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Walter Molino’s lush illustrations of people in peril
05.27.2016
09:58 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Walter Molino


 
These illustrations of people in various states of peril were painted by the extremely prolific Italian artist Walter Molino. Most of these pieces date from the 1950s.

Much of Molino’s work was produced for the Italian newspaper La Domenica del Corriere.

Born in 1915, Molino began his work as a professional illustrator in 1935. He started out working as a comic artist for satirical magazines until he became the official cover-illustrator of La Domenica del Corriere in 1941. It has been said that famous fantasy illustrator Frank Frazetta was a huge fan of Molino and drew inspiration from his work.

These paintings take on an almost sadistic quality, as Molino seems to revel in the beauty of human bodies being tossed about by dire circumstances. The mayhem is delightful.

There are many more examples of Molino’s incredible work on the “Today’s Inspiration Group” Facebook page.
 

 


 


 


 
Lots more, after the jump…...
 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Henry Rollins and Lydia Lunch in the erotic, violent ‘The Right Side of My Brain’ (NSFW)


 
Richard Kern was a big part of the underground cinema of the East Village in the 1980s. Among other things, he directed videos for Sonic Youth’s “Death Valley ‘69” (which featured Lydia Lunch, of course) and King Missile’s ”Detachable Penis.” Kern was very much a part of the same scene that was more or less defined by Nick Zedd. He made many experimental and sexual movies on Super-8.

According to Richard Kostelanetz in A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes,
 

This fascination with the dark side of looking—with the dynamics and aesthetics of voyeurism—is Richard Kern’s theme and it runs through his films and photography. In many ways, Kern’s work is a culmination of self-referential approaches to depicting the artist’s relationship to his “subject.” And his subject is a kind of seeing. ... In many ways his movies are responses to popular film and commercial culture as a whole.

  
One of Kern’s early movies was The Right Side of My Brain, a 23-minute black-and-white experimental movie that is unabashedly about sex, violence, and control. This movie is about as NSFW as anything we’ve ever presented on the site.
 

 
The whole movie is told from the point of view of the character played by Lydia Lunch in a dreamy and sexualized and insular mode that was well-nigh invented by Maya Deren in 1943’s “Meshes of the Afternoon.” Lunch’s character goes through a series of assignations that involve varying degrees of violence. Around the 10th minute an actor credited as Clint Ruin (actually the musician J.G. Thirlwell) shows up and he proceeds to dominate Lunch’s character somewhat, after which she gives him a blow job. Yes, you read that right, most of that highly X-rated act is captured in the movie.

The bulk of the movie was shot in some claustrophobic NYC tenement, but in the sole outdoor sequence—possibly shot in Central Park?—Henry Rollins appears and follows the Lunch character. They too start making out and then the Rollins character has a kind of tantrum.
 

 
By the bye, when this was shot Rollins had the “SEARCH AND DESTROY” part of his back tattoo in place but not the rest. At one point Lunch is shown wearing a T-shirt with the Einstürzende Neubauten homunculus on it.

The images of sexual violence are, of course, disturbing; many ladies in the audience will enjoy the three smoking hot dudes in various states of undress.

The Right Side of My Brain is available on Blu-Ray in Hardcore Collection: Director’s Cut.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Someone put eyeglasses on a museum floor, people thought it was art
05.26.2016
11:52 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
minimalism
eyeglasses


 
It seems like something out of a movie. In fact, if there isn’t a scene in some Mr. Bean joint in which people mistake something for art, I’ll eat my hat.

A couple of teenagers at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art decided to place a pair of eyeglasses on the floor in one of the rooms just to see what would happen. Tentative visitors quickly treated the unassuming, er, spectacle, with the requisite respect owed to any duly accredited piece of conceptual or minimalist art.
 

 
On Twitter, the pranksters go by @TJCruda and @k_vinnn. After just a few minutes, a crowd of onlookers had gathered to investigate the unlabeled “artwork.” Seventeen-year-old T.J. Khayatan (@TJCruda) documented the public’s response on Twitter.

