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People partying their asses off in Cape Town, South Africa 1967-1969 (NSFW)
11.13.2015
10:02 am

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Art
History

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The Catacombs, 12 March 1969

Extraordinarily intimate portraits of the denizens of Cape Town, South Africa’s “Les Catacombs” nightclub taken by photographer Billy Monk in 1969, when he was working as a bouncer at the club. Monk also took pictures of the revelry, which he sold to the subjects. Monk’s friendship with many of the people in his photographs is perhaps the explanation for how he got such “let it all out hang out” type scenarios on film.

Monk’s contact sheets and negatives were found in 1982 by Jac de Villiers who arranged an exhibition at the Market Gallery in Johannesburg. Monk never saw the exhibition as he was shot dead in a fight two weeks after the show opened.

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The Catacombs, 1968

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The Catacombs, 3 March 1968

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The Catacombs, October 1968

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The Catacombs, 1968

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Lewis Carroll’s haunting photographs, including the ‘real’ Alice in Wonderland (1856-1880)
11.12.2015
08:46 am

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History

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image
 
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson better known as “Lewis Carroll,” took up the then new art-form of photography in 1856. Over 3000 photographs were taken by Dodgson, but only 1000 have survived due to the passage of time and deliberate destruction. Fifty percent of Dodgson’s surviving work is of young girls, but he also photographed buildings skeletons, dolls, dogs, families, statues and trees.

Charles Dodgson quit photography in 1880. Apparently running a studio was too difficult and time-consuming for him.

The girl pictured with the short brown hair and bangs is Alice Pleasance Liddell. She was the inspiration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
 
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More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Hobo nickels’: The super-old-school art of hand-sculpted coins
11.05.2015
11:44 am

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Art
History

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Willie Nelson hobo nickel
Willie Nelson “hobo nickel” by Aleksey Saburov
 
The origins of using coins as an artistic medium can be traced back to the late 1700s. Sometime around 1850, artists started altering the half-dime Seated Liberty coin to make it appear as though the “Goddess Liberty” (a title that was used as far back as ancient Rome, who knew) clad in a flowing dress seated upon a rock, was actually sitting on a toilet. Classy.
 
Hobo Nickel by George Washington ‘Bo’ Hughes
Hobo nickel by George Washington ‘Bo’ Hughes, early 1900s
 
One-eyed sailor Hobo nickel
 
In 1913, the “Buffalo nickel” (or “Indian Head”), became popular for coin carvers as it provided a larger, thicker canvas to work on - enabling artists to create more detailed pieces. Around that same time, two teenage transients (or “hobos”) Bertram ‘Bert’ Wiegand and George Washington ‘Bo’ Hughes met in a “jungle” (or a “hobo camp”) and quickly rose to prominence as masters in the trade.

Using chisels to alter coins, solid currency was easily had within the transient community who were then enabled to make money selling their carved coins (something that was especially useful during The Great Depression). Thus the adoption of the common reference for these defaced coins—“hobo nickles”—came to be. I’m sure some Dangerous Minds readers more enlightened with Americana than I, have heard this phrase before, but it was new to me and I suspect the artform for which it is named, will be new to many of you as well.
 
Hobo Nickel
 
Jack Torrance hobo nickel by Mr. The
Jack Torrance hobo nickel by Mr. The
 
More ‘hobo nickels’ after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Marilyn Monroe in a black wig, imitating Jackie Kennedy (1962)
11.05.2015
10:55 am

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Art
Fashion
History
Pop Culture

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Here are some photos of Marilyn Monroe you may have or may not have seen before. I’m so used to the iconic “blonde bombshell” images of Monroe, that I was slightly taken aback (in a pleasantly surprised way) when I saw these.

The photos were shot by Bert Stern for Vogue magazine in 1962 (six weeks before Monroe died). What you see are some outtakes from the the photoshoot. Monroe is paying homage to Jackie Kennedy by donning a black wig in the style popularized by the First Lady.

