follow us in feedly
Is banned art-film, ‘Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story,’ the weirdest music movie ever made?


 
Director Todd Haynes is well-known for his arty, fictionalized depictions of music iconography. Velvet Goldmine was a glam rock epic, with characters modeled after Bowie and Iggy, while I’m Not There features seven different actors portraying “fictional” facets of Bob Dylan’s personality or mystique. Both films blur reality with stylized interpretations, but neither takes even a fraction of the liberties Haynes exercised with his 1987 grad school student film, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story.

The film opens up on Karen’s death, then flashes back to narrate her rise to fame. It’s a spasmodic format—switching between interviews with peripheral music industry people, random footage and fascinatingly elaborate mise-en-scène reenactments staged with Barbie dolls and melodramatic voice-overs. In reference to Karen’s anorexia, Haynes actually whittled down her Barbie effigy with a knife for later scenes, mimicking the progressive emaciation of her body. It’s a dark portrayal of a slow death, Karen and Barbie, both icons of American perfection, wasting away before our eyes.

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is technically illegal to exhibit, although since the advent of YouTube, it’s a bit of a moot point (the upload embedded below was posted in 2012). Karen’s brother Richard sued Haynes for copyright infringement. MOMA has a copy but even they aren’t allowed to screen it. Even if Haynes hadn’t used Carpenters songs, there’s a good chance Richard Carpenter would’ve found basis for a lawsuit. Haynes portrays Karen as the victim of her narcissistic and tyrannical family, even suggesting Richard was closeted.

It’s difficult not to be sympathetic to Richard Carpenter who probably viewed the film as mere ghoulish, exploitative sensationalism. It’s a strangely invasive and voyeuristic piece of art, and the argument could be made that it’s totally unethical in its ambiguous, semi-biographical fiction. It’s also totally hypnotic, with a compelling narrative and a pioneering experimentalism that makes it one of the great cult classics.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Paris museum promotes Marquis De Sade show with orgiastic trailer (NSFW)
10.10.2014
11:54 am

Topics:
Advertising
Art
Sex

Tags:
Marquis De Sade
Musée d'Orsay


 
The Musée d’Orsay, the legendary museum dedicated to impressionist and post-impressionist art housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station in the center of Paris, has a big show on the legacy of Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, better known as the Marquis de Sade, coming up in a few days (show starts October 14). The show, called “Sade: Attacking the Sun,” will focus on “the revolution of representation opened up by the author’s writings,” according to the museum. The exhibit will feature presumably challenging and sensuous works by artists such as Goya, Géricault, Ingres, Rops, Rodin, and Picasso. De Sade’s groundbreaking works include Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue and 120 Days of Sodom, which was later adapted by Pier Paolo Pasolini as Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom.
 

 
On its website, the Musée d’Orsay warns (in bold text), “The violent nature of some of the works and documents may shock some visitors.” A similar disclaimer might apply to the show’s promotional video, directed by video artists David Freymond and Florent Michel. In keeping with the Marquis’ licentious philosophy and writings, the video consists entirely of quick cuts of dozens of (mostly white) people engaged in group sex in a huge darkened expanse. The camera eventually pulls out to reveal that the bodies are configured to spell the word “SADE.”

Funny—the only orgy I was ever at, we spelled out the word “EXCELSIOR.”

The video is NSFW but that should be pretty obvious, and to be honest it’s pretty low-stakes smut…..
 

 
via Artnet

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Nightmarish horror photography from Russia
10.09.2014
11:26 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Russia
Photography

Dens by Moppaa
Dens by Moppaa
 
After looking through several pages of photographs by 27-year-old Russian photographer, painter and digital artist Moppaa, it didn’t really come as a surprise to learn that he started his art career engraving portraits on gravestones. Beyond that, there is not much known about this young artist but I did manage to dig up an interview he gave less than a month ago over at In Dark We Trust and gained a bit of insight into what makes Moppaa tick.
 
Moppaa (Eugene Kuleshov) says his interest in photography started in 2012 after he surprised his girlfriend with a photograph and “liked” her reaction to it. I can only assume that her reaction was positive as Moppaa has gone on to create some fairly terrifying images that often feature his girlfriend (who appears to be his wife now) as the subject. Moppaa’s goal as an artist is to make people “shit their pants” (me = mission fucking accomplished!) and is planning to publish a children’s book of horror stories. When asked to describe himself in three words he choose, “maniac”, “paranoid” and “artist” (me = agreed). So please, grab another pair of pants before you view the following images from this young, beautifully deranged artist. You can also view his full gallery here. If you need me, I’ll be under my bed.
 
