FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
The Orchid Garden: Diabolical & supernatural imagery from history’s very first fantasy magazine
08.17.2017
12:20 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
For the past decade, Thomas Negovan, the deeply erudite proprietor of the visionary Century Guild Museum of Art in Los Angeles has been publishing beautiful art books, many of them funded via a smart and efficient use of Kickstarter. He’s one of the most successful and consistent publishers on the platform and I can personally bear witness that his deluxe volumes on artists like Clive Barker, Gail Potocki, David Mack and Michael Hussar are truly exquisite books indeed. He’s also publishing limited edition lithographs reprinting famous posters from the Symbolist movement. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Los Angeles, you definitely need to check out his space, but if not, he’s got an active online store as well.

Negovan’s newest project The Orchid Garden: Diabolical Fantasia collects images from The Orchid Garden, the very first fantasy magazine in history, preceding even Weird Tales by about four years. As you might expect from Germans during the era of the Weimar Republic, the publican was filled with sex and murder by way of Expressionist linework. Freaky flowers, gigantic insects, impossible creatures and Lovecraftian visions, The Orchid Garden had all that and more:

Der Orchideengarten was published after the First World War when German art was at its height of decadence and debauchery, the magazine included a wide selection of new and reprinted stories by both German-language and foreign writers ranging from suspense and terror to crime and the eerily-erotic. 

While the literary content is historically significant, many of the stories have been reprinted in multiple places across the last century; we have focused our attention on what has gone undocumented: the incredible artworks that illustrated these stories.

The artworks range from peculiar medieval etchings to occult woodblocks to expressionist visions—all balancing the romantic and the gothic with hyper-elegant sophistication. 

Der Orchideengarten gets mentioned frequently on blogs, at fantasy conventions, and at certain full-moon cauldron gatherings, but the same low-resolution images get shared over and over again.  This book is an opportunity to explore the 1919 publication in depth, with high resolution scans made from a pristine collection!

There are also limited edition letterpress prints available.

Below, some of the images from The Orchid Garden that will be seen in the new book:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
|
08.17.2017
12:20 pm
|
Yep! At long last there’s a Flying Spaghetti Monster colander!
08.17.2017
11:10 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Perfect headwear for your next driver’s license photo, this is the Flying Spaghetti Monster Colander designed by Lior Rokah Kor. The colander is available through Ototo for only $18. The Flying Spaghetti Monster Colander is on preorder and will be available with a September 6, 2017 release.

Since it’s plastic, I’m going to assume that it might not be dishwasher safe. 


 
Some examples of Pastafarians wearing colanders in their driver’s license photos:


 

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Tara McGinley
|
08.17.2017
11:10 am
|
Beautiful hand-colored photographs of Japanese women in the late 19th-century
08.17.2017
10:42 am
Topics:
Tags:

01kusa.jpg
‘Seated Woman.’
 
Kusakabe Kimbei (1841-1934) was a Japanese photographer who learned his trade as an assistant to Felice Beato, the pioneering photojournalist who came to Japan to document its people and their culture. Japan had just been through a civil war that led to the restoration of imperial rule. The country had also been forced—under the shadow of U.S. Navy battleships—to open trading routes with America. This new trade brought technology, tourism, and for some, the opportunity to turn imposition to advantage. And that’s what Kimbei did.

After learning all that he could from Beato, Kimbei established his own photographic studio in Yokohama in 1881. Kimbei had a natural talent for art and had spent part of his time coloring Beato’s photographs. Hand painting photographs was a way of redefining the medium and adding “an artistic Japanese intervention to Western technology.”

Once he established his studio, Kimbei plied his trade producing souvenir photographs of Japanese culture—samurais, geishas, tea drinking, musicians, everyday workers. These photographs maintained Japanese traditions at a time of great social, political, and cultural change when it seemed the very fabric of the country was being irredeemably changed. Among the many pictures Kimbei produced was a large set of portraits of Japanese women and their daily lives. But there’s an interesting thing going on in these photographs. What at first appears to be a straightforward representation is often an idealized or Western view of Oriental life intended for foreign consumption. Yet, at the same time, Kimbei transcends this view by use of color and composition.

This balancing between Japanese and Western media parallels national tensions concerning the degree that Japan should adopt foreign tools and technology, contrasted with a desire to preserve indigenous traditions and practices.

Kimbei became one of the most famous and respected Japanese photographers of his era, and his work gives a rare insight into Japan of the late 19th-century.
 
05kusa.jpg
‘Flower Kept Alive by Putting in Water.’
 
