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H.R. Pufnstuf, Witchiepoo & other homages to Sid & Marty Krofft in the ‘Krofft Super Art Show’
09.19.2017
09:28 am
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A painting by artist Matthew Bone in the Krofft Super Art Show.
 
I’m pretty sure that most of our readers over the age of 40 are familiar with the work of Sid & Marty Krofft. The brothers were responsible for bringing strange, and sometimes psychedelic TV shows like H.R. Pufnstuf, The Banana Splits, and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters to the minds of impressionable kids back in the late 60s and early 70s. Now interpretations of the many colorful and weird TV characters the Krofft’s created for their television shows are on display at a show at the La La Land Gallery in Los Angeles.

The show opened late last month and featured work from over twenty artists including The Ren & Stimpy Show alumnus Chris Reccardi who had this to say about his childhood memories of H.R. Pufnstuf:

“It’s innocent.” People grow up, but I think the best people just grow layers around the child within them. Part of it is nostalgia, ‘Oh my gosh, this meant so much to me as a kid.’ I’ve worked in animation for 35 years and H.R. Pufnstuf—I’m not familiar with their other stuff—it’s a well-written show. Even though it’s pre-school, it’s not stupid.”

The various artistic expressions based on the characters created by the Krofft brothers that are featured in the show include paintings, three-dimensional works, and even a felt cereal box with H.R. Pufnstuf’s famous mug on it. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I’d highly recommend taking in the fantastic-looking show as it runs through September 25th. Images that are currently hanging on the walls of the La La Land Gallery below can be seen below.
 

“AhSidAndMartyWanna” by Oliver Hibert.
 

“H.R. Puf’n'Puf” by Chris Reccardi.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.19.2017
09:28 am
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Rik Mayall & Adrian Edmondson of ‘The Young Ones’ beating the shit out of each other on ‘Bottom’
09.19.2017
09:16 am
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Actors and real-life BFFs, the late Rik Mayall and Adrian “Ade” Edmondson from their other television show, ‘Bottom.’
 
If you love Dangerous Minds, then it’s a safe bet that you are also fans of the much loved UK cult-comedy, The Young Ones. If you agree with that, then you are truly one of us and also perhaps a fan of the much-praised comedy series from two of the stars of the show, Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson that aired on BBC2 starting in 1991, Bottom. And if you’re not, you should be.

The premise of the show is sort of like a sleazier, down-low version of The Odd Couple television series starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. Both Edmondson and Mayall are confirmed bachelors who shack up with each other out of desperation and commit equally desperate acts of violence and trickery that often center around trying to get laid. Getting laid is something that according to the storyline has eluded Mayall’s character of “Richard “Richie” Richard” his entire life as he’s still a virgin. Edmondson’s character “Edward Hitler” is just as unhinged as his flatmate as well as being an accomplished boozehound and thief. Adding another layer of cool on Bottom is that apparently, the characters created by both actors was somewhat based on their long, real-life friendship that began back in 1975 when the two were just teenagers attending Manchester University. Mayall and Edmondson would get gigs doing stand-up and sketches as “The Dangerous Brothers” at The Comedy Store in their early 20s which would, in turn, help them get regular work on the long-running UK show, The Comic Strip Presents. Coincidentally, Edmondson would meet his future wife, Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous fame, on the set of the show. They have been married for 32 years.
 

Edmondson and Mayall performing at The Comedy Store back in the day.
 
The show is hysterically violent and pessimistically dark, and both Mayall and Edmondson did much of the slapsticky stunts in the series themselves—such as when Edmondson fell through a ceiling in the 1992 episode “Burglary.” Only eighteen episodes ever aired before the proposed fourth series was killed by BBC. After that, the duo took Bottom on the road as a stage play which according to all reports was even more tawdry and savage when it came to the vulgar displays of aggression between both Edmondson and Mayall in the name of comedy. Then in 1999 the sad-sack characters were once again brought to life, this time for the film Guest House Paradiso (directed by Edmondson) which centered around Mayall and Edmondson as the owners of the “worst” hotel in the UK. There was some talk of bringing Bottom back—in Edmondson’s words as old men who hit each other with “colostomy bags,” but that awesomeness never materialized.

