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Cthulhu fhtagn: 2016’s ‘Lovecraftiana Calendar’ makes an eldritch Christmas gift
10:03 am


H. P. Lovecraft
John Coulthart

Are you a fan of H. P. Lovecraft? Or, maybe just seeking that perfect something for the Lovecraftian in your life? Then look no further than John Coulthart’s Lovecraftiana Calendar for 2016, which contains twelve sumptuous illustrations of some of Lovecraft’s best known creations.

Coulthart is an artist, designer, writer and curator of the website {feuilleton}—an essential compendium of his interests, obsessions, and passing enthusiasms. Coulthart earliest artwork was for the album Church of Hawkwind in 1982. Since then, he has created a splendid oeuvre of artwork for books, magazines, comics and albums—for the likes of Steven Severin, Cradle of Filth, Melechesh and many, many others. Coulthart illustrated the “definitive” edition of Lovecraft’s The Haunter of the Dark and Other Grotesque Visions, and was involved in creating the legendary and infamous comic Lord Horror published by Savoy Books. He also has the “dubious accolade of having an earlier Savoy title, Hard Core Horror #5, declared obscene in a British court of law.”

With the Lovecraftiana Calendar, Coulthart has brought together a selection of his mixed media illustrations of such mythical figures as Hastur,  Night Gaunt, Shoggoth, and locations such as the lost city of R’lyeh to powerful effect. And if this product twists your melon, then you can order your calendar here.

JANUARY: Necronomicon (digital, 2015)


FEBRUARY: The Yellow King (acrylics on board, 1996)


MARCH: Nyarlathotep II (digital, 2009)

More ‘Lovecraftiana’ after of the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Candid photos of Johnny Thunders, Siouxsie Sioux and The Clash from the mid-1970s

Steve Severin and Siouxsie Sioux, 1976
Steve Severin and Siouxsie Sioux, 1976
Photographer Ray Stevenson, the brother of former Sex Pistols’ road manager and early manager of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nils Stevenson (RIP), took some pretty remarkable photos of the punk rock movement back in the mid-70s. Many of his snapshots had punk players like Siouxsie Sioux, Johnny Thunders and fashion designer and icon Vivienne Westwood just hanging out being punks together.
Vivienne Westwood, John Lydon and Jordan, 1976
Vivienne Westwood, John Lydon and model/muse Jordan, 1976
Thanks to some convincing from his brother, Stevenson and his camera often found themselves at parties held at the legendary Marquee Club and in Linda Ashby’s hotel room at the St. James Hotel. His images were among a few of the punk time capsules captured by the (then) young photographer showcased at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London just last week. Some of Stevenson’s remarkable photos can be purchased, here. Super snotty and beautifully candid images taken by Stevenson follow.
Johnny Thunders, Nils Stevenson and Lee Black Childers (RIP)
Johnny Thunders, Nils Stevenson and photographer/manager Leee Black Childers (RIP)
Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon of The Clash on an elevator
Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon of The Clash on an elevator
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Tchotchke porcelain figurines altered with insect heads
10:31 am



Big Bee-autiful Bee Lady “Mìfēng”
I must be on a nana kick today. I just blogged about Golden Girls “granny panties” and now I’ve moved on to altered versions of your grandma’s favorite “valuable” porcelain figurines. I’m not a big fan of knick-knacks or trinkets in my home, but I really dig these alien-like insect figurines by Curious Cryptid Curios. These I would display proudly, with no fear that my future grandchildren would be embarrassed by them.

I’ve attached links under each image in case you are interested or want to see more images.

Fancy Dancing Mantis Madam

Careful Courting Mantis Couple
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Punk rock icons get the comic book treatment in ‘Visions of Rock,’ 1981

John Lydon by Brendan McCarthy
John Lydon by Brendan McCarthy
Like many of you, I was once an avid collector of comic books. While it’s still in my nature to pick up an occasionally graphic novel (my last one was The Big Book of Mischief from the great UK illustrator, Krent Able), I was naturally drawn to the illustrations of the punks from the 70s done by several artists who would go on to make great contributions to the world of comic book art in a publication from 1981, Visions of Rock
Visions of Rock by Mal Burns (on the cover Chrissie Hynde, Rod Stewart and Debbie Harry)
Visions of Rock by Mal Burns (on the cover Chrissie Hynde, Rod Stewart and Debbie Harry)
Although including Rod Stewart on the cover is a bit perplexing (as are some of the illustrations in the book itself) loads of incredibly talented illustrators contributed work to Visions of Rock such as Bryan Talbot (who worked on Sandman with Neil Gaiman), Brett Ewins (of Judge Dredd fame who sadly passed away in February of this year), Brendan McCarthy (who most recently worked with George Miller on a little film called Mad Max: Fury Road, perhaps you’ve heard of it) and Hunt Emerson whose work appears in nearly every book in the “Big Book Of” series.

