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Sherlock Holmes recreated as police composite sketch
07.21.2014
06:04 am

Topics:
Art
Books

Tags:
Sherlock Holmes

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We all have a different image of Sherlock Holmes usually associated with the actor we first saw playing the great detective. For some it will be Bendedict Cumberbatch with his petulant manner and curly question-marked hair; or the intense white-faced Jeremy Brett and his quivering flared nostrils; or Peter Cushing forever toying with a prop; or better still the pipe-clenching good sportsmanship of Basil Rathbone, who was my celluloid introduction to Sherlock Holmes in the 1970s.

Of course, these are all variations on a theme and we have to go those timeless tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in particular the first full novel of Holmesian adventure A Study in Scarlet to find a description of the man himself:

His very person and appearance were such as to strike the attention of the most casual observer. In height he was rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller. His eyes were sharp and piercing, save during those intervals of torpor to which I have alluded; and his thin, hawk-like nose gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision. His chin, too, had the prominence and squareness which mark the man of determination.

But how would Holmes look if we were to make a modern composite police sketch based on this description?

Well, this is exactly what Brian Joseph Davis has done over at his The Composites web page, where he uses police sketch software to create composite portraits of famous literary figures.
 
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His Sherlock Holmes has a hint of Midge Ure from Ultravox circa early eighties mixed with thin lips of William S. Burroughs.
 
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Here you’ll also find Emma Bovary from Madame Bovary, Rochester from Jane Eyre, and Keith Talent from Martin Amis’ Money, who looks uncannily like the comic Jimmy Clitheroe.
 
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Even Humbert Humbert from Lolita (who looks a little like Alan Arkin meets an aging David Byrne).
 
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And Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby—though she lacks the fatal beauty of the character in the book.

I guess that’s my problem with these images—they all begin to look the same after a while, and the uniformity of design makes them drab, lifeless, like formulae for a human equation. Anyway, here’s Peter Cushing to breathe some life into Sherlock Holmes in this BBC production of A Study in Scarlet.
 

 
H/T Nerdcore

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Communism in textiles: Soviet fabrics from the 20’s and 30’s
07.18.2014
08:31 am

Topics:
Art
Design
History

Tags:
Soviet Union
USSR
communism


 
If you walked by a set of curtains made from one of these fabrics, you might not pick up on a communist star or the CCCP acronym. Many of the designs below are thematic of classical Russian art; you see lush color, dense scapes and even the odd Orientalist trope (note the pattern with the camels).

Anything more than a quick glance however, might reveal romantic depictions of farmers and factory workers, often rendered in the angular, geometric lines of Soviet Constructivism. Even more explicit are the references to Soviet ambitions of modernization. We see tractors, cars, airplanes, trains and smoke stacks—all the promise of an industrialized workers state.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
More Soviet textiles after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Ornately embellished wolf and goat skulls inspired by Norse myth
07.18.2014
06:11 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
skulls
Tamara Howell
Norse myth


 
Iowa artist Tamara Howell has undertaken a series of sculptures inspired by Norse myth, and among those pieces are five jaw-droppingly lovely skulls—two wolves, three goats—beautifully embellished with, as her web site simply states, “clay and mixed media.” I’d love to know more about her process, but, perhaps with an eye towards maintaining a mystique, Howell seems to demure on those details.
 

 

 

”Sköll Devours the Sun”
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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The doodly Picasso faces of Norman Mailer
07.17.2014
08:07 am

Topics:
Art
Literature

Tags:
Norman Mailer
Pablo Picasso

Norman Mailer
 
Norman Mailer’s admiration for Pablo Picasso is well known; in 1995 he published a book, Portrait of Picasso as a Young Man: An Interpretive Biography about the modernist master.

According to Amy Weiss-Meyer at The New Republic, Mailer would frequently take his two daughters to what he called “the Church of MOMA,” where they often would find themselves admiring this or that Picasso masterpiece. He also loved to draw, and he commonly sent friends cute little doodles, many of them of the human face. According to Mailer’s daughter Danielle, drawing was a respite from writing, which was a laborious and taxing undertaking. Drawing, on the other hand, was simply fun for him, an escape into pure delight. A new online platform called POBA is hosting a good many of Mailer’s doodles, many of which are reproduced below.

