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Evil Demons, Devils & Imps from ‘The Infernal Dictionary’
12:23 pm



A few lessons in French maybe required if you want to seriously study the Dictionnaire Infernal (Infernal Dictionary)—an A-Z on demonology and the occult—though Google translate may offer an easier option to access the histories of such demonic figures as the Azazel, Bael or Zabulon. Written and compiled by French occultist, demonologist and author Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy, the Dictionnaire Infernal was first published in 1818 to considerable success, and was reprinted several times before its most incarnation in 1863 in an edition that contained 69 illustrations by artist Louis Le Breton.

Breton’s illustrations became the main source for nearly all future representations of demons, monsters and fantastical beasts. De Plancy filled his dictionary with detailed histories of the hierarchy of demons—-from lowly pot boilers (Ukobach) to the Seven Princes of Hell, the Demon Regent Asmodeus, Astaroth and Lucifer. He also included historical figures associated with the occult or free thought—from various kings and queens to Napoleon and Nostradamus and even the renowned author Sir Walter Scott. A title page from the 1826 edition described the book thus:

Infernal Dictionary, or, a Universal Library on the beings, characters, books, deeds, and causes which pertain to the manifestations and magic of trafficking with Hell; divinations, occult sciences, grimoires, marvels, errors, prejudices, traditions, folktales, the various superstitions, and generally all manner of marvellous, surprising, mysterious, and supernatural beliefs.

Though originally a free thinker—he had been greatly influenced by Voltaire in his youth—De Plancy eventually became a Roman Catholic and parts of the Infernal Dictionary show his vacillation from skeptic to devout believer. Unsurprisingly therefore, later editions were edited to fit in with Catholic theology. However, the Infernal Dictionary is still a highly important compendium of demonology and the occult—in particular the 1863 edition with its fabulous illustrations by Le Breton.

An edition of the Infernal Dictionnaire has been scanned by the Internet Archive and can be viewed here.
One of the Seven Princes of Hell: The demon Bael with his three heads.
The demon Buer—President of Hell.
The Beast Behemoth.
More of Le Breton’s demons and pages from the ‘Dictionnaire Infernal,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The artist who visited ‘Dune’ and ‘the most important science fiction art ever created’
01:28 pm



Frank Herbert said John Schoenherr was “the only man who has ever visited Dune.” Schoenherr (1935-2010) was the artist responsible for visualising and illustrating Herbert’s Dune—firstly in the pages of Analog magazine, then in the fully illustrated edition of the classic science fiction tale. But Herbert didn’t stop there, he later added:

I can envision no more perfect visual representation of my Dune world than John Schoenherr’s careful and accurate illustrations.

High praise indeed, but truly deserved, for as Jeff Love pointed out in Omni Reboot, Schoenherr’s illustrations are “the most important science fiction art ever created.”

If there’s anywhere the old axiom about judging a book by its cover holds true, it’s science fiction. Few authors and the artists employed to visualize their stories achieve a real dialogue; more often than not, throughout the history of science fiction, literature of real depth is sold with flashy aliens and cosmic exaggerations. An extraordinary illustrator, however, is capable of contributing to a piece of literature just as meaningfully as its author. In the case of an artist like John Schoenherr, he becomes the work’s joint architect–and leaves a mark no less indelible.

Schoenherr’s indelible mark made its first appearance alongside a three-part serialization of Dune World in the pages of Analog magazine (1963-64). This was followed by the five-part Prophet of Dune in 1965, for this he won a Hugo Award as Best Professional Artist.

Then in 1976, Schoenherr supplied the artwork for Children of Dune, leading to the epic every home should one volume The Illustrated Dune in 1978.

