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Cum for Me: Intimate photographs of men and women at the point of orgasm
05.18.2017
09:04 am
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Kristina.
 
We reveal ourselves in unguarded moments. Those instances of joy, happiness, fear, and anger—when emotions burst forth uncontrollably. Photographer Alina Cara Oswald had been thinking about such times and thought of creating a photographic project that captured women and men at their most intimate, unfettered, and emotionally reflexive moment when reaching orgasm.

Oswald didn’t believe she would find any models willing to masturbate in front of her and the camera. However, after talking about the idea, she did photograph a good friend and then herself reaching climax.

I started talking to people about my project and asked them very open and directly if they want to take part. And more and more people said yes. So I started photographing them. The project became bigger and bigger. I put my whole energy and thoughts into it. I was organizing everything and made many appointments. Most of the time I went to the model’s home, I brought some wine and some relaxed energy with me. I talked a lot to the person and then I setup my equipment. Then it was time for a hand-job.  Mostly I was in the same room, sometimes I went out and just came in at the end to take the photo. Sometimes I had couples and they helped each other. Sometimes the people watched porn or looked at erotic pictures. Afterward, we laughed and talked about it.

What fascinated Alina was not the photograph of someone cumming but “the process of how it arises and how a content can be presented and communicated.”

How can a piece of paper, which has just two dimensions, influence the third dimension? Can I communicate emotions and content through pictures without you knowing what it is about?

Alina titled this series of portraits Moments.

Based in Munich, Germany, Oswald studied photography, screenprinting, digital animation and communication at the city’s art college. She graduated in 2016. You can see more of Alina’s work here and here.
 
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Joel.
 
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Sarah.
 
See more forthcoming attractions, after the jump….

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.18.2017
09:04 am
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Crowning Glory: Incredible vintage photographs of beautiful and intricate Nigerian hairstyles
05.18.2017
08:11 am
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‘Coiling Penny Penny’ (1974).
 
Each day photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere went out into the streets and photographed women’s hairstyles with his Brownie D camera. Ojeikere wasn’t just documenting the latest trends in hair fashion—he thought hairstyles were an “art form” that were created by “precise gestures” in the same way an artist sculpts the intricacies of a statue. Ojeikere was also aware these individual hairstyles reflected the major changes in Nigeria’s post-colonial politics and culture, together with the growth of personal freedom and the shift towards personal identity.

Ojeikere took thousands of photographs of women’s hairstyles from 1968 onwards. He captured the different weaves and braids on street corners, offices, bars, and at parties, He took his picture then noted down the name of each design. Ojeikere started his photographic career as a darkroom assistant at the Ministry of Information in 1954. In 1959, he was appointed staff photographer with the Western Nigerian Broadcasting Services. He then joined the Nigerian Arts Council in the 1960s when he began photographing and documenting Nigerian life and culture. His work has been exhibited throughout the world, including the 55th Venice Biennale d’arte in 2013, and his work is still exhibited and sold as prints today. J.D. Okhai Ojeikere died at the age of 83. in 2014.
 
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‘Ojo Npeti’ or ‘Kiko’ (1968).
 
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‘Pineapple’ (1969). 
 
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‘Fro Fro’ (1970).
 
More of J.D. Okhai Ojeikere’s photographs, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.18.2017
08:11 am
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John Thompson’s visionary artwork for Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘Cosmic Trigger’
05.17.2017
03:25 pm
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John Coulthart has done us all a service by reminding us of the wonderful art that appears in Robert Anton Wilson’s mind-bending follow-up (and companion) to his well-known Illuminatus! Trilogy, which bore the memorable title Cosmic Trigger with the subtitle Final Secret of the Illuminati.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy introduced readers to an incredible stew of ideas and influences that included Adam Weishaupt, UFOs, Wilhelm Reich, the number 23, John Dillinger’s penis, Carlos Castaneda, tarot, LSD—and did it via an enjoyable sci-fi/thriller plot—but Cosmic Trigger, while doing nothing to “rein in” the scope of Wilson’s occult interests, helped put some of the fictional trilogy’s meat on the bone in a semi-autobiographical context. Wilson not only told his readers how to get to the front door of Chapel Perilous, he also explained the secret “knock” required for entrance and what happened to you when you went inside.

