The magical visions of animation pioneer Richard Williams

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Canadian animator Richard Williams is best known for his work on Roger Rabbit, but he’s been making inventive commercials in the UK and USA since the late 1960s.

Animation maestro Richard Williams (The Thief and the Cobbler, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) found great success doing animated commercials in the UK, but his greatest goal was to learn from the great animators of the past, like Ken Harris, Art Babbit, Grim Natwick and Milt Kahl, and pass their knowledge on to his own studio and the animators of tomorrow. Richard was successful in doing this and many animators who worked under the brilliant, mad perfectionist went on to found their own studios, and to work on the great Disney films of the late 1980s and 1990s.

Richard never quite finished his dream project The Thief and the Cobbler (viewable on Youtube in a Recobbled Cut), as it was eventually financed by Warner Brothers, who went cold on the idea and took the film away from him.

These days Richard is known for having written perhaps the best book ever written on animation- The Animator’s Survival Kit. Every animation student should have one, and probably does.

Enjoy these wonderful animations from Richard Williams.
 

 
Lots more groovy animated fun after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
Suicide’s Alan Vega discusses songwriting, art and life

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Suicide’s Alan Vega interviewed for Tony Oursler’s Synesthesia Project.

The Synesthesia Project was a series of filmed interviews shot between 1997 and 2001 by artist Tony Oursler. Among the musicians featured were John Cage, Thurston Moore, Lydia Lunch and David Byrne.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
Powerful gesture controlled noise art: Alexander Schubert’s Weapon of Choice

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Through the cunning use of motion detectors and ye olde MAX/MSP software, composer Alexander Schubert and violinist Barbara Lüneburg create quite the arresting spectacle. Greatly expanding the vocabulary of the lone fiddler to nearly god-like proportions, every gesture of the performer is amplified and extended both visually and sonically. It works.
 

 
Much thanks to Gregory Ward

Posted by Brad Laner | Discussion
Robert Crumb extols the virtues of Joyce Farmer’s new graphic novel ‘Special Exits’

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Dangerous Minds pal Deborah Vankin has gotten some nice scoops lately from the normally press shy Robert Crumb in her new gig contributing to the Hero Complex blog at the Los Angeles Times. Speaking to Vankin, Crumb recently extolled the virtues of Special Exits (Fantagraphics), the new graphic novel, 13-years in the making, from Joyce Farmer.

“It’s a completely unique work,” he says. “Nobody else will ever do anything like that again.”

Farmer was once a fellow traveler of S. Clay Wilson, Gilbert Shelton and R. Crumb. In the mid-1970s, Farmer, along with Lyn Chevely, decided to counter the male chauvinism they dealt with in the world of underground comix, by publishing a title called Tits and Clits. Tits and Clits called it quits in the late 1980s. Farmer found work as a bail bondsman and cared for her elderly parents. Special Exits is a 208-page chronicle of their slow deaths.

Working from memory and old photographs, and using an old-fashioned dip pen, she sketched, inked and hand-lettered the entire book, panel by panel, page by page, with her face 6 inches above her paper and a patch over one eye. Special Exits took 13 years to create. She didn’t think anyone would actually publish the work; it was, simply, therapeutic.

At this point, if you’re going to have an advocate, it might as well be the underground comics giant Crumb, who made big waves last year with his illustrated “The Book of Genesis.” He liked Farmer’s new work a lot. Though they hadn’t seen each other since the ’70s, they’d kept up through letters. Farmer sent early pages of Special Exits to Crumb at his home in France, and he encouraged her to keep going. When the manuscript was finished, he contacted Fantagraphics in Seattle on her behalf.

The book, which had a healthy first-print run and generated a starred advance review in Publisher’s Weekly, is an almost uncomfortably honest memoir that’s dense with details. It’s also layered with meaning and sub-themes. There’s the family story, the firsthand account of shepherding ailing parents out of this world. But the book is also a not-so-subtle condemnation of nursing homes, as Farmer’s stepmother was treated poorly; soon after checking into a home, she took a sharp turn for the worse and died.

South Los Angeles itself is a character in the book, telling what it’s like to be one of the only white families in a predominantly African American neighborhood in the late ’80s and early ’90s. For a dark two-day period in April 1992, during the riots following the verdict in the Rodney G. King police brutality trial, Farmer’s sick, elderly parents hunkered down inside their house with little food and no electricity, eating soft ice cream and pies for breakfast until the turmoil settled down. Farmer doesn’t allude to it in the text, but she drew barely noticeable bullet holes in the walls of her parents’ home. “It’s just a little detail,” she says.

“It’s a very powerful story,” Crumb said in a telephone interview.  “And the patience to draw all that — you have no idea what that takes!” He puts Special Exits up there with Art Spiegelman’s trailblazing Maus, as well as more recent heavyweights such as Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

As Crumb was about to hang up the phone, he sweetly told Vankin, “Tell Joyce she was very beautiful back then.”

