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Blank generation: Depressingly accurate reflections of modern society
08.08.2017
11:02 am
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“Mammon.” A painting by Alex Gross.
 

“Past success is no guarantee of future success, and anything is possible. It’s something that I try not to forget.”

—Artist Alex Gross on what keeps him going.

 
You may already be familiar with the work of New York-based artist Alex Gross as his striking surrealist pop creations have been seen in many publications including The Los Angeles Times. His warped, hyperrealistic artwork was also compiled into a couple of books—one in 2008 by Bruce Sterling, The Art of Alex Gross: Paintings and Other Works, and another published in 2014, Future Tense, Paintings by Alex Gross, 2010-2014.

It’s clear from Gross’ take on modern times that, like many of us, he may have already abandoned hope for the future. And his most recent gallery show, “Antisocial Network,” his first in nearly ten years back in February of this year, is a perfect example of his perhaps dim outlook on our collective existence. The work featured in the show was the result of two years of observation and reflection while the world began its downward spiral and the U.S. somehow ended up with a “president” that says shit like this.

Many of the paintings I’ve featured in this post involve people interacting with their smartphones while mayhem ensues behind them, unnoticed, which seems entirely plausible as it happens every goddamn day. I mean, people are so attached to their smartphones that they have panic attacks when they can’t find them and quite literally fall into holes in the sidewalk because they can’t bear to not stare into them while simply walking down the street. Despite perpetuating the notion that we all might end up in a hole in the sidewalk never to be seen again, Gross says that he hopes that his work helps people connect with each other. I’m all for that.

If you’d like to add some of Gross’ artwork to your collection, you can pick up limited edition prints at his website.
 

“Android.”
 

“Service Industry.”
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.08.2017
11:02 am
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Breaking news: EVERYONE can own Glenn Danzig’s house
08.04.2017
05:34 pm
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dgfhjydbr
 
Well, since everyone is talking about wishing they could buy Glenn Danzig’s now iconic house since yesterday’s popular Dangerous Minds post—good news! We all can!

Well, sorta. The weird folks at Meth Syndicate, one of the top new companies that does the enamel metal pins that are so popular with the kids (along with their friends at Pizzaships) have come up with a way for all people to buy Glenn’s house! Yup, the “Danzig’s House hard enamel pin”!
 
jdjfhg
 
It’s posted on their Instagram page along with this text:
 
ssadclhfy
 
As some of you reading this know, I used to be in Danzig and I lived in the guest house there for quite a while and it was bat shit crazy! Not because of Glenn, mind you, but because of YOU! YOU PEOPLE are crazy!

A little after I started living there we had to start chaining the driveway gate to keep the nuts out. I’d wake up many mornings to “the spray can girl” who would walk up and down the driveway slowly shaking a spraypaint can (KA-CHUNK, KA-CHUNK, KA-CHUNK) like some kinda tribal death march. Notes, records, dead things, you name it. When people showed up and were calm and friendly, Glenn was always unfailingly nice. I have known him since 1978 and he’s super cool, he was always fair and generous as a bandleader and I think all the kookoo fans that come up with these weird trips about him are both a blessing and a curse. It’s great to have fans but put yourselves in Glenn’s hooves, imagine being bugged by creepy nuts who all have your address, day and night? Just living with it was pretty unnerving. So remember “Do what thou wilt” unless thou art an idiot! Then do the opposite!

Leave your dark idol the hell alone!!
 

Posted by Howie Pyro
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08.04.2017
05:34 pm
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Cindy Sherman’s newly public Instagram feed is full of amazingly creepy new work
08.03.2017
11:08 am
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Photographer Cindy Sherman has undertaken a sustained and acclaimed critique/exploration of the nature and construction of identity, Western self-representation, the male gaze, and the presumed documentary nature of photography that’s still ongoing after forty years, by using as her subject only herself, in various disguises. In 1977 she became prominent with a series called “Untitled Film Stills,” in which she cast herself in scenes that strongly resembled classic Hollywood tropes, but which were derived from no specific films in particular. The strength of that series and her early ‘80s work made her one of that decade’s art stars, making her a key figure not just in the so-called “Pictures Generation,” but in postmodern photography overall, and she became a MacArthur Fellow in the mid ‘90s.

