fanculo a Tutti’ documentary after the jump….....
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Keith Haring’s surprisingly G-rated, very rare, very expensive coloring book
03.16.2017
01:09 pm

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Art
Books

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There’s always been a tension between the childlike DayGlo images of Keith Haring and the artist’s transgressive, libido-friendly, street-art-scrawling queer politics. Is Haring’s art meant for children or adults? Well, both, really—depending. As the politically charged 1980s recede from memory, the specific political stakes of his art likewise fade; in our post-Internet age it might be the case that your tween niece or nephew isn’t all that discomfited by the cartoonish image of a spurting penis anyway. It’s emblematic of Haring’s art (and marketing savvy) that the most famous image of the era’s most famous gay artist depicts an adorable crawling infant (actual title: “Radiant Baby”).

In any case, in most of his catalogue the two sides, the innocent and the profane, operate together. As a world-famous artist, Haring had an acute understanding of context, and he knew perfectly well when to retract his scarier tendencies and when to let them frolic, as in the decidedly NSFW images he used in his public work at the LGBT Center on 13th Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, as an example. And in some venues, Haring also knew how to keep it clean and even—egad—kid-friendly.

Haring’s coloring books are a case in point. Any one of us can go to Amazon and purchase The Keith Haring Coloring Book and we’d still have enough left over from a $10 bill left over for a slice and a soda (if you happen to live in Haring’s hometown, that is). I haven’t seen the inside of that product, but based on the cover it’s very likely that that book started out as a private project, self-published in small batches in 1986.

Today, exemplars from the original run are rather difficult to come by. When they do pop up at auction houses under its more formal name 20 Lithographs (Coloring Book), you’d end up paying $800-$1200 for one of them.

Most of us would be happier with the slice of pizza and the one you can feel safe actually defacing with crayons, amirite?

Here are a few images from 20 Lithographs, including the cover, which is slightly different from the retail product available on Amazon. Interestingly, the book is also a counting book—every image features one of the numbers from 1 to 19, with some element (legs, eyes, stars, etc.) featured in the stated amount. You can see the entire set of images here.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The gorgeous lesbian erotica of Gerda Wegener
03.16.2017
11:18 am

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Art
Heroes
Queer
Sex

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Gerda and Einer Wegener posing in front of one of Gerda’s paintings, 1925.
 
After moving to Paris from Copenhagen in the early 1900s, the work of then 26-year-old Gerda Wegener garnered the attention of the liberal and experimental art scene thriving in the adventurous city. Though she was already a successful artist in her former hometown well known for her lush illustrations for fashion magazines, a nearly unprecedented event involving her husband Einer would send the pair off to Paris with the hope that their unconventional partnership would be better accepted in the more permissive city.

If Wegener’s name is familiar to you, it is most likely because the extraordinary lives of the groundbreaking artist and her husband were the subjects of the 2015 film, The Danish Girl which was based on a fictional novel from 2000 of the same name by David Ebershoff. If you’ve not read the book or seen the film, the Wegeners’ story is an incredibly compelling tale of love, acceptance, bravery and of course sex. As I don’t want to provide every detail of their extraordinary tale as not to spoil it for anyone, I’ll share a few points of interest as they pertain to Gerda’s spellbinding erotica.

According to historians, Einer’s interest in exploring his true sexuality began after a model failed to show for a sitting with his wife. After she jovially mused that Einer should put on a pair of thigh-highs and heels so she could still paint, he agreed. Unbeknownst to fans of her work, the image of a mysterious dark-haired beauty who would be a reccurring subject in her paintings was actually Einer who had become the primary focus and muse for his wife.

In 1930 after living much of his life as “Lili,” at the age of 47 Einer would travel to Germany to forever transition to a woman and would be one of the first men to go through gender-reassignment surgery. Wegener’s erotic, lesbian-themed paintings caused quite a stir—including the occasional public riot due to their graphic nature. Her less controversial works would grace the pages of Vogue for years as well as other fashion publications.

I’ve included an array of images from Wegener’s vast catalog of erotic works below which, as you might have guessed, are beguilingly NSFW.
 

1926.
 

1925.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The disturbing and creepy portrait collages of Phillip Kremer
03.15.2017
01:19 pm

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Amusing
Art

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Your worst fears have a face. And it looks like this.

Texas-based artist Phillip Kremer creates weird, funny, and seriously grotesque collages of celebrities, politicians, musicians and movie stars. Kremer’s headshots are created with an app on his i-Phone. He finds images online and then manipulates them into obscene portraits. He pulls their skin, enlarges their mouths to gargantuan proportions and inserts eyeballs, food or bulging muscles where he thinks they will work best. Though the results can often be shocking, Kremer’s finished collages are funny and still recognizably human—often capturing some intrinsic characteristic of the featured celebrity subject.

