FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
Storyboards from ‘Aeon Flux,’ including the iconic fly-eye sequence
10.19.2017
01:28 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
The run of Aeon Flux on MTV in the early 1990s coincided with a period in my life when I was living abroad, but whenever I was stateside I would scarf down as many episodes as I could manage. The show looked and sounded like nothing else, something that continues to be true to this day, and seemed to resist regular plot continuity to an almost mind-blowing extent—at least I never watched it with any expectation that there was an intelligible “plot” that could be “followed.” Considering that all of the early shorts—seen initially on MTV’s experimental animation anthology Liquid Television—culminated in the eponymous protagonist’s repeated demise, it’s safe to say that narrative coherence was largely beside the point.

Aeon Flux (actually Æon Flux, right?) was the kind of show that was probably pilloried for being “pretentious” and self-serious but actually strikes me as a perfect expression of a certain variety of dry wit—if this sequence from “Tide” doesn’t make you grin at any point, you’re probably not paying close enough attention. One needn’t have been aware of the existence of the cyberpunk genre to intuit it from any random scene from the show, which also evinced an interest in fetishism and domination to an extent that was rare for a TV show in the 1990s. Every character looked like an emaciated Egon Schiele subject, and occasionally a spindly albino would materialize and lick someone’s earhole.

Aeon Flux was the brainchild of Peter Chung, a Korean-American CalArts grad who cut his teeth under Ralph Bakshi and also at Disney. A couple of weeks ago he participated an interview with The Art of the Title, in which he pointed to The Prisoner and the claire ligne style of Hergé and Moebius as key influences. It’s well worth a read. In the piece one of the items of visual collateral is the storyboard for the “Venus eyetrap” sequence, probably the most familiar visual element from the series.

On Deviantart, one can find nine further storyboards from artist Mike Jackson, who worked on “The Purge” and “A Last Time for Everything” late in the series’ run.

Having recently consumed several clips on YouTube, I’d like to offer the insight that dialogue almost always violated the show’s essence—the best sequences are as wordless as Harpo Marx. The entire series is available at Amazon for less than $20.
 

 

 
More production art from Aeon Flux after the jump…...
 

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
10.19.2017
01:28 pm
|
The doe-eyed deviants of painter Xue Wang
10.18.2017
12:11 pm
Topics:
Tags:


“Some Like it Hot.” A painting by London-based artist Xue Wang.
 

“My take on ghosts is perhaps a little tinged with lightheartedness. These are not demons who threaten us mortals. But their merry mischief undoes our sense of everyday security. They rummage in our larders, shin their way up our drainpipes and play havoc with domestic bliss. As these spooks creep among us, we needn’t shrink from them but welcome their witty messages from the other side!”

—artist Xue Wang, September 2013

After moving from China to London while she was in her early 20s, future artist Xue Wang worked in the world of fashion. Armed with a BA in Fashion Design from Lu Xun Academy of Fine Art in Shenyang when she arrived in the UK, she would go on to complete her Masters in the same field in London. Despite her academic achievements, Wang’s original career of choice didn’t stick, and she soon found herself painting to better feed her creative instincts. Wang cites the work of many impactful artists as sources for her inspiration such as outsider hero Henry Darger, Frida Kahlo and unsurprisingly American pop surrealist Mark Ryden. If you are at all familiar with Ryden’s work over from the last three decades, I’m sure that you’ll notice his influence on her art.

It takes Wang anywhere from eighteen to twenty hours to complete a piece which she says are “reflective” of her personality. The artist also collects animal specimens, noting that she keeps a box of deceased bumblebees in her studio, which isn’t all that unusual as artists often have a penchant of incorporating aspects of nature into their work. For this post (this is Dangerous Minds after all), I’ve hand-picked some Wang’s more unsettling paintings for you to check out below. Not all of Wang’s work centers around innocent-looking, wide-eyed characters deeply entrenched in bad behavior—and the artist herself hopes that people can also see the more whimsical side of her work which has foundations in classic fairy tales and Hollywood nostalgia.
 

“Jack the Whipper.”
 

