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Latest in retro-tech chic: Custom-painted horror-themed VCRs
04.19.2016
08:47 am

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Art
Movies

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre” hand-painted VCR

Collecting horror films on the VHS format has become a huge deal in the past five years with several Facebook collector groups popping up, newsworthy lists of tapes that fetch hundreds of dollars on the open-market, and the excellent documentary film Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story Of The VHS Collector covering the obsession.

Nostalgic fans are by-and-large now of an age where they have the disposable income to hunt down and pay a premium for the tapes they remember from the shelves of their local mom-and-pop video stores. Horror seems to be the genre of choice for high-rolling VHS collectors.

An artist and collector going by the name Sorce122 has been making waves in the VHS collector community recently by offering up custom-painted VCRs. What is particularly remarkable about his hand-painted VCRs, aside from the high level of craftsmanship, is the fact that he’s (up till now) only been charging $70 for these one-of-a-kinds—and that includes the VCR!

The VCR’s are also guaranteed to work, by the way.

From LunchMeatVHS.com:

Sorce122 is a self-taught artist, with a creative background that mainly consists of graffiti and pen and ink drawing. When asked about the inspiration behind creating the custom VCR casings, he stated, “My inspiration for the VCRs basically [comes from] my love of painted movie poster and video cover box art. Also, a hatred of boring ass silver and black electronics. VCRs are more than that now (and they always were)… they mean more to people than DVD or Blu-ray, IMO. They have, hold, and project character with every burp, glitch, and picture roll. To me, they scream freedom, and things that make us free shouldn’t be solid silver like some kind of 1984 totalitarian robot of death.  It should have character, just like the covers of the movies we love.  So, that’s what I’m doin’… I’m trying to create a 3-Dimensional movie poster that plays movies… The VCRs are 100% functional. I use pencil, spray paint, paint pens, sharpies, and clear coat. No paint gets inside the deck, and they’re fully tested before and after.”


A Nightmare on Elm Street” custom-painted VCR

More custom-painted VHS horror film VCRs after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Stained glass windows of Aleister Crowley, Serge Gainsbourg, Johnny Cash, JG Ballard & many more
04.15.2016
02:27 pm

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Art
Heroes

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In 2010 and 2011 the English artist Neal Fox executed an utterly gorgeous series of stained-glass windows in imitation of the iconography of saints found in cathedrals all over Europe. The series included Johnny Cash, J.G. Ballard, Hunter S. Thompson, Albert Hofmann, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Serge Gainsbourg, Aleister Crowley, William S. Burroughs, Billie Holiday, and Francis Bacon.

Now, it’s perfectly possible that you will see these images and think, “Wow, those paintings in the stained-glass style are awesome.” So it’s important to emphasize that these are not paintings, Fox actually created the stained-glass windows themselves—in fact, he worked with traditional methods “at the renowned Franz Mayer of Munich manufacturer” in order to produce a dozen windows, each using leaded stained glass in a steel frame and standing 2.5 meters tall.

Put them all together in a room, as the Daniel Blau gallery in London did in 2011, and you have “an alternative church of alternative saints.” Here is what that room looked like:
 

 
The Daniel Blau show was called “Beware of the God.” Alongside the well-known provocateurs and trouble-makers like Crowley and Hawkins is a figure that might challenge even the most astute student of antiheroes, a man named John Watson. Far from the complacent invention of Arthur Conan Doyle, this John Watson is the artist’s grandfather, described by his loving grandson as a “hell raiser” and “a World War II bomber pilot, chat show host, writer and publisher, who in his post war years sought solace in Soho’s bohemian watering holes.”

Quoting the Daniel Blau exhibition notes:
 

As traditional church windows show the iconography of saints, through representations of events in their lives, instruments of martyrdom and iconic motifs, Fox plays with the symbolism of each character’s cult of personality; Albert Hoffman takes a psychedelic bicycle ride above the LSD molecule, J G Ballard dissects the world, surrounded by 20th Century imagery and the eroticism of the car crash, and Johnny Cash holds his inner demon in chains after a religious experience in Nickerjack cave.

