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Rare concert photos of Blondie, Zappa, Iggy, Fugazi and more, from the Smithsonian’s new collection


 
In December 2015, the Smithsonian Institution began an ambitious crowdsourced history of rock ’n’ roll photography, calling on music fans to contribute their amateur and pro photos, launching the web site rockandroll.si.edu as a one-stop for accepting and displaying shooters’ submissions. One of the project’s organizers, Bill Bentley, was quoted in Billboard:

We talked about how it could be completely far-reaching in terms of those allowed to contribute, and hopefully help expose all kinds of musicians and periods. There really are no boundaries in the possibilities. I’d like to help spread all styles of music to those who visit the site, and show just how all-encompassing the history of what all these incredible artists have created over the years. What better way than for people to share their visual experiences, no matter on what level, to the world at large.

The project, sadly, is now closed to new submissions, but it’s reached a milestone in the publication of Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen, authored by Bentley. The book is a pretty great cull of the best the collection had to offer, full of photos rarely or never seen by the public, chronologically arranged, and dating back to the dawn of the rock era. Some of them are real jaw-droppers, like the concert shot of Richie Valens taken hours before his death, Otis Redding drenched in sweat at the Whiskey a Go Go, Sly Stone looking like a goddamn superhero at the Aragon Ballroom in 1974. From Bentley’s introduction:

Although the sheer breadth of the offerings was overwhelming, that fact only underlined the importance of an organizational strategy. The publisher sorted through the submissions, categorizing them by performer and date to create a complete historical timeline of rock and roll. Approximately three hundred photographs are included in the following narrative, many of them by amateurs whose enthusiasm and passion for their subjects are here presented to the public for the first time. The balance of the photos were taken by professional “lens whisperers,” whose shots were selected to flesh out this overview of rock and roll. The results, spanning six decades, aim for neither encyclopedic authority nor comprehensive finality, but rather an index of supreme influence.

Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen isn’t due until late in October, but the Smithsonian have been very kind in allowing Dangerous Minds to share some of these images with you today. Clicking an image will spawn an enlargement.
 

Blondie at CBGB, New York City, 1976. Photo Roberta Bayley /Smithsonian Books
 

The Clash at the Orpheum Theatre, Boston, September 19, 1979. Photo Catherine Vanaria /Smithsonian Books
 

Frank Zappa at Maple Pavilion, Stanford University, CA, November 19, 1977. Photo Gary Kieth Morgan /Smithsonian Books
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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09.18.2017
11:00 am
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Kitchen tools and other household items get confrontational anatomical upgrades
09.18.2017
10:21 am
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A confrontational sculpture by D.C.-based artist, Joseph Barbaccia.
 
While I hate to call a gun a “household item” it’s accurate. According to data collected earlier this year, approximately 40% of homes in the U.S. said they had a firearm in the home. So consider that fact as you check out the weird anatomical sculptures of Joseph Barbaccia in which the artist fused various parts of the human body with various kitchen and household items.

Of the various polystyrene sculptures by Barbaccia in this post, one includes a woman’s hand affixed to a pistol (pictured above) and another features a sharp kitchen knife with a rock hard cock for a handle. All of which are allegories for societal issues such as the obesity epidemic and our collective preoccupation regarding all things related to sex. Based in Washington, D.C., Barbaccia is a talented artist with a high proficiency for three-dimensional sculpture work. In addition to his tricked-out kitchen tools, Barbaccia also has an extensive collection of celebrity portraits that he makes using long threads of colorful clay in order to create groovy images of Tom Waits, the late Gene Wilder in character form Young Frankenstein, and Charles Bukowski. I’ve posted pictures of Barbaccia’s work below; a few are NSFW.
 

 

“Obesity.”
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.18.2017
10:21 am
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The occult art of Austin Osman Spare
09.15.2017
09:59 am
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Austin Osman Spare was an outsider artist, an occultist, a writer, a philosopher of sorts, and a clarinet player in a jazz band called the Bulldog Breed. His career as an artist burst like a firework against a full dark night—a quick, bright, early success fading to a slow and unworthy decline into poverty, dirt, and virtual obscurity. The myths about Spare and his involvement with the occult often take precedence over his talents as an artist. This is a pity, as Spare was a tremendously complex artist who deserves far greater recognition than being tagged merely as someone who is collected by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.

