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Gavin Evans’ magnificent portraits of Bowie, Björk, Iggy, and Nick Cave
07.10.2017
11:18 am
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David Bowie.
 
The Monday morning mailbag arrived with its usual gifts of bills, party invites, ransom demands (which I really must get around to paying), and “Dear John” letters. I was about to tip all this largesse into the bin when I noticed a postcard from a dear friend Christopher. It was the usual greetings of “Having a lovely time” and “Wish you were here” kind of thing but what saved it from the trash was the front photograph of David Bowie by Gavin Evans.

Now we all have favorite photographers and one of mine is certainly Mr. Evans who has taken some of the most magnificent, gorgeous, and iconic images of the past two decades. The photograph of Bowie shushing with a finger to his lips like he did in the promo for “China Girl” has been used on numerous magazine covers, photospreads, TV documentaries, and pirated for Internet memes, urban graffiti, and even tattoos. Its ubiquity one would hope should have made Mr. Evans a very rich man—but somehow (sadly) I very much doubt that.

Another of Evans’ Bowie photographs—a color portrait in which he wore blue contact lenses—captured a vulnerability that I’d never seen before (see picture above). It was as if Bowie allowed his guard down for just a moment and had unknowingly (or perhaps willingly) revealed a more vulnerable and intimate side. The picture was taken in 1995 for a Time Out cover. A couple of years later, Bowie contacted Evans and asked for a print of this picture to hang in his office. Bowie explained to Evans that this was his favorite portrait.

That’s the thing I like about Evans’ work—he has an uncanny talent for capturing the very essence of his subject matter. His photographs make the gods flesh. Look at his portraits of Nick Cave which reveal something of the man behind the public persona or his series of photographs of Björk which capture a tender and humorous side sometimes lacking from more traditional photo shoots. Or just look at his portrait of John Hurt where you can see the pores of the actor’s skin and peer right into his soul.

Christopher’s Bowie postcard is now pinned to the wall. I browsed for more of Evans work and was happily surprised to find a selection of his most powerful and iconic work is currently on tour. Then something even better, a selection of Evans’ beautiful prints are availble to buy. Now every home can have a Gavin Evans on their wall.
 
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David Bowie.
 
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See more of Gavin Evans majestic photographs, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.10.2017
11:18 am
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Lusty vintage photos of women sitting on things in the nude
07.10.2017
10:02 am
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Two images from the photographic series ‘Sitting’ taken by John Kayser.
 
These images, from a vast photographic series called “Sitting,” were taken by photographer John Kayser during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The photos, which were discovered by “accident” at Kayser’s home in Los Angeles after he passed away in 2007, were purchased by fetish photographer Eric Kroll who has been an avid admirer of Kayser’s for some time. In the series, Kayser (who is widely known as “John K.”) photographed female models in the nude sitting on various objects like large flower vases or, in at some cases, the photographer’s own head.

Kayser’s’ photos are meditative and intensely intimate, though they never give off the vibe that Kayser is intruding upon the solitary sensual moments his subjects are sharing with their often naked backsides. In fact, many cross the border into kitschy kookiness, which seems like a fairly accurate description of what a nude woman sitting on a bunch of oranges on a kitchen looks like. In 2014 Kroll published a beautiful book titled Sitting featuring Kayser’s clandestine photos.

Here’s a passage from the book where Kroll speaks about Kayser as an artist:

“From the bearskin rug in his East LA living room to a photo studio along Hillcrest Avenue in Los Feliz (LA), young women appeared, sometimes more than once, in his photos. I think these photos had a dual purpose for him: to paint from and to get off on, sexually. The work runs the gamut from classical nude to extremely intimate. But if the definition for pornography is gratuitous imagery to sell, then John wasn’t a pornographer. I can’t claim he didn’t feel there would be a certain immorality to his work (since he, as an old man, scribbled names and dates on the backs of his images taken years earlier), but I suspect the women never imagined their most private parts would grace a gallery wall.”

