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Dreamcatcher: Self-taught artist paints the Surreal World of the Subconscious
06.13.2016
09:50 am

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Art

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‘The Lost Narrative’ (2015).
 
I write down what I remember of my dreams each day—trying to capture them before they disappear like dew on a summer morning. Though it’s a good aide—memoire words don’t always capture the fleeting sensation such visions inspire as perfectly as an artist can with a painting.

Mike Worrall is an almost entirely self-taught artist who has been painting large, beautiful, surreal and mysterious pictures inspired by dreams and the subconscious since the early 1960s. As a child he was greatly intrigued by paintings that contained a dream-like narrative of “some sought of mystery element.” His own work followed in a similar direction where he keeps the viewer “guessing and wondering what it’s about”.

Worrall may sometimes be unsure as to what exactly his paintings are about. He might not quite fully understand them but says he is “a firm believer that I should not have to attempt to explain the enigma to people and that the picture should retain some mystery for a lasting interest.”

I’m interested in Dreams and Subconscious thoughts and the weirdness of how we go from one thought to another in an almost drifting process. Dreams are a great source of material for me. Not that I wake up and paint the dream that I may have had, even if I could remember it, I’d then have to most likely make up the details. My paintings are more deliberate and constructed with the element of change.

Worrall has also worked as an “Ideas Artist” in films. One of his paintings inspired Roman Polanski to make a film of William Shakespeare’s play MacBeth. More recently, he designed concept art for the Xenomorph in Alien3.

Born in Derbyshire, England in 1942, Worrall moved to Australia in 1988, where he currently resides. His paintings have been exhibited across the world. Many of his paintings are in collections owned by Polanski, Nicholas Roeg and musician Alan Price.

A whole gallery of Mike Worrall’s work can be seen here.
 
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‘Escape from the Garden of Different Meanings’ (2015).
 
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‘Disparnumerophobia meaning the fear of odd numbers’ (2015).
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The entire print run of classic SF punk magazine ‘Damage’ is now online!
06.13.2016
09:25 am

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Art
Literature
Punk

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Ryan Richardson is one of the United States’ foremost collectors, archivists, and dealers of punk rock records and ephemera, as well as being the Internet saint who created free online archives of StarRock Scene, and Slash magazines. He also runs Fanzinefaves.com, a repository of various early punk zines as well as the exhaustive punk info blog Break My Face.

We’ve written about Richardson’s punk altruism before here at Dangerous Minds. The last time was when he uploaded the entire print run of the seminal transgressive LA artpunk publication, NO MAG, over at his site CirculationZero.com.

Richardson has done his Good Samaritan work once again, this time with the upload of the complete print run of the Bay Area’s Damage magazine which was published between July 1979 and June 1981. Damage concentrated its coverage on the San Francisco and LA punk scenes, but also covered underground music scenes worldwide. Richardson calls it “a definite contender in a state crowded with fanzine heavyweights.”

Thirteen issues were published including a freebie special edition released between the 9th and 10th issue for the Western Front festival which Damage co-sponsored.

The newsprint zine featured bold graphics, photography, and loads of writing and interviews of great historical importance to anyone following the early California punk scene. Your mileage may vary, but the San Francisco scene between 1978-1983 is perhaps my personal favorite all-time music scene, so these issues are absolute gold to me. For my money, nothing beats the aesthetic of arty punk fanzines prior to the age of desktop publishing, and Damage is as fine an example of the form as any you care to name.

Publisher Brad Lapin spoke of Damage’s importance as a historical record in a 2010 statement to the San Francisco Zine Fest:

While I trust that the magazine speaks for itself, both for good and ill, I suppose I could say by way of explanation that, beyond all the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, that is, beyond the pure visceral FUN of punk and life in the underground, there were also deeply serious issues of politics, of social justice and, above all, of aesthetics that connected and inspired the many people involved in the Damage project. Because these concerns were particularly articulated in the scene as it existed in San Francisco three decades ago, Damage’s importance today, like that of the other zines, is as a kind of constant witness to an unique time, place and circumstance; one that spoke and one hopes still speaks to the immanent primacy of youthful idealism and to the notion that there is a deep and abiding value in a radical, even desperate rejection of the commonplace, the accepted, the normal. Conformity and regimentation then, as now, are the foresworn enemies of the creative energy that is the essence and the wellspring of youth. That stance of absolute defiance to which the punk aesthetic aspires and which, in fact, is it’s raison d’etre is no less a viable ideal today than it was 30 years ago. If anything, it is more necessary and more important.