“Vampyres!”
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
10.18.2017
12:11 pm
|
At home with Salvador Dali
10.18.2017
10:56 am
Topics:
Tags:

01ilads.jpg
 
Salvador Dali once appeared as the mystery guest on a long-time-ago TV show called What’s My Line? in the 1950s. You know the show, the one that featured a panel of well-known celebrities guessing the occupations of various members of the public by asking them a series of yes/no questions like “Do you work with your hands?” or “Do you tell jokes for a living?” and so on, until the occupation was revealed.

Every week, the show also featured a mystery guest. The same yes/no rules applied but this time the panel wore a selection of dainty blindfolds to make it more fun.

When Dali appeared he insisted on answering “Yes” to nearly every question he was asked, like “Are you a performer?” “Yes.” “Are you a leading man?” “Yes.” (The show’s host John Daly disagreed with that one and marked it as a “No.”) “Are you a writer?” “Yes.” “Do you draw comic books?” “Yes.” (Again, Daly struggled to agree with this answer but Dali was having none of it.)

I am sure if one the panel had asked, “Do you paint pictures on rockfaces while juggling elephants with your knees and wearing sea otters on your hands?” Dali would have said “Yes.”

But the thing is, despite the anchor’s wearying cavils, Dali was absolutely right—he could do everything because he never lived within other people’s expectations. He was boss of what he did and how he did it and this is why he could do anything.

Though I guess I should add the caveat that there was one thing the great artist could not do—Salvador Dali could never be boring. A bit repetitive yes, but never boring.

Take for example, a simple project like that time Picture Post magazine sent over photographer Charles Hewitt to take some snaps of Dali and his wife Gala, at their home in Portlligat, Spain. The resulting pictures were imaginative works of art worthy of inclusion in the Dalit’s ouevre. The finished spread was published in Picture Post on January 8th, 1955, and it’s still utterly impressive.
 
02ilads.jpg
 
05ilads.jpg
 
011ilads.jpg
 
Marvel at the wonder of Dali at home, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
10.18.2017
10:56 am
|
Brain Salad Surgery: The H. R. Giger artwork that inspired ‘Alien’
10.17.2017
08:53 am
Topics:
Tags:


One of the images from H.R. Giger’s ‘Necronomicon.’

H.R. Giger’s 1977 book Necronomicon showcased his chilling, futuristic images of a world beyond our own would become the basis and inspiration for director Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien.

Giger’s profile was raised in 1973 when his sci-fi art was showcased by prog-rockers Emerson Lake & Palmer on the elaborate cover of their 1973 album Brain Salad Surgery. Swiss publishing house Sphinx-Verlag would publish a German-language portfolio full of Giger’s work about the mythical “Necronomicon” in 1977, as well as a French edition that same year. As you may be aware, Giger’s Necronomicon was inspired by the make-believe textbook of magic nightmared up by H.P. Lovecraft which the author first referenced in his 1924 short story, The Hound. When it comes to Giger’s dangerous, dark, and often somewhat R-rated take on the evil grimoire, the author and artist put his own unique spin on the book, undeniably his most vital and influential piece of work. In 1985 Giger would put out another edition of the material, Necronomicon 2 expanded to include 184 more images of his terrifying biomechanical creations and grim futuristic visions. 

Tracking down a copy of Giger’s Necronomicon isn’t difficult as long as you’re not coveting an original which can run you a few thousand bucks, while reprints usually sell for $200-$250. I’ve posted some of Giger’s work from the Necronomicon below—most which are emphatically NSFW.
 

 

 
More Giger after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
10.17.2017
08:53 am
|
‘Halloween’ history: A female ‘Michael Myers’ slasher mask exists & it’s as terrifying as it sounds


Behold the “She Mask” a female version of the “Michael Myers” slasher mask created by Don Post Studios.
 
My enthusiasm for all things horror knows no bounds. I honestly can’t get enough of the genre and still look forward to Halloween with the zeal of a kid armed with a grinning, giant plastic pumpkin overloaded with enough candy to bring on diabetes overnight. One of my annual Halloween traditions is to watch the first three Halloween films during October—and it never gets old. For me at least. So, here’s the thing—even though I’d say I know my horror, I had no idea that the famous mask donned by “Michael Myers” in the film was made from a life cast of actor William Shatner’s face during the filming of 1975’s The Devil’s Rain.

