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The psychedelic hairscapes of Cathy Ward
05:21 pm



This is a guest post by artist/director Nick Abrahams.

Los Angeles gets the pleasure of being the first city in America to stage a solo show by the London-based artist Cathy Ward. Her forthcoming exhibition at the Good Luck Gallery is opening on September 5th, with the artist talking about her work at the gallery on September 6th.

Cathy Ward is something of an alternative British institution, having exhibited in many medias and forms over the years with everything from large scale sculptures and installations, to tapisteries and work made from corn dollies. But the work she is best known for are the dark psychic landscapes, reminiscent of woven hair, which are both immediately familiar and unlike anything else you will have ever seen. With a technique she has been honing for seventeen years, she scrapes intricate patterns into a layer of ink to reveal fine lines of the white clay that lie underneath, these scratch works suggest many things… cosmic struggles, full of pulsations and explosions…  the dark matter or the ‘dust’ of Philip Pullman’s novels… swirling waterways or weirs, made up of feminine eddies or sprays of water… but most of all they resemble plaited and flowing swathes of hair….  ‘I can’t plan them, I can’t replicate them either,’ Ward says.

Albina Incubii Albion

Hair of the recently deceased was carefully bound and arranged in Victorian hair works, an art form and custom which gradually fell out of fashion. These memento mori often took the form of a piece of jewellery (such as a locket), but sometimes in fabulously complicated and contorted “hair wreaths.” The hair that flows through these memorials also flows through the works of the Brothers Grimm, with Rapunzel’s climbable tresses, and later continued to flow through the counterculture of the 60s as a signifier of a rejection of cultural norms, whether by long-haired bikers or drug-addled hippies.

Lost Commune

The pulsating lines of Wards works have something of the drawings of Hans Bellmer about them, suggesting female curves and crevices, with the female body as a site of erotic mystery and power.

Cathy Ward

At a retrospective of the works of outsider artist Madge Gill in London, Ward was a natural choice for the position as artist in residence, with both artists driven to obsessive drawing styles, Gill with repetitive depiction of angels or ‘spirit guides’ , and Ward with her incredibly detailed abstractions reminiscent of woven hair, both describing very active ‘inner landscapes’ of womens minds, and there is a feeling that the act of line making may, for both women, act as a form of spell casting or be a sacred act.

There is a musicality to the waves in Ward’s work, and she has found a natural connections with certain musicians, such as Sunn O))) who used a triptych of her works on their Monoliths and Dimensions sleeve, and Stephen O’Malley of the band later providing a soundtrack for Ward’s animated work “Sonafeld.”

‘The Order’ is a new set of works which make specific reference to Ward’s early tuition under the Sisters of Mercy in Ashford—not the Goth band, but one of the schools run by notoriously strict nuns whose ghostly outlines people Ward’s new pictures.  Ward says that the nuns all had their hair cut close to their skulls: “As a child I was shocked, appalled, fascinated that nuns sacrificed their hair in this way. Hair in the 1960s was a symbol of liberation and this livery was being wilfully, symbolically removed.”

The Order

These works often inhabit ornate frames sourced from flea markets and junk shops, giving them the feel of found objects, rediscovered antiquities from another time and place.

These works form part of the world of Cathy Ward’s artistic vision. Her many projects in collaboration with her husband Eric Wright can be followed here’, while more information about her solo works can be found here.

This is a guest post by artist/director Nick Abrahams.

Below, Ward’s “Sonafeld” with Stephen O’Malley soundtrack:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Satanic squirrel taxidermy, anyone?
11:05 am



Satanic Squirrel Ritual taxidermy
Satanic Squirrel Ritual taxidermy
And since I’m sure that more than a few of you are nodding your heads, “yes, please” then today is your lucky day thanks to Ryan Hanley, a taxidermist based in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Satanic Ritual Squirrel taxidermy
Satanic Squirrel Ritual taxidermy
Satanic squirrel taxidermy
Satanic FTW Squirrel taxidermy (and yes, he is shooting you the bird)
Billed as “the most brilliant present ever” by its maker, Satanic FTW Squirrel (above) and his upside down cross stands about 12” tall and was the product of roadkill just like his pal Satanic Squirrel Ritual, in case these images are getting your PETA panties all in a bunch. There are loads of other images on Hanley’s Tumblr, but I don’t suggest looking at them if you don’t want to see things like lamps that used to be armadillos (which are completely amazing by the way), or roadkill raccoons that are now fashionable purses.