Sherman’s generation of artists took a lot of heat for their appropriation-happy ethos. The artists themselves saw the tactic as a means to critique the increasingly image-saturated culture of the ‘80s, but some drew accusations of merely copying work and using conceptual art as a smoke screen. In some cases that seemed justified, as in the yeah-we-get-it-already oeuvre of accomplished forger Mike Bidlo, and Richard Prince has recently been savaged for selling other people’s online photos for six figures, without seeking permission or compensating the original photographers.

But since Sherman’s appropriations were of tropes rather than of specific works, she was never really a part of that fray, and because American culture has only become MORE image-saturated, the work of her generation of artists has only become more relevant, and seems more like prophecy than theft (hell, “PROPHECY IS THEFT” sounds a lot like a slogan Barbara Kruger would proffer), and fittingly, Sherman’s new work is a series of garishly saturated and disturbingly manipulated self portraits, published to that great asylum for performative selfies, Instagram.

Via Artnet News:

Before the age of social media and its painstakingly sculpted personae, Pictures Generation artist Cindy Sherman had already established herself as the art world’s reigning queen of self-reinvention, using the camera to morph into one character after another. Though her works are technically not self-portraits, Sherman’s method of turning the lens onto herself is uncannily appropriate to our times, in which the stage-managed selfie has become so ubiquitous that it’s now fodder for exhibitions and often cited as an art form in itself.

What we see here is somewhat of a departure from the artist’s traditional model: the frame is tighter and closer to her face, in what is clear use of a phone’s front-facing camera. Plus, the subject matter is decidedly intimate in comparison to her usual work—the latest posts document a stay in the hospital. She may even be having fun with filters.

The last hospital image was posted only three days ago, so DM wishes Ms. Sherman a speedy and comfortable recovery.
 

Back from the gym!

A post shared by cindy sherman (@_cindysherman_) on

 

Oops!

A post shared by cindy sherman (@_cindysherman_) on

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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08.03.2017
11:08 am
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Sex Goddesses & Bad-Ass Babes from Outer Space: The gorgeous, pulpy art of Penelope Gazin (NSFW)
08.02.2017
11:14 am
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‘Dream Girl.’
 
In an alternate universe based solely in my imagination, artist Penelope Gazin is in charge of Marvel Comics where she publishes lurid monthly titles of wanton goddesses and many-eyed superwomen from outer space. These sexy day-glo characters inspire outrage and adulation across the globe. In this fantasy world, Ms. Gazin is also in charge of Disney, where she has put to rest the reign of white, passive maidens who only live for their square-jawed prince to come along.

Thankfully, I don’t have to imagine too hard, as Penelope Gazin has a staggering array of paintings, badges, jewelry, and comic strips featuring such awesome creations. She may not yet run a Marvel or a Disney but she’s gettin’ there. 

Gazin is a genuine powerhouse of talent who has worked as an animator for Fox ADHD and HBO, as well as producing illustrations for VICE, Spin, and Burger Records, among many, many others. If that weren’t enough for an impressive resume, Gazin also co-founded (with Kate Dwyer) Witchsy—“a curated marketplace for artists”—where she hawks her own work.

Coming from an artistic family—her mother’s a painter as was her grandfather—Gazin takes her influence from horror movies, psychedelia, vintage porn, and trippy memories from childhood. Check more of this brilliant artist’s work here and here.
 
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‘It’s not a sexual thing I just don’t like breathing.’
 
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‘Slut.’
 
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‘Always a Lady.’
 
See more of Penelope Gazin’s art, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.02.2017
11:14 am
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The boys of Paris: The trailblazing transgender performers of Madame Arthur’s
07.27.2017
12:20 pm
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The great cabaret performer, “Coccinelle.”
 