04kusa.jpg
‘Girls Carrying Paper Lantern in Winter Evening.’
 
See more of Kimbei’s work, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
08.17.2017
10:42 am
|
Super ‘wide-angle’ Italian lobby cards for ‘Easy Rider’
08.17.2017
09:26 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
I haven’t posted much about lobby cards on Dangerous Minds. They can be cool but basically it takes a lot to impress me. Most lobby cards are just random stills from the movie with some text underneath (or in the corner). It’s not often that someone in the process goes the extra mile to make them really interesting.

For some reason the Italian lobby cards that were produced for Dennis Hopper’s 1969 directorial debut Easy Rider are little short of breathtaking. Apparently the movie was called Easy Rider: Libertà e Paura (Liberty and Fear) there, and a fair bit of artistic ingenuity and creativity went into these excellent images that are in fact, strikingly, even wider than the movie’s aspect ratio of 1.85:1. They aren’t merely stills but instead are conceptual collages that create fascinating and wholly imagined tableaux that never actually appear in the movie at all. They’re overstuffed and provocative and full of life and all I can say is “Bravo!” (or “Brava!”) to whatever individual or group of individuals was responsible for them.

In case you didn’t know, there’s only a tiny handful of movies that can be said to have kicked off the bracing, vital American cinema of the 1970s, and Easy Rider‘s on the short list for sure. Among its other virtues, the movie brought into mainstream cinema frank content about drug use.

But forget all of that and take in these marvelous bits of advertising which can be appreciated by all who’ve seen the film, and even those who have not.
 

 

 
See the rest after the jump…...

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
08.17.2017
09:26 am
|
‘Dark Avenger’: The brief heavy metal career of Orson Welles
08.17.2017
09:16 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
After the breakup of the Dictators, the New York proto-punk band Richard Meltzer credited with returning “THE SPIRIT OF WRESTLING” to rock and roll, their lead guitarist, Ross “the Boss” Friedman, formed the metal group Manowar. A harbinger of today’s Viking and power metal subgenres, the band posed for press photos in silky briefs, wielding swords. Note that their name begins with the word “man.”

(Deep thinker Scott Ian of Anthrax allows as how he “kind of liked the first album” even though he thought Manowar’s image “was a bit gay.” Reading these words, I feel as if Joey Belladonna himself is pouring gallons of boiled farina into a cerebral shunt that empties just behind my right eye.)

During a recent podcast appearance, Friedman remembered how, during the sessions for their debut album, 1982’s Battle Hymns, Manowar cast about for someone to read the narrative section of their “epic” song “Dark Avenger.” Like Odin, the song’s titular hero loses an eye; unlike Odin, he waxes grievous wroth about it and rides a demon horse back home from Hell to waste everybody, “raping the daughters and wives.” Oy.
 

 
Poor penniless Orson Welles dragged his ass into the studio to narrate the Dark Avenger’s katabasis:

He was met at the gate of Hades
By the Guardian of the Lost Souls,
The Keeper of the Unavenged,
And He did say to him:

“Let ye not pass Abaddon.
Return to the world from whence ye came
And seek payment not only for thine own anguish
But to vindicate the souls of the Unavenged.”

And they placed in his hands a sword made for him called Vengeance
Forged in brimstone and tempered by the woeful tears of the Unavenged

And to carry him on his journey back to the upper world
They brought forth their demon horse called Black Death
A grim steed so fiercely might and black in color
That he could stand as one with the darkness
Save for his burning eyes of crimson fire
And on that night they rode up from Hell
The pounding of his hooves did clap like thunder.

For thematic reasons which remain obscure, in the finished album’s sequence, “Dark Avenger” leads into bassist Joey DeMaio’s solo interpretation of the William Tell Overture.

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
08.17.2017
09:16 am
|
When a superfan crosses the line, things will never be the same again (short film with Sean Young)
08.16.2017
01:10 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
bOING bOING’s resident video guru Eric Mittleman has been one of my nearest and dearest friends for over a quarter century. He’s what is called “a keeper” in lifelong friend terms and is one of my all time favorite people. His new short film was recently premiered on bOING bOING and now we’re showcasing it here.

The filmmaker writes:

This short film is a cautionary tale about our personal and social media data and what can be done with it when it is a little too accessible. When a superfan crosses the line, Jason, a blogger, goes looking for her. He finds something unexpected and his life will never be the same again. The cast consists of Sean Young (Bladerunner), Joshua LeBar (Entourage), Alice Hunter (Another Period) and Claudia Graf (Love & Mercy).  I hope you enjoy it.

