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Palettes of Picasso, Matisse, Degas and Van Gogh are works of art unto themselves


Vincent Van Gogh
 
Some years ago the inventive German photographer Matthias Schaller who specializes in what he calls the “indirect portrait” was in the studio of Cy Twombly and happened to glance at the painter’s palette, smeared with pigments of various hues, but mainly a shade of red fairly close to the color of blood. It occurred to Schaller that the palette is arguably as identifiable to an artist as the artist’s work itself, even if created purely by accident. As he puts it, “The palette is an abstract landscape of the painter’s artistic production.”

Schaller has created a series of marvelous photographs of the palettes of famous artists, each of which measures at roughly 190 x 150 cm. The collection, called “Das Meisterstück” (The Masterpiece), has appeared as an exhibition and is available in book form as well—for more information write an email to thepalettebook@gmail.com.

These are all utterly fascinating to gaze at; my favorites are those of Bacon and Kokoschka. They’re all pretty wonderful.
 

Pablo Picasso
 

Claude Monet
 

Salvador Dalí
 
See the palettes of Matisse, Manet, Kandinsky, Kahlo, Bacon and many more after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Ten-hut! X-rated ‘Beetle Bailey’ comics
05.22.2015
05:31 am

Topics:
Art
Media
Sex

Tags:
smut
Beetle Bailey
Mort Walker


 
If you’ve ever so much as glanced at any Beetle Bailey strip involving General Halftrack leering at his secretary, the buxom Miss Buxley, you won’t be all too surprised that Mort Walker, the creator of the comic, at some point dashed off a few strips that, ah, were not intended for publication in a family-oriented newspaper.

The strips are pretty harmless, but they are unmistakably about boners and fellatio. So there’s that.

These comics appeared in a Swedish book about Beetle Bailey. Apparently the Swedes dig Beetle Bailey, where he is called “Knasen.” According to Google Translate, “Fräckisarna som stannade på skiss-stadiet” refers to something that is “cheeky” that “stayed at the sketch stage,” and “Varning för Snusk” means “warning for smut,” which is hilarious.

Varning för Snusk! You have been warned.
 

 
More smutty ‘Beetle Bailey’ after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Title sequence of ‘Twin Peaks’ recreated using nothing but paper
05.21.2015
09:13 am

Topics:
Art
Television

Tags:
David Lynch
Twin Peaks


 
As I write this, Showtime and David Lynch have been going back and forth on the possibility of new episodes of Twin Peaks, the strikingly original TV show that aired on ABC in 1990 and 1991, setting a new bar (that has never really been surpassed) for brazenly experimental programming in an utterly mainstream context. A month ago Lynch made it known that “not enough money was offered to do the script the way I felt it needed to be done.” However, Twin Peaks fans rejoiced when Lynch tweeted the following message last week:
 

 
A new web project called And The World Was Paper is dedicated to the task of recreating bits of famous video using nothing but artfully cut-up pieces of colorful paper (somewhat like South Park). There are only two videos up at this point, but weekly installments have been promised, with new episodes on the way “every other Monday.” One video re-creates the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the other is the Twin Peaks title sequence.

I must say, this is very nicely done. It took some creative positioning of my browser windows, but I was able to watch the cut-paper version and the real version side by side, and it’s uncanny how perfectly the homage matches the original.

It never occurred to me before how much of the title sequence is just footage of things happening in factories.
 

 
via The World’s Best Ever
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The last of the Samurai: Beautiful hand-colored photographs of the warriors and their courtesans
05.21.2015
06:43 am

Topics:
Art
History

Tags:
samurai
Felice Beato
James Robertson

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When photographer Felice Beato arrived in Japan in 1863, he found the country in the midst of civil war. After spending over two hundred years in seclusion, Japan was being forced by the Americans—under a mission led by Commodore Matthew C. Perry—to expand its trade with the west. The country was divided between the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo and the Imperial Court based in Kyoto. Over the next decade, a period known as the Bakumatsu, Japan was riven as the Imperial order gradually took control. The key moment came when the samurai of the Chōshū and Satsuma provinces defeated the Shogunate in 1867, which led to the restoration of imperial rule under Emperor Meiji.