Spare was born into a working class family in London on December 30th, 1886. His father was a policeman, his mother the daughter of a Royal Marine. This was a no-nonsense, square-headed family who lived in a tenement in Smithfield—the city’s meat market district. Every day on his way to school, Spare had to wander through the busy market with its hanging flesh and blood splattered cobblestones. As an animal lover, he hated this brutal bloody carnage.

As a child, Spare showed a prodigious talent for drawing, which eventually led to his exhibiting work at the Royal Academy in his teens. There’s a story that his father, who was a stickler for correct English grammar, saw a news vendor selling papers with the headline “Local Boy Hung.” His father being an utter jobs-worth made his way across to the vendor to correct the word “hung” to “hanged.” It was only when he read the story did he realize this was not about some ghastly execution of a murderous youth but a report on his very own son having work exhibited at the RA.

His technique for line drawings saw Spare hailed as the new Aubrey Beardsley—who was then the fashionable Decadent artist of polite London society. This should have been a caveat. Fashionable artists tend to bloom and fall with the season. Spare’s startling early success—where it seemed nearly every art critic hailed him as the next big thing—soon vanished. It must have been galling and utterly confusing for him. In some respects, it could be argued that his background and his class went against him in the London art world. Add to this Spare’s growing interest in the occult, which saw George Bernard Shaw dismiss his work as “strong medicine” that was not to everyone’s taste.

His interest in the occult started with his early reading of Madame Blavatsky before moving onto Agrippa and then becoming friends with Aleister Crowley. Whatever happened between these two men to sour their relationship isn’t fully known other than Crowley described Spare as a “Black Brother”—an occultist who had failed to submit his ego for the advancement of learning—or in plain English, to submit himself to the will of the “Great Beast” or one Mr. A. Crowley.

A dabbling in the occult is always good copy when explaining why things turned out the way they did. Though Spare did devise his own magical rituals (which heavily influenced modern Chaos Magic) and beliefs involving Zos (“the body considered as a whole”) and its complementary force Kia—which were “symbolised anthropomorphically by the hand and the eye”—it is fair to say, he was ultimately probably a bit of a confabulist about his magical powers. He was later aided and abetted in this myth-making by fellow occultist and writer Kenneth Grant, who believed he had found his own personal magus in Spare. Unfortunately, Grant made up so much of Spare’s alleged magical powers that it is unclear as to what Spare actually did believe and what he actually practiced. For example, it was claimed Spare was inducted into the occult by an octogenarian witch who seduced him when he was a boy. Great story, but most likely false. Similarly, Grant wrote eloquently about Spare’s use of magical sigils where “any wish may be given symbolic form,” which was to a large extent true but never seemed to deliver the “particular desire in question.” Spare’s use of magic never extricated him from anything but seemed to keep him in the direst poverty, obscurity, and near starvation. A life of painting in a tiny darkened basement, where he collected stray cats and drawing portraits in pubs for beer and sandwiches. After Spare’s death in 1956, Grant claimed this kind of “intense disappointment” was the way by which Spare attained greater enlightenment. But of course!

Spare was a unique and consummate artist. He was a visionary in the tradition of William Blake or even to an extent Stanley Spencer. And while his belief in magic and the occult has relevance to his artwork it shouldn’t become the determining factor when appreciating Austin Osman Spare’s art which has an impressive range of styles and techniques, which has led some to describe him as “the first Surrealist” and even (surprisingly) the first Pop Artist.

But in truth, he wasn’t any of those things. He was just Austin Osman Spare, artist.
 
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See more of AOS’s work after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.15.2017
09:59 am
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Custom made action figures of Robert Smith, The Cramps, Eraserhead & more!


A nice shot of the custom Poison Ivy and Lux Interior figures by an artist known as “N TT” over at Figure Realm. YES!
 
There are times when I’m out and about on the Internet looking for new and exciting things to bring to all of our dedicated Dangerous Minds readers, and occasionally (or always) I come across something I wasn’t looking for in the first place. And that’s how I happily ended up finding a bunch of different DIY figures and dolls based on the gothy likeness of Robert Smith, the one and only vocalist for The Cure, as well as Poison Ivy and Lux Interior of The Cramps. According to the person behind theses figures, artist “N TT” over at Figure Realm, it was noted that the six-inch version of Lux was made out of an action figure of Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe. Way to make the world a better place by recycling, N TT. Well done.

If you keep up with me here at DM, you know I have a deep affinity for all things action figures and the like. So stumbling on these figures by N TT was kind of like winning the action figure lottery for me. Anyway, good-old N TT has created some pretty fantastic DIY dolls/figures such as Robert Smith, Ivy and Lux (with Mr. Interior wearing a pair of black heels no less) and Jack Nance in character from the 1977 film Eraserhead. And since I know you’re wondering, though it’s not entirely clear, it would appear that N TT occasionally sells the tricked out figures that are posted on this page at Figure Realm.
 