Conceptual art and minimalism are prone to this sort of thing. In 2001, a Damien Hirst installation consisting of a collection of beer bottles, coffee cups, and overflowing ashtrays was mistakenly tossed in the garbage by a janitor. Three years later at the Tate Britain, a Gustav Metzger artwork consisting of a bag of paper and cardboard was similarly thrown out, and in southern Italy in 2014, parts of a piece by Sala Murat were mistakenly discarded.
 

 
Just a few months ago, last autumn, an unruly installation by Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari at the Museion Bozen-Bolzano in Italy so resembled the aftermath of a riotous party—it consisted mainly of cigarette butts, empty bottles of champagne, and party streamers—that a cleaner put quite a bit of labor into tidying it up, prompting a memorable screed in the Spectator (U.K.) blog with the title “Hurrah for the cleaner who accidentally threw away a modern art exhibit.”

Before he started the band Pavement, Stephen Malkmus worked at the Whitney Museum in New York City as a guard—while he was there the museum displayed a work by the minimalist artist Richard Tuttle called “Ten Kinds of Memory and Memory Itself” that consisted of a few pieces of string placed on the floor. Malkmus has credited the piece as a contributing factor in deciding to start Pavement.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Technology/Transformation’: Funky ‘Wonder Woman’ mashup from 1978
05.26.2016
10:28 am

Topics:
Art
Feminism
Pop Culture

Tags:
Wonder Woman
Dana Birnbaum


 
I was recently on vacation in Vancouver, BC and was lucky enough to take in a massive pop culture retrospective called “MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture” at the gorgeous Vancouver Art Gallery. The show, which took approximately four years to curate, featured a huge array of works from pop culture heroes like filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and many, many others.

One of the many delights the show had to offer fans of pop culture was an almost six-minute video by American video and installation artist Dara Birnbaum, a woman at the forefront of the feminist art movement in the mid-1970s. The video, “Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman,” was made in 1978 and 1979 and features Lynda Carter as her television super-hero alter ego Wonder Woman; explosions, imagery, and audio tracks taken from from her show, which ran from 1975 to 1979; and Carter’s trademark “Wonder Woman” spin—all scored to the show’s own cheese-tastic soundtrack as well as a few added disco fillips. According to Birnbaum, her use of repetition in the video is meant to expose the illusion of “fixed female identities in media” and attempts to show the emergence of a “new woman” through use of technology.

Since I first saw Birnbaum’s Wonder Woman video, I have not be able to get it out of my mind—it’s a strangely compelling and hypnotic piece of work. The video wraps up with an on-screen transcription of The Wonderland Disco Band’s homage to Wonder Woman, “Wonder Woman Disco” which is nearly as fantastic as the video itself. If you’re planning on visiting Vancouver, BC, I highly recommend that you check out “MashUp,” which runs through June 12.
 
“Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman” by Dara Birnbaum:

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Unsettling paintings capture a grim, post-apocalyptic future
05.25.2016
10:18 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Fred Einaudi


“Patriot,” an oil painting by Fred Einaudi
 
According to an interview from 2013, artist Fred Einaudi once took one of those bullshit “career day” quizzes in school, which duly spat out the galling result that he was a good candidate to someday be driving a bus for a living. Thankfully, Einaudi, who was already voraciously drawing monsters by the time he was in the second grade, didn’t follow that line of advice; thanks to the encouragement of his high school art teacher, a man named John Robinson, he followed his true calling, painting.
 

“The Chocolate Donut”
 
After giving art school a try for a year, the San Francisco-based Einaudi dropped out, preferring to draw inspiration from artists like American painter Andrew Wyeth. He was driven by a need to create “pictures out there that don’t exist and which you have a need to see.”

