follow us in feedly
‘Little Red Riding Hood’ wittily reimagined in the styles of great Modernist painters
09.08.2016
10:12 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:


 
Jean Huet was a French cartoonist/animator who drew under the name “Jean Ache.” He was best known for a 1950s strip called “Arabelle la Derniere Sirene,” about a mermaid given legs by a plastic surgeon and her adventures with her pet monkey. Evidently fond of the letter “A,” he also drew strips titled “Archibald” and “Amanda.”

Like rather a lot of name French cartoonists of his day, Ache was associated with the weekly (later monthly) comics periodical Pilote, probably best known outside France for launching Asterix and Obelix, which ran his strips and one-offs, including this wonderful series from 1974—seven re-imaginings of “Little Red Riding Hood” after the signature styles of great 19th and 20th Century Modernist painters. Ache passed in 1985, and Pilote went by the wayside in 1989.

Clicking an image spawns a higher res version. Sorry about it being in French, but I assume you know the story well enough.
 

After Georgio de Chirico
 

After Joan Miró
 
More Modernist ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Divine joins Bettie Page on iconic Seattle mural
09.08.2016
09:36 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Heroes
Movies

Tags:


 
I have to say this is one of the many times I’ve been proud to call my transplanted home of the last seventeen-years quite possibly the greatest place on earth. One of my favorite Seattle landmarks (which I drive by on nearly a daily basis) is a home with a giant mural of Bettie Page painted on it. She’s been joined by an equally humongous portrait of Divine all decked out in the famous red dress worn by the great Harris Glenn Milstead in 1972’s Pink Flamingos.
 

“FILTH IS MY LIFE!” The giant mural of Divine that now resides alongside Bettie Page on a house in Northeast Seattle.
 
The mural of a nearly two-story topless Bettie Page (whose naughty bits are obscured by the home’s rain gutters) has been visible from traffic on I-5 in Northeast Seattle for a decade. Then a few months ago some morons who just don’t get it vandalized the much loved mural with gray paint and even took the time to leave a nasty note on the home where the mural resides saying the following: 

AUTONOMOUS SEXUALITY IS EMPOWERMENT. TELLING A WOMAN TO COVER UP IS OPPRESSION.

—SOME FEMINISTS

The message was written entirely in capital letters so I guess the roving gang of confused “feminists” wanted to be sure they knew how angry they were. The good news is that the owner of the house, Jessica Baxter didn’t let the incident get under her skin. And even when donations came piling in so that Baxter didn’t have to take on the expense of having the mural (and her house, mind you) restored, she declined and instead asked that people wanting to donate send their money to RAINN (the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network). So why did Baxter pick Divine to keep Bettie Page company for the long foreseeable future? Here’s one of my favorite residents of Northeast Seattle on that:

Really it’s just people who inspire me and make me happy that they existed, and were individuals who didn’t give a shit what anyone else thought, and who were just themselves. I’m going to feel inspired every time I look at it.

The mural was just finished this past Tuesday by Two Thangs (aka Seattle artist Matthew Brennan IV) and it is nothing short of fucking glorious. Brennan, a self-professed John Waters devotee felt very strongly that the Page and Divine belonged together especially since the vandals who tried to ruin Bettie felt that the image was “exploitive.” According to Brennan (via Two Thangs FB page) the addition of Divine makes a clear statement about choice—specifically making a decision to present yourself “how you choose.” 

I love you Seattle. Never change.
 

The famous Bettie Page mural on the side of a house in Northeast Seattle. 
 
See the defaced Bettie Page mural—and the note left by ‘SOME FEMINISTS’ after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The pioneering erotic fetish photography by the ‘Dean of Leg Art’ Elmer Batters
09.06.2016
10:54 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Sex

Tags:


A photograph by pioneering foot fetish photographer, Elmer Batters.

I felt that people almost saw me as un-American for not mooning over large mammaries.

—Elmer Batters

The work of fetish photographer Elmer Batters was considered so aberrant back in the 1960s that he was actually arrested for pictures he took for his leg and foot-centric fetish photography in his magazines Man’s Favorite Pastime and Black Silk Stockings on the charge of “obscenity.” While many of Batters’ photographs included topless models flashing their breasts the subject of Johnny Law’s ire was Batters’ focus on the models stocking feet.
 

The fetish model known as ‘Caruska’ on a swing by Elmer Batters.
 