If you’re interested in purchasing Satan’s favorite nut job, it’ll run you $150 over at Hanley’s wife’s Etsy shop, The Wild Few. The Satanic Squirrel Ritual piece is $175. There’s also a Suicide Squirrel piece that features a taxidermied squirrel with a gun pointed at its head if that’s more your speed.


Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Peek inside Cecil B. DeMille’s bizarro 1930 master-flop, ‘Madam Satan’
11:10 am



Madam Satan movie poster, 1930
Madam Satan movie poster, 1930
Cecil B. DeMille was a peculiar, yet lovable, producer of Hollywood balderdash, and Madam Satan just might be his most bizarro film.
Kay Johnson as Madam Satan
Actress Kay Johnson as the alluring “Madam Satan”
The black and white film came out in 1930 and had originally contained Technicolor scenes that were sadly somehow lost. Despite its occult-sounding title, Madam Satan is a vintage romcom that tells the story of a married couple, Angela and Bob, who are having a relationship crisis. When Angela finds out that her husband is screwing around with a chick named Trixie, she creates an alter-ego of herself called “Madam Satan.”
Actor heodore Kosloff in Madam Satan, 1930
Actor Theodore Kosloff as “Electricity” in Madam Satan
After Madam Satan makes her debut at wild masquerade ball, the film just gets weirder and more wonderfully excessive as it goes along. There are elaborate song and dance routines, flirtations with electricity, and actors dressed in boundary-pushing and visually stunning costumery (much of which was created by the head of wardrobe for DeMille’s studio, Adrian Adolph Greenburg) that were far beyond their time. Madam Satan is truly a film that must be seen to be believed. A remastered version of Madam Satan was released on DVD in 2010 and I highly recommend tracking down a copy so you can see it for yourself. You can also take a peek at more stills from Madam Satan, as well as a clip from the movie that will likely induce a good old-fashioned case of the bed-spins. Hail Satan!
Madam Satan actress Kay Johnson strikes a pose with her masks
Madam Satan star Kay Johnson strikes a pose with her masks
A strange chorus line from Madam Satan
A strange chorus line of cats from Madam Satan
More great stills from the curious classic after the jump…...

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Iasos: The ‘70s new age hippie who launched more drone strikes than Bush and Obama combined
10:09 am



If you’re one of those people who wouldn’t be caught dead listening to new age music, I may have some bad news for you. It just so happens that, in 1989, a scientist working in the psychology department at Plymouth State College in New Hampshire conducted research on people who had undergone near-death experiences. The research seemed to conclude that the musical stylings of the pioneering new age musician Iasos (pronounced “ya’ sos”) scored the highest ratings in a survey of various types of music reported being heard by those who have undergone a near-death experience—most notably Iasos’ piece entitled “The Angels of Comfort.”

So, it might just be that new age music is the ONLY kind of music you’ll be caught dead listening to. Death metal can’t really hold a candle to actual death music, can it?

But then again, if you’ve heard “The Angels of Comfort,” you might conclude that you could very easily duplicate the same results in a survey of people who huff paint on a regular basis. I’m not necessarily suggesting that the heavenly music corporation producing these angelic choirs on high are the result of a lack of oxygen to the brain as vital organs shut down during the near-death experience, but it’s certainly a distinct possibility. For all I know, Iasos’ electronic noodlings sound the closest to an EKG machine or a ventilator. In any event, Iasos may or may not be on to something otherworldly.

Although many would credit Mike Oldfield’s 1973 masterpiece Tubular Bells as the seed that started the popularization of ambient sound, it lacked a genre in which it could be placed. Most just labeled that album as “progressive rock,” for want of a better term. The ambient music that would come to be known as “new age” certainly owed a debt to Oldfield as well as the experimental works of Edgar Froese, Tangerine Dream, Can, Klaus Schulze, and various other musical visionaries. But the phrase “new age” had yet to be coined in 1973. That would take another two years.

