follow us in feedly
Stanley Kubrick shoots the N.Y.C. subway, 1946
01.29.2015
11:09 am

Topics:
Art
Media
Movies

Tags:
Stanley Kubrick
photography
subway


 
In the summer of 1945, Stanley Kubrick, many years before he was the acclaimed director of Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange, had a series of photographs published in LOOK magazine, a competitor to LIFE. He was just 16 years old. Thus would begin a relationship with the magazine that would last several years, until he began making movies in earnest around the age of 23, in the early 1950s.
 

Kubrick took this self-portrait in 1949 with his Leica III while working as a staff photographer for LOOK Magazine
 
Kubrick was fond of street photography, somewhat like the recent discovery Vivian Maier, and in 1946 he did a series about the New York subway. For more on Kubrick’s photographic career, see the archives of the Museum of the City of New York. Philippe D. Mather recent book Stanley Kubrick at LOOK Magazine: Authorship and Genre in Photojournalism and Film appears to be the only decent one out there on the subject.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
More of Kubrick’s stunning subway pics, after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Andy Warhol shoots and paints Farrah Fawcett

000anfarpic11.jpg
 
If it’s true that all’s fair in love and war, then it’s the share of the spoils after death and divorce that cause the most problems.

When Charlie’s Angels actress Farrah Fawcett died in June 2009, her will donated all of her art collection to the University of Texas—her old alma mater where she had studied before becoming an actress. Amongst Farrah’s treasured possessions was a portrait painted by Andy Warhol in 1980. This was in fact one of two paintings Warhol had made of the actress—the second was very soon to become the focus of a trial between the University of Texas and Fawcett’s ex-lover, the actor Ryan O’Neal.

O’Neal’s claim to the second painting rested on his testimony that he had first introduced Farrah to Warhol and had asked him to paint Fawcett’s portrait. He also claimed he had asked Warhol to make a second portrait so he and Farrah could have one each.
 
001andyfawcett234.jpg
Andy Warhol shoots Farrah Fawcett.
 
In 1997, Fawcett split-up with O’Neal after she caught him in bed with another woman. O’Neal kept his portrait of Farrah above his bed, but as his girlfriends found the picture a tad off-putting, he asked Fawcett to hold on to it for him.

This Fawcett did until her death, when O’Neal removed the 40-inch by 40-inch silkscreen from her house. This action led to a trial between O’Neal and the University in December 2013 as to who was the rightful owner of the Warhol painting.
 
aa11warpicholfarr.jpg
 
During the trial lawyers acting on behalf of the University of Texas attempted to discredit O’Neal’s story by using an edition ABC’s 20/20 where Fawcett is apparently seen asking Warhol to paint her portrait and is later filmed by the ABC news crew as Warhol snaps thirty Polaroid pictures of the actress in preparation for making the portrait.

O’Neal did not dispute that one of the Warhol’s belonged to his former long-term partner, it was the second painting that he claimed was his. Without any evidence to dispute this claim, the University were unlikely to win the case. O’Neal upped the ante by telling the jury he spoke to Farrah’s portrait every day:

“I talk to it. I talk to her. It’s her presence in my life and her son’s life. We lost her. It would seem a crime to lose it.”

O’Neal was on an operating table having a skin cancer removed when he heard the jury’s verdict that he was the rightful owner of the painting by nine jurors to three. Though the painting has an estimated worth of $12 million, O’Neal said he would never sell the picture as it meant too much to him, and it will be handed-down to their son Redmond after he dies.

This is that episode of 20/20 which featured so prominently in the trial. Originally made as a profile of Andy Warhol this short documentary does give some insight into the pop artist’s working techniques and has some typically Warholian moments.
 

 
Part II after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Apparently David Cronenberg is a huge ‘Dilbert’ fan
01.26.2015
03:29 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Movies

Tags:
David Cronenberg
Dilbert


 
I just wanted to collect a few related data points here on the theme of David Cronenberg and Dilbert, the comic strip.

