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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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DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh talks of being legally blind & getting glasses, set to beautiful animation
03.05.2015
03:08 pm

Topics:
Animation
Art
Music

Tags:
Devo
Mark Mothersbaugh


 
Midwesterners are quick to claim DEVO as native sons (as well we should—shout out to Akron, Ohio!), but this lovely little animation—a collab between Google Play and The California Sunday Magazine—illustrates their Hollywood migration in Mark Mothersbaugh’s own voice. But not before the prolific composer/artist/frontman/fashion designer (etc, etc, etc.) explains how he saw the world—fuzzy—until someone had the bright idea to test his vision when he was in the second grade.

I will say I feel like a complete dick after watching it. I had always subconsciously assumed Mark Mothersbaugh’s glasses were a bit of a nerd affectation/fashion choice (nothing wrong with fashion, and to be fair, they were certainly fashion for a couple of of DEVO fans I’ve met). Don’t get me wrong, I figured he needed specs, but I suspected the heavy frames of said specs were chosen more for their ostentatiously geeky aesthetic than mere functionality. Turns out there’s a lot of glass in those glasses, because he is legally blind and needs them to see damn near anything.

It also turns out that I am a cynical jerk. Sorry Mark!

Unsurprisingly, Mothersbaugh’s got his own line of eyewear. Is there anything this guy doesn’t dabble in???
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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I got thisclose to David Bowie’s coke spoon, but I didn’t get to use it
03.04.2015
12:44 pm

Topics:
Art
History
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
David Bowie


 
Shade Rupe’s post mortem on the “David Bowie Is” exhibit in Chicago:

A cause célèbre for art, film and design institutions everywhere, with breaking attendance records, the Victoria & Albert—curated “Davie Bowie Is” exhibition is a marvel of closeness that zillions of fans through the decades never believed they’d be able to experience. In 1983 when D.A. Pennebaker’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was finally released we could squint through the reddish grain while our alien lord pranced and rocked the stage through multiple costume changes, mime, sucking off Mick Ronson’s… guitar, and admonishing his wife Angie’s makeup suggestions with “What do you know about makeup? You’re just a girl.” But this is different.

Debuting in Paris this month at the Philharmonie de Paris/ Cité de la Musique before then continuing to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands later in the year, the collection of costumes, outfits, memorabilia, and detritus, is vast as this is only a sampling of what the curators chose after Bowie opened his closets. Bowie’s self-application of color and cream is apparent with even a tissue that once blotted his lipstick is carefully displayed.
 

 
For Brits the ‘big moment’ was the “Starman” reveal on Top of the Pops, a moment given further clarity with a crew member shot backup film. While many English teenagers first got gobsmacked by that moment, even younger Americans were similarly blown away after over a decade of Bowie’s starring bursts when he premiered his devastatingly electric art moments during his December 15, 1979, Saturday Night Live performances with Joey Arias and Klaus Nomi on backup for scorching renditions of “The Man Who Sold the World” (in a Hugo Ball—inspired hourglass-shaped tuxedo), “TVC15” (in a school marm’s green dress with Arias and Nomi fending off a pink poodle with a TV in its mouth), and “Boys Keep Swinging,” with a Silly Putty—bodied Bowie unfurling a plastic penis, twice (though only shown on the first broadcast). Both programs make up significant parts of the exhibit.

Scary Monsters unleashed the final throes of Bowie’s magnificent more-than-a-decade of blowing Earth’s minds before settling down with that album that can’t be named (and thankfully is left out of the exhibition entirely). The next decade is skipped until we encounter Floria Sigismondi’s music videos (she’s created four for the Master in total) for “Little Wonder” and “Dead Man Walking.”

Other highlights of the exhibit, beyond getting to get ::this close:: to the Starman’s magic clothing include a gift of a test pressing of the first Velvet Underground album, bequeathed to Bowie’s manager Kenneth Pitt by Andy Warhol then to Bowie who exclaimed “By the time ‘European Son’ was done I was so excited I couldn’t move,” the keys to the underground bunker Bowie shared with Iggy Pop in Berlin which resulted in this writer’s own desert island disc The Idiot, and the Thin White Duke’s trusty cocaine spoon giving the man who fell to earth’s Diamond Dogs tour that extra bit of futuristic oomph.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Vintage purses with bold feminist slogans
03.04.2015
11:57 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion

Tags:
feminism
purses


 
This whimsical series by artist Michele Pred bears the title “Promote the General Welfare,” which phrase might ring a bell insofar as it is in the first line of the U.S. Constitution.

Some of the items feature actual neon, whereas others use electroluminescent wire twisted and bent to get a similar, albeit lo-fi, effect.

