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Creepy horror Valentine cards for your best ghoul
02.10.2017
09:54 am

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Amusing
Art

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Here’s some last minute Valentine shopping suggestions for you spooky folk out there, hand-selected for your best ghoul or boo-friend.

All of these creepy cards are available through Etsy. Links are provided below the photos.
 

Lobsterboy “I love you this much” Valentine. $3.92 via Etsy.
 

“The serial killer sweethearts collection.” $12 for set of 5, via Etsy.

 

Horror icon cards. Set of three for $5, via Etsy.
 

Chucky and his bride Valentine card. $3.87, via Etsy.
 

More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
The Andy Warhol episode of ‘The Love Boat’
02.10.2017
09:14 am

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Art
Superstar
Television

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Jack Jones sang the theme song to The Love Boat from 1977 until 1985. Love was life’s sweetest reward; all was right with the world. But before the show’s ninth, terminal season, while the crew of the Pacific Princess was making ready for her 200th seafaring voyage, a hole opened in history. Bonzo went to Bitburg, police beat new age travellers and their infant children at Stonehenge, and after adulterating the national beverage, Bill Cosby called the result “a new explosion of wonderfulness in your mouth.” Sensing that some catastrophe had rent the very fabric of reality, Dionne Warwick seized the mike from Jack Jones and bellowed his signature song into the yawning mouth of Hell. I like to imagine that when they recorded this version of “Love Boat Theme,” Warwick was standing in a doorway during an earthquake, astride a widening abyss in the studio floor, after spending a few months listening to Diamanda Galás records.

So apocalypse and mutiny hung in the air when Andy Warhol joined the lovely Love Boat Mermaids aboard the Pacific Princess in October ‘85. From the Paley Center synopsis of the episode, “Hidden Treasure / Picture from the Past / Ace’s Salary”:

An all-star cast, including Andy Warhol, Andy Griffith, and Milton Berle, helps the crew celebrate the ship’s two-hundredth voyage. In “Picture from the Past,” Warhol, as himself, offers to select a passenger as the subject of his next portrait. Marion Ross plays a former Warhol superstar who fears the artist will recognize her and reveal her secret past to her disapproving, conservative husband, played by Tom Bosley.

According to Victor Bockris’ biography, Warhol was enjoying the benefits of a new health regimen in which chiropractors, shiatsu, a dermatologist, raw garlic, crystals, and an internist all figured. The health kick complemented a new look Andy showed off on The Love Boat. Photographer Christopher Makos:

He wore black Levi 501s or Verri Uomo, a black Brooks Brothers turtleneck sweater, an L. L. Bean red down vest, a black leather car coat by Stephen Sprouse, white or black Reeboks, a big crystal around his neck and big black-framed glasses, and his hair was huge, jutting out wildly. He was like a cross between Stephen Sprouse and Tina Turner. Andy’s look always made a statement, and it was usually about not looking perfect. His last look was as chic as ever, although the overall effect had a lot to do with his general aura: it was as though he’d accomplished everything imaginable in his lifetime.

Not that Andy was always as enamored of celebrity and showbiz as he seemed. Bockris:

After The Love Boat episode was aired, he complained to a friend that people in Hollywood were “idiots.” They didn’t buy art, he said. They stank.

More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
The Nihilist Spasm Band invented noise rock in 1965
02.10.2017
09:07 am

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Art
Music

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Back when most kids their age were in the throes of Beatlemania, an octet of Canadian art-nerds calling themselves The Nihilist Spasm Band rewired the whole notion of popular music for their own twisted ends and created one of the most alarming cacophonies imaginable, especially when you consider they formed in a musical landscape dominated by Elvis, the Beach Boys, and Herman’s Hermits.
 

 
There were a couple of unique elements at work with Nihilist Spasm. For one, all of their music was improvised. Aside from vocals, everything they recorded was a first (and last) take, and every live performance is spontaneous. No piece has ever been played twice, at least not in the same way. Secondly, they created their own instruments, or at least modified standard instruments until they were thoroughly unrecognizable. Perhaps their most infamous re-invention is the electric kazoo. Retrofitted with hearing-aid mics stuffed inside its tinny shell, the tuneless bleating of this unholy creation is one of the band’s greatest gifts to humanity.

Their first widely-released album, 1968’s No Record, is a wild, ear-searing wall of chaotic fuck-noise that seems impossible given its time frame (Harry Partch meets The Boredoms was a pretty original concept for the era, you must admit). Naturally, it became a murky underground cult favorite quietly influencing 80’s noiseniks like Sonic Youth, Einstürzende Neubauten, and KK Null. In fact, they were (and still are) huge in Japan. Well, relatively. They call them the “Rolling Stones of noise” there, at least. In 2000, there was even a documentary released about the band. I mean they’re still completely and hopelessly obscure, sure, but they had a few pops of fame here and there.
 