Einaudi’s images feel distinctly like foreshadowing when it comes to the plight our planet is currently undergoing with respect to the rising global temperatures—many of them deliver a one-two punch to the gut as they lead the viewer to ponder a time in the future where humans will be forced to exist in a world that is very different than the one we are currently collectively destroying on a daily basis.

That said, I am not only a fan of Mr. Einaudi’s gorgeously grim art, but also that he gave zero fucks about his “assigned” career path and instead followed one that he was clearly destined for on his own terms. More of Einaudi’s gloomy and ominous paintings follow, many of them delightfully NSFW.
 

“The Mermaid”
 

“Buttonmaker”
 
Many more of Einaudi’s grim masterpieces after the jump…...
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Kicking Against the Pricks: How Pauline Boty’s pioneering Pop art bucked the art world’s boy’s club

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Pauline Boty was an artist, activist, actress and model. She was one of the leading figures of the British Pop art movement during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Her contemporaries were Peter Blake, Derek Boshier and David Hockney. But when Boty tragically died at the height of her fame in 1966, her work mysteriously disappeared. Not one of her paintings was exhibited again until 1993.

Boty was all but forgotten by the time a cache of her paintings was rediscovered on a farm in the English countryside in the early 1990s. The paintings had been stored in an old barn for safe-keeping by her brother. Their rediscovery placed Boty firmly back into the center of the Pop art boy’s club.

Throughout her life, Boty kicked against the men who tried to hold her back. Born into a Catholic family in 1938, her father (a by-the-book accountant) wanted his daughter to marry someone respectable and raise a family. Instead she chose to study art to her father’s great displeasure. In 1954, Boty won a scholarship to Wimbledon School of Art.

At college, Boty was dubbed the “Wimbledon Bridget Bardot” because of her blonde hair and film star looks. She went onto study lithography and stained glass design. However, her desire was to study painting. When she applied to the Royal College of Art in 1958, it was suggested by the male tutors that she would be more suited studying stained glass design as there were so few women painters. Though Boty enrolled in the design course she continued with her ambitions to paint.

Encouraged by the original Pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi, Boty began painting at her apartment. Her makeshift studio soon became a meeting point for her friends (Derek Marlowe, Celia Birtwell) and contemporaries (Blake, Boshier, Hockney and co) to meet, talk and work. Boty started exhibiting her collages and paintings alongside these artists and her career as a painter commenced.

In 1962, Boty was featured in a documentary about young British pop artists Pop Goes the Easel alongside Peter Blake, Derek Boshier and Peter Phillips. The film was directed by Ken Russell who created an incredibly imaginative and memorable portrait of the four artists. Each was given the opportunity to discuss their work—only Boty did not. Instead she collaborated with Russell on a very prescient dream sequence.
 

 
It opens with Boty laying out her paintings and drawings on the floor of a long circular corridor—actually the old BBC TV Center. As she examines her work a group of young women appear behind her. These women walk all over her artwork. Then from out of an office door, a nightmarish figure in a wheelchair appears and chases Boty along the seemingly endless twisting corridors. Boty eventually escapes into an elevator—only to find the ominous figure waiting inside.

Her performance in Russell’s film led to further acting roles—in Alfie with Michael Caine, with James Fox on the stage, Stanley Baxter on television and again with Russell in a small role opposite Oliver Reed in Dante’s Inferno. Boty was photographed by David Bailey, modeled for Vogue, regularly appeared as an audience dancer on Ready, Steady, Go!, and held legendary parties at her studio to which everyone who was anyone attended—from the Stones to Bob Dylan. Boty was the bright flame to whom everyone was attracted.

She was a feminist icon—living her life, doing what she wanted to do, and not letting men from hold her back. But the sixties were not always the liberated decade many Boomers would have us believe. Boty’s critics nastily dismissed her as the Pop art pin-up girl. The left-wing party girl. A dumb blonde. Of course, they were wrong—but shit unfortunately sticks.