Born in 1935, Schoenherr started illustrating science fiction stories with Amazing magazine in 1957, but quickly became a fan favorite with his stunning work with Analog. He also illustrated many book covers—most notably those by Philip K. Dick. However, it is Schoenherr’s original art work for Dune that has lasted, as it is difficult to read or think about Herbert’s novels without envisioning the world Schoenherr created in his paintings and sketches.
Dawn At The Palace Of Arrakeen.
More of Schoenherr’s influential artwork for ‘Dune’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Surreal body art that will give you the creeps!
09:21 am



3-D body art by Hikaru Cho
3-D body art by Hikaru Cho
Hikaru Cho is the artist responsible for the surrealist body art I’m bringing to you today. To date, Cho’s mind-altering art has been featured in ad campaigns for Amnesty International and tech giant Samsung. According to an article on Cho from 2012 when she was just nineteen, she took to using acrylic paint to create hyper realistic images directly onto her subjects skin because she was “bored” with technologically enhanced artwork.
3-D body art by Hikaru Cho
Based in Tokyo, the now 22-year-old has amassed a rather large and impressive catalog of three-dimensional body paintings. There are even a few Halloween-themed ones that I’ve included in this post because, why not? Perhaps they will help inspire you for whatever Halloween festivities you will be participating in this weekend.
Body art created for the campaign ”My Body, My Rights,” by Amnesty International
Body art by Hikaru Cho created for the campaign ”My Body, My Rights,” by Amnesty International
3-D body art by Hikaru Cho
3-D body art by Hikaru Cho
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Ellen Fullman and the avant garde drone of ‘The Long String Instrument’
01:31 pm



Composer/artist Ellen Fullman began developing her unique instrument/installation/performance art piece “The Long String Instrument” in 1981. This large-scale site-specific work consists of 70-foot-long metallic cables, anchored by a wooden resonator. The performer moves back and forth among the wires with rosin-covered fingers and the instrument produces droney tonalities that cannot be achieved with traditional instruments. The experience of interacting with “The Long String Instrument” has been compared to standing inside of a huge grand piano.

Fullman’s first album, titled The Long String Instrument was recorded during a 1985 residency at Het Apollo Huis in Eindhoven, Holland, and has recently been reissued from the original master tapes by the San Francisco-based Superior Viaduct label.

Ellen Fullman answered some questions about her work via email.

Richard Metzger: It’s tempting to try to classify your work, and your inventions, alongside of Daphne Oram‘s work and her optical synthesizer, or perhaps Delia Derbyshire’s sonic explorations, but I hesitate to do that because it seems almost sexist. Of course, one might also compare your work to, say, La Monte Young’s, or Robert Moog’s or even Harry Partch or any number of men. So instead of doing any comparisons of any sort, let me simply ask you: In what space, or genre do you see yourself working?

Ellen Fullman: I am not very familiar with the women composers that you have cited, but, that is the reality that is acknowledged now more than ever: women’s contributions have often been ignored or appropriated. I find inspiration in this quote from African-American composer George Lewis: “If you find yourself written out of history, write yourself back in!”

From the beginning, I very much took my cues from Harry Partch and reading his Genesis of a Music.

I was at a recital by Meredith Monk some years ago and she introduced one of her numbers by informing the audience that she was inspired to mimic the sounds of the insects that surrounded her sister’s desert home with her vocal cords and that listening to their sounds was a real epiphany for her when it came to developing her unique vocalizing style. Where did the inspiration for your long string instrument come from? It seems like the kind of idea that arrived fairly fully-formed.

Ellen Fullman: In my studio practice, my notebook plays a major role. Opening up the pages, I go into another dimension, much like Alice in Wonderland. In this place anything is possible. I also work on logistics here; my mind oscillates between imagination and design. Alvin Lucier’s installation of “Music on a Long Thin Wire” in St. Paul Minnesota, 1980, inspired me to explore long strings. I lived in a loft space there and extended a string wall to wall. I tensioned it with door springs and used a coffee can as a resonator. I bowed the string near the can, sang into it, filtering my voice. Accidentally I brushed it length-wise and found it produced a continuous tone. I was very inspired by Pauline Oliveros’ album Horse Sings From Cloud and I could imagine many of these long wires, tuned, and being able to play organ-like sustained chords. Mysteriously, neither tensioning the wire further, or changing the gauge of the wire had any effect on tuning.

Soon thereafter I moved to New York City and met Arnold Dreyblatt. I was totally charmed by his ensemble of instruments, his miniature pipe organ and miniature piano, and the sounds that they make in Dreyblatt’s tuning. The feeling for me was, “I want to do that!” I could imagine myself inventing new harmonies and unusual sounding chord sequences. Arnold arranged a meeting for me with Bob Bielecki. Bob explained the basic physics of the longitudinal mode of vibration and set me off on a trail that I have been on ever since.