A collection of images from Sitting below which are delightfully NSFW.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.10.2017
10:02 am
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Artist paints ‘orgasm faces’ based on stills from vintage porn films
07.07.2017
10:07 am
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A painting from artist Alexandra Rubinstein’s series “Looking for Mr. Goodsex.”
 
In her bio, Russian born Brooklyn-based artist Alexandra Rubinstein notes that she is focused on “crushing the patriarchy one male figure at a time” and boy, do we need you now more than EVER Ms. Rubinstein. Alexandra’s works are quite provocative, to say the least—and even the titles of her work, such as her amusing 2014 series “Men Eating Pussy” which features paintings of men muff diving that was created using vintage stills from pornographic movies, though in Rubinstein’s paintings the female recipient has been replaced by “negative space.”

For this post, I’m going to focus on another one of Rubinstein’s collections “Looking for Mr. Goodsex.” For the 2013/2014 series, Rubinstein painted portraits inspired by un-cropped stills taken from films such as Deep Throat and others that originated during the “Golden Age” of porn.

There’s also a few pictures from one of her most recent accomplishments, a series called “Thirsty” in which the artist reproduced images from vintage Playgirl magazines then covered up the bare crotches of the vintage studs with fully functional, wall-mounted bottle openers. Rubinstein’s goal with “Thirsty” was to convey the role of a woman as a consumer for a change and not the object or vehicle utilized to promote or sell something. Since I’ve mentioned the words “porn” and “pussy” a few times in this post, I hope you’ve arrived at the conclusion that the images in this post are somewhat NSFW.
 

 

 
More, more, more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.07.2017
10:07 am
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The Erotic 3-D Photography of Jiří Růžek (NSFW)
07.06.2017
10:19 am
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Jiří Růžek is one of the word’s best glamor and erotic photographers. He is described by critics and fans alike as an artist who has redefined the genre by producing fine art out of glamor photography.

Růžek considers himself just a photographer who takes nude portraits. He describes his work as Uglamour—a term he made up from the words “Ugly” and “Glamour.” He says his intention is to create “natural and straightforward photographs showing true and believable emotions.” This is what makes his photographs stand out and why many describe his work as fine art.

Born fifty years ago in Litoměřice, Czech Republic, Růžek is now based in Prague where he runs a studio, a workshop, and an exhibition space. His work has been exhibited across the globe and published in magazines and books by the likes of Taschen, Random House, Gmbh, and Constable & Robinson. Even with all this success, Růžek still finds time to run group and one-to-one photographic courses and private shoots.

But you really don’t need to know all this unless, of course, you wanna sign-up for a workshop or maybe be one of his photographic models. What I really want to share is Růžek’s gorgeous erotic 3-D Anaglyphs. These photos are stereoscopic pictures made from two red and cyan filtered colored images. Růžek’s 3-D photos have a sensuous beauty that recalls Edward Weston‘s nudes or Helmut Newton‘s provocative erotica but all are captured with Růžek’s own style. You’ll need your 3-D glasses to get the full effect.

See more of Jiří Růžek’s work here.
 
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See more eye-catching 3-D beauty, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.06.2017
10:19 am
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Night Stalkers: Disturbing illustrated covers from Serial Killer Magazine
07.06.2017
09:50 am
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An illustration of Richard Ramirez aka “The Night Stalker” on the cover of issue #25 of Serial Killer Magazine.
 
Serial Killer Magazine got its start in 2014 and to date has put out 25 issues dedicated to the dark world of serial killers. The page-turner is the holy grail for anyone into “murderabilia,” and the mag takes the business of providing in-depth information about serial murderers very seriously, often utilizing real experts in the field and in some cases, the killers themselves. As someone who has a macabre interest in these kinds of things, I’m embarrassed to admit that I had no knowledge of Serial Killer Magazine until today and was instantly captivated by its grim, illustrated covers.