This passage from J. Michael Lennon’s Norman Mailer: A Double Life mentions the doodles: “Most of his correspondents got Xerox copies of one of his drawings, doodles, and cartoons, and faces made of numbers, an idea he says he got from Picasso, who as a boy thought the number seven was an upside-down nose.”

As you can see, there’s a numerological facial portrait in the set, but Mailer opted to use a 1 for the nose, rather than a 7.
 
Norman Mailer
Parted Hair, 1985
 
Norman Mailer
Open Face, 1985
 
Norman Mailer
Ink on paper, 1974
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Illustrated history of the world’s worst computer viruses
07.17.2014
07:31 am

Topics:
Art
Science/Tech

Tags:
Computer virus
Bas van de Poel

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Skulls by Anthony Burrill
 
The Computer Virus Catalog is an illustrated guide to the worst viruses in computer history.

The project was founded by Amsterdam-based, multi-award-winning writer Bas van de Poel whose fascination with such “evil plots” led to his curating a new art collection of the worst viruses as illustrated by artists around the world.

See the full catalog here.
 

Code Red by Thomas Slater

This refreshing worm exploits a vulnerability in Windows 2000 and NT and initiates a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the White House website

 
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Cookie Monster by Lawrence Slater

Created in the late ‘60s, Cookie Monster is the world’s first computer virus. After infection, Cookie Monster freezes all system activity and demands cookies….You simply unlock your computer again by typing the word ‘cookie’

 
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LSD by Clay Hickson

The LSD virus is far out… This DOS virus overwrites all the files in the current directory and then displays a druggy video effect. Next it shows a message from your local dealer: ‘LSD ViRuS 1.0 Coded By Death Dealer 4/29/94 [TeMpEsT -94]’

 
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Marburg by HORT

Marburg infects .EXE and .SCR files and draws the all too familiar critical error icon everywhere on your screen.


 
More illustrated viruses, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Images of LSD, cocaine, meth and other drugs exposed to film
07.16.2014
10:22 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Science/Tech

Tags:
LSD
cocaine

Fantasy + Ecstasy
Fantasy + Ecstasy
 
Sarah Schönfeld was working at a Berlin nightclub when she decided to try to find out what the various drugs people were ingesting look like. Much like the apple falling on Isaac Newton’s head, perhaps the story of Schönfeld observing an obnoxious MDMA user will someday become one of the formative myths of scientific inquiry… but somehow, I doubt it. And yet it’s awfully apt.

Schönfeld converted her art studio into a lab, and exposed various drug mixtures in liquid form to film negatives and documented the results. The photographs have been collected in a book called All You Can Feel (Kerber Press), which will be available in late August.

The results mostly conform to general predictions—the only thing missing from the LSD visualization are trails. “Fantasy + Ecstasy” looks like a road map of a fucked-up island kingdom, and cocaine supplies a blue bursting-at-the-seams effect. Others are more surprising. Pharmaceutical speed looks like a Mandelbrot pattern, which kinda makes sense. Meanwhile, adrenaline, perversely, has a sluggish feel. And do my eyes deceive me or does the crystal meth photo feature a small chunk of Walter White’s “Crystal Blue Persuasion” in what appears to be a dystopian snow globe?
 
Cocaine
Cocaine
 
Caffeine
Caffeine
 
Crystal Meth
Crystal Meth
 
LSD
LSD
 
Ketamine
Ketamine I
 
Ketamine
Ketamine II
 
Adrenaline
Adrenaline
 
Heroin
Heroin
 
Pharmaceutical Speed
Pharmaceutical Speed
 
via WFMU

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Anatomical lingerie? Yes, anatomical lingerie…

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You may already have the anatomical swimsuit, but what about a pair of knickers to match?

Well, these “see-thru” briefs are not for sale in any department store as they are part of an amazing art work produced by artist Eleanor Beth Haswell called “Why are you so afraid of your own anatomy?

Eighteen-year-old Eleanor is currently an art student based in the north-east of England, producing her own art work and collaborating with a group of artists called the Clandestine Collective.

In an interview with Marie Claire, she explained the ideas behind “Why are you so afraid of your own anatomy?”:

Throughout history we, as women, have fought to break loose from the preconceived image of how we should act in society in order to be our own person, with notions and beliefs that we’ve formulated ourselves…

As I was focusing on an art project based on body shaming at the time, I began to notice a lot more shaming online, especially in the UK. It’s the nipple that’s deemed to be the issue, the fact that both men and women have them yet a woman’s must be censored. I just don’t understand how people claim that we don’t need feminism, but are offended by something as innocent as the nipple, and are happy to create a divide to suggest that a woman who does what she wants with her body is unacceptable. Why is there this divide between genders?

