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‘Is this seat loaded?’ Artist makes a chair from gold-plated AK-47 rifles
02.02.2017
01:32 pm

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Amusing
Art
Design

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Well here’s something for the gun nut in your life…. a 22ct gold-plated chair made from a batch of AK-47 rifles.

Why? You might ask. Well why not?

There doesn’t seem to be any reason for this pricey butt-holder other than it’s a functional work of art created by Austrian artist Rainer Weber, who (apparently) “transforms his imagination into reality.” 

If this is your idea of reality then I’m pretty sure you’ll appreciate the way in which Weber has welded together these “still in service” AK-47s to serve as the legs, frame and armrests of this beast. Then finishing it all off with some damn fancy handwoven upholstery. If this is your heart’s desire then it will cost you $127,000.

Weber explains his inspiration stating he was always “fascinated by concepts such as design, technology and functionality” ever since childhood.

I have always been keenly interested in art and seating furniture of any kind. My incentive is to create seating furniture that is unique in its form, meaning absolutely different from other pieces of furniture.

The idea for the AK-47 chair was born while I was reading a book about Mikhail Kalashnikov and I decided to transfer the inspiration into a chair.

But if you think all these gold leaf guns are just a wee bit tacky then maybe you should go for Weber’s original AK-47 chair—price on request.
 
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More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Beautiful handmade Venetian carnival masks
02.02.2017
09:54 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion
History
Sex

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‘Damask Joker.’
 
Reading The Story of My Life by Giacomo Casanova set me off on a browse of the beautiful masks famously worn during the Carnival of Venice. These masks were originally used to celebrate the victory of the Most Serene Republic of Venice against Ulrich II of Aquileia and his failed attempt to bring the city under German rule circa 1162. By the time Casanova was living in the city in the middle of the 18th century, citizens were allowed to wear masks for up to six months which enabled the wearer to indulge in an excess of food, wine and partying, and to mix freely with those of other classes. The masks also provided anonymity for those seeking to indulge in a bit of sexual shenanigans. Such hedonistic pleasures led Venice to gain its reputation as a strict yet deeply licentious city.

But back to Casanova who was much more than just a bed-hopping sex beast. He was a soldier, a musician, a dabbler in the dark arts, a novelist, a spy and eventually a librarian to Count Joseph Karl von Waldstein at his castle in Bohemia. Casanova also spent time in the Piombi prison for “public outrages against the holy religion.” Quite incredibly, he escaped from this jail situated in the upper floors of the Doge’s palace by climbing through the roof in 1756. He then fled to Paris where he set up a lottery to raise money for the French army. Casanova was a rather ingenious man and I think it fair to say throughout his life he quite literally donned various “masks” like an actor as he tried out the different roles he played. The real Casanova only became apparent when he sat down to write his memoirs when working as a librarian in Dux.

These gorgeous handmade paper mache masks are inspired by many of the traditional designs worn in Venice during Casanova’s era. They are for sale and though expensive, are utterly beautiful.
 
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‘Casanova.’
 
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‘Jolly.’
 
More beautiful masks, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The eyes have it: Classical art-inspired sleep masks
02.01.2017
10:13 am

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Art
Design

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I’m always in the market for a clever sleep mask. Aren’t you? Who isn’t? It’s simply impossible for me to sleep with any light whatsoever in my bedroom. Even a tiny light from a TV remote control will disrupt my sleep. That’s why I’m totally digging these sleep masks based on the eyes of classical masterpieces. The sleep masks are by Belarusian designer Lesha Limonov. Even though they’re the eyes of iconic masterpieces, they’re still kinda creepy looking, right?

Sadly, these are just concept designs and not available to purchase… just yet. They were made for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam as part of the International Rijksstudio Award 2017. These must become a reality!


 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Super bizarre fully-functional ‘mermaid’ guitar
01.31.2017
11:34 am

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Amusing
Art
Music

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The ‘Mermaid’ guitar. Built by world-renowned Luthier, Andy Mason.
 