Beato was an Anglo-Italian, born in Venice in 1832, and raised in the British protectorate of Corfu. He learnt his trade under the renowned photographic pioneer James Robertson, with whom he traveled to Constantinople documenting many British imperial wars fought in Crimea, India and China. Beato’s skill saw him (along with his brother Antonio) hailed as one of the century’s leading photojournalists.

In 1862, Beato sold most of his photographic work and invested the money in the London Stock Exchange, where it was quickly lost. The following year, he decided to quit England and start out on a new adventure, this time to Japan. On his arrival in Yokohama, Beato set-up a business with English artist Charles Wirgman, who drew sketches and engravings based on Beato’s photographs. Travel was dangerous in Japan, with many of the Shogunate samurai warriors killing westerners—in Edo the American legation was burned to the ground and westerners threatened with death. On one occasion, Beato escaped such a fate after declining a tour of Kamakura with two Imperial officers, who happened across two masterless samurais (or ronin) and were beheaded. However, through his contacts in the military, Beato did manage to travel to many of the secluded areas of the country, where he documented the last years of feudal Japan.

Among his first photographs were the portraits of the Satsuma samurais, who happily posed for him. In one group portrait, four samurais symbolically show their strength and ambition by presenting themselves with one standing samurai holding a red book of English literature and one seated with an unsheathed knife—highlighting their hold on western knowledge and their strength in Japanese tradition. As travel became restricted because of the civil war, Beato opened a studio back in Yokohama, where he photographed many samurai warriors and their courtesans.

A selection of Felice Beato’s rare hand-colored photographs will be on display at the London Photographic Fair 23rd-24th May.
 
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More of Felice Beato’s incredible photographs, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Classical paintings inserted into contemporary urban settings
05.20.2015
02:43 pm

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Alexey Kondakov


 
Ever wanted to see William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s “Le Chant des Anges” or his “The Youth of Bacchus” painting peacefully hanging out in a subway, or Luca Cambiaso’s “Venus and Adonis” on a park bench seen from the perspective of city bus? Well now you can with the help of Ukrainian artist’s Alexey Kondakov‘s ongoing series “Art History in Contemporary Life.”

While some of the classical paintings are playful and whimsical in their new environments, there are other paintings that suggest sadness and pain when placed in a contemporary setting. Some of the paintings photoshopped into the subways and buses look as though they’re drunkards and / or addicts who are being helped by kind, cherubic strangers. They simply take on a whole new meaning or story. 


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Unseen Cinema of H.R. Giger
05.20.2015
07:32 am

Topics:
Art
Movies

Tags:
H.R. Giger


 
It’s been a year since the amazing Swiss surrealist painter H.R. Giger was lost to us. He was best known for his “Xenomorph” creature design for the film Alien, album art for Emerson Lake and Palmer and Debbie Harry, and for the notorious poster included in Dead Kennedys’ Frankenchrist LP, the utterly preposterous censorship repercussions from which derailed that band’s existence. To mark the first anniversary of his passing, the Museum of Arts and Design, on Columbus Circle in Midtown Manhattan, is hosting a three program festival of Giger documentaries, and rare films to which he contributed design work. The films will run over Memorial Day weekend, with a program on Friday, May 22, 2015, and two programs on Saturday the 23rd. If you’re not a New Yorker, keep an eye out; a traveling version of the festival isn’t out of the question.
 