 
And here’s the really crazy thing: they’re still together. Fifty years on and the band still tours with an almost all-original line-up (two members of the founding group, Hugh McIntyre and Greg Curnoe, passed away in 2004 and 1992 respectively), and still play blindingly loud on crazy modified scream machines made to confuse and terrify in equal fistfuls. They’ve opened for Sonic Youth and jammed with REM and if the recent announcement of their upcoming Sonic Protest Tour is any indication, their reign of chaotic improvised terror isn’t over yet. Not bad for a group of 70-something Canadians who still haven’t learned how to tune a guitar in 50 years.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Funny and revealing pictures of the Playboy Mansion
02.09.2017
01:41 pm

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Art
Sex

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Of all the places on earth that I know to be real, the Playboy Mansion is the one that in my mind, probably features as fictional. Sure, there’s a Playboy Mansion but—it has an actual address? Someone pays the heating bill? People actually go there? One thing I discovered while researching this post is that Google Maps will not give a result for the search input “Playboy Mansion”—but of course, they do have it.

Yes, the Playboy Mansion does exist, tucked between Westwood and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. Playboy bought the 21,987-square-foot house in 1971, and the house features a wine cellar with a secret door dating from Prohibition, a screening room with a built-in pipe organ, a game room, three zoo/aviary buildings, facilities for tennis and basketball, a waterfall, and a swimming pool area, which has a patio and barbecue area, a grotto, a basement gym with a sauna below the bathhouse. The grounds include a large koi pond with an artificial stream, a small citrus orchard, and two forests.

Clearly, they chose well…..

2016 was a pivotal year in the history of the legendary empire built on masturbation, what with Playboy ceasing publication of nudes as well as announcing the sale of the Mansion for $100 million. In effect we can say that the “Playboy era” may have definitively come to a close, all the more bizarre that this would happen the same year that Donald Trump would secure the White House.

Shortly before the sale of the house, Hugh Hefner gave well-respected photographer Jeff Minton permission to photograph the house and the property exhaustively, and Minton took full advantage, taking nearly 6,000 photographs. Minton believes that Hefner became interested in hiring Minton based on Minton’s picture of a monkey that had appeared in New York magazine, and suitably enough, Minton commenced his photographic tour of the Mansion with “Hugh’s monkeys” and went from there.

Minton’s goal is to generate “the most comprehensive look at the mansion ever, down to the smallest details.” Minton’s strategy was to stay away from what might be called “explicit” material in favor of odd glimpses of forgotten corners that prompt speculation about who chose to place that particular object in that setting or what was happening just outside the frame.

For those who have never been to the Playboy Mansion, Minton’s photographs provide a fascinating insight into the creation of what is arguably the most hedonistic estate on earth.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
African gods and goddesses drawn as ass-kicking Jack Kirby-style superheroes
02.08.2017
01:19 pm

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Art
Belief
Heroes

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Oxóssi, a spirit associated with the hunt, forests, animals, and wealth
 
You don’t have to be anthropologist Clifford Geertz to make the connection that the superheroes developed in comic books in the middle of the last century function something like a new American mythology. The Greeks had Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, and Aphrodite; the Romans had Mars, Minerva, Janus, and Juno; and the Norse had Thor, Odin, Loki, and Frigg. In America we have Iron Man, Spider-Man, Flash Gordon, and the Silver Surfer (oh, and Thor too, right). Unlike Zeus and Minerva, our mythological heroes are currently drawing millions of people to multiplexes the world over, for whatever that’s worth. Mythology is breaking box office records!

A artist named Hugo Canuto has recently looked to his own African-influenced culture in Brazil to make a similar connection for figures from African mythology, depicting them as ass-kicking superheroes drawn in the style of the legendary Jack Kirby. Many deities of modern-day Afro-Brazilian religions find their roots in the mythologies of Nigeria and Benin, and these covers reflect that, using specifically local, that is to say Portuguese, spellings of the names.

For instance, the water deity Yemo̩ja is rendered here as Yemanjá, as she is known in Brazilian culture. Oshunmare, god of the rainbow, here pops up as Oxumaré. And Oya, a major Orisha governing death and rebirth, can be found here as Iansã, for that is what she is called on the western side of the Atlantic Ocean.
 

