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‘Controversial’ Hurricane Katrina snow globes lead to death threats?
08.28.2015
01:44 pm

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Hurricane Katrina
snow globes


 
That’s right, ten years ago on this very day, the nation—if not the world—was watching the tragedy of a major American city descending into chaos as the authorities proved themselves entirely unable to (a) adequately protect New Orleans from a major storm and (b) come to the aid of that city once it was in distress. The whole nation learned of the identity of such great Americans as Ray Nagin, Michael Brown, and the federal agency known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Kanye West called George W. Bush a racist on national TV while Michael Myers looked surprised, it was all harrowing, grim fun in a way—outrage always is.

To a whole generation of Americans, Katrina was the first sign that we were just going to have to face a multitude of extreme weather events as well as our own inability to assist people in large numbers in an emergency.
 

Black and gold “Geaux Saints” model
 
According to the Times-Picayune of New Orleans, artist Brad Maltby has irritated some people with a snow globe that uses mordant humor—at a minimum—to commemorate the grim events of August and September 2005. Maltby actually moved to New Orleans to assist with the city’s rebuilding process.

It’s easy to see why the globes have annoyed some: As the Times-Picayune wrote, “Maltby’s snow globes are a Katrina-themed version of old-fashioned holiday novelties. Liquid rises to the roof-line of the tiny shotgun house inside the glass globe. Shake the globe, and miniature debris and glitter swirls. Wind it up, and a music box plays ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’”

The funds are going to rebuild libraries and supply books for children, according to the artist. For his part, Maltby says that he was caught unawares because his Katrina snow globes are not a new product and were not designed to cash in on the 10th anniversary hoopla. He began selling them in 2009 and nobody seemed particularly offended back then, said Maltby.
 

Black and gold “Geaux Saints” model
 
“I never intended to mock anybody,” Maltby said in a telephone interview with the Times Picayune. “I never intended it to be hurtful at all. ... The waterline, the Katrina crosses, the blue tarp; it was all what happened in New Orleans. I designed it and found a manufacturer.”

According to WWL television news, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans, Maltby has received death threats over the snow globes: “Now, as the unsold snow globes are becoming popular again, the artist is getting death threats, on Facebook, by text and calls to his family.”

On Maltby’s website (where you can buy the snow globes), there is the following message: “Thanks for all your support and opinions! We recognize the globes are controversial and it’s the choice of anyone who wants to continue to create so much attention for the globes. With the recent spike in sales, we will continue to deliver orders anywhere, and continue as always, to support various charities in New Orleans!”

Kudos to my old friend Brian Boucher at artnet for spotting this remarkable story that touches on the 10th anniversary of the calamitous progress of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. 

 
via artnet

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Lunchtime’: 1970s street portraits capture the eccentric everyperson
08.28.2015
11:08 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Charles Traub


 
From 1977 to 1980, while working at Columbia College Chicago and then the LIGHT Gallery in Midtown, photographer Charles H. Traub would hang out on the street during his lunch hour and ask people if he could take their portrait with his trusty Rolleiflex. During those years Traub took approximately 400 portraits, which are now collected in a new book called Lunchtime, which will be released by Damani Press in late September (you can pre-order it here, though).

Following an artistic impulse that would baffle any self-respecting paparazzo, Traub was so intent on capturing the regular citizen in the street that he turned down the chance to shoot a trio of world-class celebrities. “Jackie Kennedy once stopped and said, ‘If you want to take my picture, please be quick,’ and I said no,” says Traub. “Just moments later Yoko Ono and John Lennon walked by and did the same thing. I took neither of their pictures because that wasn’t what I was there to do. I avoided celebrities.”
 

 
The photographs capture the marvelous originality and individuality that people exhibit just by being themselves. So many of the great iconic photographs from the 1970s are black and white; Traub’s bold use of color marks these pics as belonging, spiritually, to the decade to follow. Indeed, the lack of dating is somewhat remarkable, you could almost believe these were taken in 2015. As Traub says, “I had taken very few color photos prior, but I realized to really see the world, if you will, or to document it in terms of human information, that color was essential.” Naturally, the exaggerated fashions of the 1970s, now sadly a thing of the past, and a refreshing lack of self-consciousness difficult to reproduce in our own Instagram age, help make these portraits pop even more than they would otherwise.

Taken as a whole, the pics seem like a groovier, proto-version of Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York project. They also call to mind the early documentaries of Errol Morris or the introductory section to the video for “California Girls” by David Lee Roth. 
 

 

 

 

 

 
More great Lunchtime photographs after the jump…...
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Bring me the head of Bob Dylan: Creative and cool looking die cut records
08.27.2015
08:24 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Music

Tags:
vinyl art

Bob Dylan Baby Stop Crying die cut record
Bob Dylan “Baby Stop Crying” die cut 7” record
 
Artist Daniel Tolhurst has found yet another creative way to make art out of vinyl - by cutting 7” records in various shapes that best correlate with the musicians who made them or the song on the single. So as the title of this post implies, you can now own a Bob Dylan record that has been shaped to resemble his actual head (pictured above), or a Beastie Boys 7” that has been cut in the likeness of Mike D’s giant VW medallion (pictured below).
 
