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‘Do you have this octopus in my size?’ The surreal shoes sculptures of Costa Magarakis
10.25.2016
09:49 am

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Art
Design
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These boots aren’t made for walking—they’re sculptures designed by Costa Magarakis—a Greek-born artist who is now based in “a Shoe Galaxy some ‘step years’ away…”

Costa makes shoe sculptures because he believes every “shoe has its own personality and a story to tell.” His influences come from “everywhere” but the Victorian era is his favorite.

His sculptures are produced thru a long and laborious process in which each shoe is made “suitable for molding.” Once the old boot is softened up, Costa adds fiberglass resin and a variety of diverse materials including bronze, glass, wood, paint, fantasy and love.

The finished sculptures cost between $500 and $1,200+ each and can be purchased via Costa’s Etsy page—where he trades under the name SpiderJelly.

Check out more of Costa’s work on his website.
 
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More surreal shoe sculptures, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The lost art of local 1970s department store charge cards
10.18.2016
11:04 am

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Design

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Castner-Knott Co., Nashville, Tennessee
 
About a month ago, the geniuses at Liartown USA dropped a few fake vintage department store credit cards; today I decided to look into the source material for those parodies, and it turned out to be a trip well worth taking.

What I had underestimated was how different the department store market was in the 1970s. I would have assumed that even then Sears and Macy’s and a few others would have dominated the market. But the merest glance at the charge cards page at the Department Store Museum makes it abundantly clear that the market was actually dominated by locally owned enterprises.

In my neck of the woods, which was the suburbs outside of New York City, that meant Caldor; in my adopted home city of Cleveland, there was Higbee’s, which served as a key location for the movie A Christmas Story. I’m currently reading an excellent novel by Ellen Ullman called By Blood, which is set in San Francisco in the 1970s, and a store called I. Magnin is mentioned—fun to run into it today as well!

According to the Department Store Museum:

If you were a customer of one of these stores, this is the item that you personally carried in your wallet or purse, identifying you as their customer. Possessing a certain credit card was also a status symbol of the time as well.

Most of these cards did not have a magnetic strip across the back; mechanical embossers of several different types were used to imprint the raised information on the plastic card onto a duplicate sales slip.

 
The first four cards below are Liartown USA fakes; the “Davison’s” card (slightly smaller) is the first one that’s real. They did an amazing job reproducing the charming aesthetic of these beauties.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Giant John Waters head bong
10.14.2016
02:34 pm

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Drugs

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Image via NikkiSwarm on Instagram

I completely adore this huge ceramic John Waters head bong by artist John de Fazio. The piece is currently on exhibit in Los Angeles at Venus Over Manhattan. (Looks more like a “pipe” to me, but the Internet is calling it a “bong.”)

Fun fact: During his brief tenure at NYU in 1966, a young John Waters was involved in the first major pot bust on a college campus. University authorities asked the students involved to keep quiet about the incident, but Waters called the New York Daily News the next day giving the tabloid paper an interview about what had happened.

Photo by Nicole McClure AKA Nikki Swarm on Instagram and Twitter

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Collectible porcelain plates with nuclear reactors on them
10.12.2016
02:26 pm

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Food

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The website for Atomteller (“atom plates”) starts with the slogan “Denkmäler des Irrtums - Hoffnung von Gestern - Folklore von Morgen,” which means “Monuments of error - Hope of yesterday - Folklore of tomorrow.” So it’s clear that the site’s creators, writer/director Mia Grau and architect Andree Weissert have created this astonishing set of old school china emblazoned with German nuclear reactors with a highly developed sense of irony.

They point out that windmills are a common motif on folkloric items, and what in today’s world could be more parallel to a windmill than a nuclear reactor? Grau and Weissert write:
 

As cathedrals of a technological worldview, [nuclear reactors] promised independence and infinite growth. They serve as testimonials of their epoch, relics of progress and a signs of changing times. The days of windmills have long since passed, and sun is setting on the era of German nuclear power as well. High time, therefore, to show nuclear power plants for what they are: monuments of error - hope of yesterday - folklore of tomorrow.

 
On the underside of each plate is a wealth of information, including the precise coordinates of the reactor, the name of the province in which it is located, nearby bodies of water, the company that owns the reactor, the type of reactor, the reactor’s electrical yield as well as the dates of construction and operation. The most chilling piece of data is the final one, “meldepflichtige Ereignisse,” which means “events that must be reported to a higher authority”—good German bureaucracy-speak for “accidents.”

Each plate costs 39 euros ($43), but you can buy the entire set of 19 plates for just 680 euros ($750).
 

Biblis
 

Isar
 
More great “atom plates” after the jump…....
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Adorable handmade diorama cards featuring Delia Derbyshire, Roxy Music, De La Soul and many more
10.10.2016
12:04 pm

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Art
Design
Music

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Delia Derbyshire
 
I normally don’t care about papercraft objects, I guess because I wouldn’t know exactly how to use or display them. They seem so fragile to me. That was until I saw this adorable Delia Derbyshire paper diorama card featured via a friend’s Facebook page. It would make a perfect gift for someone who’s a fan of Derbyshire. It looks sturdy, too!