Andy Mason, the artist and musician responsible for this gorgeous yet completely bizarre fully-functional guitar in the shape of a mermaid, built his first guitar in 1967 using whatever materials he was able to find in his father’s garage. And ever since the incredibly talented luthier (the proper title for person/craftsman who makes stringed instruments), has made everything from lutes to mandolins—as well as a series of guitars for John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page of few of which were of the elegantly showboaty double-necked variety that Page was especially well-known for playing.

Mason’s life-sized “Mermaid” guitar took three years to build and is comprised of nineteen different types of wood and according to Mason requires a guitarist with “sensuous posture” to be successfully played. In 2006 Mason put the guitar up for auction and it was reportedly sold for £5000 or about $9,500 U.S. dollars with half of the proceeds going to Harvest Help, a charitable organization that provides support for farmers in rural Africa. While I won’t be the first person to say that it is an indisputable work of art, it also possesses some odd characteristics, such as a realistic looking face sporting an expression which is unmistakably orgasmic in nature. Also strangely contemplative is how the mermaid/guitar mashup looks while it’s inside its custom case—as it takes on a much creepier vibe because it looks a person being laid to rest inside a coffin. Yikes.
 

 

 
More mermaid after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Jumping jack dancing ‘puppets’ of Klaus Nomi, David Byrne, Kathleen Hanna & many more
01.30.2017
01:04 pm

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Art
Music

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Klaus Nomi

I’ve blogged about Sean Bright‘s fun pop-up cards featuring Roxy Music, Delia Derbyshire, Grandmaster Flash, De La Soul, and many other pop culture notable in the past here on Dangerous Minds. This time it’s his jumping jack puppets and felted dolls that have me swooning. They’re damned adorable. I’m especially smitten with his Moondog felted doll. Incredible!

The jumping jack puppets include Klaus Nomi, David Byrne, Adam Ant, David Bowie and Morrissey.

Prices for the jumping jack puppets are around $18.00. The Moondog felted doll is priced at $45.00.


 

David Byrne
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Missing Foundation, the long-lost industrial rockers who almost destroyed New York City
01.30.2017
11:20 am

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Activism
Art
Music

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“And when people feel the economic crunch & you can’t have the life that others have—you get dangerous.”—Missing Foundation graffiti.

Shortly before the Disneyfication of Manhattan, when the lower east side was still a churning ball of druggy chaos and the art scene was spewing up creeps, weirdos and bleak visionaries like Nick Zedd, Kembra Pfahler, White Zombie and the Toxic Avenger, one group emerged as the undisputed Kings of the Wasteland. They were called Missing Foundation, and they had come for your children.

Part industrial band, part neo-anarchist street gang, Missing Foundation was the fevered brainchild of one Peter Missing, who had formed the original version in Berlin in 1984 with future members of death-disco superstars KMFDM before moving to NYC and starting a new, more politically-charged version in the bowels of the Bowery. They were trouble from the beginning. For one thing, their striking logo, an upside-down martini glass (“The party’s over!”) was painted literally everywhere. It was like a virus, made all the more unnerving because very few people even know what it meant.
 
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Photo by Alex in NYC

Live shows mixed angry sloganeering and anti-cop/anti-gentrification political posturing with white noise and ferocious violence. Fights between band and crowd were ubiquitous, and would often continue on the streets after the shows. On one notorious gig at CBGB’s, the band lit trash barrels with kerosene and rolled the flaming missiles into the audience. Once word got out about the band’s propensity for destruction, they took the act to the streets, playing in abandoned parking lots powered by overworked generators and vanishing in a flash once the police showed up. Perhaps most famously, in August of 1988 they played an outdoor show in Tompkins Square Park—a haven for punks, the homeless, drug addicts, and various combinations of all three—that ultimately ended in a massive riot, with unarmed street kids battling 200 armored cops in a violent, bloody, flaming 24-hour clash that rattled both sides and left dozens of people battered. To be fair, unlike some of their more overtly assaultive shows, Missing Foundation had planned a peaceful protest at the park, but afterward they became emblematic of the kind “street scum” Mayor Koch wanted to eradicate from his city.
 