Clown by Moppaa
Clown
 
Scout by Moppaa
Scout
 
They by Moppaa
They
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Check out these marbles: Photographer captures the sculptured testicles of antiquity
10.09.2014
07:48 am

Topics:
Art
History

Tags:
photography
sculpture
testicles
Greek


 
Gaze upon the balls of the ancients! Observe their delicate rend’ring from such an indelicate medium! Note the attention to detail! The texture! The asymmetry! The… weightiness?

These photos are from Ingrid Berthon-Moine’s cleverly titled series, “Marbles,” which compiles shots of testicles from classical Greek sculpture—only marble marbles will do. Berthon-Moine did a lot of research on Greek sexuality for the project, and actually answered one of my long-standing questions on ancient art—were the models for these sculptures… really cold? Oddly enough, some counterintuitive idealization of the human form may be the culprit.  Berthon-Moine says:

This interest in ancient classical Greek statuary was prompted by the accuracy of its anatomy, the realism of its stance and the influence it still has on the shape of the male body.

Ancient Greece was a highly masculinist culture. They favoured ‘small and taut’ genitals, as opposed to big sex organs, to show male self-control in matters of sexuality. Today, the modern users as in commerce, cinema, and advertising converted it into a mass commodity telling us about domination and desirability, size matters and the bigger, the better.

Small junk was “in”—how about that? You’ll notice no real shaft in any of the pictures (a few you can even see were even broken off), but you’d like to err on the side of NSFW (or if testes make you testy), I respect that—but if you’re working at a place that would punish you for looking at crops of ancient Greek statues, I suggest you do your damndest to make a career change—someplace that won’t bust your balls, you know?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Via Hyperallergic

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Henry Miller gives a tour of his bathroom in ‘Asleep and Awake’ 1975
10.09.2014
07:40 am

Topics:
Art
Literature

Tags:
Henry Miller
bathroom

poshmillbath33.jpg
 
This quirky and entertaining little film Henry Miller: Asleep and Awake has the legendary author of Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring, Tropic of Capricorn and The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy giving a personal tour of the images festooned on the walls of his bathroom. Miller must have spent a lot of time in there to have pasted and pinned all the photographs, posters and mementoes that decorated the walls. He claims his bathroom became so talked about among friends that they would visit not to see him but to view his secret gallery. “People often come in here and get lost, as it were,” Miller explains.

They’re in here for how long? I don’t know, and I imagine something happened that they got constipated or something. But it isn’t that, of course, they get fascinated with these pictures.

I myself, to tell you the truth, spend long minutes in here viewing them all, wondering where did I get them? Why did I put them up there? They run quite a gamut from the Buddhists to the whores to the maniac who made that beautiful castle up there. In a way, again it’s very much like a… it’s a sort of a voyage, I look upon it, a voyage of ideas. We’re traveling not around the world, but around my bathroom which is a little microcosm like the world.

The pictures reflect Miller’s interest in art (Paul Gauguin, Hieronymus Bosch), his favorite writers (Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, Blaise Cedrars, Hermann Hesse and a wide selection of beautiful women (including a brief appearance by fourth and final wife Hiroko Tokuda). There’s even a hidden corner for all the pornographic pictures. It’s a place for contemplation as Miller explains, “one of the beauties about it is it can take you anywhere, if you let your mind roam.”

Director Tom Schiller allows Miller to roam and connect the pictures bringing out the occasional nugget of personal information with the author finally relating a dream about escaping from an insane asylum before he returns to that “shithole New York” (or a studio backlot—the set for Hello Dolly) to bring the film to a poignant close.

My whole life seems like one long dream punctuated with nightmares.

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Big ol’ penis spray-painted on $2.5 million car
10.08.2014
03:09 pm

Topics:
Art
Economy

Tags:
Bugatti Veyron


 
I can’t help but laugh a little at this dick that was childishly graffitied on a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport (the world’s most expensive production car).

Apparently this all went down in Seattle as the car was parked on a city street. No one has copped to the vandalism yet, so the motivation behind the graffiti is still unclear (but I don’t think it takes a brain surgeon to figure why this happened or the message). 

I can’t imagine the owner of the Bugatti Veyron was too thrilled to see a primitively rendered spray-painted dick on his or her car, but it sort of comes with the territory when such an opulent chariot is parked among the proletariat, don’t you think?

The owner has, so far at least, not revealed his or her identity.


 
Via Metro and h/t Death and Taxes

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Cartoonists document Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement


Art by Luis Simoes
 
The last few days have seen no small amount of drama in Hong Kong, as disenfranchised students are calling attention to their lack of political freedoms. The students have taken up umbrellas to protect themselves from the massive amounts of tear gas the riot police have used as a means of restoring order. 

On Facebook you can find two groups dedicated to recording the scenes at the the Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, and Admiralty areas of Hong Kong. Urban Sketchers Hong Kong (USHK) and Sketcher-Kee have both been in existence for about a year, and have responded to the recent unrest with vigor. Its members have been posting sketches featuring unfriendly police, tense protesters, and poetically empty or chaotically crammed urban vistas dominated by umbrellas and the color yellow. 

