Not too surprisingly, Paris-based artist Helena Hauss’ choice of Bic pens to be her primary artistic implements does go back to her school days. “I first started drawing abundantly all through high school in my exercice [sic] books rather than writing down what the teacher was saying, and using bic pens was always a good way not to get caught when being watched from afar!”
But Bic pens, ballpoint pens, biros, whatever you want to call them, have another virtue that doesn’t have anything to do with avoiding the scrutiny of teachers: “I have always had a big attraction for the color blue, so much so that all my clothes and accessories were a shade of it, so when I drew I very much liked using blue ink, such as the one found in bic pens.” Hauss’ artworks are large and very detailed and most have to do with the wanton, irresponsible lives of teenagers and young adults—with an emphasis on trashy media, the libido, rock music, drug use, and other good stuff. Her skill with the Bic pen is such that if you didn’t already know what was used, you wouldn’t necessarily guess that it was even possible to make works this visually dazzling with them.
More dazzling Bic pen masterpieces after the jump…..
The work of Israeli born artist Tomer Hanuka may be familiar to you. The New York based artist and comic book enthusiast has created pieces for some of the biggest publications, film studios and business in the world such as The New York Times, Universal Pictures, and Microsoft. Of particular interest is Hanuka’s ongoing series of posters based on the films of Stanley Kubrick.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb movie poster
So far Hanuka has produced four posters based on films from Kubrick’s catalog; Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, and A Clockwork Orange. The posters are as colorful as they are unsettling. I especially love how Hanuka manages to incorporate the more memorable, as well as troubling aspects from the four films into his posters. I don’t know about you, but I for one cannot wait to see which Kubrick flick Hanuka takes on next. Lolita, anyone?
L.A. based pop-artist Plasticgod has created a series of Nick Cave figures that he’ll be debuting at San Diego Comic-Con on July 9th. (Also debuting at Comic-Con: new Star WarsStormtrooper figures. Different strokes for different geeks, right?) Each is based on a Cave song title. There’s the “Red Right Hand”
Of all the designers in the world, probably none are as exclusively associated with the late 1960s and early 1970s as Peter Max. His symmetrical, kaleidoscopic and highly colorful “Art Nouveau had a baby with Haight-Ashbury” approach was perfectly suited for the days of The Dick Cavett Show and Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Alas, trendiness giveth, and trendiness taketh away—while he has never really stopped working, his work will never not be associated with that era.
I stumbled onto this fantastic spread of Peter Max clothing that appeared in Seventeen magazine in April 1970, and they kind of blew my mind. I’m assuming that fashion-conscious people are aware of these already, but I had never seen them before. I have so many questions—were these clothes actually popular? Do they pop up in thrift stores ever, or are they just too expensive for that? Does anyone wear them today? Pics please!
You can click on any of the full-page spreads in this post to get a much closer view—trust me, it’s worth it.
It’s almost impossible to write about this story without referencing The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the successful 2006 movie that did so much for Steve Carell’s career. In Japan, it seems, the proliferation of Andy Stitzers (Carell’s character in that movie) has become something of an active social problem. According to the Japan Times, “A 2010 survey by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research found that around a quarter of unmarried Japanese men in their 30s were still virgins — even leading to the coining of a specific term, yaramiso, to describe them.”
For anyone who is not in that position, the heartache of being in such a situation, a fully grown adult with little experience to draw on and few prospects to look forward to, can be a devastating psychological toll of failure. One 49-year-old whose name was withheld in the Japan Times article felt romantic and sexual feelings for a woman only twice in his life, and both times the woman in question rejected him. “It was devastating,” he said. “It seemed to invalidate my life and take away my reason to live.”
Shingo Sakatsume and his Virgin Academia textbook.
Statistics for a straightforward comparison across international boundaries are scarce, but a superficial look at the numbers suggests that the Japanese do have less sex than most western countries. For instance, a poll conducted by Durex found that 68 percent of Japanese respondents of the ages of 18 and 19 were virgins, whereas the typical figure for Germany was closer to 20 percent, in Turkey 37 percent.
To help alleviate this problem, Shingo Sakatsume, whose company White Hands specializes in finding ways for “people with severe disabilities find an outlet for their sexual needs,” has turned his attention to what he can do for those who are sexually frustrated for more parochial reasons. His motto is “Sexual maturity means social maturity. ... Even if the person has disabilities, one who recognizes and accepts his own sexuality tends to be able to build balanced relations with others. ... People who are not sexually mature tend to get timid socially.”