As I’m sure you are aware, there is a pretty robust market for ephemera associated with serial killers. Paintings and illustrations done by one of the most well-known serial killers, John Wayne Gacy (you know, this guy) have sold for several thousands of dollars. However, it should be noted that some of Gacy’s “collectors” purchased his art to destroy it including the families of Gacy’s 33 victims. Another important point to make here is that the magazine wants to be clear that their product isn’t a means of glorifying the notorious crimes it details within its pages, but is intended to be a resource for anyone that has an interest in real crime. That said, the magazine sells for $15 an issue which you can get here. I’ve posted a few of my favorite covers from Serial Killer Magazine below that I am sure many of our more dangerously-minded readers will enjoy checking out.
 

Issue #11 featuring a portrait of Carl Panzram by the great Joe Coleman. Panzram was a prolific criminal who in addition to being a serial killer was also an arsonist, rapist, and burglar. 
 

Issue #23 featuring a super creepy illustration by Rowan Andrews of John Wayne Gacy.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.06.2017
09:50 am
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‘Let My Puppets Come’: The 1976 puppet porn that nobody asked for but we got anyway
07.06.2017
09:05 am
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The cover for the VHS of ‘Let My Puppets Come’ a puppet porn film from 1976.
 
Gerard Damiano directed the legendary 1972 porn film Deep Throat but he also played a part in the skin flick under the goofy name “Al Gork” who was credited as the “Last Man” in the film. Four years after that accomplishment Damiano would write and direct a porn film called Let My Puppets Come. The bizarre movie utilized marionettes that looked much like the beloved cast of The Muppet Show. But instead of musical numbers and comedy sketches, Damiano’s degenerate puppets spent their time on screen engaging in all kinds of hardcore sex acts with other puppets and the occasional human.

The 45-minute raunch-fest coincidentally made its debut the very same year The Muppet Show first aired on television. Most people who have witnessed the car-crashy horror that is Let My Puppets Come call the film everything from “charming” (huh?) to a downright “disasterpiece” both of which sound like pretty fair assessments to me even though I’ve never actually seen the flick in its entirety. Damiano enlisted the voice skills of sleaze king Al Goldstein, the co-founder of SCREW. Goldstein was also joined by actor Louie De Jesus (the twisted dwarf from the 1976 film Bloodsucking Freaks) and Viju Krim (who played the ballerina in Bloodsucking Freaks).

Apparently, it was Damiano’s intention to make a “sexy” puppet film, but somehow he ended up making a movie about puppets having orgies and engaging in sex acts with a puppet dog. Even good old Al Goldstein gets a blowjob from one of Damiano’s puppets which only ups the bizarro factor of the long out of print film. Occasionally VHS or DVD rips of Let My Puppets Come pop up on auction sites like eBay or on Amazon but they aren’t cheap like the horny stars of the film, and even a copy of the VHS can run you $80. I’ve posted a few images from the movie along with a trailer of sorts that features an unreleased theme song for the film “Take Your Baby to the Movies.” Everything that follows is NSFW and also confusing as fuck. Enjoy!
 

 

I’m not sure what is going on in this still. At all. And that’s probably okay.
 
More tawdry puppet activity after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.06.2017
09:05 am
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That time Mary Hartman and Patti Smith unwittingly formed a fantasy presidential ticket, 1976
07.05.2017
04:06 pm
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Any discussion about the presidency in 2017 has to start with the notion that about 90% of Americans living or dead would be an improvement over the current occupant of the Oval Office. Having said that, it’s much more fun to contemplate an actual presidential hopeful of several decades ago that really might have been waaaaaaay better in many respects than ANY of the 45 men we’ve had as president so far (okay, actually 44).

I refer to Mary Hartman, the doubly eponymous main character from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Norman Lear’s groundbreaking and addictive soap parody from the mid-1970s that starred Louise Lasser and also did so much to introduce the country to the prodigious talents of Mary Kay Place, Martin Mull, Dabney Coleman, and Doris Roberts. (One of the most astonishing aspects of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was that it was produced five days a week for more than a year, meaning that it left behind a remarkable 325 episodes in its 2 seasons. Today you can buy the entire series on DVD of course.)

