follow us in feedly
Realistic tension-filled artwork pulled directly from your nightmares!
11:30 am



A Girl with a Pick - Ron Francis
A Girl with a Pick, Ron Francis
If you find yourself unable to sleep tonight because you’re still contemplating the eerily life-like paintings featured in this post, be sure send a nice “thank-you” note to Sydney, Australia-born artist Ron Francis.
Time, Ron Francis
Like so many artists, Francis (born Ronald Malcolm Francis) started his love affair with art at a young age. His earliest work, created when Francis was just a small child, featured large versions Disney characters that were composed on his bedroom wall. Thankfully, his budding creativity wasn’t discouraged by his parents. Sometime around his seventeenth birthday, Francis discovered oil paints and by the time he was 26, he was exhibiting his work all around Melbourne.
In the Face of God - Ron Francis
In the Face of God
As Francis further developed his unique, artistic perspective he discovered a distinct mathematical relationship between his viewpoint and the subject matter depicted in his work. So complex was Francis’ “system” of perspective and its relation to geometrics that he actually developed a piece of CAD (computer-aided design) software to help him manage linear perspective. It’s absolutely fascinating stuff.

After being diagnosed with throat cancer in 2005 (a battle Francis won), the now 61-year-old artist is still at work painting and creating images (which according to Francis are mostly inspired by “dreams or visions”) that invoke a distinct sense of contemplation with a strong tinge of anxiety. A timely sentiment, wouldn’t you agree?
Neighbors - Ron Francis
How I Found Out - Ron Francis
How I Found Out
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Sleazy City: Amazing pics of Times Square, back before they took all the porn away
09:03 am



It’s well known that Times Square in Manhattan endured a massive facelift during the mayoral tenure of Rudy Giuliani in the 1990s. Disney became an investor in the area, which soon became a touristic haven for Madame Tussaud’s and stores selling overpriced fare from Godiva’s, M&M’s, Quiksilver, and Lids. The main casualty of this process of turbo-gentrification were the charming porno houses that dotted the area in the 1970s and 1980s.

Maggie Hopp worked in the administration of Mayor John Lindsday in the late 1960s, but left to travel extensively (Colombia, Scotland, and India, among others) before returning to NYC to settle down and focus on getting work as a professional photographer. According to an interesting interview Hopp granted to Ragazine, she was fortunate, upon her return, to befriend a “deep-pocketed” mentor with some clout in the world of real estate who also had some instincts as a preservationist, and he encouraged her to get her realtor’s license. Together they isolated neighborhoods that were likely to undergo rapid change in the decades to come, and she went out and photographed every block of those areas in such a way that his interest in them as real estate properties wouldn’t become widely known.

He was, of course, more interested in determining which properties to buy, assemble and hold for long-term development, but I treated this pursuit as an opportunity to make a ‘photographic documentary art project’ and made a concentrated effort to find the best light, to be thorough, and to photograph every block and therefore to show which were the sites ripe for change and development ( e.g. parking lots, taxpayers, one story warehouses, etc.),  recognizing the inevitability of change and that my images were a way of preserving the city at least visually!

One of the more interesting pictures in this set is of the Terminal Bar, which was one of the city’s most notorious dive bars in the city for decades, located right across the street from the Port Authority. As Gothamist once wrote about the place, the neon signs of the bar represented “a false beacon of hope in a darker part of town.” It was featured in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. The Terminal Bar was originally an Irish bar but later became a predominantly African American and gay bar. It closed in 1982, just a couple years after these pictures were taken.

There isn’t a book dedicated to Hopp’s photographs of Times Square—at least not yet. However, her pictures are featured in Benjamin Chesluk’s 2007 book Money Jungle: Imagining the New Times Square.

