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Drawings of ‘mental illnesses’ from 1840
05.15.2017
11:51 am
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“Female patient suffering from erotomania, 1843.”

Science is a bit like Doubting Thomas—it has to see the evidence before believing it. And sometimes even then it is just theories about what was or was not seen.

Way back in the early 1800s, many scientists thought it an idea to use visual representation, through illustrations and engraving, to help codify the system of identifying say, organs, bones, types of disease, and even mental illness. For example, a drawing of someone suffering from buboes caused by the pox would help diagnose a patient with similar buboes also caused by the pox. It was a logical, well-intended, and noble idea, one that helped create the many books on anatomy and disease which progressed the development of medicine from the 1700s on—most notably Gray’s Anatomy in 1858.

The physician and alienist, Sir Alexander Morison (1779—1866) pioneered the documentation of psychiatric illness during the early to mid-1800s. An “alienist” is the archaic term for a psychiatrist or psychologist. Morrison was inspecting physician at the Surrey Asylum and Bethlehem Hospital. He excelled in the diagnosis and treatment of those poor unfortunate people who suffered from mental illness. He was a wise and kindly old gent, who wrote two texts of great importance on psychiatric illness—Outlines of Lectures on Mental Diseases (1826), and Cases of Mental Disease, with Practical Observations on the Medical Treatment (1828). But these were but a warm-up for his illustrated volume The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases in 1840.

The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases contained descriptions of the various types of mental illness, case studies of various patients from a selection of England’s psychiatric hospitals, and some possible treatments. At the time, psychiatric care was going through a much-needed overhaul, with patients being treated as suffering from a (possibly) curable disease rather than being written-off as possessed by demons or just too fucked-up to no longer defined as human and dumped in bedlam where they were often exhibited to the amusement of the paying public. Morrison devised (whether by himself or in collaboration is unclear) the idea of illustrating his book on The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases with a series of portrait engravings of the patients whose case studies he was describing. It was a very useful idea.

However, it does suggest that mental illness can always be identified through a patient’s facial expressions—as if there are certain universal physical attributes that define all types of mental illness. Moreover, such drawings were open to possible caricature with artists exaggerating certain facial tics or expressions which may or may not be relevant. Morrison’s approach was valued until the 1850s, when the photograph was deemed to be the more scientific and reliable choice for documenting mental illness by his successor at the Surrey Asylum, the physician and pioneering photographer Hugh Welch Diamond.
 
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Portrait of 20-year-old female mental patient.

 
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More engravings from ‘The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases,’ after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.15.2017
11:51 am
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Breast-obsessed artist creates fluffy pink ‘Boobroom’
05.12.2017
01:33 pm
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Boobroom, 2017
 
Much of Weijue Wang’s art is fluffy and pink and displays a strong emphasis on the mammaries of the female human, but underneath her seemingly fun and bouncy subject matter is a very dark subtext. Very dark.

Wang’s work was showcased at StARTup Art Fair in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. Here is the statement of purpose Wang submitted for the event, which was rather striking:
 

As an emerging Chinese female artist who lives in an age of consumerism in China, I am bombarded with the commodification of everything in every aspect of my daily life. I am interested especially in the commodification of the female bodies. Contemporary women are freer to think and act. With enhanced freedom, however, some threat their self-esteem by seeking painful cosmetic surgeries to modify their appearances. In the name of beauty, some women commoditize their bodies to fit into the sexualized beauty norms. These soft and fluffy female private part jewelries and sculptures are born in my needle’s sharp penetration through the felt. Underneath their harmless domesticity, I want to unveil the profound violence and irony in female commodification and mass-produced beauty. By showing my works in a hotel room setting, the sexual and domestic feeling of my works will be enhanced. Basically, I will create a room of fetish of female body parts. Some pieces will be lying on the bed (like the Airport Dream II ), while the sound that will be coming out of the piece will allow the audience to expand their imagination.

 
As you can see, Wang views her work, which would include a “room of fetish of female body parts,” as directly confronting the consumer culture that has arisen in China, which brings along with it inordinate stress and concern over the appearance of females. Wang has noticed that women in China are increasingly turning to breast enhancement, which in her eyes is equivalent to self-mutilation.
 

Process, 2017
 
In Kelsey Lannin’s article at Creators, she gestured at the two enormous “breasts” propped up on her pink bed and said, “I have huge boobs now! They might look cute and fluffy but they are borne out of violence. Of a needle penetrating through the felt.”