I love these.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Polaroid portraits from Amsterdam’s Red Light District, 1979-80 (NSFW)
11.03.2015
11:33 am

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Art
History

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Before hipster party photographers The Cobra Snake or Last Night’s Party, there was artists Marc H. Miller and Bettie Ringma who documented Amsterdam nightlife through Polaroids from 1979 through 1980.

Every night we headed out for 4 or 5 hours seeking customers in Amsterdam’s entertainment districts. Although at first we were not sure we would succeed, in retrospect I can see our success was virtually assured. Dutch art history is full of portraits done in bars and taverns, but apparently we were the first to update this tradition with instant photographs. Our Polaroid camera was a money machine fueled by alcohol; each photo sold for 6 guilders (approx. $3) and we usually took more than 50 pictures a night. We were soon a fixture of the city’s nightlife with many regular customers eager to get new pictures whenever we happened to cross their path.

The final product takes you inside the Red Light District and gives you a glorious glimpse of the bar scene and what debauchery one might find himself or herself in.

Again, some of these images are probably NSFW. You’ve been warned.

Café de Zon:


 

 

 
Café de Zon Exhibitionists:


 

 

 
The Turkish Bar Camlica:


 

 
More photos after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Beautiful color photographs of England during the 1920s
10.28.2015
09:09 am

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History

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The summers seemed brighter, the weather warmer, the days more leisurely. The First World War—”the war to end all wars”—was over and the 1920s began as a decade of great prosperity.

But by 1925 the years of plenty ceased. The gap between rich and poor widened, with unemployment rife and beggars—many old soldiers—a common sight on the cities’ streets.

In 1926, a General Strike almost brought down the government when unions showed solidarity with one million mine workers who had been locked out of the mines by owners who wanted them to work more hours for less pay—a drop of 13% of the miners’ wages.

Where farming had once thrived, one in four farms were sold during the 1920s to pay to financial obligations—over 600,000 farmers went bankrupt.

Families were of a smaller size compared to Victorian families—with children educated until the age of fourteen. There was more freedom for middle class and upper class women—women over 30 were given the vote in 1918, which was finally extended to all women over the age of 21 in 1928.

In 1928, photographer Clifton R. Adams was commissioned by the National Geographic to document life in England. Adams’ beautiful Autochromes—a process of producing color images by using potato starch—present images that are seemingly at odds with the historical reality of the time, capturing the last of an England that was on the cusp of an irreversible change during the about the 1930s Depression.
 
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England’s dreaming: More of Clifton R. Adams’ Autochromes, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Black Sabbath—The Ten Year War’: Amazing promo artifact from 1978, with R. Crumb style artwork
10.20.2015
09:26 am

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Amusing
Art
History
Music

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Black Sabbath were a perfect badge for that puzzling frisson between early ‘70s rock’s gatekeepers and its actual fans. The gatekeepers, epitomized by the Rolling Stone staff, idolized the blandly folksy likes of James Taylor while compulsively slagging off the actual innovators who were making potent and lastingly influential music, not because the music was actually bad (though they’d tell you all day long that it was unlistenable), but because they couldn’t handle it’s heaviness. So you had a situation where the official chroniclers of the era’s music (with a few notable exceptions, of course) were 180º out of touch with the actual zeitgeist, handwaving the likes of Zeppelin, Purple and Sabbath as primitives and degenerates while informing their readers that the tepid sounds of Seals and Crofts were in fact what was really happening in music. I actually don’t understand why RS was ever taken seriously by rock fans as a source of information. If not for Matt Taibbi’s political/economic writing, it wouldn’t even be on my radar today.

But Sabbath got a great dig in against that plurality of critics who seemed to live on a different planet from rock music’s actual supportive fans—in 1978, they issued a promotional book called Black Sabbath—The Ten Year War. My attention was brought to its existence through a thread on I Love Music’s forums, posted by one Scott Seward, who I’m guessing might be the writer whose byline used to appear in the Village Voice, but don’t hold me to that. The book was a 9” square, 24-pager that appeared in time to publicize the Never Say Die album—the band’s last studio recording with founding singer Ozzy Osbourne until 2013—and which basically amounted to a HUGE potshot at greater rockcritdom, chronicling the band’s existence with negative press clippings scattered among shamelessy Crumb-derivative illustrations by one “F. Gutierrez,” of whose existence or career I’ve located no other evidence. Images reproduced here are from Seward’s ILXor thread, where you can see the entire book. Good luck procuring one—eBay has one for $75, and the Amazon marketplace seems unaware of its existence.
 