H.R. Giger and Debbie Harry, 1981

The Friday 7:00 PM program is notable for its inclusion of A New Face of Debbie Harry, the FM Murer documentary about Giger’s videos for Debbie Harry’s KooKoo LP, and it will be introduced by Harry and Chris Stein. (DM told you about those videos last year.) But even more importantly, it also features Murer’s amazing 1969 film Swissmade 2069. The strange 40-minute work is a look at a dystopian future in which nonconformists and maladapts are exiled to reservations, while valued citizens are subject to insanely granular levels of central planning—right down to actual mind-reading—viewed through the Bolex-lens eyes of an alien visitor, which was designed by Giger (his credit is for “Future-Design”). It’s has never been screened in the USA before, which blew my mind to learn—after the Alien films made Giger famous among civilians, you’d think there’d have been at least an arthouse interest in a prior film with a Giger alien design!

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Incandescent Innocent: Dean and Britta score Andy Warhol’s screen tests


 
At the peak of his fame and influence, from 1964 to 1966, Andy Warhol created somewhere around 500 (the number 472 popped up in my research, as seen below) so-called “screen tests.” Every screen test was a single close-up take of an individual in front of the camera lasting a little shy of three minutes—the idea was that Warhol would run them at two-thirds speed, which resulted in movies about four minutes long each. The short movies that resulted had a consistency of aesthetic feel and featured a wide variety of people, who can be roughly classified into three groups: Factory mainstays, famous people, and un-famous people. Warhol said that he did screen tests for anyone who possessed “star potential.”

As Geralyn Huxley, curator of film and video at the Andy Warhol Museum, wryly points out, “none of them appear to have been used for the purpose of actually testing or auditioning prospective actors.” Some notable people who consented to undergo the Warhol screen test treatment are John Ashbery, Marcel Duchamp, Cass Elliott, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Yoko Ono, Salvador Dalí, Donovan, and Susan Sontag.
 

 
In 2008 the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh approached Dean and Britta to “create soundtracks” for 13 of the screen tests and perform them on stage. As members of Luna, a band that had toured with the Velvet Underground in 1993, Dean and Britta (who are doing kind of a version of Lou and Nico anyway, eh?) were a highly apropos choice for the project. In 2010 it became an album called 13 Most Beautiful… Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests (there is also a DVD).

The track titles on the album are very redolent of the Factory as well as the general VU scene: “Silver Factory Theme,” “Teenage Lightning (And Lonely Highways),” “Incandescent Innocent,” and “Knives From Bavaria.” In addition to much original Luna-esque music of the gorgeous and dreamy variety, the album featured covers of Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Keep It With Mine” and VU’s “I’m Not a Young Man Anymore.”
 

 
In 2012 LuxeCrush asked Dean and Britta about the project:
 

LuxeCrush: How did this “13 Most Beautiful…” project, pairing your music with Andy Warhol stills, come about? I love the interdisciplinary film/music idea!

Wareham: We were approached by Ben Harrison at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh; he described the hundreds of films that the Museum had access to (Warhol made 472 Screen Tests) and asked could we pick thirteen of them and create soundtracks to perform live on stage.

LuxeCrush: What is your favorite Warhol art work, moment or saying? And did either of you ever get to meet Andy?

Wareham: Neither of us ever met Andy. But I love watching him answering interview questions. Where most artists are trained to give long-winded theoretical explanations of why they paint a particular way, he would just say “because it’s easy.” Warhol never ceases to amaze me. We are used to seeing the same famous images again and again (Marilyn, Coke Bottles, soup cans, etc.), but there is so much more, from his early drawings for department stores to his late paintings, paintings for children, TV shows, films. He had a way of turning things upside down.

 
Lots of lovely and stirring videos of Dean & Britta scoring the screen tests after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Never before seen photos of Stiv Bators and the Dead Boys, 1976. A Dangerous Minds exclusive


 
This is the good stuff, good people, a genuine once-in-a-blue-moon recovery of a lost treasure trove. You, Dangerous Minds’ readers, are literally the first people in the word to see these photos, apart from the photographer and a tiny handful of others.