Click on the pictures for a larger view:



More fantastic pictures of good old bad old Times Square after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
A new super-gay video game challenges you to wash a guy’s back in the gym showers
07:44 am



Video game designer Robert Yang has has quite the homoerotic resume. He developed Cobra Club, the game where you try to alter a dick pic to optimum beauty, and Stick Shift, a game where you pleasure your gay car. There’s the (consensual) spanking game, Hurt Me Plenty, and Succulent, where you watch a man fellate an popsicle. Rinse and Repeat is Yang’s latest, and it’s surprisingly subtle on the homoeroticism (relatively speaking). The object?  Wash a man’s back in the gym shower. That’s it. Just a super-gay locker room fantasy with a healthy dose of camp, and not half-bad graphics, either!

Yang lays out the scenario on his site thusly:

Was he in your Tactical Zumba class, or was it Blood Pilates? Usually you wouldn’t risk a shower right after class, they already talk enough shit about you, but the other day—a cough then a smirk and then a knowing glance, that’s all it ever takes until you start hoping against hope.

Don’t fuck it up. Show up when he’ll show up, right after class. Set multiple alarms on your phone, mark your calendar, clear your schedule. What is this terror? What is this ecstasy? What is it that fills you with this extraordinary excitement?... Boy, it’s the promise of a workout.

The whole thing is really funny and cheeky (get it?), right down to the aviator sunglasses your bathing buddy leaves on during his shower. You can download Rinse and Repeat here (for free!) and watch a preview below. All dicks are pixelated, but do I really need to tell you that it’s NSFW?

Via Kotaku

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Crash: Apocalyptic J.G. Ballard quotes about cars on traffic signs
09:59 am



In 1965 the British Road Sign project was launched, introducing Great Britain to a multitude of new road signs as well as two ubiquitous two new typefaces (Transport and Motorway), all of which were designed by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert, who basically invented modern road signage in the same act. It doesn’t matter if you live in the U.K. or the U.S. or the European continent—if you’ve been in a car, you’ve seen their two-dimensional pantomimes (example).

2015 being the 50th anniversary of the British Road Sign, this summer the MADE NORTH Gallery celebrated the design landmarks with a project in which they invited “leading British artists and designers to transform the familiar circle, triangle and square signs.” The participants were encouraged to “create their own content for the signs developing concepts that evolve from current signs function of instructing people of speed limits and directions to poetically disrupting our everyday with designs that makes us stop, look and think about design and our environment in a slightly different way; less instructions and more pauses for thought.”

J.G. Ballard behind the wheel of a 1904 Renault Park Phaeton, 1971
Possibly the most intriguing entry came from the well-known British designer Jonathan Barnbrook, whose past projects include the album art for David Bowie’s 2002 album Heathen as well as his 2013 release The Next Day; he also collaborated with Damien Hirst on his restaurant Pharmacy. Barnbrook crated two “anti-signs,” if you will, signs that could never serve any proper public service but whose very inutility prompts the viewer to engage with them in a more conceptual, artistic way. More interestingly, Barnbrook’s two signs incorporate lengthy quotations from the patron saint of automobile crashes, J.G. Ballard, the one man on earth who might fairly be said to disagree with the need for traffic signs to prevent fatal accidents.

Both signs are essentially illegible in the usual sense, and simply offer up a perverse Ballard sentiment about cars in forbidding combinations of red, white, and black. The first features a sentence from Ballard’s interview in Penthouse, which appeared in the magazine in the September 1970 issue (incidentally, three years before the publication of Ballard’s magnum opus on automobile accidents, Crash, but the same year as Ballard’s thematically similar multi-media work The Atrocity Exhibition).

For the record, the full line is “A car crash harnesses elements of eroticism, aggression, desire, speed, drama, kinesthetic factors, the stylizing of motion, consumer goods, status—all in one event.” You can read Ballard’s full Penthouse interview here.

Barnbrook’s second sign appropriates a comment about the eventual demise of cars (one that has proven to be not very prophetic at all) that comes from an essay Ballard wrote for the Autumn 1971 issue of Drive called “The Car, the Future”:

This sign is far more cluttered, with too much text really. The quotation reads as follows: “The car as we know it is on the way out. To a large extent, I deplore its passing, for as a basically old-fashioned machine, it enshrines a basically old-fashioned machine, it enshrines a basically old-fashioned idea: freedom. In terms of pollution, noise and human life, the price of that freedom may be high, but perhaps the car, by the very muddle and confusion it causes, may be holding back the remorseless spread of the regimented, electronic society.” You can read the full essay “The Car, the Future” here.

