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Amazing photographs of Harlem during the summer of 1970
03.16.2015
08:38 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion
History

Tags:
Harlem
Jack Garofalo


 
Captivating photographs of Harlem in July of 1970 taken by French photographer Jack Garofalo for the October issue of Paris Match magazine. Garofalo was sent on assignment to document the changes happening to the neighborhood after the 1960s.

Here are a few statistics about Harlem in the 1960s per Wikipedia:

...about 75% of Harlem students tested under grade levels in reading skills, and 80% tested under grade level in math.In 1964, residents of Harlem staged two school boycotts to call attention to the problem. In central Harlem, 92% of students stayed home. In the post-World War II era, Harlem ceased to be home to a majority of the city’s blacks,but it remained the cultural and political capital of black New York, and possibly black America

As the 1960s ended, many Harlemites were able to escape the crumbling, crime ridden neighborhood in search of better school systems, safer streets and more livable homes.

Jack Garofalo‘s photographs documented the people who stayed. A snapshot in time we’ll never see again.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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John and Yoko shine on in these rarely seen photographs from 1980
03.13.2015
12:38 pm

Topics:
Art
Books
Music

Tags:
Yoko Ono
John Lennon
Kishin Shinoyama


 
These rarely seen photographs by acclaimed photographer Kishin Shinoyama were taken over the course of several days in September of 1980 for John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s album Double Fantasy. It was the last studio recording by Lennon before his tragic murder in December of 1980 and these photographs are particularly bittersweet in light of what was to come.

Kishin Shinoyama and Yoko Ono are releasing a book of photo essays called Double Fantasy published by Taschen this month in a limited edition of 1,980 copies (1980). Money can’t buy you love but it can buy you this book for $700. If you’re a fan it may be some kind of love.

Here are photographs from the book and a video on Shinoyama and Ono’s collaboration on its making.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Smutty snuff bottles of the Qing Dynasty
03.12.2015
08:53 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Sex

Tags:
pornography
Qing
snuff


 
During the Qing Dynasty (the final imperial Dynasty of China, 1644 to 1912), smoking tobacco was illegal, but the use of snuff was permitted for medicinal purposes. As the habit became pervasive throughout the country and across every class, beautiful little snuff bottles were produced, made from materials like jade, bone, ceramic, glass and ivory. Many of the bottles depicted pastoral scenes or images of nature. Others—like the ones pictured here—were hardcore and would make pervy potter Grayson Perry blush!

If you’re in the market for a tiny antique porn collection from China—or you just want to do bumps from a smutty little snuff bottle—you can find them for around $50 on eBay or Etsy (much cheaper if they’re missing the stopper-spoon). If you’re really looking to drop some serious dough, Sotheby’s and other high-end auctions sell Qing snuff bottles that will run you thousands of dollars. It can be difficult to tell a reproduction from a legitimate Qing, but a little research will help you find the real thing (and for a reasonable price). For instance, many knockoffs are made of light-weight resin, and real Qings are often dated on the base.

There’s something so charming about these itsy-bitsy explicit tableaux—how could you resist?
 

 

 

 
More smutty snuff bottles of imperial China after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘My life couldn’t fill a penny post card’: A glimpse of Andy Warhol’s early correspondence
03.11.2015
09:47 am

Topics:
Art
Media

Tags:
Andy Warhol


 
In its December 1949 issue Harper’s published a short story by John Cheever—the story was called “Vega,” and it was illustrated by a young artist named Andy Warhol, who was all of 21 years old at the time.

The editor of Harper’s at the time was Russell Lynes, and at some point he wrote Warhol asking him for some biographical information. Warhol responded with an unmistakably Warholian document, featuring a cute drawing, an upbeat greeting, and a bare minimum of upper-case letters (there are five in all). Perhaps fittingly, Warhol plays the humble card, insisting that his “life couldn’t fill a penny post card” and that he has spent the previous few months “moving from one roach infested apartment to another.” (Warhol lived in at least two such apartments with his old school chum Philip Pearlstein.)

The short letter dates from an interesting time in Warhol’s life. He was fresh out of college, and the alacrity with which he secured some high-profile illustrating gigs may have been a sign of future successes to come. He illustrated two album covers, A Program of Mexican Music by Carlos Chávez and a recording of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky by the Philadelphia Orchestra. He worked as a commercial artist for Glamour, Vogue, and Seventeen and also, we get this tidbit from the Tate Modern in London: “Infatuated with the writer Truman Capote, Andy inundates him with fan letters and telephone calls until Capote’s mother asks him to stop.”