Cronenberg has probably directed more impressive and awesome movies than any living English speaker. Let’s list a few of the standouts, of which there are many: Rabid, Scanners, The Dead Zone, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Crash, eXistenZ, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, Cosmopolis, and Maps to the Stars.

From there we pivot to Cronenberg’s interest in Dilbert—indeed, intense appreciation of Dilbert. The evidence is incontrovertible.

First we have this item from the November 24, 2014 issue of New York Magazine. The heading reads “The Best Gift I Ever Got Was a….” Cronenberg’s answer went like this: “Every year, my kids get me a ‘Dilbert’ calendar. It’s extremely funny and sophisticated and accurate—very philosophical for a daily cartoon. I really need that calendar every year. It keeps me going.”
 

 
In this recent interview with Scene Creek, Cronenberg mentioned Dilbert in a positive way. Deflecting criticisms that Maps of the Stars is an “attack” on Hollywood, Cronenberg insists that he did not think of it that way, then says, “That’s not unique to Hollywood. Any human endeavor has those aspects. Look at various forms of pop culture that can skewer any business, be it Wall Street, or Silicon Valley, or Dilbert, the cartoon.” Hmmmm.

Then, just about a year ago, Cronenberg accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Canadian Screen Awards, and in his speech, he related the entire content of a Dilbert strip that first ran on February 15, 2001. Here is that strip:
 

 
You can watch a clip below of Cronenberg accepting the award—unfortunately, it’s a phonecam video of the user’s TV set, but you can still make it out. After introductions from Jay Baruchel and Viggo Mortensen and a three-minute montage of Cronenberg’s movies that WILL make you want to watch one of his movies, Cronenberg took the stage and eventually mused on the possibility of an Afterlife Achievement Award, and then said this:
 

So as I would always do in a situation like that I turned to the comic strip Dilbert for guidance. Dilbert has an evil, vicious dog named Dogbert. Dogbert says to him, “The key to happiness is self-delusion, so don’t think of yourself as an organic pain collector racing to oblivion.” And Dilbert says, “Well, actually, I hadn’t had that thought until just now.” And Dogbert says, “Don’t blame me. I said ‘Don’t.’” And suddenly I thought, yeah, if it’s human delusion that allows you to think that there’s an afterlife, well I’m human and I’m certainly deluded.

 
So David Cronenberg loves Dilbert. I honestly don’t know whether this changes my perception of Dilbert or my perception of Cronenberg…..
 

 
via Waxin’ & Milkin’

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
X-libris: Awesome vintage erotic bookplates
01.23.2015
09:21 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Sex

Tags:
ex libris


By Jozsef Farkas for Alfred Fährmann
 
I’m a bookish sort, to be sure, but the whole concept of the “ex libris” bookplate seems from a wildly different time. I never related to them, but that’s probably a generational thing—I stopped writing my name in my paperbacks when I was a teenager, so the concept of glueing in a large sticker with your name on it ... seems like a very outsize, unnecessary gesture. They make me think of my maternal grandfather, who grew up in Vienna in the early 1900s—he had a huge library of leather-bound books and I wouldn’t be surprised if he used bookplates, although I couldn’t say I ever saw one.

Ex Libris is a Latin phrase that means “from the books.” So to say “Ex Libris Carrot Top” is to say “From the library of Carrot Top.” I didn’t realize how popular these bookplates must have been, but I stumbled on a massive gallery of adult-oriented bookplates and that’s just a tiny percentage of the whole, you’d have to think. It apparently was a thing, you’d open to the inside front cover and there would be a charming image of an amorous couple in the throes of passion or a little doodle of a male appendage—or a whole field full of male appendages!

Martin Hopkinson is the chief chronicler of the development of the bookplate, as is evident from his book Ex-Libris: The Art of Bookplates. We’ve selected some of the more fun images, but there are lots more where these came from, as you can see for yourself if you click over to this fantastic page at ex-libris.net.

Needless to say, it probably isn’t appropriate to look at these images in many workplace settings. Or a library.
 