 

 
The Rolling Stone clip: Black Sabbath: Cream on Ice:

NEW YORK—“They’re cheap,” says the maven of the city’s rock and roll culturati. “When I saw them at the Fillmore, I thought they were awful. They’ll never make it, I thought. Well, I was Wrong. The kids gave them a standing ovation.

Black Sabbath is hardly what you want to hear in the background while you’re getting your hair shaped in the maroon gloom of the stylist’s in preparation for an evening of chit-chat around the vodka-filled hookah. The sound of Black Sabbath, as those around them fondly point out, is almost physically threatening.

Black Sabbath is making it big this year and no one knows why.

I don’t know what that writer got for the line “hardly what you want to hear in the background while you’re getting your hair shaped in the maroon gloom of the stylist’s in preparation for an evening of chit-chat around the vodka-filled hookah,” but he or she should have gotten life in solitary confinement.
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Evidence from 1895 that alien ‘Greys’ walked among us and practiced gynecology?
10.20.2015
09:21 am

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History
Occult
Science/Tech

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Grey Aliens are commonly described by ufological, paranormal, and New Age communities as slender, sexless, large-eyed, grey-colored beings who routinely visit Earth from extra-terrestrial worlds. Greys are known to sometimes abduct human beings to perform medical experiments and probe their bodies.

The idea of of these creatures is most commonly traced to the 1947 Roswell UFO incident and the alleged 1961 alien abduction of Betty and Barney Hill. Ufologists believe there are at least two different types of Greys. Some claim that “taller Greys, with their reported increased authority and apparently more complex psychology, may be the only Grey type to be biologically alive and that the shorter form could be their artificially constructed robot or cyborg servants.”

A half a century before Greys came into popular consciousness, a series of remarkable illustrations were published in Die Heilgymnastik in der Gynaekologie: Und die Mechanische Behandlung von Erkrankungen des Uterus und Seiner Adnexe nach Thure Brandt  (1895).  The title, translated from German, as “The physiotherapy in gynecology and the mechanical treatment of diseases of the uterus and its appendages by Thure Brandt” is a gynecological exercise manual authored by Swedish obstetrician and gynecologist, Thure Brandt.

The illustrations in this text bear a striking resemblance to Greys described by countless UFO close encounter and abductee claimants. Is it merely a coincidence? Do aliens really exist? Are they, as some theorize, actually a form of sleep paralysis? Did an 1800s Swedish gynecologist know something about visitors to our planet? Has Giorgio A. Tsoukalos weighed in on this yet?

We don’t have the answers here, but nevertheless, these illustrations of freakazoid Grey Alien type humanoids practicing some sort of gynecological yoga are pretty creepy:
 

 

 
More Grey gynecology after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Curious depictions of syphilis, measles, gonorrhea & other diseases from 19th-century Japan
10.19.2015
02:29 pm

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Art
History
Science/Tech

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“Ten realms within the body,” by Utagawa Kuniteru III, c. 1885
 
The University of California at San Francisco has an incredible collection of 400 health-themed woodblock prints from 19th-century Japan. The collection includes advertisements for medicines and treatments, illustrated guidelines for the treatment and prevention of various contagious diseases (first and foremost measles but also syphilis and gonorrhea), and visual guides to the human body from the late Edo and early Meiji periods.

According to the UCSF website,
 

Although the medical-theme prints typically deal with current, not past events, they often feature famous warriors, invoked to help stave off illness, or they render preventive measures in anthropomorphic terms—as in images of bucket-, bean-, or wheat-headed figures attacking a demon (the disease) — both elements linking them to Kuniyoshi’s artistic practices.