One small bit of background information: The main character’s apartment looks exactly like Eric’s own apartment. The TV, the couch. Everything. Except that it’s much, much, much tidier. Weird.

(Runs away)
 

 
Watch ‘Legacy’ after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Richard Metzger
|
08.16.2017
01:10 pm
|
‘Flesh Gordon,’ the ‘Space Age Sex Spoof’ of the Seventies that’s ‘out of this world’
08.16.2017
11:14 am
Topics:
Tags:

01aflshgrdn.jpg
 
People, we’re in big trouble.

On the far distant planet of Porno, Emperor Wang the Perverted has his sex ray pointed at Earth and every time he shoots the damned thing everyone goes plum sex-mad crazy. People are fucking in the street. Orgies are piling up everywhere. No one is safe. And the cry goes up, “Is there a hero out there who can save us?”

Too right there is. Name’s Flesh Gordon—who is somehow unaffected by Wang’s porny ray.

That’s just the opener for Michael Benveniste and Howard Ziehm’s schlocky sexploitation flick Flesh Gordon from 1974. If you are cognizant with the original 1930’s Universal serials or have seen the big screen version of Flash Gordon, then you’ll know just exactly how the story goes in this “outrageous parody of yesterday’s superheroes.”

Flesh (Jason Williams) teams up with a young woman called Dale Ardor (Suzanne Fields) and a scientist Dr. Flexi Jerkoff (Joseph Hudgins), who just happens to have a rocket ship ready to blast off to beat the evil Wang (William Dennis Hunt). This unlikely trio zoom off into space, land on Porno, and combat Wang and his band of “raping robots.” Along the way, they encounter Prince Precious (Mycle Brandy) the rightful king of Porno and his band of merry men, Queen Amora (Nora Wieternik), and the Great God Porno—a Ray Harryhausen-type monster voiced by none other than Craig T. Nelson. Thrills, comedy, and sex ensue.

The storyline for Flesh Gordon was so close to the original that Universal Studios at one point actively considered suing the filmmakers for blatant copyright infringement. Benveniste and Ziehm avoided this calamity by simply stating that their film was intended as an “homage” to the original source material. They also had all the advertising material labeled with the caveat that their movie was “Not to be confused with the original Flash Gordon.”

Flesh Gordon was originally intended as a hardcore space age romp with full-on sex but unfortunately “the filming of such material was illegal in Los Angeles at the time it was made (hard as that may be to believe now)”

...to prevent their prosecution for pandering, the filmmakers were forced to surrender all such footage [to] the L.A. vice squad, and Flesh Gordon was released without explicit pornographic content.

The end result was a rather tame sophomorish comic sexploitation movie that somehow managed to win over its audience with its likeable schlocky charm. It’s fair to say that films like Flesh Gordon along with the likes of John Boorman’s Zardoz or Ken Russell’s Lisztomania or even Car Wash and Saturday Night Fever say as much about the free-wheeling hedonistic zeitgeist of the 1970s as gritty films like Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, Get Carter, and The Conversation reflect the converse.
 
010fshgrdn.jpg
 
060flshgrdn.jpg
 
More ‘Flesh,’ revealed after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
08.16.2017
11:14 am
|
Welcome to Hell: The fantastic faceless figurative art of Vlada Mirković
08.16.2017
11:09 am
Topics:
Tags:


“Dante, Divine Comedy, Welcome into the Hell.” A painting by Vlada Mirković.
 
I sadly can’t tell you much about Serbian-born painter Vlada Mirković, though I do believe that his remarkable paintings will resonate with the vast majority of our art-loving Dangerous Minds readers. According to what I was able to glean about Mirković, he has been working as a freelance artist for nearly three decades. He specializes in “figurative art” which, as it pertains to modern art, is the creation of pieces that depict the artist’s vision of the “real world,” especially as it relates to the physical human form.

Here’s a nice synopsis of what seems to make Mirkovic tick written by Swiss art historian Benoit Junod:

“The universe which Vlada leads us into through his paintings is perhaps the one which Alice found beyond the looking-glass. It is not fairground world with light relief or escape routes, although the sky is always blue there. Architectures are rigorous, and a faceless man confronts his destiny and measures himself to it. Maybe Vlada brings us there to give us the privilege of seeking the truth there in. Again proof of fragility, of our own fragility, is present. The balance and harmony, however, contradict what might be frightening in this world which obliges us to introspection. The intelligence of artist is to hold our hand and reassure us, as he leads us along with his pictural path, much as Dante did before him.”