 
You can order prints of some of these images for £150 each (about $214).
 

 

 
Many more after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Captain Beefheart meets David Lynch in ‘Some YoYo Stuff’
04.13.2016
04:12 pm

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Music

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In the early 1990s Anton Corbijn made a peculiar short movie called “Some YoYo Stuff” featuring Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart. The movie is in black-and-white and lasts a little under 13 minutes. Most of the movie is the Captain’s face in front of a large screen on which words and images appear. The Captain addresses the topics projected onto the screen in his elliptical way. David Lynch even gets into the act.

Corbijn has been taking pictures of prominent musicians since the mid-1970s, when he worked for NME. He is noted for luminous b/w pictures of rock icons—his work appears on the cover of U2’s The Joshua Tree; as it happens, it appears that “Some YoYo Stuff” was likewise shot in Joshua Tree National Park.
 

 
Here’s Corbijn in the pages of World Art in 1998 describing the movie:
 

It was a simple affair to make the film: His mother sue opens the movie with the photograph that I took when Don and I first met, saying: “This is Don, my son,” and, apart from David Lynch asking him a few questions via projected film, it is all Don’s thoughts on various matters. Some funny, some serious, but all sharp, poetic and beautiful. You really want to hear every single word he says—whether it’s about paint, Miles Davis, an ear (“nice sculpture”) or the desert. 

 
My colleague Marc Campbell eloquently described the difficulty of capturing the essence of Beefheart on film several years ago:
 

His writing and occasional communiques were like those of a modernist monk of the left hand school. He spoke in an ancient craggy voice that sounded like hollow bones being rubbed together. Corbijn’s film communicates the desert father aspect of Beefheart’s existence. There’s an otherworldliness about the whole thing that seems as though it is being beamed in from another planet.

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Creepy portraits based on David Cronenberg’s ‘Scanners’
04.13.2016
01:38 pm

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Art
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“I must remind you that the scanning experience is usually a painful one, sometimes resulting in nosebleeds, earaches, stomach cramps, nausea, sometimes other symptoms of a similar nature.”

Those words, from David Cronenberg’s anomic 1981 classic Scanners, are spoken by the unnamed scanner, played by Louis Del Grande, who has no idea that he is about to undergo a fate far worse than a mere earache.

In 2014 the Criterion Collection came out with a new DVD edition of Cronenberg’s twitchy, sweaty masterpiece of ESP horror. The DVD packaging featured some memorable cover art by Connor Willumsen, but casual observers may not have twigged just how many excellent and evocative artworks Willumsen concocted for the project.

Fortunately, Willumsen’s website features a Scanners section with all of the art he created for Criterion, including preliminary sketches. Here’s a sample, but go to his website to check out the full array of images.

Click on any image for a larger view.
 

 

 
More ‘Scanners’ portraits after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Derek Jarman: The iconoclast filmmaker as painter
04.13.2016
10:02 am

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Art
Heroes
Movies
Queer

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0001derekj.jpg
 
Derek Jarman became a filmmaker by accident. He was originally a painter, an artist who started making home movies with friends at his Bankside home in London. These Super-8 films slowly evolved into movies and one of the most exciting, original and provocative filmmakers since Ken Russell arrived. During a seventeen-year career Jarman made eleven feature films—from the Latin and sand romp Sebastiane through his punk movie Jubilee (1978) to Caravaggio (1986) and the final one color movie Blue. During all of this time, the artist, director, writer, gardener and diarist painted.

Jarman was a student the Slade School of Art in the 1960s where he was taught—like everyone else—to be an “individual.” Jarman felt he was already managing that quite well in that department without being told how. He left art school and worked as a set designer with Ken Russell—most spectacularly on The Devils in 1971 and then Savage Messiah in 1973. His painting career splits into different sections; his early work reflected his interest in landscape, form and color—something which would recur in his films—his later work reflecting his more personal experience. However, as he began making films Jarman shifted from using paint to creating pictures with celluloid.

His return to painting came after his HIV diagnosis in 1986, when he produced a series of Black Paintings—collages made from objects found on the beach at his cottage in Dungeness. He placed these objects on an oily black background—similar to the contrasting black of the tableaux he used in Caravaggio the same year.