The download of the complete set is free, but Richardson asks that those taking advantage make a charitable donation to Electronic Frontier Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, or Austin Pets Alive. Donations to these charities make the project worthwhile for Richardson, so it would be, you know, the cool thing to do to toss a few bucks that way, considering the amazing gift being provided here. Richardson has placed donation links on CirculationZero.com—go there now to download Damage, and while you’re waiting on that file transfer, scroll through this gallery of covers and pages from Damage‘s history:
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘Nick Rhodes’ Art Attack’: Duran Duran’s stylish keyboardist gives fans a tour of modern art, 1985
06.09.2016
05:04 pm

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Art
Music

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We already knew that Nick Rhodes, one of the founding members of Duran Duran, is a sensitive and creative individual. Few events are as aesthetically hyper-charged as his 1984 wedding to Iowa heiress Julie Anne Friedman.

So perhaps it was inevitable, given how many teenybopper magazines the members of Duran Duran appeared in between 1981 and 1987, that someone would have the bright idea to stick Rhodes in a museum and get some quick reactions to the various pieces of art. Which a magazine called Star Hits did in late 1985—between Seven and the Ragged Tiger and Notorious; this would have been a prime Arcadia phase.

When I first saw the pics of Rhodes holding or positioned near various artifacts from the 1980s art scene, I was momentarily sure that they must represent Rhodes discussing artworks he had bought. Alas, no. They put him in a museum and got a few quotes, that’s all.

The feature was called “Making an Exhibition of Himself” and appeared (I am pretty sure this is what happened) in the November 1985 issue of Star Hits and then was repurposed in the January 1-14 1986 issue of Smash Hits, which was a look back at 1985. Rhodes explains that when he was growing up in Birmingham he would visit the Ikon Gallery and look at the art. There’s no mention of where these photographs were taken or what the show was called, except to say that it was “a recent exhibition of young American artists.”
 

 
Let’s examine the four artists who unexpectedly found themselves featured in a music magazine aimed at teenagers.

Mike Cockrill and Judge Hughes were pop art collaborators from 1982 to 1987; here is a a broader spectrum of their output. Nancy Dwyer is a scultpor who often does larger pieces with a typographical element, as in her 1990 poly-coated nylon work “Big Ego.” Lady Pink is often called “the first lady of graffiti” for her unusual position as a woman in the graffiti world with a large body of work; she had the lead role in the 1983 film Wild Style and collaborated with Jenny Holzer on a poster series.

The strangest artist of the bunch is Mike Bidlo, whose career has flirted with outright plagiarism more than once. Bidlo once executed a series of paintings using the same media that Jackson Pollock used and called it “Not Pollock.” He reproduced a large number of Picasso paintings and called the show Picasso’s Women, 1901-71. He saved his most ambitious idea for the master of appropriation, Andy Warhol himself. In 1984 he re-created Warhol’s Factory on the top floor of PS 1 and enlisted friends to imitate various of Warhol’s hangers-on, with Bidlo himself occupying the role of the white-haired master. If you click on his artnet profile you see, among other items, a painting of a Brillo box and a silk-screen-style painting of Jackie O alongside several treatments of a Duchamp-ian urinal.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ in the style of Picasso
06.09.2016
01:30 pm

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Art
Movies
Science/Tech

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A team of developers named Gatys, Ecker, and Bethge recently developed an implementation of a technique known as a “style transfer,” which involves taking a specific pattern and “applying” it to a piece of video, such that the available surfaces in the video take on the texture of the original pattern. It’s kind of like a face swap only more ambitious.

A few months have passed, and a clever individual named Joshi Bhautik has tried to apply the technique as a way of mashing up great art and classic cinema. Specifically, he took a painting by Pablo Picasso, one of his “Les Femmes d’Alger” (Women of Algiers) series, which looks like this:
 

 
... and used it as the base image for a deep neural net-based style transfer on Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is full of striking images to say the least.

Once you do that, the generally stately, slow cinematography of the movie becomes a shimmering kaleidoscope, as seen in the following image:
 

 
The method has the peculiar effect of turning the entire movie into a version of the phantasmagorical, psychedelic journey Dave Bowman goes on for several minutes at the end of the movie, a sequence MAD magazine once compared to “crashing through the brand-new 105-story Jupiter Museum of Op Art.”