By Miro Parizek
 

By Christian Blæsbjerg
 

By Franco Brunello
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Designer uses notorious ‘Christmas tree’ to make anti-terrorist statement at Paris Fashion Week
01.22.2015
08:29 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion
Sex

Tags:
Paul McCarthy
Walter Van Beirendonck


 
It’s been a heady few weeks in Paris, ever since the murder of twelve employees of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo by Islamist gunmen on January 7. “Je Suis Charlie” has been on everyone’s lips, and a few days after the attack, a massive protest was staged with a multitude of world leaders (noticeably not including Barack Obama).

Now Paris Fashion Week is giving politically minded designers an opportunity to air their views on the situation. Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck decided to reference Paul McCarthy’s green Christmas tree installation, which, after it was unveiled last October at Place Vendôme, reminded a whole lot of people of a popular toy designed to fit into a human orifice. The tree lasted a day before someone deflated the tree.

Van Beirendonck adorned his models with large bald eagles with “Christmas trees” hanging from them that look exactly like miniature versions of McCarthy’s sculpture. The symbol of the eagle was apparently chosen as a reference to McCarthy’s nationality. In fact, nearly all of the clothes on display incorporated McCarthy’s design in one way or another, according to Expatica.
 

 
The first image of Van Beirendonck’s show was a model wearing a translucent top with the message “Stop Terrorising Our World” on it, which provided the necessary context to turn the colorful eagles into an authentic statement about freedom of expression.

According to Expatica, Van Beirendonck said: “Initially I didn’t want to make statements. But when you see what is happening in the world you have to react. ... It’s almost a homage to him [McCarthy]. Because I know him, not very well, but I know him. ... I believe no-one has the right to tell anyone else that he can’t show what he wants to.”
 

 
via ANIMAL

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
‘Gay Semiotics’: Hilariously deadpan taxonomy of San Francisco life in the 1970s
01.16.2015
08:53 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Queer
Sex

Tags:
Hal Fischer


 
Post-Stonewall. Pre-AIDS. Thus is defined a period, which we can for convenience also term “the 1970s,” that has special significance for homosexuals in the United States. The genie of liberation, especially sexual liberation, had been loosed from its magic lamp, but the devastating toll of plague had not yet made its mark. Under those circumstances, while still enjoying or enduring marginalization in society, homosexual males could engage in behavior that was at once highly promiscuous and yet highly coded. The task of melding one’s own interest in, say, cowboys or sports and more generic signifiers of homosexuality created the possibility of a developed taxonomy of gay life. That is, you could be “gay” but of the butch/leather/jock/urbane type, and so on. During this time, it’s safe to say that many homosexuals became highly attuned to such signifiers.

Into this situation wandered a photographer named Hal Fischer, who published a monograph in 1977 with the provocative title Gay Semiotics based on pictures taken in San Francisco, especially Castro Street and Haight Ashbury. In it Fischer presented straightforward photographs of aspects of homosexual garb, etc., complete with explanatory labels, quite like a museum exhibit.

I can’t remember ever seeing this exact tone before, so deadpan and dry that the material is effectively turned inside out. Taxonomizing people isn’t necessarily the nicest impulse in the world—think of racist representations of African-Americans in the 19th century or Nazi depictions of Jews in the 20th…. Less harmfully, think of countless spreads in MAD Magazine that are funny and harmless but still not necessarily so nice. Nobody likes to be defined to that extent, one can almost hear the pushback…. “Hey, I’m gay and I don’t care about red handkerchiefs!” or whatnot. However, at this point in the development of gay culture, it seems that the trinkets had taken on iconic value within the culture and this winking look at it was most likely seen as funny and not malign.

We’ve supplied some of the more amusing pictures and captions here, but you can see the entire (I believe) book at the Queer Cultural Center. The book is hard to find and currently sells for $500.
 

BLUE HANDKERCHIEF
Handkerchiefs signify behavioral tendencies through both color and placement. A blue handkerchief placed in the right hip pocket serves notice that the wearer desires to play the passive role during sexual intercourse. Conversely, a blue handkerchief placed in the left hip pocket indicates that the wearer will assume the active or traditional male role during sexual contact. The blue handkerchief is commonly used in the treatment of nasal congestion and in some cases holds no meaning in regard to sexual preferences.