Custom Lux Interior and Poison Ivy figures. Nice.
 

 

This disturbing interpretation of The Cure’s Robert Smith is based on the video for “Lullaby” from 1989. YIKES!
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.14.2017
09:35 am
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1870 A Space Odyssey: Astoundingly prophetic illustrations for Jules Verne’s ‘Around the Moon’
09.14.2017
07:19 am
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Top fact: Jules Verne is the most translated French author ever.

Second slightly more impressive fact: Jules Verne is the second most translated author in the world, not too far behind Agatha Christie but ahead of William Shakespeare.

In the English-speaking world, Monsieur Verne may still have the reputation as a children’s author whose best-selling books have provided prime material for a lot of Hollywood movies but in truth, Jules Verne is the “Father of Science-Fiction.” Verne produced his best-known works like Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), long before his nearest rival H.G. Wells ever considered putting pen to paper.

At school, Jules Verne was the type of author whose novels were doled out during reading class and awarded (if you were lucky) at prize givings for academic excellence. That kind of thing. There was something wholesome about Verne and to an extent, H.G. Wells. A real belief that reading these authors inspired the right kind of enquiring mind—one driven by an interest in understanding the world through scientific investigation. Which was kinda strange as our teachers were a bunch of Christian Brothers whose remit was to instill the fear of God, teach some useful education, and offer the requisite religious instruction to live a good Catholic life.

Well, I suppose one out of three isn’t bad for the effort.

This was when America was firing rockets at the Moon, something that made Verne seem prescient and relevant in a way figures like Nostradamus never do. I’d read From the Earth to the Moon and thought it interesting but slightly disappointing as (unlike say Wells’ The First Men in the Moon with its insectoid creatures the Selenites) the book was mainly concerned with the scientific practicalities facing the Baltimore Gun Club in their ambitions (and rivalries) to send a rocket to the Moon. I was far more impressed by the follow-up novel Around the Moon which continued the adventures of the first three astronauts—Impey Barbicane, Captain Nicholl, and Michel Ardan (along with their dog)—who were fired in a bullet-shaped rocket from a giant cannon—the Columbiad space gun—up into space.

Verne’s novels were highly entertaining and his ideas always seemed feasible. One book, Paris in the Twentieth Century, which was written in 1863 but not published until 1994 having languished in locked bronze safe for almost a century, described the very world in which we live today, as Oliver Tearle notes in his compendium The Secret Library:

[Paris in the Twentieth Century] had been written in 1863 but [was] set in the then far-off future world of 1960. It described a world in which people drive motorcars powered by internal combustion and travel to work in driverless trains. Their houses are lit by electric light. They use fax machines, telephones and computers, and live in skyscrapers furnished with elevators and television. The criminals are executed using the electric chair. Greek and Latin are no longer widely taught in schools, and the French language has been ‘corrupted’ by borrowings from English. People shop in huge department stores, and the streets are adorned with advertisements in electric lights. Money has become everyone’s god. The novel also describes a tall structure in Paris, an electric lighthouse that can be seen for miles around. This was in 1863; the Eiffel Tower would not be built until 1889.

Similarly, many of the ideas in Around the Moon are scientifically possible and uncannily descriptive of how an Apollo misison to the Moon would return to Earth—jet rockets for thrust and a landing in the sea. The artist Émile-Antoine Bayard was tasked with illustrating Verne’s novel and he produced a set of images which are rightly described as “arguably the very first to depict space travel on a scientific basis.”
 
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Take off with more incredible illustrations from Verne’s ‘Around the Moon,’ after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.14.2017
07:19 am
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‘Girls’: Drawing porn with eyes wide shut (NSFW)
09.12.2017
08:58 am
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Take a pencil and a piece of paper. Sit in front of a mirror and look at your face. Now close your eyes and draw your own portrait in one continuous line. This will give you an idea of the technique used by multi-media artist Katie Dunkle to “blindly” draw images taken from pornography.

In her series of “blind contour” line drawings titled Girls, Dunkle re-creates pornographic pictures in ink, pencil, chalk, and watercolor without looking at her canvas. The finished drawings are recognizable yet disturbing representations of erotica from which the viewer can step back and “reconsider what it means to pose nude for the visual stimulation of others.”