When Batters was getting his start in the 1950s he helped lead the charge to draw admirers of feet and legs to a larger audience. A foot fetishist in the 1950s was still viewed as a creepy sexual deviant. Though the non-stop harassment of the authorities eventually pushed Batters out of the publishing world, he would continue his work photographing the feet pin-up models clad in thigh-high seamed stockings in various stages of nudity for decades. Sometime in the late 1980 German publisher Benedikt Taschen stumbled on Battles work in Leg Show magazine and would go on to put out three remarkable books containing the photographer’s work—From the Tip of the Toes to the Top of the Hose, Legs That Dance to Elmer’s Tune, and one dedicated to the foot enthusiast’s main muse, a model named Caruska, Elmer Batters - The Caruska Sittings. Batters referred to the mysterious Caruska (pictured above) as his “favorite model” and she was a huge hit with his foot-fetish fan base. According to Batters he found Caruska at a Hollywood Boulevard casting company called Pretty Girl International where the beautiful model was apparently having a hard time finding work as she was considered to be “unconventionally heavy” for the time.

Here’s Batters on Caruska’s many appealing attributes:

I think love or even sexual attraction comes from the sparkle in a girl’s eyes, the lift of her eyebrow, and the way her lips curl into that provocative smirk that hooks a man’s soul like a hapless mackerel. This is Caruscha’s strength. Her face seduces me even now–these 25 years later as it has seduced thousands of you. Go ahead and give in to her. Even back in the unliberated (years) when these photos were taken, Caruschka was a girl who loved to have men masturbate over her. Yeah, she was a tease but isn’t every woman worth a damn?

Though Batters passed away in June of 1997 at the age of 78 he left us with an expansive body of work such as the rather amusing departure from his super-sexy stocking photos for a magazine published in 1968 called Sneaker World of Elmer Batters,  a cheeky publication that featured semi-nude leg models wearing sneakers and stockings. I’ve included a couple of images from Sneaker World as well as many examples of Batters’ controversial images from his heyday. That said, it should be clear that the images that follow are (despite the fact that it’s 2016 and most of these photographs are approximately 50-years-old) should be considered NSFW.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Prankster plants hilarious fake occult spell book at a metaphysical shop
09.06.2016
10:19 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Occult

Tags:


 
Jeff Wysaski is an artist working in the medium of putting fake signs, flyers, and products into spaces to create a transformative or, usually, comedic effect. Working under the project name Obvious Plant, he has hilariously put fake art into museums, fake self-help books into bookstores, and fake wine recommendations into liquor stores.

You can read more about Wysaski’s work HERE.

The latest “installation” by Obvious Plant involves the placement of a fake occult spell book in a metaphysical shop. The book generically-entitled Ancient Magick Spells of the Occult, contains several “spells” with completely ludicrous casting instructions (though maybe not any more or less ludicrous than many “legitimate” wiccan spell books).

Check these pages out here. I pretty much lost it at “Spell of the Gemini’s Clone.”

As funny as the spells are, it’s even more hilarious to imagine someone picking this book up in the shop and taking it seriously.
 

 

 
More magick after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Vintage sleaze and pulp erotica by prolific fetish illustrator Eric Stanton
09.01.2016
12:45 pm

Topics:
Art
Books
Sex

Tags:


The cover of ‘Rent Party’ illustrated by Eric Stanton, 1964.
 
Fans of fetish artist and illustrator Eric Stanton allegedly included Howard Hughes, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and well-known white cotton panty enthusiast Elvis Presley. During the 50s and 60s Stanton’s illustrations of tough, truculent women (often clad in bondage-style outfits) graced the covers of a huge number of “adult oriented” pulp novels and paperbacks that to this day are as controversial as they were six decades ago.
 

‘Young Danny,’ 1966.
 
Stanton was a part of a group of New York City-based fetish artists who were all getting their start around the same time like Bill Ward, Bill Alexander, and Exotique magazine illustrator Gene Bilbrew. In the late 1940’s after responding to an ad placed by the notorious Irving Klaw, Stanton’s illustrations started to get a bit more attention. He would then go on to improve his artistic style under the tutelage of the pioneering comic illustrator Jerry Robinson—the creator of Robin the Boy Wonder; the Joker; Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred; and Two-Face. Later, at the urging of Klaw Stanton, started to introduce BDSM themes into his illustrations. Here’s a quote from Stanton about some of the inspiration he would tap into for his risqué concepts that will likely remind you of a certain R. Crumb and his obsession with large tyrannical women:

I have always loved Amazons. The word itself is exciting. I’ve invented variations such as the Tame-azons who tame men. Being short and a little shy as a young man, I loved the idea of big strong aggressive women who would use their strength to wrestle me down.

