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Dr. Seuss and the 50 word ‘dare’ that inspired ‘Green Eggs and Ham’
01.08.2015
08:04 am

Topics:
Art
Books

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Dr. Seuss


 
In terms of sales, Green Eggs and Ham, published in 1960, was the most successful book that Dr. Seuss ever published—it checks as the #4 best-selling children’s book of all time. Famously, the book was limited to a set of fifty words, Dr. Theodore Geisel (Seuss’ real name) having taken up a challenge thrown down by Random House publisher Bennett Cerf after The Cat in the Hat had used 225 words. The fifty words are: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, and you.
 

 
Recently the University of California has started a series of videos called “Fig. 1” intended to present the new research coming out of the University of California system. So far the videos have covered climate change, mountain biking, gold, and cancer.

One of the videos offers a fascinating look at the Dr. Seuss Collection, including drafts of the book Green Eggs and Ham. My favorite bit is the instruction to later colorists “White inside the hambone, always.” The video’s only shortcoming is that, at 84 seconds, it’s far too short! Can we have a version that lasts maybe 15 minutes? 
 

 
via BOOOOOOOM
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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‘Bumpkins’: Appalachian artist creates unflinching hillbilly portraits
01.08.2015
07:28 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
art
Appalachia
hillbillies


Hunter or Hipster, Male, 2012
 
Young artist Rebecca Morgan creates stirring, funny and often grotesque depictions of the “bumpkins” she grew up around in the Appalachian Mountain region of Pennsylvania. She sculpts, draws and paints with a wide range, and while her work may not always be flattering, her identification with and affection for her subjects is obvious, right down to her own bumpkiny self-portraits.

Her wealth of influences may account for such a meandering use of style:

[Morgan’s] characters touch on truths about poverty, addiction, and off-the-grid living, as well as idealizations of uncultured country life. Stylistically, Morgan embraces hyper-detailed naturalism, influenced by Dutch painters such as Memling, Brueghel, and Van Eyck, as well as absurd, repulsive caricature suggestive of underground cartoonists like R. Crumb.

Morgan now spends much of her time in New York City—she’s repped by the Asya Geisberg Gallery on 23rd Street. She says she feels the pull of the country when she’s in the metropolis, but misses the culture of the city when she’s back home—something I’d argue most rural transplants can relate to, to one degree or another. While I certainly sympathize, I couldn’t be more pleased to see another person playing the “hunter or hipster?” guessing game that proves so confounding these days, as portrayed in the portrait above.
 

 

Mountain Man, 2014
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Classic metal album covers get retro makeovers
01.07.2015
01:21 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Music

Tags:
album covers
metal

RUST IN PEACE
Megadeth, Rust In Peace
 
Brazilian designer Rafael Melandi is the Creative Director at the São Paulo agency Opera Communications, but this wonderful project of his has very little of the operatic to it, unless you count histrionic singing: he’s redesigned classic heavy metal LP covers in the high-modern style associated with mid-century jazz album art. Melandi’s created a portfolio of this work, called “Metazz,” on his Behance page, which shows that this is quite out of character in the context of his usual professional work. Clearly this was a labor of love. I definitely love it.
 
PARANOID
Black Sabbath, Paranoid
 
MASTER OF PUPPETS
Metallica, Master Of Puppets
 
AMONG THE LIVING
Anthrax, Among The Living
 
ARISE
Sepultura, Arise
 
ACE OF SPADES
Motörhead, Ace of Spades
 
REIGN IN BLOOD
Slayer, Reign In Blood
 
VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER
Pantera, Vulgar Display of Power
 
POWERSLAVE
Iron Maiden, Powerslave
 
BRITISH STEEL
Judas Priest, British Steel
 
via Metalsucks

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Metal albums with googly eyes
Iconic heavy metal album covers turned into coloring book for kids
A 7-year-old’s drawings of classic rap albums

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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They have Nick Cave skateboards now? I want one


 
I was not cut out for skating. I tried, but no dice. In the mid ‘80s I had a G&S Neil Blender deck, the graphic on which I still think was freakin’ awesome, a friend of mine had a half-pipe in his back yard, and I had a ton of friends to go street skating with (this in the era during which, contra the assertion on the bumper sticker, skateboarding often WAS a crime, at least in Ohio), but I never got terribly good at it, and when I watched a good pal take a spill and saw his badly broken ulna sticking out of his bleeding arm I was pretty much done. Ten years ago, that friend and I attempted a misguided relive-our-youth tour of skate parks in Oregon which, though it was a great time, resulted in an ankle injury I still haven’t recovered from. Yeah, I was not cut out for skating.