Here’s a transcript of Warhol’s letter:

Hello mr. lynes
thank you very much
biographical information

my life couldn’t fill a penny post card i was born in pittsburgh in 1928 (like everybody else — in a steel mill)

i graduated from carnegie tech now i’m in NY city moving from one roach infested apartment to another.

Andy Warhol.

 
The letter comes from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. It appears in the dazzling new book More Than Words by Liza Kirwin, published by Princeton Architectural Press (for more information about the archives, visit aaa.si.edu). It’s highly recommended, as it’s jammed with visual treasures just like this one.

(Click on the image for a larger image.)
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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The remarkable rabbits of Sigmund Freud’s niece
03.10.2015
10:50 am

Topics:
Animals
Art

Tags:
Sigmund Freud
Tom Seidmann-Freud


 
These remarkable dreamlike images come from a 1924 book that came out in Germany called Buch der Hasengeschichten (“Book of Rabbit Stories”). The author published under the name Tom Seidmann-Freud, but her given name was Martha Gertrud Freud—her mother, Maria Freud, who went by “Mitzi,” was one of Sigmund Freud’s five sisters. Martha was born in Vienna in 1892 but her family moved to Berlin in 1898. As a teenager she adopted the name “Tom.” In 1920 she met a writer named Jakob Seidmann, whom she married two years later.
 

Tom Seidmann-Freud
 
In 1924 Seidmann-Freud published Buch der Hasengeschichten through the Peregrin Verlag (Peregrin Publishing Company). Over the next few years, she published a number of incredibly distinctive children’s books, the most famous of which is Die Fischreise (The Fish’s Journey) of 1923. As Marjorie Ingall writes in Tablet, “She hung out with Berlin’s avant-garde crowd, as well as with her family’s academic and Zionist friends. … Her style involved outlining folk-art-y, simple illustrations precisely in ink, then filling them in with watercolors. She frequently used stencils and paint together in a bright, lively technique called pochoir.”

In the space of few months, both Tom and Jakob committed suicide for reasons stemming from financial troubles. Sources differ on the exact reason—German Wikipedia says blandly that they had founded Peregrin Verlag, which ran into difficulties when the global financial crisis that started in 1929 arrived. Ingall isolates the problem with a separate venture called Ophir Verlag, which was to be a publishing company specializing in Hebrew books for children. That story involves a third party named Chaim Nachman Bialik, whose failure to live up to his obligations led to their suicides. Ingall cites a letter from 1925, suggesting that the money problems had been going on for a while, although the culpability of Bialik is simply not established in her account. Whatever the reason, it was clearly financial in nature; Jakob hanged himself in October 1929 and, now suffering from depression, Tom died of an overdose of sleeping pills in February 1930.
 

 
According to Ingall, during the Nazi regime her children’s books became destroyed in great numbers as part of the purge of Jewish authors—we’re lucky that her works survived the Third Reich, thanks for Seidmann-Freud’s family members as well as art lovers. 

Will Schofield calls the book “whimsically apocalyptic,” which seems entirely apropos—I’m a little puzzled for his use of the term “rabbit dreams,” which seems a little misleading. Seidmann-Freud was trained as a Jugendstil artist, and her vibrant, imaginative, purposefully “flat” images definitely have a powerful, untethered, dreamlike quality all their own. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
via 50 Watts

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Strange and unusual: 18th-century style ‘Beetlejuice’ silhouette portraits
03.09.2015
01:27 pm

Topics:
Art
Movies

Tags:
tim burton

It's Showtime Beetlejuice
 
“It’s showtime!”

Fans of Tim Burton’s circa 1988 horror-comedy, Beetlejuice, are sure to appreciate these striking black-on-white cameos of bio-exorcist Betelgeuse, the monstrous Maitlands, and the “strange and unusual” Lydia Deetz.

These intricate paper silhouettes are the work of The Shadow Studio’s Julia LaFosse who hand-cuts each portraiture in a style made popular in the 18th century.

She explains:

Sometimes silhouette artists would be invited to parties by wealthy patrons in order to entertain the guests by creating cut-paper portraits of them, but silhouettes were also an affordable way for lower-class families to have portraits of their loved ones made, as they were much less expensive than paintings and photographs were not yet available. Silhouettes became so popular that a parlor game called Shades was widespread in the years before the invention of the daguerreotype, where people would take turns tracing each others’ shadows, cast onto a piece of paper by a candle.

Barbara and Adam Maitland Beetlejuice
 
Barbara Maitland and Adam Maitland

Betelgeuse and Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice
 
Betelgeuse and Lydia Deetz

Take a look around her online store, she has many more fantastic silhouettes.

