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The (almost) unknown art of Miles Davis
06:32 am


Miles Davis

Although his art would adorn one of his record releases from time to time, Miles Davis didn’t begin to draw and paint in earnest until he was in his mid-fifties, during the early 1980s and a period of musical inactivity. Miles being Miles, he didn’t merely dabble, but made creating art as much a part of his life as making music in his final decade. He was said to have worked obsessively each day on art when he wasn’t touring and he studied regularly with New York painter Jo Gelbard.

His style was a sharp, bold and masculine mixture of Kandinsky, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Picasso and African tribal art. I also find his work puts me in mind of the output of painter Phil Frost.

Davis’ paintings weren’t exhibited much during his lifetime, but since his death in 1991, his estate has mounted several traveling gallery and museum shows. Quincy Jones is known to own a number of Miles’ canvases.  In 2013, Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork was published.


“I’ve been painting and sketching all my life. Also, for my tailor I used to draw my suits, ‘cause he couldn’t speak English.”



“It’s like therapy for me, and keeps my mind occupied with something positive when I’m not playing music.”




More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Robin Williams immortalized in street art
03:25 pm


Robin Williams

A nice Robin Williams tribute spotted in Belgrade, Serbia. The artist at this time is unknown. If you know who did this I will update the post.

Apparently Williams was in early stages of Parkinson’s disease according to his widow’s statement.


Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Time to give prog rock’s artist-in-residence Roger Dean his due
02:03 pm


Roger Dean

Yes, Relayer, 1974
The art of Roger Dean is synonymous with prog rock, and for very good reason. Dean’s dreamy scapes and ethereal use of line and color are such an integral part of the genre, a Yes album cover has just as much cultural resonance as the music itself (and has arguably inspired many imitators). Born to an engineer father in the British Army and a mother who studied fashion design, Dean was primed from an early age not just towards aesthetics, but with a regard for space and balance of form. A childhood spent primarily abroad in Greece, Cyprus and Hong Kong may have cemented his love of the exotic vista.

Now, any ole’ blog could give you a listicle of awesome Yes album covers (and awesome they are), but we here at Dangerous Minds feel the lesser-known creations of Dean are just as fascinating. In art school, he actually studied industrial design, focusing on silver-smithing and furniture design—perhaps predicting his penchant for combining modern and ancient visuals. His professional career began with the sea urchin chair—a sort of bean bag chair with a brain that conformed to the sitter’s body (the way bean bag chars are actually supposed to, but never do).

Dean also designed the “retreat pod” featured in A Clockwork Orange and the distinctive seating for Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in 1968. That same year, he did his first album cover for a band called Gun, a promising piece that hints at his developing style. His first album cover for Yes was Fragile in 1971 and Dean designed the now-classic Yes “bubble” logo, which first appeared on the Close to the Edge cover. His name and reputation has been closely associated with Yes—and prog rock in general—ever since. Dean’s work has still remained diverse in genre however. He even specced out a green “Home for Life” living space that might as well be from one of his paintings.

The man himself is famous for saying, “I don’t really think of myself as a fantasy artist but as a landscape painter,” and it’s the principles of landscape drafting that make his work so fascinating. His anthology, Views is a fantastic collection of his work, and a beautiful study of a seminal artist.

Sea Urchin chair designed by Roger Dean, first produced in 1964

A Telegraph spread on Dean’s “retreat pod” chair, which was featured in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange

Gun, Gun (1968), Dean’s first album cover

“Earth and Fire, Earth and Fire” (1970), very reminiscent of the windows in Dean’s later architecture

The original Virgin Records logo (also known as the “Gemini” or “Virgin Twins” logo) from 1972. A variation on this logo was used for the Virgin spin-off label Caroline Records.

Roger Dean’s “Green Castle,” early 70’s

“Freyja’s Castle,”  finished on daughter Freyja’s first birthday, 1987

Model of Dean’s “Home for Life”

Interior view of Dean’s “Home for Life”

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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HyperLip: Plastic prosthesis lips to give you that totally batshit crazy look!
08:19 am



For some (obvious) reason the late Aussie fashionplate Leigh Bowery comes to mind when I see these images of people wearing French designer Sascha Nordmeyer‘s HyperLips.