Get to the ‘Bottom’ after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.19.2017
09:16 am
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Custom made action figures of Robert Smith, The Cramps, Eraserhead & more!
09.14.2017
09:35 am
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A nice shot of the custom Poison Ivy and Lux Interior figures by an artist known as “N TT” over at Figure Realm. YES!
 
There are times when I’m out and about on the Internet looking for new and exciting things to bring to all of our dedicated Dangerous Minds readers, and occasionally (or always) I come across something I wasn’t looking for in the first place. And that’s how I happily ended up finding a bunch of different DIY figures and dolls based on the gothy likeness of Robert Smith, the one and only vocalist for The Cure, as well as Poison Ivy and Lux Interior of The Cramps. According to the person behind theses figures, artist “N TT” over at Figure Realm, it was noted that the six-inch version of Lux was made out of an action figure of Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe. Way to make the world a better place by recycling, N TT. Well done.

If you keep up with me here at DM, you know I have a deep affinity for all things action figures and the like. So stumbling on these figures by N TT was kind of like winning the action figure lottery for me. Anyway, good-old N TT has created some pretty fantastic DIY dolls/figures such as Robert Smith, Ivy and Lux (with Mr. Interior wearing a pair of black heels no less) and Jack Nance in character from the 1977 film Eraserhead. And since I know you’re wondering, though it’s not entirely clear, it would appear that N TT occasionally sells the tricked out figures that are posted on this page at Figure Realm.
 

Custom Lux Interior and Poison Ivy figures. Nice.
 

 

This disturbing interpretation of The Cure’s Robert Smith is based on the video for “Lullaby” from 1989. YIKES!
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.14.2017
09:35 am
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Space is in the Bass: Meet Constance Demby, High Priestess of Electronica
09.14.2017
06:45 am
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Constance Demby, “The Electronica High Priestess of Priestesses.”
 
A while back a friend of mine was telling me about a video he had seen of a woman who played music in her apartment using experimental musical equipment. My friend, an experienced and worldly musician, said that it looked as though she might have rigged her apartment with equipment that she had built herself. I was, of course, intrigued, but unfortunately, that’s where the trail of this very interesting sounding woman ended. Until last week that is. The woman in question is Constance Demby and, as it turns out, the “instrument” she was playing in the video was in fact something that she had created called a “Space Bass.” Demby’s massive Space Bass consists of ten-feet of mirrored stainless steel that can produce five octaves of sound via their attached steel and brass rods. According to Demby’s website, a person with the very groovy job title of “Sound Scientist” was able to surmise that the sound waves on the lowest notes of the instrument were approximately thirty feet long.

Born in Oakland, California, Demby’s musical talent was discovered early and by the age of twelve, she had already been studying classical piano for four years. After her family moved to the east coast, the now teenage Demby was personally responsible for creating a jazz ensemble at her high school. She would later enroll in college but would leave sometime in 1960 taking up residence in the bohemian mecca that is (well, was) Greenwich Village. Over the course of the next decade, Demby’s real experimentation with music would flourish. During her time in the Village, she would meet Robert Rutman—a notable and fantastically talented German-born musician who had a particular affinity for idiophones, which are instruments that generate music by way of vibration. Together Rutman and Demby would hold collaborative performances using their unique instruments which would eventually lead them to relocate together to Maine where they formed the completely excellent sounding Central Maine Power Music Company (CMPMC). After about six years of touring and playing live gigs with the various other musicians that were a part of the CMPMC, Demby and Rutman parted ways in the mid-70s.
 

Constance Demby behind the wall of sound that is her “Space Bass.”
 
Demby’s professional accomplishments are vast and include the completion of over a dozen studio albums, Grammy nominations, the creation of her record label, Sound Currents, as well as designing her sonic musical instruments. During her long career, she has been called the “undisputed founder of Symphonic Sacred Spacemusic” and the “Godmother of contemporary classical electronic music.” Demby has collaborated on musical scores with the Dalai Lama, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and George Lucas. And that’s where Demby’s “Space Bass” comes into higher prominence as Lucas has used the instrument to create atmospheric ruminations which were officially licensed for use in scores by Lucas Films.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.14.2017
06:45 am
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David Bowie, Dennis Hopper and/or Dean Stockwell bring blow to Iggy Pop in a psych ward, 1975
09.13.2017
10:05 am
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Iggy Pop and Dennis Hopper talking shop back in the day.
 

