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‘Let My Puppets Come’: The 1976 puppet porn that nobody asked for but we got anyway
07.06.2017
09:05 am
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The cover for the VHS of ‘Let My Puppets Come’ a puppet porn film from 1976.
 
Gerard Damiano directed the legendary 1972 porn film Deep Throat but he also played a part in the skin flick under the goofy name “Al Gork” who was credited as the “Last Man” in the film. Four years after that accomplishment Damiano would write and direct a porn film called Let My Puppets Come. The bizarre movie utilized marionettes that looked much like the beloved cast of The Muppet Show. But instead of musical numbers and comedy sketches, Damiano’s degenerate puppets spent their time on screen engaging in all kinds of hardcore sex acts with other puppets and the occasional human.

The 45-minute raunch-fest coincidentally made its debut the very same year The Muppet Show first aired on television. Most people who have witnessed the car-crashy horror that is Let My Puppets Come call the film everything from “charming” (huh?) to a downright “disasterpiece” both of which sound like pretty fair assessments to me even though I’ve never actually seen the flick in its entirety. Damiano enlisted the voice skills of sleaze king Al Goldstein, the co-founder of SCREW. Goldstein was also joined by actor Louie De Jesus (the twisted dwarf from the 1976 film Bloodsucking Freaks) and Viju Krim (who played the ballerina in Bloodsucking Freaks).

Apparently, it was Damiano’s intention to make a “sexy” puppet film, but somehow he ended up making a movie about puppets having orgies and engaging in sex acts with a puppet dog. Even good old Al Goldstein gets a blowjob from one of Damiano’s puppets which only ups the bizarro factor of the long out of print film. Occasionally VHS or DVD rips of Let My Puppets Come pop up on auction sites like eBay or on Amazon but they aren’t cheap like the horny stars of the film, and even a copy of the VHS can run you $80. I’ve posted a few images from the movie along with a trailer of sorts that features an unreleased theme song for the film “Take Your Baby to the Movies.” Everything that follows is NSFW and also confusing as fuck. Enjoy!
 

 

I’m not sure what is going on in this still. At all. And that’s probably okay.
 
More tawdry puppet activity after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.06.2017
09:05 am
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That time Mary Hartman and Patti Smith unwittingly formed a fantasy presidential ticket, 1976
07.05.2017
04:06 pm
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Any discussion about the presidency in 2017 has to start with the notion that about 90% of Americans living or dead would be an improvement over the current occupant of the Oval Office. Having said that, it’s much more fun to contemplate an actual presidential hopeful of several decades ago that really might have been waaaaaaay better in many respects than ANY of the 45 men we’ve had as president so far (okay, actually 44).

I refer to Mary Hartman, the doubly eponymous main character from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Norman Lear’s groundbreaking and addictive soap parody from the mid-1970s that starred Louise Lasser and also did so much to introduce the country to the prodigious talents of Mary Kay Place, Martin Mull, Dabney Coleman, and Doris Roberts. (One of the most astonishing aspects of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was that it was produced five days a week for more than a year, meaning that it left behind a remarkable 325 episodes in its 2 seasons. Today you can buy the entire series on DVD of course.)

You probably didn’t know that Mary Hartman was a presidential candidate in 1976, the year that Democrat Jimmy Carter narrowly bested the Republican incumbent Gerald Ford. And if you didn’t know that, then it’s extremely unlikely you knew that Patti Smith was her running mate. I’m not a constitutional scholar, but I will assert with a high degree of confidence that the Constitution does not bar fictional characters from the presidency. As for Patti Smith, who is definitely not fictional, she became the ticket’s VP pick without any consent or even knowledge that it was happening, but she graciously accepted the bid after the fact.

The whole thing was a kind of prank or stunt by the Fluxus practitioner and “mail art” pioneer Jerry Dreva, a native of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the early 1970s, Dreva and some of his fellow Wisconsinites, finding themselves in Southern California, founded a collective known as Les Petites Bonbons that specialized in mail art pranks.
 