According to Los Angeles-based Artecnica—who plan to put these grotesque puppies into mass production—“Conceived for people who are just looking for a bit of fun, the prosthesis is a rigid food-safe apparatus that forces a facial expression onto its wearer.”

Living in Los Angeles and with all the plastic surgery disasters I’m exposed to on a daily basis, I’ve seen plenty of people who look exactly like this without wearing anything.




Below, Conrad Veidt, playing a man whose mouth was mutilated into a hideous fixed grin, is unveiled at a freak show in this scene from 1928’s The Man Who Laughs

via DeZeen and Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Marvel at these abandoned houses and cakes made of LEGO
07:40 am


Mike Doyle

These amazing abandoned houses are the work of artist Mike Doyle.

Each building can reach up to six feet in height, use up to 130,000 LEGO bricks and take approximately 600 hours to produce. And while you may think it—there are no foreign objects of either wood, glue, paint or otherwise in these constructions. Incredible.
If you think that’s impressive, have a look at Mr. Doyle’s latest work that is almost good enough to eat.
See more of Mike Doyle’s work here.
Via Imgur & Nerdcore

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Humans shellacked in junk food for monstrously sloppy portrait series
05:37 am


James Ostrer
junk food

James Ostrer’s “Wotsit All About” makes use of junk food in the most revolting of ways (even worse than actually eating it!) Models are adorned in hamburgers, cheese puffs, whipped cream and all manner of processed goodies, creating a sort of anthropological fashion spread of the crap we consume. There are full-body photographs of his tribesman, but it’s the faces that stand out, reminiscent of religious or ceremonial masks belonging to some long lost sugar clan.

Ostrer avoids what could have very well been a preachy lesson in healthy eating and instead approaches the modern world’s victual vices with a bit of humor. Like many of us, he dreams of a day when junk food is deemed subversive, saying, “Eventually I could see refined sugar being viewed in the same way as smoking is. The only difference is no one in fashion or film ever regarded being fat as cool.”

Some images may be NSFW, if your work holds an objection to breasts, which may or may not be unadorned in meringue.





More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Artist wears chicken flesh gimp suit
08:58 am


chicken suit

Because art. London-based artist Lewis Burton dressed-up in a handmade raw chicken skin suit—very Buffalo Bill-esque, ain’t it?—and walked around (or shall I say “posed around” or perhaps “freely ranged around”?) tourists on Trafalgar Square.

The documented results are then used to create viral material, stimulating the social sphere and allowing it to redefine itself by acting as a platform for dialogue as well as a source of contemporary consumer culture.

~ snip

The artist wanted to start a conversation about commodification with the chicken being an object which inhabits almost every walk of life, often grown in cages as a commodity. They have become a part of the fabric of everyday life.

There might be other ways to accomplish this, but I admire his… whatever it is. I just hope he has no open cuts or sores that might contract salmonella bacterium. Apparently, he also did this on a very hot day. Oh gawds.



via In Spring City and Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Joseph Beuys’ widow not amused by ‘Fat Corner’ schnapps stunt
07:52 am


Joseph Beuys

Noted German Fluxus and “happening” artist Joseph Beuys focused on two substances above all in his art: felt and fat. His use of the two materials purportedly stem from an incident Beuys experienced during World War II. In 1944, as a pilot of a Nazi “Stuka” dive-bomber, Beuys was shot down on the Crimean Front. According to Beuys, he was saved when a group of nomadic Tatar tribesmen wrapped his body in animal fat and felt and nursed him back to health: “....the tail flipped over and I was completely buried in the snow. That’s how the Tartars found me days later. I remember voices saying ‘Voda’ (Water), then the felt of their tents, and the dense pungent smell of cheese, fat and milk. They covered my body in fat to help it regenerate warmth, and wrapped it in felt as an insulator to keep warmth in.” This account has never been corroborated; contemporaneous reports insist that Beuys was found by a German search commando and that there were no Tatars in the village at that time.