RED HANDKERCHIEF
Red handkerchiefs are used as signifiers for behavior that is often regarded as deviant or abnormal. A red handkerchief located in the right hip pocket implies that the wearer takes the passive role in anal/hand insertion. A red handkerchief placed in the left hip pocket suggests that the wearer plays the active role in anal/hand insertion. Red handkerchiefs are also employed in the treatment of nasal discharge and in some cases may have no significance in regard to sexual contact.
 

EARRING
An earring in the right lobe may suggest that the wearer prefers to play the passive role during sexual activity. Conversely, an earring in the left lobe may signify active behavior on the part of the wearer. Unlike the other signifiers, however, Right/Left placement of the earring is not always indicative of Passive/Active tendencies on the part of the wearer. Furthermore, the earring or stud is often adopted by non-homosexual men, thus making the earring the most subtle of homosexual signifiers.
 

KEYS
Keys are an understood signifier for homosexual activity. A key chain worn on the right side of the body indicates that the wearer desires to play a passive role during a sexual encounter. Conversely, keys placed on the left side of the body signify that the wearer expects to assume a dominant position. Keys are also worn by janitors, laborers and other workers with no sexual significance intended.
 

AMYL NITRITE
Amyl nitrite is a prescription capsule drug used in the treatment of angina pectoris (heart disease). Amyl nitrite, or “poppers” as it is known in slang terminology, is inhaled through either the nose or the mouth. After inhalation the user experiences a quickened heartbeat and the sensation of blood rushing to his head. Amyl nitrite is especially popular on dance floors and immediately prior to sexual climax. Since Amyl Nitrite is available only by prescription, manufacturers have created a number of commercial substitutes as well as a variety of inhalers. Although Amyl is used by heterosexuals, its immense popularity among gays has earned it the title “The Gay Drug.”
 

STREET FASHION
BASIC GAY
 

STREET FASHION
JOCK
 

ARCHETYPAL MEDIA IMAGE
WESTERN
The western or cowboy prototype is identified by articles of clothing: cowboy or western boots, jeans, flannel or western style shirts and in some instances hats. When the image appears in gay magazines the settings are usually barns, corrals or fence posts. The cowboy represents the frontier and a male-only society. The machismo qualities of the western archetype are vigorously exploited by advertising. Modern cowboys are used by the media to play up masculinity and sexuality in ways that are subconsciously understood by the gay populace.
 

ARCHETYPAL MEDIA IMAGE
LEATHER
The leather prototype is the most easily recognized look. Black leather items include everything from hoods to jackets, pants, caps and underwear. Accoutrements include motorcycles, chains and various sexual items. In the gay media black leather becomes a symbol for the unknown or untried. It is entirely, vehemently, macho in appearance. While the other archetypes have their roots in myths accepted and celebrated by the culture-at-large, the leather cult, like its straight counterpart is rooted in non-acceptance and non-conformity.
 

BONDAGE DEVICE
MEAT HOIST
 

Cover

via Tombolare

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Psychoactive sci-fi surrealism: The book covers that inspired XTC’s Andy Partridge

STURGEON CAVIAR
 
I’d love to live in a world where the great commercial artists of the past—the visionary men and women who could easily have been heralded “fine” artists if they weren’t jobbers—were household names, while blandly inoffensive pop singers had to hold yard sales to make rent. But it ain’t so and surely never will be. Today’s case in point is that great painter of otherworldly pulp sci-fi covers, Richard M. Powers.

Trained in Chicago, Powers became a force in the publishing industry in the ‘50s and ‘60s, working for houses like Ballantine and Doubleday, and bringing an incredible stylistic versatility to his work—his work in the horror genre could be a whole separate post, and you’d not likely know just by looking that they were by the same artist who executed the works you see here. His early covers were of a type with much mid-century pulp fiction art, but as the ‘50s progressed, he began a move towards a signature style derived from surrealism. Less the sort of an-ordinary-object-is-doing-something-weird surrealism associated with Magritte or Dalí, more the timeless, placeless, deathless dreamscapes of Gorky, Matta or Tanguy, set as much in outer space as inner. By the mid to late 1960s, that style harmonized rather nicely with the psychedelic art that was spreading from music culture to, well, everything.

