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Everyday objects get a grotesque, fleshy makeover
04.08.2016
10:54 am

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Art

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Dig Chinese artist Cao Hui‘s fleshy “Visual Temperature” series. I… um… heart Hui’s… indigestible work.

If you’re curious as to what medium Hui used to create these hyper-realistic fleshy art pieces—it’s a mixture of resin and fibre. No meats or fats were used.

According to the artist, he wants people to feel “surprise, sorrow, anger, sadness or laughter” when looking at his artworks. I surprised he didn’t mention anything about them puking.


 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes and his cavity-inducing, bubblegum-colored totally 80s wedding
04.08.2016
09:53 am

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Amusing
Art
Music

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Nick Rhodes and Julie Anne Friedman photographed at their art deco themed wedding, 1984
Nick Rhodes and Julie Anne Friedman photographed at their art deco themed wedding, 1984.
 
I don’t know about you, but just looking at these photos of Nick Rhodes (the keyboardist for Duran Duran) all dolled up for his 1984 wedding to model and Iowa department store heir, Julie Anne Friedman, gave me both a cavity and a contact high.
 
Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran and his then wife, Julie Anne Friedman on their wedding day, 1984
Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran and his then-wife, Julie Anne Friedman on their wedding day, August, 18th, 1984.
 
Drawn together by their mutual love of music, Andy Warhol and apparently lipstick, the pair met when Rhodes was only 20, and when Friedman was a mere 23. Friedman’s wealthy folks loved Rhodes as they were under the impression that their new son-in-law didn’t do drugs and enjoyed a good game of Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble. Which was about as far away from the truth as you could get back in Duran Duran’s heyday, an era that was routinely full of liver-killing champagne, cognac and cocaine parties.

Warhol himself was a huge fan of Duran Duran and according to vocalist Simon Le Bon, had a bit of a crush on Nick Rhodes (of whom Warhol writes rather extensively about in his diaries—once confessing to UK magazine The Face that he masturbated while watching Rhodes in Duran Duran’s videos. You know, just like the rest of us). Here’s an excerpt from Warhol’s diary that recalls the occasion when Nick brought his then-girlfriend Julie Anne to meet meet the Pop of Pop:

Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran came to the office and bought his girlfriend Julie Anne. He’s twenty and she’s twenty three. He was wearing twice as much makeup as she was, although he is half as tall.

The pair were married in a ceremony in London, which Warhol did not attend as he didn’t care much for traveling. He did however send along a little wedding present—an original piece of artwork with the inscription, “To Nick and Julie, love Andy ‘84’.” Rhodes and Friedman divorced in 1992 and in 2014, Friedman auctioned off the wedding gift from Warhol (much to the apparent displeasure of Rhodes who had gotten the bulk of their large art collection when they split) for $149,000. More photos from the wedding and Andy’s wedding gift follow, as well as footage from Nick Rhodes’ interview segment with Warhol on Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes in 1985.
 
Nick Rhodes in his pink tuxedo at his wedding to Julie Anne Friedman, August 18th, 1984
 
Nick Rhodes and Julie Anne Friedman at their wedding, August 18th 1984
 
More after the jump…

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Like ‘Monopoly,’ but with drugs: Play ‘Feds ‘n’ Heads’ with the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers
04.08.2016
08:40 am

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Art
Drugs
Games

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Phineas, Fat Freddy and Freewheelin’ Franklin unwind with a game of Feds ‘n’ Heads
 
Feds ‘n’ Heads, the pot-dealing board game invented by Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers creator Gilbert Shelton, was released as a special insert in the September 1971 issue of Playboy. (It’s rumored that a boxed version of the game was also manufactured, but if so, copies appear to be quite scarce.) High rollers, so to speak, can procure that issue of Playboy for a few bucks online, while dirtbags like me can print out the board, cards and tokens for free through the good offices of Freaknet.
 

 
Even if Feds ‘n’ Heads did not bear a striking resemblance to Monopoly—in place of the Chance and Community Chest cards, for example, there are “Weird Trips” and “Burns, Busts, Bummers & Ripoffs” piles—the game would still be inviting to the resin-smudged and short-term memory impaired, not to mention the resin-smudged. Its rules are simple and few. Note that you are not discouraged from “liberating” the necessary materials from your parents’ Monopoly set, or, for that matter, playing for real money and cannabis:

1. Before starting, you will need a pair of DICE, a TOKEN for each player (any number can play) and $100 per player, plus several hundred dollars for the bank, in fake or real MONEY—in denominations of ones, fives, tens and twenties. You can make your own money out of pieces of paper or you can get everything you need by ripping off a Monopoly set.