Beastie Boys Fight for Your Right die cut record
Beastie Boys “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)” die cut 7” record
 
Tolhurst, who is based in the UK, started making his groovy and sometimes amusing record designs in 2013 from vintage singles, so each piece shows a bit of wear from its previous life as an actual record. And much like the DJ’s yore, he also takes requests for custom orders. Prices start at $79 and up based on the design you select. Loads of images from Tolhurst’s store, follow.
 
Led Zeppelin Communication Breakdown die cut record
Led Zeppelin, “Communication Breakdown”
 
The Rolling Stones Brown Sugar die cut record
The Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar”
 
Buddy Holly Words of Love die cut record
Buddy Holly, “Words of Love”
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Andy Warhol, children’s book illustrator
08.26.2015
10:12 am

Topics:
Art
Books

Tags:
Andy Warhol
children's books


 
It’s well known that before Andy Warhol became the most famous artist in New York—if not the world—he worked for several years as a commercial illustrator. For instance, he did a bunch of album covers in the mid- to late 1950s, a couple of which are quite familiar to anyone who follows jazz—even if they’re not familiar “as Warhol covers.”

Another of his gigs lasted about four years, that being occasional illustrations for children’s stories in the “Best In Children’s Books” series published by Nelson Doubleday. He illustrated six stories between 1957 and 1960—since there were 33 volumes in the series at a minimum, we can be sure that the series was pretty popular. Every volume had roughly ten stories in it, and each story featured art by a different illustrator. So Warhol’s output in this series was a tiny fraction of the art contained therein. One of the other artists who did illustrations in the same series was Richard Scarry.
 

The cover of vol. 27 (art not by Warhol)
 
It’s so funny to think of the mind behind “Race Riot” (1963), “Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times” (1963), and “Sixteen Jackies” (1964) also illustrating “Card Games Are Fun,” “Magic Porridge Pot,” and “Funny Words and Riddles” just a few years earlier. (Actually, here’s a good book focusing on Warhol’s violent works from the 1962-1964 period.)

There are plenty of pictures of these drawings on the Internet, but alas, many of them come from Etsy and eBay listings, so the images aren’t always so great.

In 1983 Warhol actually did put out a children’s book of his own that was more in keeping with his well-known style, but that’s another subject.
 
“Funny Words and Riddles” by Alice Salaff, vol. 5 (1957):
 

 
“Homemade Orchestra” by Joseph Leeming, vol. 7 (1958):
 

 

 
Many more Warhol illustrations after the jump…..
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Hypnotic video of a turntable playing disco music underwater
08.26.2015
06:27 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
turntable
Evan Holm

Submerged Turntables
A shot from the art installation “Submerged Turntables”
 
In an art installation in 2013 for SFMOMA, artist Evan Holm pulled off what most reasonable people would think impossible - getting a turntable to play a record while underwater.

To create “Submerged Turntables,” Holm used various artifacts in his installation that he found in nature like a large piece dead tree that loomed over the black pool of water the turntable was immersed in. This was to reinforce sadness in his message of decay and loss by the hands of our fellow humans (or a source unseen perhaps) when it comes to how we expertly and collectively destroy the world on a daily basis. Not only does the record miraculously spin, but you can also hear the recording - despite the fact that it’s revolving in some sort of dystopian bathtub. Here’s Holm backing that last bit up:

There will be a time when all tracings of human culture will dissolve back into the soil under the slow crush of the unfolding universe,” says Holm. “The pool, black and depthless, represents loss, represents mystery and represents the collective subconscious of the human race. By placing these records underneath the dark and obscure surface of the pool, I am enacting a small moment of remorse towards this loss.

In addition to hearing Donna Summer’s 1975 hit “Love to Love You Baby” playing away in the video embedded after the jump, I also included a short video of Holm (who might be some sort of awesome modern witch), setting up the installation and performing it in front of a crowd at the museum. Any true audiophile worth their wax will appreciate the trippy scenes that follow.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
2015: The year the Internet decided it was over Banksy
08.25.2015
10:06 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
Banksy
Twitter


 
Anti-establishment artist Banksy has been taking a beating on the Interwebz this week after the launch of his latest installation, Dismaland.

Some of the most scathing (and hilarious) recent critiques of the artist have come from the Twitter account of writer Demi Adejuyigbe (@electrolemon). Previously responsible for what has been called “the best tweet of all time,” Adejuyigbe eviscerates Banksy’s M.O.