As brilliant as he was, even Bob Wilson benefited greatly from having his ideas visualized in such a simpatico manner. John Thompson, a noted figure from the San Francisco comix scene, and someone very interested in mysticism and spirituality, was the ideal person to bring the visionary material to life.

Coulthart points out that not all editions of Cosmic Trigger included Thompson’s memorable cover (above), but most retained his internal illustrations. Here are some of those followed by a few of his other illustrations, which are just as creative and stimulating as the Cosmic Trigger material.

Daisy Eris Campbell’s Cosmic Trigger: The Play is currently being staged at The Cockpit in London. Buy tickets here.
 

Above, Thompson’s portrait of the author
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.17.2017
03:25 pm
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Monsters, mayhem & lots of nudity: The gory erotic horror of Italian comic ‘Wallestein il Mostro ’
05.16.2017
12:24 pm
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One of the tamer covers of the vintage Italian fumetti series, ‘Wallestein il Mostro.’
 
Wallestein il Mostro was one of many horror-themed erotic comics put out by Renzo Barbieri and his publishing company Edifumetto. Known for their strikingly graphic covers, Edifumetto put out more than 140 issues of Wallestein il Mostro in five different runs over the course of nearly ten years.

If you’re a fan of Troma Films, you might notice that the monstrous vigilante Wallestein bears a distinct resemblance to Melvin, aka the Toxic Avenger—the deformed mop-wielding superhero who made his debut in the 1984 film The Toxic Avenger. Much like Toxie, Wallestein is always getting mixed up in some sort of caper gone wrong involving naked women with huge boobs. The “origin story” of how Wallestein came to be goes like this: after handsome Count Wallestein is killed, his identity is taken over by a vengeful swamp monster who dons a mask with human attributes covered in bulbous boils. In accordance with the style of Italian “fumetti,” the covers are stunningly lurid and over-the-top in every possible way, commonly featuring fun themes such as dismemberment, full-frontal nudity, and scenes involving sexual torture. As with other fumetti comics, the illustrations were designed by immensely talented artists such as Mario Cubbino and Giovanni Romanini who was a regular collaborator of Roberto Raviola—one of Italy’s most respected comic book artists who is better known under his singular moniker of Magnus. If you’re curious about what the comic looks like inside, you can flip through a few NSFW pages, here.

You’ve probably already surmised that the images I’ve posted below of the gloriously gory, sexually charged covers of Wallestein il Mostro are totally NSFW. Unless of course, you happen to work in an environment that endorses violence and explicit nudity like mine. If you are a fan of fumetti, it’s fairly easy to track down various copies of Wallestein il Mostro online.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.16.2017
12:24 pm
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Demons, Imps, and Fay Wray: William Mortensen’s incredible masks
05.16.2017
10:49 am
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‘Salome’ (1924).
 
A chance encounter with big shot director Cecil B. DeMille gave photographer William Mortensen his first job in Hollywood. It was the kind of lucky break that would look hokey as a plot device in a B-movie. Mortensen was working as a gardener but was soon on the set of DeMille’s King of Kings (1927), then designing voodoo masks for Lon Chaney’s movie West of Zanzibar, and then ending-up taking publicity shots and portraits of stars like Marlene Dietrich, Rudolph Valentino, and the original “It girl” Clara Bow.

Before Hollywood, Mortensen had spent his time traveling around Europe in the early 1920s soaking up all that fancy art and culture. He got hep to all the Old Masters like Goya and Rembrandt. This together with his experience of working on films made Mortensen approach photography in a wholly original way.

It was a similar kind of thing that had once happened to writer James Joyce, who had opened the first cinema in Dublin in 1908. Joyce realized traditional story-telling could not compete with movies. Why write a page describing the looks of some lantern-jawed hero when a movie could transmit such information in an instant? Movies taught Joyce to rethink literature—and so he wrote Ulysses.

Mortensen made photographs that mixed painting, drawing, theater, and movies. He manipulated the image to create something more than just a straight photographic representation. His approach was anathema to the more traditionalist photographers like Ansell Adams, who called Mortensen the “anti-Christ” for what he did to photography.