After the jump, director Harley Cokeliss’ 17-minute meditation on Ballard’s “Crash” thematic, featuring an appearance by Ballard himself…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Provocative photos show Flemish traditional costumes worn by men and women of color
07:46 am



For anyone who has spent much time in museums gazing at canvas after canvas of pasty and wealthy snoots from the Low Countries, Maxine Helfman’s “Historical Correction” series of photographs is likely to seem a breath of fresh air. Helfman, who is a white woman in her early sixties and has always adored Flemish portraiture of the 1400-1700 period, started thinking about the people who never qualified for inclusion in the works of Jacob van Utrecht and Bernard van Orley. So, in her series of photographs, Helfman has replaced the faces of those pasty Flemish nobles with those of modern men and women of color.

The power relations inherent in 1542 Flanders, with white Europeans plundering the globe for resources, land, labor—things aren’t so different today, Helfman’s portraits seem to say. Why do these stately portraits seem odd? Do they seem odd? Why aren’t we used to that? The most powerful man on the planet is the direct (and recent) descendant of a Kenyan citizen, and yet that template doesn’t seem likely to recapitulate itself in the future. (And the senseless tragedies of Ferguson, Staten Island, Baltimore, Cleveland still ring in our ears.)

To the Huffington Post Helfman commented, “My intention is to produce bodies of work that look at history and issues of inequality. ... My projects are always shot from a point of respect for my subjects.” In other recent projects, Helfman has worked with black women posing as geishas and boys wearing dresses as a way of fucking with our expectations regarding identity.

Helfman’s fictional narratives provide a different view on history and culture. By blending subjects of color from today with the inescapably classist modes of expression from the distant past, she implies that disentangling race and class might not be possible at the present time. This is not an irreverent project, commented Helfman to CNN. “I never want to create something that’s tongue-in-cheek because that defeats the purpose. ... It’s disrespectful to the [statement] I’m trying to make.” 

And of course, it’s not the final word, by any stretch: “All of my projects begin with that concept,” she says. “It is the conversation that is generated that is fascinating … positive and negative.”


More “Historical Corrections” after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Saturday Morning Cartoons: Questionable ‘fan art’ of ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog
07:06 am

Pop Culture


“Saturday Morning Cartoons” is a new weekend ritual/feature here at Dangerous Minds. Each week I’ll select a few handpicked—some “troubled,” some quite lovely—drawings, sketches and portraits of your favorite pop idols and movie stars.

This week it’s ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog. ABBA has always had millions upon millions of hardcore fans and throughout the span of their career and beyond, people have drawn and sketched portraits of the Swedish band. The Internet boasts rather a lot of ABBA fan art, if you’re looking for it.

I have nothing against the brunette, Frida, she’s great, but this week, let’s take a closer look at the blonde… sexy yet innocent-seeming Agnetha Fältskog. Here are a few of my favorites. I hope they brighten your weekend.

Agnetha Portraits - Saturday Morgen Cartoons
Agnetha Portraits - Saturday Morgen Cartoons 2
Agnetha Portraits - Saturday Morgen Cartoons 3
Agnetha Portraits - Saturday Morgen Cartoons
Agnetha Portraits - Saturday Morgen Cartoons
Agnetha Portraits - Saturday Morgen Cartoons


Posted by Jer Ber Jones | Leave a comment
René Magritte paintings are even more surreal when animated
06:29 am



Freiburg, Germany’s Raphaëlle Martin is a freelance illustrator making potent work that tends to favor large, vivid color fields and sparsely scattered collage elements. The portfolios “Together,” “Lost Places,” “Girls,” and “Love” are all generously laden with exceptionally striking work, but I’d suggest giving the entire posted oeuvre a perusal, the work evinces a real gift for eloquent expressions of isolation. Curiously, a small series of wall clocks based on the illustrations is available, but what we’d like to share today is a series of animated gifs Martin undertook last year in tribute to that great surrealist painter René Magritte. These renderings of the works are a bit more flat and rudimentary than the originals, which actually seems fine to me; I’ve always felt Magritte’s greatness was more as a painter of ideas than as a God among draftsmen. Points awarded, also, for the crafty way the film-scratch effect Martin added to these covers up the telltale dithering effect that can accompany gifs with limited color indexes. Enjoy.