Pred’s comment on the series is as follows:
 

Each unique piece is made using a vintage handbag from the 1950s or ‘60s. For me, the use of purses from the mid-twentieth century harks back to that critical era, and reminds us how much has changed and, more importantly, how much has not. The text on each purse is created using Electroluminescent wire that is lit up using batteries and a small electronic driver that can be set to constant or flash mode.  The purses are meant to be carried and serve as small-scale political billboards.

 
Michele Pred’s work can be found at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery.
 

 

 

This translucent piece includes more than 20,000 expired birth control pills to “express the challenges many women have accessing affordable birth control”
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Brutal, intimate photos depict the 1980s ‘heroin epidemic’ of the East Village
03.03.2015
03:21 pm

Topics:
Art
Drugs
History

Tags:
New York
photography
heroin


Boy on East 5th Street (4th of July), 1984
 
Anyone who’s hung out on Rivington Street the last few years might be surprised to learn that the East Village was one of the scariest parts of New York just a few decades ago. Not for nothing did one police officer in the 1980s label Avenue D “the world’s largest retail drug market.”

Photographer Ken Schles, who lived in the East Village in the 1980s, once said that it was “like a war zone.” Schles witnessed firsthand the heroin epidemic and the AIDS crisis happening all around him. His photographs, many taken from his bedroom window, depict the urgency and hopelessness of a neighborhood in crisis. 

Schles’ building, where he also had his darkroom, was in disrepair from the moment he moved in in 1978; just a few years later, the landlord abandoned the building, leaving tenants to their own devices. Schles led a rent strike and worked to improve the living conditions, as drug gangs moved in on the space.

Unlike the romanticized imagery produced by some, Schles’ frank pictures offer no illusion as to what is being depicted. Schles himslf is disgusted by such idealized portraits and offers a refreshingly honest and pragmatic take on the era—as he says, “I don’t pine for the days when I’d drive down the Bowery and have to lock the doors, or having to step over the junkies or finding the door bashed in because heroin dealers decided they wanted to set up a shooting gallery. ... A lot of dysfunction has been romanticized.”

Schles’ shots, many taken from his bedroom window, provide blurred and grainy fragments, stories to which we do not know the beginning, even if we can guess at the grim ending. Eventually Schles’ fellow artists and gallery owners banded together to rebuild the neighborhood.

In 1988 Schles published Invisible City, which has recently been reissued, and late last year he came out with a follow-up, Night Walk. Together they add up to an intimate study of a neighborhood that is no longer recognizable.

Invisible City and Night Walk are on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery on 57th Street until March 14, 2015.
 

Couple Fucking, 1985
 

Embrace, 1984
 

Landscape with Garbage Bag, 1984
 

Drowned in Sorrow, 1984
 

Scene at a Stag Party, May 1985
 

Claudia Lights Cigarette, 1985
 
More after the jump…..
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Manga-style fan art inspired by that goddamned dress
03.03.2015
08:49 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion

Tags:
that goddamned dress
whitegold or blueblack


 
If you were on the Internet at all last week, you probably saw that innocent picture of a dress taken at a wedding on the Scottish island of Colonsay, which had the improbable effect of sowing the seeds of disagreement, tearing families apart and pitting brother against brother like nothing since the Civil War. (Blue and grey are sorted out, so Ken Burns has a documentary about the dress in the works.)

Yes, is it blue and black or is it white and gold? Your answer to that question put you on one side or the other, and there was little way to bridge that gap. All over Facebook there were countless otherwise inscrutable postings along the lines of “It’s totally white and gold!” The one online poll I saw on the subject showed a 3 to 1 margin in favor of the incorrect position, white and gold. (Yes, the real dress is blue and black.)

Myself, the first time I saw it I was certain it was blue and black. The next day I took a look at it and I was equally certain it was white and gold. So that should tell you everything you need to know about certainty.

The Internet being what it is, it didn’t take long for some creative folks to be all, “OK, we disagree on the color of the dress, but that doesn’t mean we can’t create a fandom for it!” Here are some manga-style illos riffing on the blue/black and/or white/gold dress.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
via RocketNews 24

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Public sculpture giving stock exchange the finger, now a kitsch music box
03.03.2015
06:42 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
music box

LOVE
 
This is L.O.V.E., a nearly 9-inch tall statuette of a hand without fingers, except the middle one which is pointing straight up (and we all know what that means).

Sure, it is a magnificent kitschy souvenir on its own, but this pedestaled obscene gesture also rotates and plays a “sweet classic and reassuring tune,” making it the most vulgar music box around.

