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‘Before They Pass Away’: Stunning photographs of disappearing tribes from around the world
04.22.2016
10:16 am

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Art

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I was completely blown away by these beautiful photographs of disappearing tribes and indigenous peoples from around the world. The striking series is called “Before They Pass Away” and are by photographer Jimmy Nelson. He spent nearly three years of his life tracking down 35 plus tribes to capture these breathtaking images.

Nelson explains his work:

“There is no sociology, no statistics. It’s how I see the world. I am aiming to document the variety and importance of what is left of indigenous culture. Yes, it’s idealistic. Indigenous peoples are usually portrayed as impoverished. But they have a wealth and a pride. It’s not only about material possessions. I shoot from a very personal, aesthetic point of view. Different people can interpret what they like.”

Wow. Just wow.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Amusing manga of The Cure, Siouxsie Sioux, Marc Bolan, Hanoi Rocks & more from the 80s
04.20.2016
09:14 am

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Amusing
Art
Music

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Robert Smith of The Cure on the front cover of Japanese music magazine 8 Beat Gag, 1988
Robert Smith of The Cure on the front cover of Japanese music magazine ‘8 Beat Gag,’ 1988.
 
I’m really into these sweet manga illustrations which were published back in the 80s in a Japanese music magazine called 8 Beat Gag. Written in Japanese, most (if not all) are likely by the the rather prolific manga artist Atsuko Shima—but she wasn’t the only artist that created the cartoons that featured popular musical acts in weird situations that Japanese youth were obsessing about.

The fantastic cartoon of Finnish band Hanoi Rocks, which may have also been published in 8 Beat Gag, did show up as a surprise insert UK pressings of the band’s last record 1984’s Two Steps From the Move. Which makes me want to hunt a copy down just so I can have one of my own. When it comes to finding copies of 8 Beat Gag, good luck. As when they do pop up (which they occasionally do), they will cost you a tidy sum. The comic featuring The Cure (where Robert Smith Inexplicably morphs into some sort of goth Yeti. Because, Japan), follows in its entirety as well as a few others featuring Siouxsie Sioux going up against Girlschool in some sort of track event involving vegetables, Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, Marc Bolan, Peter Murphy, Morrissey and 80s New Wavers Ultravox.
 
A manga cartoon about The Cure from Japanese music magazine, 8 Beat Gag, 1988
A manga cartoon about The Cure from Japanese music magazine, ‘8 Beat Gag,’ 1988.
 

 

 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Watch Keith Haring get arrested on national TV, 1982
04.19.2016
01:09 pm

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Art
Crime
Television

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On October 20, 1982, The CBS Evening News, hosted by Dan Rather, ran a segment about a fellow in New York City who was currently upending the typical view of graffiti artists as untalented thugs. Charles Osgood did the report on the artist, who of course was Keith Haring.

Haring’s practice during that time was evidently to use chalk instead of spray paint, which (it seems to me) calls into question the fundamental law-and-order premise of whether Haring had actually damaged any property (Osgood says something vaguely similar). My guess would be that public hysteria over graffiti was just unreasonably high during the 1970s and 1980s. During the segment Osgood says that Haring sometimes gets arrested for his graffiti, and then, weirdly enough, that’s exactly what happens. (It almost feels staged.)
 

 
Osgood points out that the sentences are never very harsh, and that Haring is willing to assume that risk in order to bring his art to regular people. The segment makes a lot of hay on the idea that hoity-toity people in the art world pay high prices for artworks that you can see for next to nothing on the subway, but that irony seems like a big shrug to me.

Early on you can catch a glimpse of a large advertisement for the most recent issue of Penthouse (“Special Back to School Issue!”). All you New Yorkers out there, when was the last time you saw an ad for a porno magazine on a subway platform? 

After the jump, watch the CBS news report, followed by a gallery of Keith Haring stalking the subways…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Combat Zone: A look back at Boston’s mythical dens of sleaze
04.19.2016
10:51 am

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Art
History
Sex

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The Naked i cabaret in Boston's old
The Naked i Cabaret in Boston’s old “Combat Zone.”
 