Unlike most instruments, your long stringed instrument would seem to require an installation. And few instruments can be played by several people at one time. Do you see yourself working more in music or in the art world? Or do you not make that distinction?

Ellen Fullman: Generally, I want to share my work in any context that is appropriate for the installation, with people from the art world, music scene, or the unaffiliated. Settings could be in a contemporary art museum, an experimental rock festival, a university music department, an art school, a new music festival, a music presenting organization that scouts abandoned industrial spaces, etc. I have been fortunate to experience interesting spaces all over the world through doing this project. I feel my work is in-between music and visual art, and not really sound art either; my formal education was in visual art I am self-taught in music. I do like my installation in a visual art context; I like being an open studio, work-in-progress residency installation. I don’t care so much what context I am in – I just want to keep doing the work.

How do you write a score for it? Is musical notation possible?

Ellen Fullman: In the late 1980s, I conceived of a graphic notation format in which timing and coordination of parts are determined by distance walked. This system still functions as the basis for scoring my work today. Numbers placed on the floor under the suspended strings at metric intervals are used as reference points indicated in the score. Transitions can be coordinated based on the time it takes to arrive at predetermined locations, thereby “choreographing” repeatable events to occur at specific locations. My notation functions like a roadmap for the performer, aligning musical events in time and space to coincide with specific upper partial content. Strings vibrate in mathematical subdivisions of the total string length, simultaneously vibrating in multiple modes at once. The performer’s rosin-coated fingertips pass through these subdivisions or nodal points unfolding in a cascading spectrum, dampening the string and sounding partials associated with each passing location.

Over the past year I set about to create a method for preconceiving and composing for my instrument using midi and through retuning sound files. This has become a fluid and productive approach. I go back and forth between analog and digital: of course applying a digitally conceived composition requires adaption on the instrument, but this process has helped me to discover new combinations. I created a sample instrument in four octaves that I can play using a keyboard. I can audition new tunings, chord voicings, and hear and score for the tuning range of future installations before arriving on site. (Tuning in the longitudinal mode is dependent solely on length, therefore each venue has a different tuning range that I need to adapt my compositions to.)
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dark entries: Conceptual photography that will nourish your nightmares
09:30 am



Origins by Sean Mundy
Origins by Sean Mundy
22-year-old Canadian photographer Sean Mundy has managed to build a rather impressive collection of his minimalist yet symbolic photography during his two-decades on mother Earth.
Absolution (2013) by Sean Mundy
Absolution (2013)
Sigil (2014) by Sean Mundy
Sigil (2014)
Hailing from Montréal, Mundy’s images have the ability to evoke a wide variety of emotions from the viewer, many which may correlate directly to the more unpleasant varieties like fear, loneliness or hopelessness and perhaps (depending on how your eyes see things) loss of hope. Of course, all of what I just said it truly subject to your own interpretation, a sentiment echoed by Mundy himself regarding the endless options for contemplation when it comes to his work:

I hope for people to see meaning in my photos where I never intended there to be meaning

Now THAT is an artist’s statement! I’ve chosen to include images of Mundy’s work that many seem to draw on the darker side of life—a part of our collective existence that I feel more connected to myself. Perhaps it’s the time of year that tends to bring out more of my inner grim; the days are shorter and darker, and living things like plants and trees become skeletal versions of their once vibrant selves. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, I have personally experienced many a November where we the sun has gone missing in action for weeks.

Despite all the doom and gloom I’m exuding, I do think that you’ll enjoy looking at Mundy’s photographs (perhaps to the sounds of Bauhaus in the background?) as much as I enjoyed bringing them to you.
Gateways (2013) Sean Mundy
Gateways (2013)
More Mundy after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Polaroids of Desire: Architect Carlo Mollino’s secret stash of erotica (NSFW)
10:27 am



The architect and designer Carlo Mollino had a secret life—one that only came to light after his death in 1973.