 
One thing about mail art is that it tends to announce the location of its projects. The Hartman/Smith ticket mailing, which appears to have numbered about 1,500, actually has a return address on it, 629 Madison Ave., in South Milwaukee, so it might be the case that Dreva had returned to his home state by that time. It’s not clear. Dreva passed away in 1997.

There is incredibly little information about the Hartman/Smith project. In a 1984 issue of High Performance, Suzan Carson wrote that “Dreva livens up the most boring presidential election in memory with two flyers promoting the candidacy of Mary Hartman for president and Patti Smith for vice-president of the United States.” She also added that Smith accepted the nomination as “president of vice” (har har) at a Milwaukee concert. That concert was probably held at Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre in March 1976—anybody reading this remember that show?

Earlier this year, there was an auction on Canadian eBay for a “small collection of late-1970s works by mail-art pioneer Jerry Dreva, including glossy prints for the Mary Hartman / Patti Smith campaign in 1976,” which also included several other amusing mailings by Dreva from 1976 and a little bit later, and I’ve reproduced some of those here for the fun of it.

It’s a shame Mary Hartman didn’t get elected president—it would have been fun to watch the Supreme Court tussle with that legal conundrum. Of course I suppose it’s likely that Smith would have become president instead. Or maybe Hartman would have stayed president—and done more good for the country than Donald Trump will ever do.
 

 

 
More of Jerry Dreva’s postal tomfoolery after the jump…..

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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07.05.2017
04:06 pm
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Sex, symbolism and myth in the sensuous art of Gabriel Grun
07.05.2017
04:06 pm
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‘The Fates.’
 
When Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517, the Pope knew the Catholic Church was in big trouble. Il Papa knew the Catholic Church was going to lose business and business was money.

Business was one of the many things Luther complained about in his Theses. Mainly the notion of indulgences or paying off the Church to wipe clean any sins that meant damnation or purgatory in the hereafter.

Now, all this hoo-hah led to three different Popes (including naughty Pope Julius III) presiding over the Council of Trent—which is only important to our little story because among many other things it got the Pope hip to the idea of spreading Catholicism through art.

This wasn’t a new idea by any stretch but it was something the Church really finessed after Luther and used to its full extent to enforce its will. The Church signed-up all the best artists to create large, powerful, iconic paintings to spread the faith to the illiterate mass market. These paintings were displayed in churches. They told the story of Jesus Christ blah-blah-blah and made pretty damn clear to everyone watching that hellfire, damnation, and sin were very, very real things and only the good old Catholic Church could save you from them.

So, in a way, Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses inadvertently led to the first major global advertising campaign. Yeah, yeah, there’d been plenty of paintings and iconography and invading armies with their very own trademarks before, but nothing quite as organized or as universal as the Church. It wasn’t all bad. This eventually led to artists questioning their subject matter and a progression towards more humanist symbolism in painting and an age of Enlightenment.

What the Church encouraged on the grand scale is what we all do today with memes—embed narrative into imagery. Why is this important? Well, it’s a bit of a back story to the baroque world of painting which has in may ways been brought bang up-to-date in the work of an exceptionally talented Argentinian artist and sculptor named Gabriel Grun.

Grun paints bold, classical, figurative canvases that relate to earlier times. He is not copying the past and he is certainly not selling us religion but rather using myth, legend, and iconography to examine this world. The obvious ones are paintings like the The Three Fates where our life is spun, measured, and then cut. Or the body of the invasive many-eyed Argus who reflects our world of constant supervision. Or Leda seduced by Zeus disguised as a swan which has its parallel today in nature altered by science from test tube babies to sperm donation. Or the archer who will shoot down the gods to commit suicide.

His paintings are sometimes humorous but most times heavily charged with sex and sexuality—humanity under the thrall of its shared sexual impulse.