Avengers No. 4 (1963)
 
Last year Canuto reworked an iconic early cover of The Avengers to showcase the major Orishas, called Orixas in Portuguese, which are key elemental spirits of the Yoruba religion. So “The Orixas” is the umbrella category, like “The Avengers,” that houses all of the mythological figures that followed.

Interestingly, in the early 1990s, DC Comics had a line based on Yoruba mythology, called Orishas—it was also known as “Gods of Africa” and featured characters such as Eshu, Ogun, Erinle, and Oshunmare. Anybody out there a fan of that series? I don’t remember it.

You can purchase prints of Canuto’s covers on Facebook.
 

The Orixas
 

Yemanjá, major water deity, mother of all 14 Yoruba gods and goddesses
 
Much more after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Two Star Movies, Five Star Posters: The B-movie artwork of Albert Kallis
02.08.2017
11:47 am

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Art
Movies

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‘The Beast with a Million Eyes’ (1955).
 
Albert Kallis was working as a graphic artist with Saul Bass when the twentysomething B-movie director Roger Corman met him at a poster exhibition sometime during the mid-1950s. Corman liked the high-end artwork Kallis was putting out for the big Hollywood studios like Paramount and 20th Century-Fox. He wanted to know what it would take to have Kallis come and work for him? Kallis said he’d be only interested if after any “general conversations about the approach to the picture” all decisions on the poster’s artwork and style was left entirely up to him. Corman agreed. And that’s how he bagged the talents of one of the greatest movie poster artists of the 1950s and 1960s.

Corman made B-movies. Exploitation. Cheap thrills. Schlock horror. He knew he could make a ton of money if only he could get the teenagers to come and see his films. This was the time of the drive-in when movies came into town for a week and then were gone. When the film houses would only take on a movie if they could guarantee a hefty profit. What Corman needed was someone to sell his pictures with a poster that made the audience say “I gotta see that!” Kallis fully understood this. He produced artwork that made even the trashiest z-list feature look like it was the Citizen Kane of cheap thrills.

Kallis spent some seventeen years working as art director for Corman and then at American International Pictures—-going on to share responsibility (with Milt Moritz) as head of advertising and publicity. Kallis’s artwork exemplifies the best of movie poster technique and composition, taking key elements from a film to draw in the viewer and excite them enough so that they create their own mini-narrative. One look at these beauties and it’s more than apparent no movie could ever live up to the thrills of Kallis’s artwork.
 
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‘The Day the World Ended’ (1955).
 
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‘The Phantom from 10,000 Fathoms’ (1955).
 
More cheap thrills, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Surreal dolls reveal the dark fantasy worlds that live under their ‘skin’
02.08.2017
09:41 am

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Art

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‘Forbidden Fruit,’ by doll artist Mari Shimizu.
 
Fantasy doll maker Mari Shimizu hails from Amakusa, Kumamoto Japan where after graduating from Tama Art University, she dedicated herself to creating and photographing her intricate ball-joint dolls. Shimizu is deeply inspired by the Surrealist movement, especially Nazi-hating Dadaist, photographer Hans Bellmer whose scandalous work often incorporated dolls. Here are a few words from Bellmer on his artistic approach that appear to directly align to Shimizu’s ethos:

The body resembles a sentence that seems to invite us to dismantle it into its component letters, so that its true meaning may be revealed ever anew through an endless stream of anagrams.

Shimizu carves openings in her dead-eyed dolls in order to provide the viewer insight into the inner-workings of her inanimate creations. Themes that run through her work include mythology, religion, death and nature in which rabbits are common themes. Rabbits are symbolic for a myriad of reasons and perhaps as it pertains to Shimizu’s work is how the rabbit is regarded as an “Earth” symbol—as it is the earthly aspect of its existence that allows the animal to retain its composure in the midst of chaos. Rabbits are also categorized as being “tricksters” in various mythological tales and folklore from around the world including Japan. Shimizu’s utilization of the dolls as unconventional artistic vehicles is about as tricky as it gets.

I’ve included a large selection of images of Shimizu’s ethereal dolls below. Some are NSFW. 
 

‘Music of the Summit.’
 

‘Compass’
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Come play with us forever and ever’: Custom drum kit inspired by ‘The Shining’
02.06.2017
06:04 pm

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Amusing
Art
Movies
Music

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A custom drum kit inspired by the unforgettable carpet in the hallways of the ‘Overlook Hotel’ in the 1980 film, ‘The Shining.’
 