Boty’s work became more politically nuanced. She criticised America’s foreign policy in Vietnam; dissected the unacknowledged sexism of everyday life; and celebrated female sexuality. She had a long affair with the director Philip Saville—which allegedly inspired Joseph Losey’s film Darling with Dirk Bogarde and Julie Christie. Then after a ten day “whirlwind romance” Boty married Clive Goodwin—a literary agent and activist. She claimed he was the only man who was interested in her mind.

In 1965, Boty was nearing the top of her field when she found she was pregnant. During a routine prenatal examination, doctors discovered a malignant tumor. Boty refused an abortion. She also refused chemotherapy as she did not want to damage the fetus. In February 1966, Boty gave birth to a daughter—Boty Goodwin. Five months later in July 1966, Pauline Boty died. Her last painting was a commission for Kenneth Tynan’s nude revue Oh! Calcutta! called “BUM.”
 
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Pauline Boty in her studio holding the painting ‘Scandal’ in 1963.
 
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‘A Big Hand’ (1960).

More of Pauline Boty’s paintings plus Ken Russell’s ‘Pop Goes the Easel,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Your worst fears have become creepy, nightmare-fueled comics
05.24.2016
09:47 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
books
phobias
Fran Krause


A reader submitted phobia becomes a comic illustrated by Fran Krause.
 
When illustrator, filmmaker and academic Fran Krause started his “Deep Dark Fears” series of web-based comics, the ideas sprang from his own feelings of dread about getting chopped in half by an elevator door or perhaps the things that creep around the house when the lights are out. It wasn’t long before Krause started illustrating submissions from his fans, with rather terrifying results.
 

It could happen!
 
Born in Upstate New York, Krause now lives in Los Angeles and teaches animation at the California Institute of the Arts. Krause’s Tumblr is regularly updated with new submissions from readers who suffer from various phobias that many of us share—such as the fear of the dark or flying to more elaborate, unfounded fears like being shredded to bits by a subway turnstile or having your finger chopmed off by a worm with teeth that lives in your nose. When pouring through Krause’s Tumblr I noticed that many of the stories that were submitted came from stories they were told when they were children by their parents, grandparents, mentors, or older siblings. Although I really don’t understand the benefit of telling your kid to not worry about sweeping up breadcrumbs from the kitchen floor after dinner because that’s what the dead people in the house eat at night. Yikes.

If you dig what you see in this post, 101 of Krause’s nightmare-fueled comics are a part of the 2015 book called Deep Dark Fears. So grab some No-Doz and read on. If you need me, I’ll be under the bed.
 

 
More of your worst nightmares illustrated by Fran Krause after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘The Essential Paul Laffoley’ is the most mind-boggling coffee table art book of 2016 (or any year)
05.23.2016
04:12 pm

Topics:
Art
Books
Thinkers

Tags:
Paul Laffoley
Douglas Walla


 
Okay, okay so although I could probably definitely be accused of bias—the volume in question here is about a dear friend of nearly twenty years and edited by another close friend of exactly the same vintage (plus I blurbed it)—I strongly feel that the recent University of Chicago Press book The Essential Paul Laffoley: Works from the Boston Visionary Cell edited by Douglas Walla is a “document of seismic cultural importance.” I’m quoting myself here, but fuck it: I’m right.

When Paul Laffoley died last November at the age of 80, he left behind a vast archive of mind-boggling, awe-inspiring work. Huge paintings, elaborate drawings, models, handwritten journals, architectural blueprints, sci-fi inventions, essays. He was one of the great geniuses of the 20th century, although few people are aware of this fact. An eccentric genius to be sure, but a true Mount Olympus-level genius is what he was, make no mistake about it. This isn’t merely my opinion, it’s more a matter of objective fact. In due course—and I’m certain of this—the rest of the world is going to figure it out, too. I say this in all seriousness: The man was the Leonardo of our time. History will bear my bold statement out. (If you disagree, you just don’t know what you are talking about. See what I did there?)