2. The WINNER is the player who, moving his token the number shown on the dice in any direction (except on one-way streets), manages to SCORE (collect) a KEY (one kilogram—35 ounces or “lids”) of GRASS and get back HOME with it. (With four players, this usually takes a couple of hours; for a shorter version, you can lower the required number of lids to 25 or 30.) Keep track of your scores with paper clips, matches or, if you’re into it, real lids.

3. Grass (weed, hemp, marijuana, etc.) is acquired by landing directly on a numbered space. You may BUY up to as many ounces as indicated by the number. To find how much you will PAY per ounce, roll the dice again, and pay that amount in dollars.

4. One player has to adopt the role of FAT BANKER. He holds all the money not in play. Players start out at home with $100. Whenever you land on or pass through home thereafter, you may collect $50 from the Fat Banker. At this time you may also STASH whatever grass you have, which then may no longer be taken from you by any means.

5. If you land on the same space as another player, he has to give you one of his ounces.

6. If you land in JAIL, you can get out free on your next turn if you roll a double. Otherwise, it will cost you $50 or five lids.

 

 
Keep reading, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
WOW! Check out the Mushroom Ninja’s trippy toadstools!
04.07.2016
09:30 am

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Art
Environment

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Wow am I happy I discovered Baltimore-based Ryan Grastorf AKA Mushroom Ninja’s Instagram which features insanely glorious-looking mushrooms. His photographs of color-drenched fungi are a sight to behold. I had no idea just how beautiful mushrooms can be. I thought they grew on shit. These ‘shrooms are like salt water fish. The peacocks of toadstools!

According to Grastorf, “As an effort to reduce stress in life, I just started hiking more.” He told Instagram Blog. “I found a mushroom, a very cool looking mushroom, and the rest is kind of history.”

Do yourself a favor and follow the Mushroom Ninja on Instagram here. You’ll be happy you did.


 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘The Art of the Black Panthers’: Revolutionary designer Emory Douglas
04.06.2016
04:12 pm

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Activism
Art
Media
Race

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Emory Douglas served as Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party and artistic director of The Black Panther newspaper from its inception in 1967. Douglas is unquestionably one of the most important artists and designers working in the political realm in the last several decades, and his work is a necessary component of anyone’s understanding of the lived experience of activism, advocacy, and resistance.

If you are trying to push an issue forward on the grass-roots level, whether it’s women’s health issues, the crimes of the 1%, or the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, the work of Emory Douglas is relevant to you.

Douglas was a native of the Bay Area; as a “guest” of the California Youth Authority (today it’s called the California Division of Juvenile Justice)—basically prison for teenage offenders—he was told to work in the print shop, which he called “my first introduction to graphic design.”
 

 
Huey P. Newton asked Douglas to provide the Black Panther newspaper with an effective visual style. Douglas and Eldridge Cleaver did many of the early issues pretty much by themselves.

One inspiration Douglas had was to mimic woodcuts for their ability to communicate ideas very clearly in a simple and stark visual style, an approach that proved very effective for his entire career. One factor that influenced Douglas’ style was that the Panthers could only afford one other color (aside from black and white), most of the time. So the picture would be conceived in a powerful black-and-white way and then the single color would be used to highlight some portion of the picture. In a way, it helped that the pictures weren’t too complex in terms of the color palette.
 

1969
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Filthy weird’: Classic comic character ‘Nancy’ gets hilariously corrupted in ‘The Nancy Book’
04.06.2016
11:36 am

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Amusing
Art
Pop Culture

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What if Nancy was an Acid Freak? Illustration by Joe Brainard
“If Nancy was an Acid Freak.” An illustration by Joe Brainard.
 
Over the course of fifteen years, prolific American author and artist Joe Brainard took the much loved image of comic strip character “Nancy,” (originally conceived and drawn by Ernie Bushmiller starting back in the early 1930s) and inserted her into approximately 100 very un-Nancy-like situations. From playful and amusing—such as Nancy emerging from my grandmother’s ever-present pack of Tareyton cigarettes, to the strange unexpected pornographic depictions of Brainard’s neuvo-Nancy, 70 of these pieces included in 2008’s The Nancy Book.
 