A work of hers called “Airport Dream” consists in part of round pink balls (yes, with “nipples”) suspended on pieces of string. The title is a reference to the fact that in China, the word airport is a common insult directed at flat-chested women!

“I definitely want to expand on it,” Wang told Lannin. “There are still a lot of women being called ‘airport’ in China.”
 

Boobroom, 2017
 

Airport Dream, 2017
 
via Creators
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.12.2017
01:33 pm
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Ornate Chinese opium pipes and other exotic drug paraphernalia of the 19th century
05.12.2017
10:33 am
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A vintage artistic interpretation of two people enjoying some opium to help get you in the proper mood for this post.
 
In 2013 the first ever exhibition to feature antique drug paraphernalia from China went on display at Maggs Brothers Ltd. bookstore in London’s Mayfair district. It’s a wonder it took so long, considering Britain’s long love affair with opium.

The collection belonged to Julio Mario Santo Domingo Braga, who died in 2009. Referred to in size as immense, Santo Domingo’s treasury of drug paraphernalia is said to contain approximately 3,000 different items, from “dream sticks” (a common name for an opium pipe) to jars for storing the drug, carved from a variety of different materials including ebony, bone, silver, rhinoceros horns, porcelain, and ivory. There were even a few pipes in the collection that were meant for the itinerant opium addict which could be taken apart to make traveling with them easier. Apparently, Santo Domingo’s obsession with building a drug library of sorts ran so deep that he spent most of his life traveling the world amassing items he deemed worthy of being included in his growing collection. The vast majority of Santo Domingo’s opium implements are now archived at Harvard.

I’ve also posted a few other items I found on various auction sites, such as opium candles and other implements that the opium user relied on to get high, most of which can be had for a few hundred bucks if you’re looking to cultivate your own personal drug paraphernalia compendium. A plastic bottle from CVS just isn’t classy enough for your Oxy stash, is it?
 

An ivory storage box for opium from Santo Domingo’s collection, with an erotic carving.
 

Vintage opium pipe.
 
Many more examples after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.12.2017
10:33 am
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Beautiful porcelain sculptures of women with animal heads
05.12.2017
09:04 am
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The artist Crystal Morey believes our species are at “a pivotal moment, faced with monumental questions leading to difficult, uncertain answers.”

As she writes in her artist’s statement:

​Humankind has become the driving influence and force behind natural evolution. We are able to alter life from a single cell all the way up to entire ecosystems. Intentionally or unintentionally, we are rapidly affecting changes to the environment that would have taken natural processes millennia. Through these actions we are leaving many vulnerable species and habitats frantic, facing disruptions and uncertain outcomes.

Morey investigates these issues through her beautiful, talismanic sculptures of women with animal heads, which she sculpts from “the silken white earth of porcelain.” These delicate, fragile figures show our interdependence with the animals and landscape around us. Morey’s animals are reminiscent of the magical creatures found in children’s tales—rabbits, owls, bears, and wolves.

Having spent part of her childhood in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Morey once believed that humans were subservient to nature. But when she moved to the city, Morey soon realized that “humans are the largest variable in the changing of our planet’s ecological and environmental outcome.”

Based in Oakland, California, Morey was educated at the city’s College of the Arts, where she earned a BFA with High Distinction in 2006. She went on to study for an MFA in spatial art, at the San José State University, CA. Morey has exhibited her work since 2010. Her most recent show Entangled Wonders was held at Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art, in Seattle, Washington, earlier this year.

Crystal hopes that the viewer will come away from her work “thinking and asking questions about our role as humans on the earth and our relationship to other living beings.”

Follow Crystal on Instagram and see more of her work here.
 
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See more of Crystal Morey’s beautiful work, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.12.2017
09:04 am
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At the Mountains of Madness: Enter the chaotic worlds of Rudimentary Peni’s Nick Blinko
05.11.2017
02:38 pm
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A rare photo of a young Nick Blinko of Rudimentary Peni

“The religious and the macabre are a big part of my personality… there wouldn’t be much left without them”—Nick Blinko of Rudimentary Peni

The release of the Sex Pistols’ angrily anthemic “Anarchy in the U.K.” was responsible for more than just the much-needed attitude adjustment of rock music in the mid-1970’s. All across Great Britain thereafter, young punk bands began to take the anarchist mantra for more than just its shock value. Anarchy became a personal creed, with ideals espoused in the lyrics, performances,  imagery and most importantly lifestyle of the new anarcho-punk movement (animal rights and veganism didn’t come from nowhere, folks). Among these anarcho-originators were legendary groups like Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, Subhumans, Poison Girls, Omega Tribe, Zounds, Chumbawumba, and my personal favorite, Rudimentary Peni.

