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Animal Planet: The beautiful, disturbing and surreal paintings of Martin Wittfooth
04.04.2017
10:09 am

Topics:
Animals
Art
Environment

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“The Sacrifice” (2011).
 
New York artist Martin Wittfooth produces stunningly beautiful and detailed allegorical paintings featuring animals wandering through a post-apocalyptic world. Humans are absent—perhaps dead. The world humans have bequeathed these animals is choked with plastic, devastated by pollution, and illuminated by all-consuming fire. The one hope is a progression to a better more fruitful world through personal sacrifice and death. Animals snared in manmade tangles of telephone cords sprout flowers from their eyes; a dead wolf bursts with colorful blooms that nourish a hummingbird; a white horse is set on fire by deranged monkeys.

Wittfooth’s animals represent the human experience. We are all part of his paintings. His work has examined the folly of religion in The Passions (2011), which included paintings like “The Coronation” that depicted a saintly baboon haloed by fire feeding pigeons with the pages of a burning book. Or the redemptive nature of sacrifice in “Fall/Advent” (2012) or again with the series Gardens from 2010.

Thirty-something Wittfooth is a highly accomplished artist, he has an incredible technical skill, and an uncompromising vision that thrills enthralls and tells us something deeply profound about our existence. See more of Martin Wittfooth’s work here and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
 
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“The Coronation” (2011).
 
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“The Ecstasy” (2011).
 
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“Pieta” (2011).
 
See more of Martin Wittfooth’s animal magic, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Lou Reed, Steve Buscemi, and the death of the 90s: Maggie Estep’s cover of ‘Vicious’
04.03.2017
10:08 am

Topics:
Art
Music
R.I.P.

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This clip is basically the most perfect eulogy for the 90s I can ever imagine.

It is not the job of the Gen X-er to lament or to wax nostalgic. We have essentially made a generational pact to shrug our collective way to the grave. And that’s cool, but still, let us count the things that once existed in this video that are, simply, no more: viable spoken word performers, viable music videos, viable indie record labels, affordable NYC art scenes, Maggie Estep (RIP), Lou Reed (RIP). The 90s really were fucking magnificent, man.

Anyway, this spoken-word cover by poet Estep was from her second album, Love is A Dog from Hell. (Bukowski reference! Everybody loved Bukowski in the 90s!) It was directed by Steve Buscemi (!) and features a cameo from Mister Lou Reed himself. Shortly thereafter “downtown” died and so did virtually everything and everybody that you love.

Oh well, whatever. Nevermind.
 
Watch it after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
The anti-communist, anti-capitalist satirical collages of hobo artist Ion Bârlădeanu
04.03.2017
09:16 am

Topics:
Art
Politics

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Romanian artist Ion Bârlădeanu was making collages for twenty years before the art world got hip to his work in 2007. Suddenly Bârlădeanu was supposed to have worth because someone else said he did. Bârlădeanu didn’t give a fuck. He was a hobo living in a garbage dump. He kept on doing what he was doing because that is what he does. The only thing a little recognition from a bunch of champagne-guzzling art critics meant was money to buy beer, to buy smokes, to get an apartment in Bucharest.

Born in 1946, Ion Bârlădeanu was a farmer, a stevedore, a security guard and a gravedigger before he decided to become an artist. He was homeless. He scavenged. He made collages out of whatever he could find. He was inspired by the Romanian Revolution of 1989 that deposed dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and ended 42 years of communist rule in Romania. His subject matter was the fall of communism, the failure of capitalism, and the insidious superstition of religion.

Bârlădeanu has said he never had fun making his collages because he was a down-and-out. Now his work hangs in galleries across the world. Bârlădeanu describes his satirical, politically-charged collages as film stills from as yet unmade movies.

An exhibition of Ion Bârlădeanu’s artwork is currently on show in Action, Camera at the Gallery of Everything, Lonon until June 18th.
 
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More collages by Ion Bârlădeanu, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Everything on the Internet is a LIE (except for this)
04.01.2017
10:19 am

Topics:
Advertising
Amusing
Animation
Art
Television

Tags:


 
I reckon my pal Cris Shapan is a bonafide comedy genius. If he weren’t so dagblasted funny, then I honestly doubt I would laugh so much at his gags. But laugh I do, my painfully cramped stomach testament to the obtuse brilliance of his singular comedic vision. But he’s a funnyman with a difference, as you’ll see. He’s an entire comedy genre of one.