Born in Turin in 1905, Mollino first established himself as an architect designing a house in Forte dei Marmi–a seaside resort and commune enjoyed by Thomas Mann and Aldous Huxley. By the 1930s, he was acclaimed for his Fascist House in Voghera and the Art Deco concrete and glass Farmers Association Building in Cuneos. His most famous work was the Equestrian Centre in Torinese, which was demolished in 1960.

Mollino was also a designer of furniture—one of his tables sold for $3.8 million in 2005—and described himself as an adventurer, a racing driver, an athlete, a skier (he designed two ski lodges in Aosta Valley and Piedmont), a poet, a writer, a student of the occult, occasional drug addict, professor, artist, photographer and bachelor. Surprisingly for such an enterprising life, Mollino lived nearly all of his days at his father’s house, who considered his son a “fantasist,” a “dangerous erotomaniac” and “feckless.”

In the early 1960s, Mollino bought his first Polaroid camera and developed a secret passion for creating erotic photographs. On certain evenings he would be driven down to Turin’s red light district where his driver negotiated to hire “ladies of the night” for a brief photographic session at his small city apartment—a villa he actually never lived in which was designed to be a “house for the warrior’s rest,” now the Casa Mollino by the Po River. Mollino dressed the women in clothes he had bought, then posed them against specially constructed backdrops filled with his furniture designs. The portraits range from Pirelli calendar titillation through lingerie catalog to the more painterly and artfully contrived. These images were supposed to be his idea of what a “warrior” would appreciate—however, the photographs remained secret until after his death.
More of Mollino’s erotic Polaroids, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Even at $64 a pop, the Basquiat Burger is still about 100,000X cheaper than a Basquiat painting
08:21 am

Stupid or Evil?


Our Philadelphian readers may know PYT, home of insanely gimmicky culinary constructions like the Deep-Fried Twinkie Burger, Chicken Bacon Eggo Sliders, and the Cocoa Krispies Chicken Burger. That restaurant has expanded to New York, specifically to 334 Bowery, former home of one location of Forcella Pizzeria, and more recently, the extremely short-lived Espoleta. Though rents in the city’s one-time Skid Row are no longer Skid Row cheap, PYT surely has no desire to be yet another bygone in that location, and they may have hit upon their rent-making gimmick: The Basquiat Prime Beef Burger, named for the great painter Jean-Michel Basquiat and priced at $64. Each. Look, I’m a total sucker for gimmicky sandwich places; whether it’s Kuma’s in Chicago, Melt in Cleveland, whatever, I’m all in for ridiculous shit like that. But I doubt I need to belabor the point that $64 for a burger seems beyond excessive even for Manhattan.

A 1982 Basquiat work, Untitled (The Black Athlete), just sold for 6.3 million, meaning that the Basiquiat burger is just a buck off from being 100,000 times less expensive than an actual Basquiat painting. And arguably, the figure in the painting could be interpreted as triumphantly brandishing a burger. Arguably. Very, very arguably.

But what do you get for your money? Per the restaurant’s tumblr, it’s made with “100% fresh 25% fat Wagyu Ribeye sourced from the NYC’s greatest Wagyu source, the ninjas at Japan Premium Beef.” OK, then, in that case I suppose we’ll generously take it on faith that that tastes $50 better than a regular upscale burger. The sandwich came to be named for the painter, not because it looks like his work, after the manner of the offerings at SFMOMA’s rooftop coffee bar—though I’d actually respect the hell out of that, and I find it curious that photos of the actual burger seem like they’re nowhere to be found online. (How is it possible that nobody’s Instagramed their $64 burger?) The sandwich is so named because the painter died of a heroin overdose literally around the corner on Great Jones Street. If any DM readers in Lower Manhattan are feeling lavish enough to take this one for the team and try one, we’d love to know if it’s worth the money, or at least if it’s a fit tribute to the artist. We’re guessing no way in hell on both counts, but we’re willing to listen.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Feminist performance art VS Black Flag, Sabbath, and other culturally masculine institutions
08:50 am

A girl's best friend is her guitar


Jen Ray’s paintings of “sparring Amazonian women who inhabit decaying, semi-surrealist and strangely beautiful wastelands” evoke the late ‘70s avant-post-psychedelic science fiction worlds one would associate with Heavy Metal (the magazine, not the music), but with a decidedly feminist bent—both in subject matter, and, some might argue, in form as well. Angry, jagged, “masculine” lines are filled in with soft, “feminine” washes of color—that is if colors and lines can even be described as “masculine” or “feminine” in the 21st century.

