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Extraordinary drawings in ballpoint and gold leaf
08.22.2017
10:00 am
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‘Funeral.’
 
With just an ordinary ballpoint pen, the kind we’ve all used to scribble down classroom notes or phone numbers for possible Friday night dates, Toronto-based artist Rebecca Yanovskaya creates exquisite, magical worlds filled with mythical beings and characters out of creepy old folktales (Bluebeard) which she then blings up with a lot of 22 karat gold leaf.

Yanovskaya has been drawing with a ballpoint pen since middle school and she finds it easier to use when bringing her imagination to life on the page. She usually starts off by sketching out her picture with a Bic Crystal on Moleskine paper. Then she fills out the background before working her way forward to the heart of the action. This allows her time to get a feel for how much light and shade the finished image will contain.

What I love about pen is that I can always jump back and forth to any area of the piece that I want to work on and not worry about smudging or messing up dark/light layers.

As for influences, Yanovskaya takes her lead from painters like the Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha, the English Neo-Classicist John William Godward, and more obviously because of his use of gold leaf, her own personal favorite the Symbolist Gustav Klimt. She also pulls in ideas from her interest in horror, fantasy, and mythology—of which Yanokovskaya has said:

Mythology to me has always been about bigger than life struggles, and a world which is better than life, more idealized. The personalities are strong, exaggerated, passionate, heroic, beautiful. These are all qualities I want to capture through my art.

Once the picture is all drawn out, Yanovskaya adds the gold leaf to create the final image—which is exquisite and utterly enchanting.

Some of Yanovskaya’s artworks are available on a selection of clothing and she has also produced illustrations for the Netflix series Shadowhunters as well as a commerative coin design for the Canadian Mint. See more of Rebecca Yanovskaya’s work here.
 
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‘Paso Doble.’
 
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‘Bluebeard’s Bride—Chapter One.’
 
See more of Rebecca Yanovskaya’s amazing art, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.22.2017
10:00 am
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Creeping death: The decadent mythological artwork of Jaroslav Panuška
08.22.2017
08:34 am
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An eerie painting by Jaroslav Panuška,1907.
 
Czechoslovakian artist Jaroslav Panuška started his art career sometime around 1887 after becoming a student at an art academy in Prague run by Julius Mařák. Mařák, a talented Czech landscape painter, ran the school which is often referred to as the “Mařák’s School,” between 1887 and 1889 while Panuška and approximately 50 other students studied under him. Mařák’s goal was to enable his students to convey their inner emotions while observing nature in its purest form in order to see its “soul.” This approach deeply resonated with Panuška and it became the artist’s calling card for his entire career.

Sometime in the early 1900’s, Panuška illustrated a book with unsettling and dark fairy-tale like imagery. He wouldoften incorporate typical fantasy characters like dragons, giants, and witches into his drawings. During this period, Panuška also began to reveal a much more sinister side of nature where ghosts and death were omnipresent, and the tranquil ponds full of lily pads were home to monsters lurking in the muck beneath. Panuška’s paintings and other artwork are coveted by collectors, and much of his large body of work is held in private collections. However, the artist’s most prized works are the ones that were done while he was seemingly under a heady spell that compelled him to conjure up images of creatures that only existed in stories or perhaps nightmares.

A beautiful-looking book on Panuška containing many examples of his art, Jaroslav Panuška 1872-1958: A Guide to Life and Work, can be purchased here for around $50. In other interesting news concerning Panuška, in 2014 old-school Czech black metal band Master’s Hammer released a song about the artist titled “Panuška” which directly referenced the work the he did during his dark mystical period, 56 years after he drew his last breath. Images from Panuška’s spooky days as well as audio upload of Master’s Hammer and their black metal homage to the great painter below.
 

‘Spirit of the Dead Mother’ 1900.
 

‘Baba Yaga.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.22.2017
08:34 am
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New 12” figures of ‘Hannibal Lecter’ are as terrifying as the movie version of ‘Hannibal Lecter’


A close look at one of Blitzway’s new “Hannibal Lecter” figures. YIKES!
 
If you are a fan and collector of action figures, then I have some excellent news for you. Korean company Blitzway has created a figure homaging one of the most insidiously evil villains in cinematic history, “Dr. Hannibal Lecter” from the 1991 film, The Silence of the Lambs. I’m sure you recall that Lecter was played with horrifying precision by veteran actor Sir Anthony Hopkins in the movie—and Blitzway has outdone themselves by bringing Hopkins’ portrayal of the cannibalistic, Chianti and fava beans enthusiast to life so to speak.

