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Love and Demons: The 19th century erotic art of Mihály Zichy (NSFW)
03.28.2017
10:07 am

Topics:
Art
History
Sex

Tags:
erotica
18th Century
Mihály Zichy

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“Falling Stars” (1897).
 
Sometime in the mid-1870s, while living in Paris, the Hungarian artist Mihály Zichy produced a series of erotic illustrations. These pictures featured men and women having a right old time fucking and wanking, sucking and licking. What inspired Zichy is unclear. A mid-life crisis? A raging hard-on? The current fashion for erotic illustration? Or perhaps wealthy patrons looking for some “dirty pictures”?

Most of these ink drawings lay undiscovered until after Zichy’s death in 1906. They were then collated together and a selection published in a book entitled Liebe (aka Oh, Liebe) in 1911. This nicely produced volume caused a bit of a stir. Zichy might have been pleased—he had often caused controversy with his work. His most famous picture was the demonically-charged anti-war painting “The Triumph of the Genius of Destruction” (1878). This painting was banned by the militaristic French authorities as deviant propaganda. He also managed to offend many Catholics with his work “Autodafé” (1868), which depicted the horrors of Spanish Inquisition. That said, Zichy was a very respectable artist. He painted the portrait of Lajos Batthyány, the first Hungarian Prime Minister. He was commissioned to produce paintings of the Empress of Austra, “Queen Elisabeth Laying Flowers by the Coffin of Ferenc Deák” and “Drinking Bout of Henry III.” He also supplied 27 illustrations for the poem The Knight in the Panther’s Skin in 1881.

Zichy was born in Zala, Hungary on October 15, 1827. He started out studying law before taking up a career as an artist. He traveled to Vienna where he became a pupil of the painter Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller. Under Waldmüller’s recommendation, he became a teacher. He then became a court artist for the Russian Tsar Alexander II. When he left St. Petersburg, he traveled around Europe before settling in Paris circa 1874.

Another intriguing question about Zichy’s erotic illustrations is whether he worked from life models? The drawings look more than just the work of some fevered imagination—most noticebly by the fact Zichy’s couples appear to be enjoying each other as equals and not portrayed as mere titillation for the male gaze. He also depicted gay sex and masturbation—which would have been shocking at the time. His style of drawing, the clear lines, the soft penciling, would influence succeeding artists producing similar erotic illustrations.
 
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“The Triumph of the Genius of Destruction” (1878).
 
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“Autodafé” (1868).
 
See more of Zichy’s erotic artwork, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The king of Kinbaku: The erotic works of Japanese bondage artist Seiu Ito
03.28.2017
09:35 am

Topics:
Art
Sex

Tags:
Japan
bondage
Kinbaku
Seiu Ito


A painting by Seiu Ito depicting the art of erotic Japanese rope bondage, Kinbaku.
 
Tokyo-born artist Seiu Ito didn’t start his career as an artist by tying people up and painting or photographing the resulting scene, rather he excelled using other mediums to express himself such as metal, creating carvings out of ivory, painting and eventually sculpture. When he was thirteen Ito traded in his given first name of Hajime for Seiu. It was around that time that Ito starting to draw images of women bound with rope known as the erotic Japanese art of Kinbaku or “tight binding.” Then, sometime in the early 1900s, perhaps 1907 when he was in his mid-20s, Ito took a job as an illustrator for a local newspaper and was quick to succeed as an in-demand artist for several different publications.

Prior to rope bondage becoming a form or erotic sex play, it was widely used during what is referred to as the last traditional period in Japan, the Edo Period (1603–1867) to bind and restrain criminals and other kinds of captives. And it was the erotic version of being tied up like an outlaw that made Ito a rich man. Although he was married several times during his life, that didn’t stop Ito from having affairs with other women, some who he kept as mistresses for long periods of time. Ito’s collection of women would become the primary subjects for his paintings and kinky photography which included erotic suspension. One of Ito’s more well-known and questionable images (and there are many) is of his then-pregnant wife (his second) Kise Sahara. Ito photographed and painted an image of a very pregnant, partially nude Sahara bound with rope, hanging from the ceiling by her feet.