“By 1975, I was totally into drugs, and my willpower had been vastly depleted. But still, I had the brains to commit myself to a hospital, and I survived with willpower and a lot of help from David Bowie. I survived because I wanted to.”

—Iggy Pop on how he got by with a little help from his friend David Bowie while locked up in the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital .

If you suddenly broke into an off-key chorus of “That’s What Friends Are For” while reading through this post about Iggy Pop’s stay at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital, I’d understand. Let’s face it—when the cards are stacked against you, and your life takes a giant nosedive into a pile of shit (or cocaine, booze or other bad shit, or shit in general really), you get to find out who your real friends are. In this case, Iggy Pop found out that none other than Dennis Hopper, that suave motherfucker himself Dean Stockwell, and of course his BFF, David Bowie, were his. However, this was back in 1975, and Iggy’s trio of pals at the time routinely consumed cocaine and all kinds of other drugs at alarming rates just like he did—which was one of the reasons Pop had voluntarily checked himself into the UCLA psych ward. 1975 was a tough year for Iggy after he found himself in Los Angeles with virtually no money and mostly no Stooges after the band disbanded, due in part due to Iggy’s heavy heroin problem which culminated in Iggy and the Stooges falling apart onstage at a gig in Michigan in 1974. Here’s rock journalist Lester Bangs’ account of what went down the night Iggy and the Stooges imploded:

“The audience, which consisted largely of bikers, was unusually hostile, and Iggy, as usual, fed on that hostility, soaked it up and gave it back and absorbed it all over again in an eerie, frightening symbiosis. “All right,” he finally said, stopping a song in the middle, “you assholes wanta hear ‘Louie, Louie,’ we’ll give you ‘Louie, Louie.’” So the Stooges played a forty-five-minute version of “Louie Louie,” including new lyrics improvised by the Pop on the spot consisting of “You can suck my ass / You biker faggot sissies,” etc. By now the hatred in the room is one huge livid wave, and Iggy singles out one heckler who has been particularly abusive: “Listen, asshole, you heckle me one more time, and I’m gonna come down there and kick your ass.” “Fuck you, you little punk,” responds the biker. So Iggy jumps off the stage, runs through the middle of the crowd, and the guy beats the shit out of him, ending the evening’s musical festivities by sending the lead singer back to his motel room and a doctor. I walk into the dressing room, where I encounter the manager of the club offering to punch out anybody in the band who will take him on. The next day the bike gang, who call themselves the Scorpions, will phone WABX-FM and promise to kill Iggy and the Stooges if they play the Michigan Palace on Thursday night. They do (play, that is), and nobody gets killed, but Metallic K.O. is the only rock album I know where you can actually hear hurled beer bottles breaking against guitar strings.”

 

Iggy and Stooges guitarist James Williamson.
 
Following that act, Iggy went back to LA and as Stooges guitarist James Williamson recalls Pop was living in a small apartment on Sunset Strip where he spent his days completely blotto on any substance he could put in his body to get high. Pop would eventually lose his digs and stayed with Williamson for a short time before he ending up romancing the streets of Los Angeles where he apparently got arrested several times for various infractions. Upon his last appearance in court, he was given two options—prison or he could voluntarily check himself into a psychiatric hospital. While in treatment at UCLA under the care of Dr. Murray Zucker he went through detox and was diagnosed with a condition known as hypomania. Though it was likely no fun, it was probably a lot better than being in prison. Besides, as the title of this post indicates, he had lots of friends coming by to visit him. And that’s where this story gets a whole lot weirder.

According to the 2012 book David Bowie: The Golden Years, actor Dean Stockwell visited Pop at UCLA along with Bowie allegedly dressed up in space suits (though perhaps just Bowie was in disguise), completely stoned politely demanding “We want to see Jimmy. Let us in.” According to Pop’s account of the event, they actually let Bowie and Stockwell see him because they were “star struck” by their presence, despite the fact that they were clearly high as fuck. Once inside Iggy’s room, Bowie broke out some blow to share with Pop which he took, but in Iggy’s own words, he only indulged “a little.” David Bowie has also spoken about his clandestine visits to Pop recalling that it was Dennis Hopper who he came calling on Iggy with while the former Stooge was trying to maintain his sobriety and mental health. Here’s the Thin White Duke on how that went:

“If I remember it right, it was me and Dennis Hopper. We trooped into the hospital with a load of drugs for (Iggy) him. This was very much a leave-your-drugs-at-the-door hospital. We were out of our minds, all of us. He wasn’t well; that’s all we knew. We thought we should bring him some drugs because he probably hadn’t had any for days!”