Kremer’s collages have garnered him a big following on Instagram and Tumblr where you can find more of his work
 
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More of Kremer’s surreal collages, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Horror movie-themed piñatas based on ‘The Evil Dead,’ ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘Halloween’ & more
03.15.2017
10:05 am

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Art
Movies

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A piñata of Regan Teresa MacNeil (played by actress Linda Blair) from the 1973 film ‘The Exorcist.’
 
According to the ghouls behind the appropriately titled Etsy page Hang Me, in addition to their various horror-themed piñatas, you can also have one custom made to your specifications. So if you’d really like to bash a piñata version of your boss’s head in until he/she bleeds delicious candy all over you, today is your lucky day pal. 

Of the many piñatas in Hang Me’s shop, which is run by Sam and Tiny Kaleal, I’m particularly impressed with the one made in the image of Regan from The Exorcist in all her possessed-by-a-demon glory clutching a giant cross. The only thing that could possibly make it any cooler than it already is if it could somehow release a bunch of gross day-glow green ooze after being busted open. Hey, a girl can dream. In addition to the piñatas, the shop has a bunch of other cool stuff including fully functional, custom-designed Jiffy Pop popcorn containers that have been reimagined with horror film movie posters. I’ve posted images of my favorites below. 
 

A piñata in the likeness of James “Ash” Williams (played by Bruce Campbell) from the ‘The Evil Dead’ film franchise .
 

A very slashy-looking Michael Myers (from the ‘Halloween’ films) piñata.
 
More horrific piñatas after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Awesome statuette of H.R. from Bad Brains
03.14.2017
12:36 pm

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Art
Music
Punk

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The Japanese company Presspop has bestowed upon us some sweet figurines over the years. We fondly remember the Lee “Scratch” Perry figurine from a few years back as well as the Public Enemy set that came out last year. The PE item was designed by Ed Piskor, author of the fantastic Hip Hop Family Tree series from Fantagraphics (Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4), and the Lee “Scratch” Perry figurine was designed by Archer Prewitt, cartoonist, inventor of the Sof’Boy cartoon character, and longtime member of the Sea and Cake.

Prewitt is also responsible for the design of a forthcoming treat from Presspop, namely a dynamic figurine of one of the greatest punk frontmen of all time, H.R. from Bad Brains.

The “statuette” is constructed from PVC and ABS. It features articulation in the neck and the clothing is made from actual fabric. I like the way the mic stand and H.R.‘s two feet create, in an unexpected way, the necessary “tripod” effect needed for stability, so that it won’t fall off your computer monitor or whatever.

According to Presspop, the figurine is “officially approved” by H.R. himself. Last year H.R.‘s wife made it known that the singer has long suffered from an obscure ailment known as (deep breath) “Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing” (SUNCT for short). He underwent surgery to alleviate the pain in February. We wish him the best of luck and we also hope that H.R., real name Paul D. Hudson, is getting the treatment he deserves and needs (you can still donate to the GoFundMe page his wife set up to help with the health care bills).

The H.R. figurine costs $50 and comes out in April. You can pre-order one today.
 

 
See more after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Banana: After 50 years the ultimate Warhol Velvet Underground mystery is finally (almost) solved!!
03.14.2017
12:01 pm

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Art
History
Music
Pop Culture
Punk
Queer
Superstar

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It was fifty years ago this week that the future began with the Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol, and his banana. The destruction and rebuilding of rock ‘n’ roll music as it then existed commenced. This was all taking place even though only a few people knew about it at the time. The right few, as always. I have to think that anyone reading this knows the history of the Velvet Underground so I’m not going to rehash it here.

In the thirty years since Warhol’s death, the human race has bought and sold more “Andy” than Andy himself could possibly have dreamed of and more. Much more. Too much even. Year after year there are more Warhol books, toys, giant banana pillows, clothing lines, shoes, Andy Warhol glasses, movies, action figures (or maybe inaction figures, this being Warhol), pencils, notebooks, skateboards—literally everything ever! There’s been more most post mortem Warhol merchandising than for practically anyone or anything you can name. Even more than for Elvis, Marilyn or James Dean who had head starts.

Warhol and his entourage were infamous speedfreaks—speedfreaks with cameras, tape recorders, and movie gear who talked a lot and didn’t sleep much—and his every utterance was recorded, long before museums, historical posterity and millions of dollars were the reasons.

With the advent of the Warhol Museum, Andy’s every movement, thought, and influence has been discussed, dissected, filed and defiled ad nauseum. Every single piece of art he ever did can be traced back to an original page in a newspaper, an ad in the back of a dirty magazine, a photograph, a Sunday comic, or an item from a supermarket shelf and they’ve ALL been identified and cataloged.

Except for one.

Just one.

Probably the second most popular of Warhol’s images, standing in line right behind the Campbell’s soup can, is the banana image found on the cover of the first Velvet Underground album. Thee banana! But where did it come from? Everything else was appropriated from somewhere. What about this one?