Sadly by the time, the 1930s arrived the Japanese government had long been busy banning artistic types and intellectuals as well as routinely censoring print media. Ito struggled to survive as an artist. Later his home and much of his work was destroyed in the Great Tokyo Air Raid. The work that survived the devastation helped solidify Ito’s dubious title as the “Father of Modern Kinbaku.” As you might imagine Ito’s work is the subject of several books as well as the 1977 film Beauty Exotic Dance: Torture! in which Ito plays himself to the hilt. Many of the photographs and paintings below are naturally NSFW. 
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Extreme as F**K: That time Death Squad held its audience hostage by gunpoint
03.28.2017
09:33 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Music

Tags:
Noise
Guns
power tools


 
“Power electronics” is not listener-friendly music on a good day. A cacophony of power drills, feedback, short-circuiting amplifiers, panicked screeching and walls of static, it’s fucking useless to dance to and mostly makes sense to budding serial killers, adolescents who can’t figure out how to play guitars, and lonely dudes with severe social anxieties. Whitehouse were/are the reigning kings of the form, but other notable power electronics artists include Grunt, Atrox Morgue, Brighter Death Now and Genocide Organ. Bands in the genre generally self-release, cassettes and CD-Rs, mostly, sometimes in packages that will maim you when you try opening them. There is a very good book, Fight Your Own War: Power Electronics and Noise Culture, that explains the whole sordid power electronics story far better than I can.
 

These tapes can give you hepatitis.
 
Anyway, west-coast noiseniks Death Squad already had a reputation for taking things beyond the pale. Even the description of his/their 1996 cassette release, Cutting Myself Open To See And Feel Blood, is enough to leave you whimpering in the corner:

“Contains individual photo, used razor blade and blood smeared tapes packaged in an Abbott OPD Reagant (hepatitis test kit!) box. Edition of 20 copies released at the “Blood And Self Mutilation” performance in City College Of San Francisco May 8th 1996.”

But in 1999, the one-man noise unit performed at a club called Lab in San Francisco, and it just might be the most over-the-top “musical” performance of all time, power electronics, GG Allin or otherwise. The wordy flyers for the gig did have a few red flags—they prominently featured a gun, a syringe and razor blade, and the text-dense manifesto included lines like “Small measures of terrorism are the only hope for the collapse of your perception and constantly programmed ideologies.” So, you know, it wasn’t gonna be an easy ride anyway. But the fifty or so aggro-music enthusiasts in attendance definitely got a lil’ more than they bargained for. Forget the wall of screeching, blood-curdling noise that ripped away at the speakers, that much was a given. It was the crazy shit going down onstage that really put it over the top.
 

Original flyer for the notorious performance
 
The show opened in typical 90s industrial/noise fashion, with Death Squad main man Michael Nine seated at a desk, illuminated only by a small lamp. Behind him, a film screen projected the usual edge-wizard atrocities: animal abuse, “true gore” clips, the whole life-is-horror trip. So far, another ho-hum night in 1999. And then things went over the rails.

Ximena Quiroz was in the audience that evening and posted her experience on a Yahoo Forum for fans of Einstürzende Neubauten shortly after the show:

“The desk [Nine] was sitting at had a syringe, razors, a little cup with some sort of liquid in it, a box of bullets, and a gun. The gun and the bullets were real. During the video, he proceeded to inject himself with something (heroin, maybe?). Then he took the razor and began to saw his arms with it until he was bleeding profusely. At first, I thought he wasn’t really cutting himself, but he wouldn’t stop bleeding, even when he wasn’t cutting himself.”

Okay, so far we’ve got heroin use and self-mutilation. And the dude is only getting started. At this point, it’s probably time to pack up and go home. Half the audience did, in fact.  But Ximena stuck around, and things quickly escalated.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Horror-film worthy sculptures of the human body that are just dying to meet you
03.27.2017
09:57 am

Topics:
Art
Unorthodox

Tags:
sculpture
Francesco Albano


A sculpture by Italian artist Francesco Albano.
 