Grun is magpie-like in his use of ideas. The painting “Nari Asva” was inspired by an old Hindu legend of shepherdesses devoted to Krishna who take the form of a horse upon which Krishna rode. In Grun’s painting, the form of the horse is Archimboldoesque and surreal. Other obvious influences include the Tarot Arcana, Albrecht Dürer, and Flemish portraiture.

If, like me, you find Grun’s paintings beautiful and utterly engaging, then you may be interested to know they are for sale and he has a blog where you can find more of his work.
 
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‘Sun and Moon.’
 
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‘Nari Asva.’
 
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‘Hermaphrodite.’
 
See more of Gabriel Grun’s work, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.05.2017
04:06 pm
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London Calling: A look at vintage ‘tart cards’ used by English prostitutes
07.05.2017
09:22 am
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A vintage “tart card” that you would find inside a London telephone box.
 
During the mid-80s and 90s in London after the privatization of British Telecom, the telephone box was used by prostitutes to advertise their services. The boxes would be plastered with “tart cards” which were affixed to the box by professional “carders” who would routinely update the booths with replacement cards. “Carders” were also known for removing cards of competing prostitutes.

This form of flesh advertising would remain in place until 2001 when the UK made the act of posting tart cards inside telephone boxes punishable by either six months in the clink or a £5000 pound fine. The cards from the 80s and 90s included in this post were much like something you’d seen in a homemade fanzine—naughty illustrations along with some tongue-in-cheek catchy phrase (“Your pain is my pleasure” is a favorite) that were printed on brightly colored cards. Another interesting aspect of the old-school tart cards is that they were often devoid of full-on nudity, and preferred instead to imply certain services, such as an illustration of a female dominatrix holding a whip, stepping on a man with her stiletto boot heel along with her phone number. By the time 2002 rolled in, the cards were used as a means by police to track down the prostitutes and evict them from their apartments or homes as well as possibly deport call-girls who were in the country illegally.

The cards are such a memorable part of London counter-culture from that era that the neon-colored tart cards were prominently featured in the 2003 book Tart Cards: London’s Illicit Advertising Art. I’ve posted images of tart cards from the early 80s and 90s below for you to peruse which, as you can imagine, are NSFW.
 

 

 
More tart cards after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.05.2017
09:22 am
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More darkly f*cked up comicstrip paintings from Joan Cornellà
06.30.2017
09:28 am
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Like Joan Cornellà? Check. Got the book? Check. Got the t-shirt? Check. Wanna see his latest solo show? Double check.

Well then, now you can.

Joan Cornellà has a series of solos shows exhibiting his hilariously dark, twisted, yet utterly brilliant comicstrip paintings planned for across the globe.

Most recently, one of Joan’s solo shows opened in Shanghai. Next month another opens at the Galerie Arts Factory, Paris, from July 1st-August 26th. This will be followed by one at the Josée Bienvenu Gallery, New York, from July 14th-30th. Then in September, there’s another at the Hoxton Arches, London from September 15th-October 1st. Joan will be present at all of these shows doing the book-signing and hand-shaking and probably head-nodding to your many questions.

If you really like Joan and one of his solo shows is a-comin’ near you—then you’d be a goddam fool to miss it.

Of course, if you’re nowhere near any of these prized metropolises, then you’ll just have to make do with this small yet beautifully formed selection of Joan’s recent and not so recent work. Enjoy!
 
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More surreal black comedy, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.30.2017
09:28 am
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The secret dirty sketchbooks of Tom Poulton (NSFW)
06.28.2017
11:57 am
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‘Sorry to Disturb, but can one of you hand me out that light gray topcoat? ‘
 
I suppose we’ll just have to say Philip Larkin’s poem was wrong. Sexual intercourse didn’t begin “in ninteen-sixty-three / Between the end of the “Chatterley ban / And the Beatles’ first LP.” It had been going on in polite society for a hell of lot longer than that. Probably as far back as VE Day and Sinatra’s first LP—though I concede not too many people would have known about it.