Sakatsume’s program for adult virgins has been dubbed “Virgin Academia.” One of the main tools for helping such men has been art classes, pictured here, with live models—without clothes on—in order to help them get more familiar with the female body. As Takashi Sakai, a 41-year-old virgin, commented, “The first time I did this, in autumn last year, oh . . . I was so amazed. Their bodies are incredibly beautiful. ... One thing I learned is that there are many different shapes of breasts and even genitals.”
As Sarah Cascone of Artnet reports, “The correspondence course comes with a 100-page textbook, Virgin Breaker!, and runs for a full year, with participants keeping a counselor apprised of their progress in their efforts to meet women.” Cascone continues: “The figure drawing sessions, which take place every other month in Tokyo, allows the yaramiso to encounter a naked woman in a neutral environment, free of romance and pressure to perform sexually.”
Here’s a report from AFP News Agency about the yaramiso phenomenon:
As a sexual Luddite, I’ve never seen the appeal of vibrators. Maybe it’s the tacky synthetic materials, maybe it’s just the idea of electricity near my vulva, but there’s just something about bringing machinery into the boudoir that leaves me feeling like an old-fashioned girl. Even higher-end models like “The Rabbit,” with its little fuckable fauna accessory on top for extra clitoral stimulation, it looks a bit… bestial, for my tastes. No, I was never able to see the aesthetic value of the vibrator until coming across Alexandra Rubinstein‘s tranquil oil paintings.
Rubinstein’s work is all pretty sexual. She does legitimately beautiful portraiture of smutty old skinflick stills, and she has some seriously not safe for work collections, like “Celebrity Cunnilingus,” which features famous guys (you guessed it) just going to town. My favorite though is “Into the Wild,” which she matter-of-factly describes as a “series of animals found on vibrators juxtaposed with their more natural environments.” Rubinstein’s menagerie isn’t exactly sophisticated erotica, but it is a high-brow dick joke, and that’s the sort of thing the arts should aspire to more, if you ask me.
The presidential election is 17 months away—egad—so that means that according to recent tradition, it’s the season of “lots and lots of candidates.” This time around, the Democrats have a strong presumption that Hillary Clinton will be the eventual nominee, and that has limited the number of potential candidates willing to enter the race. But on the Republican side, no worries—the New York Times currently lists 16 people who either are running or are “probably” running as Republicans. Because that Times page will change over time, let’s record here what those names are: Jindal, Trump, Perry, Graham, Pataki, Santorum, Huckabee, Fiorina, Carson, Rubio, Paul, Cruz, and Bush are listed as “running,” with a trio of governors, Kasich, Christie, and Walker, listed as “probably.”
Fast Company, a business website that has often championed “branding” as the key to corporate success, hired well-known death metal logo artist Christophe Szpajdel to create new branding identities for some of the contenders. Szpajdel, who is from Belgium but lives in the U.K. has been a professional logo designer since 1977 and is responsible for the logos of more than 7,000 (!) black metal bands, including Morgawr, Anamorph, Fistula, Arcturus, Old Man’s Child, and Moonspell. It sounds like Fast Company got the right guy, at least. Here’s a coffee table book of Szpajdel’s logos.
Here are side-by-side views of each campaign logo with Szpajdel’s black metal-style creation. For Trump, amusingly, they used a toupee in lieu of his actual “TRUMP” logo. In every case you can click on the logo to see a larger view.
A very, very seldom-seen Andy Warhol movie, called Moe Gets Tied Up or, alternatively, Moe in Bondage, is up on YouTube, and it has had a scant 89 views as I type. While this Velvet Underground footage is not quite as much fun as A Symphony of Sound, Warhol’s must-see film of a VU and Nico rehearsal jam—mainly since there’s no music in this one—boy, it sure is seldom encountered. Shot in 1966, it predates their once-despised, now-lionized debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico.
The “Moe” of the title is the Velvets’ drummer, Maureen Tucker, whose bandmates have tied her to a chair and are now hanging around nibbling on sandwiches and pieces of fruit. It is sure to disappoint the pain fetishists among you. Look at it this way: if you’d never heard “Venus in Furs,” this film might give you the impression that the Velvets’ sex kicks consisted not so much of S&M as benign neglect.