Iasos was a major pioneer in the creation of the musical genre of new age. He was born in Greece but moved to America at an early age, migrating to the West Coast in the late ‘60s for the sole purpose of pursuing his musical vision. In 1975 he released his first album, Inter-Dimensional Music. It’s the kind of music to play while riding astrally projected elevators through the space-time continuum.

1975 was a heady year for “new age” culture; it is often cited as the year that the genre was created and the phrase was coined. That was also the year that Steven Halpern released his seminal and highly influential album Spectrum Suite. Even more important to some is the fact that 1975 was the year that Brian Eno released his first fully ambient record Discreet Music, setting in motion decades of ambient recordings from the famed musician, producer, and all-around genius.

That’s right, kids. Eno’s Discreet Music is 40 years old now. And that’s how long Iasos—who should, by rights, be counted alongside those previously mentioned visionaries—has been churning out his own brand of new age and ambient sound. By my calculations, Iasos is approximately 68 years old. So, he’s still producing new age well into his old age. And he shows no signs of slowing down. His multilayered ambient droning drones as hard today as it did in 1975. 

Ambient Bandstand audiences rate Iasos: “Its got no discernible beat, and it’s easy to trance to.”
Iasos claims that he composes in collaboration with an inter-dimensional being that he calls “Vista.” According to Iasos, Vista is the true visionary and architect behind these complex soundscapes and compositions. Iasos merely serves as the conduit through which Vista operates and opens new windows on the musical world.

Thank Vista, Iasos has recently posted an incredibly trippy, short documentary to YouTube that was filmed in 1979 (four years after releasing his first album), and it shows him at the height of his creative genius. The documentary, which you can watch below, oscillates between Iasos talking about his musical approach and general philosophy and various musical performances. The documentary appears to show a truly bliss-filled musician talking about receiving the radio signals in his head from his “collaborator.”  He also speaks of a feminine counterpart to Vista that he calls “Crystal.”

According to Iasos, higher beings are interacting with humans to create a greater harmony, a paradise of music on earth. However, these higher beings practice a policy of non-interference and must be invited in. The more people who interact with these higher beings, the faster a paradise on earth will be formed. Convinced?

Pay attention to the fact that in this documentary, Iasos seems to laugh at less-than-appropriate times, like Dr. Julius Hibbert on The Simpsons. It’s also fascinating to see his home studio comprised of state-of-the-art analog equipment… for 1979. Marvel at his incredibly spiritual framing of electronic sounds: “Electrons are pure God beings and are very sensitive to God control.” He’s clearly operating on a much higher plane than the rest of us.

h/t Iasos’ website

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Hail Haploa clymene: The upside-down cross moth. The most METAL of all moths!
10:20 am



We’re all familiar with the creepy Death’s-head Hawkmoth from its appearance in the 1991 thriller The Silence of the Lambs, but there’s a lepidopteran out there even more foreboding. This goth moth’s appearance is downright Satanic.

The Clymene Moth (Haploa clymene), a member of the Tiger Moth family, can be found throughout eastern North America. It can be identified in the wild by its metal-as-fuck upside-down cross marking.

Of course there are Christians out there who would like to appropriate this moth, like they did with the dogwood tree, creating legends about God using natural markings as signs of his watchfulness and good works. For instance, this Christian website posted the following photo:


When God created the first Clymene moth, at least several thousand years ago did He think about the Cross? As you can clearly see the black marking on the wings looks like the silhouette of Jesus hanging on the Cross. I took this picture yesterday morning as the moth sat quietly on a tomato plant.

I think that when “God created the first Clymene moth at least several thousand years ago” he was probably aware that the head goes at the top—not the bottom. Sorry, Bible-guy. Posting upside-down photos is cheating. Here, let me fix that for you:

Make no mistake. This moth is PURE EVIL. Especially if you happen to be an Oak, Peach or Willow tree—as its larvae will be decimating you.