Well, It piqued my interest and I discovered they’re made by Etsy shop HeyKidsRocknRoll. Not only is there one of Delia Derbyshire but pop-up cards of Roxy Music, Grandmaster Flash, De La Soul, Stevie Wonder, Run-D.M.C., Raymond Scott and Hank Williams, too.

Sadly, it looks like someone has already purchased the one of Derbyshire. But I’m sure if you contact the Etsy shop directly and inquire, more could possibly be made.

At least I hope so! I want one!


Roxy Music
 

Stevie Wonder
 

Grandmaster Flash
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Red Red Wine: Beautiful carafes inspired by the bloodstream
10.10.2016
09:50 am

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Art
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A diagram of our veins and arteries may look like a congested roadmap, but to Etienne Meneau the circulatory system has inspired him to design Strange Carafes—beautiful handblown decanters or vessels for pouring wine.

Each decanter is produced in a limited signed edition of eight and cost 2,500 euros—around $2,800. The carafes are made from borosilicate glass—which Meneau describes as a “chemically and thermically” robust kind of glass highly suitable for use in creating his large and intricate decanters.

The finished product may look more like a sculpture or artwork than something to pour the plonk—but after a few practice lessons training with water “you will can perfectly pour wine in a glass without any drop anywhere. The main rule of this new game is : where is the wine?.” Meneau’s most recent designs can be seen and bought here.
 
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More wine tasting, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Cthulhu Approved: High-heeled tentacle shoes
10.06.2016
09:30 am

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Design
Fashion

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Totally insane-looking—and probably not practicable footwear—tentacle high-heeled shoes made by fashion designer, costume designer and shoe designer Kermit Tesoro. I can’t imagine walking in these. Hell, I can’t even walk in heels to begin with!

I just checked out Kermit Tesoro’s Facebook page to see if he had any other equally freaky high-heeled designs and it looks like he’s also got a Venus flytrap shoe. Why not? Again, probably totally impractical unless you’re Lady Gaga or a Japanese porn star. Why can’t someone just make sensible shoes that look like alien creatures eating your feet?


 

“EQUILIBRIA” by Kermit Tesoro (2016)
 
All images via Kermit Tesoro on Facebook

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Stunning Erotic Tattoos
09.30.2016
10:31 am

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Art
Design
Sex

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I don’t have any tattoos but if ever I do consider getting one then I certainly could be tempted by these beautiful erotic tattoos by Bordeaux-based tattoo artist Sad Amish.

Unlike the more traditional ship’s anchors, bluebirds, Celtic doodles or Pictish script Sad Amish’s stunning monochrome tattoos are high quality graphic art with a wonderfully charged eroticism.

The tattoos feature women artfully posed in bondage gear, fetish wear or playfully fondling a bong while enjoying a mouthful of vin blanc. All beautifully rendered in the deepest blackest ink.

More of Sad Amish’s work can be viewed here.
 
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More of Sad Amish’s fab monochrome skin art, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
A Naked Alphabet: The Human Body as Typography (NSFW)
09.22.2016
10:38 am

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Amusing
Art
Design
Sex

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To paraphrase L. P. Hartley: The 1970s is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

The sexual liberation that favored metropolitan areas in the 1960s spread across country during the seventies. Suddenly—or so it seemed—everybody was enjoying the “zipless fuck.” There were guide books offering useful tips on how to have a better sex life. Married couples were swinging. Nudity was celebrated. Porn was ubiquitous. Orgasms compulsory. Yet, it was still very much the male heterosexual eye that influenced everything.

In 1971, a small group of Dutch artists, photographers and graphic designers—Ed van der Elsken, Anna Beeke, Pieter Brattinga, Anthony Beeke, and Geert Kooiman captured this (newish) sexual freedom with a naked human alphabet—published in Avant Garde Magazine No.14: Belles Lettres. The letters were created using naked women—who lay, curled and bent into the appropriate shapes.

But this wasn’t just mere titillation—this artful display of female nudity was a protest “against the supposedly ‘dehumanising’ and thoroughly ‘indecipherable’ mechanistic alphabets.”

The typeface (in case you’re wondering) for these photographs is said to be Baskerville Old Face.
 
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More barenaked letters, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Thread Bare: Examining racial and sexual identity through erotic embroidery
09.22.2016
09:36 am

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Art
Design

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These are quite beautiful—Jessica So Ren Tang’s embroidered pinups of “suggestively posed” women.

Jessica uses embroidery to explore her Asian-American identity—“the dualism of being too Asian to be American, and too American to be Asian.” Her work includes embroidered reproductions of Chinese bowls, takeaway noodle boxes, candy wrappers and decorative plates.

In her portrait series of pinup girls Jessica has replaced their “the facial identity” with exquisite Asian textile patterns.

The patterned skin creates a broader spectrum of Asian identity; it becomes more ambiguous and fluid as identity moves between the two.

The resulting image also captures an erotic charge between the model’s pose and the sensual nature of the embroidered patterns. Each portrait is hand embroidered on a piece of 8” x 10”  fabric. More of Jessica’s work can be seen here.
 
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‘Girl 04’ (2016).
 
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More of Jessica So Ren Tang’s fabulous work, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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