I’ve always believed that only a real friend would smuggle drugs for you, and David Bowie (and Dennis or was it Dean?) proved that point for me.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.13.2017
10:05 am
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Check out the bodacious Lynda Carter as a blonde in ‘The New Original Wonder Woman,’ 1975
09.12.2017
09:25 am
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Nothing to see here. It’s just ‘Wonder Woman’ actress Lynda Carter in a blonde wig holding a massive golden barbell back in 1975. Yawn.
 
When actress Lynda Carter got the good news that she had landed the starring role in the television series Wonder Woman, she was apparently dead broke and had already made the decision to move back Phoenix, Arizona. For the first movie-length episode of season one in 1975, The New Original Wonder Woman Carter donned a long blonde wig and a barely there white dress with her other female pals on Paradise Island—a dreamy sounding mecca inhabited only by women. So far, so good!

During the episode, Carter takes on the Nazis, has a catfight with sexy Stella Stevens (who most memorably starred opposite the late Jerry Lewis in 1963’s The Nutty Professor), and hangs out with Cloris Leachman who played the fantastic “Queen Hippolyta” aka Wonder Woman’s mother. In an interesting side-note, Leachman was paid an astonishing $25,000 for one day’s work on the set.

As is the case throughout the WW television series, the episode is about as campy as they come and still holds up a staggering 42 years later much like the lovely Ms. Carter herself who continues to defy the laws of aging entirely. I’ve posted images of the very blonde Carter in her wig below. I’ve also included footage of her sexy skirmish with Stella Stevens which is said to have inspired the claws-out brawls between the fictional divas “Krystle Carrington” and “Alexis Colby” in the epic 80s television soap, Dynasty. And because I just couldn’t resist, you can also watch an amusing clip of Carter in her more traditional WW get up flying around in her invisible jet with a shirtless with “Steve Trevor” played by the red-hot actor Lyle Waggoner. It’s all too much!
 

Cloris Leachman and Lynda Carter on the set of ‘The New Original Wonder Woman.’
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.12.2017
09:25 am
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That time Marc Bolan interviewed Stan Lee, ‘nuff said?
09.12.2017
08:21 am
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Marc Bolan loved comic-books. The Beano, The Dandy, The Topper, he read ‘em all and enjoyed the hilarious hijinks of the cheeky school kids contained therein. But he had a particular love for Marvel Comics and their far out superheroes like Silver Surfer and Doctor Strange. Bolan went so far as to even make reference to his favorite comic-book heroes in songs like “Mambo Sun” where he sang:

On a mountain range,
I’m Doctor Strange for you…

Yes, Marc, you are, oh but you are…

So, maybe it was inevitable, fated even, that Bolan would one-day interview legendary Marvel Supremo Stan Lee.

In 1975, Bolan had an occasional stint doing interviews on BBC radio program Today. It was the Beeb’s way of “getting down with the kids” by having a pop star talk to the kind of hip people they would like to interview in the hope this would bring in a younger audience to their flagship news and current affairs show.

That October Stan Lee was in London to launch a new British comic book The Titans. He was also in the Big Smoke to give a “one performance only” at the Roundhouse where he was to talk about “all your favorite Marvel superheroes” followed by the opening of a major exhibition of Marvel Comic’s artwork at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Having Lee in London was too good an opportunity for Bolan to miss, so an interview was arranged…
 
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To get some more skinny on Bolan’s love of Marvel Comics let’s spool forward a year to when Neil Tennant—long before he was one-half of the Pet Shop Boys—interviewed Bolan about his love of Marvel Comics:

“I’ve been into Marvel since 1967.  The Silver Surfer, in particular, was one I liked, Dr. Strange was another.  At that time they were very weird compared to the other comics on the market, though they got more commercial since then and Stan Lee was a great writer.”