Very little information is available about this movie because so few people have seen it, but the 32-minute version below seems to be missing a large chunk. A Velvet Underground filmography claims that the original is “a two-reel set for double screen projection” and notes the existence of “35-minute unofficial video copies,” one of which is likely the source of this vid. When MoMA screened Moe Gets Tied Up in 2008, the Village Voice reported that it “begins with Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison tying Moe Tucker, quite inexpertly, to a chair.” Since Tucker is already tied up at the start of the video below, and since the Voice review gives the movie’s length as one hour and six minutes, I’m going to bet that this is roughly the movie’s second half. (Incidentally, the review says nothing about double screen projection.) The Voice writer, who is mysteriously identified in the byline as “Village Voice Contributor,” also complains that almost none of the movie’s dialogue is audible, so don’t blame the buzzing soundtrack of this bootleg if you can’t make out what Sterling Morrison is mumbling about sandwiches. If you really need to know what people were talking about at the Factory, you can always read a.
When I was a university student there was a slogan chanted by the more militant feminists:
All men are rapists.
Their suggested solution to this problem was to “Cheese wire all sexist bastards.” (i.e. cut off all male genitals). It was a provocative response but revealed how many women perceived the world as a hostile place, experiencing sexism, chauvinism and oppression on a daily basis. Move on three decades and little appears to have changed. Today figures were released by the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK that show a record number of prosecutions in England and Wales for violence against women and girls. The figures include cases of rape, domestic violence and honor killing, while figures released by the University of Michigan show that more than 20% of female students experienced “some sort of nonconsensual sexual behavior in the past year,” with around 12% experiencing “nonconsensual sexual penetration.” It’s dispiriting reading to think for all the progressive politics, feminism and political correct agendas, little has really changed in the relationship between men and women.
Amy Everson in opening sequence of ‘Felt.’
A new film Felt by documentary filmmaker Jason Banker and artist Amy Everson highlights the issue of endemic sexism and the extreme responses it can inspire. Felt is the story of a young woman Amy (Amy Everson) who is disconnected from the world and finds her everyday life is a “fucking nightmare.” She is (apparently) recovering from some kind of sexual trauma—what this may be is never made explicit—other than her character saying around halfway through the movie that women are brutalized by men and invalidated for not having a dick. To cope with the sexism and hostility she feels around her, Amy designs herself a “man suit”—think Buffalo Bill’s skinsuit, but this one’s made of nylon—in which she parades around her secret hideaway in a local wood—experiencing her new identity and having dreams of being a “superhero.” Her close female friends think something is wrong and try to help, but Amy believes she is just expressing herself—or exorcising her demons—as she thinks best.
You kinda feel this ain’t gonna end well…
The men and women around Amy tend to be little more than caricatures: they’re either dumb or douchebags. An emo rambles on about roofies and rape; a Christian woman wants to pray for Amy; a friend’s abusive boyfriend, an engineer, demands respect for being, well, an engineer, a useful part of society and a man; the photographer objectifies women but is disgusted by their bodily functions (farting); and so on. We are dropped into this world without any back story—the man suit appears first appears around fifteen minutes in—or a real emotional connection with Amy and therefore Felt demands the audience bring a lot of understanding/sympathy for Amy and her experience of the world.
If you go down to the woods today…
Felt has the feel of a hybrid, which in essence it is. Originally intended as a music video, the film developed into a documentary about Amy Everson and her art, which is inspired by her own sexual trauma, before becoming an improvised film. Being improvised means some of the actors appear to be merely reacting to Amy’s performance rather than presenting real characters.
Everson gives a very good performance, though at times it seemed as though I was watching Everson being Everson rather than Everson being “Amy,” and there is good support from the cast especially by the scene-stealing Roxanne Lauren Knouse. Jason Banker’s direction (and camerawork) is highly assured and very impressive—the opening montage of images is like a short art film. Overall, Felt is a feminist tale for today and has many good things to recommend it. You can judge for yourself as Felt goes on release from tomorrow details here.
As RuPaul once said, “You’re born naked and the rest is contour and shading.” And Italian portrait painter and artist Lucia Pittalis proves that point with these insane makeup transformations. Lucia uses her own face as a canvas and turns herself into these iconic characters that are simply fan-fucking-tastic. She nailed Keith Richards, IMO.