Feast ye now upon this demonic gallery of ungodly nature photos of Haploa clymene, the most METAL of moths. Each photo is accompanied by an appropriate quote from Matt Paradise’s Book of Satanic Quotations:

“God is a sound people make when they’re too tired to think anymore.”
—Edward Abbey


“As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.”
—William Blake


“I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved—the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!”
—Thomas Jefferson


“If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.”
—Thomas Carlyle


“I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.”
—Aleister Crowley


“I can find no room in my cosmos for a deity save as a waste product of human weakness, the excrement of the imagination.”
—George Norman Douglas


“An actually existent fly is more important than a possibly existent angel.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Religious ideas have sprung from the same need as all the other achievements of culture: from the necessity for defending itself against the crushing supremacy of nature.”
—Sigmund Freud


“O ye generations of Christ-deluded imbeciles! Ye swarms of moonstruck meeklings! Ye burnt out cinders of men! Ye blessing lambs! One day! One day! Ye shall be flung to the lions! Behold! I spit upon your Idols—your Opinions. Now would I pour molten hell through the ventricles of your soul.”
—Ragnar Redbeard


“The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind”
—Marquis De Sade


“There is no god more divine than yourself.”
—Walt Whitman


“I deny Jesus Christ, the Deceiver and I abjure the Christian Faith, holding in contempt all of it’s Works.”
—King Diamond


Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Monsters, death and the Mona Lisa stripping: Lorenzo Alessandri, father of Italian surrealism
11:06 am



At the end of World War II, Italian artist Lorenzo Alessandri opened up his first studio, naming it “Attic Macabre,” a clear indication of his artistic direction. It wasn’t until 1964 though, that he coined the term “Surfanta” (a portmanteau of surrealism and fantasy) to describe the movement he spearheaded—a wide-ranging genre of other-worldly creatures, horror, sex, mystery, occultism, and a healthy dose of religious and historical farce. He titled a magazine Surfanta, and you can even catch the word in the signage of his paintings, like morbid little Hidden Mickeys. The sheer diversity of his work makes it impossible to do a comprehensive retrospective, but I’ll cover a few of the weirdest highlights—pictures below are relatively safe for work, embedded links are… less so.

Throughout his career, Alessandri had a fascination with grotesque sexuality. He utilized a variety of subjects for the theme, including sentient genitals, anthropomorphic animals and horrifyingly lewd monsters. Not all of his prurient material was disgusting though—there was also his campy “groovy chick” phase, which often featured regular pin-up style ladies in surreal settings. Sometimes the babes themselves were psychedelic—often a shade of electric blue, and sometimes they hung out with his occult characters or his sex-monsters (though they stop short of doing anything hardcore).

In my opinion, Alessandri’s most fascinating and sophisticated work is his series of contemporary fantasy scenarios, which deal most readily with the politics and history of the modern world. The KKK lord over a naked woman before an atom bomb and a gorilla. Mona Lisa does a striptease before an animalian bourgeoisie (he also did a version where she had a penis). There’s also a ton of occult imagery. Airplanes piloted by skeletons (he loves those) roll by estates, landmarks and villages. Shadowy figures—perhaps demonic creatures or paranormal monks—are busy, perhaps frantic. The worlds he created are complex and mysterious—an inscrutable delight.



More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Hear Debbie Harry perform a voodoo rite: ‘Invocation to Papa Legba’
08:35 am



It looks like Vodun had more devotees in the CBGB set than I would have guessed, because I would have guessed zero. Yet Talking Heads paid tribute to “Papa Legba” in their True Stories, and Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie recorded this “Invocation to Papa Legba” for a 1989 compilation on Giorno Poetry Systems. It’s just Harry’s voice with Stein’s approximation of Haitian drumming, and it sounds fantastic—maybe a distant, merrier cousin of Peter Hammill’s “A Motorbike in Afrika.”