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They were already agitators but from that point on they lived with targets on their backs. News crews began stalking their desiccated neighborhoods, reporting on Missing Foundation’s fictional ties to Satanism, animal torture and other nefarious cult activities. The FBI began tailing Peter Missing. Heavy stuff for a goddamn rock n’ roll band.
 
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Missing Foundation’s musical output was pretty consistent for a band of lunatics—five albums spread over as many years, with an evolving sound that was half throbby post-punk and half ear-splitting industrial noise. They were sort of an even less dance-y Cop Shoot Cop or maybe Throbbing Gristle with anger management issues. Either way, albums like 1988’s 1933 Your House is Mine and 1990’s Ignore the White Culture were a fairly accurate representation of the band’s ceaseless rage. But they’d probably have to be hurling flaming barrels at your head for you to really “get” the full Missing Foundation “experience.”

More after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
The kick-ass movie poster art of Frank McCarthy
01.30.2017
07:24 am

Topics:
Art
Movies
Pop Culture

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‘Where Eagles Dare’ (1968).
 
I don’t go to cinema as much as I once did. In large part because there is too much stuff out there waiting to be seen in places other than the cinema but also because today’s movie posters don’t sell their product. Most of them—and okay there are quite a few exceptions—look like they’re selling something other than a damn good film. They could be hawking deodorant, beer, suppositories—anything but a movie. They’re bland, anonymous, tasteful, safe and utterly in-o-fucking-fensive. They look like they’ve been designed by a committee of cockwombles who are all dressed in identical wool shirts and bowties who like to stroke their imaginary beards and talk about you know nuance.

That’s not the movie posters I like. I want to see the ingredients on the label first before I consume the product. That’s why I dig the artwork of Frank McCarthy.

McCarthy (1924-2002) produced a staggering and unparalleled selection of movie posters, book covers and magazine illustrations during his long and respected career. When I look at one of McCarthy’s film posters I know I’m gonna go and watch this movie—even it turns out to be a piece of shit—because he sold me the damned thing in a single image.

McCarthy started out copying frames from his favorite comic strips. After high school, he attended Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute where he majored in illustration. And so on and so on, into his career as a commercial artist. But you know an artist’s life is rarely as interesting as their work and McCarthy’s film work is the best. Just look at the way he gets the whole thing down to a few key painstakingly detailed scenes. That’s how you sell a movie.
 
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‘The Chairman’ (1969).
 
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‘Danger Diabolik’ (1968).
 
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‘The Dirty Dozen’ (1967).
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The heart-wrenching ‘teary-eyed’ dolls of Leo Moss
01.30.2017
07:18 am

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Art
History

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A trio of dolls made by Leo Moss, early 1900s.
 
An article published in The New York Times on January 9th, 1978 about avid doll collector and author Myla J. Perkins provided some background on Leo Moss, a doll maker from Macon, Georgia. As the article alleges, many doll collectors—even those who primarily collected dolls with black “skin” had never heard of Moss or his incredibly poignant dolls until the 1970s.

According to this vintage piece from the Times, Moss would make “white” dolls in the image of the white children who lived in his neighborhood, and would then trade them for whatever he needed to create his black dolls and food for his family. The vast majority of Moss’ dolls were based on members of his own family, including his children. A jack-of-all-trades, Moss started making his paper maché dolls back in the late 1800s through the early part of the 1900s. In order to make his black dolls, Moss used discarded doll parts and soot from chimneys as well as boot dye to color their skin, and his wife Lee Ann made the delicate doll clothing. Moss also bought rejected or defective doll parts from a white man who worked for a New York toy supply company. And according to the folklore associated with Leo Moss, the helpful salesman was apparently the reason as to why many of Moss’ dolls faces are filled with sadness and authentic looking tears. Because at some point Lee Ann ran off with the New York doll parts dealer, taking the couple’s youngest child Mina along with her.