But don’t worry, in the coming years the human race is going to figure this all out—of this I have complete confidence—and The Essential Paul Laffoley: Works from the Boston Visionary Cell will be the cornerstone of all future academic scholarship about the man, it’s both “Paul Laffoley 101” and the graduate level course in one volume. It was put together—a product of pure love and admiration—by the world’s #1 undisputed authority on the great artist’s work. Over the course of the past three decades, Paul Laffoley has been represented by Douglas Walla at Kent Fine Art in New York City. In a career going back to the 1970s, Walla has worked with artists like Francis Bacon, Richard Artschwager, Dorothea Tanning and Llyn Foulkes. He’s brokered deals for Giacometti’s, Picabia’s, Richter’s, Duchamp’s and even a few Rodins. In the cutthroat business of the New York art world, you couldn’t find a finer man than Doug.

The world isn’t always kind to the type of eccentric individual that Paul Laffoley was. History will record how very lucky he was to have met Douglas Walla when he did because otherwise he might have died in obscurity, instead of seeing vast museum-level surveys of his work mounted in London, Berlin and Paris during the final years of his life.

I sent Douglas Walla a few questions via email over the weekend and he sent them back to me this morning

Richard Metzger: How long did it take to prepare the book? 

Douglas Walla: The short answer is 27 years.

When I made the first studio visit to Paul’s Bromfield Street studio—the Boston Visionary Cell—in 1986, he was already working on Thanaton III. The lettering as such was not yet added, but it was certainly well underway.  I arrived at 10 am, and Paul immediately launched into a major—and almost trance-inducing—meditation on the manifestations of the painting. The next thing I knew, it was 2:00 pm, and thinking I had a plane to catch back to NYC at 6, I said, “How about that other painting?”  He simply said, “I’m not done yet” (meaning he wasn’t done with his explication of Thanaton III). So flying home, I thought, I need to do a book.  As a postscript, Thanaton III appears in the book published in 1989, but the lettering still had not yet been added.

I returned with a tape recorder, and I recorded “The Dream as the Initiation” which became chapter one of The Phenomenology of Revelation.  In all, between Paul, myself, and Jeanne Marie Wasilik, we recorded about 25 hours of dialogue with Paul, and that was edited down to eight chapters that would become the first book on Paul for which I acted as photo editor vetting the subjects touched upon, and Tony Morgan took a free hand in designing the final publication.

In the process, I developed a template we called a “thought form,” believing that the understanding of each individual work would be enhanced by a linguistic text plate to help the viewer more easily see what Paul was thinking. A complicated caption.

After the book was finished, I continued to work with Paul over the next twenty years compiling a thought form for each work we discussed.  So the archive progressed, and we paid particular attention getting good photography for each work, in that there was mounting interest in READING the paintings as they appeared in reproduction.

Paul and I collaborated for over 25 years building this archive, with the hopes of printing (analog) a catalogue raisonne of his work, and not placing it on the internet. I had the misfortune of posting 80 entries several years ago only to have it all copied, posted to another website unknown to me, and having the carefully edited texts violated and changed, and having his work reduced to collage, snippets, montages, wallpaper, etc.  So a book stands as a valid authority on the topic of Paul’s work without alterations by others.
 

 
Richard Metzger: How many additional paintings and drawings didn’t make the cut?

Douglas Walla: In that Paul never kept records of what he finished, when presented with the invitation by the University of Chicago Press to publish a monograph on Paul, I realized that a “Complete Works” book was almost impossible. There would always be other works coming to the surface, although I would state that only about 10 such works have come to my attention in the last decade. The format that was workable, conceptually as well as intellectually, was The Essential Paul Laffoley chronicling 100 works. 

What was left out were many of what Paul termed “nudes,” which were paintings without text. Further, there were commissioned works such as Hank Williams, and the Elvis series which do not appear, and many of the architectural three dimensional models he made which were in disrepair.  There was also Rubaiyat (75 sketches) that I only became aware of after death, and his uncompleted tarot deck which he worked on to the end, along with what would have been a major work entitled The Garden of Earthly Death.  There were ten large scale canvases unfinished at his death, and approximately 27 paintings that were unsigned, untitled, undated and never shown, all of which are omitted from the publication.
 