As his condition worsened, Jarman painted larger, more abstract canvases. He given a room to paint in where he splashed the canvas with thick bright paints and scrolling words and statements. His influence came from his life, his own films and the work of Jackson Pollock. The brightness and color of the paintings were a defiance in the face of illness.
 
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‘Landscape with Marble Mountain’ (1967).
 
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‘Landscape with a Blue Pool’ (1967).
 
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‘Avesbury’ III (1973).
 
More of Derek Jarman’s paintings after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Peter Max’s groovy pop art paper airplanes
04.11.2016
12:58 pm

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Art
Books

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I take it as a given that the work of Peter Max isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I’ve always been a fan. When I was a kid, this nifty green coffee pot was a fixture in my family’s kitchen, and what can I say, that insidious infiltration of my psyche must have left some residue, because I usually find that Max’s colorful, playful psychedelia has the effect of raising my spirits. I like his stuff.

I learned recently that Max published a book of paper airplanes in 1971 for Pyramid Books. What a marvelous idea! The cover of the book features a plea to treat the environment with care, and Max’s infectious positivity makes its way into the design of the planes, which are emblazoned with cute messages like “HA HA” or “I’M A BIRD” or “I CAN’T TALK, ‘CAUSE I’M LAUGHING.” The book sold for $1.50 at the time.
 

 
If you want to try making these at home, obviously a good color printer will help, but the used editions of the books are surprisingly affordable.

I haven’t seen any pictures of completed planes yet—I’m dying to see some examples!

Some of the images here will spawn a larger version if you click on them.
 

 

 
More groovy airplanes after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Sexy comic book hero / album cover mashups
04.11.2016
09:16 am

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Art
Music

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Batgirl / Prince’s “Purple Rain”
 
I typically roll my eyes over most “mashup” illustrations, but these are so high-quality and fun that they’re worth a gander.

The work is by American comic book artist Cliff Chiang.  Formerly an assistant editor at DC Comics, Chiang is an illustrator, known for his work on Human Target, Beware the Creeper, Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre, Green Arrow/Black Canary,  and Wonder Woman.
These comic character/album cover mashups are from a series entitled Twelve Inch Remix.

More of Chiang’s brilliant illustrations can be found on his website.


Dark Phoenix / “Pretty in Pink” Soundtrack
 

Elektra / “Flashdance” Soundtrack
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Everyday objects get a grotesque, fleshy makeover
04.08.2016
10:54 am

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Art

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Dig Chinese artist Cao Hui‘s fleshy “Visual Temperature” series. I… um… heart Hui’s… indigestible work.

If you’re curious as to what medium Hui used to create these hyper-realistic fleshy art pieces—it’s a mixture of resin and fibre. No meats or fats were used.

According to the artist, he wants people to feel “surprise, sorrow, anger, sadness or laughter” when looking at his artworks. I surprised he didn’t mention anything about them puking.


 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes and his cavity-inducing, bubblegum-colored totally 80s wedding
04.08.2016
09:53 am

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Amusing
Art
Music

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Nick Rhodes and Julie Anne Friedman photographed at their art deco themed wedding, 1984
Nick Rhodes and Julie Anne Friedman photographed at their art deco themed wedding, 1984.
 
I don’t know about you, but just looking at these photos of Nick Rhodes (the keyboardist for Duran Duran) all dolled up for his 1984 wedding to model and Iowa department store heir, Julie Anne Friedman, gave me both a cavity and a contact high.
 
Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran and his then wife, Julie Anne Friedman on their wedding day, 1984
Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran and his then-wife, Julie Anne Friedman on their wedding day, August, 18th, 1984.
 
Drawn together by their mutual love of music, Andy Warhol and apparently lipstick, the pair met when Rhodes was only 20, and when Friedman was a mere 23. Friedman’s wealthy folks loved Rhodes as they were under the impression that their new son-in-law didn’t do drugs and enjoyed a good game of Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble. Which was about as far away from the truth as you could get back in Duran Duran’s heyday, an era that was routinely full of liver-killing champagne, cognac and cocaine parties.

