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Beyond the Valley of the Lurid Exploitation Film Posters of the 50s, 60s & 70s
02.05.2016
04:16 pm

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Movies
Sex

Tags:
posters


Night Tide

A Lovecraftian poster for an odd 1960s mermaid thriller starring Dennis Hopper with a freaky cameo appearance by Marjorie Cameron, the bohemian witch of Los Angeles.

This is a sampling from a private collection of rare, massive 40” x 60” posters that were printed on cardstock for drive-In movie theaters.  More posters and related merchandise are online at hautecampe.com (“Archeaologists of the Strange”).  All are for sale at auction until February 8, when the bidding closes.

Haute Campe offers a collection of original rare, vintage film posters from the 1940s-1970s originating mostly from drive-ins and grindhouse theaters. Most of the posters went through a single distributor called National Screen Service, hence the “property of N.S.S.” at the bottom of 99% of the movie posters printed in the 20th century!  While many posters were destroyed by the elements and others were pulled off the wall by collectors, a great many returned to the distributor’s archives and piled up for many many years. 

We were fortunate enough to be able to acquire a large part of the archives and the treasures were fantastic, including rarely-seen posters that were for small run promotions and exceedingly impossible to find sizes like the gorgeous and massive 40” x 60” silkscreens created for drive-in movie theaters.

This is a selection from the latter part of the alphabet. You can see A to N at an earlier post here.
 

Ordered to Love

An American distributor purchased a historical film and repackaged it as a Nazisploitation thrill; the fact that the movie was years old at this point was sold to the audience as the film having been “censored until now!”
 

Please, Not Now!

A towel-clad Brigitte Bardot stuns in this incredible 1961 Pop Art poster.
 

Rasputin the Mad Monk/The Reptile

A giant poster advertising a 1966 Hammer double-feature where theatergoers would get their own Rasputin beard!
 

Runaway Daughters
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Martin Sharp’s psychedelic tarot cards from 1967
02.04.2016
02:43 pm

Topics:
Art
Occult

Tags:
tarot
Martin Sharp


 

Martin Sharp was an incredibly important figure in the development of the psychedelic aesthetic in the 1960s. He was an artist from Australia and from 1963 to 1965 he was the art director for Richard Neville’s influential underground newspaper, which was called OZ Magazine. In 1966 Sharp moved to London and a year later began working for the London version of OZ, which lasted until 1973.

In addition to his many, many artworks that appeared in OZ, Sharp pursued his own art, and he also designed two extremely influential album covers for Cream (Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire) as well as the first Ginger Baker’s Air Force album. He also co-wrote the Cream song “Tales of Brave Ulysses.”

Issue #4 of the London incarnation of OZ came out in June 1967, and it featured a large spread containing a full tarot deck by Martin Sharp. The spread looked like this (click the picture for a larger view):
 

 
Here are all of the cards followed by the text that goes along with the set, in case you should find the text hard to read.
 

1. The Magician (or Juggler)
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Naughty, sexy vintage 50s cartoons from ‘Josie and the Pussycats’ creator

Humorama illustration by Don DeCarlo, 1950s
 
Many of you may already recognize Dan DeCarlo’s name as the man behind the Archie Comics in the 1950s and most of the 60s. Some of you will also be aware of the kitschy fact that DeCarlo, who also penned the comic Josie and the Pussycats, modeled the character of Josie after his own wife whose name was, you guessed it… Josie. According to DeCarlos’ wife, it was the leopard cat costume she wore on a cruise with DeCarlo that inspired “Josie’s” signature leopard leotard with a tail that she wore on stage while performing with her rockin’ girl combo, the Pussycats.
 
Don DeCarlo's
Dan DeCarlo’s “Josie” in her cat costume (and her signature hairdo) from the pages of a ‘Josie and the Pussycats’ comic
 
In the late 40s when Marvel Comics was still known as Timely Comics, the editor-in-chief (yes, Stan Lee), gave DeCarlo a few good breaks and DeCarlo would go on to work with Lee in different comic publishing outfits for many years. During the 50s and 60s, DeCarlo’s cheesecake pin-ups and racy (and often sexist) illustrations were routinely published in “Humorama” magazines like Breezy, Comedy, Romp, Eyeful of Fun, and other “digest sized” publications alongside fleshy pin-up images of burlesque queen Lili St. Cyr, Bettie Page and actress Julie Newmar. DeCarlo’s original illustrations are highly sought after by collectors and routinely sell for several thousands of dollars each.
 