The best bio I’ve found for Powers is by film writer C. Jerry Kutner, on an Earthlink site that looks like it could almost date back to Powers’ 1996 death:

Powers became the virtual art director of Ballantine’s science fiction line, creating not only the cover illustrations (front, back, and occasionally wraparound), but the entire design of the books including positioning of the title and other text, selecting and coloring the typefaces, and sometimes even handpainting the lettering. Ballantine gave Powers the freedom to experiment endlessly. The more he got away with, the further he went. Reach For Tomorrow is a striking early experiment. The subject matter is a city on an alien planet. Or is it? The shapes of the city, alternately rounded and spiky, resemble blobs of clay or melted wax more than they do any realistic architectural construction. The city rests in the middle of a silent desert, closer in look and feel to the paintings of Salvador Dali and Yves Tanguy than the other SF artwork of its era. Furthermore, the format of this painting is horizontal. To view it correctly, one has to hold the book sideways!

By the late ‘50s, the world of the SF paperback had been conquered by “the Powers style.” In addition to painting more than a hundred covers for Ballantine, Powers was the artist of choice for Berkley, Dell, and numerous other SF publishers. Powers’ success encouraged other SF artists like Ed Emshwiller, Jack Gaughan, and Paul Lehr to experiment with surrealism and abstraction. Powers’ art, in turn, assimilated the styles of most of the major surrealists of this century, not only Dali and Tanguy, but Calder and De Chirico, Miro and Kandinsky, Klee and Ernst. Sometimes the homage is obvious, as on the cover of Star Wormwood, a non-fiction work in which a watercolor of a man sitting in an electric chair resembles Francis Bacon’s “Screaming Pope.”

 
REACH FOR TOMORROW CLARKE
Arthur C. Clarke, Reach for Tomorrow
 
VOICES OF TIME BALLARD 1
J.G. Ballard, The Voices of Time
 
VOICES OF TIME BALLARD 2
And another one, because why not.
 
ROBOTS AND CHANGELINGS DEL REY
Lester Del Rey, Robots and Changelings
 
SPACEJACKS WELLS
Robert Wells, The Spacejacks
 
OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS TENN
William Tenn (pseudonym for Philip Klass), Of All Possible Worlds
 
More brilliant covers, plus music after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Hyperrealistic sculptures of Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and Abraham Lincoln

Warhol Sculpture Close up
 
These almost unbelievably realistic sculptures of Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and Abraham Lincoln are imbued with a downright menacing level of detail. The extremely uncanny likenesses created by former Hollywood special effects makeup artist, Kazuhiro Tsuji are designed to bring about an intense intimacy not available in reality.

Here’s an excerpt from Tsuji’s 2015 artist statement on his website:

Face to face, viewers approach the giant heads, which are two times life size. The stillness and detail allow for close examination of each pore with a level of scrutiny not even permitted to lovers. The sculptures permit an impossibly close, shared moment with the celebrated.

Tsuji, a Kyoto, Japan native, worked with director Akira Kurosawa in the production of Rhapsody in August and on a variety of Hollywood films after founding one of the first companies of its kind in Japan called Makeup and Effects Unlimited. Since 2008, Tsuji has devoted himself entirely to sculpture and his work has been exhibited widely. 

Take a look at some of the artist’s absolute masterpieces below. I think the photos of these sculptures speak for themselves. And what I mean by that is that they really do look like they almost could…actually…speak…for themselves.

Below the images, you’ll find a brief interview hosted by Aline Pimentel with Tsuji inside his Burbank, California studio. In it, Tsuji says that each sculpture takes him three to four months, and that he works up to sixteen hours a day. 

You can read more about the incredible, SELF TAUGHT artist on his website.
 
