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H.R. Giger’s nightmarish tarot cards (NSFW)
05.11.2016
12:24 pm

Topics:
Art
Occult

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Sometime in the 1990s the Swiss occultist who goes by the name Akron suggested to his countryman H.R. Giger that he create a set of tarot cards. Giger demurred, claiming a lack of time as well as a lack of interest in the subject—all the while insisting that he was “too superstitious” to take on such a project.

Giger did, however, regard tarot as an interesting venue for his artworks, and he was willing to re-purpose some of his pre-existing images as a tarot deck. The tarot deck featuring Giger’s artworks covers only the major arcana and is known as the Baphomet deck, named after the pagan god you can see depicted in the Alchemy and Devil cards at the top of this post.

It is currently out of print but like most anything, used sets can be purchased online. It seems that a detailed description of Giger’s cards written by Akron is included with the decks. 
 

 
Lauren Davis at io9 surely hit on something when she observed that when you use a deck like Giger’s, it doesn’t matter what cards you draw, they “always predict an unsettling future.”

My favorite part of Giger’s deck is actually the design for the back:
 

 
You can purchase a set for about $50 and up.
 

 
More of Giger’s tarot cards after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Awesome ‘Pink Flamingos,’ ‘Female Trouble’ and ‘Polyester’ nesting doll sets
05.11.2016
10:27 am

Topics:
Art
Design
Movies

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Pink Flamingos
 
Man, how I LOVE this Pink Flamingos nesting doll set by BoBo Babushka. The details are impeccable and really well done. From what I understand, BoBo Babushka isn’t making this particular set currently, but since there’s been some interest on the Internet BoBo Babushka is considering retailing them again.

As for the Polyester and Female Trouble sets, it appears they are available. If you’re interested, you can ask about pricing here at BoBo Babushka’s website.


Polyester
 

Female Trouble
 
via Divine on Facebook

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Deep Throat,’ ‘Fantasia,’ ’Rear Window’ and more, each condensed into a single frame
05.11.2016
09:24 am

Topics:
Art
Movies

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London-based sculptor Jason Shulman has lately produced a wonderful series of photographs—long exposures spanning the duration of entire films, effectively condensing them into a single frame. The results are hazy and hauntingly lovely blasts of light and color (when he shoots color films, that is), recalling at once the works of J. M. W. Turner and some of the foggier seascapes of Hiroshi Sugimoto. The series, simply titled “Photographs of Films,” is the subject of an exhibition opening this week at London’s Cob Gallery.

The photographs capture something the human eye can’t ordinarily see. They collapse the totality of a movie into a single moment, a single frame. The results vary from luminous colour field abstractions to visual précis that are both a blur and a reveal. The photographs of Hitchcock films show ghostly figures emerging from an abstract background. ‘With Rear Window you can see Jimmy Stewart in his wheelchair against the fragmented lines of window frames. It could work as a poster for the film. ‘The Kubricks, on the other hand, do not show human figures. They stand out for their formal composition, almost dividing the image into a triptych.’

‘There are roughly 130,000 frames in a 90 minute film and every frame of each film is recorded in these photographs. You could take all these frames and shuffle e them like a deck of cards, and no matter the shuffle, you would end up with the same image I have arrived at. Each of these photographs is the genetic code of a film – its visual DNA.’

 

Yellow Submarine
 

The Passenger
 

2001: A Space Odyssey
 
More condensed movies after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Why are the penises on ancient statues so small?
05.10.2016
12:06 pm

Topics:
Art
History
Sex

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If you’ve spent any time in the Metropolitan Museum or the British Museum or really anyplace where ancient statuary is featured, you might have emitted a titter at the sight of the willies on the nekkid dudes made of marble.

Those statues prompt a pretty good question: Why are the dicks on ancient statuary so small anyway?

That’s the question that curator and blogger Ellen Oredsson, a resident of Bangkok, Thailand, recently tried to answer on her blog How to Talk About Art History.

Ellen’s answer has several parts. First, ancient statues almost always—yes, almost always—feature flaccid penises, and the penises in the statues aren’t all that small if you compare them to a real-life tuck (George Costanza was quite eloquent on the subject of “shrinkage”).
 

Michelangelo’s David (detail)
 
Second, Oredsson cites scholarship such as Kenneth Dover’s Greek Homosexuality to the effect that the Greeks may have valued smaller penises more than we do, in part because “large penises were associated with very specific characteristics: foolishness, lust and ugliness.”

Interestingly, just because you see a few Greek statues with tiny willies, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that other statues don’t follow the same rules. And indeed, some ancient statues quite noticeably do not feature small penises, but big ones. For instance, pictured below is a statue of a satyr, which Wikipedia defines as “one of a troop of ithyphallic male companions of Dionysus with equine (horse-like) features, including a horse-tail, horse-like ears, and sometimes a horse-like phallus because of permanent erection.”
 

 
If you Google “Greek satyr statue,” you’ll see plenty of other examples just like this one.

There’s also this attention-getting depiction of Priapus, a Greek fertility god on whom Hera cursed with both a permanent erection and impotence—a rough combination!
 