Rudimentary Peni was formed in Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire by lead singer/guitarist Nick Blinko (credited as “mouth-guitar-pen” with “pen” referring to his role as the illustrator of their record covers), bassist Grant Matthews, and drummer Jon Greville. Matthews came up with the name (“When I was at school studying biology, we were told that in the fetal stage the clitoris is a rudimentary penis.”) Considered dangerously demented by some, Rudimentary Peni’s music was fast-paced, loud, angry, and essayed lyrical themes of anti-establishment and anti-church sentiments along with the dark, macabre trappings of a proto form of deathrock (as heard on their full-length debut Death Church and 1988’s brutal Cacophony which was written about the life and work of H.P. Lovecraft).

Since 1980, Rudimentary Peni has maintained a deliberate shroud of mystery, having toured only briefly and given few interviews. There are very few existing photos of the group. Instead, album covers and imagery were emblazoned with Blinko’s twisted pen-and-ink artwork that has since outlived itself as more than just a band asset.

Previously diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, Blinko’s artwork offers insight into an aberrant, paralyzing world of mental health and disorder. Similar to the dismal work of the band he fronted, these pieces are dark, disjointed, and unearthly depictions of death, destruction, and emptiness. As a result, Blinko’s uniquely bleak talent is celebrated within the outsider art community and his work is part of the Collection de l’art brut in Lausanne, Switzerland. He has published three books—The Primal Screamer in1995, The Haunted Head in 2009, and Visions of Pope Adrian 37th in 2011. (Blinko was apparently convinced that he was the actual pontiff during one of his forced stays in a psychiatric hospital in the mid-90s.)

Here’s a brief biographical description of Nick Blinko quoted from Outsider Art: Spontaneous Alternatives by Colin Rhodes:

In the case of British artist Nick Blinko (b.1961), who has in the past been hospitalised, the need to make pictures is stronger than the desire for the psychic ‘stability’ brought by therapeutic drugs which adversely affects his ability to work. His images are constructed of microscopically detailed elements, sometimes consisting of literally hundreds of interconnecting figures and faces, which he draws without the aid of magnifying lenses and which contain an iconography that places him in the company of the likes of Bosch, Bruegel and the late Goya. These pictures produced in periods when he was not taking medication bring no respite from the psychic torment and delusions from which he suffers. In order to make art, Blinko risks total psychological exposure.

That explains just how far out he’s willing to go for the sake of his work. True dedication, both impressive and sad. As his representative, London-based art dealer Henry Boxer said of Blinko:

“He compromises his sanity to produce his art.”

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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05.11.2017
02:38 pm
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Hell on Wheels: New York City’s subway system as seen in the 70s and 80s
05.11.2017
12:53 pm
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It’s difficult to reconstruct for a typical member of the NYU’s Class of 2019 just how fucked up the NYC subways were in the 1970s and 1980s—indeed, much of Manhattan was an undisguised war zone. Sure, many have “heard” about this on some level, but when you’re perambulating through today’s clean and spacious Union Square station, you’re not likely to be reminded of Bernie Goetz, are you?

Bernhard Goetz made national headlines when (almost certainly as an entirely calculated act) he blew away four would-be muggers on the downtown 2 line in December of 1984. The white Goetz was held up as a national hero because he “fearlessly” entered the dangerous NYC subway system and seriously wounded a quartet of black guys with malice aforethought. The word vigilante was suddenly on everyone’s lips; Curtis Sliwa’s Guardian Angels were a related icon of the time. The Clash even sang about them.

All of this is to explain why, when he decided to commence a project of documenting the city’s subway, photographer Bruce Davidson felt the need to outfit himself as if he were about to go into battle, complete with brass knuckles, a jackknife, pepper spray, combat boots, and an army jacket. That’s just what you did then! Davidson’s pictures eventually became the landmark book Subway

Late last year saw the publication of a book that can honorably be placed alongside Davidson’s—I refer to Willy Spiller’s Hell on Wheels, which includes the Swiss photographer’s subway-related output from the 1977-1984 period. Sturm & Drang Press brought out the book last year in a limited edition; they promptly sold out, which means that prices for the volume have become rather inflated.