The work of Italian artist and sculptor Francesco Albano have been highly praised since he got his start nearly two decades ago. And now Turkish director Cansin Sağesen has made a short film about the artist and his grotesquely beautiful sculptures.

In the short, Albano reveals that his father, who was also a sculptor, taught him his craft and that his work is driven by a “childhood urgency.” Albano considers his art to be a form of creative play—much like it would be for a child experimenting with tactile toys like Play-Doh. His sculptures look as if someone has let the air out of a human body like a balloon—which then transforms them into hideous blobs of gelatinous flesh with protruding bones, teeth, and genitalia.

According to Albano, his work is meant to express the idea of how merely existing in modern society can be physically crippling and often destructive leading to the full-on collapse of the human structure, physically and mentally. Once you get that, you’ll see Albano’s work in an entirely new light as perspective breeds a deeper understanding of such things that at first appear to exist for their shock value alone. That said, the images that follow are very much NSFW.
 

“On the Eve” 2013.
 

 

“Lump 2” 2012.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Maps to the Stars: Beautiful astronomical drawings from the 19th century
03.24.2017
09:35 am

Topics:
Art
Science/Tech

Tags:
Étienne Léopold Trouvelot
astronomy

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The Great Comet of 1881.
 
Étienne Léopold Trouvelot was a French artist and astronomer who produced some 7,000 illustrations based on his astronomical observations during his lifetime.

Originally from Aisne, France, Trouvelot fled with his family to America after a coup d’état by Louis Napoleon in 1852. They settled in Medford, Massachusetts, where Trouvelot supported his family as an astronomer and artist. He produced detailed astronomical drawings. A selection of these illustrations was shown to Joseph Winlock, the director of Harvard College Observatory. Impressed by Trouvelot’s work, Winlock invited the Frenchman to join the Observatory staff in 1872. Trouvelot was also invited to spend a year working with U. S. Naval Observatory’s 26-inch refractor.

Trouvelot wrote some fifty scientific papers and is credited with discovering “veiled spots” on the Sun in 1875. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1877

In 1881, fifteen of his famed pastel illustrations were collected together and published as The Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings.
 
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Trouvelot introduced the Gypsy Moth to America.
 
Apart from his fine scientific work, Trouvelot is now remembered for his meddling as an amateur entomologist. In 1860, he accidentally introduced the Gypsy Moth to America. Trouvelot brought some Gypsy Moth egg masses out of Europe to his home in Medford. He had some strange idea of helping the declining number of silk-producing moths in the States. How he intended to do this is not quite clear. Unfortunately, some moths escaped. Trouvelot notified local authorities to the possible danger but nothing was done. Within a few years, colonies of the Gypsy Moth were causing havoc across large areas of the east coast. Attempts to eradicate this invasive pest failed. Today the Gypsy Moth costs over $800 million in damages every year.

Some of Trouvelot’s drawings are available to buy as posters—details here.
 
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The November Meteors, 1868.
 
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Total Eclipse of the Sun, July 29th 1878.
 
See more of Touvelot’s beautiful astronomical illustrations, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The ‘degenerate art’ of Rudolf Schlichter


A surrealist-style painting by German artist, Rudolf Schlichter.
 
At the age of 26, while he had been pursuing his studies at the Art Academy of Kunstakademie in Karlsruhe, German artist Rudolf Schlichter was drafted into the army. Following a successful hunger strike, Schlichter was dismissed from his duties and returned to the bustling, forward-thinking town of Karlsruhe. Schlichter didn’t stick around for long and soon set off for Berlin where he fell in with the Dada scene and became a communist.