Here’s Bhautik’s description of what this is:
 

‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ rendered in the style of Picasso using deep neural network based style transfer. The cubist style had mixed results in the transfer; you can see that big empty blocks of colour didn’t map coherently between the frames. I’m working on a solution for that :]

 
See it after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Sex, drugs and terrible things: Lurid and decadent poster art from the bad old days
06.07.2016
03:16 pm

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Art
Drugs
Sex

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A Socialist “Murder of Crows” poster uses the horrors of war for its political agenda.

Thomas Negovan, the gallerist behind the quirky Los Angeles-based Century Guild specializes in Art Nouveau and the Symbolist movement. He’s an expert at tracking down weird and wonderful things and now he’s offering new “Patronage Prints” struck from rare images from his archives. The prints are produced in small editions and prices start under $50. The idea is to support the research and also make it so that affordable versions of what would otherwise be ungodly expensive can be appreciated without spending your life savings. (And if you want to do that, no problem, he can sell you the originals.)

The originals of these posters are excruciatingly rare works on paper; in some cases, the ones Century Guild have exist in quantities fewer than five and they’re primarily in museums.  They’re true “underground” modern art. When they were created, they were meant to be destroyed, not kept, but their designs and sensibilities permeated the underground art culture and informed works that blossomed decades—or a century—later. Their common thread is that they were once trash, but we recognize them today as incredibly modern treasures—and the reason is because of that underground influence.

They’re printed on 11” x 14” archival paper. Order from Century Guild.


Decadent Weimar-era icon Anita Berber seductively reveals her heroin injection marks in a 1919 film titled ‘Prostitution,’ its racy subject matter disguised under the auspices of being a “social hygiene film.”
 

A giant poster celebrating a 1907 novel studying the life—and death—of Nostradamus.
 

White Slavery was a hot button in popular culture, capitalized upon in this 1927 “grand adventure” film by legendary political illustrator Mihaly Biró.
 
More mayhem after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘A Lover Spurned’: Famed French photographers direct colorful, campy Marc Almond video
06.07.2016
11:24 am

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Art
Music

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Famed French photographers Pierre et Gilles (Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard) directed this amazing—and seldom seen—promo video for Marc Almond’s “A Lover Spurned” in 1990. This is as much a work of art as it is a music video.

The clip co-stars the glamorous Marie France, the iconic 80s Parisian transsexual pop singer, as the spurned lover. Although Almond and France have recorded duets together, that is actually not her voice in the perfectly poisonous pissed-off rap in the middle. Interestingly Almond enlisted actress Julie T. Wallace (who played the title character in the BBC cult revenge comedy The Life and Loves of a She-Devil) for that, adding a nice camp dog whistle for listeners who could hear it.
 

 
Pierre et Gilles also shot the covers for the single and 12” releases of “A Lover Spurned” and the Enchanted album the song came from.  “A Lover Spurned,” produced by Stephen Hague, was a top 30 single in the UK in 1990.
 
The music video for “A Lover Spurned” after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Filth is my LIFE!’: John Waters’ ‘Playdate’ with Charles Manson and Michael Jackson
06.07.2016
08:56 am

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Amusing
Art
Kooks

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John Waters’ sculptures of ‘baby’ versions of Michael Jackson and Charles Manson.
 
Back in 2006, the multi-talented and wonderfully boundary-pushing director, author, screenwriter, and noted hitchhiker, the fantastically transgressive John Waters created two life-sized silicone sculptures of both Michael Jackson and Charles Manson as babies clad in little cuddly onesies. Once you see them, you cannot “unsee” them. Ever
 

 
According to Waters’, the reason behind all of this (not that John Waters needs a reason for anything he does), was to portray two “famous media villains, reborn as perfect babies.” Waters went on to theorize about his tiny, terrifying creations by asking the question that if the two had been “reborn,” could they have possibly “saved” each other if they had met on a playdate “before their lives went wrong?” Leave it to John Waters to ask a question that nobody has likely ever considered asking—unless of course copious amounts of bad drugs were involved making such contemplation seem not only possible, but plausible.

Only five of these terrifying and bizarre bits of silicone (which were made with a combination of synthetic and human hair, because John Waters), were ever made with one set selling at an auction for $25,000 back in 2009. The others have been displayed at museums and shows in New York and Virginia and I presume that Waters himself is hanging on to at least one set that he keeps in a room along with other inspired oddities. Because I feel like that sounds about right when I envision the place where the great John Waters calls “home.”
 

 
A few more insomnia-inducing shots of the all-too-realistic Michael/Manson babies follow after the jump….