Mortensen produced beautiful, strange, often dark and Gothic, sometimes brutal, though usually erotically charged pictures. While other photographers sought realism, Mortensen used props and gowns and his own vivid imagination to enhance each picture. He went on to have some success but fell out of step with the rise of photojournalism that came out of the Second World War and was (sadly) largely forgotten by the time of his death in 1965. In more recent years, Mortensen has been rightly praised for his photographic genius. What I am intrigued by in Mortensen’s work, is his design and use of masks (including one of “scream queen” Fay Wray) in his photographic work—from which a small selection of which can be seen below.
 
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‘Masked Woman’ (1926).
 
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‘Fay Wray.’
 
More of Mortensen’s masks, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.16.2017
10:49 am
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Drawings of ‘mental illnesses’ from 1840
05.15.2017
11:51 am
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“Female patient suffering from erotomania, 1843.”

Science is a bit like Doubting Thomas—it has to see the evidence before believing it. And sometimes even then it is just theories about what was or was not seen.

Way back in the early 1800s, many scientists thought it an idea to use visual representation, through illustrations and engraving, to help codify the system of identifying say, organs, bones, types of disease, and even mental illness. For example, a drawing of someone suffering from buboes caused by the pox would help diagnose a patient with similar buboes also caused by the pox. It was a logical, well-intended, and noble idea, one that helped create the many books on anatomy and disease which progressed the development of medicine from the 1700s on—most notably Gray’s Anatomy in 1858.

The physician and alienist, Sir Alexander Morison (1779—1866) pioneered the documentation of psychiatric illness during the early to mid-1800s. An “alienist” is the archaic term for a psychiatrist or psychologist. Morrison was inspecting physician at the Surrey Asylum and Bethlehem Hospital. He excelled in the diagnosis and treatment of those poor unfortunate people who suffered from mental illness. He was a wise and kindly old gent, who wrote two texts of great importance on psychiatric illness—Outlines of Lectures on Mental Diseases (1826), and Cases of Mental Disease, with Practical Observations on the Medical Treatment (1828). But these were but a warm-up for his illustrated volume The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases in 1840.

The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases contained descriptions of the various types of mental illness, case studies of various patients from a selection of England’s psychiatric hospitals, and some possible treatments. At the time, psychiatric care was going through a much-needed overhaul, with patients being treated as suffering from a (possibly) curable disease rather than being written-off as possessed by demons or just too fucked-up to no longer defined as human and dumped in bedlam where they were often exhibited to the amusement of the paying public. Morrison devised (whether by himself or in collaboration is unclear) the idea of illustrating his book on The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases with a series of portrait engravings of the patients whose case studies he was describing. It was a very useful idea.

However, it does suggest that mental illness can always be identified through a patient’s facial expressions—as if there are certain universal physical attributes that define all types of mental illness. Moreover, such drawings were open to possible caricature with artists exaggerating certain facial tics or expressions which may or may not be relevant. Morrison’s approach was valued until the 1850s, when the photograph was deemed to be the more scientific and reliable choice for documenting mental illness by his successor at the Surrey Asylum, the physician and pioneering photographer Hugh Welch Diamond.
 
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Portrait of 20-year-old female mental patient.

 
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More engravings from ‘The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases,’ after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.15.2017
11:51 am
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Breast-obsessed artist creates fluffy pink ‘Boobroom’
05.12.2017
01:33 pm
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Boobroom, 2017
 
Much of Weijue Wang’s art is fluffy and pink and displays a strong emphasis on the mammaries of the female human, but underneath her seemingly fun and bouncy subject matter is a very dark subtext. Very dark.

Wang’s work was showcased at StARTup Art Fair in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. Here is the statement of purpose Wang submitted for the event, which was rather striking:
 

As an emerging Chinese female artist who lives in an age of consumerism in China, I am bombarded with the commodification of everything in every aspect of my daily life. I am interested especially in the commodification of the female bodies. Contemporary women are freer to think and act. With enhanced freedom, however, some threat their self-esteem by seeking painful cosmetic surgeries to modify their appearances. In the name of beauty, some women commoditize their bodies to fit into the sexualized beauty norms. These soft and fluffy female private part jewelries and sculptures are born in my needle’s sharp penetration through the felt. Underneath their harmless domesticity, I want to unveil the profound violence and irony in female commodification and mass-produced beauty. By showing my works in a hotel room setting, the sexual and domestic feeling of my works will be enhanced. Basically, I will create a room of fetish of female body parts. Some pieces will be lying on the bed (like the Airport Dream II ), while the sound that will be coming out of the piece will allow the audience to expand their imagination.