Schlichter made a successful living in Berlin from his illustrations. He transitioned from Dada to the “Neue Saclichkeit” movement (or “New Objectivity”) that used realism to express skepticism related to current events. He quickly became one of the most influential and critically important contributors to this quasi-Expressionism. Within New Objectivity there were two additional artistic courses: The “Verists” were known for using portraiture as a vehicle for their hostility toward authority figures, affluence and the oppression of society. The works of the great Otto Dix played a large role in this sub-component of New Objectivity. The other was commonly referred to as “Magic Realists” who were in opposition to the German style of Expressionism. Probably the most notable Magic Realism artist was Georg Schrimpf whose work was a crucial part of New Objectivity. Now that we’ve got your mini subversive art lesson out of the way, here’s a bit more on Rudolf Schlichter whose work, though not initially, was reviled by the Nazis.

While Schlichter’s body of work is as vast as it is diverse, there were many recurrent points of interest and themes, especially erotic ones, in his paintings and illustrations. Often his subjects were comprised of various bohemian movers and shakers and other residents who were part of the vibrant counterculture of the streets of Berlin where he spent much of his time. In 1923 Schlichter provided 60 illustrations for an edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol. At the end of the 1920s, Schlichter returned to being a practicing Catholic and would end up doing illustrations for various religious publications put out by the church including a youth-oriented magazine called Jungle Front. The illustrations in the magazine often cast a disparaging light on the politics of Adolf Hitler. Coincidently at the time of its publication, Schlichter also belonged to the exclusively German art organization run by the Third Reich, “Reichskammer der bildenden Künste” or the “Reich Chamber of Fine Arts” headed up by propagandist extraordinaire Joseph Goebbels. And as you might imagine the jab didn’t go unnoticed and Schlichter was promptly ousted. His work was removed from galleries and destroyed and Schlichter’s name was added to the “degenerate art” list kept by the Nazis. Which in my mind is always the right kind of list to be on, in any time period.

Though he would pass away at the age of 65, a little more than a decade prior to his death Schlichter produced many remarkable pieces of surrealistic style paintings. Which would lead to the artist being dubbed “the German Salvador Dali.” I’ve included a few of Schlichter’s surrealist works as well as a nice sampling of his erotica below. Which means much of what follows is NSFW.
 

 

“Blonde Enemy” 1922.
 

“Dada Roof Studio.”
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The punk rock portraits of the Screamers’ Tomata du Plenty
03.22.2017
02:37 pm

Topics:
Art
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Screamers
Tomata du Plenty


 
The Screamers were one of the essential components of the L.A. punk scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s, although they famously never put out a studio LP. They had one of the best band logos in the world, designed by comix artist Gary Panter of Jimbo renown.

The Screamers had plenty of prominent fans, one of whom was DEVO’s Gerard Casale, who testified as follows in Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen’s We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk:
 

DEVO loved the Screamers. We thought the Screamers and Tomata du Plenty were fucking unbelievable. You see a band that you’re creatively and intellectually inspired by and envious of and we were like, “Why didn’t we think of it?” They were so way ahead of their time. It was almost as if what they were thinking about, what they were after was like “Firestarter” by Prodigy, but this was the summer of ‘77. They were using rudimentary synths and sequencers but with punk energy and aggressive lyrics and theatrical staging with German expressionist lighting.

 
A frontman is an important element of any successful band, and the Screamers’ Tomata du Plenty (real name David Xavier Harrigan) was no exception. Their live act must have been something to behold, as Steve Waksman relates in This Ain’t the Summer of Love:
 

[The Screamers] styled one of the most unusual and unnerving band sounds of the punk era based around [Tommy] Gear’s synthesizer, drummer K.K. Barrett’s strong quasi-mechanical rhythms, and the psychodramatic performance style of singer Du Plenty, the total effect of which was designed to foster and control levels of anxiety experienced by the audience.

 
Tomata had been banging around the Seattle scene in the early 1970s before relocating to L.A. After the Screamers broke up in 1981, he switched his attention to painting. Indeed, in 1983 Tomata’s watercolors were featured at a show at the Zero One Gallery (often styled “01”) in Los Angeles, a space that was the offshoot of a prior entity called Zero Zero on Cahuenga Boulevard. Tomata’s painting prowess somehow became the centerpiece of a somewhat confusing anecdote told by David Lee Roth on Late Night with David Letterman in early 1985. 