“It was nice meeting Stan last year, he was lovely to interview.  Really he’s a hustler, a solid gold easy hustler! That’s just the way Comic guys should be,  he’s got such a lot of energy.”

“We talked about the possibility of me creating a super-hero for him.  something along the lines of Electric Warrior, a twenty-first century Conan.”

“In fact, I don’t like Conan as a character—I think he should be something less of a barbarian, more like one of Michael Moorcock’s characters.  You could make a much better composite character using Moorcock’s Elric, with a bit of the Silver Surfer, a bit of Thor, and create a far more involved character, a character more in touch with now ...”

 
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Bolan as he appeared in his own comic strip ‘The Magic of Marc’ from ‘Jackie’ magazine 1972.
 
More Marc Bolan on Marvel Comics plus his interview with Stan Lee, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.12.2017
08:21 am
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Of overalls and platform boots: Brian Johnson’s ass kicking pre-AC/DC band, Geordie
09.11.2017
11:21 am
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The perpetually jolly Brian Johnson during his days with the band Geordie.
 
A few weeks ago I wrote about former AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson and his “acclaimed” jingle for the Hoover Vacuum company in 1980. Since that time, I’ve been digging around Johnnson’s pre-AC/DC rawk days—and I’ve loved every minute of it. If I were stranded on a desert island and had to live with the music of one band, it would be AC/DC. Give me Sabbath or give me death, I’d still be okay departing this world if Angus, Malcolm, Cliff, Bon, and later Brian Johnson, played me out. A girl can dream, can’t she? For now, let’s get back to the focus of this post—AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson and his band, Geordie.

First off, Geordie’s oddball name was taken from a word that is used to describe the citizens and unique dialect associated with residents of Johnson’s place of birth, Newcastle upon Tyne in England, a place where everyone speaks in Johnson’s nearly impossible-to-understand endearing verbal sway, and the origin site of black metal pioneers Venom. Before joining Geordie, Johnson had some minor success playing various working men’s clubs in the North East of Newcastle with the Jasper Hart Band. Johnson recorded a few singles in the early 1970s with the group before leaving to join forces with his first serious band, USA which would later become Geordie. At the time, glam rock was everything and Geordie was born right smack in the middle of the exploding glitter bomb and musical liberation that was led by the likes of T.Rex and the New York Dolls. Every great story about rock and roll ever written contains at least one piece of WTF mythology, and this one is no exception. The tale associated with Geordie is especially surreal as it concerns the first time that Johnson met Bon Scott while he was fronting one of his pre-AC/DC bands, Fraternity (later known as “Fang”).

According to Johnson, Fraternity/Fang opened a few shows for Geordie in the group’s early days. During one of Geordie’s performances, Johnson was gravely ill battling a dire case of appendicitis—which I can tell you from experience is horrible and will take you down quick and hard. Despite this, Johnson borrowed a tip from the “How to Rock and Roll and Not Be a Giant Pussy” handbook and played the fucking gig in what I can assure you was horrific pain. Johnson was suffering so badly that he laid down on his side on stage and was kicking and screaming in agony—but still, he persisted, and somehow finished the show. Bon bore witness to the spectacle, thinking it was part of the show just like pretty much everyone else at the gig. Later on, after joining AC/DC, he would tell his new bandmates about the gig noting how impressed he was by Johnson’s “performance” and admiring the fact that his future replacement was on the floor kicking and screaming on stage exclaiming “what an act” it was to behold. What an “act” indeed.
 

The awesome cover of Geordie’s 1974 album ‘Don’t Be Fooled by the Name.’
 
Geordie did pretty well for themselves until the later part of the 70s when the increasing popularity of new wave and punk bands like the Blondie and the Sex Pistols killed their appeal. Before their demise in 1976, Geordie would put out four respectable as well as mostly commercially successful records that produced a bunch of hits including “All Because Of You” from their 1973 debut album Hope You Like It that plowed its way into the UK top ten. Though they would technically call it quits in 1976, Johnson would revive Geordie as “Geordie II, ” and his Geordie bandmates would plod onward with a new vocalist Dave Ditchburn. That version of Geordie would produce an album that contained songs featuring Johnson’s vocals as well as Ditchburn’s called No Good Woman before disappearing for good sometime in the early 80s.