By the late 50s Stanton had parted ways with Klaw (and his first wife) and hooked up with Stan Lee’s right-hand man Steve Ditko (the illustrator behind Spider-Man). According to Stanton the fictional character of Spider-Man’s “Aunt Mae” was actually his idea that was then adapted by Ditko for the Spider-Man comic. Stanton’s massive illustrated legacy is highly sought after by collectors and adult pulp novels featuring his art (that once sold for as little as 75 cents) routinely sell for a couple of hundred dollars depending on their condition. Original prints and pages from books containing Stanton’s illustrations and original watercolors can fetch anywhere from $10,000 to over $35,000 each. If you dig Mr. Stanton’s work but lack those kinds of funds, there are several books dedicated to his debauchery out there such as the aptly titled 2012 book The Art of Eric Stanton: For the Man Who Knows His Place. A lovely and somewhat NSFW selection of Stanton’s pulp covers from the 60’s as well as a few of his originals from the same era follow.
 

 

1965.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Monumental Nobodies’: Artist paints civic sculptures with a subversive twist
09.01.2016
12:34 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
History

Tags:

001rockstarquick.jpg
‘Rockstar.’
 
In Glasgow, the city where I live, there’s an equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington. This category-A monument situated on Queen Street, outside the Gallery of Modern Art, is famous not for its subject but rather for the regularity that traffic cones are placed on the grand Duke’s bonce. No one knows who puts them there. No sooner is one removed than another has replaced it. The Duke and his orange and white headgear are a symbol of the gallus nature of the city.

According to the city council, it costs $15,000 a year to have these pesky cones removed. A few years ago, the council considered raising the statue higher onto a second plinth—thus preventing any cheeky wee monkeys from hoisting yet another one on its head. In response, a Facebook campaign was started to save the cone. It received 75,000 “likes” in the first 24-hours. Since then the council installed CCTV cameras in a bid to capture the culprit(s) cone-handed.

This morning as I walked past the statue a fresh cone sat a jaunty angle on the Duke’s head. It’s not a mark of disrespect but rather a questioning of our inherited values, identity and history. History, after all, is written by the victors.

Matthew Quick asks similar questions about history, identity and inherited values with his series of paintings Monumental Nobodies. His starting point was “the monuments of empire and what happens to the things left behind, how they might be represented, or reutilised or reinterpreted.” He was also inspired by the sonnet “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley that tells of:

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

The broken visage is all that remains of the once great king. Though there is a slight irony in the sonnet’s conceit that Ozymandias’ memory lives on in the lines of Shelley’s immortal posey.

Quick was reminded of this poem after watching television footage of American soldiers pull down a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad during the Iraq War in 2003.

Removing the contemporary politics of the moment, I thought: ‘This is an invading army going in there and basically destroying art’.

The soldiers actions made Quick think of the ancient sack of Rome—“Except that the Visigoths were barbarians and the Americans did it for the cameras. It was a deliberate and stage-managed act,” as he explained in an interview

This led Australian Quick to produce Monumental Nobodies—a series of paintings re-examining our relationship with civic and classical sculptures.

Quick was late to his career as an artist. He had been a graphic designer, author, lecturer and art director before he started painting in earnest. When he was thirty-six, he was diagnosed with melanoma. The doctor’s prognosis was not good. It was suggested he may only have five years left to live. This caused Quick to reevaluate his life.

If you have only got a certain amount of time, what would you really like to be doing? It was the wake-up call I needed. Now I’m in a big rush. I am making up for lost time – what I’m doing now is what I’ve always wanted to do.

Thirteen years on, Quick is thankfully still alive and continues with his chosen career. It’s been over a decade since he turned “pro.” Since then he has won over sixty awards for his artwork and has exhibited in Australia and Europe. Technically brilliant, his work is powerful iconic and wonderfully cerebral. 

Quick started Monumental Nobodies before ISIS began thuggishly destroying historic buildings and artwork.

When you think about what ISIS is doing now, destroying artwork, we condemn that justifiably … but when the Americans did it, it was celebrated. These sorts of things intrigue me.

A statue of Saddam Hussein can be replaced but ancient monuments and temples cannot.

The irony is that when I started working on this series, the stuff with ISIS hadn’t happened. It has given it an extra layer of gravitas.

More of Matthew Quick’s work can be seen here.
 
003thegreatcoverup.jpg
‘The Great Cover Up.’
 
004theeternalstrugglequick.jpg
‘The Eternal Struggle.’
 