 
Oredsson doesn’t give it too much emphasis, but I think a major reason is that we’re all way too immature. She writes, “Ancient Greek sculptures are all about balance and idealism. Therefore, it makes sense that they wouldn’t have large penises, as this would be considered humorous or grotesque.”

Exactly. The presence of a large member is, at a minimum, a major distraction from the depiction of “the ideal Greek man,” who was meant to be “rational, intellectual and authoritative.”

And that’s all without getting into the possibility of breakage....
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Unsettling sculptures convey the aftermath of confrontation and other iffy exploits
05.09.2016
04:40 pm

Topics:
Art

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“Last Night Party,’ a sculpture by Javier Aguilera.
 
Sculptor Javier Aguilera hails from Spain and his strange, eerily lifelike sculptures look as though they could have been extras in the 1999 film Fight Club.
 

 
Aguilera’s sculptures don’t really tell us too much about how they came to be, and despite the fact that they mostly appear to have been on the winning side of a bare-knuckle brawl, it’s hard to be entirely sure.  From sculptures of hooligans taking what is surely not their first mugshot, to other battered-looking busts of people who (if they could speak) would perhaps quip “you should see the other guy,” Aguilera’s subjects all seem to be the byproducts of a Saturday night spent in the wrong part of town. When Aguilera’s work showed at the Gallery Poulsen Contemporary Fine Arts in Denmark in 2010, the spot-on words “provocatively aggressive” were used to describe the shows silent inhabitants.
 

 
More images of Aguilera’s thought-provoking sculptures follow after the jump. Some are slightly NSFW…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Street artists salute Bernie Sanders (and Bernie’s reaction to seeing it)
05.06.2016
11:50 am

Topics:
Art
Politics

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“Bernie Sanders: Together” by Jermaine Rogers
 
Running for president is a pursuit that attracts control freaks—let’s just say freaks, full stop. For a candidate seeking the presidency, Bernie Sanders has embraced the power of relinquishing control to a remarkable degree.

Sanders’ campaign is all about restoring power to the people, and in keeping with that, his strong reputation among our nation’s artistic community has enabled him to establish a traveling art exhibition that feels a lot like a street art show. To a considerable extent, Bernie is picking up where the grassroots campaign of Barack Obama in 2008 left off, as Obama was able to secure the support of protest-oriented artists like Ron English and Shepard Fairey and many others.

Sanders’ exhibition is titled “The Art of a Political Revolution,” and features artists like Fairey, English, Aaron Draplin, Gilf!, and Jermaine Rogers.
 

“Strong America,” by Ron English
 
A few days ago Sanders himself visited the exhibition for the first time, during which he commented that “I gotta tell you, on a personal level, it’s a little bit weird ... to see all thee guys who look like me on the wall.”

As the Slate video below asserts:

“Bernie and unsanctioned art appeal to the same people. He is to establishment politics what street artists and graffiti writers are to blue-chip galleries.”

Donate to the Sanders campaign.
 

“Thick Lines Bernie” by Aaron Draplin
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Sexy M*therf*cker: Amazing lifelike Prince doll with custom-made clothing from ‘Purple Rain’ & more!
05.06.2016
09:58 am

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Movies
R.I.P.

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Le Petit Prince at
Le Petit Prince at ‘Lake Minnetonka’ with his customized Honda CB400A.
 
Tuesday, May 3rd marked the sadly poignant moment when it became “seven hours and thirteen days” since Prince left this world. And I for one have still not (and probably never will) come to terms with his passing. His loss is a truly immeasurable one that has left his fans (including myself and my colleagues here at DM), dumbfounded. 
 
Let Petite Prince in his
Le Petit Prince in his ‘Dirty Mind’ outfit.
 
If you’re a Prince fan (and I wouldn’t trust anyone who said they weren’t, it’s one of my rules), you know that he was an incredibly private person—and was quick to put the kibosh on video footage of his mind-bogglingly epic live performances that somehow made their way to the Internet. In the past when DM has posted footage of Prince blowing-minds live, it’s always come with a warning to watch it before it gets taken down. Such was the case with Prince and his request to Seattle artist Troy Gua, who created a lifelike figure of Prince called “Le Petit Prince” (or “LPP”) sometime in 2012, and was swiftly served with a “cease and desist” notice by The Purple One himself. Gua, a huge Prince fan, was devastated. Figuring out a way around the order, he continued to take photos of his “LPP,” only now it had a sculpted head in Gua’s own image. In 2015, Gua started to once again publish images of Le Petit Prince and one of his most recent posts on his Instagram featured the realistic looking figure beginning his ascent to heaven by way of a ladder. Sigh.

Gua (who also makes all of Le Petit Prince’s painstakingly detailed clothes) says he doesn’t want to profit from Prince’s death, so you can’t actually purchase a small version of Prince dressed in era-specific attire (although Gua didn’t rule out this possibility in the future or selling prints of Le Petit Prince in action). When I say that the images in this post are almost as beguiling as Prince himself (almost), I’m not exaggerating. From Le Petit Prince riding a tiny replica of his customized 1981 Honda CB400A from the film Purple Rain, to the open trenchcoat and tiny black thong Prince wore on the cover of his 1980 album, Dirty Mind, Gua (who might be the greatest person ever) has created so many perfect Princes that I couldn’t possibly post them all here.
 