Still, for Beuys this tale served as an originating myth, and in his many “Aktionen” (actions, happenings) he would use the two materials again and again. One of his most famous works is his Filzanzug (Felt Suit, 1970); he often wore a felt suit and a felt hat in everyday life. According to the Tate Gallery in London, “Beuys used triangles of fat in both his sculptures and ‘actions’. From around 1963, he would use wedges of fat or felt to mark the boundaries of a space when performing an ‘action.’”

His best-known fat-based artwork is called Fettecke (Fat Corner, various years). According to Antidiets of the Avant-garde by Cecilia Novero,

Beuys “melted” or cooked butter (or margarine) and worked with it in its multiple states, from hard to soft to liquid. When warm, fat expands and moves; when cold or frozen, it becomes hard, heavy, and non-malleable. Energy is not only necessary to transform fat but also is the force that the artist uses to sculpt it. As Beuys reported of two of his most famous fat objects of the sixties, Fat Corner (Fettecke, 1960) and Fat Chair (Fettstuhl, 1964), fat in the former has hardened in the form of a quadrilateral, where fat on the chair “is not as geometrical as the fat corner, rather is preserves some chaotic character.” For its malleability fat becomes the material that best expressed the ideas of transformation from chaos to form, and vice versa, ideas that for Beuys exemplify processes of life, especially human social activity. Human action can be organized according to the state of matter, that is, of fat.

As part of the Düsseldorf Quadriennale and the Museum Kunstpalast’s current show “Art and Alchemy,”  Markus Löffler, professor of art in Bremen, and two artists named Andree Korpys and Dieter Schmal took up the challenge of creating booze out of the Fettecke: they “used a four pound chunk of the over 30-year-old sculpture and a dusting of blue pigment from an Yves Klein edition to distill a 160 proof alcohol, which was then cut down to around four liters of 100 proof schnapps.” According to Löffler, “The taste is reminiscent of Parmesan. ... It stays with you for a long time afterwards.”

Remnants of Beuys’ Fettecke
According to artnet, visitors to the museum were also offered a drop or two of the liquor. After so many years, the fat had certainly turned rancid, a fact that did not bother the artists responsible for the Fettecke schnapps. “You can make liquor out of anything,” Loeffler said. Apparently, the three artists have already distilled (and presumably consumed) liquor made from books and a bust by Dieter Roth.

The creation of the schnapps, which seems perfectly in keeping with Beuys’ own sensibility, did not delight Beuys’ widow and daughter, Eva and Jessica Beuys:

[Eva Beuys] called the performance “crap and stupid,” speaking to Germany’s Bild on Wednesday. She claimed that her late husband’s rights have been violated by the destructive act, and said that after hearing the news, she had gotten “red cheeks out of anger.” Eva Beuys said that the museum failed to inform her or her daughter Jessica about the performance, which she went on to call an act of slander against her husband.

Though she refused to comment on the performance itself and said she won’t sue the institution or the “stupid and crudely unfeeling” artists who initiated the performance, the widow had some choice words for Stüttgen. She claims that after rescuing the now-destroyed portion of Fettecke, Stüttgen made her sign a document confirming the work’s authenticity and subsequently showed it in exhibitions. “Now,” she tells Bild, “He has made a farce of the work and a farce of my husband who can no longer defend himself.”


Eva Beuys

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Get your luxurious goth on with the skeleton sculptures of Rome
06:34 am



Sant’Agostino, memorial to Cardinal Giuseppe Ranato Imperiali, by Paolo Posi (design) and Pietro Bracci (statuary), 1741
There’s a romance to Catholicism that I envied growing up—services attended with Protestant grandparents provided none of the splashy aesthetics Catholicism is so famous for. We certainly weren’t graced with sculptures of super-vigorous skeletons—specifically, skeletons that aren’t letting their lack of skin and organs prevent them from leading active, productive afterlives. Skeletons with joie de décès, if you will.