Cris Shapan’s comedy is all about the little details. He might have the most exactingly detailed comic mind on the planet. His work is complex, multi-layered and maniacal. It also brutally takes advantage—in the nicest way possible, mind you—of how gullible people can be on the Internet. You see, prior to when he started working on various cult television programs—you’ve seen his stuff on Tom Goes to the Mayor, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Kroll Show and Baskets—Cris was a corporate art director working for evil entities like American Express. Taking what he learned employed on the darkside, his idiosyncratic output—clearly inspired by a misspent youth obsessively reading National Lampoon—creates counterfeit realities that are bust-a-gut funny, but often sail right over the heads of the very people sharing them on Facebook (who quite often unwittingly announce this fact as they post them. Which then makes his gags TWICE as funny, of course).


 
Nope, the members of Spooky Tooth never did a print ad for Birds Eye frozen vegetables, but try telling that to their Wikipedia page! And poor Brian Eno having to deny that he did an advertisement for Purina in the mid-70s with his blasé cat Eric. Stevie Wonder never did an Atari ad, either, sorry to break it to ya pal. It never happened.

And that guy on Facebook posting one of Cris’s album cover parodies and announcing that “My dad had this record when I was a kid!” (and all of the Facebook “Me, too-ers” as well)? He’s either a bold-faced liar… or else he truly does “remember” his father owning a record that has never existed. And maybe he ate some Potato Fudge while he listened to it… Why assume the worst in people, right?

For this special April Fool’s Day post, I asked some questions over email of the man, the myth Cris Shapan

Richard Metzger: I know who you are, but for the sake of all the young, impressionable minds out there reading this, how would you describe yourself?

Cris Shapan: I’m a hack. I started decades ago in movie advertising, did a bunch of years in corporate art departments, and then 13 years ago I answered an ad on Craigslist and wound up working on Tom Goes to the Mayor at Tim and Eric.  Since then I’ve been bouncing around on the fringe of edgy comedy, on shows like Awesome Show and Kroll Show and Baskets, doing silly art & deliberately awful effects.  It’s a high-pressure gig for an artist, but it can also be a whole lot of fun.
 

 
With your Photoshop skills you can “edit” the past—in a very Orwellian sense—and it’s frightening to see how fucking gullible people can be. I recall we posted one of your Alan Hale parody album covers and idiots on Facebook were commenting “I used to have this record!” “Me too!” and “I still have mine!” Ummm… no you don’t.

Cris Shapan: Yeah, it’s scary to see something I did purely to entertain friends become someone else’s reality.  Some claim to remember or even own something that never existed.  Others will repost a parody ad as real, especially if it reinforces some agenda they’re touting (sexism in advertising, the past was a horrible place, frankenfood, etc.).  People read the fake ad copy and leap to the wildest interpretations, often expressing outrage at something that never actually happened.  It’s just bizarre.  Some people are so convinced these parody pieces are genuine that they’ve gone in and modified Wikipedia pages to reflect their existence, which of course compounds the stupidity.
 

 
At what point did Snopes.com find it necessary to “debunk” some of your gags?

Both Dangerous Minds and The American Bystander (the only humor magazine in existence, I think) had run my ad for a product called “Johnson’s Winking Glue.”  The premise alone should have established this as a parody; it was for a product that ostensibly glued your eye shut so you could wink properly.  A few months later, some dickhead blogger reposted the ad as factual without citing the source, and it went viral on its own to the point where Snopes got involved.
 

 
Did they get it right? They’ve got a real reputation for accuracy.

Cris Shapan: Yes, thank goodness for the fine folks at Snopes - I mean that, they’re like the Sheriff of Internet Misinformation.  Not only did they track me down, but the author tracked the ad back to a photo gallery on my Facebook page.  Of course, I’ve never tried to pretend these are real or hide my tracks, so they didn’t have to Sherlock themselves too hard.  I’m glad they understood these were parodies…It pisses me off so much when people debunk my humor as a ‘hoax’ - it’s like debunking MAD magazine or Waiting for Guffman.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Sex, Drugs & Celebrities: Action figures paired with vintage porn, advertisements & magazine covers
03.31.2017
09:57 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Drugs
Pop Culture
Sex

Tags:

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From its sweatshop hidden somewhere in deepest depths of New York’s Chinatown, the evil Super Sucklord has been pumping out a range of highly collectible bootleg figurines, art works, trading cards and pop culture mashups since 2015.

The Sucklord is artist Morgan Phillips who is the boss of toy company Suckadelic—best known for its range of film & TV spin-off figurines in particular its Star Wars collectibles. Among the many other goodies available are a series of one-off artworks created by the Super Sucklord called Sucpanelz.

Sucpanlez feature Action Figures paired with vintage print magazine covers, adverts and print materials which are then mounted onto wooden panels. Currently there are two series available: Celebrity Sucpanelz—featuring the likes of G.G. Allin, Kanye, Robin Williams and Johnny Cash among others, and Sex & Drugs Sucpanelz—which is kinda more self-explanatory.
 