Prince as seen in the video for ‘Automatic’ from the 1982 album, ‘1999.’
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
No Wave: DNA and the Contortions play a benefit for X Magazine, 1978
05.06.2016
09:20 am

Topics:
Art
Movies
Music
Punk

Tags:


 
The NYC arts publication X Magazine, published by the artists’ group Collaborative Projects (a/k/a Colab), held a fundraising show on March 11, 1978. Three dollars got you an evening of quality no wave: DNA, the Contortions, Boris Policeband, the Erasers, Theoretical Girls and Terminal all played, and miraculously, Colab members Coleen Fitzgibbon and Alan Moore captured moments of the first three of these acts’ performances on black and white Super 8 film. Additionally, there is a remarkably clear soundtrack.
 

DNA
 
The Punk Art Catalogue at 98 Bowery reproduces covers and images from X Magazine and describes the relationship between the no wavers and Colab:

Colab was a non-profit organization explicitly created by young downtown artists involved with film, video, photography and other media to take advantage of newly available government grants. The kinship between the artists of Colab and the rock musicians at CBGB reflected a tight-knit scene where many of the participants lived in the same downtown tenements and lofts. All shared similar aesthetic interests as well as a grassroots approach to promotion and distribution rooted in the perception that the established galleries and record labels largely ignored young artists and musicians.

X was published by the artists themselves who were free to do whatever they wanted on their assigned pages. Some contributors focused on the new music scene, while others favored the same kind of provocative content and populist politics found in the music. The connection between X and Punk Rock was most overt at the X Magazine Benefit when the Contortions, DNA, the Erasers and other rock groups with strong links to the visual arts contributed their talents to help raise money to print the magazine’s second issue.

 

Brian Eno at a Contortions show
 
Incidentally, according to Alec Foege’s now ancient Sonic Youth biography, this was the show that “sold Thurston on the merits of [no wave] music”:

I thought it was amazing. Theoretical Girls was just off the wall. And DNA was the fucking ugliest band in the world.

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Just what the doctor ordered: Artist makes nightgown from 2,000 sleeping pill prescriptions
05.05.2016
09:28 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion

Tags:

03sleepdre.jpg
 
Erica Spitzer Rasmussen is an insomniac. A good night’s sleep for the artist from St. Paul, Minnesota usually requires medication. Unlike most of us who would bemoan their time counting sheep or tossing and turning the night away, Rasmussen decided to use her own experience of insomnia to create a work of a beautiful work of art:

Dreaming of Sleep is the title of Rasmussen’s “sculptural object.” A floor-length nightgown made from 2,000 prescriptions for sleeping pills. The idea came to her about three years ago after a particularly restless night:

“I finally fell asleep in the early morning hours. When I reached a few fleeting moments of sleep, I dreamt about sleeping peacefully. Shortly thereafter the alarm clock woke me and I wrote ‘dreaming of sleep’ on a pad of paper next to the bed.

“Sadly, a satisfying night’s sleep for me generally requires medication. Dreaming of Sleep is a self-portrait that illustrates my dependence on those staples of the pharmaceutical industry.

 
02sleepdre.jpg
 
The four-foot high nightgown took four months to complete and is made from eight-foot rolls of customized “wallpaper” created from scans of sleeping tablet prescriptions.

“The nightgown was intentionally executed in a simplistic shape and lack-luster palette to refer to the sterile, clinical fashion associated with the medical community.”

Rasmussen describes herself as an artist who “creates handmade paper garments, neckwear and small editions of hand-bound books.” Her sculptural and wearable works are exhibited internationally and can be seen here.
 
01sleepdre.jpg
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Fabulous modern illustrations of Witches (and their familiars)
05.03.2016
11:26 am

Topics:
Art
Occult

Tags:

witch01.jpg
Broomstick.
 
Throughout history witches have generally been described in word and illustration by men. It’s the male eye that has conjured up portraits of witches as cackling hags with bad orthodontists and hygiene problems in written works by authors as different as Shakespeare and Roald Dahl or by artists such as Henry Fuseli or Walt Disney.

In truth, any woman who was deemed to have subverted patriarchal control was called a witch—and the stereotypical image devised for such women was created by a deep and fearful misogyny.

Artist and illustrator Camille Chew has created a series of beautiful portraits of modern day Witches (and their familiars) that subverts inherited misconceptions. Chew’s witches are independent, strong women who give help and succour with their occult powers.

Chew’s illustrations are created “entirely in Photoshop CS6 with a Wacom Bamboo tablet.”

The brush I use most often is just the standard round brush with the spacing set all the way down to 1% for smooth edges. I also sometimes overlay scanned in watercolor washes, hand drawn patterns, etc. (usually on layer mode>soft light) to add texture.

A graduate of Alfred University, Camille’s art work explores themes of mythology, fantasy, and the occult. Her illustrations are available to buy as prints and even as tattoos—details here
 
witch02.jpg
Spell Book.
 
witch03.jpg
Palm Reader.
 
More of Camille Chew’s witches after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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