The design of this fabulous customized “Overlook Hotel” drum kit inspired by 1980 film, The Shining, was made by UK-based company Badgerwood Drums. In addition to the wrap finish based on the distinctive carpeting found in the corridors of the Overlook covering the bass drum, the snare, and floor and rack toms, the bass drum head also bears the parting shot in the film where Jack Nicholson’s character Jack Torrance finally joins the other ghostly guests and employees of the hotel in an eerie black and white photograph. 

According to the company’s Instagram you can drop them an email if you have any questions—such as can they make you your very own Overlook Hotel drum kit so that you can “bash ‘em right the fuck in.” Just like Jack threatened to do to Wendy Torrance’s brains. I’ve posted some images of this super sweet Kubrick kit below.
 

 

 
More shots after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Charming and baffling Italian musician trading cards, 1968
02.06.2017
02:10 pm

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Art
Music

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Mister Anima
 
The Panini company was founded in Modena, Italy, in 1961 by two brothers, Benito and Giuseppe Panini, who had a knack for selling cute collectibles directed at the children’s market. Panini was essentially the Italian version of Topps, which dominated the market for baseball cards for the entire postwar era.

Panini mostly did sports stickers and cards but in 1968 they decided to put out a large set of cards dedicated to “Cantanti,” which is to say, the singers. The set numbered well over 200, and many of the acts were U.S. and U.K. acts who had been dominating the international charts for years: the Beatles, the Stones, James Brown, the Supremes, Aretha Franklin, and so on.

But we’ve seen ephemera from the days of yore with those kinds of people before.

What grabbed my attention, however, were the large number of Italian acts, working away in the “beat” genre, that I’d never heard of before and whose pictures struck me as quite comical and charming. My guess would be that many of these acts are not much more remembered in Italy than they are here, although surely a few were standouts. (One of them, it should be said, I did recognize, that being Adriano Celentano, whose marvelous parody of U.S. rock singing styles, “Prisencolinensinainciusol,” has been featured on DM before.)

Regardless of the often English-sounding names (“The Patrick Samson Set,” “The Rokes”), all of these acts did exist and were Italian, with back catalog lovingly corroborated by Discogs. The two exceptions are “Barbara e Dick,” who were from Argentina, and “Dino, Daisy, and Billy,” which featured the sons of Dean Martin and Desi Arnaz, and were obviously from the U.S.

Can anyone out there translate “I Dik Dik”?
 

I Pooh
 

Barbara e Dick
 

I Ragazzi Della Via Gluck
 
More after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Wear with Confidence: Nick Cave’s beautiful and empowering Soundsuits
02.06.2017
12:04 pm

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Art
Design
Fashion

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001sounsu.jpeg
 
Nick Cave is an artist, performer, educator and “foremost a messenger” who works in a wide range of media including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance.

Not to be confused with the antipodean singer and screenwriter, this Nick Cave is best known for his beautiful Soundsuits—“sculptural forms based on the scale of his body” which “camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender, and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment” or prejudice.

The idea for Soundsuits came about as a response to thinkingthe brutal police beating of Rodney King in 1991. As cave recalls:

It was a very hard year for me because of everything that came out of the Rodney King beating. I started thinking about myself more and more as a black man—as someone who was discarded, devalued, viewed as less than.

And:

I started thinking about the role of identity, being racial profiled, feeling devalued, less than, dismissed. And then I happened to be in the park this one particular day, and looked down at the ground and there was a twig. And I just thought, well, that’s discarded, and it’s sort of insignificant. And so I just started then gathering the twigs, and before I knew it, I was, had built a sculpture.

Cave carried the twigs he had collected in Grant Park, Chicago, back to his studio where he drilled a small hole at the base of each one. He linked these together with a wire before attaching them to a large piece of material. From this he created his first wearable sculpture or Soundsuit:

When I was inside a suit, you couldn’t tell if I was a woman or man; if I was black, red, green or orange; from Haiti or South Africa. I was no longer Nick. I was a shaman of sorts.

Inspired by this incredible sense of freedom and empowerment, Cave began making more and more outrageous and fabulous creations from materials he found in flea markets and thrifts stores across country.

Cave admits he never knows exactly what he is looking for or how he will use it once found. When he does find some suitable object he will spend considerable time working out where best on the body this item can sit. When this is finally worked this out he then develops each design organically from this point. The finished sculptures are worn in performances devised by Cave. There is an obvious similarity between Cave’s Soundsuits and Leigh Bowery’s performance costumes from the eighties and early nineties. Both take traditional crafts (needlework, macramé  and crochet) and use them them to create powerful and beautiful works of (wearable) art. A selection of Cave’s Soundsuits are for sale at the SoundsuitShop.
 
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More of Nick Cave’s fabulous designs, after the jump….
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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