I grew up in a small town just outside of Boston called Somerville. And like pretty much like any other teenager, I worked quite hard at the craft of getting into trouble as often as possible. I ran with a crowd that was comprised of teenage losers that enjoyed passing the time stealing beer from delivery trucks. As far as you (and my parents) know, I (mostly) never did anything more than drink said stolen beer under train track bridges while underage.
 
Combat Zone, 1974
Combat Zone, 1974.
 
But when it came to a right of passage in Boston, if you were a late teen or mostly of legal drinking age in the late 80s, you hit up Boston’s Chinatown after last call to eat food full of MSG and drink “cold tea.” In Boston, (and perhaps where you grew up, too), “cold tea” was code for “beer” (usually flat) that you could order slightly before or after closing time that was served up in white teapots in certain restaurants in Chinatown. Of course, after a night of youthful boozing, we would occasionally have enough “beer balls” to walk through the red light district of Boston that bordered Chinatown known as the Combat Zone. I remember one particular night when, after a couple of pots of cold tea, someone dared me to sprint through the Zone alone as fast as I could, which I did. Because what could go wrong when a blond teenage girl decides to run through the seediest part of town full of peep shows, dirty book stores, prostitutes and pimps?

Although widely considered a place of ill-repute, the Combat Zone’s history is important to Boston for many reasons. Specifically, thanks to its “relaxed” approach to adult oriented pursuits, the Combat Zone was also home to a wide variety of drag clubs and gay bars frequented by Boston’s LGBT community. Which is in part why in 1976 The Wall Street Journal dubbed the area a “sexual Disneyland.” In other words, there was something for everyone in the Combat Zone. And that wasn’t always a bad thing. In 2010, an art exhibit at the Howard Yezerski Gallery showcased photos taken in the Combat Zone from 1969 - 1978. Many of the images from the show as well as others taken during the Zone’s heyday, follow.
 
A sign outside the Combat Zone riffing on a famous line from JFK's inaugural address
 
Combat Zone, 1978
1978
 
More Beantown sleaze, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Latest in retro-tech chic: Custom-painted horror-themed VCRs
04.19.2016
08:47 am

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Art
Movies

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre” hand-painted VCR

Collecting horror films on the VHS format has become a huge deal in the past five years with several Facebook collector groups popping up, newsworthy lists of tapes that fetch hundreds of dollars on the open-market, and the excellent documentary film Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story Of The VHS Collector covering the obsession.

Nostalgic fans are by-and-large now of an age where they have the disposable income to hunt down and pay a premium for the tapes they remember from the shelves of their local mom-and-pop video stores. Horror seems to be the genre of choice for high-rolling VHS collectors.

An artist and collector going by the name Sorce122 has been making waves in the VHS collector community recently by offering up custom-painted VCRs. What is particularly remarkable about his hand-painted VCRs, aside from the high level of craftsmanship, is the fact that he’s (up till now) only been charging $70 for these one-of-a-kinds—and that includes the VCR!

The VCR’s are also guaranteed to work, by the way.

From LunchMeatVHS.com:

Sorce122 is a self-taught artist, with a creative background that mainly consists of graffiti and pen and ink drawing. When asked about the inspiration behind creating the custom VCR casings, he stated, “My inspiration for the VCRs basically [comes from] my love of painted movie poster and video cover box art. Also, a hatred of boring ass silver and black electronics. VCRs are more than that now (and they always were)… they mean more to people than DVD or Blu-ray, IMO. They have, hold, and project character with every burp, glitch, and picture roll. To me, they scream freedom, and things that make us free shouldn’t be solid silver like some kind of 1984 totalitarian robot of death.  It should have character, just like the covers of the movies we love.  So, that’s what I’m doin’… I’m trying to create a 3-Dimensional movie poster that plays movies… The VCRs are 100% functional. I use pencil, spray paint, paint pens, sharpies, and clear coat. No paint gets inside the deck, and they’re fully tested before and after.”