At the moment the protests are in a bit of a lull, as protest leaders have met with government officials and agreed to meet for talks starting on October 10. Student leader Lester Shum has said that the protests would continue until “practical measures [have] been forged between the government and the people.”

USHK cofounder Alvin Wong emphasized to Hyperallergic‘s Laura C. Mallonee the value of documenting “the biggest pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong history,” no matter the risk. As Wong Suede of Sketcher-Kee says, “We want to use our ability to make awareness for the public, to share our observations, experiences, and thoughts via the Internet to the world. ... We hope we can support and encourage the protesters who are fighting for Hong Kong … since we are also protestors, we hope it may [achieve something] for the whole movement.”
 

Art by Rob Sketcherman
 

Art by Collins Yeung ART
 

Art by Wink Au
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
‘Good Grief! Cancer Boy!’ Charlie Brown in nihilistic German existential cinema parody
10.08.2014
09:32 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Movies

Tags:
Peanuts
Charlie Brown
Apocalypse Pooh


 
You may remember a post last week on “Apocalypse Pooh,” a fantastic little pre-Internet mash-up of Apocalypse Now and Winnie The Pooh released in 1987 through underground tape-trading circles by art student Todd Graham. Though Graham is still best-known for his prototype mash-ups, I was pleased to find his fantastic little original short, “Good Grief! Cancer Boy!” a nihilistic portrayal of Charlie Brown in German (I mean, it’s more nihilistic than the original).

The disdain of his peers, the conniving sadism of Lucy, the general alienation of modern life, even in childhood—really, the material is already there. Todd Graham himself is brilliant as our tragic protagonist, and you can really feel the existential despair, you know?
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
follow us in feedly
We are Narcissus: Artists create anti-selfie mirror
10.08.2014
09:16 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
narcissism
selfie


 
French artists Chloé Curé and Bertrand Lanthiez created a “mirror” effect with just water and speakers. It’s an interactive art project titled “We are Narcissus.” The longer a person stares into the mirror and gazes at their own reflection, the more their face gets distorted—leading the person “to question their relation to their own image.” (And making it damned near impossible to take the perfect selfie!)

I like this idea. I like its message. It works perfectly with the story of Narcissus, a vain hunter full of hubris and arrogance. Lured to a lake by Nemesis, the Greek goddess of revenge and divine retribution, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in the water, not realizing he was looking at himself. Unable to leave the beauty of his own reflection, Narcissus died there.

That’s hubris, baby.

So does this mean we’re all going to die if we keep taking photos of ourselves posing in front of mirrors? Surely you’ve heard the rumors that selfies contain carcinogens? Google it.

Watch the video below:

 
Via Booooooom!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
follow us in feedly
iBeenHACKED
10.07.2014
04:57 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Media
Music

Tags:
smartphones
Tim Fite


 
I’m one of those people—there are still a few of us left—who adamantly refuses to carry a cell phone. I had one in the late 90s for about a year, but I dropped it on a marble floor and didn’t replace it until 2007 during a period where I was traveling a lot. And that one is just a flip. It’s also never charged and I really have to hunt for it when I need it.

I simply don’t like the idea of anyone being able to reach me wherever I am. If I’m out in the world, or having lunch with someone or driving, I don’t want to take a phone call. My email can wait. I will not be texting anyone or Instagramming my selfies from the vegan food truck. All of it can wait until I get home.

I know it’s very… 1989 of me, but I honestly just don’t care. It’s not even that I am particularly anti-cell phones or anything, it’s that I personally do not require one.

Brooklyn-based art prankster/beatmeister Tim Fite is a man after my own heart. Realizing he had a “codependent” relationship with his smartphone he designed a glass iPhone replica called “The Phoney” to wean himself off the always on, constantly-updating datastream he was addicted to. Kind of like an e-cigarette that doesn’t have any nicotine. Or any battery for that matter.

Fite’s new project takes it further: iBeenHACKED is social commentary in the form of a musical concept album and art installation investigating the ways that the digital teet intrudes upon our daily lives and alters the way we live. The project includes a limited edition series of handmade glass “Phonies” and the taking over of a Brooklyn storefront that was turned into a giant smartphone and art studio, then gallery space. For the album, rather than try to sell CDs or downloads, Fite tried some alternative strategies to monetize his work such as the sale of advertising between songs and personal shout-outs. The songs lampoon online “liking” (“Like”), smartphone addiction (“Check Yo Cell”), the cult of Apple products (“Big Mac”), binge-watching (“4 Seasons”) and more.

If you like this post, please consider “liking” it…
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Page 4 of 221 ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 >  Last ›