Sadly, in August 2000, Tomata died of cancer at the age of 52. At some point in the 1990s he executed a series of punk rock portraits, for lack of a better description, featuring people from the L.A. punk scene as well as other rock and roll luminaries (and, randomly, the 19th-century French author Guy de Maupassant). Most of the portraits were painted on a page from some work of literature, such as Allen Ginberg’s Howl or Hubert Selby’s Last Exit to Brooklyn.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Modern Life Sucks: Satirical illustrations of our brave new world

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We’re all owned. We’re bought, bartered, liked, sold, conned, shared and used everyday to make other people money. We’re all well and truly fucked. Welcome to the world of Luis Quiles.

Luis Quiles, aka Gunsmithcat, is a Spanish artist whose corrsucating satirical ilustrations take no prisoners. No one is safe. The right. The left. The good. The bad. Quiles takes them all down. He specifically targets the dehumanizing nature of capitalism, terrorism, and religion. His work is highly controversial. It’s been deemed offensive. But we shouldn’t be offended by Luis’s drawings rather we should be offended at the hard reality he depicts.
 
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See more of Luis Quiles’ work, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
A Marilyn Monroe-themed house is up for sale and it’s batshit crazy-looking


A shot of the living room in the Marilyn Monroe-themed house in Dublin currently up for sale.
 
If your dream has ever been to move to Ireland and live in a house that was once owned by Marilyn Monroe’s number one fan, then you may finally get to live out that very strange and oddly specific fantasy. Nearly every wall of the 1,200 square foot, three-bedroom, one bathroom house at 44 Harelawn Drive in Clondalkin, Dublin is covered in images of Marilyn and has been painted in blinding pop-art style colors.

To say that the home is tasteless would be an understatement—just looking at the photos included in the listing nearly gave me a seizure. And everywhere I look, I see Marilyn’s famous mug looking right back at me. According to the listing, the decor inside this little slice of heaven is described as “quirky.” But since the home is located so close to the pleasant-sounding Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, I’m sure someone will express interest in making this their new digs. But will they keep this zany decor? And while it may seem like a deal to some people, the current asking price is around $230,000 USD (or €185,000). I’ve posted images of the Marilyn Monroe house of horrors below.
 

The plain, rather normal looking exterior of the Marilyn Monroe house.
 

This room is purple. Very, very purple.
 

The stairway leading to the second floor of the Marilyn house.
 
More Marilyn after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Homemade Monsters: DIY horror movie makeup from 1965

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Martian #1.
 
In 1965, Forrest J. Ackerman hired legendary movie make-up artist Dick Smith to produce a Famous Monsters of Filmland Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook. Smith (1922-2014) was the guy who did the award-winning make-up for movies like The Exorcist, Little Big Man, The Godfather, Taxi Driver and Ken Russell’s Altered States. Smith’s special edition illustrated magazine presented a 100-page step-by-step guide on how to get the look for some of cinema’s best-known movie monsters. Using a range of everyday objects—from crepe paper and breadcrumbs to ping pong balls—Smith shared some of his best-kept secrets of the trade.

In his introduction to the handbook, Smith wrote:

Make-up is an exciting hobby, but it has been enjoyed by only a few young people because learning how to do it was very difficult. It was my hobby when I was a teenager, so I know both the difficulties and the excitement. I enjoyed make-up so much that I became a professional make-up artist, and after twenty years, I still love it.

What I want to do with this book is to provide you young amateurs with the information you’ll need to make it easy for you to understand and enjoy this art. The book begins with very simple make-ups and ends with some complicated ones.

Any kid who grew up on black & white Universal and RKO monster movies would have dug Smith’s book. Nearly every kid loves the thrill of making themselves into monsters and scaring the bejesus out of grown-ups. It’s all the fun of growing up. And Smith’s Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook certainly offered the young and those old enough to know better that chance.

Dick Smith’s Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook is still available to buy as a paperback. But here’s a taste of how it looked when first published in Famous Monsters of Filmland in 1965.
 
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Martian #2.
 
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Werewolf #1.
 
See more of Smith’s scary monster make-up tips, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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