 
As you can see, Wang views her work, which would include a “room of fetish of female body parts,” as directly confronting the consumer culture that has arisen in China, which brings along with it inordinate stress and concern over the appearance of females. Wang has noticed that women in China are increasingly turning to breast enhancement, which in her eyes is equivalent to self-mutilation.
 

Process, 2017
 
In Kelsey Lannin’s article at Creators, she gestured at the two enormous “breasts” propped up on her pink bed and said, “I have huge boobs now! They might look cute and fluffy but they are borne out of violence. Of a needle penetrating through the felt.”

A work of hers called “Airport Dream” consists in part of round pink balls (yes, with “nipples”) suspended on pieces of string. The title is a reference to the fact that in China, the word airport is a common insult directed at flat-chested women!

“I definitely want to expand on it,” Wang told Lannin. “There are still a lot of women being called ‘airport’ in China.”
 

Boobroom, 2017
 

Airport Dream, 2017
 
via Creators
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.12.2017
01:33 pm
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Ornate Chinese opium pipes and other exotic drug paraphernalia of the 19th century
05.12.2017
10:33 am
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A vintage artistic interpretation of two people enjoying some opium to help get you in the proper mood for this post.
 
In 2013 the first ever exhibition to feature antique drug paraphernalia from China went on display at Maggs Brothers Ltd. bookstore in London’s Mayfair district. It’s a wonder it took so long, considering Britain’s long love affair with opium.

The collection belonged to Julio Mario Santo Domingo Braga, who died in 2009. Referred to in size as immense, Santo Domingo’s treasury of drug paraphernalia is said to contain approximately 3,000 different items, from “dream sticks” (a common name for an opium pipe) to jars for storing the drug, carved from a variety of different materials including ebony, bone, silver, rhinoceros horns, porcelain, and ivory. There were even a few pipes in the collection that were meant for the itinerant opium addict which could be taken apart to make traveling with them easier. Apparently, Santo Domingo’s obsession with building a drug library of sorts ran so deep that he spent most of his life traveling the world amassing items he deemed worthy of being included in his growing collection. The vast majority of Santo Domingo’s opium implements are now archived at Harvard.

I’ve also posted a few other items I found on various auction sites, such as opium candles and other implements that the opium user relied on to get high, most of which can be had for a few hundred bucks if you’re looking to cultivate your own personal drug paraphernalia compendium. A plastic bottle from CVS just isn’t classy enough for your Oxy stash, is it?
 

An ivory storage box for opium from Santo Domingo’s collection, with an erotic carving.
 

Vintage opium pipe.
 
Many more examples after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.12.2017
10:33 am
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Beautiful porcelain sculptures of women with animal heads
05.12.2017
09:04 am
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The artist Crystal Morey believes our species are at “a pivotal moment, faced with monumental questions leading to difficult, uncertain answers.”

As she writes in her artist’s statement:

​Humankind has become the driving influence and force behind natural evolution. We are able to alter life from a single cell all the way up to entire ecosystems. Intentionally or unintentionally, we are rapidly affecting changes to the environment that would have taken natural processes millennia. Through these actions we are leaving many vulnerable species and habitats frantic, facing disruptions and uncertain outcomes.

Morey investigates these issues through her beautiful, talismanic sculptures of women with animal heads, which she sculpts from “the silken white earth of porcelain.” These delicate, fragile figures show our interdependence with the animals and landscape around us. Morey’s animals are reminiscent of the magical creatures found in children’s tales—rabbits, owls, bears, and wolves.

Having spent part of her childhood in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Morey once believed that humans were subservient to nature. But when she moved to the city, Morey soon realized that “humans are the largest variable in the changing of our planet’s ecological and environmental outcome.”