These photos are a reminder of an era when two art forms were finding their footing in the city—that is to say, graffiti and hip-hop. The relative lack of a bourgeois and “safe” culture on the subways meant that the outlaw accoutrements of aerosol cans and boom boxes were permitted free rein.

And yet, these pictures do not actually document violence or really anything dangerous. Many of the photos seem like they were taken during the sultry summer, and (as is always the case in New York) you have dissimilar people seated side by side and (in many instances) enjoying the environment for the opportunities it provided to lounge and chat and people-watch.

As Tobia Bezzola has written of Spiller’s subway photographs,
 

His charming chutzpah is the root of the extraordinary quality of these photographs. It seems only logical that this wildly colourful underground performance appeared highly exotic, fantastic and often bizarre to the eyes of this young greenhorn just arrived from the innocent city of Zürich, Switzerland.

 
Anyone who finds our sanitized world dispiriting will surely find succor in these vivid and interesting pictures.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…....

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.11.2017
12:53 pm
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Artist loses his virginity to a space alien. Now he paints about it
05.10.2017
11:51 am
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David Huggins is 72 years old. He lives in Hoboken with his wife and son and works in a delicatessen. In his early years he was trained as a painter at the Art Students League of New York. At some point, during his “perfectly normal life” he “started remembering things.”

Huggins’ suppressed memories have gotten very detailed indeed. He recalls being abducted by extraterrestrials on numerous occasions, although “abducted” might not be the right word—Huggins’ experiences have mostly been pleasurable and he is quite content to assist the aliens in whatever way they desire. He says that he lost his virginity to a female “alien hybrid” named Crescent when he was seventeen years old. Huggins claims they’ve have had “over fifty hybrid-alien children” together—the details of their mating and the births are rather remarkable.
 

The artist and his work
 
Huggins tried attending abductee meetings but disliked them, they were too depressing—his experiences were nothing like that. So he turned to his art as an expression of his vivid memories.

Crescent is by far the most important alien in Huggins’ narratives. As he tells it, he was walking through a forest in Georgia towards a lake. He saw her sitting next to a tree. Crescent had a perfectly normal human appearance except for her head—her pale, pointed face had large black eyes and she was wearing a wig. They both disrobed and he soon lost his virginity.

Of his children, Huggins has given the following account:
 

I was taken into a room and it was filled with babies and I had to touch every one. The human touch was really important. The first time I touched one of the babies static electricity jumped from my hand to the baby. This was right before I touched it and I pulled back and said to the Insect-being “Wow, did you see that?” So I reached over and touched the baby. I woke up the next morning spent, totally exhausted and slept all day. But that night the Insect-like Being takes me to this door; we are in front of this doorway and there is this brilliant light. It was like it was pushing its way out of the doorway — it had form. The Insect-Like Being said I had to go inside the room with the light, so I go inside and it was just incredible. The light was passing right through me. I was in there for a few minutes. The next morning when I woke up I had incredible energy and felt really energized for weeks afterwards.

 
Fortunately for us, Huggins has harnessed his artistic talent to capture his memories, whether of real or imagined events. They display very good draftsmanship and use of color, and they are pleasurable to look at. It almost amounts to a perfect painterly representation of the entire “Area 51” mythos that has been such a familiar trope since the middle of the last century.

In 2009 Farah Yurdozu published a coffee-table book about Huggins under the title Love in an Alien Purgatory that reproduced many of his paintings—it’s available at Amazon for a reasonable sum.

Huggins is the subject of a forthcoming documentary by Brad Abrahams called Love and Saucers, which looks very interesting.
 

First Meeting
 

Our Son
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.10.2017
11:51 am
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‘Blade Runner’: The Marvel Comics adaptation
05.10.2017
11:19 am
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Never trust a critic. Most of them know fuck all.

Strange as it may seem now, Ridley Scott’s movie Blade Runner received a decidedly mixed bag of notices upon its first release in June 1982. Some newspapers scribes considered Harison Ford wooden; the voice-over cliched; the storyline way too complex; the whole damn thing butt-numbingly slow and just a tad boring. One broadsheet even described the film as “science fiction pornography,” while the LA Times called it “Blade Crawler” because it moved along so slowly.

