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Fabulous modern illustrations of Witches (and their familiars)
11:26 am


Camille Chew

Throughout history witches have generally been described in word and illustration by men. It’s the male eye that has conjured up portraits of witches as cackling hags with bad orthodontists and hygiene problems in written works by authors as different as Shakespeare and Roald Dahl or by artists such as Henry Fuseli or Walt Disney.

In truth, any woman who was deemed to have subverted patriarchal control was called a witch—and the stereotypical image devised for such women was created by a deep and fearful misogyny.

Artist and illustrator Camille Chew has created a series of beautiful portraits of modern day Witches (and their familiars) that subverts inherited misconceptions. Chew’s witches are independent, strong women who give help and succour with their occult powers.

Chew’s illustrations are created “entirely in Photoshop CS6 with a Wacom Bamboo tablet.”

The brush I use most often is just the standard round brush with the spacing set all the way down to 1% for smooth edges. I also sometimes overlay scanned in watercolor washes, hand drawn patterns, etc. (usually on layer mode>soft light) to add texture.

A graduate of Alfred University, Camille’s art work explores themes of mythology, fantasy, and the occult. Her illustrations are available to buy as prints and even as tattoos—details here
Spell Book.
Palm Reader.
More of Camille Chew’s witches after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Feed your fictional cosmic entity fetish with these leather ‘Cthulhu’ masks
10:24 am



Leather Cthulhu mask
Handmade, leather Cthulhu mask.
I recently stumbled on these fantastic looking leather “Cthulhu” masks while hard at “work” and man, they really are something to behold.

Although the various masks in this post are not specifically heralded as being the latest in far out “fetish” attire, I’d hedge a bet that a fair number of them have been purchased for just that very purpose. Created by Wasteland Artisan in Montreal, Canada, the description for these handmade, steampunk-style masks does note that you should not get your Cthulhu mask wet, but that “a little sweat” is okay (although of course may cause you to stink with the “stench as of a thousand opened graves.”) As far as I can tell, there are unsurprisingly no Cthulhu masks available at the moment (so I have no idea how much they cost), but Wasteland Artisan does do custom orders so I’m guessing if you just gotta have one of these things, it’s at least an option. I also found a “Hello Kitty” version of a Cthulhu mask that you can have custom made if that’s the way you like to play, because I don’t judge and neither should you.

Is “fhtagn victim” a pun?

Red leather Cthulhu mask
Blue leather Cthulhu mask
More images of these cosmic and creepy Cthulhu masks follow after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
An 18th century guide to sex positions
09:58 am


I Modi
sex guide

I Modi or The Ways was a book of engravings depicting sixteen sexual positions. Think of it as The Joy of Sex for Renaissance times. The book, also known as The Sixteen Pleasures, was published by the engraver Marcantonio Raimondi in 1524. Raimondi based his explicit illustrations on a series of erotic privately owned paintings by Giulio Romano. The book was widely circulated. It led to the first prosecution for pornography by the Catholic church. Raimondi was imprisoned by Pope Clement VII. All copies of the book were destroyed.

Our story doesn’t end there, as the poet and satirist Pietro Aretino heard of the book and wished to see Romano’s original paintings. Interestingly, Romano was not prosecuted by the Pope as his paintings (unlike Raimondi’s book) were not meant for public consumption. Aretino decided to write a series of erotic sonnets to accompany the paintings. He also successfully campaigned to have Raimondi released from prison.

In 1527, a second edition of I Modi was published with Aretino’s sonnets. Once again the Pope banned the book and all copies were destroyed—only a few small fragments of I Modi or Aretino’s Postures survive which are held at the British Museum.

In 1798 a completely new version of I Modi was published in France under the title L’Arétin d’Augustin Carrache ou Recueil de Postures Érotiques, d’Après les Gravures à l’Eau-Forte par cet Artiste Célèbre, Avec le Texte Explicatif des Sujets (The ‘Aretino’ of Agostino Carracci, or a collection of erotic poses, after Carracci’s engravings, by this famous artist, with the explicit texts on the subject) based on engravings by Baroque painter Agostini Carracci was published.