A Nightmare on Elm Street” custom-painted VCR

More custom-painted VHS horror film VCRs after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Stained glass windows of Aleister Crowley, Serge Gainsbourg, Johnny Cash, JG Ballard & many more


 
In 2010 and 2011 the English artist Neal Fox executed an utterly gorgeous series of stained-glass windows in imitation of the iconography of saints found in cathedrals all over Europe. The series included Johnny Cash, J.G. Ballard, Hunter S. Thompson, Albert Hofmann, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Serge Gainsbourg, Aleister Crowley, William S. Burroughs, Billie Holiday, and Francis Bacon.

Now, it’s perfectly possible that you will see these images and think, “Wow, those paintings in the stained-glass style are awesome.” So it’s important to emphasize that these are not paintings, Fox actually created the stained-glass windows themselves—in fact, he worked with traditional methods “at the renowned Franz Mayer of Munich manufacturer” in order to produce a dozen windows, each using leaded stained glass in a steel frame and standing 2.5 meters tall.

Put them all together in a room, as the Daniel Blau gallery in London did in 2011, and you have “an alternative church of alternative saints.” Here is what that room looked like:
 

 
The Daniel Blau show was called “Beware of the God.” Alongside the well-known provocateurs and trouble-makers like Crowley and Hawkins is a figure that might challenge even the most astute student of antiheroes, a man named John Watson. Far from the complacent invention of Arthur Conan Doyle, this John Watson is the artist’s grandfather, described by his loving grandson as a “hell raiser” and “a World War II bomber pilot, chat show host, writer and publisher, who in his post war years sought solace in Soho’s bohemian watering holes.”

Quoting the Daniel Blau exhibition notes:
 

As traditional church windows show the iconography of saints, through representations of events in their lives, instruments of martyrdom and iconic motifs, Fox plays with the symbolism of each character’s cult of personality; Albert Hoffman takes a psychedelic bicycle ride above the LSD molecule, J G Ballard dissects the world, surrounded by 20th Century imagery and the eroticism of the car crash, and Johnny Cash holds his inner demon in chains after a religious experience in Nickerjack cave.

 
You can order prints of some of these images for £150 each (about $214).
 

 

 
Many more after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Captain Beefheart meets David Lynch in ‘Some YoYo Stuff’
04.13.2016
04:12 pm

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Art
Movies
Music

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In the early 1990s Anton Corbijn made a peculiar short movie called “Some YoYo Stuff” featuring Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart. The movie is in black-and-white and lasts a little under 13 minutes. Most of the movie is the Captain’s face in front of a large screen on which words and images appear. The Captain addresses the topics projected onto the screen in his elliptical way. David Lynch even gets into the act.

Corbijn has been taking pictures of prominent musicians since the mid-1970s, when he worked for NME. He is noted for luminous b/w pictures of rock icons—his work appears on the cover of U2’s The Joshua Tree; as it happens, it appears that “Some YoYo Stuff” was likewise shot in Joshua Tree National Park.
 

 
Here’s Corbijn in the pages of World Art in 1998 describing the movie:
 

It was a simple affair to make the film: His mother sue opens the movie with the photograph that I took when Don and I first met, saying: “This is Don, my son,” and, apart from David Lynch asking him a few questions via projected film, it is all Don’s thoughts on various matters. Some funny, some serious, but all sharp, poetic and beautiful. You really want to hear every single word he says—whether it’s about paint, Miles Davis, an ear (“nice sculpture”) or the desert. 

 
My colleague Marc Campbell eloquently described the difficulty of capturing the essence of Beefheart on film several years ago:
 

His writing and occasional communiques were like those of a modernist monk of the left hand school. He spoke in an ancient craggy voice that sounded like hollow bones being rubbed together. Corbijn’s film communicates the desert father aspect of Beefheart’s existence. There’s an otherworldliness about the whole thing that seems as though it is being beamed in from another planet.