Banksy: Trite, predictable, obvious? This week the Internet seems to think so:



 

 

 
More Banksy critiques, after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Vintage Godzilla posters from around the world are indescribably awesome!
08.25.2015
09:27 am

Topics:
Advertising
Art
Movies

Tags:
Godzilla


Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, 1977 (Poland)
 
We’ve done galleries of amusing or startling movie posters from abroad before, but none of them have ever been quite this focused before, to my knowledge. Godzilla, that most protean of radioactive monsters, has inspired posters that range all over the goddamn map. As is often the case, the Polish posters of the late 1960s and early 1970s are hard to beat for sheer inventiveness and oddity, but the Czechs and the French, not to be short-changed, contribute bizarre wonders as well.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla gets a dashing Peter Max treatment, while the creature from Godzilla vs. Gigan is anachronistically, and energetically, pimping his radioactive RSS feed. Meanwhile, the creature on the poster of Son of Godzilla resembles a drunken Wookiee. My favorite might be the Polish poster for Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster, an impressionistic masterpiece with flaming red eyeballs in the monster’s midsection and silhouettes of factories inhabiting his feet.
 

Godzilla, 1954 (Germany)
 

Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, 1956 (France)
 

Godzilla, 1956 (Czechoslovakia)
 
More international Godzilla posters after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The erotic horror art of Toshio Saeki
08.25.2015
06:22 am

Topics:
Art
Sex

Tags:
Japanese
erotica
Toshio Saeki


 
It might not be entirely accurate to describe Toshio Saeki’s work as proper “porn,” but his nightmarish prints (created using a modernized version of a traditional Japanese woodcut technique) are certainly erotica. Saeki actually quit his job at a Tokyo ad agency at the age of 24 and started working at men’s magazines. His art developed a following during the sexual revolution of the 1960s, and by the time his horror erotica was first published in 1970, older genres of Japanese pulp—like Ero Guro Nansensu (“erotic, grotesque, nonsense”)—were getting popular again. Saeki explained his philosophy in a 2013 interview with Dazed:

Let me put it this way: leave other people to draw seemingly beautiful flowers that bloom within a nice, pleasant-looking scenery. I try instead to capture the vivid flowers that sometimes hide and sometimes grow within a shameless, immoral and horrifying dream.

Often referred to as “the godfather of Japanese erotica.” Saeki is a septuagenarian today, still living and working in rural Japan, pleased to see his art embraced by new generations of fans.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Satanic squirrel taxidermy, anyone?
08.24.2015
08:05 am

Topics:
Animals
Art
Occult

Tags:
taxidemy

Satanic Squirrel Ritual taxidermy
Satanic Squirrel Ritual taxidermy
 
And since I’m sure that more than a few of you are nodding your heads, “yes, please” then today is your lucky day thanks to Ryan Hanley, a taxidermist based in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
 
Satanic Ritual Squirrel taxidermy
Satanic Squirrel Ritual taxidermy
 
Satanic squirrel taxidermy
Satanic FTW Squirrel taxidermy (and yes, he is shooting you the bird)
 
Billed as “the most brilliant present ever” by its maker, Satanic FTW Squirrel (above) and his upside down cross stands about 12” tall and was the product of roadkill just like his pal Satanic Squirrel Ritual, in case these images are getting your PETA panties all in a bunch. There are loads of other images on Hanley’s Tumblr, but I don’t suggest looking at them if you don’t want to see things like lamps that used to be armadillos (which are completely amazing by the way), or roadkill raccoons that are now fashionable purses.

If you’re interested in purchasing Satan’s favorite nut job, it’ll run you $150 over at Hanley’s wife’s Etsy shop, The Wild Few. The Satanic Squirrel Ritual piece is $175. There’s also a Suicide Squirrel piece that features a taxidermied squirrel with a gun pointed at its head if that’s more your speed.

ALL HAIL SATANIC SQUIRREL!

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Decorate with drugs: Massive ecstasy pills make for ultra-cool pop art
08.24.2015
07:10 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs

Tags:
sculpture
MDMA
molly


 
Ecstasy is the only truly postmodern drug, and not just in terms of its place in history, or the completely “I’m so intensely into the many facets of this thing right now”/“I LOVE YOU GUYS” high. Ecstasy has always been produced and marketed with absolutely no aversion to literal branding. Not only are pills produced in pretty colors with cute little logos, the logos themselves are oftentimes the already immediately recognizable icons of corporate giants. It makes sense, too. You might not remember some elaborate little image on the face of a pill after a night of dancing on Molly, but you’ll probably remember the golden arches, the Rolls Royce logo or the Playboy bunny. That Rolls Royce was the best, gotta get more of that, right? See how that works?

A graffiti artist since the age of 14, Dean Zeus Colman now works under his nom d’arts “Zeus,” combining his urban artistic sensibilities with his formal training from Chelsea College of Art. Realizing the obvious pop art potential of ecstasy tablets, Zeus produced these plaster sculptures modeled after actual ecstasy pills to sleek, modern effect. The cheeky chic series is called, called “Love is a Drug,” and you should definitely buy me the Bart Simpson one.
 

 

 

 
More ecstatic art, after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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