But before we get to that, let me give you a quick history lesson on Don Post Studios who made the original William Shatner mask that would later become the face of evil incarnate thanks to Carpenter’s vision of a killer with a “pale face” and “human features.” 

Known as the “Godfather of Halloween” Don Post founded Don Post Studios in 1938, the first company to create the rubber masks we all know and love today, including a line of masks based on the classic movie monsters of Universal Pictures such as Frankenstein’s monster and the Wolfman. In the 1970s DPS put out masks based on the characters from the television series Star Trek including one in the image of Captain Kirk and another of “Mr. Spock” as played by Leonard Nimoy. Though kids were digging dressing up like both actors, the sale of these rubber masks was dismal. This didn’t surprise the folks at Don Post Studios as they had originally wanted to put out a collection of masks based on the aliens and far-out monsters featured on Star Trek but were told by Paramount to stick with Kirk and Spock.

Both masks were sculpted by William Malone, a long time artist, sculptor, and mask maker who worked extensively with Don Post Studios. According to Malone (noted in the book Voices in the Dark: Interviews with Horror Writers, Directors and Actors), director John Carpenter once visited him while he was at work and made the suggestion that the Shatner/Kirk mask would be cooler if it was painted white—though Malone couldn’t understand why anyone, much less Carpenter, would be even remotely interested in such a mask. Of course, the release of Carpenter’s first Halloween film showcasing actor Tony Moran wearing the Shatner mask painted white in 1978 changed all that once the film gained popularity. Sadly for DPS, their licensing with Paramount for the Captain Kirk mask had expired and their backlog of masks were gone—making it impossible for them to cash in on the Michael Myers mask craze. They would later engage the services of sculptor Neil Surges to create a generic “Everyman” mask in 1986 which would become a huge seller for the company until they closed up shop in 2012.

So what about the “She Mask” version of Michael Myers? Well, that’s where this story takes a bit of a weird, left turn.

In 2001 Don Post Studios decided that a female version of their best-selling Michael Myers/“Everyman” mask should be a real thing. So they came up with the “She Mask” (which was also sometimes called the “Michelle Myers mask”) that came with long hair, pink lipstick, blue eyeshadow and a fierce eyebrow game. According to folklore about the mask, DPS only produced a small number of the deeply creepy monster mashup making it quite the covetable collector’s item. The mask did end up in a film in 2009 called The Poughkeepsie Tapes, but that’s all I’m going to say about that. I’ve posted a few pictures of the “Michelle Myers” mask below. If you need me, I most definitely won’t be hiding under the bed or in a closet.
 

The ultra-rare “She Mask” (also known as the “Michelle Myers mask” by Don Post Studios.
 

A still of the “She Mask” in action from the 2007 film ‘The Poughkeepsie Tapes.’
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
10.17.2017
07:48 am
|
Nick Cave’s life & work come alive in a stunning new 328-page graphic novel ‘Nick Cave: Mercy on Me’
10.17.2017
07:48 am
Topics:
Tags:


An illustration by Reinhard Kleist from his new graphic novel, ‘Nick Cave: Mercy on Me.’
 

“Floods, fire, and frogs leapt out of my throat,” he explained. “Though I had no notion of that then, God was talking not just to me but through me, and His breath stank. I was a conduit for a God that spoke in a language written in bile and puke. And for a while, that suited me fine.”

—Nick Cave ruminates on God during a broadcast by BBC Radio 3 Religious Services in 1996. Read/listen to it here.

From his origins growing up in Australia glued to The Johnny Cash Show, to his days with The Birthday Party and later The Bad Seeds—author and illustrator Reinhard Kleist has left no stone unturned when it comes to his exploration of Nick Cave’s life in his new graphic novel, Nick Cave: Mercy on Me.