After yesterday’s utterly vile offerings from our Shithead-in-Grief, I was determined to pull together a post on a favorite topic of mine—shining a bright, warm light on notable and obscure transgender and drag performers. I’ve done several such posts on this very topic while on active duty here at Dangerous Minds, and so have my colleagues. It seems like every time we do, there is a positive reaction from our readers. To me, this is an affirmation that the hateful, racist rhetoric coming from our nation’s capital is not collectively who we are as human beings or else not many of our good-looking high IQ readers are Trump fans. I was fortunate to have been raised by two incredible people who embraced the LGBT community at a time when there wasn’t a lot of support for people who chose “non-traditional” relationships and gender roles. Thanks to them, I’ve simply never thought of someone who doesn’t look or swing like me as anything but another person. Unless of course, you are the type that is prone to behaving in a way that physically hurts or openly discriminates against another person. If you happen to be one of those flatulent assholes that shits bricks full of hate, then please, PLEASE feel free to leap off a goddamn cliff. Now, if you’ll once again forgive my affinity to digress from the topic at hand—let’s all take a much-needed look back at one of Paris’ most famous cabaret nightclubs, Madame Arthur’s.
 

An article on Madame Arthur’s from the men’s picture magazine SHE, 1957.
 
A magazine article published in 1957 by SHE (pictured above) referred to Madame Arthur’s as “The Sodom of the Seine.” This lascivious-sounding description is reflective of the article itself which laments “Les Boys” takeover of the Paris nightclub scene and the disappearance of the beloved “decorative” showgirl. Madame Arthur’s would open its doors in 1946. The club’s name comes from a song originally written back in 1850 by Michael Feingold, which was later translated to French by author Paul de Kock. The song was then popularized by French cabaret performer and actress, Yvette Guilbert. Here are some of the cheeky lyrics from the song:

Madame Arthur is quite the lady
They chatter and chatter about her all over Paris
She may be mature and slightly shady
But each man is her lover-to-be!

Oui, Oui! The club and its sister establishment Le Carrousel were playgrounds of sorts for famous transvestite performers such as Coccinelle who debuted her act at Madame Arthur’s in 1953. According to historians, an artist would be hired first by Madame Arthur’s and the cream of the crop would then be given the opportunity to take the stage at Le Carrousel. Occasionally exceptions were made for international acts that had credibility or notoriety worldly enough to bypass Madame Arthur’s, and allowing them to go straight to Le Carrousel. Incredible images of the Parisian trans trailblazers below. Some of the photos are NSFW.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.27.2017
12:20 pm
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Addams Family nesting dolls are too damned adorable
07.27.2017
08:44 am
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We’ve blogged often about various cool pop culture Russian nesting dolls here on Dangerous Minds before, but I think these Addams Family matryoshka dolls might be my very favorite. They’re just so lovely! The dolls are made by Mothmouth and it appears this set was a custom order for a client. Sadly, there’s no price. You can contact Mothmouth here to see if she can make more and check on pricing.


 
Since the matryoshka dolls by Mothmouth aren’t readily available, I did find another set of Addams Family nesting dolls by Bobobabushka. The handmade set of wood and acrylics sell for $210 on Etsy. I dig these, too.
 

 
h/t Coilhouse on Facebook

Posted by Tara McGinley
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07.27.2017
08:44 am
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Strangely amusing (& slightly confusing) Japanese subway signs
07.26.2017
09:41 am
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“Do not rush onto the train!” A PSA-style poster that appeared on Japanese subway cars in April of 1979.
 
I love writing about Japanese pop culture, everything from obscure garage rock to game shows to that weirdo Japanese erotica stuff. While I’m not claiming to be some Japanese culture/sub-culture idiot savant, I am rather dedicated to continuing my exploration of a place I’ve sadly never visited. Yet. Today I’ve got something I know our readers are going to dig via of my favorite Internet spots Pink Tentacle—a collection of perplexing PSA posters that were displayed on subway cars during the mid-70s and early 80s. The word puzzling and Japanese pop culture often walk hand in hand, and these public service announcements are quirky, to say the least, when it comes to reminding train patrons to behave appropriately. And yeah, “manspreading” on the train was apparently quite the problem back in the day. How rude! Even aliens did it. Who knew?