Inside you’ll find comic book-style renditions of your favorite 70s punks like Sid Vicious (equipped with a chainsaw no less), Elvis Costello, Brian Ferry (wait, he’s not a punk rocker…), The Stranglers and others. Here’s a bit of the backstory on the making of Visions of Rock from comic book illustrator, David Hine (who worked with Marvel UK back in the 80s and whose work appears in the book):

This company that put out Visions of Rock, Communication Vectors, was run by a guy called Mal Burns, who also produced the comic Pssst! It was a weird setup, I think the (our) money came from a mysterious French millionaire. We were all paid about $200

The Stranglers by Stuart Briers
The Stranglers by Stuart Briers
I must admit, I’m a huge fan of Brendan McCarthy’s caricature of John Lydon (at the top of the post) looking like a crazed super villain descending upon London, compelled by the powers of both filth and fury. If you dig the images in this post, Visions of Rock can be had from third-party vendors over at Amazon for about $20 bucks, or less.
Sid Vicious by Brendan McCarthy
Sid Vicious by Brendan McCarthy
Elvis Costello by Brent Emerson
Elvis Costello by Hunt Emerson
More comic book versions of punk rock royalty after the jump…

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In the Flesh: June Yong Lee’s ‘Torso’ photographs (NSFW)
09:14 am


June Yong Lee

Firstly, no one was injured in the making of these photographs—they’re not a Buffalo Bill “It rubs the lotion on the body” flesh suit kinda thing—nope—though admittedly these images might not look too out of place in Ed Gein‘s front parlor. But still, no. These powerful pictures are cleverly created photographs taken by June Yong Lee, an artist, photographer and Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. Each image was painstakingly spliced together from up to 30 different photos of a single human torso—giving an almost complete 360 degree view of the subject’s upper trunk in two dimensions. Here stretched out in front of us is the human flesh in all its glory—its sagginess, flabbiness, the scars, stretch marks, tattoos, tufts and its incredible vulnerability.

Lee has said people hold very strong opinions about his Torso Series of photographs—but for him the human skin is a major part of our identity. Lee became more aware of this after he left Korea for America—as he explained to Sara Coughlin at Refinery29:

When I was in Korea everyone around me was Korean, and their ethnicity or race wasn’t important at all. But then, when I came over here, I realized I was Asian for the first time, which was kind of strange, but that became part of my identity.

When you look at a person, you look at the shape of the person, but also the surface of their skin — their skin color, what’s written on their skin, [and] those things carry their identities in interesting ways.

Though currently out of print, a volume of Lee’s work Skin is available here, while more of his work can be viewed here.
More of June Yong Lee’s ‘Torso Series,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Thrill to the covers of Boris Karloff’s ‘Tales of Mystery’ comic

E.C.‘s Tales from the Crypt was long dead and buried by the time I’d picked up my first Spider-Man comic and attempted web-slinging off the garage roof. If I’d known about Tales from the Crypt then, I would have abandoned Peter Parker to life as a useful flyswatter and hung my star to the Crypt Keeper. All things horror were a childhood obsession—and though with hindsight some graduate of Psychology 101 might give my predilection for nasty thrills an asshat theory about using horror movies as a means to control personal fears—the truth is—I just fucking loved ‘em.

Of course, the possibility that out there—somewhere—was a happy marriage of comic book and horror story was a pre-pubescent fantasy as remote as the coupling between Cinderella and Prince Charming. Then one day I discovered Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery at the back of a rack of comics and knew the Prince’s luck was looking up.

Ye gods, the covers alone were enough to put my imagination into overdrive—like a hyperactive kid playing with bubble wrap—the images of prehistoric beasts devouring fishermen on storm-tossed seas, gruesome subterranean creatures clambering out of crypts, devils torturing unrepentant souls, and a viscous ooze devouring all. The fact that each cover had a passport photo of the debonair Mr. Karloff—a man who looked like he worked at a bank or sold life insurance to the over 50s—only made the thrills more enjoyably fun, as I knew this kindly old man would never, ever, go overboard with the horror. Or would he?

Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery was originally a spin-off from his TV series Thriller. When the series was canceled, publisher Gold Star re-titled the comic as Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery. It continued to be published after Karloff’s death in 1969, and ran into the seventies—around about the time when I picked-up on it. If you want to have a swatch of the whole set of covers available have a look here or here.

This little bundle of goodies culled from everywhere and beyond brings back fine memories of the pure joy to be had imagining the possible terrors that were about to unfold—and appreciating the best thrills are all in the mind.
More fabulous Karloff kovers, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Visionary artist and genius Paul Laffoley has died
07:03 pm


Paul Laffoley


“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be . . .  “

Henry David Thoreau

I knew this day was coming, and now that it’s here, it absolutely sucks as much as I thought it would: It is with great sadness that I report that the great genius artist and thinker Paul Laffoley is dead. He was 75.

A few weeks ago I got an email from my close friend Douglas Walla, Paul’s longtime gallerist letting me know that Paul had a heart attack and was in the hospital in Boston and that I might want to give him a call. Like immediately. I did and we spoke for about an hour, mostly chit-chat about his health and his upcoming book and then we talked about the architecture at the University of Cincinnati’s campus. He coughed like crazy—really, really HARD coughs that rattled his chest, I could practically feel the spittle hitting my eardrum through the telephone. Apparently he’d coughed so hard that he’d given himself a heart attack.

The problem was, this hacking cough was something, that he’d been, as he put it, “working on my entire life.” The cough was a permanent condition, in other words, it wasn’t going to go away. Already in poor health for many years—he had an amputated leg, diabetes and heart problems—the combination of this persistent HARD cough and congestive heart failure was the kind of “Catch 22” that meant he wasn’t going to be long for this world.

I asked him if the nurses were treating him well. He said yes, but I teased him that I wanted to speak to the one who had just entered the room, so that I could explain to her how “important” her charge was. “Oh you don’t have to do that,” he said.

I laughed: “Hey, look what happened to Andy Warhol. It couldn’t hurt!”

Douglas Walla let me know a week or so ago that Paul had entered hospice care. He died quietly today.

The visionary artist and luminary, Paul Laffoley, has died today after a long battle with congestive heart failure. He had an extraordinary grasp of multiple fields of knowledge compulsively pursing interests that often lead him into uncharted territory. His complex theoretical constructs were uniquely presented in highly detailed mandala-like canvases largely scaled to Fibonacci’s golden ratio. While an active participant in numerous speculative organizations including his own Boston Visionary Cell since the early 70s, his work began to attract an increasing following in his late career with shows at the Palais de Tokyo (2009), Hamburger Bahnhof (2011), Hayward Gallery, London, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2013). The first book on Laffoley’s oeuvre was The Phenomenology of Revelation published by Kent Fine Art in 1989, followed by several subsequent publications beginning with his first retrospective organized by the Austin Museum of Art (1999).

Forthcoming in March of 2016, the University of Chicago Press will be releasing the long awaited book entitled The Essential Paul Laffoley. He was a kind and generous giant, and he will be sorely missed by all of us.

Today the world lost one of its greatest minds, but it might be a few years before the world realizes this. I am gratified to know that although Paul didn’t live long enough to see the publication of the catalogue raisonné of his work, he did see the galley proofs. Doug Walla worked for decades, really, on this book and it will be an intellectual and cultural EVENT when it’s published next year, mark my words. Many years ago, I can recall discussing Paul with Doug and he told me that what drove him so hard to develop Paul’s career is how tragic it would have been if Paul died in obscurity, and was regarded historically as an “enigma” or as an outsider artist, someone like Henry Darger instead of the Ivy League-educated polymath “Sci-Fi Leonardo” that he truly was. As of today there are several books that have been published about Paul Laffoley, and there will be many more in the future and many doctoral dissertations that will be written about him. I’m sure he died with the satisfaction that his work was not only valued by mankind, but will live on with greater notoriety after his passing.

I don’t have any more words. I lost a friend today, someone I greatly admired and loved. More importantly, the world lost a great genius. The New York Times recently called Paul Laffoley “one of the most unusual creative minds of our time.”

Too true. And now he’s gone.

An overview of Paul Laffoley’s work, courtesy of yours truly…

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
I’m with the Band(s): Intimate photographs of punk legends at CBGBs

Whether it’s the Left Bank, or Bloomsbury, or Sun Records in Memphis, the Cavern Club in Liverpool, or London’s King’s Road, there is always one location that becomes the focus for a new generation of artists, writers and musicians. In New York during the 1970s, this creative hub could be found in a venue called CBGBs where different bands came to play every night spearheading the punk and new wave movement and bringing about a small revolution which changed everything in its wake.