You probably didn’t know that Mary Hartman was a presidential candidate in 1976, the year that Democrat Jimmy Carter narrowly bested the Republican incumbent Gerald Ford. And if you didn’t know that, then it’s extremely unlikely you knew that Patti Smith was her running mate. I’m not a constitutional scholar, but I will assert with a high degree of confidence that the Constitution does not bar fictional characters from the presidency. As for Patti Smith, who is definitely not fictional, she became the ticket’s VP pick without any consent or even knowledge that it was happening, but she graciously accepted the bid after the fact.

The whole thing was a kind of prank or stunt by the Fluxus practitioner and “mail art” pioneer Jerry Dreva, a native of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the early 1970s, Dreva and some of his fellow Wisconsinites, finding themselves in Southern California, founded a collective known as Les Petites Bonbons that specialized in mail art pranks.
 

 
One thing about mail art is that it tends to announce the location of its projects. The Hartman/Smith ticket mailing, which appears to have numbered about 1,500, actually has a return address on it, 629 Madison Ave., in South Milwaukee, so it might be the case that Dreva had returned to his home state by that time. It’s not clear. Dreva passed away in 1997.

There is incredibly little information about the Hartman/Smith project. In a 1984 issue of High Performance, Suzan Carson wrote that “Dreva livens up the most boring presidential election in memory with two flyers promoting the candidacy of Mary Hartman for president and Patti Smith for vice-president of the United States.” She also added that Smith accepted the nomination as “president of vice” (har har) at a Milwaukee concert. That concert was probably held at Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre in March 1976—anybody reading this remember that show?

Earlier this year, there was an auction on Canadian eBay for a “small collection of late-1970s works by mail-art pioneer Jerry Dreva, including glossy prints for the Mary Hartman / Patti Smith campaign in 1976,” which also included several other amusing mailings by Dreva from 1976 and a little bit later, and I’ve reproduced some of those here for the fun of it.

It’s a shame Mary Hartman didn’t get elected president—it would have been fun to watch the Supreme Court tussle with that legal conundrum. Of course I suppose it’s likely that Smith would have become president instead. Or maybe Hartman would have stayed president—and done more good for the country than Donald Trump will ever do.
 

 

 
More of Jerry Dreva’s postal tomfoolery after the jump…..

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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07.05.2017
04:06 pm
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Sex, symbolism and myth in the sensuous art of Gabriel Grun
07.05.2017
04:06 pm
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‘The Fates.’
 
When Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517, the Pope knew the Catholic Church was in big trouble. Il Papa knew the Catholic Church was going to lose business and business was money.

Business was one of the many things Luther complained about in his Theses. Mainly the notion of indulgences or paying off the Church to wipe clean any sins that meant damnation or purgatory in the hereafter.

Now, all this hoo-hah led to three different Popes (including naughty Pope Julius III) presiding over the Council of Trent—which is only important to our little story because among many other things it got the Pope hip to the idea of spreading Catholicism through art.

This wasn’t a new idea by any stretch but it was something the Church really finessed after Luther and used to its full extent to enforce its will. The Church signed-up all the best artists to create large, powerful, iconic paintings to spread the faith to the illiterate mass market. These paintings were displayed in churches. They told the story of Jesus Christ blah-blah-blah and made pretty damn clear to everyone watching that hellfire, damnation, and sin were very, very real things and only the good old Catholic Church could save you from them.

So, in a way, Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses inadvertently led to the first major global advertising campaign. Yeah, yeah, there’d been plenty of paintings and iconography and invading armies with their very own trademarks before, but nothing quite as organized or as universal as the Church. It wasn’t all bad. This eventually led to artists questioning their subject matter and a progression towards more humanist symbolism in painting and an age of Enlightenment.

What the Church encouraged on the grand scale is what we all do today with memes—embed narrative into imagery. Why is this important? Well, it’s a bit of a back story to the baroque world of painting which has in may ways been brought bang up-to-date in the work of an exceptionally talented Argentinian artist and sculptor named Gabriel Grun.