Mixed media Nancy by Joe Brainard
 

“If Nancy was an ashtray.”
 

“If Nancy had an Afro.”
 
Brainard (who once sat for a screen test with Andy Warhol in 1964), sadly passed away long before The Nancy Book ever saw the light of day. In addition to Brainard’s works, the publication also includes essays from writers and poets such as Ron Padgett and Frank O’Hara. Although it’s not a part of The Nancy Book, it’s worth mentioning that punk pioneer Richard Hell wrote an essay on Brainard’s book that appeared in his 2015 book, Massive Pissed Love. Here’s an excerpt from Hell’s thoughts on Brainard’s unorthodox “Nancy”:

The pictures speak for themselves. Acid freaks, terrible diseases, afro hairdos - Nancy is the constant, the immortal essence— everything else is costume. All the world is Nancy in drag.

Another interesting bit of backstory on The Nancy Book is an amusing piece of “hate mail” (which I desperately hope is real) sent to the book’s publisher, Siglio Press back in 2011. According to the angry letter, Brainard’s “filthy weird” book was given to a fourteen-year-old girl named, you guessed it, Nancy, on her birthday by a relative who found it on Craig’s List. Here’s the letter below in all its “discusting” finger-wagging typo-riddled glory.
 
Hate mail to the publisher of The Nancy Book, Siglio about it being
 

9-27-2011
A few months ago my daughter 14 years old was given a book for her birthday from my 55 year old nephew. My daughters name is Nancy. She was given “the Nancy Book” By Joe Brainard and it was published by Siglio Press Co. My nephew purchased this book on Craig’s list. He had no idea that is was a filthy weird book. My daughter has a collection of Nancy & Sluggo things and books by Ernie Bushmiller. This book was discusting—I showed the drawings and fotos to my friends and their reaction was the same as mine. The book was wrapped in cellophane so we were unaware it was a truly dirty rotten book. Can you imagine a 14-year-old girl getting a book like that for her birthday gift. I know Ernie Bushmiller has died, he would be astounded that this Joe Brainard copied his comic strip and made such trash out it.

I can not understand how you and your press company would publish such filth. The price of this book was $39.95. This was not works of art.

 
I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on working the expression “filthy weird” into as many conversations as possible. You can pick up The Nancy Book here. I’ve also included more images—some were so NSFW you should just hunt for them on your own time—from the book as well as the trailer for a lovely documentary on Joe Brainard (which you can download here for $5 bucks), below.
 

“If Nancy was a sailor’s basket.”
 
More ‘filthy weird’ nasty Nancy after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Around the world with Modesty Blaise, ‘England’s fabulous, feminine answer to James Bond’
04.06.2016
09:13 am

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Art
Books

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Doubleday hardcover, 1965
 
The 1960s were rife with super-duper-glamorous spies, weren’t they? James Bond was one of the earliest and also the best-known. Ian Fleming published Casino Royale in 1953, and the movie series started in 1962 with Dr. No. But there were many others: The Avengers, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., I Spy, Mission: Impossible, James Coburn’s Derek Flint, Dean Martin’s Matt Helm—they were all over the place.

Emma Peel notwithstanding, the general arena was a bit heavy on the testosterone, so Peter O’Donnell invented “England’s fabulous, feminine answer to James Bond,” as one of the first published editions had it. (In Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega is reading the edition at the top of this post on the toilet just before he meets his untimely demise.)

In 1966 Joseph Losey directed Modesty Blaise starring Monica Vitti and Terence Stamp and Dirk Bogarde. Some of the book covers below use images of Vitti in the role.

Modesty Blaise never had the sales that James Bond enjoyed, but she was quite popular through the 1970s and 1980s, and Souvenir Press was publishing several Modesty Blaise titles as late as 2006. As you can see below, O’Donnell’s handful of Modesty Blaise titles (Modesty Blaise, Sabre-Tooth, I, Lucifer, The Impossible Virgin) were translated in many countries, including France, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Finland, and Brazil.

The Modesty Blaise Book Covers website is obviously indispensable for a post like this—alas, many of the images are a bit too small for use here, but I was often able to find reasonable facsimiles elsewhere on the internet. In some cases I liked the cover so much and couldn’t find a larger image so I just lived with the mild graininess, sue me!
 