You can read the full interview with here and see more of Eleanor Beth Haswell incredible work here.

Updated August 2014.
 
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H/T Doctor Matt Lodder, via Slow.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Creepy anti-communist propaganda from Bohn Aluminum and Brass Corporation, 1952
07.16.2014
07:30 am

Topics:
Art
Class War

Tags:
propaganda
anti-communist


 
Bohn Aluminum and Brass Corporation is most famous in the design crowd for its futuristic advertising campaigns—absolutely gorgeous (and totally campy) illustrations of all the products they dreamed of one day manufacturing. (There’s one of a firetruck that’s so New Wave it should probably be a B-52s album cover.)

Lesser known is that the Detroit-based company was in constant conflict with the quickly radicalizing United Auto Workers membership—the local was actually the first to elect a black president, a surprise to many, despite Bohn’s primarily black labor force.

Sensing danger, Bohn produced an anti-communist campaign, perhaps hoping that a bunch of ominous posters might mold dissent into model employee patriotism. It’s difficult to imagine that any Bohn workers were inspired to fealty by corny sloganeering and a few creepy disembodied (white) hands, but one would hope that the heavy-handed (geddit?) propaganda gave the Detroit proletariat a giggle as they occupied factory floors, organized work stoppages and staged sit-down strikes with over 12,000 workers.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Roman shower: How to turn an ordinary shower head into a vomiting girlfriend?
07.15.2014
08:20 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Sex
Unorthodox

Tags:
shower heads


 
Japanese blogger ARuFa wanted to spice up his bathroom because he thought it was ugly and boring. In order to “gorgeous-ify” it, he came up with the brilliant idea of the DIY lady (girlfriend?) shower head! Now this is coming from a Japanese website and I do not speak or read Japanese so I’m at the mercy of Google Translate. I *think* this is what’s going on. I mean, he does seem rather pleased with the end results, doesn’t he?

While I applaud AruFa’s creativity—you can’t say he wasn’t thinking outside the box—but this emetophile‘s…. er… “wet dream” is the most horrifying shower head I’ve ever seen! I don’t think he has many girls over to his place, what do you think?

The step-by-step visual instructions are below. You can read them here IF YOU’RE INTO THIS KIND OF THING…
 

 

 

 

 

 
See the horrifying results after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Meet the great ‘English eccentric’ who financed the Surrealists

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You may not have heard of Edward James, but you will certainly recognise the back of his head from the painting Not to be Reproduced by René Magritte. This was one of two portraits the Surrealist artist did of James, the other was The Pleasure Principle.

Edward William Frank James (1907–1984) was a poet and a patron of the arts, who used his vast wealth to publish writers (like poet John Betjeman), commission theatrical productions most notably Les Ballets and Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s last work together The Seven Deadly Sins in 1933. He also supported individuals, communities in Mexico and financed artisan workshops, but James is most famously known for his patronage of Surrealist art, in particular the artists Magritte, Leonora Carrington and Salvador Dalí. He also bought works by Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee, Pavel Tchelitchew, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Max Ernst and Paul Delvaux.

Being rich and aristocratic usually meant James was described as a great “English eccentric,” though he was never fond of the term claiming he was like “the boy with green hair,” just born that way. According to James he was the illegitimate son of King Edward VII, which may have indeed been possible as his mother was said to have been one of the royal’s many mistresses. When he was five, his father (or at least his mother’s husband) died leaving James the sole heir to his fortune and the 8,000 acre family estate of West Dean House in Sussex. James eventually gave away the family estate, financing its reuse as a college. He created his own Surrealist home in Monkton, and then in Las Pozas, Mexico, where he used his money to support its community employing villagers to build houses, a hotel, Surrealist sculptures and architectural follies.

This delightful film The Secret Life of Edward James made in 1978 was narrated by the late jazz singer, art critic and writer George Melly. James and Melly were good friends, united by their passion for Surrealism. Melly was a wonderfully outrageous and much loved performer whose exuberance for life was often matched by his attire. He also wrote three highly entertaining volumes of autobiography and released a whole bag of recordings. If you haven’t heard of George Melly he is worth investigating.
 
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Magritte’s other portrait of Edward James ‘The Pleasure Principle’ (1937).
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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