I KNOW where it came from and I have known for around thirty years. Oddly enough it only just now occurred to me (when I looked up Warhol’s death date) that I found this thing, which I am about to describe, mere weeks before Andy’s untimely demise.
 
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I grew up in the sixties and I’ve loved the Velvet Underground since even before the advent of punk. And I love Andy Warhol, too. Just look at my Facebook profile photo. I have shelves of books on Warhol and all things Velvets and have amassed quite a collection of Warhol and Velvets rarities. My favorite book of all time is Andy Warhol’s Index from 1966, a children’s pop-up book filled with drag queens, the Velvets, 3-D soup cans and even a Flexi disc record with Lou Reed’s face on it with a recording of the Velvet Underground listening to a test pressing of their first LP. The one with the BANANA.
 
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The author’s Facebook profile pic. Duh.
 
Andy Warhol’s number one right-hand man in the sixties and the person who turned the Factory silver (among many many other things including being the primary photographer of the Factory’s “silver years”) was Billy Name (Linich). An online comment described him this way:

You can’t get more inside than Billy Name in Warhol’s Factory world. In fact he lived in the Factory - and to be more specific he lived in the bathroom at the Factory - and to be even more specific he stayed in the locked bathroom without coming out for months (years?).

 
And so to quote this definitive “insider” Billy Name on the history of the banana:

...bananas had been a Warhol theme earlier in the Mario Montez feature film Harlot mostly as a comedic phallic symbol. In the general hip culture, Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow” was going on [mellow yellow; roast banana peels in an oven, and then roll and smoke them]. The high was called “mello yellow.”

The specific banana image Andy chose came from I know not where; it’s not a Chiquita banana or Dole fruit company, because Andy’s banana has ‘overripe’ markings on it, and the fruit companies use whole yellow bananas on their stickers. Anyway, Andy first used this particular banana image for a series of silk-screen prints which he screened on white, opaque, flexible, Plexiglass (sort of like 2 feet x 5 feet). First an image of the inner banana “meat” was screened on the Plexi in pink, and then covered by the outer skin screened on and cut out of a glossy yellow sticky-back roll of heavy commercial paper (ordered from some supply warehouse). Thereby each banana could be peeled and the meat exposed and the skin could be replaced a number of times, ‘til the sticky stuff wore out. Naturally this was intentionally erotic Warhol-type art.

When thinking of a cover for the first Velvets album, it was easy for Andy to put one of his own works on the cover, knowing it was hip, outrageous, and original and would be “really great.” Andy always went the easy way, using what he had, rather than puzzling and mulling over some design elements and graphics for cover art that don’t really work. His art was already there, hip, erotic, and cool. The Plexi silk screen art definitely came first, in 1966. The album came out in ‘67. I do not recall any other design being thought of or even considered. The back of the album cover was a pastiche amalgam of photos from Andy’s films, Steven Shore, Paul Morrissey and myself and was messy and mulled over too much.

 
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So here we are on the fiftieth anniversary of The Velvet Underground & Nico and its mysterious banana cover art, and I felt that I have held this secret for way too long. I always wanted to use this in a book or something but it never happened.

This thing was hanging on my kitchen wall for three decades, in New York and LA and is now in secured storage for reasons which are about to become obvious. This is how I found it: One day in the mid 80s I was cruising around the Lower East Side aimlessly—as I had done most of my life up to that point—running into friends, looking at stuff people were selling on the street, stopping into Manic Panic, Venus Records, St. Marks Books, and any junk shops that caught my eye. There was one on Broadway that I had never seen before right down the street from Forbidden Planet and the greatest place ever, the mighty Strand Book Store. I went in and there was a lot of great stuff for me. I found some old records, a huge stash of outrageous and disgusting tabloid newspapers from the sixties which I kept buying there for a couple months afterward, and some cool old knick-knacks. I knocked into something on a crowded table full of junk and heard a big CLANG on the cement floor. I bent down to pick it up. It was one of those cheap triangular tin ashtrays that usually advertised car tires or something mundane. I picked it up (it was face down) and when I turned it over I was surprised to see…THE BANANA!!

It was an ad for bananas printed on a cheap metal ashtray.
 

Don’t you like a banana? ENJOY BANANA. Presented by WING CORP. designed by LEO KONO production”

 
I thought wow, this is cool! But over time I realized that I had quite literally stumbled across a true missing link. I figured I’d use it for something big one day, but I never did. UNTIL NOW. Ladies and germs, Andy Warhol and Velvet Underground fans and scholars, without further ado I bring you THE MISSING LINK! A true Dangerous Minds mega exclusive! (As Jeb Bush would say “Please clap.”).

A primitive, pounding Moe Tucker drumroll please for the reveal of THEE BANANA…after the jump

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
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