More ‘Monumental Nobodies,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
William Eggleston’s photos of Big Star
09.01.2016
08:56 am

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:


 
It’s difficult today to conceive of how William Eggleston’s photography was once considered controversial—he documented everyday scenes that, through his eyes, became vivid and surreal. The luridness of his color—and the very fact that he worked in color—provoked a rejection of his work in certain very, very serious artperson circles, but those lurid colors were essential to his work’s effectiveness. He intentionally used the most saturated process available at the time—the dye transfer—to achieve the eye-bleedy reds that practically became his trademark. And in 1976, a solo exhibit at MoMA by the self taught Memphis-based shooter William Eggleston, titled “Color Photographs,” turned American photography on its ear.

Like Eggleston, that great legend among influential but underachieving American rock bands Big Star hailed from Memphis, TN. And their connection to the photographer wasn’t just geographical—not only did his photo “The Red Ceiling” appear on the cover of that band’s 1974 LP Radio City, a candid portrait he shot of the band adorns the back cover.
 

 
It wasn’t very hard for the band to score that coup—Eggleston was a family friend to the band’s singer/guitarist Alex Chilton, and accordingly, thirty Eggleston shots appear in the band’s first ever photo-monograph, the forthcoming Big Star—Isolated in the Light, to be published in October by First Third Books. According to Big Star’s bassist Andy Hummel (RIP 2010), quoted in the book from a 2001 interview by Jason Gross originally appearing in Perfect Sound Forever,

Alex knew Bill Eggleston through his parents I believe. His mother was an art dealer and Bill, of course was a very gifted local photographer. Bill was a major hell raiser, as were Alex and me at the time. We drank a lot, stayed out all night, and took all manner of drugs. Somehow we got hooked up with him and Alex talked him into doing the cover [of Radio City]. I could go on and on about Bill’s techniques and all, which were truly innovative and brilliant, and which I kind of made note of, being very much into photography myself, but I’m sure there are lots of books available that deal with all that now that he’s world famous and all. But we wound up at the TGI Friday’s on Overton Square one Monday night, which was “Rock’n’Roll Night.” It was a major hell-raising scene in those days. A DJ would play old 45’s and just everyone came and stuffed the place. That was the back cover. Then we went over to Bill’s later on and he suggested the light on the ceiling pic, which he had previously taken. We all loved it and I thought it fit perfectly with the sort of avant-garde nature of the LP.

A close friend of the band, Michael O’Brien, has since become a highly reputable photographer himself, noted for portraiture and documentia; he’s published three monographs, The Face of Texas, The Great Minds of Investing, and the book of his most likely to be of interest to DM readers, Hard Ground, which pairs portraits of homeless subjects with poetry by Tom Waits. In Isolated in the Light, he recalls how his exposure (no pun) to Eggleston via their mutual association with Big Star altered the course of his life.

I remember hearing tales from Alex about this mysterious and eccentric photographer, William Eggleston, who was a friend of the Chilton family. I may have seen him at Alex’s house before – perhaps at the famous New Year’s Eve party that Alex’s parents threw each year – but my first definite memory was when I was becoming interested in photography and Alex suggested we drop by Eggleston’s house on Central Ave.

Shy, introverted and avoidant, I tried to change Alex’s mind but to no avail. In no time we were sitting in Eggleston’s living room. At least we were in a group and I wouldn’t stand out. A patrician, sharply intelligent Eggleston led the conversation. I lurked on the periphery and saw a copy of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment on the coffee table. Quickly I picked up the book and hid behind its pages. It was my first exposure to the French photographer’s work. I thumbed through the images. Boom! It hit me; this is exactly what I wanted to do.

Looking at Eggleston’s images of Big Star, I think back to Memphis in the 1970s. There was such a confluence of artistic energy thriving on the fringes of this Deep South provincial town. Now, with the benefit of years, I see how Big Star was the commonality… the force that energized the photographers, the recording engineers, and fans. We all had our own voice but Big Star energized us.

The image [below] of Andy, Jody and Alex – it’s such a perfect Eggleston image, recording the scene’s convulsive color and fragmented pattern! It’s like a volcanic eruption–the draperies, Andy’s shirt, Jody’s jacket, even the little watchband against Alex’s shirt. All the colors are assaulting one another – nothing is in concert – yet, the image is a perfect document.