But some folks knew the film’s real worth—like Marvel Comics.

In September 1982, Marvel issued a “Super Special” comic book adaptation of Blade Runner. This was quickly followed by a two-part reissue of the comic during October and November of that year. This was when those three little words “Stan Lee presents” guaranteed a real good time and Marvel’s version of Blade Runner fulfilled that promise.

The comic was written by Archie Goodwin with artwork from Al Williamson and Carlos Garzon with Dan Green and Ralph Reese. While movies have time to develop story, plot, and character, and create their own atmosphere, comic books get six panels a page to achieve the same. Marvel’s Blade Runner managed the transposition from screen to page quite successfully. The artists picked up on some of the movie’s most iconic imagery while still managing to add their own take on the Philip K. Dick tale. Williamson offered his own (cheesy) definition of the term “Blade Runner” at the very end of the story:

Blade runner. You’re always movin’ on the edge.

What???

You can read the whole comic here. Click on images below for larger size.
 
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More from Rick Deckard , Roy Batty and co., after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.10.2017
11:19 am
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Stilettos and spankings: The impossibly buxom blondes of erotic illustrator Bill Ward
05.10.2017
09:44 am
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An illustration by artist Bill Ward featuring one of his impossibly busty blonde pinups.

When artist Bill Ward passed away in 1998 he left behind his large legacy of pinup illustrations that some comic connoisseurs have approximated to be at least 10,000 in number. Ward was a hugely influential force in adult-oriented comics and his work was featured widely in men’s interest magazines and the various Humorama digests, who coincidently were the number one buyers of comic art in the world during Ward’s heyday. One of Ward’s signature comic creations which he debuted in 1946 was a character called “Torchy,” a bubble-headed blonde who had trouble keeping her clothing on. Ward’s dangerously curvy girls and pin-ups were incredibly popular with Humorama fans, and there’s really no surprise as to why. His illustrations are infectiously sexy, and defy all logical body images, despite the fact that your mind would perhaps like to convince you otherwise.

Ward’s masterful use of the Conte crayon (an implement consisting of compressed powdered graphite or charcoal mixed with a wax or clay) provides another layer of intrigue to his pinups. He was an expert at being able to manipulate the medium in order to create a sense of tangibility to his sexed-up subjects, and his use of the material is nearly unrivaled. As you’ll see in Ward’s images in this post the use of the Conte allowed for a glossy luster to be applied to aspects of his pinups, whether it’s the tone of their platinum-blonde hair or a sense of shimmer to their ever-present thigh-high stockings. Ward’s women all possessed a slight air of irreproachability while standing around in stilettos and skin-tight clothing. According to Ward’s former editor Dian Hanson who worked with the artist at Juggs and Leg Show, it was Ward’s adeptness with Conte that helped set him apart as a fetish artist, as it gave him the ability to make the fetish-style clothing worn by his illustrated goddesses as alluring as the giant-breasted women it was clinging to.

Given Ward’s rather prolific catalog of work, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to showcase his blonde bombshell pinups exclusively as they perfectly represent his use of Conte and how the medium helps accenutate his bodacious illustrations. I also happen to be a big fan of blondes in general having been one all my life, so perhaps it’s a bit of the narcissist in me that wants to help perpetuate the notion that blondes really do in fact have more fun. If you’re interested, Ward’s work has been compiled into a few books including 2006’s The Wonderful World of Bill Ward: King of the Glamour Girls by fetish photographer Eric Kroll, and 2007’s The Pin-Up Art of Bill Ward that prominently features the artist’s exquisitely erotic illustrations. All of the illustrations of Ward’s gorgeous blonde pinups below are NSFW. YAY!
 

 

 
More buxon blondes and bodacious ta-tas after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.10.2017
09:44 am
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Woodcuts of Witches, Wizards and Devils
05.09.2017
10:46 am
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Well, here’s something you don’t see every day in real life: Witches with animal heads flying on broomsticks. Fuck. Why did all the good stuff happen before iPhones were around to capture it….? Or, is it just strange, nay fantastically unbelievable, that witches with animal heads ever flew around on broomsticks?