Grun paints bold, classical, figurative canvases that relate to earlier times. He is not copying the past and he is certainly not selling us religion but rather using myth, legend, and iconography to examine this world. The obvious ones are paintings like the The Three Fates where our life is spun, measured, and then cut. Or the body of the invasive many-eyed Argus who reflects our world of constant supervision. Or Leda seduced by Zeus disguised as a swan which has its parallel today in nature altered by science from test tube babies to sperm donation. Or the archer who will shoot down the gods to commit suicide.

His paintings are sometimes humorous but most times heavily charged with sex and sexuality—humanity under the thrall of its shared sexual impulse.

Grun is magpie-like in his use of ideas. The painting “Nari Asva” was inspired by an old Hindu legend of shepherdesses devoted to Krishna who take the form of a horse upon which Krishna rode. In Grun’s painting, the form of the horse is Archimboldoesque and surreal. Other obvious influences include the Tarot Arcana, Albrecht Dürer, and Flemish portraiture.

If, like me, you find Grun’s paintings beautiful and utterly engaging, then you may be interested to know they are for sale and he has a blog where you can find more of his work.
 
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‘Sun and Moon.’
 
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‘Nari Asva.’
 
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‘Hermaphrodite.’
 
See more of Gabriel Grun’s work, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.05.2017
04:06 pm
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London Calling: A look at vintage ‘tart cards’ used by English prostitutes
07.05.2017
09:22 am
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A vintage “tart card” that you would find inside a London telephone box.
 
During the mid-80s and 90s in London after the privatization of British Telecom, the telephone box was used by prostitutes to advertise their services. The boxes would be plastered with “tart cards” which were affixed to the box by professional “carders” who would routinely update the booths with replacement cards. “Carders” were also known for removing cards of competing prostitutes.

This form of flesh advertising would remain in place until 2001 when the UK made the act of posting tart cards inside telephone boxes punishable by either six months in the clink or a £5000 pound fine. The cards from the 80s and 90s included in this post were much like something you’d seen in a homemade fanzine—naughty illustrations along with some tongue-in-cheek catchy phrase (“Your pain is my pleasure” is a favorite) that were printed on brightly colored cards. Another interesting aspect of the old-school tart cards is that they were often devoid of full-on nudity, and preferred instead to imply certain services, such as an illustration of a female dominatrix holding a whip, stepping on a man with her stiletto boot heel along with her phone number. By the time 2002 rolled in, the cards were used as a means by police to track down the prostitutes and evict them from their apartments or homes as well as possibly deport call-girls who were in the country illegally.

The cards are such a memorable part of London counter-culture from that era that the neon-colored tart cards were prominently featured in the 2003 book Tart Cards: London’s Illicit Advertising Art. I’ve posted images of tart cards from the early 80s and 90s below for you to peruse which, as you can imagine, are NSFW.
 

 

 
More tart cards after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.05.2017
09:22 am
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More darkly f*cked up comicstrip paintings from Joan Cornellà
06.30.2017
09:28 am
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Like Joan Cornellà? Check. Got the book? Check. Got the t-shirt? Check. Wanna see his latest solo show? Double check.

Well then, now you can.

Joan Cornellà has a series of solos shows exhibiting his hilariously dark, twisted, yet utterly brilliant comicstrip paintings planned for across the globe.

Most recently, one of Joan’s solo shows opened in Shanghai. Next month another opens at the Galerie Arts Factory, Paris, from July 1st-August 26th. This will be followed by one at the Josée Bienvenu Gallery, New York, from July 14th-30th. Then in September, there’s another at the Hoxton Arches, London from September 15th-October 1st. Joan will be present at all of these shows doing the book-signing and hand-shaking and probably head-nodding to your many questions.

If you really like Joan and one of his solo shows is a-comin’ near you—then you’d be a goddam fool to miss it.

Of course, if you’re nowhere near any of these prized metropolises, then you’ll just have to make do with this small yet beautifully formed selection of Joan’s recent and not so recent work. Enjoy!
 
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More surreal black comedy, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.30.2017
09:28 am
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