Kleist uses his dark and striking illustrations to help bring out emotions such as dread, desperation, persistence, and revelation as they witness Cave’s life and long career, from his huge-hair and heroin days with The Birthday Party to his more polished yet still antagonistic times with The Bad Seeds. The book even incorporates things from 2014’s documentary, 20,000 Days On Earth. Like life in general, the book is often a grim ride—especially when it concerns Cave’s early days in and out of addiction clinics and his time in Berlin—which, according to Cave, was a moment in his life where he felt “quite lost.” There he met Christoph Dreher, founder of the post-rock band Die Haut whom Cave credits with “basically keeping him alive” for a few years (you can see a blistering performance by Cave with Die Haut back in 1992, which is depicted in Kleist’s book, here). If you’re wondering how the legendarily cantankerous Mr. Cave feels about Kleist’s book, here’s more on that directly from the man himself:

“Reinhard Kleist, master graphic novelist, and myth-maker has - yet again - blown apart the conventions of the graphic novel by concocting a terrifying conflation of Cave songs, biographical half-truths and complete fabulations and creating a complex, chilling and completely bizarre journey into Cave World. Closer to the truth than any biography, that’s for sure! But for the record, I never killed Elisa Day.”

Stop me if I’m wrong, but I do believe that Cave just gave Kleist two goth-thumbs up for his efforts. I agree with Cave’s assessment of Kleist’s work, and if you are at all of a fan of Nick Cave, I recommend picking this book up right away. An English version of the graphic novel (which was initially published in German), can be found here. In case there is still any doubt that you need this book, I’ve posted a large collection of Kleist’s starkly beautiful illustrations from Nick Cave: Mercy on Me, below.
 

An illustration from ‘Nick Cave: Mercy on Me,’ Reinhard Kleist.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
10.17.2017
07:48 am
|
Exquisite Corpses: Polly Morgan’s sculptural taxidermy
10.13.2017
10:06 am
Topics:
Tags:

01pollymmyocardialinfarction.jpg
‘Myocardial Infarction.’
 
Polly Morgan is an artist who specializes in taxidermy to create works of disturbing beauty. Morgan describes her craft as “as part butchery, part sculpture.” While her work may not be to everyone’s taste, it should be noted that all of the animals used by Morgan either died from natural causes or had unpreventable deaths. She has a long list of suppliers, from zoos, vets, farmers, and even family members, who supply her with a range of dead animals.

It wasn’t a straight path to her chosen career. Morgan tried her hand at a variety of jobs before deciding on following-up on a long-held interest in taxidermy. She was raised in the English countryside in a household filled with a menagerie of animals. As a child, she had wanted to keep the bodies of her pets that had died. Morgan now sees her work as “an opportunity to freeze that moment.”

It was while working in a bar that Morgan started her studies in taxidermy. She had asked a friend where she could find a piece of taxidermy for her apartment. Her friend suggested rather than buying one she make one herself. After scouring the Yellow Pages, she eventually contacted George Jamieson, a taxidermist based in Cramond, Edinburgh. For around $200, Jamieson instructed Morgan on the basics of taxidermy. Jamieson gave her a pigeon to work on, which she completed within a day. This was in 2004. Since then, Morgan has exhibited her taxidermied sculptures to considerable acclaim across the world and has been fêted by the likes of Banksy and Damien Hirst.

You might think all this working death and dead animals would make Morgan a tad morbid and even overly downhearted. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Morgan thinks it silly to have an emotional attachment to something that is dead. It’s just decaying flesh. Instead, she believes what she is doing is very positive by making something beautiful out of death.

See more of Polly Morgan’s work here.
 
02pollymlovebird.jpg
‘Lovebird.’
 
03pollymjustassudden.jpg
‘Just as Sudden.’
 
05pollymrestalittleonthelapoflife-Rat.jpg
Detail from ‘Rest a Little on the Lap of Life.’
 
More of Polly Morgan’s exquisite work, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
10.13.2017
10:06 am
|
Fish heads & the feminine form: The dazzling candy-colored art of Hannah Yata
10.12.2017
08:24 am
Topics:
Tags:


A painting by Hannah Yata.
 