Much more Magritte after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Sexy fantasy pin-ups of Jason, Freddy, and Michael Myers
06:17 am

Pop Culture


Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kreuger, and Michael Myers: the three most popular horror icons of the past 40 years… now homoerotic super-hunks thanks to British artist Karl Von Frankenstein.

These portraits are so wrong and so, so right.

Beyond mere erotic art, these lowbrow images conjure a stylistic bouillabaisse of Ghanaian movie posters, Tom of Finland heroes, and tacky ‘80s Miami trash colors. 

Karl Von Frankenstein’s Facebook page has more of his work, but only his Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers, and Street Trash pieces fit this sexy beefcake style. Here’s hoping we see a lot more of this in the future—Pinhead, Leatherface, and Jigsaw are begging for this treatment.


Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Weird bus stops of Soviet Russia
10:13 am



Photographer Christopher Herwig spent roughly a dozen years roaming the vast expanses of the former Soviet Union, in search of the wild roadside shelters, for want of a better term, dotting the landscape in locales as exotic as Shymkent, Kazakhstan. Last year Herwig successfully funded a print run of 1,500 copies of his photo book of Soviet bus stops on Kickstarter, and now FUEL Publishing has decided that it merits a larger audience; the book, Soviet Bus Stops, will be released at the end of the month.

It turns out that bus stops were a medium of startling vitality with a great deal of local control in the otherwise repressive Soviet Union. Local architects apparently didn’t think too much about budgets, and experimented in a variety of styles including brutalism or outright weirdness. During his journey Herwig covered more than 18,000 miles in 14 countries of the former Soviet Union, traveling by car, bike, bus, taxi and who knows what else. There are examples from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Abkhazia, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Estonia.



Many more of these wild Soviet structures after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Paul Laffoley: Penetrating the Kitsch Barrier
12:27 pm



For those of you lucky to be in NYC this month, there’s an especially exciting new Paul Laffoley exhibit opening at Kent Fine Art (210 Eleventh Ave between 24th and 25th) in Chelsea.

“The Force Structure of the Mystical Experience” will provide a rare glimpse at some of Laffoley’s seldom-seen models and sculptures, as well as some early work from the 1960s and a few key paintings not exhibited in recent years. The artist will be present at the gallery on September 10, 11, and 12th.

An online publication for the show was edited by Douglas Walla with detailed notes from Paul Laffoley on each piece. I wrote the intro, which follows. If you would like to look at the entire full-color 132 page PDF catalog, it can be downloaded here.

Penetrating the Kitsch Barrier

How does one approach the work of Paul Laffoley?  It’s not really like anything else and doesn’t fit neatly into any easy category that the art world routinely employs.  How do you even begin to wrap your head around the vastness of his cosmic vision?

He’s not merely a painter whose work sells for six figures and has been exhibited internationally at some of the world’s best and most forward-­thinking museums, or the subject of several books, TV segments, newspaper and magazine articles. He’s also a Harvard-­trained architect who has dreamt up living buildings grown from seeds and a bridge connecting the Moon and the Earth. A philosopher. An alchemist. A science fiction-style inventor of a time machine. He speaks Latin, Greek, French, German and several other languages. Laffoley majored in the classics as an undergrad at Brown and is an expert on the most cutting­ edge and far­ out worlds of scientific discovery. I think he’s one of the great living geniuses of our time and I know that I’m not alone in that assessment.