There are two different versions of the Hannibal figure; one features Lecter dressed in his immaculate white prisoner uniform (pictured at the top of this post) and comes with several accessories including the not-so-good doctor’s illustrations of “Clarice Starling,” (played Jodie Foster), tiny handcuffs, and the nightstick Lecter used to beat “Lt. Boyle” (played by another veteran actor Charles Napier) to death. The other figure created by Blitzway has Lecter clad in his straight jacket and face mask and comes with an actual moveable gurney. I usually don’t like to throw around the words “jaw-dropping,” but this is without question a more than accurate way to describe Blitzway’s terrifyingly life-like figures of Hannibal. Both are available for pre-order now and will run you a cool $269.99 apiece. The figures are set for release in March of 2018 and, as with other stunning figure releases by Blitzway, they will sell out. I’ve posted some chilling images of little Hannibal Lecter below. If you need me, I’ll be under the bed.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.21.2017
12:55 pm
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In Dreams: Grete Stern’s powerful feminist surrealism
08.18.2017
11:17 am
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In 1948, the photographer Grete Stern was asked to contribute photographic illustrations for a weekly column on the interpretation of dreams in the Argentinian women’s magazine Idilio. The column entitled “El psicoanálisis le ayudará” (“Psychoanalysis will help you”) was written by Italian sociologist Gino Germani under the novel pseudonym of Richard Rest. Psychoanalysis was then considered the cure-all for everyone’s ills—though goodness knows what strange subconscious thought inspired Germani to choose the name “Dick” Rest….

Anyway…while Rest analyzed one of the many dreams submitted by the mainly working-class female readership, Stern produced a photomontage that recreated some aspect of the reader’s dream. These illustrations usually depicted women struggling to free themselves from the oppressive patriarchy of Argentinian society.

For example, in one image a woman is trying to communicate on a phone without a mouth. In another, a woman is trying to grow in the light which can be turned off on a whim by a giant man’s hand. Or there is the woman whose reflection in a mirror has shattered into fragments, or the woman housed in a birdcage like some exotic bird. And so on. During her tenure with Idilio, Stern produced around 150 photomontages between 1948 and 1951.

Grete Stern was born in Elberfeld, Germany, on May 9th, 1904. Her family were involved in the textile and fabric industry and made frequent visits on business to England, where Stern first attended school. Returning to Germany, Stern studied graphic design and typography at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Stuttgart between 1923-25. After college, she became a freelance graphic designer producing adverts for magazines and papers. However, it was after seeing an exhibition by the American photographer Edward Weston, that Stern decided on a career as a photographer.

Stern moved to Berlin where she became a photographic student under the tutelage of Walter Peterhans. Stern later said that Peterhans taught her that the camera was not just a mechanism for taking pictures but a whole new way of seeing. Peterhans went onto become the leading photographer with the Bauhaus movement. During her studies, Stern became close friends with another pupil Ellen (Rosenberg) Auerbach. Together they formed the advertising and portrait studio ringl+pit. The company name was concocted from the pair’s nicknames—Ringl for Grete and Pit for Ellen. Their work became highly successful—in particular their mixing of photographic images with text. During this time, Stern met and started a relationship with Argentinian photographer Horacio Coppola.

When Adolf Hitler and his band of Nazi thugs came to power, Stern left ringl+pit and moved with Coppola to England where she formed her own studio in 1934. Here she documented many of the German exiles like Bertolt Brecht and Helene Weigel. In 1935, Stern and Coppola married. With the threat of war more apparent, Stern and Coppola moved to Buenos Aires, where they set up a graphic, advertizing, and photographic studio and held the first major exhibition of “modern photography” in the city.

Stern was way ahead of the curve. She was a pioneer for women working in a male-dominated and, let’s be honest, primarily sexist industry. Stern became a highly successful and inventive portrait photographer with her work exhibited and published across the world. However, the photomontages she produced for Idilio were long discounted as just hack work until their reassessment labeled them as what they are: powerful, imaginative, feminist artwork.

Stern died at the age of 95 in 1999.
 
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More of Grete Stern’s dream work, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.18.2017
11:17 am
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The Orchid Garden: Diabolical & supernatural imagery from history’s very first fantasy magazine
08.17.2017
12:20 pm
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For the past decade, Thomas Negovan, the deeply erudite proprietor of the visionary Century Guild Museum of Art in Los Angeles has been publishing beautiful art books, many of them funded via a smart and efficient use of Kickstarter. He’s one of the most successful and consistent publishers on the platform and I can personally bear witness that his deluxe volumes on artists like Clive Barker, Gail Potocki, David Mack and Michael Hussar are truly exquisite books indeed. He’s also publishing limited edition lithographs reprinting famous posters from the Symbolist movement. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Los Angeles, you definitely need to check out his space, but if not, he’s got an active online store as well.