While this is about the most depressing thing I’ve read in awhile, author and historian Debbie Behan Garrett noted an equally sad explanation for Moss’ unhappy dolls in her 2008 book Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion. According to Garrett if one of Moss’ young models was unhappy or crying while he was trying to capture their image, he added the tears. Moss’ dolls are extremely rare and perhaps only 100 of them still exist today. Highly sought after by collectors the dolls sell for thousands of dollars, with one selling in 2010 for $10,350.

More photos of Moss’ dolls can be seen below.
 

1920.
 

‘Cleo.’
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
This is where it’s f*ckin’ at: Classic Penguin book covers get subversive makeovers
01.27.2017
10:20 am

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Amusing
Art
Books

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‘This is Where Its Fuckin At (At Least It Used to Be),’ artist Harland Miller’s take on what I wish was a real vintage Penguin book.

Before comedian Scott Rogowsky took to the New York Subway with his hilariously subversive “fake” book covers such as Ass Eating Made Simple, English novelist and artist Harland Miller was busy creating a series of dubious and inflammatory paintings based on the classic covers of vintage of Penguin Books in 2001. And like the books Rogowsky used to shock weary NY subway riders, I’d love to imagine stumbling across a vintage paperback with the title Health and Safety is Killing Bondage. Don’t laugh, it could happen.

Many of our Dangerous Minds readers are likely already acquainted with Miller’s contributions to the world of literature. His 2000 novel, Slow down Arthur, Stick to Thirty centered around a young child who sets off to explore the northern parts of England with a David Bowie impersonator. Even the cover of Miller’s debut is worth bragging about as it includes a small image of Bowie as Ziggy clad in ski gear embroidered on a sweater. The paintings Miller composed for his Penguin Book series are huge—perhaps over six feet in length. His nostalgic works are lovingly realistic thanks to his skilled painting technique by which he is able to create the tactile appearance of wear and tear on a book’s spine, or the distressing of color due to age, sun damage or mistreatment. Miller’s caustic sense of humor is on full display with these faux covers and of the many images I’ve included in this post below, I can guarantee there is something that everyone will identify with. Which helps to reinforce what a treasure Mr. Miller is.

Seemingly unstoppable, Miller has kept churning out more of his charmingly debaucherous book covers. The artist has sold many of his original paintings, and when he does they go for anywhere between $5,000 to more than $30,000. Some contain language and concepts that are slightly NSFW.
 

 

 
Many more after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Darkness Visible: These sculptures explore our darkest experiences
01.26.2017
10:30 am

Topics:
Art

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‘In Front’ (2103).
 
Growing up can be difficult. Being an adult can be just as hard. We can often find our lives cluttered with soul-destroying experiences that we don’t really need but somehow managed to have collected along the way. All those bad feelings and dreadful memories that cling to us like shadows. They can shape us and make us into someone other than the person we thought we were going to be.

Take one look at these sculptures by Turkish artist Yasam Sasmazer and I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to at least one of them.

Yasam Sasmazer’s sculptures tap right into those negative emotions we all experience at some point in our life—whether we want to or not, whether we can ever admit it or not.

Sasmazer carves her powerful totems out of wood. She uses them as a means to examine our notions of identity, our relationship to self and other and our deepest darkest fears.

Born in Istanbul in 1980, Yasam’s work has been successfully exhibited in London, Berlin, New York and China. When exhibiting her work she uses the gallery to create a liminal space where light and shadow play an integral part in creating moods and giving new meaning to her work.

The shadows represent the darkness in our souls’ hidden side and the most frightening part of our personality. The shadow is everything you are but do not want to be.

Here is a selection of Yasam’s work from her exhibitions Metanoia, Doppelgänger and Dark Twin. See more of Yasam Sasmazer’s work here.
 
From ‘Metanoia’
 
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‘Fear of Reason’ (2013).
 
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‘Taming the Darkness’ (2013).
 
More of Yasam’s work, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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