These 18th century engravings mixed classical myth and history within a contemporary setting—though their intention is still the same—to arouse and “educate” users to the joys of sex.
The frontispiece to the book the goddess of love, sex, beauty and fertility Venus descending on a chariot.
Husband and wife Paris and Oenone try out penetration side-by-side.
Angelique and Medor—two characters from the opera ‘Roland’—perform the ‘reverse cowgirl,’ although they probably had a different name for it back then.
More sex positions of the 18th century, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Joe Coleman on Captain Beefheart, GG Allin and blowing himself up
02:53 pm


Joe Coleman

Austrian writer Clemens Marschall’s Avant-Garde from Below: Transgressive Performance from Iggy Pop to Joe Coleman and GG Allin (distributed in the US by Last Gasp) is a beautifully published hardback book about his adventures in the American counterculture. I found it a highly enjoyable read. I love interview books to begin with and if you’re hungry for the flavor of a classic RE/Search volume, this 2016 publication—which includes an interview with RE/Search’s own V. Vale, among other characters such as Richard Kern, Monte Cazzaza, SRL’s Mark Pauline, Greil Marcus, Stooge James Williamson, writer George Petros and art critic Carlo McCormick—should sate your appetite with its densely packed 409 pages.

In an email, he described his interviews having:

“...a focus on performance in the twilight zone between avant-garde and self-destruction; some people like Iggy Pop and Joe Coleman found a way out of that dangerous downward spiral, whereas GG Allin took it right to the end. And it’s also about playing with fire, taking things too far: A lot of people find it funny to pretend being into serial killers and violence, but once they really get into it, the fun stops pretty quickly. That’s one of the reasons why Sondra London ends the book. She is one of those who couldn’t stop and had to pay for her transgressions again and again.”

Marschall’s obsessions include freak shows, sex museums, murderers and dive bars. He lists among his odd jobs “sorting Jello Biafra’s huge record collection.” Below, an excerpt from Avant-Garde from Below: Transgressive Performance from Iggy Pop to Joe Coleman and GG Allin, a short, but nevertheless wide-ranging interview with painter Joe Coleman. At the very end, Joe’s wife, photographer Whitney Ward, says something about her husband’s youthful criminal proclivities that caused me to laugh out loud.

Clemens Marschall: Almost everyone who got involved with transgressive performance refers to Iggy Pop as a huge influence. Was Iggy also important to you?

Joe Coleman: No, I knew very little about Iggy. I had this punk band called Steel Tips back in the ’70s, but my influences came from country, western and blues. Don Van Vliet, Captain Beefheart, was maybe the most transgressive influence that I had at that time. I consider Trout Mask Replica a really ground-breaking record. Don had his band kinda trapped in his house where he kept them performing like 18 hours a day and fed them with beans and a slice of bread – maybe, if they played well. And he taught them the music on a piano that he couldn’t play. He would bang out the piano keys and ask them to imitate what he’d just played, but he didn’t even know what the fuck he was doing! [laughs] And when they finally tried to get it exactly the way that he had murdered those keys, then he would say, “OK, now you play it like you were jumping out of a window!” [laughs]

That’s the kind of stuff that interested me back at the time, and then also the performers in Austria, the Viennese Actionists: Günter Brus, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. They were more of an influence because I was trying to combine music and performance, turn tribal rituals into some kind of performance that I wanted to bring back to psychopathology.

You were getting away from music and focusing on performance from very early only, making it more pure. But did you ever feel satisfied with the Steel Tips or was it that you always wanted to put it one step ahead, get rid of the musical context?

Joe Coleman: At one point, at the beginning, I trusted the music, but not for very long. There’s always something in music that would make it somehow acceptable, create a border, like a caption over the events. What I preferred was walking into strangers’ homes and blowing myself up, where there are no borders. I wanted to get back to that kind of real transgressive energy and bring that into theatre. There was that thing called ‘performance art’, you know, where they were supposedly being subversive, and I was looking at stuff like Laurie Anderson and thinking, “That’s not subversive.” When you wanna make something subversive, you set yourself on fire; you point your shotgun at the audience and chase them out. And that’s what I was compelled to do at that time of my life.

The first time I read about you was in Pranks! by V. Vale. I was asking myself if you feel that what you did was a prank or if you think that sounds too frivolous. Because, no matter what you do, you do it in a very sincere way.