In 1976, Dave Treat, a student at the now defunct Cooper School of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, lived in a Lakewood apartment building that also hoveled the members of a rock band that had just re-christened itself from Frankenstein to the Dead Boys. As he was both the nearest accessible art student who owned a camera and a close friend to singer Stiv Bators, Treat was recruited to shoot publicity photos of the band, and while one of them may have been used (it remains unclear, but we’ll get to that), the rest have sat unseen since then. They became obsolete quickly, as Jeff Magnum would be added as the band’s bassist shortly after these were shot. In the last year, their existence became known to art historian Brittany Mariel Hudak and photographer/gallery owner Bryon Miller, who are working to release them in a book, and preparing them for exhibit in Cleveland, with the possibly of a New York exhibit later in the year. What the photos reveal is a band unknowingly on the cusp of achieving legendary status, and a sensitive, vulnerable Stiv Bators very, very unlike his self-consciously bratty public persona.

From Hudak’s introduction to the forthcoming Stiv 1976: Lost Photographs of Stiv Bators & The Dead Boys:

This is not about the onstage, very public Stiv or his antics – you can visit that guy on YouTube, read about his New York shenanigans in Legs McNeil’s Please Kill Me, or watch him wield a baseball bat as tough guy “Bo-Bo Belsinger” in John Water’s film, Polyester.  In contrast, these photographs taken by his neighbor Dave Treat in 1976 capture a different Stiv altogether – what they capture is “Stiv” in the making.  They offer a rare glimpse into the private life of a young man on the brink of something, with a marked sense of unfettered opportunities and grand plans. There’s an unquestionable eagerness in his eyes, a what-do-I-have-to-lose attitude – and even hints of the onstage Stiv being built. He poses quite consciously for the camera, wearing the soon to be comfortable guise of the seductive rock star – lanky, languid, oozing sex appeal and confidence, complete with outrageous platform boots.

But if you look closely you can detect another, more vulnerable side of the performer. Crouched in a corner or staring off into the distance, at times there’s a palpable sadness – a peculiar malaise. This too could be a pose – the tortured artist suffering for his art, another familiar component of the rock-star myth. But one gets a sense that this side is genuine, and for Stiv rarely seen, which makes these photos all the more special.

The negatives for these amazing photos were buried in a closet for almost 40 years, and most have been printed for the first time this year by Miller, a gallery proprietor and photographer for High Times and Billboard, who, out of respect for their origins and provenance, actually printed them old-school gelatin silver style. In an actual darkroom. Some of those still exist. The photos will be exhibited at Miller’s Gallery 160 in Cleveland beginning on Friday, June 5th, to mark the 25th anniversary of Stiv’s death from injuries sustained when he was hit by a car, with an opening reception beginning at 6:00PM. Apart from Treat, Hudak, Miller, myself, and the Dead Boys’ Cheetah Chrome, nobody has ever seen these images before you, right now. Clicking on an image spawns an enlargement in a new browser tab.
 

 

 
More unseen Dead Boys, after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Bootleg Led Zeppelin album covers from Soviet Russia
05.15.2015
08:50 am

Topics:
Art
Music
Politics

Tags:
Russia
Led Zeppelin


 
The Cold War seems an awful long time ago, long enough that it’s sometimes hard to remember that a huge percentage of our planet’s land mass was officially denied the right to listen to classic rock. You couldn’t just wander into the USSR with a bunch of Mott the Hoople albums under your arm and expect anyone not to mind, there were actual policies about this. Those people who had heard about and liked Led Zeppelin had to resort to illegal, grassroots ways of disseminating the music, and that process included pressing albums illegally and creating fake, yet plausible, album covers.

In the r/vinyl/ subreddit, reddit user “zingo-spleen” uploaded scans of several awesome album covers that were created for illegal Russian pressings of Led Zeppelin albums. Represented are the band’s second through fifth albums, being II, III, IV, and Houses of the Holy, which is hilariously called V in the Russian version.