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See more of Super Sucklord’s scintillating Sucpanelz, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Insomnia or the Devil at Large’: Gorgeously primitive watercolors by Henry Miller
03.31.2017
08:47 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Literature

Tags:


 
In the mid ’60s, Henry Miller, the great and often controversial American writer whose works were mostly banned in the US until 1961, developed an infatuation on a Japanese lounge singer and actress named Hoki Tokuda. Miller and Tokuda would eventually marry (a true May-December affair—their age difference was almost 50 years, and the marriage was reportedly…unconventional in other respects as well), but before sealing the deal, fretfulness over their relationship would provoke a prolonged bout of insomnia in Miller, and during that spell of sleeplessness, he produced a series of watercolors and the short story “Insomnia or the Devil at Large.” Miller described the watercolors thusly:

They reflect the varying moods of three in the morning. Some were sprinkled with bird seed, some with songes, and some with mensonges. Some dripped from the brush like pink arsenic; others clogged up on me and came out as welts and bruises. Some were organic, some inorganic, but they were all intended to lead their own life in the garden of Abracadabra.”

 

 
“Insomnia” would eventually see its most widely-distributed publication as a 33-page book in 1974, but in 1970, Loujon Press of Albuquerque, NM produced a rather lavish boxed portfolio featuring 17x22” reproductions of the Insomnia watercolors and a letterpress book containing the story. Several editions were made, with the intention of producing 999 boxes in all, but the reality was somewhat more modest. Evidently only about 300 of the wooden cases were made, and the editions, designated with letters A through F, were all published in smaller numbers than originally hoped, some in cheaper boxes, some in an “economy” edition comprised of simply the book and prints with no case at all.

One of the nicer sets, from edition G, has just come up for bidding via the Aspire Auction company. Its provenance is about as direct as can be—it was procured directly from Miller himself by a book and art dealer named Arthur Feldman, and it’s signed.

Insomnia or The Devil at Large”, book and a portfolio of twelve works, 1970. Lithographs on paper, book with comb binding, marked Edition G out of 385 copies to colophon, first edition, signed and dated by the artist “May 1st 1970”, published by Loujon Press, Albuquerque, NM. In wooden box with sliding lid, overall 24” x 19 ⅛”

Bidding closes on Thursday, April 6th. Best of luck. The images that follow are from the copy being offered for sale, and are culled from the auction house’s web site. Clicking spawns an enlargement.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Monsters from Outer Space: Glorious covers for German sci-fi magazine ‘Terra’
03.30.2017
12:31 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Pop Culture

Tags:

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After the Second World War, when everything was all kinda, um… shook-up and most people feared imminent nuclear annihilation, or World War Three with Russia, or maybe even just a little old flying saucer invasion from Mars, there came outta Germany a glorious science-fiction magazine called Terra.

Terra or Terra—Utopische Romane / Science Fiction to give it its full name made its debut in 1957. It was published weekly by Arthur Moewig Verlag until 1968. Together with its rival sci-fi mag Utopia, Terra has been described as “the most important science fiction work in the early years of West Germany.”

One look at these glorious Terra covers explains just why that might be so. Look at these fabulous mutated alien creatures doing battle with strong-jawed astronauts, or killer robots about to off some unlucky human, or just shudder at the slithering rapacious monsters about to devour a tasty spaceman breakfast. These are just awesome, thought-inspiring mini-masterpieces that made Earth seem pretty safe at a time when it could have gone up in a nuclear flash.
 
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More awesome Terra covers, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Fierce and provocative vintage artwork & images from New York’s infamous Fiorucci store
03.30.2017
10:18 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion
Sex

Tags:


A vintage 80s ad for Italian fashion brand, Fiorucci featuring Divine. Art by Richard Bernstein

“Went to Fiorucci and it’s so much fun there. It’s everything I’ve always wanted, all plastic.”

—Andy Warhol diary entry for December 21, 1983

Although Fiorucci was a global brand, it was the NYC store where Elio Fiorucci’s visionary day-glo retailing vision was best realized. Everyone from Jackie O to Andy Warhol spent time hanging out and shopping at Fiorucci—a glammy New York store that was fondly referred to as the “daytime Studio 54.” From the late 70s and most of the 80s the clothing brand founded by Elio Fiorucci in Milan was a fashion trendsetter and can be credited with many looks that defined the era. Like primary colors and “neon” fabrics, form-fitting “stretch” denim jeans and the accessories that were worn by a young Madonna, thanks to Fiorucci’s art director, jewelry designer Maripol who styled her iconic look. (Ms. Ciccone even performed at the store’s 1983 anniversary party). Maripol also dressed the likes of Grace Jones and another New York fashion icon, Debbie Harry. Keith Haring would draw on the walls. Kenny Scharf did his first art show there. Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine had office space in the store for a while, too, and it was pretty difficult to turn up at the store—across from Bloomingdale’s flagship on 59th and Lexington Ave—and not see someone incredibly famous.
 