L.O.V.E. is a miniaturized reproduction of a 36-foot white marble sculpture of the same name by Italian contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan. The artist donated this artwork to the city of Milan on the condition that it be placed in front of its stock exchange, Borsa Italiana, which it has (been flipping the bird) since 2011.
 
LOVE
 
LOVE
 

Posted by Rusty Blazenhoff | Discussion
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Hideous beauty: The ghoulish ‘post-mortem fairy tales’ of Mothmeister
03.03.2015
06:15 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
photography

Wounderland
 
You’ll need to sleep with one eye open after looking at Wounderland, the “post-mortem fairy tales” portrait series of ghastly creatures by the Belgian duo Mothmeister.

Nearly all the hideous characters in the dark series are holding stiff, mounted animals, as the couple behind these unsettling photos are both taxidermists. “We reincarnate these dead critters into fairy tale figures by dressing them up like the Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter did.”

They state the “anonymous, ugly masked creatures” highlighted in their work are “a reaction against the dominant exhibitionism of the selfie culture and beauty standards marketed by the mass media.”

Put down that selfie stick and take a look at Wounderland for yourself.

Wounderland
 
Wounderland
 
Wounderland
 
Wounderland
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Rusty Blazenhoff | Discussion
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Watch Keith Haring paint a street art mural in Barcelona,1989
03.02.2015
07:09 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Keith Haring

00keharthingr.jpg
Polaroid portrait of Keith Haring by Andy Warhol

Keith Haring drew cool, clean, simple lines that showed his confidence and talent as an artist. Haring could draw long before he started school. His father, an engineer and amateur cartoonist, encouraged him to create his own cartoon characters rather than copy them from comic books or Disney cartoons. So, Haring dreamt up his own cartoon figures which he drew across page after page of his drawing books.

Then his father gave Keith another sound piece of advice—he told him to learn how to draw with his eyes closed. Haring practiced and practiced until he could draw any of his figures with eyes tight shut.
 
001harkingth.jpg
 
In 1989, Keith Haring traveled to Barcelona where he painted on a large mural “Todos juntos podemos parar el SIDA” (Together We Can Stop AIDS) in El Raval or the Barrio del Chino—a notorious drug area, where used syringes and drug paraphernalia littered the streets. The mural was painted on a concrete buttress in la plaza Salvador Segui and contained many of Haring’s famous trademark symbols—dancing figures, snakes, hypodermic syringes and the three figures of see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil—or in this case: speak out, educate, and understand the dangers of AIDs. In his journal, Haring wrote about the mural:

I spent five hours doing it, as I had planned. The wall had a strange inclination that made it difficult to paint, but one of the things I like about this work is the [physical] adaptability it requires. I found a posture that allowed me to paint in a homogenous, balanced way. Some of the best photos of this mural reflect the body language and postures I adopt when painting it.

 
00kaharnght123.jpg
 
Haring produced the work for free, hoping it would inspire change.

In the 1990s, the mural fell into disrepair and was removed to MACBA—the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona.

The video (shot by Cesar de Melero) also includes footage of Haring working on a mural at an arts studio/nightclub.
 

 
Bonus early news report on Haring drawing chalk murals on NY’s subway, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Meet Johnny Urine, the YouTube king of peeing-on-things videos
02.27.2015
06:15 am

Topics:
Art
Kooks

Tags:
urine
artists


 
A hobby can be an essential activity for relieving stress. Everyone should have one to clear their minds of the day’s tension and strain, whether it be stamp collecting or bird watching or model ship building or videotaping yourself pissing all over random objects in your living room.

In one of the murkier, moldier recesses of the internet you will find the YouTube channel of one “Johnny Urine.”

Johnny does one thing and one thing only. He posts videos, generally about 30 seconds in length, of himself whizzing on indiscriminate objects.

For the price of a simple mouseclick, one can see Mr. Urine do his thing over a broken ukelele, a plate of shrimp, a multivitamin bottle, a stapler, a tape measure, a comb, and, in one of his highest rated videos, a copy of Twilight.

In the 25 videos posted to his channel, Johnny Urine lets loose—not only on the intended articles, but even more disturbingly, all over his living room carpet. His aim is not always true, and one wouldn’t imagine a whole lot of house guests having an extended stay in the Urine abode.

The stream of videos sadly cuts off in November of 2012, leaving us wondering if Johnny Urine may have departed this earth, leaving only a legacy of ammonia-stenched statements on the mundane objects that mock our sad existence. Let that soak in for a minute.

Fair warning, these videos are NSFW-ish.

Here, in what is certainly his greatest work, is Johnny Urine baptizing a Pink Floyd CD:

 

And then there’s the crowd favorite:

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Discussion
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