More Geordie, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.11.2017
11:21 am
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Meet the Swedish mystic who was the first Abstract artist
08.30.2017
10:27 am
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The artist and mystic Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) never described the 193 paintings she produced between 1906-15 as “Abstract art.” Instead, af Klint thought of these paintings as diagrammatic illustrations inspired by conversations she (and her friends) conducted with the spirit world from the late 1890s on.

That af Klint did not call her work “Abstract art” is enough for some art historians to (foolishly) discount her art as the work of the first Abstract artist. In fact af Klint was painting her Abstract pictures long before Wassily Kandinsky made his progression from landscapes to abstraction sometime around 1910, or Robert Delaunay dropped Neo-Impressionism for Orphism and then moseyed along into Abstract art just a year or two later. But these men were members of voluble artistic groups and Kandinsky was a lawyer who knew the importance of self-promotion. Unlike af Klint who worked alone, in seclusion, and stipulated that her artwork was not to be exhibited until twenty years after her death. Af Klint died in 1944. In fact, it took forty-two years for her work to be seen by the public as part of an exhibition called The Spiritual in Art in Los Angeles, 1986.

And there’s the issue. The word “spiritual.” In a secular world where anything with a whiff of bells and candles is considered irrelevant, contemptible, and generally unimportant, it has been difficult for af Klint to be seen as anything other than an outsider artist or a footnote to the boys who have taken all the credit. Of course, a large part of the blame for this must rest with af Klint herself and her own prohibition on exhibiting her work. It’s very unfortunate, for this self-imposed ban meant that although af Klint may have been (I’ll say it again) the very first Abstract artist, her failure to share her work or exhibit it widely meant she had no or very limited influence through her artistic endeavors.

But now that af Klint has been rediscovered, it’s probably the right time to rip up the old art history narrative about Kandinsky and Delaunay and all the other boys and start all over again with af Klint at the top of that Abstract tree.

Hilma af Klint was born in Sweden in 1862 into a naval family. Her father was an admiral with a great interest in mathematics, who could play a damn fine tune on the violin. Her family were Protestant Christians but took considerable interest in the rapid advances made by science into the world—from medicine and x-rays to the theory of evolution. Unlike today, religious belief and scientific investigation were not mutually exclusive. In the same way, there was (at the time) a scientific interest in the spiritual.

Af Klint was passionate about mathematics, botany, and art. Some of her earliest paintings were detailed examinations of plants. Her father had little understanding of his daughter’s passion for art and would ruefully shake his head when she enthused about painting. Af Klint studied portraiture and landscape at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm 1882-87, graduating with honors. Her paintings are exceedingly good and technically very fine but not extraordinary or even offering much of a hint of what was to come.

The turning point for this great change roughly stemmed from the death of her younger sister. After her sister’s death in 1880, af Klint joined a group of women known who shared an interest in the spiritual, in particular, the occult theories and Theosophical ideas of Madame Blavatsky who promoted a unity of the scientific and the spiritual. These women became known as “The Five.” They held séances together with af Klint often acting as the medium. The group made contact with spirit entities which they called the “High Masters.” Under their guidance, these women started producing works created by automatic writing and automatic painting—this was almost four decades before the Surrealists laid claim to inventing such techniques.

It was through her contact with these High Masters that af Klint began her series of Abstract paintings in 1906. These pictures, she claimed, were intended to represent “the path towards the reconciliation of spirituality with the material world, along with other dualities: faith and science, men and women, good and evil.”

Af Klint detailed her conversations with these spirits including one with a spirit called Gregor who told her:

All the knowledge that is not of the senses, not of the intellect, not of the heart but is the property that exclusively belongs to the deepest aspect of your being […] the knowledge of your spirit.

In 1906, af Klint began painting the images these spirits instructed her to set down. Her first was the painting Ur-Chaos which was created under the direction of the High Master Amaliel, as af Klint wrote in her notebooks:

Amaliel sign a draft, then let H paint. The idea is to produce a nucleus from which the evolution is based in rain and storm, lightning and storms. Then come leaden clouds above.