Negovan’s newest project The Orchid Garden: Diabolical Fantasia collects images from The Orchid Garden, the very first fantasy magazine in history, preceding even Weird Tales by about four years. As you might expect from Germans during the era of the Weimar Republic, the publican was filled with sex and murder by way of Expressionist linework. Freaky flowers, gigantic insects, impossible creatures and Lovecraftian visions, The Orchid Garden had all that and more:

Der Orchideengarten was published after the First World War when German art was at its height of decadence and debauchery, the magazine included a wide selection of new and reprinted stories by both German-language and foreign writers ranging from suspense and terror to crime and the eerily-erotic. 

While the literary content is historically significant, many of the stories have been reprinted in multiple places across the last century; we have focused our attention on what has gone undocumented: the incredible artworks that illustrated these stories.

The artworks range from peculiar medieval etchings to occult woodblocks to expressionist visions—all balancing the romantic and the gothic with hyper-elegant sophistication. 

Der Orchideengarten gets mentioned frequently on blogs, at fantasy conventions, and at certain full-moon cauldron gatherings, but the same low-resolution images get shared over and over again.  This book is an opportunity to explore the 1919 publication in depth, with high resolution scans made from a pristine collection!

There are also limited edition letterpress prints available.

Below, some of the images from The Orchid Garden that will be seen in the new book:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.17.2017
12:20 pm
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Beautiful hand-colored photographs of Japanese women in the late 19th-century
08.17.2017
10:42 am
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‘Seated Woman.’
 
Kusakabe Kimbei (1841-1934) was a Japanese photographer who learned his trade as an assistant to Felice Beato, the pioneering photojournalist who came to Japan to document its people and their culture. Japan had just been through a civil war that led to the restoration of imperial rule. The country had also been forced—under the shadow of U.S. Navy battleships—to open trading routes with America. This new trade brought technology, tourism, and for some, the opportunity to turn imposition to advantage. And that’s what Kimbei did.

After learning all that he could from Beato, Kimbei established his own photographic studio in Yokohama in 1881. Kimbei had a natural talent for art and had spent part of his time coloring Beato’s photographs. Hand painting photographs was a way of redefining the medium and adding “an artistic Japanese intervention to Western technology.”

Once he established his studio, Kimbei plied his trade producing souvenir photographs of Japanese culture—samurais, geishas, tea drinking, musicians, everyday workers. These photographs maintained Japanese traditions at a time of great social, political, and cultural change when it seemed the very fabric of the country was being irredeemably changed. Among the many pictures Kimbei produced was a large set of portraits of Japanese women and their daily lives. But there’s an interesting thing going on in these photographs. What at first appears to be a straightforward representation is often an idealized or Western view of Oriental life intended for foreign consumption. Yet, at the same time, Kimbei transcends this view by use of color and composition.

This balancing between Japanese and Western media parallels national tensions concerning the degree that Japan should adopt foreign tools and technology, contrasted with a desire to preserve indigenous traditions and practices.

Kimbei became one of the most famous and respected Japanese photographers of his era, and his work gives a rare insight into Japan of the late 19th-century.
 
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‘Flower Kept Alive by Putting in Water.’
 
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‘Girls Carrying Paper Lantern in Winter Evening.’
 
See more of Kimbei’s work, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.17.2017
10:42 am
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Welcome to Hell: The fantastic faceless figurative art of Vlada Mirković
08.16.2017
11:09 am
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“Dante, Divine Comedy, Welcome into the Hell.” A painting by Vlada Mirković.
 
I sadly can’t tell you much about Serbian-born painter Vlada Mirković, though I do believe that his remarkable paintings will resonate with the vast majority of our art-loving Dangerous Minds readers. According to what I was able to glean about Mirković, he has been working as a freelance artist for nearly three decades. He specializes in “figurative art” which, as it pertains to modern art, is the creation of pieces that depict the artist’s vision of the “real world,” especially as it relates to the physical human form.

Here’s a nice synopsis of what seems to make Mirkovic tick written by Swiss art historian Benoit Junod:

“The universe which Vlada leads us into through his paintings is perhaps the one which Alice found beyond the looking-glass. It is not fairground world with light relief or escape routes, although the sky is always blue there. Architectures are rigorous, and a faceless man confronts his destiny and measures himself to it. Maybe Vlada brings us there to give us the privilege of seeking the truth there in. Again proof of fragility, of our own fragility, is present. The balance and harmony, however, contradict what might be frightening in this world which obliges us to introspection. The intelligence of artist is to hold our hand and reassure us, as he leads us along with his pictural path, much as Dante did before him.”