Right on. Below, a selection of Mirković‘s dreamlike paintings, which have sell for as much as $15,000 dollars. Some are slightly NSFW.
 

“Anatomy Lesson” 2015.
 

“Daydreams” 2012.
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
08.16.2017
11:09 am
|
Sexy shoes and surrealist foot fetish: The provocative photography of Guy Bourdin
08.16.2017
08:33 am
Topics:
Tags:


A photo taken by Guy Bourdin for shoe and fashion designer, Charles Jourdan.
 
Celebrated photographer Guy Bourdin’s career spanned nearly 40 years. In the mid-50s, the young Frenchman got his big break after scoring a dream gig with French Vogue. Bourdin was inspired by the vitally important Man Ray, and the revered American Surrealist would become a mentor to the young Bourdin. In fact, when Bourdin held his first gallery show in Paris in 1952, Man Ray himself wrote the introduction for the show’s catalog.
 

A photograph taken by Guy Bourdin inside Man Ray’s studio in Paris.
 
As the 1960s rolled in, Bourdin’s services would be engaged by shoe and fashion designer Charles Jourdan to create ads for his sexy footwear. Bourdin’s photos for Jourdan were wildly unconventional and routinely featured disembodied legs, nudity, and fetish-like imagery. Jourdan would use a vast number of Bourdin’s images for various ad campaigns until the early part of the 80’s—many of which look more like provocative movie stills than ads for shoes. As you might imagine, Bourdin’s work has been compiled into a wide variety of books including Exhibit A (2001), Guy Bourdin: Polaroids (2010), and Guy Bourdin: A Message for You, (2013). Fans of the masterful innovator say that Bourdin was incapable of taking a “bad” photograph, something I think you will agree with after looking at the examples of his work posted below. Some are NSFW.
 

Another image by Bourdin used by Charles Jourdan.
 

1964.
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
08.16.2017
08:33 am
|
Fruitopia commercials scored by Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins
08.16.2017
08:12 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
If I say the word “Fruitopia” to you, there’s a decent chance you’ll respond with some comment about the 1990s—the savviest among you might even say “1994” specifically. Fruitopia was the brainchild of a marketing head at Coca-Cola named Sergio Zyman—he also brought the world the overt GenX pandering elixir OK Cola right around the same time. The fruit-flavored tea concoction was a clear attempt to move in on the territory staked out by Snapple, and while Fruitopia had its day in the sun, as is often the case the first product to define a niche gets to own that niche.

Fruitopia is remembered today for its neo-hippie trappings. The flavors had names like The Grape Beyond, Tangerine Wavelength, Citrus Consciousness, and Raspberry Psychic Lemonade, and the marketing consisted mainly of trippy and “deep” kaleidoscope commercials featuring cosmic music scored and performed by Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins and the Muffs, among others.
 

 
Marty Cooke and Andrew Chinich of Chiat/Day oversaw the campaign; they reached out to Bush and were delighted when she agreed to do nine spots for the drink. According to Cooke, Bush indicated that “she was interested in providing a lot of variety, from Japanese drummers to Moroccan music ... and she came through in spades.”

In Graeme Thomson’s book Kate Bush: Under the Ivy, we get this:
 

[Bush] accepted a commission to write several brief pieces of music to accompany the $30m US TV ad campaign for the launch of Coca-Cola’s ne fruit drink Fruitopia…. It seemed an incongruous move. Bush had consistently turned down advances of this nature….

The motivation for her changing tack wasn’t clear but was probably varied: far from the commercial ingenue she sometimes appears, certainly the financial rewards would have been extremely significant; perhaps she liked the tone of the ads, which were relatively innoative and visually stimulating and over which she was given complete artistic control. She may also have recognised an opportunity to cast the net of her music a little wider, while also finding a home for all the melodic waifs and rhythmic strays that had never quite found a home in her “proper” songs. ... [each melody hinted] at a longer piece, several reminiscent of the kind of odd, rhythmic, electronic pop she was making around the time of The Dreaming.

 
Here are the ads—in some of them, Bush supplies identifiable vocals, as in “Fighting Fruit” in which you can hear her chant “Hey hey fruit!” and “Skin,” in which you can hear her uttering a sort of “bol,” or Indian rhythmic syllable, that sounds like “digga dha.”

Kate Bush, “Fighting Fruit”

 
Much more after the jump…...
 

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
08.16.2017
08:12 am
|
Page 1 of 2203  1 2 3 >  Last ›