But if I wasn’t cut out for that scene—which, in my experience, was mostly just a way for dudebros in the hardcore scene to flex their jock impulses without crossing tribes into school-sanctioned team sports (another reason I was a bad fit)—where could Nick Cave have fit in? The music of a tall, lanky, heroin/goth figure like him was anathema to the adrenaline anthems skaters tended to favor (still another reason I was a bad fit). But though Cave was never even remotely associated with the skate scene I knew, that hasn’t stopped Australian company Fast Times from making a really gorgeous Nick Cave deck.

True legend of Australian music, Good friend and Customer Nick Cave has teamed up with us to produce an exciting and rad collection! After discussing lyrics and a theme, It was agreed Nature Boy best suited the Melbourne Skate Scene and vibe of Fast Times. The Lyrics are taken from ‘Nature Boy’ A track from’s Nick’s Abattoir Blues album which also features on the accompanying Fast Times Skate clip.

Once the mood was set Artist Chuck Sperry hailing from San Francisco worked with us to come up with a design, One of Chuck’s dames is seen tangled in her long golden locks wrapped in a psychedelic bed of flowers. The Boards feature a full wrap metallic graphic which feels and looks like an amazing piece of art.

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Black Flag producer SPOT’s photos of L.A.
01.06.2015
06:43 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Music
Punk

Tags:
photography
SST
SPOT


 
To the extent that he’s known at all, SPOT is known for his time as the in-house producer for SST records in the 1980’s. His were the hands on the board for unimpeachable classics like Meat Puppets II, What Makes a Man Start Fires?, Zen Arcade, Milo Goes to College, and the first four Black Flag albums. He eventually retired from producing (and really, not even he could have saved What The…) to focus on performing music.

But all that time, he had another, lesser-known talent as well—as a photographer. The new book Sounds of Two Eyes Opening collects SPOT’s photos of L.A., spanning from the surf/beach scene of the ‘60s to the punk/skate scene of the ‘80s, and he is (was?) a very fine shooter, with a solid eye for composition. From the publisher’s hype-sheet:

Spanning the late 1960s through the early 1980s, Sounds of Two Eyes Opening offers an amazing portrait of Southern California coastal life: surfing, bikinis, roller skating and skate boarding’s fledgling days are set in contrast to iconic shots of all the key denizens of hardcore punk rock as it is being invented; candid shots of Black Flag, The Germs, Minutemen abut those of everyday punks, fans, cops, clubs and now-shuttered rehearsal spaces.

 

 

 
Some editions of the book come with an Ed Templeton-designed picture 7” featuring SPOT’s song “Too Wise to Crack.” I scoured the web in vain for a streamable version to play for you, but I turned up squat. I quite like it though, it’s a loose, free, and economical piece of music with spoken vocals that recalls moments from Funambulist, Worldbroken-era Saccharine Trust, or Keith Morris’ Midget Handjob project—and what an idiot I was to search for videos of that band.

Sinecure Books were kind enough to share these images from Sounds of Two Eyes Opening. Enjoy.
 

 

 

 

 
Fun on wheels after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Artist creates dentures of David Bowie’s old teeth
01.05.2015
12:48 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Music

Tags:
David Bowie
teeth


 
Well someone had to do it, right? Painter and sculptor Jessine Hein has created dentures of David Bowie’s old teeth because why not? They’re made of denture acrylics, plaster and acrylic paint.

Personally, I liked Bowie’s natural, crooked teeth vs. the porcelain, Chicklet-esque veneers he has now. They gave him character, IMO. Once he got his teeth fixed, he started showing up on shows like Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee. I blamed the veneers then and I still hold them responsible!

So far the denture sculpture is not for sale, but you never know…


 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Cartoonist draws her stay in LA county jail with only a golf pencil
01.05.2015
06:41 am

Topics:
Art
Crime

Tags:
prison


 
When cartoonist Elana Pritchard violated a court order, she was sentenced to two months in the Los Angeles County prison system—hardly a well-spring of inspiration for most artists. Pritchard’s mentor however, is famed cartoonist and animator Ralph Bakshi, perhaps best known for his brilliant feature-length cartoon Fritz the Cat, the first animated film to receive an X-rating from the MPAA. Bakshi encouraged Pritchard to chronicle her time behind bars, and what she produced using only a golf pencil and whatever paper she could scrounge up is a gorgeous comic memoir.

Stylistically, you can see Bakshi’s witty influence in her work, but there are notes of R. Crumb’s exasperated humanity and Jon Kricfalusi‘s wild sense of movement and form as well. The filth, the scarcity and the brutally, nonsensically regimented life of a prisoner is all drawn out with humor and pathos. While Pritchard portrays most of her fellow inmates with vigor, character and charm, she draws herself as a literal hapless baby, barely able to function. As you might expect, authority figures aren’t quite so flatteringly depicted.