Between 1906 and 1915, af Klint produced a total of 193 paintings and an outpouring of thousands of words describing her conversations with the High Masters and the meaning of her paintings. Her work depicted the symmetrical duality of existence like male/female, material/spiritual, and good/evil. Blue represented the feminine. Yellow the masculine. Pink signified physical love. Red denoted spiritual love. Green represented harmony. Spirals signified evolution. Marks that looked like a “U” stood for the spiritual world. While waves or a “W” the material world. Circles or discs meant unity. Af Klint believed she was creating a new visual language, a new way of painting, that brought the spiritual and scientific together.

These paintings were often over ten feet in height. Af Klint stood around five feet. She painted her pictures on the floor—the occasional footprint can be seen smudged on the canvas. Af Klint worked like someone possessed. She believed her work was intended to establish a “Temple.” What this temple was or what it signified she was never exactly quite sure. All af Klint knew was that she was being guided by spirits:

The pictures were painted directly through me, without any preliminary drawings, and with great force. I had no idea what the paintings were supposed to depict; nevertheless, I worked swiftly and surely, without changing a single brush stroke.

All through this, af Klint continued her own rigorous investigation into new scientific and esoteric ideas. This brought her to the work of Rudolf Steiner who was similarly following a path towards creating a synthesis between the scientific and the spiritual. When af Klint showed her paintings to the great esoteric, Steiner was shocked and told her these paintings must not be seen for fifty years as no one would understand them.

Steiner’s response devastated af Klint and she stopped painting for four years. Af Klint spent her time tending to her blind, dying mother. She then returned to painting but kept herself and more importantly her work removed from the world. After her death in 1944, the rented barn in which she kept her studio was to be burnt by the landlord farmer. A relative quickly decanted all of af Klint’s paintings and notebooks into wooden crates and stored them in a tin-roofed attic for the next thirty years.

In 1970, af Klint’s paintings were offered to the Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art) in Stockholm which was surprisingly (some might say foolishly) knocked back. Thankfully, through the perseverance of her family and the art historian Åke Fant, af Klint’s work was eventually exhibited in the 1980s. In total, Hilma af Klint painted over 1,200 abstract paintings and wrote some 23,000 words, all of which are now owned and managed by the Hilma af Klint Foundation.
 
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‘The Ten Largest #3’ (1907).
 
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‘The Ten Largest #4’ (1907).
 
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‘The Ten Largest #7.’ (1907).
 
More Abstract art from Hilma af Klint, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.30.2017
10:27 am
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The far out work of Frank R. Paul, the ‘Father of Science Fiction Art’
08.29.2017
07:36 am
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A remarkable black and white illustration by Frank R. Paul.
 
Hailing from Austria, pulp novel and comic book artist Frank R. Paul (born Rudolf Franz Paul in 1884), only attended school until the eighth-grade. At the time, affluent members of Austria received formal education beyond that, but Paul’s family were not a part of that world. So, when Paul turned fourteen, he got his first job working in a paper mill which he kept until the age of seventeen when he left Austria to avoid being drafted into the military. Paul ended up in Paris where he studied art which then led him to pursue studies in architecture in London. Finally, Paul would find himself and his first success as an artist in New York (after a short pit stop in San Francisco) where he was hired by Hugo Gernsback, the editor of The Electrical Experimenter, to create artwork for the monthly magazine in 1914.

Known today as the “Father of Science Fiction Art” Paul’s vivid work has appeared in and on the covers of a wide variety of magazines and pulp novels, most notably Amazing Stories who published a painting done by Paul on their very first issue in 1926. Other influential covers by Paul include the unique illustration of the “Human Torch” (the robot superhero created by Carl Burgos, not Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four) on Marvel Comics #1 in 1939, as well as his terrifying depiction of H. G. Wells’ vision of The War of the Worlds for Amazing Stories in 1927.

Publications containing Paul’s wild illustrations have sold for more than 20,000 dollars in the past, and his work is highly sought after by collectors. I highly recommend picking up the impeccable 2009 book, FROM THE PEN OF PAUL: The Fantastic Images of Frank R. Paul if you are at all a fan of the science fiction genre. I’ve posted some of Paul’s super spacey paintings, illustrations and magazine/pulp novel covers below.
 

1940.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.29.2017
07:36 am
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