Dan DeCarlo Humorama illustration, 50s
 
DeCarlo’s “amusing” illustrations are often accompanied by not-so-amusing captions that contained straightforward misogyny as well as the typical sexism that was rampant in the 1950s. There’s also a lot of spanking involved. Thankfully, as I’m a woman with a good sense of humor and strong appreciation for art (especially when it comes to historical documents belonging to notable and respected artists), I really dug looking at the “other side” of the man behind some of my favorite pop culture memories and his bawdy, scientifically impossible bodacious bad girls.

If you too dig DeCarlo’s work, there are two wonderful books that detail his pen and paper obsession with cheeky girls—the 300-page Innocence & Seduction: The Art of Dan DeCarlo and The Pin-Up Art of Dan DeCarlo (published by Fantagraphics).
 
Don DeCarlo's Humorama illustrations from the 1950s
Dan DeCarlo’s “Humorama” illustrations from 1950s “digest size” magazines
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Super strange sculptures only the dark and demented could love
02.02.2016
09:31 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
ceramics
Shary Boyle

Home Haunter, porcelain, fur, gold luster, china paint by Shary Boyle, 2015
“Home Haunter,” porcelain, fur, gold luster, china paint by Shary Boyle, 2015
 
That’s not to say, of course, that if you’re not as dark and demented as yours truly, that you won’t also be drawn to these gorgeous yet strange ceramic sculptures by Canadian artist, Shary Boyle. But it might help.

Boyle has worked with a number of musical artists during her career, like the equally out-there Peaches and Feist. While her CV isn’t limited to sculpture (Boyle works in nearly every medium), it is her bizarre, yet enchanting sculptures that caught my eye today. Boyle’s strange ceramics, while compelling to look at, also attempt to convey powerful messages on such topics as social equality, eroticism and the emotional turmoil that we as human beings are subjected to existing in this world together.

What I love most about Boyle’s off-kilter ceramics, in addition to their heavy ideas, is that they are at times somewhat amusing (to me anyway). Like her piece “Bless You,” which features a creepy white porcelain hand, with an drastically elongated middle finger pointed straight at the sky.

A back view of Home Haunter by Shary Boyle
“Home Haunter,” back view
 
The Dandy Widow, Shary Boyle, 2009
“The Dandy Widow,” 2009
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’: When Hugh Hefner and Roman Polanski made a movie

002mcbjnfnch.jpg
 
Roman Polanski’s first film after the horrific murder of his wife Sharon Tate and their friends at 10050 Cielo Drive, Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, in 1969 was a reworking of William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. Polanski said the murders had traumatised him to such an extent that making movies seemed utterly pointless.

I couldn’t think of a subject that seemed worthwhile or dignified enough to spend a year or more on it, in view of what happened to me.

That may sound extremely pompous, but I couldn’t make another suspense story. And I certainly couldn’t make a comedy: I couldn’t make a casual film.

Polanski suffered a severe depression. He was deranged with grief and felt a terrible guilt for what had happened. He abandoned the film he had been working on, The Day of the Dolphin, but eventually he started to tentatively look for a subject of substance worthy of his attention. He had once had an ambition to make a film based on one of Shakespeare’s plays. Together with the writer and critic Kenneth Tynan he began adapting Macbeth for the screen.

This dark film of witchcraft and brutal, bloody murder was considered too close to the recent events in Polanski’s life for any Hollywood studio to produce. The director therefore approached a friend, Victor Lownes, who was a senior executive with Playboy. Lownes had been partying with Polanski the night of the Manson murders. He had also produced Monty Python’s first theatrical film And Now For Something Completely Different. Lownes secured $1,500,000 from Hugh Hefner to make Macbeth.

Polanski and Tynan refused to cast the expected middleaged Shakespearean actors in the lead roles opting instead for the relatively unknown Jon Finch as Macbeth and Francesca Annis as his wife, with Martin Shaw as Banquo and Terence Bayler as MacDuff. Polanski had met Finch on a plane journey and was mesmerized by the young actor’s charisma. Finch was then best known for his television work, while Annis had at one time been considered the next Elizabeth Taylor. In fact Taylor herself briefly took the actress “under her wing.” She had also modelled and was friends with a many of London’s music scene—including Jimi Hendrix.