Joe Coleman: Yeah, I know, it’s been a strange experience in my life, because a few years ago, when the Jackass movie came out, there was a review in the LA Times that compared Jackass to Marcel Duchamp and myself. I like a lot of the things these Jackass guys are doing – but it’s very different from what I was doing! The things I was doing were desperate attempts at communication. There was also humour involved, but it was a whole different kind of thing. I was paying lawyers to defend me; I wasn’t getting paid zillions of dollars to do a show. I was compelled to make these things happen.

At one point in your career, you and GG Allin had the same promoter for your shows.

Joe Coleman: Yeah, that was an interesting coincidence that at a time a really delightful and beautiful lady called Jeri Cain Rossi was interested in both of us. She’s a great writer and so insightful that she saw the importance of what GG Allin was doing at the time and what I was doing at the time. She went to court for me, she had to pay fines, but she always stuck by me and really believed it was important to do these shows.

Looking at your career, you’ve been to prison for what you did; you had to go to court; you’ve been accused of being an ‘infernal machine’. What do you think about the connection between art and crime?

Joe Coleman: There is this idea of crime itself: when people form tribes, then they form states, then they form governments – there needs to be an antidote. Crime, in its basic sense, is an antidote to the order. But it doesn’t have the honesty that I’m after. Real subversion requires more thought than pilfering somebody’s pocket. Real subversion is pilfering somebody’s mind and infecting the mind so that it actually can be free. The whole structure is built on swamp gas and mirrors and cardboard and that’s more important. Crime just shows the will against established power.

You have been in contact with criminals like Charles Manson and John Wayne Gacy. Can you tell me how this began?

Joe Coleman: I’ve corresponded with a lot of people that I thought had a lot to say, that were philosophers in their own certain way. Manson is a great philosopher and I remember the first time he really struck me. I started to get fascinated by him when he was in court and said, “Look down on me and you’ll see a fool. Look up at me and you’ll see a God. Look me in the eyes and you’ll see yourself.” He’s absolutely right. For many years, he spoke these really compelling arguments. I don’t have any defense for the murders committed, I don’t defend that at all, I’m totally against that, but what I’m saying is, “Listen to the word of the person who is in pain; listen to the word of someone who’s pushed to that degree; somebody who could speak that eloquently of his own pain.”

I also admire Charles Bronson who was being incarcerated in the UK for longer than anyone else, as far as I know, but he never killed anyone. He is certainly a violent offender but he’s got a brilliant mind, and he speaks of the pain and the misfits of society–and I care about the misfits. They deserve a voice. If society wants to learn anything, listen to the voice, don’t squash it out. When somebody finds out that they have cancer and they’re trying to express it to someone who does not have cancer, it’s uncomfortable for the person who’s listening. In fact, the person who’s listening almost feels like the mere mention of the word ‘cancer’ can cause them to have the disease as well. It makes them wanna remove themselves from the connection. But if you really want to avoid cancer, then you better listen and talk with that person and not ignore them!

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Ed Wood Jr. and friends trading cards
11:48 am


Drew Friedman
Ed Wood Jr.

Drew Friedman was into the demented masterpieces of Ed Wood, Jr. waaaaay before it was cool. People forget, but prior to 1994, when Tim Burton turned Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski’s screenplay into the Oscar-nominated classic Ed Wood, the “historical” Ed Wood Jr. was a seldom-ballyhoo’d fringe figure who most of the time was simply ridiculed as an incompetent, straight up.

If you don’t believe me, check out the 1982 movie It Came From Hollywood, in which people like Dan Aykroyd and John Candy prompted viewers to make fun of Ed Wood as (har har) “the worst movie director who ever lived,” with nary a thought as to the more poignant aspects of Wood’s persona and oeuvre.

In 1993, Friedman released his lovingly rendered portraits as The Ed Wood Jr. Players trading cards, which celebrated durable icons like Bela Lugosi, Vampira, Criswell, and Tor Johnson as well as such curious figures as Valda Hansen, Fawn Silver, Paul Marco, Bunny Breckenridge, Herbert Rawlinson, and Gregory Walcott (some of whom you’ll remember from their onscreen representations in Burton’s movie, of course).