If Larkin had been paying attention, then he might have just known 1963 was, in fact, the year the great English pornographic artist, Tom Poulton died. But only a few dozen would have probably marked his passing and an even smaller number would have ever been aware of Poulton’s secret life as an erotic artist.

You see, Poulton, or Tom of England, was a highly respectable illustrator for science and medical textbooks, guides to fishing and other sensible books. But in secret, he also produced a staggering amount of hardcore pornographic drawings featuring supple young bodies relishing the joyful pleasures of sexual intercourse. He kept this work hidden as he feared he would be prosecuted for obscenity and his respectable life would come to a rather sudden and humiliating halt. However, Poulton did have a few very rich and influential patrons who secretly collected his erotic work—most notably the yachtsman and playboy Beecher Moore.

Poulton was inspired to produce erotica in the 1940s after being stationed in India where he first came into contact with the explicit illustrations of the Kama Sutra. Poulton’s drawings are equally as explicit but are often humorous and all are filled with a great joy, a gleeful relish, for the pleasures of sex

It was only after Poulton’s death in 1963 that his secret sketchbooks came to light. Then in the 1990s, Beecher Moore sold a considerable part of his large collection of erotic drawings which brought a new generation to Poulton’s work and started a reappraisal of his career as an artist. If you want to know more about Tom Poulton then I recommend you beg, steal, or borrow or even just buy a copy of Jamie MacLean’s book Tom Pulton: The Secret Art of an English Gentleman.
 
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‘Please, Lady Brisere, You’re Suffocating Me!’
 
More of Tom of England’s erotica, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.28.2017
11:57 am
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NYC’s former graffiti mecca is being transformed into dumb street art-themed luxury apartments
06.28.2017
11:36 am
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On the morning of November 19th, 2013, the artists of 5POINTZ arrived at the giant canvas to find that their work had been whitewashed overnight. The graffiti mecca was located in New York’s Long Island City neighborhood, which since 2010 has seen “the most new apartments built among neighborhoods across the country” (12,533 apartments in over 41 new developments). It was no surprise then, that 5POINTZ building owner Jerry Wolkoff eventually saw the dollar signs and razed the building in favor of a new luxury high-rise apartment.
 

 
The five-story building was originally constructed in 1892, but didn’t become 5POINTZ until street artist Meres One took over as head curator in 2002. Since then, some of the world’s greatest aerosol painters have made the pilgrimage to make their mark on the exterior walls of the 200,000 sq foot “United Nations of Graffiti.” The location became a “must-see” for tourists visiting Queens, soon transforming this place of artistic culmination into a living, breathing (legal) graffiti museum. The community backlashed when plans were announced to demolish the building, but to no avail. New York’s Landmark Preservation Commision turned down an application for landmark status because “the building lacked architectural distinction and the artwork was less than 30 years old.” They are currently underway in completing a pair of forty-story apartment towers.
 

 
As Hyperallergic points out, the 5POINTZ legacy will live on through this new development, in its own fucked up way. After several lawsuits were made by artists whose work had been buffed without permission (believed to have been intended to prevent landmark status), Jerry Wolkoff has successfully registered the complex to bear the namesake of the location’s former urban glory, 5POINTZ. If that wasn’t obnoxious enough, this half-hearted homage will also see the building’s interior presented in an embarassing attempt to evoke street art. Renderings from architecture firm Mojo Stumer Associates reveal an official logo in an urban “Wild Style” font and graffiti-inspired paintings on the walls of common rooms. When completed, the buildings will also host twenty available studios for artists. But how many of them will attempt to paint their exteriors?