In her artist’s statement for Girls, Dunkle wrote:

The digital adult industry allows females to be groped in the darkness by a disconnected set of hands, transforming a real person into a two-dimensional cluster of flesh-tone pixels. In this respect the artist chooses to literally be blind to her artwork’s unfolding creation to honor these unknown women all the while asking and wondering, who are these women?

Katie draws attention to the countless women who are showcased for pleasure and then hastily discarded. Her priority as a female artist is to give these women a new pedestal for a different audience, whilst honoring the female body in all its glory. Her artwork gives these women a new soul and through the use of mixed media on paper allows the creations to radiate emergent emotional content, which takes the viewer on an intuitive journey through everything from anguish, seduction, pleasure and mystery.

Dunkle’s inspiration for Girls is “the insatiable urge of humanities demand for sexual stimulation.” Dunkle’s intention is to open debate about the nature of pornography and to “breathe life back into” these women making them more than just naked sexual objects for the viewer’s pleasure. See more Katie Dunkle’s work here.
 
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‘Stephany.’
 
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‘Roxanne.’
 
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See more of Katie Dunkle’s ‘blind contour’ drawings, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.12.2017
08:58 am
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A man for all seasons: Meet Surrealist painter, poet, and erotic artist Jindřich Štyrský (NSFW)
09.11.2017
11:53 am
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Untitled, from the ‘Portable Cabinet’ (1934).
 
Jindřich Štyrský was an artist, a painter, a Surrealist, a writer, a poet, an editor, a photographer, a pornographer, a collagist, a revolutionary, a provocateur, a theatre director, and a stage designer.

If Štyrský had only chosen to focus on just one of these different roles, he would still be regarded as a highly original and relatively important artist. That he was successful at all of them, gives some idea of this remarkable man’s prodigious talents

Jindřich Štyrský was born in Lower Čermná, Czechoslovakia, on August 11th, 1899. It’s variously written in different biographies all probably copying the same source that Štyrský was deeply affected by the death of his 21-year-old half-sister Marie when he was five. How this impinged on his life is never quite revealed—other than his later erotic artwork where she becomes the object of his desire and that he carried the same genetic defect (a bad heart) that inevitably led to his own demise. Štyrský had a natural talent for art which led him to study at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. His early work (like “Church on the Hill”) showed his interest in Cubism but hardly suggests the provocative and revolutionary work that was to come.

During the early 1920s, he formed a relationship/collaboration with the artist Toyen (aka Marie Čermínová). Toyen preferred to be addressed as “he” or “him” defying gender roles and confounding the male dominated art world with his sexually explicit erotic drawings. Štyrský and Toyen joined the avant-garde group Devětsil where they exhibited their paintings. Štyrský also became involved with the group’s theatrical wing the Liberated Theater, where he worked as designer and director. Together with Toyen, he also formed Artificialism—an artistic response to Cubism which proposed “Leaving reality alone” and striving for “maximum imaginativeness.”

Artificialism is the identification of painter and poet. It negates painting as a mere formal game and entertainment for the eyes (subjectless painting).  It negates formally historicizing painting (Surrealism).  Artificialism has an abstract consciousness of reality.  It does not deny the existence of reality, but it does not use it either.  Its interest focuses on poetry that fills the gaps between real forms and that emanates from reality.  It reacts to the latent poetry of interiors of real forms by pursuing positive continuity.

Whatever that may mean. Perhaps understandably, it was a short-lived movement from 1927-28.

In 1930 Štyrský started the Erotic Review, and together with Toyen produced an array of startling and highly explicit imagery for the magazine. Toyen wanted to eroticize everything. Štyrský wanted to épater la bourgeoisie. God was dead. Let’s fuck. His erotica was banned and had to be published privately via subscription. The only problem with épater la bourgeoisie is that the bourgeoisie is the only group that can afford to buy the material intended to shock them, and the offspring of la bourgeoisie embrace these supposedly shocking ideas with little objection. Yet, Štyrský saw this all as creating a revolution which would eventually change society. This may be all right in theory but in practice, well, Czechoslovakia fell first under the cosh of the Nazis and then the Soviets who had their own ideas of how to épater la bourgeoisie.

In 1935 Štyrský became a founding member of the Surrealist Group of Czechoslovakia. This was in large part inspired by his and Toyen’s visit to Paris to meet with André Breton. It was during one of these trips in 1935, that Štyrský fell seriously ill and almost died. Though he never regained full health again, Štyrský still managed to produce a phenomenal amount of artwork during the last seven years of his life.