Warhol himself was a huge fan of Duran Duran and according to vocalist Simon Le Bon, had a bit of a crush on Nick Rhodes (of whom Warhol writes rather extensively about in his diaries—once confessing to UK magazine The Face that he masturbated while watching Rhodes in Duran Duran’s videos. You know, just like the rest of us). Here’s an excerpt from Warhol’s diary that recalls the occasion when Nick brought his then-girlfriend Julie Anne to meet meet the Pop of Pop:

Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran came to the office and bought his girlfriend Julie Anne. He’s twenty and she’s twenty three. He was wearing twice as much makeup as she was, although he is half as tall.

The pair were married in a ceremony in London, which Warhol did not attend as he didn’t care much for traveling. He did however send along a little wedding present—an original piece of artwork with the inscription, “To Nick and Julie, love Andy ‘84’.” Rhodes and Friedman divorced in 1992 and in 2014, Friedman auctioned off the wedding gift from Warhol (much to the apparent displeasure of Rhodes who had gotten the bulk of their large art collection when they split) for $149,000. More photos from the wedding and Andy’s wedding gift follow, as well as footage from Nick Rhodes’ interview segment with Warhol on Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes in 1985.
 
Nick Rhodes in his pink tuxedo at his wedding to Julie Anne Friedman, August 18th, 1984
 
Nick Rhodes and Julie Anne Friedman at their wedding, August 18th 1984
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Like ‘Monopoly,’ but with drugs: Play ‘Feds ‘n’ Heads’ with the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers
04.08.2016
08:40 am

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Art
Drugs
Games

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Phineas, Fat Freddy and Freewheelin’ Franklin unwind with a game of Feds ‘n’ Heads
 
Feds ‘n’ Heads, the pot-dealing board game invented by Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers creator Gilbert Shelton, was released as a special insert in the September 1971 issue of Playboy. (It’s rumored that a boxed version of the game was also manufactured, but if so, copies appear to be quite scarce.) High rollers, so to speak, can procure that issue of Playboy for a few bucks online, while dirtbags like me can print out the board, cards and tokens for free through the good offices of Freaknet.
 

 
Even if Feds ‘n’ Heads did not bear a striking resemblance to Monopoly—in place of the Chance and Community Chest cards, for example, there are “Weird Trips” and “Burns, Busts, Bummers & Ripoffs” piles—the game would still be inviting to the resin-smudged and short-term memory impaired, not to mention the resin-smudged. Its rules are simple and few. Note that you are not discouraged from “liberating” the necessary materials from your parents’ Monopoly set, or, for that matter, playing for real money and cannabis:

1. Before starting, you will need a pair of DICE, a TOKEN for each player (any number can play) and $100 per player, plus several hundred dollars for the bank, in fake or real MONEY—in denominations of ones, fives, tens and twenties. You can make your own money out of pieces of paper or you can get everything you need by ripping off a Monopoly set.

2. The WINNER is the player who, moving his token the number shown on the dice in any direction (except on one-way streets), manages to SCORE (collect) a KEY (one kilogram—35 ounces or “lids”) of GRASS and get back HOME with it. (With four players, this usually takes a couple of hours; for a shorter version, you can lower the required number of lids to 25 or 30.) Keep track of your scores with paper clips, matches or, if you’re into it, real lids.

3. Grass (weed, hemp, marijuana, etc.) is acquired by landing directly on a numbered space. You may BUY up to as many ounces as indicated by the number. To find how much you will PAY per ounce, roll the dice again, and pay that amount in dollars.

4. One player has to adopt the role of FAT BANKER. He holds all the money not in play. Players start out at home with $100. Whenever you land on or pass through home thereafter, you may collect $50 from the Fat Banker. At this time you may also STASH whatever grass you have, which then may no longer be taken from you by any means.

5. If you land on the same space as another player, he has to give you one of his ounces.

6. If you land in JAIL, you can get out free on your next turn if you roll a double. Otherwise, it will cost you $50 or five lids.

 

 
Keep reading, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
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