Two Warhols
 
Dali Head
 
Lincoln Scultpture Close-up
 
Dali on Pedestal
 
Lincoln on Pedestal
 
Warhol and Tsuji
 

Posted by Jason Schafer | Discussion
follow us in feedly
World leaders sitting on the toilet

01obapoo.jpg
 
Bringing world leaders down their basic bodily functions Their Daily Duty is a series of photomontages by digital artist Cristina Guggeri. The images present imagined intimate moments of President Obama, President Putin, Her Majesty the Queen and even Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama, all seated on the toilet performing their own “daily duty.”

Cristina (aka Kyrdy) made the images in collaboration with Area Shoot, and while they certainly rub our nose in our shared human frailty, they are also a reminder to the “sitters” of their moral responsibility in governance and leadership.

More of Cristina’s work can be found here.
 
02putpoo.jpg
 
03quepoo.jpg
 
More leaders on the throne, after the jump….
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
‘Songs of the Witch Woman’: Exclusive footage of Marjorie Cameron reading ‘Anatomy of Madness’
01.13.2015
09:56 am

Topics:
Art
Occult

Tags:
Marjorie Cameron
Jack Parsons
occult
witches


 
MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles has extended their Marjorie Cameron exhibit by a week—it’s closing now on the 18th—so if you’re in town and haven’t seen the show, you still have a chance to catch it. In order to bring attention to these extra dates, MOCAtv‘s director Emma Reeves has kindly offered Dangerous Minds readers this exclusive glimpse at some never before seen footage of the artist/occultist reading poetry at the Barnsdall Art Park in East Hollywood in 1989.

The show’s catalog is titled Cameron: Songs for the Witch Woman and it’s quite worth owning if you like this sort of thing.

Via MOCAtv:

Prior to “Cameron: Songs For The Witch Woman,” October 11, 2014–January 18, 2015 at MOCA Pacific Design Center, the largest survey of Marjorie Cameron’s artwork was “The Pearl of Reprisal,” a retrospective at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in 1989. The exhibition spanned thirty years, from the notorious Untitled “Peyote Vision” (1955) to Pluto Transiting the Twelfth House (1978-1986), pen and ink drawings that lent insight to the artist’s psychic state at the time.

Before the opening reception, Hedy Sontag introduced a program titled “An Evening With Cameron: The Pearl of Reprisal.” Sontag screened two films that feature Cameron: Kenneth Anger’s Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954) and Curtis Harrington’s lyrical documentary The Wormwood Star (1955). After the screening, Cameron emerged barefoot to give a dramatic reading of her poetry by candlelight. Pleasure Dome cast members Samson De Brier and Paul Mathison were among those in attendance.

The reading, which was art directed by Sontag, evokes Cameron in her Topanga Canyon studio, deep in thought as she detaches from the lived world and navigates the subconscious. A prolific writer who shared her work with friends, Cameron was private when inspiration struck. She was known to write in her notebook in social settings, fervently and silently; she forbade visitors to her studio, a sanctum where art-making and writing mingled with astrology and occult ritual.

Though the dates of these journal entries and poems are not known, in their language of mourning and invocation, and use of sacred and Romantic imagery, they are of a piece with the notebooks Cameron kept after the death of Jack Parsons in 1952, as well as the verses she recites in The Wormwood Star, which describe the birth of a spiritual child born of psychic union with Parsons. Notably, Cameron reads prose from “Anatomy of Madness” [5:39], a mixed-media folio included in the exhibition and on view at MOCA. First published in Wallace Berman’s Semina 1 (1956), the text recounts a life cycle of death, rebirth, metamorphosis, and finally, a transcendent spiritual breakthrough.

This never before seen footage, courtesy of the Cameron Parsons Foundation, is a rare document of an artist whose practice had delved further inward, away from the public eye. Due to the quality of the recording, this video has been subtitled. Every effort has been made by MOCA and the Cameron Parsons Foundation to ensure accuracy of the transcription. Please note that the original footage was edited in camera and portions of the reading and poems were omitted by the cameraperson.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Page 1 of 229  1 2 3 >  Last ›