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The trippiest beach towels on the planet
06.06.2016
02:38 pm

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Art
Design

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I’m not an avid beachgoer or anything, but I do totally dig these surreal as hell beach towels by collage artist Eugenia Loli. I realize that these are towels, but hey they’re trippy aren’t they? I like these trippy towels so much, I’d probably just use these as everyday bath towels in my home and not specifically for the beach.

It looks like Eugenia is currently having a towel sale through the Society 6 website. Each one is selling for $32.30. There are a lot more that I didn’t showcase in this post. You should check them all out. It’s hard to choose which one you like the best!


 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Amazing movie posters for films by Hitchcock, Kubrick and Lynch that we’ll never get to see
06.06.2016
11:06 am

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Art
Movies

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Salvador Dali’s ‘Giraffes on Horseback Salad’ (1937)
 
Most film directors have a list of movie projects they never manage to make. Some are started like Orson Welles’ Don Quixote but never finished—though posthumously released in a re-edited form. Others like Hitchcock’s R.R.R.R. never quite make it from idea to script to studio green light.

L.A. based artist and designer Fernando Reza has created a stupendous selection of film posters for movie projects by directors like Hitchcock, Welles, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch and even Salvador Dali that were discussed, planned, and even partially filmed but never completed.

Take for example Salvador Dali who planned to make a movie with the Marx Brothers called Giraffes on Horseback Salad in 1937. Dali was friends with Harpo Marx and the pair decided to work together on a film project. Dali had already made two short films with Luis Bunuel (Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’or) and would later go on to collaborate with Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock designing dream sequences for Dumbo and Spellbound.

Dali and Marx concocted a story about an aristocrat played by Harpo falling in love with a woman whose face is never revealed. The great Surrealist intended to use the film to show:

...the continuous struggle between the imaginative life as depicted in the old myths and the practical and rational life of contemporary society.

The film was to include scenes with a “horde of burning giraffes wearing gas masks, and Harpo catching dwarves with a net.” A script was apparently written but the other Marx Brothers nixed the idea thinking the idea a stinker and the script not very funny.
 
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Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Kaleidoscope’ aka ‘Frenzy’ (1964-67).
 
Alfred Hitchcock wanted to make a prequel to Shadow of Doubt with another “Merry Widow Murderer” luring women to their grisly deaths. As with Psycho, Hitchcock had devised three set pieces to focus on the three gruesome murders carried out by the deviant sex-fiend. The first murder was to take place by a waterfall; the second on board a disused warship; the third in an oil refinery against brightly colored oil drums. 

Unlike Psycho or Shadow of Doubt there was no moral counterpoint to the “relentless sex and violence” shown onscreen. A script was written and test scenes shot. Among the actors considered for the lead role were Michael Caine, Robert Redford and David Hemmings. The film was basically a slasher movie a decade ahead of its time. Universal Studios vetoed the idea—thinking Hitchcock’s movie too amoral and too dark.
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Better Call Saul: The surreal, politically-charged Pop Art of Peter Saul
06.06.2016
09:20 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Politics

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‘Dali Advises the President’ by Peter Saul, 2004.
 
Often referred to as the one of the “fathers” of Pop Art, painter and illustrator Peter Saul has been creating his mayhemic, often politically charged masterpieces since the 1950s and at his current age of 82 (Saul will turn 83 in August), he shows no signs of slowing down.
 

‘Ronald Reagan (Abortion),’ 1984.
 
Saul’s vibrantly jarring style will likely remind you of the weirdness found on the pages and on the covers of vintage Zap Comix, and the artist himself has been quoted as saying that his aim with his art was to somehow mesh the art of Dutch American abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning together with the classic images found in MAD magazine. I’m pretty sure after looking at the images in this post of Saul’s face-melting paintings, you would agree that he has successfully mashed up both artistic concepts along with a large, LSD-laced dose of Surrealism.  In 2008 the New York Times described Peter Saul as “a classic artist’s artist, one of our few important practicing history painters and a serial offender in violation of good taste.”

With over 800 works under his belt to date, Saul’s paintings will be on display for the first time in Moscow (something the painter “never imagined” would happen) at the Gary Tatintsian Gallery under the amusingly title “You better call Saul!” And speaking of LSD, you can put yours away for now as the images that follow of GOP sweethearts like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and well as other despots and degenerates like Adolf Hitler and O.J. Simpson, will likely conjure up a bonafide, drug-free flashback just by looking at them. Some (such as Saul’s wonderfully bizarre depiction of a three-headed Andy Warhol that I had to include), might be considered NSFW.
 

‘Stalin and Mao,’ 2009.
 

‘Hitler’s Bunker,’ 2006.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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