I eagerly await learning about Genesis Breyer P-Orridge’s researches into Vodun when Bight of the Twin comes out, because I am ham ignorant about this religion. Papa Legba is, I take it, the gatekeeper of the spirit world, and all attempts to communicate with the loa begin with prayers and offerings to him. Maybe, if you play this loud and often enough, he’ll pay you a visit tonight.

via Zero Equals Two

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
The Satanic Temple of Detroit debuts massive one-ton Baphomet monument
06:16 pm



The Satanic Temple of Detroit's Bahomet momument
The Satanic Temple of Detroit’s new Baphomet momument
If you were not already aware, Detroit, Michigan is the home to the very first national chapter house of The Satanic Temple. Late yesterday, TST released the first photos of a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet that they hope to display at the State Capitol in Oklahoma.
If you’re wondering why The Satanic Temple is hoping to house the titanic sculpture of Baphomet in Oklahoma’s State Capitol, let me clear that up for you. Although they have yet to be granted permission (and promise to sue the state if request is denied), TST wants Baphomet to sit next to the six-foot tall Ten Commandments statue (built with the help of “private” funding), that has stood on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol since 2012. Coincidently, said statue was smashed up in 2014 by a guy who said he was acting on “Satan’s” orders. The statue was then restored and returned to its original spot at the Capitol. However, in an interesting turn of events late today, it looks like the controversial statue’s days are indeed numbered
Smashed up Ten Commandments statue in Oklahoma
Satan says SMASH!
In a decisive 7-2 decision, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the Ten Commandments statue must be removed as it violates the state’s constitutional ban on the use of public property for the benefit of a religion. While this decision does not bode well for TST, it will be interesting to see how this one shakes out given Oklahoma’s highly conservative constituency. I also wouldn’t be surprised if TST starts looking for a new home for Baphomet. Still, I think it’s safe to say that times are indeed changing in this country. And fast.
The massive statue will be officially unveiled on July 25th at a rather un-satanic sounding spot called Bert’s Warehouse Theater in Detroit, with entertainment provided by DJ William Morrison of Skinny Puppy/OhGr related infamy. Attendance is open to the public and tickets to the event will cost you $25 bucks. VIP tickets will run you $75 and include your very own photo with Baphomet. Dressing to impress satan is also highly encouraged. Nice.
Bahomet momument party invitation

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Sexy Ouija board platform heels
11:21 am



Fashion norms that oblige women to destroy their feet by wearing high heels are obnoxious, and yet…. one still can’t deny the allure of these amazing Ouija board platform heels and wedges. They have at times been available for purchase at the Etsy store of Miss Fiendish Apparel in the U.K. Unfortunately, none of the Ouija board shoes are for sale right now, but some of them were sold as recently as 2014, so maybe if we promote her Etsy store with a little viral magic she’ll, er, “boot up” her store again.

Miss Fiendish has been on Etsy since 2011. Her personal statement reads in part:

I love the dead,the strange,the ugly,the horror,the freak show and the carnies,the tattooed grandmas,the conjoined twins,these are all completely beautiful and fascinating to me..

Graveyards,abandoned buildings,i can see the beauty in horror and also the lighter side of it too..the creepy,the kitsch,the B-Movie that’s so awful that you have to laugh at it,tongue in cheek humor…

In addition to the shoes, Miss Fiendish also makes ouija board ankle ties, as seen here:

My favorites are these “bloody zombie” heels with the ankle tie accents…. wow!

The variety in the styles is pretty stunning…. More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Triptych version of Kenneth Anger’s ‘Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome’ not seen in 50 years screens
03:31 pm



Known for being a tireless tinkerer who often created multiple edits of his films—and inspired by Abel Gance’s silent masterpiece Napoléon—Kenneth Anger created a special triptych version of his Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome. This version of the film was screened only one time, at “Expo 58” the 1958 World Fair held in Brussels, Belgium.

The triptych version of Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome has not be screened for over fifty years, but a restored version will be premiered on June 25th, 2015 at one of the top cinemas in the world, the Max Linder Panorama in Paris. The presentation is a production of Sprueth Magers, Berlin and Brian Butler and the team at Lucifer Brothers Workshop in Hollywood.

Anger’s infamous avant garde occult vision features the likes of erotic writer Anaïs Nin, witchy artist Marjorie Cameron (widow of rocket scientist/occultist Jack Parsons) as the Scarlet Woman and Kali, film director Curtis Harrington as Cesare the sleepwalker, silent film era actor Samson De Brier in several roles and Anger himself as Hecate. The film takes the name “pleasure dome” from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan.”

Here’s a preview:


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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