Take a look at the real estate developer’s unpalatably idiotic tribute to New York guerilla art below.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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06.28.2017
11:36 am
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Bizarre Willie Nelson pubic hair ‘tattoo’ and other things THAT YOU CANNOT UNSEE
06.27.2017
12:48 pm
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Willie Nelson

I’m not sure of the provenance of few of these images. The artist’s name is clearly signed on one image (good ol’ Willie), but otherwise I came up empty-handed. Even a reverse Google image search led me nowhere. Are some of these from an old Playboy spread celebrating pubic hair? I simply don’t know.

What I am pretty certain of though is that a few of these are definitely not tattoos but body paintings incorporating the nether region hair. Every website I go to says they’re tattoos, but I’m not buying it. That being said, the bird’s nest and Willie Nelson coiff are quite creative. Next up? Kenny Rogers. I demand to see that.


 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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06.27.2017
12:48 pm
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The grotesquely chaotic paintings of Mu Pan
06.27.2017
11:10 am
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A painting by artist Mu Pan featuring Bruce Lee battling a puking Ultraman. Yes.
 
Some have compared the style of artist Mu Pan to that of another highly regarded artist, Ralph Steadman, the collaborator and long-time friend of Hunter S. Thompson. And much like the often ragged, tormented-looking characters in Steadman’s work, Mu Pan’s subjects appear to be engaged in violent clashes with antagonists that range from animal/human hybrids to martial arts hero Bruce Lee locked in battle with the alien/robot known as Ultraman. Excellent.

Pan was born in Taichung City, Taiwan which he left behind at the age of 21 when he moved to the U.S. He would attend college in New York where he acquired his B.F.A. and M.F.A. in Illustration and Illustration as Visual Essay at the School of Visual Arts. According to Pan, if he hadn’t gone to art school, his mother had threatened to send him to a military academy. Lucky for us, this scenario didn’t result in Pan in becoming a military lifer, and the remarkably talented artist now spends his days teaching Illustration to students at his alma mater.

If I had to take a stab at describing Pan’s style, I’d call it a chaotic, often barbaric blend of classic eastern-inspired folk art infused with modern pop culture references. And it looks as good as that sounds. I’ve posted a nice selection of Pan’s work below for you to spend time dissecting with your eyeballs. Some are slightly NSFW.
 

Watercolor.
 

Watercolor.
 

Another image of Bruce Lee by Pan, this time in watercolor.
 

‘Mermaid.’
 
More Mu Pan after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.27.2017
11:10 am
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Salvador Dalí‘s body to be exhumed to establish a psychic’s paternity
06.26.2017
01:57 pm
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A Madrid judge has ordered the exhumation of the body of Salvador Dalí to adjudicate a paternity claim on behalf of Maria Pilar Abel Martínez, who has reason to believe that she is the famed surrealist’s daughter. 

Born in 1956 in Girona, Spain, Martínez, who is a tarot card reader by trade, has contended that her mother had an affair with the famous artist in 1955. Dalí was married to Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, whom the artist invariably referred to as Gala, his “muse.” (As we’ve written before, Dalí notably published an elaborate and bizarre cookbook dedicated to Gala.)
 

Maria Pilar Abel Martínez
 
At 61 years of age, Martínez says the affair took place in Cadaqués while her mother, Antonia, was working as a maid for a family that spent time in the town. She also jokes that the only thing she’s missing to look identical to Dalí is “a mustache.” You can judge that resemblance for yourself.

Without any existing biological remains from which to draw DNA, the judge has agreed to permit an exhumation to settle the issue of…. Dalí‘s issue (sorry).

Martínez has already undergone two paternity tests but never received the results. Dalí died in 1989 and is buried at the museum dedicated to his work in the Spanish town of Figueres in northeastern Catalonia.

Dalí did not have any other children and left his entire estate to his country of birth. The significance of the paternity suit, unsurprisingly, revolves around inheritance. If paternity is established, Martinez would legally be allowed to use his name and would also be entitled to part of his estate.
 
via Vice News
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.26.2017
01:57 pm
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