I was flipping through the most recent issue of High Fructose magazine and came across the beyond enchanting artwork of Hannah Yata and was instantly drawn to her intriguing human/animal hybrids which she expertly drenches in vibrant colors. Much of her work includes images of elegant female forms with animal heads (or “masks” as Yata calls them), such as tropical-looking fish—or in one masterful mashup a woman emerging from the water with the head of a hairless Sphynx cat with a set of curved horns. Themes concerning the animal kingdom and the natural world predominate in Yata’s work and with good reason. Raised in a small rural country town in Atlanta, Georgia, Yata was surrounded by the gorgeous environment that runs deep through the lush Kudzu-covered landscape of that state and her love of animals and mother earth became ingrained in her.

When she enrolled in the University of Georgia, she studied several disciplines in addition to art including feminism and psychology. As I mentioned, Yata’s extensive use of the feminine form in her work speaks volumes about her core values, which the artist spoke about in depth in an interview with WOWxWOW back in 2014. As the topic of female objectification and rape culture is once again burning up our social media feeds, here’s Yata on the moment she realized she was a feminist and how she channeled the power of that revelation into her artwork:

“For me, it started in a class in college that studied the history of bodies in art, which basically focused on women. I was floored. I didn’t know I was a feminist before this class. The only things I’d heard about feminists was talk about some girls not shaving their armpits, hating on men, etc. I had never looked into it myself before. When the class began talking about how women are portrayed not only throughout the history of art but especially in the present day, I realized how much it had affected not only me but pretty much every female around me. Yes, I’ve had a lot of men argue that art and advertising does the same thing to men now, fetishizing and sexualizing them in very compromising ways, but the reality is that it isn’t as ridiculous and far-reaching as what women deal with, nor are the consequences as serious. You hear about women getting beaten up, raped, murdered and dismembered daily and I believe this problem is propagated by images and videos that see women as sexual objects and not human beings with agency.”

Her incorporation of animals are also symbolic for the same reasons Yata’s women convey a sense of struggle associated with just trying to exist, specifically, how our behavior and our insatiable consumption for all things as humans continue to decimate the animal kingdom, our natural surroundings, and even our bodies all so our lives can be somehow made “better” because of the abundance of triple bacon cheeseburgers and 72-ounce steaks. Right now Yata’s work is a part of a dual exhibition called “ORIGINS” along with her husband and fellow artist Jean Pierre Arboleda at the Parlor Art Gallery in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The show runs through October 30th. Much of Yata’s exquisite work that follows is NSFW.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
10.12.2017
08:24 am
|
Deep Red: Blood-drenched movie posters & artwork used for the films of Dario Argento
10.12.2017
08:15 am
Topics:
Tags:


An Italian poster for Dario Argento’s 1975 film ‘Profondo Rosso’ aka ‘Deep Red.’
 
This October two versions of Dario Argento’s Suspiria have been making the rounds at independent movie theaters across the country following the discovery of an Italian-language 35MM cut in an abandoned theater in Italy. In addition to that Synapse films finally finished their 4K restoration of Suspira (which took nearly four years) and released it as a gorgeously packaged Blu-ray which is also screening in selected theaters through the end of 2017. So, in light of it being a very Argento October this year—to say nothing of his courageous daughter’s stand against Harvey Weinstein—let’s take a look at some of the artwork that has been used on movie posters, DVD releases, a few lobby cards, and even a vintage VHS tape for Argento’s goretastic films.

Some of the artwork and photography that follows is graphic especially when it comes to the covers created for various re-releases of Argento’s films put out by Arrow Video. But since we’re talking about a director who has been affectionately referred to as the “The Italian Hitchcock,” you should know to expect lots of blood, gore, and massive head trauma by way of sharp objects. YAY!
 

A Dutch VHS cover for ‘Suspiria.’
 

A Spanish lobby card for 1982’s ‘Tenebre.’
 

An Italian poster for ‘Tenebre.’
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
10.12.2017
08:15 am
|
Power, Beauty & the Feminine: The collage art of Deborah Stevenson
10.11.2017
10:37 am
Topics:
Tags:

01debscrosspollination.jpg
‘Cross Pollination.’
 