To read more about Pritchard’s prison time, check out her essay at LA Weekly, where she talks about the dreaded “squat and cough,” being shuffled around without explanation, trying to keep clean when laundry, hot water, toilet paper and maxi pads were never in abundance and even a harrowing encounter with some male inmates attempting to trade tits for meth. I wonder what the MPAA would think of that.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Postcards of D.C. punk rockers and their cars circa 1994
01.02.2015
08:29 am

Topics:
Art
Music
Punk

Tags:
cars
Washington D.C.
Cynthia Connolly

Post Card Cover
 
I was just home for the holidays at a New Year’s Eve get together when an old friend showed me these neat post card sets of D.C. musicians with their cars that he got as a gift earlier in the day. I think they’re completely out of print, and the mutual friend that gave them must have bought them years ago, but I thought they were worth sharing nonetheless. 

Made by Cynthia Connolly, D.C. punk veteran, longtime Dischord Records employee and co-creator of 1988’s Banned in DC , a photographic history of the early DC punk scene, the postcards capture the rides of choice for D.C. luminaries Ted Leo, Jenny Toomey, Ian MacKaye and Allison Wolfe among many others.

From Cynthia Connolly’s website:

“Musicians from DC and their Cars” (or later renamed “favorite mode of transport”) was first created for the Chicago based and nationally distributed ‘zine, “Speed Kills” in about 1994. I wanted to contribute to my favorite ‘zine at the time, called Speed Kills, of which its’ topics usually covered indie and punk music and old cars. I owned a 1963 Ford Falcon, and at the time, my musician friends were all buying old cars. I then decided to create a photographic body of work that included the obvious: musicians from DC who owned old cars. I showed the original exhibit of about 13 images in Sidney, Australia in December 1995 and also at the Washington Project for the Arts in 1996. When I exhibited my show in Sidney, I created a small postcard packet of Silver Gelatin photographs in a set made to be used as postcards. I liked the idea so much, that when I returned from Austrailia, I worked with a printer in North Carolina, using non bleached recycled paper, and newly introduced soy ink, to create ecologically sound postcards in an edition of 1500. As the tour with Pat continued, I created in all, four sets with seven images each, all of which sold out.

You can take a look at the whole collection here.

The captions below are Connolly’s.
 
TED LEO
Ted Leo of The Sin-Eaters with his 1965 Chevy Nova
 
Kathi Wilcox
Kathi Wilcox of Bikini Kill w/ her 1965 Plymouth Valiant, WDC
 
GUY Fugazi
Guy Picciotto of Fugazi w/ his 1976 Chrysler Cordoba
 
More rockers and their wheels after the jump…

Posted by Jason Schafer | Discussion
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Robyn Hitchcock remembers Brian Eno’s 1967 art school ‘happenings’
12.30.2014
07:10 am

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Art
Music

Tags:
Brian Eno
Robyn Hitchcock


 
Robyn Hitchcock is one of my tutelary divinities, so when his name turned up unexpectedly in the Brian Eno biography On Some Faraway Beach, I sat up straight in my subway seat and muttered a few devotional phrases about tomatoes and shellfish, both sacred to Bhagavan Robyn; the other passengers kindly ignored me. I never would have dreamed that these avant-rock colossi had crossed paths. However, in June 1967, when Eno was a nineteen-year-old student at the Winchester School of Art and Hitchcock a fourteen-year-old schoolboy at nearby Winchester College, Hitchcock attended two of Eno’s “happenings.” Hitchcock’s reminiscences of Eno’s Summer of Love events—quoted in full in the biography, transcribed below for your pleasure—are funny and fascinating, and the second story is surprisingly touching.

Eno staged a music event in a 14th-century flint-walled cellar – essentially a dungeon with electricity. He had unscrewed the college’s 60-watt light bulb and inserted his own blue bulb. A reel-to-reel tape recorder stood on a bare table beneath the light, playing Dylan’s “Ballad of Hollis Brown” backwards, while somebody I didn’t recognize was bowing a one-string violin. A microphone ran from the tape machine into the audience, where it was draped enticingly over the chair in front of me. About fifteen boys, chaperoned by one of the younger hipper teachers, came in and sat in the chairs. Eno lit a stick of incense, started the tape machine and nodded to the violinist. After a while I tapped the mike in front of me. It didn’t seem to be switched on. I sang along with backwards Bob Dylan, but that didn’t come out either. Eventually the music finished. I can’t remember if we clapped or not.

“Any questions?” said Eno.

“Er, would you call this kind of thing music, as such?” asked the teacher. Eno explained why it was naive to even ask that question. He had the serene, knowing aura that hipsters of that period had. Everything was a facet of everything else, glittering in his blue lenses.

“What was that microphone for, Mr. Eno?” I asked, in my barely broken voice.

“So you could participate, man,” replied Eno, glittering my way.

“Er, it wasn’t switched on,” I croaked.

“Next question?” called BE to the audience. I was still buzzing from having actually asked the blue-lensed man a question in public.