 
Richard Metzger: How would you describe your relationship with Paul? Obviously you were his gallerist and representative for decades, his close friend, his patron and #1 fan—you not only told the world about him, you actually invested a lot of money in his career, publishing his book when he was a complete unknown and so he that wouldn’t have to work and could produce more work. I’ve never said this to you before, but I always saw you as being the father figure in the relationship. Despite Paul being many years older than you, there was something childlike about him. The way you looked after him always seemed very paternal to me, but I want to hear your take on it.

Douglas Walla: The thing we all learned about Paul was his extreme generosity in terms of patience, good humor, and intimidating intellect.  Always pushing the outside of the envelope so to speak, I was endlessly challenged and stimulated by our association. He was a friend, and a pleasure, and gracious.  As his physical health began to deteriorate (and I think I was in denial that he was on a path to his final congestive heart failure), I became his travelmate certainly by 2009. When he injured himself in 2001—he fell off a ladder—I became his medical proxy sorting through extremely complicated medical issues concerning his diabetes and the impact it had in devastating his cardiovascular system.  Of course one of his legs was amputated. So by 2009, I tried to get him to all the things he longed to see and visit including Neuschwanstein, Dornach, Eiffel’s Apartment at the top of the Tower, the Space Needle—his bucket list. 

The only thing on that list he never saw was the completed book.
 

 
Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Freakishly cool body paintings by 16-year-old artist
05.23.2016
01:57 pm

Topics:
Art
Design

Tags:
body painting
Lara Wirth

 
Here are some really impressive body painting skills by 16-year-old Melbourne-based artist Lara Wirth. On Wirth’s Instagram page, she’s described as a self-taught body painter and a “dedicated procrastorpainter.”

It’s hard to believe looking at these images that Wirth has had no formal training. She’s truly gifted to say the least.

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Imaginary pinball machines of Hawkwind, The Stooges, Jim Jones, and more
05.23.2016
08:58 am

Topics:
Art
Games

Tags:
Hawkwind
Pablo Escobar
Jim Jones
Stooges
pinball


 
If you’re as much of a pinball nut as I am, you’ll flip over these fantasy back glass illustrations by Charlie Fogel.

Illustrator/cartoonist, Fogel has loads of amazing work on his Plop Culture Prints Facebook page, but these imaginary pinball games are something special. I’ve been hooked since seeing the first one in his series, Jonestown, featuring a grinning Jim Jones holding a silver ball and dishing out Flavor Aid to busty beauties.

Since that first piece, Fogel has created five more fantasy machines depicting, in order of their release, the band Hawkwind, Jodorowsky’s arthouse classic Holy Mountain, notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, the nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll, and a Stooges Funhouse piece.

Fogel told Dangerous Minds a bit about the pinball series:

I was lucky enough to grow up with a pinball machine in my house that my dad inherited from the firehouse where he tended bar—I’m just now realizing how the countless hours of staring at it informed the way I draw. I got the idea for these at the Pinball Museum here in Asbury Park, looking at how random and awkward a lot of the subject matter of the old machines are. They’re the basest of advertising art, using totally overt sex, violence, bright lights and loud noises to stand out in a crowded bar or arcade. It’s a perfect vehicle to keep addressing the stuff I’m obsessed with (Jim Jones, for instance) without repeating myself or others work on the subject. It’s also cool because all the machines of that era, from the design down to the electronics, are totally analog—but still manage to overpower your senses without any slick computerized fluff. That really appeals to me as someone who works almost completely in analog methods and materials.

All of these illustrations are 12 inches square, mixed media on Bristol board. Fogel is planning to create six to ten more similar pieces to present in a gallery setting. Until then, you can view his work on his Facebook page or his website plopcultureprints.com.
 

 

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More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
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