I could probably spend days looking at artist Deborah Stevenson‘s collage artworks. Well, maybe a slight exaggeration but let’s say hours or at least some considerable time, definitely, as each of Stevenson’s brilliant, complex pictures sets in motion a series of associations and ideas—whether intended or accidental—that connect towards a unifying narrative.

Take for example Cross Pollination which instantly startles with its reworking of Ingres’ portrait of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière with Harold Edgerton’s photograph Bullet Through Apple.

Okay, so let’s go for basics. My first (obvious) thought was Adam and Eve and the eating of the apple and the start of institutionalized misogyny. Then I noticed the clothes worn by Rivière. Adam and Eve had supposedly been naked in the Garden of Eden. Being naked often signified the status of being a slave in ancient times. While being clothed is about power, freedom, and performance. Ingres’ portrait shows the teenage Rivière (she was about fourteen at the time) as a “ravishing beauty”—even Ingres’ words have multiple connotations—dressed in her finest clothes. She is presented as pure and virginal with the loop of a boa encircling her arms and body like a snake from the Garden of Eden.

Ingres has idealized this portrait and sexualized Rivière. The painting was not well-received when first exhibited as it was considered too Gothic and shockingly eroticised. Mademoiselle Rivière died within a year of the painting’s completion.

Then there is the violence of the exploding apple which is used to replace Rivière’s head. This could suggest the whole history of violence against women or the frustration of being a woman in such oppressive times. What it may also suggest is that in this collage, this photographic image captures one fleeting moment in time. Edgerton invented the electronic flash which enabled him to take his incredible photograph of a bullet passing through an apple. This image, this portrait, is similarly only one fleeting glimpse, one two dimensional aspect of something far more incredibly complex and subtle of which we only have but a small understanding.

Then there are the conversation pieces about identity, the male gaze, religion, and science, and the female body. And so it goes on… Of course, whether Stevenson’s intends all of this micro-reading I dunno, but you get the idea. You can, or at least I can riff on Stevenson’s work for hours. Whether that’s of any value to you, is for you to decide. What I do know is this is one of the things that makes Stevenson’s collage work so rich, so important, so beautiful, and so utterly compelling.

American artist Deborah Stevenson first came to prominence as a painter. Her work includes a series of Brooklyn skylines and another on structures and buildings. These works are beautiful, iconic and idiosyncratic. They mark the talents of an artist who can surprise the viewer by making them aware of the strangeness and beauty in the most unexpected of places.

About seven years ago, Stevenson started making collages. As a painter, she found the process of making collages accessed a different part of her consciousness. This was no longer representational work of urban landscapes but something that worked intuitively as she explained to Klassic Magaizne:

I don’t set out to do a specific image. My work table is crowded with stacks of images I have cut from a variety of print sources (I only use original material, never printing out or doing digital) and I shift them around until something strikes me. I may pick out one image as particularly striking, and then continue moving the images around until I see something that seems to ‘fit’ with the first one. It is an adventure with my muse, and most important to the process is my ability to pay attention and listen to the whispers the muse makes to me, then I see the piece. There are recurring themes in my work: the Feminine, current events, moods and internal states of being, and fashion mash ups. Finding pieces to put together is the easy part: it is the cutting and pasting that can be very labor-intensive and delicate.

Stevenson’s collages aren’t decorative work but intended to express “ideas that would be difficult to put into words, but come out very easily and clearly in imagery.” Her work is an “exploration of concepts of power, beauty, the Feminine, and mysterious archetypal conjunctions.”

The work arises in an ‘automatic’ way; I do not set out with an objective or goal in my mind when I sit down to make something. The images compose themselves spontaneously as I mix and move the masses of paper around on the table in front of me. I feel as though my eyes and hands facilitate the ‘arrival’ of the pictures that I make.

See more of Deborah Stevenson’s work here and here.
 
02debscoverup.jpg
‘Cover Up.’
 
03debsshoehorns.jpg
‘Show Horns.’
 
See more of Deborah Stevenson’s collages, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
10.11.2017
10:37 am
|
Page 1 of 348  1 2 3 >  Last ›