Vampira, Bela, and the man Ed Wood Jr. himself, all after the jump….....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Disturbingly realistic masks of Trump, Hillary and Bernie
08:38 am



via Imgur
Remember that scary as hell Peter Dinklage mask? Or those weird giant crying baby masks that made the rounds on the Internet a few years back? Well, the guy behind them, Landon Meier, who owns the aptly-named Hyperflesh has created these new “beauties” of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I have no words.

As far as I can tell, these are only one-offs and not available to purchase. If you really gotta have one, you can contact Meier at his Hyperflesh website.



via Nerdcore and Buzzfeed

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Freakish portraits manipulated with Play-Doh
10:19 am


Tomba Lobos

I couldn’t find too much information on artist Tomba Lobos’ totally bizarre “portrait / Play-Doh” project, but the results are fun and freaky. From what I could find, these portraits are a mixture of sculpture (the flesh colored Play-Doh) and the use of Photoshop.

According to Lobos, it’s an ode to old school special effects, in particular to David Cronenberg’s fleshy Videodrome and Chris Cunningham’s music videos like “Rubber Johnny.”



More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Hyper-detailed miniature versions of New York’s seedy streets, subways and strip clubs

A miniature version of former Time Square peep show and porn shop, Peep World
A miniature version of the infamous ‘Peep World’  porn shop, shown with a one-dollar-bill—how appropriate—to show scale.
Brooklyn native, artist Alan Wolfson was riding the subway into his beloved city by the time he was only ten-years-old and has strong recollections of what the city that never sleeps looked like back in the 1950s and 1960s. Although Wolfson says he never started out wanting to be an artist, in 1979 he moved to Los Angeles with the hope of cutting his teeth designing miniature effects for films. There, thanks to a bit of luck and good timing, a friend of Wolfson’s introduced him to an art dealer. A year later, Wolfson would showcase ten of his remarkably detailed 1/2-scale replicas that would launch his nearly 40-year career.
A tiny replica of a
Take a peek inside ‘Peep World’ and their “Private Fantasy Booths.”
So painstakingly detailed are Wolfson’s tiny structures that it almost appears that they had once been inhabited by small sleazeballs or strippers. Many of Wolfson’s works are creative fictional mashups that he dreamed up—however some are modeled after real, seedy New York landmarks. Such as “Peep World,” the long-running porn theater and shop (near Madison Square Garden) that finally closed its doors in 2012. Thanks to Wolfson, we can still take a peek inside “Peep World” where the racks are still lined with filthy magazines, or leer inside one of the joint’s “Private Fantasy Booths.” You can practically smell the Pine Sol.
A look at Peep World's dirty magazine and DVD racks
A look at Peep World’s dirty magazine and DVD racks.
Many more of Wolfson’s tiny, sometimes fictional homages to a lost New York, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Classical paintings by Leonardo, Michelangelo and Rembrandt recreated with auto mechanics

‘The Last Supper of Auto Mechanics.’
Though I don’t drive, have never owned a car, and take no interest in horsepower engines or miles to the gallon, I still find these photographs by Freddy Fabris of auto mechanics recreating classical paintings quite good.

Fabris first had the idea to create these pictures on a visit to his local garage. Taking his inspiration from Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp and a selection of the Dutch master’s portraits—Fabris has crafted beautiful, modern and amusing portraits with the kind of blue collar workers, the types these classical artists would have perhaps used themselves.
After Michelangelo—‘The Creation of an Auto Mechanic.’
After Rembrandt—‘The Anatomy of a Car Lesson.’
More of Freddy Fabris’ classical portraits, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
In LACMA’s ‘Rain Room’ there’s purple rain falling for Prince
03:52 pm


Purple Rain

nothing more to say. #ripprince #rainroom @lacma #mylaexperience #purplerain #hollywood

A photo posted by valentinaschwanden (@valentin_aschwanden) on

Art collective Random International asked LACMA last night that their art installation “Rain Room” rain purple in honor of Prince. LACMA was was more than happy to oblige. The result is beautiful.

If you live in Los Angeles or are just visiting, I’d head on over to LACMA to visit the “Rain Room.” It looks they’re only doing it for one day.


#purple #rain #rainroom

A photo posted by Ghislaine Salabert-Mougin (@apiamphotos) on

via LA Curbed

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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