Filming took place during some of the worst weather imaginable in Wales and the north of England. The weather along with Polanski’s perfectionism and his insistence on multiple takes caused a $600,000 overspend. On its release, the critics were overly harsh—either damning it with feint praise or like Pauline Kael, impolitely suggesting that the excessive violence in the film was Polanski’s way of exorcising his wife’s murder. The film was bleak, unrelentingly so, with an ambiguously downbeat ending. However, it was also far, far better than any critic gave it credit for, and Polanski was more in tune with a younger audience who were coming of age at the start of the 1970s against a background of Vietnam, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and terrorism across Europe and the Middle East.
 
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More ‘Macbeth’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Particularly lurid exploitation film posters of the 50s, 60s and 70s
01.30.2016
12:44 pm

Topics:
Art
Movies

Tags:
posters
exploitation


The Black Klansman

Forty years before Chappelle’s Show made the joke, a black man spends his nights in a most curious manner…

This is a sampling from a private collection of rare, massive 40” x 60” posters that were printed on cardstock for drive-In movie theaters.  More posters and related merchandise are online at hautecampe.com (“Archeaologists of the Strange”).  All are for sale at auction until February 8, when the bidding closes.

Haute Campe offers a collection of original rare, vintage film posters from the 1940s-1970s originating mostly from drive-ins and grindhouse theaters. Most of the posters went through a single distributor called National Screen Service, hence the “property of N.S.S.” at the bottom of 99% of the movie posters printed in the 20th century!  While many posters were destroyed by the elements and others were pulled off the wall by collectors, a great many returned to the distributor’s archives and piled up for many many years. 

We were fortunate enough to be able to acquire a large part of the archives and the treasures were fantastic, including rarely-seen posters that were for small run promotions and exceedingly impossible to find sizes like the gorgeous and massive 40” x 60” silkscreens created for drive-in movie theaters.

This is just a selection from the first part of the alphabet…
 

Blood and Black Lace

Mario Bava directed this 1964 film that created the template for the “body count” slasher films of the 1980s.
 

Blood Bath

A 1966 stinker that started out in Yugoslavia as a spy film and—being judged unreleasable—had extra sequences filmed in Venice, California and was re-edited as a horror movie.
 
Many, many more movie posters, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
NSFW: Bettie Page fetish comic is a dirty, funny romp through 20th century pop culture
01.29.2016
05:22 pm

Topics:
Art
Sex

Tags:
Bettie Page


 
This marvelous bit of playful fetish art comes from the skillful hand of Dirk Vermin, who tossed off this comic book in 1992 in a limited run of 1,000 copies. Vermin is a tattoo artist who works out of Las Vegas and I can think of no better endorsement of his work than this comic. Today he is probably best known for the A&E reality series Bad Ink.

Over the course of 20-odd pages, Bettie (whose name is rendered as “Betty” throughout) flirts with, is spanked by, threatens to whip, and generally cavorts with many of the highly recognizable figures from 20th-century pop culture, including James Bond, Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock, Norman Bates, Marvin the Martian, Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, King Kong, Adam West’s Batman, and so forth.

All I can say is “Wholly not safe for work, Batman!”
 

 

 
More Bettie and friends after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Kenneth Anger unveils unseen occult art masterpieces by Marjorie Cameron and Aleister Crowley


 
Underground film legend Kenneth Anger has seen a huge wave of interest in his work since his acclaimed “ Magick Lantern Cycle” films became widely available to a new generation on DVD over a decade ago. The now 88-year-old director and author has made several new films in recent years, venturing into music with the Technicolor Skull project, and even the world of fashion, shooting a campaign for Italian fashion house Missoni and producing a limited edition reproduction of the iconic rainbow “Lucifer” baseball jacket from his film Lucifer Rising. Archival prints made from high resolution frame scans from his movies sell for top dollar in art galleries in New York, Paris and Tokyo.
 

 
And now, Anger is branching out into the world of retail, debuting a hybrid pop-up art gallery/store at the Art Los Angeles Contemporary art fair. Produced in collaboration with Anger’s longtime associate Brian Butler, the Lucifer Brothers pop-up shop will be selling original art, as well as some reasonably-priced signed limited edition prints, Kenneth Anger tee-shirts and the above pictured Lucifer Rising baseball jacket.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOS ANGELES, CA 1/28/2016

The Lucifer Brothers pop-up art gallery and store is the culmination of Kenneth Anger’s lifelong obsession with the occult. In 1955 Anger was the first to revisit Aleister Crowley’s former temple in Cefalù, Sicily. With the help of Alfred C. Kinsey, Anger painstakingly restored Crowley’s otherworldly murals which spilled across the inside walls of the villa, removing layers of whitewash to reveal the nightmares underneath. Prior to this Anger connected with Marjorie Cameron, the widow of famed JPL rocket scientist and occultist Jack Parsons, casting her in his classic film Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome in 1956. Recently the art world has taken great interest of Cameron’s body of work, with her esoteric art—or what remains of it—included in the popular museum exhibit “Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle” and in recent solo career retrospectives of her work in Los Angeles and Manhattan.