Souvenir Press hardcover, 1965
 

Fawcett Crest, 1965
 

Doubleday, 1966
 
More ‘Modesty’ after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Street art homages to Frank Zappa, Lemmy, David Bowie, Bon Scott, Ian Curtis & more
04.05.2016
09:14 am

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Art
Heroes
Music

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Frank Zappa street art mural under a bridge in London by James Mayle and Leigh Drummond
A massive mural of Frank Zappa under a bridge in London by artists James Mayle and Leigh Drummond.

I recently came across images of some beautiful street murals of both the sadly recently departed Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie—which is what got me cooking up this post chock full of graffiti and street art homages to notable musicians and rock stars who are no longer with us.

Of the many public pieces, photographed at places all around the globe, I’m especially fond of the Lemmy/Bowie hybrid that popped up on a utility box in front of a restaurant in Denver, Colorado shortly after Bowie passed on January 10th, 2016, as well as a haunting image of Joe Strummer that was painted on the side of a rusted old van.
 
Lemmy/Bowie street art mashup in Denver, Colorado
Lemmy/Bowie street art mashup in Denver, Colorado.
 
Joe Strummer mural painted on the side of a van by French artist, Jef Aerosol
Joe Strummer mural painted on the side of a van by French artist, Jef Aerosol.
 
Inspired street art dedicated to everyone from Joy Division’s Ian Curtis to James Brown, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Killer silhouettes of 80s VHS horror movie box art
04.01.2016
01:44 pm

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Art
Movies

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The excellent recent documentary The Nightmare examines the topic of sleep paralysis, a condition which causes terrifying waking hallucinations in its victims. Many of the sufferers of sleep paralysis describe similar visions. In fact, these descriptions are often so alike, it’s uncanny. One of the typical hallucinatory images described is that of a shadowy silhouetted figure. Sometimes there are three of these figures, the leader of which is usually wearing some sort of a hat. This hat-wearing dream-stalking shadow is said to have been the original basis for the Freddy Krueger character from A Nightmare on Elm Street.

There is something very primal about this shadow figure that haunts the dreams of sleep paralysis sufferers. This dark silhouette is something ingrained into our animal brains as an anthropomorphic personification of fear itself.

I was reminded of the demons of sleep paralysis when I ran across a post from Camera Viscera collecting scads of VHS horror covers all with the thematic connection of having a silhouette figuring prominently in the artwork. You can check their site or their Facebook page for even more of these “kill-houettes.”

Below is a gallery of the finest examples of shadow terror art.

Happy nightmares, folks:
 

 

 

 
More 80s VHS kill-ouettes after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘The Legend of the Fall’: A slapdash cartoon love letter to Mark E. Smith
04.01.2016
12:09 pm

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Art
History
Music

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Panel #12: “And Mark said the three R’s were ‘Repetition, Repetition, Repetition….”
 
I learned recently that antifolk musician and comix artist Jeffrey Lewis is a huge fan of the Fall, which, as it happens, I am as well. Lewis tends to celebrate his artistic heroes in his songs and artwork; some of his song titles are “Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror” and “The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song.”

One senses in Lewis’ love for Smith a respectful acknowledgment from one ultra-prolific artist to another. Lewis has fashioned a kind of “Where’s Waldo” poster involving many, many, many Fall tracks, under the title “100 Fall Songs,” which actually contains visual references to 112 Fall ditties. You can buy that at his website, and it even comes with a key so that you can test your Fall knowledge.

In 2007 and 2008 Lewis was given to a quickie “documentary” (his term) about the Fall that he would do in his live shows; maybe he’s done it since but he was definitely doing it at that time. The title of the piece is “The Legend of the Fall,” and if that puts you in the mind of a certain Jim Harrison novella that was turned into a Brad Pitt movie, you’re not alone.
 

Panel #16: “...who worked hard writing, touring, and recording….”
 
The “documentary” consists of twenty-odd panels drawn by Lewis himself, that were concocted to accompany amusing doggerel of rhyming couplets that Lewis had written describing the tumultuous history of the Manchester band.

Here’s an example of the couplets: 
 

Mark and his friends bounced ideas off the wall
He was gonna dress up & they were gonna call themselves “Flyman and the Fall”
Then they settled on “The Fall” after the Camus book
Though Mark couldn’t sing a note & didn’t care how square he looked

 
Panel #19 refers to a gig in 1998 when Smith punched a band member onstage and got arrested—DM published an in-depth chronicle of that memorable gig (complete with video!) last year.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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