R. Crumb: Joyce Farmer’s ‘Special Exits’ on par with ‘Maus’ (Los Angeles Times)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
The last Miles: Miles Davis art exhibit opening in London
12.01.2010
08:09 am

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Miles Davis

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The last batch of unsold Miles Davis paintings will be exhibited at the Gallery 27 space in London starting this week. I’ve seen some of his art “in person” in the past and some of it is just spectacular, exactly what you’d hope paintings by Miles Davis would be like. Not a disappointment in the least. If I was in London, I’d definitely make time to see this. Via MOJO:

Miles Davis - jazz legend, trumpet guru and dab hand with a pencil - spent the last decade of his life creating swathes of drawings and paintings that for the most part have been kept away from the public gaze. Until now…

A new exhibition at Gallery 27 in London’s Mayfair will open on December 7 and is set to unveil his last remaining 100 original drawings and oil paintings.

“As with his music, his artwork changed continually,” says exhbitor Andy Clarke, “from rapid, motion-filled drawings of dancers and robots to his later more Tribal work in oils on canvas. In the early 80’s his muse was Giulia Trojer, from whom part of this collection derives. In the last few years of his life, alongside his last partner, Jo Gelbard, he turned to painting citing Picasso a great influence alongside his African heritage.”

Miles Davis London Exhibition: Original Paintings and Drawings by the Jazz Legend runs from Tuesday, December 7 to Saturday, December 11 at Gallery 27, 27 Cork Street, London W1S 3NG.
 
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More Miles Davis on Dangerous Minds

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Kenny Scharf psychedelizes downtown Manhattan

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Video of Kenny Scharf working on the latest mural to occupy the ever changing wall on Bowery and Houston in Manhattan.

The wall is legendary for its long standing Keith Haring tribute. It’s fitting that Scharf, one of Haring’s compadres, has created a new work on that historic space.

The mural was completed today.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
Smithsonian bows to religious and conservative extremists and pulls AIDS video from exhibit

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Wojnarowicz censored

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery has succumbed to pressure from conservative politicians and the Catholic League and have removed David Wojnarowicz’s video ‘A Fire In My Belly’ from their current exhibit ‘Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture’, which is scheduled to run through the Christmas season. The exhibit’s curator David C. Ward describes the video as:

an example of political engagement in artistic form with the AIDS epidemic by an artist deeply concerned with the exploration of our response to that medical and societal calamity. That it is violent, disturbing, and hallucinatory precisely replicates the impact of the disease itself on people and a society that could barely comprehend its magnitude.”

Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., called the video and exhibit an “Outrageous use of taxpayer money and an obvious attempt to offend Christians during the Christmas season.”

House Republican leader John Boehner, describing the widely praised exhibit a “mistake,” wants it canceled.

Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said, “Smithsonian officials should either acknowledge the mistake and correct it, or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January when the new majority in the House moves [in].”

The Smithsonian pulled ‘A Fire In My Belly’  earlier this afternoon, one day before World AIDS Day.

This is the offending video, featuring Diamanda Galas. Watch it while you’re still free to do so.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
Hyper Beatles

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Back in 1990 Pianist Aki Takahashi commissioned many of the world’s leading experimental music composers to re-interpret songs by The Beatles for her to perform on an album amusingly titled Hyper Beatles. Although for the most part the results are not too radical, I really love this rather belligerent and certainly irreverent take on When I’m 64 by Musica Elettronica Viva veteran Alvin Curran.
 

 
Bonus: A performance of Alvin Lucier’s Nothing Is Real which was originally composed for Hyper Beatles.

Posted by Brad Laner | Discussion
Spanking As Art (NSFW)
11.26.2010
01:03 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion
Sex

Tags:
Alva Bernadine
Spanking

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English photographer Alva Bernadine creates art that is erotic, surreal, disturbing, provocative….and humorous. Clearly a fan of Guy Bourdin, stag reels of the 1950’s and vintage French postcards, Bernadine seems to have his tongue firmly planted in both cheeks.

After being inspired by the famous freeze frame photographs by Harold Edgerton of a bullet passing through an apple and other impact photographs, I decided to experiment myself. I borrowed a sound activated switch from a friend.

The camera shutter is opened up in the dark and when there is a loud enough sound the flash goes off. I shot these with a flash gun at low power because the duration of the flash is shorter than full power. The switch has two adjustments, one for sound sensitivity and another for time delay that you can adjust for maximum impact. A friend of mine was a masochist and it occurred to me to do some pictures with her. She and her partner had came around with a bag of flagellation implements.

 

 
Bernadine’s ‘Succubus, Distorted Nudes’  after the jump…
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
Dog vibrator
11.25.2010
12:35 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Sex

Tags:
Dog vibrator
Sexual healing

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10 minutes of a dog in a suit laughing maniacally. That’s it.

I play this loop late at night just moments before I make love.

I run the audio thru 16 inch kicker subwoofers and point them in the direction of my scrotal sack. When the the beasty dog starts cackling the vibrations convert my scrotum to a tweeter resonating at a supersonic level. My lover resonates and cums immediately while HORNY fur-bearing creatures in our neighborhood converge in a chorus of frenzied squealing recalling the mystical utterances of Lord Shiva and his slut Shakti spun through the cosmic vortex where God is trying desperately to pinch off a cosmic loaf. Life is a shitty deal. Dogs know this. Therefore they laugh.

If you are of the right mind this video will send you into realms of ecstasy rarely experienced by the comman man or woman. Consider this loop a prayer wheel of sorts. Make no judgment. Relax, breath. Let the waves of canine laughter flow over you. Within moments you too will enter the realm of the Laughing Dog, where anything is possible.

God is Dog spelled backwards and dogs don’t know how to spell. Om mani padme hum.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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