 

 
Big Star—Isolated in the Light features photography not just from Eggleston, but from O’Brien, that great documenter of the people of the Mississippi Delta Maude Schuyler Clay, David Bell (brother of Big Star Guitarist Chris Bell), and even Andy Hummel, among others. All photos were restored from original negatives, transparencies and prints. The book features interviews with the photographers, musicians influenced by Big Star including members of This Mortal Coil, the Posies, and The Pixies, and with the sole living member of Big Star, drummer Jody Stephens.

Clicking on all the images in this post—apart from the album art—will reveal a higher-res version.
 

Eggleston and Jody Stephens
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Becoming Bowie: High-end made-to-order ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and ‘Aladdin Sane’ costumes!
08.31.2016
03:16 pm

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Music

Tags:


Space Oddity’ custom-made costume by Wanda Cobar.
 
So if after reading that headline you went running for your credit card (like me) then congratulations—you my friend have good taste and a great sense of adventure just like our dearly departed David.

A lovely and talented individual by the name of Wanda Cobar has created a number of made-to-order costumes based on some of the most memorable stage outfits worn by David Bowie during his time as “Ziggy Stardust” and they are not your average run-of-the-mill “Costume Superstore” type of get ups by any means. Cobar actually made the material herself for the “Space Oddity” jumpsuit (pictured at the top of this post) because she wasn’t satisfied with the conventional offerings available to her and ZOWIE did she nail it. The same goes for Cobar’s fantastic interpretation of Bowie’s little fishnet number with strategically placed lizard hands on the chest. When the original costume attempted to make it’s debut on The Midnight Special (as part of Bowie’s “1980 Floor Show”) it caused quite a stir, as the Dame recalled in 2002:

I did one particular song, can’t remember what it was now but I had a strange kind of string knitted costume made with three hands on. Two of them on my chest, looking like I was being gripped from the back…And a third one on my crotch. I nearly started a riot with the Americans. They said: “Oh we can’t show that, that’s subversive.” We went through hell, so I had to take the hand off my crotch. And then of course they didn’t like the black pouch piece that was down there, that the hand was stitched to…so I had to change all that. So, like the ‘Diamond Dogs’ thing that they airbrushed the dick off, I was having more erasure problems. It followed me all through the Seventies. It’s funny that I can remember the costume and not the song, totally indicative of what the time was like.

I’m pretty sure the price tag on Cobar’s incredible costumes might give you sticker shock—which is understandable as they range in price from $179 to $699 for an one-of-a-kind girlie version of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” suit that comes complete with red wig and gold crown. If for some inexplicable reason Bowie isn’t your thing, Cobar also has a couple of sweet Prince-inspired costumes such as a full-on polka-dot number that the Purple One wore in the late 80s and a pretty cool version of the two-piece number Prince wore on the cover of 1986’s Dream Factory mashed up with the iconic purple suit worn from the 1984 album Purple Rain. Images and links to Corbar’s soon to be super busy Etsy page follow.
 

The ‘Jean-Genie’ costume.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Pure Imagination: Gene Wilder tribute portrait as Willy Wonka made entirely out of candy
08.31.2016
12:33 pm

Topics:
Art
Food
Movies
R.I.P.

Tags:


 
I love this homage portrait of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka made entirely out of candy. It’s fitting. The piece is done by unconventional mosaic artist Jason Mecier.

The Willy Wonka candy portrait will live on forever at Giddy Candy in San Francisco.

Click on the image to enlarge to see all the detail. Wonderful.


 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Comics-inspired Criterion movie posters by Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb, Ralph Steadman & more
08.29.2016
01:13 pm

Topics:
Art
Books
Movies

Tags:


A 2010 movie poster for the 1968 film ‘Head’ by Wayne Shellabarger.
 
Back in 2010 Criterion had the fantastic idea to have director Jim Jarmusch select a number of notable artists including Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb and Hunter S. Thompson’s pal Ralph Steadman to design movie posters for various Criterion releases. The posters made their debut during an All Tomorrow’s Parties festival which Jarmusch curated in 2010.
 

A poster for the 1963 film ‘Shock Corridor’ by Daniel Clowes.
 
If you’ve not seen the artwork that Clowes created for two films in Criterion’s collection directed by Samuel Fuller—1963’s mental hospital fever-dream Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss—you are in for a treat. I’ve assembled a number of the posters done by a wide range of artists that pay homage to films by Wes Anderson, Hal Ashby and David Cronenberg just to name a few. In 2014 Criterion published a massive book Criterion Designs that features a collection of artwork created for films in their catalog including many of the ones featured in this post.
 

‘Crumb’ by R. Crumb.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Page 3 of 295  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›