Madonna and her dancers
 
And since this is New York we’re talking about, one of the store’s most popular employees (he was the manager) flamboyant performance artist Joey Arias appeared with David Bowie and Klaus Nomi on what would become one of the most infamous episodes of Saturday Night Live on December 15th, 1979. Because everybody was somebody in New York back then. Fashion designer Betsey Johnson

I was recently made aware of the fact that earlier this month high-end UK retailer Selfridges debuted a pop-up shop where you could actually purchase items from Fiorucci’s classic clothing catalog. Everything from the brand’s famous denimwear to an accessory I have been obsessed with since I was skating around the roller rink to Sister Sledge (who sang about the store), Fiorucci patches. Selfridges even provided a service where you could have a vintage patch, which were created in 1984, affixed to the item of your choosing. If you missed that, like I sadly did, the store is now carrying a number of new Fiorucci items including some cool, vibrantly colored t-shirts with the brand’s neon, zig-zagging logo on the front. Below I’ve posted an array of images from Fiorucci ad campaigns, marketing posters as well as a few of the vintage patches sold at the Selfridges’ pop-up store.

Sunglasses are encouraged to protect your eyes. Some are NSFW.
 

The famous Fiorucci logo
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Wild portraits of Dali, Bowie, Jimi, Jagger, Bruce Lee, Basquiat & more made from junk
03.29.2017
11:22 am

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Movies
Music

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A portrait of David Bowie made out of junk by Bernard Pas.
 
French painter, photographer, and sculptor Bernard Pras has been creating pictures out of everyday objects such as toys, wood, clothing and whatever else he happened to come across for over two decades. Many of the finished products are remarkable portraits of some of the world’s most famous faces such as David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Bruce Lee and Jack Nicholson as “Jack Torrance” from The Shining.

Pras is very discerning when it comes to the selection process for his individual pieces—and it is that thought process that helps the the dexterous artist create a sense of life in his elaborate portraits and other works comprised of objects that he perhaps collected from Goodwill bargain bins filled with doll parts, bits of clothing and even food. I’ve included a nice selection of Pras’ portraits, one of which is quite NSFW which you can see at the very end of this post.
 

Jack Nicholson as his character “Jack Torrance” from ‘The Shining.’
 

Jimi Hendrix, 2000.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Trophy Wife Barbie
03.29.2017
09:25 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Feminism

Tags:

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Like most boys of a certain generation, I had an Action Man. Action Man was the British equivalent of America’s G.I. Joe. A twelve-inch doll with movable parts, “gripping hands,” short-cropped hair, and sometimes a stubbly beard. It sounds like a sex toy. Maybe it was. Most likely not as Action Man didn’t have a dick.

I never thought of him as some kind of ideal man. Action Man may have had a ripped body, a macho scar on his cheek, and a military wardrobe the envy of every tin-pot dictator but he had no dick. Action Man was just a piece of plastic that I gave meaning by inventing various games by which to play with him. This was mainly fighting Nazi zombies, escaping Frankenstein’s laboratory, and the occasional scientific experiment like testing the law of gravity by throwing Action Man out of a bedroom window with a homemade handkerchief parachute. Action Man was just a toy that lived through my imagination until books, records and girls came along.

Annelies Hofmeyr uses her imagination to cast Barbie in various satiric images that challenge gender identity. Hofmeyr is a South African conceptual artist who operates under the name WIT MYT. This is pronounced as “vit mate” and according to Hofemyr:

WIT stems from the Afrikaans word for WHITE and MYT, a derogatory term for a domestic worker, a job usually reserved for coloured (mixed race) and black people. The same phonetic word in Dutch (the colonisers of South Africa), means girl.

Hofmeyr was born in South Africa sometime in the 1980s, the daughter of a gunsmith father and a British mother. She studied Fine Art and Graphic Design in Cape Town before beginning her peripatetic life traveling around the world due to a “combination of study debt” and South Africa’s “strained political situation.” Living in various countries, Hofmeyr studied a Contemporary Jewelry course in Melbourne, Australia. This started her career creating “Contemporary Adornment” and conceptual art.

Hofmeyr started her Trophy Wife Barbie pictures on the day of her divorce. Her first photograph featured Barbie clutching Ken’s decapitated head with the caption “Yay! My divorce went through today!” underneath. She posts her pictures on her Instagram page. Hofmeyr uses Barbie to make satirical and politically-charged comment about gender and everyday sexism. As Hofmeyr has said:

She has been judged by her appearance and now that her situation has changed (and she’s no longer a wife) she needs to find her identity outside of her label.

Prints of Trophy Wife Barbie are available at $18 a pop. See more of Hofemyr’s work here.
 
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More Trophy Wife Barbies, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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