Right on. Below, a selection of Mirković‘s dreamlike paintings, which have sell for as much as $15,000 dollars. Some are slightly NSFW.
 

“Anatomy Lesson” 2015.
 

“Daydreams” 2012.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.16.2017
11:09 am
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Sexy shoes and surrealist foot fetish: The provocative photography of Guy Bourdin
08.16.2017
08:33 am
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A photo taken by Guy Bourdin for shoe and fashion designer, Charles Jourdan.
 
Celebrated photographer Guy Bourdin’s career spanned nearly 40 years. In the mid-50s, the young Frenchman got his big break after scoring a dream gig with French Vogue. Bourdin was inspired by the vitally important Man Ray, and the revered American Surrealist would become a mentor to the young Bourdin. In fact, when Bourdin held his first gallery show in Paris in 1952, Man Ray himself wrote the introduction for the show’s catalog.
 

A photograph taken by Guy Bourdin inside Man Ray’s studio in Paris.
 
As the 1960s rolled in, Bourdin’s services would be engaged by shoe and fashion designer Charles Jourdan to create ads for his sexy footwear. Bourdin’s photos for Jourdan were wildly unconventional and routinely featured disembodied legs, nudity, and fetish-like imagery. Jourdan would use a vast number of Bourdin’s images for various ad campaigns until the early part of the 80’s—many of which look more like provocative movie stills than ads for shoes. As you might imagine, Bourdin’s work has been compiled into a wide variety of books including Exhibit A (2001), Guy Bourdin: Polaroids (2010), and Guy Bourdin: A Message for You, (2013). Fans of the masterful innovator say that Bourdin was incapable of taking a “bad” photograph, something I think you will agree with after looking at the examples of his work posted below. Some are NSFW.
 

Another image by Bourdin used by Charles Jourdan.
 

1964.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.16.2017
08:33 am
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Amusing vintage outsider art of Debbie Harry done by a teen fan
08.15.2017
10:09 am
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Debbie Harry and one of writer/blogger Toby Weiss’ illustrations of Harry that was done by Weiss in 1979.
 
I’ve said it before a thousand times—I love my job here at Dangerous Minds. And today that fact is especially true as I will be sharing a few choice vintage illustrations of Debbie Harry done by one of her teenage superfans.

Posted on her blog M.E.L.T., St. Louis-based writer Toby Weiss chronicled her devotion to the fabulous Ms. Harry by revealing a handful of her charming illustrations of the pop icon that she did between 1979 and 1983. Here’s a little bit from Weiss concerning her adoration of all things Debbie Harry:

“I’d never experienced anyone like her; she was so beautiful and powerful and talented that she seemed more like a comic book hero. Everything I needed to know about life, sex, fashion, and music, I looked to Debbie. And because American media was now as infatuated with her as I was, it was easy to get all the advice I needed.”

Fantastic. Weiss’ adorable, self-described “teenage scribbles” of Harry below.
 

June, 1979.
 

November, 1979.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.15.2017
10:09 am
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Objects of Desire: Vintage erotic pocket watches (NSFW)
08.15.2017
09:43 am
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From what I can gather, the earliest erotic pocket watches date back to the 17th-century when they were intended as prized erotica for a small but wealthy market. Some of these early designs were made as saucy keepsakes for loved ones, while others were specifically manufactured for the Chinese market, in particular the Emperor and his entourage, where many of these naughty timepieces were given as gifts to cement trade and diplomatic agreements.

By the 18th-century, erotic automaton pocket watches—that is timepieces with painted dials and movable parts depicting explicit scenes of sexual congress—were popular with royalty and the upper class. These watches usually featured a brightly painted erect penis that swayed back and forth in time with the second hand. One such watch, the Henry Capt, Musique d’Amour sold for $216,880 in 2011. Of course, back in the day, being caught with a porny timepiece could lead to its confiscation and public censure. Today we’ve got the Internet…

These pocket watches weren’t just cheap knock-offs, they made by some of the finest and most famous clockmakers in the world like Cortébert, Breguet et Fils, and Doxa. In the 20th-century, companies like Omega and Smiths-Ingersoll continued the tradition producing a limited but highly collectible selection of erotic watches—including one in which Snow White entertained the Seven Dwarves.

The following selection ranges from Breguet et Fils “Cavalcade” (1820), which depicts a couple on on horseback, to the mid-20th-century Swiss designs of randy gentlefolk enjoying some outdoor sports.
 
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More titillating timepieces, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.15.2017
09:43 am
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