These Roman skeleton sculptures (documented by Catholic death ritual hobbyist, Elizabeth Harper) exhibit an expressiveness not expected from bones of stone. Harper’s subjects hoist the doors to their own tombs, brandish banners and portraits, and even genuflect before the dead. Congregants are reminded of their own mortality, but the morbid stigma of the skeleton is eclipsed by the dynamic, lush beauty of the sculptures.

Gesù e Maria, memorial to Camillo del Corno by Domenico Guidi, 1682

San Francesco d’Assisi a Ripa Grande, memorial to Maria Camilla and Giovanni Battista Rospigliosi, skeleton by Michele Garofolino, 1713

San Pietro in Montorio: Detail of the relief carved on the tomb of Girolamo Raimondi by Niccolo Sale, chapel designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1640

San Pietro in Vincoli, memorial to Cardinal Cinzio Aldobrandini by Carlo Bizzaccheri, died 1610

San Pietro in Vincoli, memorial to Cardinal Mariano Pietro Vecchiarelli, died 1639

Sant’Eustachio, memorial to Silvio Cavallieri, 1717

Santa Maria del Popolo, tomb of Giovanni Battista Gisleni, made for himself prior to his death in 1672

Santa Maria del Popolo, tomb of Princess Maria Eleonora Boncompagni Ludovisi, died 1745

Detail of the façade of Santa Maria dell’Orazione e Morte, designed by Ferdinando Fuga, 1738. The inscription on the scroll reads, “Today me, tomorrow you.”

Façade of Santa Maria dell’Orazione e Morte, designed by Ferdinando Fuga, 1738

Santa Maria sopra Minerva, memorial to Carlo Emanuele Vizzani, by Domenico Guidi, 1661
Via Atlas Obscura

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Disobedient Objects: How to make a tear gas mask & a bucket pamphlet bomb
09:28 am


Disobedient Objects

If you’re in the UK or planning to head over to London this year, then it might be worth a visit to the city’s esteemed Victoria and Albert Museum where there is an exhibition of Disobedient Objects charting the history of protest through the “objects of art and design from activist social movement over the last 30 years.”

From Suffragette teapots to protest robots, this exhibition will be the first to examine the powerful role of objects in movements for social change. It will demonstrate how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity and collective creativity that defy standard definitions of art and design.

Disobedient objects are often everyday items that have been turned to a new purpose. But social change is about making as much as breaking. Sometimes designing a new object creates a new way to disobey.

The exhibition covers anti-globalization demonstrations, the Occupy movement, plus a wide array materials from Unions, activists and protestors down the year. Amongst the items on display are a robot that paints graffiti, union strike banners, placards, fake money and Occupy George stamps.

The V&A have also made available activist posters with instructions on how to make improvised tear gas masks and bucket pamphlet bombs.

How to Guide – Makeshift Tear-Gas Mask
Handmade gas masks were an essential response to police actions during the 2013 mass protests in Istanbul. These events saw the Turkish government release a record amount of tear gas to disperse demonstrators. Protesters devised a way to protect themselves with basic materials like plastic bottles, elastic, and strips of insulation foam.

Since 2013, the idea spread and handmade gas masks have appeared on protestors as far away as Caracas, Venezuela.


How to Guide – Bucket Pamphlet Bomb
This bucket-type leaflet bomb used by the London Recruits, a group of mostly young non-South Africans working voluntarily for the African National Congress (ANC) and South African Communist Party (SACP). With these devices, the London Recruits distributed censored information in South African cities from 1969 onwards. The leaflet bombs harmed no one, but distributed hundreds of leaflets high into the air.

This how-to is based on sketch by Ken Keable, one of the Recruits, and is based on the research in his book The London Recruits. These devices were developed by ANC exiles in Britain, who tested prototypes in Bristol, the Somerset countryside, on Hampstead Heath and in Richmond Park.

Download your “how to” leaflets here.

Disobedient Objects runs from 26 July until February 1st, 2015, details here.
See more Disobedient Objects, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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