Amongst the musicians, writers and artists who played and hung out at Hilly Kristal’s club at 315 Bowery were conceptual artists Bettie Ringma and Marc H. Miller. Bettie had come from from Holland to the US, where she met Miller—a writer and photographer whose passion was for telling “stories with pictures, with ephemera and with a few carefully chosen words.” Together they started collaborating on various multi-media and conceptual artworks.

In late 1976, Marc and Bettie were drawn to the irresistible pull of creative energy buzzing out of CBGB’s. Most nights they went down to the venue and started documenting the bands and artists who appeared there:

Our first photograph of Bettie with the movers and shakers at CBGB was taken during our very first visit to the club in late 1976. Standing alone by the bar was one of Bettie’s favorite performers, the poet-rocker Patti Smith. At home at CBGB and a wee bit tipsy, Patti was more than happy to oblige our request for a picture with Bettie. Soon we were CBGB regulars, checking out the different bands and slowly adding to our collection of pictures.

Marc and Bettie’s original idea of creating “Paparazzi Self-Portraits” at this Bowery bar developed into the portfolio Bettie Visits CBGB—a documentary record of all the bands, musicians, artists and writers who hung out at the venue, with photographs becoming:

...a reflection of the new aesthetic emerging at CBGB, a contradictory mix of high and low culture energized by fun and humor, the lure of fame and fortune, and a cynical appreciation of the power of a good hype.

More of Marc and Bettie’s work from this punk era can be seen here.

Patti Smith was hanging around at the bar, but no one was taking pictures of her because she was super-shy. She posed with me and then just went away: some musicians are like that, they’re not into socialising. They’re just artists.


Debbie Harry is a really great singer. She had a very different style from what was emerging there at that time. She was not shy, but she was very aloof: you can see that in the picture, hiding half her face behind her hair. It wasn’t something she needed, because she was very pretty, she was the frontwoman. But it gave her safety.


I just love the Ramones. When their music starts I can’t sit still, I just have to start hopping and dancing, and I’m 71 now. We saw them live about 10 times: we would go out of our way to see them perform.

More of Marc and Bettie’s work after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
An ear created with Vincent van Gogh’s DNA allows you to ‘speak’ to the artist
08:40 am


Vincent Van Gogh
Diemut Strebe

An ear created using Vincent van Gogh's DNA that can actually hear you
An ear that was created using actual DNA from Vincent van Gogh

In 2014, German-born artist Diemut Strebe launched an “ongoing project” called Sugababe. The focus of the installation was a “living replica” of Vincent van Gogh’s ear which was created using cells from an actual male descendant of van Gogh’s, Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent’s brother Theo. Holy shit.
Diemut Strebe's
If that’s not bizarre enough for you, not only does the ear in Strebe’s project (which was made using 3D printing technology) contain van Gogh DNA, it also has the ability to hear. Using a microphone that is rigged to a computer, a nifty piece of software then allows for nerve impulses from a visitor’s voice to be simulated as they are received. In other words, you can (in theory) “speak” to the artist who has been dead for 125 years.

If you have something you’ve always wanted to ask Vincent van Gogh (Noam Chomsky was the first person to speak to the ear in case you were curious), simply drop by the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York where the ear and various other works by Strebe will be on view through December 5th.
h/t: Beautiful Decay

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Donald Trump portrait made from 500 pictures of dicks (NSFW-ish)
03:39 pm


Donald Trump dick portrait

There are dicks in Donald Trump’s mouth. They are in his hair, his eyes, his nose, even his ears—in fact there are dicks every-fucking-where in this portrait of Trump by Tumblr user “Homo-Power.”

The medium is the message???

“Homo-Power” was inspired by a previous portrait of a Republican politician, as he explains:

Someone once made a photo mosaic pic of conservative republican politician Rick Santorum using porn images.  I thought I’d go one better, in lieu of SNL letting him host last night.  I give you a pic showing what Donald Trump is really made of.  This is a high-resolution photo mosaic of Trump made with 500 dick pics.

For a closer look at the 500 dicks that make up Trump’s portrait click here (for obvious reasons not safe work) or have a squint below.
00cudicktrump00.jpg<br />
00cudicktrump00.jpg<br />
H/T Bullet Media.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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