Based in Oakland, California, Morey was educated at the city’s College of the Arts, where she earned a BFA with High Distinction in 2006. She went on to study for an MFA in spatial art, at the San José State University, CA. Morey has exhibited her work since 2010. Her most recent show Entangled Wonders was held at Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art, in Seattle, Washington, earlier this year.

Crystal hopes that the viewer will come away from her work “thinking and asking questions about our role as humans on the earth and our relationship to other living beings.”

Follow Crystal on Instagram and see more of her work here.
 
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See more of Crystal Morey’s beautiful work, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.12.2017
09:04 am
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At the Mountains of Madness: Enter the chaotic worlds of Rudimentary Peni’s Nick Blinko
05.11.2017
02:38 pm
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A rare photo of a young Nick Blinko of Rudimentary Peni

“The religious and the macabre are a big part of my personality… there wouldn’t be much left without them”—Nick Blinko of Rudimentary Peni

The release of the Sex Pistols’ angrily anthemic “Anarchy in the U.K.” was responsible for more than just the much-needed attitude adjustment of rock music in the mid-1970’s. All across Great Britain thereafter, young punk bands began to take the anarchist mantra for more than just its shock value. Anarchy became a personal creed, with ideals espoused in the lyrics, performances,  imagery and most importantly lifestyle of the new anarcho-punk movement (animal rights and veganism didn’t come from nowhere, folks). Among these anarcho-originators were legendary groups like Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, Subhumans, Poison Girls, Omega Tribe, Zounds, Chumbawumba, and my personal favorite, Rudimentary Peni.

Rudimentary Peni was formed in Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire by lead singer/guitarist Nick Blinko (credited as “mouth-guitar-pen” with “pen” referring to his role as the illustrator of their record covers), bassist Grant Matthews, and drummer Jon Greville. Matthews came up with the name (“When I was at school studying biology, we were told that in the fetal stage the clitoris is a rudimentary penis.”) Considered dangerously demented by some, Rudimentary Peni’s music was fast-paced, loud, angry, and essayed lyrical themes of anti-establishment and anti-church sentiments along with the dark, macabre trappings of a proto form of deathrock (as heard on their full-length debut Death Church and 1988’s brutal Cacophony which was written about the life and work of H.P. Lovecraft).

Since 1980, Rudimentary Peni has maintained a deliberate shroud of mystery, having toured only briefly and given few interviews. There are very few existing photos of the group. Instead, album covers and imagery were emblazoned with Blinko’s twisted pen-and-ink artwork that has since outlived itself as more than just a band asset.

Previously diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, Blinko’s artwork offers insight into an aberrant, paralyzing world of mental health and disorder. Similar to the dismal work of the band he fronted, these pieces are dark, disjointed, and unearthly depictions of death, destruction, and emptiness. As a result, Blinko’s uniquely bleak talent is celebrated within the outsider art community and his work is part of the Collection de l’art brut in Lausanne, Switzerland. He has published three books—The Primal Screamer in1995, The Haunted Head in 2009, and Visions of Pope Adrian 37th in 2011. (Blinko was apparently convinced that he was the actual pontiff during one of his forced stays in a psychiatric hospital in the mid-90s.)

Here’s a brief biographical description of Nick Blinko quoted from Outsider Art: Spontaneous Alternatives by Colin Rhodes:

In the case of British artist Nick Blinko (b.1961), who has in the past been hospitalised, the need to make pictures is stronger than the desire for the psychic ‘stability’ brought by therapeutic drugs which adversely affects his ability to work. His images are constructed of microscopically detailed elements, sometimes consisting of literally hundreds of interconnecting figures and faces, which he draws without the aid of magnifying lenses and which contain an iconography that places him in the company of the likes of Bosch, Bruegel and the late Goya. These pictures produced in periods when he was not taking medication bring no respite from the psychic torment and delusions from which he suffers. In order to make art, Blinko risks total psychological exposure.

That explains just how far out he’s willing to go for the sake of his work. True dedication, both impressive and sad. As his representative, London-based art dealer Henry Boxer said of Blinko:

“He compromises his sanity to produce his art.”

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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05.11.2017
02:38 pm
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