Helpfully, “zingo-spleen” provided some background about the fantastic covers:
 

these are two double albums in gatefold sleeves, with a cover on each side. II and III are together as a set, while IV and V (Houses of the Holy) are together as a set. Not sure why the first one is not included - blame the Russians and their twisted logic. I found these in a thrift shop a long time ago and couldn’t bear to get rid of them, even though I’ve had offers.

 
The record label, AnTrop, was a major force in underground bootlegs, releasing illegal versions of all the most notable classic rock acts:
 

AnTrop was named after the legendary Russian underground producer and sound engineer, Andrey Tropillo, who in 1990, on the wave of “perestroika,” became the head of the St. Petersburg branch of Melodia. Since there was much turmoil in Russia at the time, he made the St. Petersburg branch independent of central headquarters and started releasing a series of classic Rock albums. These releases were not legitimate. They started with releases by The Beatles, Jesus Christ - Superstar, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and eventually Pink Floyd. All these records were released using Melodia facilities, but AnTrop was operating as an independent record label and was putting the Antrop logo and their own numbers and copyrights on the covers. However, since all the records were printed in Melodia owned and run facilities, AnTrop had to give its releases additional Melodia catalog numbers, which is why there are two catalog numbers on the releases. Antrop is the label that released most of the Pink Floyd albums in Russia. “P” in the AnTrop catalog numbers stands for Russian letter “P” (that looks like Greek “Pi”). AnTrop records were all pressed in Aprelevka.

 
According to “zingo-spleen,” the quality of the pressings is “really not bad at all ... certainly listenable.”

I think reddit user “arachnophilia” speaks for us all when he says, “oh man, i love aeg threenneauh.”

(Clicking on the images will spawn a larger version.)
 

 

 
More Soviet Zeppelin after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The tricked out ‘Jingle Trucks’ of Pakistan
05.15.2015
06:56 am

Topics:
Art
History

Tags:
Culture

Jingle Truck with Sari woman on hood
 
Across Pakistan it is common to see things with wheels ornately painted and adorned. The port city of Karachi, is the epicenter of this long-practiced tradition.
Practically every vehicle, from a garbage truck to a rickshaw, is opulently decked out with everything from colorful murals to historic or symbolic images. Sometime around 1920, the tradition of decorating a truck prior to it heading out on a long trip was born. Known as “Jingle Trucks,” Pakistan’s love affair with the Bedford, the heavy-duty truck that started the craze, came to Pakistan from UK automaker Vauxhall Motors after the first World War. To this day, the vintage vehicle is is still a vibrant part of Pakistani culture.
 
University of Karachi professor and artist Durriya Kazi who has studied truck art for several decades, believes that the age-old practice can be connected to Sufism; a mystical side of Islam that focuses on spirituality and body purification. Kazi says decorating the trucks is a way to obtain “religious merit,” such as the Sufi practice of embellishing a shrine or religiously significant site. In other words, by paying tribute to the truck by adorning it, the owner is ensuring that the truck will reward them by not breaking down along the highway, so to speak. Looking at photos of what may be best described as a mobile art installation, it’s not difficult to conceive that Jingle Truck owners spend a lot of cash tricking out their sweet rides.
 
Jingle Truck front end
 
As the years pass, things change and evolve with the times. This is especially the case when it comes to the decoration of the rear end of a Jingle Truck. Professor Kazi noted that in the past, mostly political figures would adorn the back of the truck. Now it is more common to see a portrait of a “Pashto” (a genre of popular music) pop-star or a family member on the back of a vehicle driven by a more progressive-minded Jingle Truck owner. Some folks even speculate that “Dekotora” the truck decorating craze in Japan that started
 
The back of a Jingle Truck
 

  
Jingle Truck back panel portraits
 
More Jingle Trucks after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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