-snip-

Despite all this labor, the finished prints were relatively inexpensive items, cheaply sold from the publisher’s shop or distributed by itinerant vendors to ordinary townspeople: merchants, artisans, and other tradesmen. Although published in multiples of a hundred copies for the more popular editions, the prints were ephemeral, tossed away once fashions, celebrities—or illnesses—changed.

 
A few of these would make bitchin’ posters!
 

“Chasing measles away,” by Utagawa Yoshimori, 1862
 

“Ad for Kinder-Puwder, King of Pediatric Drugs,” by Morikawa Chikashige, 1880
 

“Pills to cure toxic illnesses such as syphilis and gonorrhea,” artist unknown, late 19th century
 
More medical posters from 19th century Japan, after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Lou Reed peels off wild guitar solos during first Velvet Underground gig without John Cale, 1968
10.16.2015
09:18 am

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History
Music

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La Cave
 
By September 1968, Lou Reed was hell-bent on kicking John Cale out of the Velvet Underground. Reed and Cale started the band, but after two albums, Lou was no longer interested in working with the Welsh musician. It’s always been unclear as to why Reed felt this way, but the most plausible reason is that he sought to make the Velvets more accessible, while Cale wanted to keep one foot in the avant-garde. Regardless, in late September, after what would turn out to be Cale’s final concerts with the group, Reed met with drummer Maureen Tucker and guitarist Sterling Morrison and gave them an ultimatum: Either Cale goes or the band is finished.
 
John Cale and Lou Reed
John Cale and Lou Reed in New York City, 1968

Reluctantly, Tucker and Morrison agreed to sack Cale. But with Cale’s exit and upcoming concerts scheduled for the first week of October, a replacement needed to be found—and fast. Doug Yule, a Boston musician who was friendly with the band, was quickly brought into the fold. Yule would have to swiftly learn a set of songs, many of which he hadn’t heard before because they hadn’t been released yet. He made his way to New York City to rehearse for shows booked at a small venue in Cleveland called La Cave. Yule’s first gig with the Velvets is usually cited as having taken place on October 2nd, though in his exhaustive book, White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-by-Day, author Richie Unterberger writes that Yule’s debut was October 4th. Either way, the band’s new member had little time to prepare.
 
The new VU
The new VU, 1968

The Velvet Underground played two sets that first night in Cleveland with Yule, and thanks to recordings which were subsequently bootlegged, we can hear what they sounded like during this historic show. Incredibly, Yule already appears to be a good fit. He’s obviously up for the task, coming up with interesting bass lines—even singing background harmonies—on songs that he had just learned. His harmony vocal gelling perfectly with Reed’s during a lovely version of “Jesus” is just one of many cool moments. Reed’s guitar work is also noteworthy, like during the wild and weird middle section of “I Can’t Stand It,” but it’s the track that opens the first set that takes the cake.

“What Goes On” was one of many numbers played that first night that Yule barely had time to acquaint himself with (the tune would be included on their next album, The Velvet Underground, which came out the following year). There’s nothing all that interesting happening here at first (though Yule once again contributes some mighty fine harmonizing); that is, until Reed kicks off the initial solo with a fierce blast of noise. He follows up with melodic lines that resemble what would be heard on the now-familiar album take, but while the guitar tone on the LP version is psychedelic, here it’s all about volume and distortion. During the second and final solo, after a similar melodic passage, Lou lets it rip. At around the 4:52 mark, he goes into hyperactive overdrive, whipping up an atypically riotous, face melter of a solo that’s downright giddy in execution. It’s the sound of a man set free.
 
Lou Reed
 
This joyfully savage version of “What Goes On” would appear decades later on Peel Slowly and See, VU’s 1995 boxed set, and to date it’s the only track from the Cleveland concerts to be officially released. In his liner notes for the box, David Fricke is suitably inspired by the rendition, writing that it’s “rich with pyro-fuzzbox spew and climaxes with a staccato rush of tonal destruction over Sterling Morrison’s implacable, syncopated rhythm clang.”
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
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