After attending the Cameron exhibit at MOCA and a follow up showing at Jeffrey Deitch’s gallery in New York, Anger lamented that Cameron’s most powerful occult works remained unseen. Through his web of arcane connection’s Anger now unveils Cameron’s monumental life-sized portrait of a demon entitled “Blue Prophet” which was inspired by visions Cameron experienced during her marriage to Jack Parsons and her part in the infamous Babalon Working ritual that included Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Other works by Australian artist Rosaleen Norton (aka “The Witch of Kings Cross) whose powerful paintings are seldom encountered in the US, British occultist Aleister Crowley and Anger himself will be made available to the public for the first time.

Kenneth Anger is lauded as an influential experimental filmmaker, actor, and author of the infamous Hollywood Babylon gossip books. His films, which include Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954), Scorpio Rising (1964) and Lucifer Rising (1980) have inspired filmmakers as disparate as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and John Waters.

The Art Los Angeles Contemporary event—and the Lucifer Brothers pop-up gallery—opens this evening. On Saturday January 30th at 3:30pm Anger will make a special appearance onstage at the ALAC Theatre, which will be set up at the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, where the fair is being held.

I saw Kenneth at the opening of the Marjorie Cameron retrospective at MOCA in the museum’s annex at the Pacific Design Center in 2014. Ken’s normally quite gracious and a lovely guy to converse with, but that night he was PISSED OFF, alleging that the museum was exhibiting something that was stolen from him in the early 1960s, a rare first edition of Aleister Crowley’s Book of Thoth, which is worth several thousand dollars today. All 200 original copies of that lavishly published Moroccan leather-bound edition of The Book of Thoth were signed and numbered by Crowley’s hand, and although the book was being displayed locked under glass, Anger was positive that he knew exactly what number this particular book was and demanding that the case be unlocked to prove that it was his stolen property. He even brought along an FBI officer as his guest to the event! I don’t know what ultimately became of the situation, but it was an interesting evening to be sure. I’ve always wanted to see Anger get, er, Anger-y and even at his age, his performance didn’t disappoint.

The press release makes mention of “what remains of it” regarding Cameron’s art. Cameron herself destroyed nearly ALL of her paintings and sketchbooks, burning them in an act of “ritualized suicide.” What you can see below, in Curtis Harrington’s extraordinary portrait of the artist, Wormwood Star, is perhaps the sole surviving documentation of that work (outside of the astral plane…). I don’t think more than two of the pieces seen onscreen below still exist. Maybe only one of them.

So very few pieces by Marjorie Cameron have survived—some smaller watercolor paintings and some pencil sketches, one large oil painting that the late Curtis Harrington had owned—and so the one that Anger is unveiling at his Lucifer Brothers pop-up gallery, titled “Blue Prophet” (see above) is a real coup for the Art Los Angeles Contemporary fair. I’ve seen this large watercolor in person, twice, and it’s a truly weird and mind-bending thing to behold. Most of her work is on the small side, but this one is about the size of a door and at least 2x to 3x larger than most of Cameron’s extant work that I’ve ever seen. To my mind, it’s one of the very best ones.
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Warped cities: Photographer uses drone footage to create impossible landscapes
01.28.2016
08:40 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:


 
Turkish photographer and artist Aydin Büyüktas created these amazing still images of cityscapes from drone footage. Everything was shot over Istanbul. While most people on the Internet are comparing the final product to the Hollywood film Inception, Büyüktas’ series titled “Flatland” was actually inspired by the 1884 satirical novella Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. Makes sense.

Anyway, I’m really digging these trippy images. They deserve to be in an art gallery.


 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
This felted Klaus Nomi is the most adorable thing you’ll see today
01.27.2016
12:22 pm

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
Klaus Nomi


 
Here’s an adorable needle-felted Klaus Nomi doll by Colorado-based artist Marin (AntiM).

The artist writes:

“If I were a better photographer, you could see the prominent cheekbones and the sharp, slightly upturned nose.”

I have no clue if Marin is making more of these felted Nomis or if they’re for sale, but you can contact the artist here.

I dig it.

Below, Klaus Nomi, who was then making his living as a pastry chef, sings on Glenn O’Brien’s legendary NYC cable access show, ‘TV Party’:
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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