The following week, Hitchcock attended a second Eno happening. This one, which took place in the Winchester water-meadows, involved inflating balloons with helium, attaching notes to them and releasing them into the sky. Hitchcock (with a comment in brackets from Eno biographer David Sheppard):

The sun shone and the clouds were few – Sgt. Pepper was released the same week. BE’s glasses marked him out among the cylinders and balloons. Like fairground barkers, BE and his roadies (who included the legendary anti-philosopher Galen Strawson [today professor of Philosophy at Reading University], who was then fifteen going on 1,000) were handing out cardboard labels as they filled the eager balloons.

“What’s that for, man?” I asked.

“So you can write a message on it, man.” BE was patient – one day I would get it. My grandmother had died two weeks earlier and school regulations had kept me from going to pay my last respects to her. She was an open-minded woman – earlier that year, when she was still well enough to travel, I had bombarded her with Bob Dylan. She tapped her knee and murmured “I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul” after Dylan sang that line. So I wrote:

“Dear Granny, sorry I couldn’t come to your funeral – love, Robyn.”

“That’s beautiful, man,” said one of Eno’s assistants. He tied the label to a balloon and I wandered off into the meadows to release it. I’ve always been grateful to BE for giving me this opportunity.

 

“Water meadows curling ‘round the hill…”

Posted by Oliver Hall | Discussion
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Rarely seen Super 8 footage from inside the apartment of Henry Darger
12.29.2014
05:34 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
outsider art
Henry Darger

Darger Image
 
The author of The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion spent his now legendarily reclusive life creating weird, mesmerizing, radiant, obsessive and sometimes disturbing works of art and storytelling. His life and creative talent were wonderfully explored in 2004’s In the Realms of the Unreal directed by Jessica Yu. Darger was also the subject of a more recent 2013 biography called Henry Darger, Throw-Away Boy: The Tragic Life of an Outsider Artist written by Jim Elledge.

During his difficult life, Darger spent most of his time at a janitorial job during the day and creating his art, which included over 30,000 manuscript pages in mixed media and collage often depicting strange, violent landscapes inhabited by imaginary creatures and young girls, in his almost entirely solitary spare time. The world was not aware of his singular life’s work until he moved into a nursing home in 1973 and his landlord, photographer Nathan Lerner, uncovered the treasure trove.

Perhaps because he obviously spent so much time there, interest in Darger’s modest Chicago living space has been inevitable among fans of his work.
 
Darger Table
Darger’s Table.  Photo by Michael Boruch.
 
Darger Apartment North Wall
The North Wall of Henry Darger’s Room.  Photo by Michael Boruch.
 
In 2008, Chicago’s Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art opened a permanent exhibit focusing on the contents of Darger’s living and working space.  From the Intuit website:

In spring 2000, Intuit took possession of the contents of artist Henry Darger’s living and working space, which was located at 851 Webster Street in Chicago. Intuit’s Henry Darger Room Collection includes tracings, clippings from newspapers, magazines, comic books, cartoons, children’s books, coloring books, personal documents, and architectural elements, fixtures, and furnishings from Darger’s original room. Darger lived in a one-room apartment in Chicago’s Lincoln Park until 1973 when he retired to a nursing facility.

In his small room—which doubled as his studio and home for close to 40 years—he worked on a large number of painted and collaged drawings that illustrated the story of the Vivian Girls, created volumes of writings, and collected hundreds of objects (shoes, eyeglasses, balls of string, etc.). The contrast between the intimate scale of the room and the staggering volume of drawings, illustrations, writings, and collections, conveys vital information about Darger’s existence and the work he created.

Opened in 2008, the goal of this permanent exhibit is to create an environment that provides a window onto Darger’s world. The installation will symbolize the stark contrasts that are so vividly portrayed in Darger’s vast and complex oeuvre. Experiencing Darger’s personal environment through the installation will provide an important link to the man who struggled relentlessly throughout his life to give expression to the polarized spectrum of humanity. The archive and material represents a vital resource and the installation will enhance the understanding and appreciation of the art of Henry Darger by providing artists, scholars, and the public access to a unique and innovative archive of study materials.

 
Intuit Darger Room
From the Henry Darger Room Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art webpage. Photo by John Faier.
 
The second image on Intuit’s Henry Darger Room webpage is interactive. You can mouse around the room and zoom in on specific pieces. 

For another perspective on Darger’s living space, take a look at the silent super-8 film below shot by Coleen Fitzgibbon with assistance from Michael Thompson in the late spring of 1973 shortly after Darger’s work was discovered. The footage was meant to be archival documentation of the spare accommodations that housed Darger and his huge collection of artworks, books, collage materials and art supplies. The footage is itself dark and strange and gives an additional glimpse into the mind and world of the now celebrated artist. 
 

Posted by Jason Schafer | Discussion
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