Now, once upon a time, long, long ago in a land not so very far from here, people actually did believe in witches and warlocks and wizards and animal hybrids flying with broomsticks through the devil-dark night. It was a form of mental aberration that infected the whole of Europe between the 15th and 17th centuries.

This dreadful fear of witches began with a couple of Dominican monks, Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, who together wrote a barmy treatise on witchcraft called Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches) in 1486. This book reinvented witchcraft and the devil as something more than just “delusions,” as had once been believed, into something solid, active, real, and very, very dangerous. Unsurprisingly, it was a bestseller for some 200 years.

According to the Malleus Maleficarum the world was literally hoaching with witches and the only way to defeat them was by the worst kind of torture and execution. This treatise received Pope Innocent VIII’s blessing. He had already given Kramer a Papal Bull Summis desiderantes affectibus in 1484 which approved his “inquisition” into all reports and suspicions of witchcraft. This Papal Bull was included in the Malleus Maleficarum as part of the book’s preface, which meant that misogyny was not only acceptable but actively encouraged.

And so it began two centuries of terror and torture and mass stupidity.
 
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The great thing about witchcraft is that anyone could be accused of it. The accuser never had to prove the veracity of their statement. The accused always had to prove their innocence. But this usually meant forfeiting their lives. You see, innocence was often proven by use of a variation of the ducking stool—a device once used for scolds and prostitutes—whereby a woman believed to be a witch would be tied to a rope and thrown into a river or a pond. If the woman sank and drowned—then she was innocent. Hurrah! If she floated and lived, well hell, she’s a witch and must be burnt at the stake.

Usually, it never came to this, as most women ‘fessed up after hours or days of relentless torture and were then executed. Oftentimes, these women would name their accusers (or others they didn’t like) as also being witches and in league with the devil. And so it went, more and more women were questioned, tortured, and executed.

Stupidity does not discriminate—which explains why the hysteria over witchcraft was surprisingly flamed by the rise in literacy. The mass publication of pamphlets, news sheets, and books saw a great demand for stories “true” and fictional about witches and witchcraft. These stories were exceedingly popular and were spread in posters across the land like a virus. In every village and town, these reports on the occult would be read aloud wherever they were posted. The literate read the stories. The illiterate spread the tales word-of-mouth. The most potent part of these documents were the woodcuts which depicted the women (and some men) who were in league with the Devil and using witchcraft to spread his nasty ill-will throughout the land.

One of the earliest of these illustrated pamphlets was A Rehearsall both Straung and True, of Hainous and Horrible Actes Committed by Elizabeth Stile, alias Rockingham, Mother Dutten, Mother Deuell, Mother Margaret, Fower Notorious Witches first published in 1579. This booklet told the story of Elizabeth Stile, a 65-year-old widow and beggar who was accused of witchcraft and cavorting with three other witches Mother Margaret, Mother Dutten and Mother Devell, and a man called Father Rosimunde, who could (allegedly) transform himself “into the shape and likenesse of any beaste whatsoever he will.” Nice trick. Bet he never had to buy a round at the local inn.

It wasn’t just the lowly peasantry or working class who believed in such stories but the very highest members of the establishment. The first king to unify the nations of England and Scotland as King James I wrote a treatise on witchcraft Daemonologie based on his own personal involvement in the infamous North Berwick witch trials of 1590. King James believed that most women were “detestable slaves of the Devil, the Witches or enchanters” and he personally took part in the interrogation of those accused of witchcraft.

Many of these women were just dear old ladies who had lost their husbands or were destitute and had become victims to the unwelcome focus of a someone’s ire. As Jon Crabb notes on the Publlic Domain Review, it was from such poor women came the image of the “old crone” which was then promoted through books like The Wonderful Discoverie of the Witchcrafts of Margaret and Phillip Flower, Daughters of Joan Flower neere Beuer Castle (1619), A Most Certain, Strange and True Discovery of a Witch (1643) and The History of Witches and Wizards: Giving a True Account of All Their Tryals in England, Scotland, Sweedland, France, and New England (1700). It is this image of a witch as depicted in woodcuts that is still the most prevalent depiction of a witch used today.
 
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An early though hugely influential depiction of a witch from ‘A Most Certain, Strange and True Discovery of a Witch’ (1643).
 
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Witches cooking up trouble.
 
More weird and wonderful woodcuts of witches and alike, after the jump….

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.09.2017
10:46 am
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