Paul once detailed an erudite impromptu dinnertime dissertation on modern engineering by informing me that each and every futuristic invention anticipated by Jules Verne had been realized (submarines, rocket ships, space travel, etc) and that science fiction really stopped being “prophetic” around the mid 20th­century, with anything a science fiction writer could dream up eventually getting “invented” and put into mass production by a large corporation. (“How closely did the communicators on Star Trek anticipate the flip phone?” he asked.) Scoff if you will at his schematic for a gigantic genetically engineered ectoplasmic jellyfish that allows for communication with not only the dead, but the yet­-to-be­-born (for the purpose of intergenerational planning which would avert catastrophes), Leonardo’s cronies probably laughed at that crazy thing he sketched out back in the day that resembles our modern-­day helicopters. It’s all relative.

Once I described Paul in print as a Bodhisattva reincarnated in the form of a mild-mannered sci­ fi-­loving Boston architect, but years later (although I still see some value in my earlier call) I’d rather ask the reader to imagine what Buckminster Fuller would have done if he were a fine artist in addition to all that other cool stuff he got up to.

THE PSYCHOKENETIC WATER BALANCE: A DEVICE FOR TESTING PSYCHOKENESIS, 1980. Homage to: Isamu Noguchi [1904-1988] and Robert Hare [1781 – 1858]. Oil, acrylic, wood, wire mesh, string, shells and water. Fully hand carved, unique, 18 ½ x 35 x 17 1/2 in. 47 x 89 x 44.5 cm.
This is my favorite Paul Laffoley story and I think it’s particularly revealing about the way his beautiful mind works:

It was late February of 2000. I arrived home at my West Village apartment one evening to find a package waiting for me from Paul containing a most peculiar object, by name, “The Anti­kitschkitron” a “device for penetrating the kitsch barrier.” It was a small box, hand­made, black-­painted wood save for the top, which was a clear plastic sheet with a plastic bubble that read “TIME DILATION” in the Helvetica press type Laffoley is known for using. Inside were all sorts of light­-emitting diodes, circuitry, electronic capacitors and exposed wiring—­­in other words, the machine’s guts were plainly visible­­ and a coil of copper wire coming out the top with a circular sun-­like ornament affixed to it like exposed bicycle tire spokes. It seemed like something that might transmit a “beam” of an electronic or cosmic nature.

The device, which resembled some sort of curious text­-covered mutant dowsing machine, or a Star Trek version of one of Joseph Cornell’s boxes crossed with a metal detector. On the top was a big red clunky on/off switch.

Thrilled by this incredible gift, I immediately picked up the phone and dialed Paul in Boston. The ritual when calling him is that he screens all of his calls. The voice on the outgoing message is not Paul’s, and the caller is informed that he or she have reached the Boston Visionary Cell and to please leave a message after the beep—a drill developed when avoiding credit card collection agencies as he once humorously admitted to me. I started to leave a message, Paul picked up right away and I started gushing my gratitude about the amazingly weird—and absolutely beautiful—object/device that I was holding in my hand. What a thrillingly strange thing to get in the mail, I’m sure you’ll agree, but at this point I noticed that there was no obvious power source.

“Where do you put the battery?” I innocently inquired.

“Oh, there’s no battery,” he said with his strong, slightly stuttering Bostonian accent. “You know my concept of the… a… the uh.. luxe theater of the mind? Well it’s like that. You have to interact with the device and connect the circuitry to your mind, um, uh, in that way.”

I paused for a moment before mentally recalibrating and moving myself as much as possible into Paul’s philosophical framework before (I thought) redeeming myself with “Okay, so it’s like like Yoko Ono’s “Box of Smile” where you open it up, you see that there is a mirror inside and invariably everyone who interacts with the piece smiles, right?”

“Well, yes…” he said slowly, indicating a “yes” that was about to be uniquely qualified, “...but with my device, you have to actually turn it on.”

The Essential Paul Laffoley: Works from the Boston Visionary Cell, an oversized, comprehensive, annotated catalogue raisonné edited by Laffoley’s longtime friend and gallerist Douglas Walla, with several essays by the artist and others, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in Spring 2016. I have a B&W print-out of the book and it’s one of the most exciting and stunning art books I’ve ever seen. Mark my words, it’ll be a cultural event when this book comes out. It’s TIME for it.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Page 3 of 257  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›