Posted by Rusty Blazenhoff | Discussion
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Eye-popping Bad Brains and Ramones’ cartoons that will rock your world


 
British animator Neil Williams (aka Stelos485) has created two of the coolest punk-related cartoons ever. The animation for the Bad Brains’ “Pay To Cum” is very much like the song and band itself: stripped-down, kinetic and as frenetic as a frog on a hotplate.

Williams’ animation for The Ramones’ “Chainsaw” is an ingenious mix of Saturday morning cartoon visuals, Tobe Hooper’s slice and dice horror films and beach party fright flicks. It’s perfectly in the spirit of The Ramones’ own obsessions and I wish there was one of these cartoons for every Ramones’ song ever recorded.

More of Neil Williams’ work can be viewed on YouTube channel.  It is definitely worth a visit. Check out his Beatles’ stuff and an animated version of the notorious Orson Welles’ frozen pea radio ad. 
 


 
The Ramones animation after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Express yourself with Cindy Sherman emojis
03.06.2015
12:46 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
Cindy Sherman
emojis


 
Well shit, I don’t normally use emojis in my daily life, but I just might start because these fantastic Cindy Sherman-icons by New York-based artist Hyo Hong. “I found iconic connections between her self-portraits and emoticons in terms of various facial expressions from one face,” said Hong.

I have to agree, there’s a Cindy Sherman emoticon for every type of feels!

You can download the Cindy Sherman-icons for your phone on Hyo Hong’s Tumblr page.


 

 

 

 
via It’s That Nice

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Being human: Sexuality, gender and belonging to family in Nan Goldin’s photography (NSFW)
03.06.2015
11:07 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Queer
Sex
Unorthodox

Tags:
Nan Goldin

001nanimg333.jpg
 
Nan Goldin became obsessed with taking photographs of her friends and classmates at school—she says she became the class photographer. One of her first subjects was her best friend David Armstrong who was into drag. After they graduated from school, Goldin and Armstrong shared an apartment and he introduced her to the world of drag queens. Goldin spent time photographing David and his friends.

After years of experiencing and photographing the struggle of the two genders with their codes and definitions, and their difficulties in relating to each other, it was liberating to meet people who had crossed these gender boundaries.

Most people get scared when they can’t categorize others—by race, by age, and most of all by gender. It takes nerve to walk down the street when you fall between the cracks. Some of my friends shift genders daily from boy to girl and back again.

 
001mistjim34.jpg
Misty and Jimmy.
 
Goldin was born in 1953 the youngest of four children to a middle class Jewish family in Washington D.C. Not long after she was born, the family moved to the suburbs of Lexington, Boston. She was a rebellious child and ran away from home, and was eventually fostered by several families during her teens. Goldin has said she was “full of raw energy, creativity and sensuality” and found the fifties and early sixties an oppressive, difficult time. Then she discovered photography. First she took Polaroids, then shot Super 8, before taking regular photographs that she had developed at the local drugstore. Her friends would stack the pictures in piles to see who had the most portraits. Though these pictures were her a kind of diary—documenting her life, her relationships, her sexuality and her friends who became family (“We were the world to each other”)—the photographs were created out of her relationships and not observation.
 
001ckie.jpg
Actress, writer and friend Cookie Mueller.
 

The work has always been misunderstood as being about a certain milieu of drugs and parties and the underground. And although I’d say that my family is still marginal and we don’t want to be part of normal society, I don’t think the work has been about that, I think the work has been about the condition of being human—the pain, the ability to survive and how difficult that is.

In this beautiful short film, Nan Goldin discusses her life and career, friends, drug addiction and the “other world” she has documented.
 

 
A selection of Nan Goldin’s beautiful photographs, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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This might be the creepiest ceramic set EVER
03.06.2015
10:35 am

Topics:
Art
Food

Tags:
creepy
ceramics
tableware


 
This is totally amazing. Ronit Baranga is a ceramic sculptor from Israel, and she has come up with a set of tableware that will automatically call up images of Fester, Lurch, Wednesday, the Thing, and the rest of the Addams clan. Her website is a total trip, and I look forward to seeing more of her creations in the future.

Baranga’s high-minded comment on her anthropomorphic set runs like this:
 

The useful, passive, tableware can now be perceived as an active object, aware of itself and its surroundings – responding to it. It does not allow to be taken for granted, to be used. It decides on its own how to behave in the situation.

 
When regular household items become “active objects,” that’s usually what we call haunting, or possibly something like a Nest Learning Thermostat—either way, I won’t get too worried until one of these pieces actually starts nibbling at my lips or walking towards me!
 

 

 

 
If you haven’t already lost your appetite, there’s more after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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