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Creepy portraits based on David Cronenberg’s ‘Scanners’
04.13.2016
01:38 pm

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Art
Movies

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“I must remind you that the scanning experience is usually a painful one, sometimes resulting in nosebleeds, earaches, stomach cramps, nausea, sometimes other symptoms of a similar nature.”

Those words, from David Cronenberg’s anomic 1981 classic Scanners, are spoken by the unnamed scanner, played by Louis Del Grande, who has no idea that he is about to undergo a fate far worse than a mere earache.

In 2014 the Criterion Collection came out with a new DVD edition of Cronenberg’s twitchy, sweaty masterpiece of ESP horror. The DVD packaging featured some memorable cover art by Connor Willumsen, but casual observers may not have twigged just how many excellent and evocative artworks Willumsen concocted for the project.

Fortunately, Willumsen’s website features a Scanners section with all of the art he created for Criterion, including preliminary sketches. Here’s a sample, but go to his website to check out the full array of images.

Click on any image for a larger view.
 

 

 
More ‘Scanners’ portraits after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Derek Jarman: The iconoclast filmmaker as painter
04.13.2016
10:02 am

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Movies
Queer

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0001derekj.jpg
 
Derek Jarman became a filmmaker by accident. He was originally a painter, an artist who started making home movies with friends at his Bankside home in London. These Super-8 films slowly evolved into movies and one of the most exciting, original and provocative filmmakers since Ken Russell arrived. During a seventeen-year career Jarman made eleven feature films—from the Latin and sand romp Sebastiane through his punk movie Jubilee (1978) to Caravaggio (1986) and the final one color movie Blue. During all of this time, the artist, director, writer, gardener and diarist painted.

Jarman was a student the Slade School of Art in the 1960s where he was taught—like everyone else—to be an “individual.” Jarman felt he was already managing that quite well in that department without being told how. He left art school and worked as a set designer with Ken Russell—most spectacularly on The Devils in 1971 and then Savage Messiah in 1973. His painting career splits into different sections; his early work reflected his interest in landscape, form and color—something which would recur in his films—his later work reflecting his more personal experience. However, as he began making films Jarman shifted from using paint to creating pictures with celluloid.

His return to painting came after his HIV diagnosis in 1986, when he produced a series of Black Paintings—collages made from objects found on the beach at his cottage in Dungeness. He placed these objects on an oily black background—similar to the contrasting black of the tableaux he used in Caravaggio the same year.

As his condition worsened, Jarman painted larger, more abstract canvases. He given a room to paint in where he splashed the canvas with thick bright paints and scrolling words and statements. His influence came from his life, his own films and the work of Jackson Pollock. The brightness and color of the paintings were a defiance in the face of illness.
 
3landscapemarblmount67.jpg
‘Landscape with Marble Mountain’ (1967).
 
4landscapblupool67.jpg
‘Landscape with a Blue Pool’ (1967).
 
5avesburyiii73.jpg
‘Avesbury’ III (1973).
 
More of Derek Jarman’s paintings after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Peter Max’s groovy pop art paper airplanes
04.11.2016
12:58 pm

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Art
Books

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I take it as a given that the work of Peter Max isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I’ve always been a fan. When I was a kid, this nifty green coffee pot was a fixture in my family’s kitchen, and what can I say, that insidious infiltration of my psyche must have left some residue, because I usually find that Max’s colorful, playful psychedelia has the effect of raising my spirits. I like his stuff.

I learned recently that Max published a book of paper airplanes in 1971 for Pyramid Books. What a marvelous idea! The cover of the book features a plea to treat the environment with care, and Max’s infectious positivity makes its way into the design of the planes, which are emblazoned with cute messages like “HA HA” or “I’M A BIRD” or “I CAN’T TALK, ‘CAUSE I’M LAUGHING.” The book sold for $1.50 at the time.
 

 
If you want to try making these at home, obviously a good color printer will help, but the used editions of the books are surprisingly affordable.

I haven’t seen any pictures of completed planes yet—I’m dying to see some examples!

Some of the images here will spawn a larger version if you click on them.
 

 

 
More groovy airplanes after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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