Untitled. 2007. (Detail)—Click on image for larger version.
Ray seems to delight in playing with gender stereotypes, and it’s all the more obvious in the exceptional performance pieces she constructs to augment her magnificent large-scale works of fine art.

North Carolina born, Ray was based out of Berlin for nearly a decade before recently returning to her home state. Her exhibitions of painting and performance have been presented in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Wolfsburg, Paris, Copenhagen, Mexico City, Amersfoort (Netherlands), and most recently, at New York’s Albertz Benda gallery

Ray’s newest exhibition, Deep Cuts, runs at Albertz Benda until November 7th. The presentation which accompanied the opening, directed by Ray, featured a performance by Honeychild Coleman and Amor Schumacher along with a chorus of women backing up détourned renditions of Public Enemy’s “Countdown to Armageddon” and The Guess Who’s “American Woman.”

In a world where the mere mention of the phrase “performance art” sends eyes rolling with assumptions of self-indulgent, pretentious, mess-making (and add the word “feminist” to that phrase and you’ll likely lose even more dudebro interest) it’s remarkable how entertaining, as well as conceptual and thought-provoking, Jen Ray’s productions are. It’s very nearly as populist as it is powerful in its approach.

Give it a couple of minutes to ramp up and stick with it till the end… this is killer:

The first of Jen Ray’s performance works that I viewed (and still my favorite) was Hits which takes Black Flag’s tongue-in-cheek 1987 macho party-anthem “Annihilate This Week” and turns it on its ass. My remark upon first viewing this piece was “this is more interesting than any (punk band’s) show I’ve been to in the past five years.” The sterile atmosphere of the gallery space and its attendees being invaded by singer “Mad Kate” out-Rollins-ing Rollins somehow makes the proceedings even more “punk.”

This may not be safe for some work environments:

Much more after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
F*ck yeah there’s a Tumblr dedicated to David Bowie as Aladdin Sane artwork
10:36 am



Ceramic bust of Jesus as Aladdin Sane
Ceramic bust of Jesus as Aladdin Sane
Here’s a great time-killer for your Monday—an excellent Tumblr dedicated to showcasing artwork based on the cover of David Bowie’s 1973 album, Aladdin Sane.
Aladdin Sane balloon with wig
Aladdin Sane balloon with wig from the Fuck Yeah Aladdin Sane Tumblr
From knit sweater patterns (that you can actually make yourself by the way) and street art, to cookies and sculptures, the Fuck Yeah Aladdin Sane Tumblr has a pretty incredible collection of Aladdin Sane-inspired artwork and creations. I could pretty much spend an entire day looking at Bowie in his Aladdin Sane guise, couldn’t you? This makes it easier!

The person behind this excellent Tumblr encourages its readers to submit Aladdin Sane-related artwork, with the last entry going up about a month ago. And to all this I say “Fuck YEAH, Aladdin Sane” keep it coming.
Aladdin Sane 1/4 scale wax bust with cat fur by Switchum
Aladdin Sane 1/4 scale bust, wax with cat fur by Switchum
Aladdin Sane cookies are too pretty to eat
Aladdin Sane cookies are too glammy to eat
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Frida Kahlo dressed as a boy
12:37 pm



Frida Kahlo is about seventeen in these family photographs taken by her father, Guillermo Kahlo, circa 1924. Each member of the family adopts a pose reflective of their station, but it is Frida who holds our attention—she stares directly at the camera daring us to look away.

There is a game being played. Frida is dressed as a boy in shirt, tie and three-piece suit, she is playing a role, flouting convention. Frida is also challenging the viewer’s notion of gender.

Being used to seeing photographs or paintings of Frida Kahlo in her colorful, theatrical dress, these simple family portraits are beautiful, seductive and potent. Frida had been learning from her father the tricks of photography and how best to use the camera to project an image. With this knowledge, Frida is measuring herself against the camera’s gaze—she is not fazed, has no fear, and seems certain of her own powerful image, even at this age.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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