To give some idea of Štyrský‘s range as an artist, here’s a small selection of his work from early paintings to erotic collages and photography 1921-42.
 
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‘Church on the Hill’ (1921).
 
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‘Country Cemetery’ (1928).
 
More Surreal and explicit work, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.11.2017
11:53 am
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Apparently hair nails with tiny faces are a thing
09.11.2017
10:19 am
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There’s not too much information about these “hair nails” by visual illusion artist Dain Yoon. Could they be a new trend? I simply don’t know. Dain Yoon posted her tiny-faced nail manicure on Instagram yesterday and the images have already attracted over 85,000 views.

This is true dedication to manicure if I’ve ever seen it. I’m not quite sure how you’d keep them clean, eat or wipe, but, hey, it’s art, right?

Too see more of Dain Yoon’s work, visit her Instagram or website.


 

 

 
via Everlasting Blort

Posted by Tara McGinley
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09.11.2017
10:19 am
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Boys and girls come out to play: The strange, surreal, and phantasmagorical world of Jaco Putker
09.08.2017
09:08 am
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‘The Boy and The Hat.’
 
For Jaco Putker, the great thing about being an artist is waking up each morning and not knowing what he’s going do that day. It’s this great sense of freedom that really matters rather than being known by the appellation “artist.” Putker has said he doesn’t know what it means to be an artist. Mostly, he feels like “a regular guy who loves to create.”

Jaco Putker is an artist and printmaker from the Hague, Netherlands. He uses digital and traditional methods of printmaking to create his pictures but prefers to work with photopolymer, or solar plate, etching. This allows him to produce highly photo-realistic depictions as can be seen by the selection of etchings shown here. Putker’s artwork is described as strange, surreal, and phantasmagorical, sometimes amusing, often sinister. He offers no interpretation of what his pictures might mean—even the titles offer no clue but are merely simple descriptive statements like The Girl and The Berries or The Boy and The Masks. His intention is for the viewer to bring their own interpretation to each picture—thinking of each image as say, an illustration to a series of imaginary fables which are only given meaning in the viewer’s mind.

Putker has won several awards for his highly distinctive artworks which have been exhibited across the world from Tokyo to Chicago, China to Britain. He claims he has no one influence on his work but cites an abiding interest in “Nature and in how nature works, in its perfection and self-reliance and its power of rejuvenation and destruction. In how it has a profound effect on not just me, but on virtually every human being.”

I’m interested in the Hermetic Principles of Correspondence (formulated in the axiom ‘As Above, So Below’; the correlation between macro and micro cosmos) and of Vibration (which states that all is in constant motion. Both in a visually perceivable manner as on a (sub)atomic level. Every part of nature is connected to any other part of nature. These seem to be the parameters within which my work takes place. But within these parameters,  I try not to think too much about my work. Defining it sort of kills it for me. In hindsight, I see a development and recurring themes and elements. And it strikes me that I seem to be saying the same thing over and over, regardless of style, medium or technique.

A selection of Jaco Putker’s prints are available to buy here and more of his work can be found here.
 
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‘The Girl and The Berries.’
 
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‘Interior No.48 .’
 
More dreamland etchings, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.08.2017
09:08 am
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Test Dept to mark centenary of Russian Revolution with ‘Assembly of Disturbance’ festival
09.08.2017
07:53 am
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Test Dept, the industrial group that invented the “Stakhanovite Sound,” will mark the 100th anniversary of October 1917 with a festival at London’s Red Gallery. Along with the live premiere of material from Test Dept’s new album Disturbance, the lineup includes live performances by Puce Mary, Hannah Sawtell, Kris Canavan, Disinformation, Prolekult, and Fuckhead, and DJ sets by Trevor Jackson and Nina. There will also be installations, film screenings, talks, and an exhibition of Test Dept artifacts called Culture Is Not A Luxury!

The only industrial outfit explicitly committed to socialism—at least, none of the others worked with the South Wales Striking Miners Choir or wrote about Comrade Enver Hoxha—Test Dept promises to bring historical perspective to the nightmare we are living through. From the press release:

[T]he festival explores how one hundred years on from the Russian Revolution, which unleashed radical artistic forces that sought to build an idealistic new society, the current socio-political climate is also engendering a need for a profound shift in governance. As such, Assembly of Disturbance invites you to join an assemblage of artists to consider the prevalent and pressing intersection of art and activism, challenging and disrupting the current state of affairs in Britain, and beyond.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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09.08.2017
07:53 am
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