Getting back to the posters, as you look through the images you’ll see that many of them use stuff borrowed from American pop culture—you know, like Jesus and Superman—to help convey their messages. There are also a few that are preoccupied with reminding folks riding the train to not leave their umbrellas behind or the perils of leaving your chewing gum on the subway platform for someone, like Superman (don’t laugh, it could happen) to step in it. Oh, the HORROR.
 

“Space Invader” March 1979.
 

“Three Annoying Train Monsters” October 1982.
 

“Don’t Forget your Umbrella” October 1981. I guess we finally now know what Jesus would actually do.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.26.2017
09:41 am
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In the flesh: The voluptuous models who brought the famous female vampire Vampirella to life
07.21.2017
12:25 pm
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Model Barbara Leigh as Vampirella on the cover of issue #78 (May, 1979.)
 
Comic book vampire/alien and femme fatale superhero Vampirella first crashed to Earth in her spaceship after departing her home planet of “Drakulon” (where instead of water the rivers ran full of blood) in the first issue of Vampirella magazine in 1969. The character was primarily created by Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine’s Forrest J. Ackerman—inspired by the formidable beauty of Italian actress Marisa Mell—and her look was designed by artist Trina Robbins. Robbins, a self-professed “school nerd” is also known for being the first woman to draw Wonder Woman. Originally put out by Warren Publishing in simple black and white, Warren would publish 112 issues of Vampirella before going under in 1983. From that point forward two other publishing houses, specifically, Harris Publications and Dynamite Entertainment would modify the character’s storyline, but not her look which consisted of a racy, costume-malfunction-waiting-to-happen blood-red monokini. You may not even be reading this right now because you’re still busy gawking the image of model Barbara Leigh at the top of this post wearing what amounts to a few yards of strategically placed cloth over her impossible body.

On that note, let’s get on with the task of checking out a few of the women who became the real-life character over the last few decades.
 

The very first living and breathing “Vampirella,” Kathy Bushman. This photo of Bushman was taken in 1969 at the World Science Fiction Convention in St. Louis where she caught the eye of Vampirella creator Forrest J. Ackerman (pictured to the left).

Apparently, the very first “live model” to wear the dangerous Vampirella costume was Kathy Bushman at The World Science Fiction Convention (known as Worldcon) in St. Louis in 1969. According to a fansite for the convention, Bushman made the costume herself by hand (since she didn’t have a sewing machine) and paired it with a short black cape and pair of pale blue kitten-heeled pumps. The costume won her an “Honorable Mention,” at the convention and she would go on to become an influential costume designer contributing prolifically to Worldcon for decades.

Barbara Leigh—a woman who probably guided her fair share of boys through puberty—was the first “real” girl to appear on the cover of the magazine starting sometime in 1975. The lucky Leigh would also sign on with Hammer Films to play the vampire vixen for at least six movies. Initially, the part had been offered to two Hammer girls—Caroline Munro and Valerie Leon who both turned the role down due to the nudity it required. Sadly the project never really got off the ground, Leigh decided to get hitched and promptly left show business.

In the 1990s there were a few notable IRL Vampirella’s—Penthouse Pet Julie Strain and Cathy Christian. The most famous 90s version of Vampirella is Talisa Soto. Soto starred in the 1996 film adaptation Vampirella (along with Roger Daltrey by the way) directed by Roger Corman protege, Jim Wynorski. Christian would be the first “official” Vampirella model to represent the legacy in the convention circuit in the early 90s, though she never appeared on the cover of Vampirella. She did, however, score a role as the model used by Topps for their very first Vampirella trading cards from 1995. Strain’s image, as well as illustrated versions of the bombshell, appeared widely in the magazine. Her portrayal of Vampirella was also used to create a small series of Vampirella-themed action figures put out in 2000 by Moore Action Collectables. The Images below are NSFW.
 

Kathy Bushman, 1969.
 

Barbara Leigh.
 

An illustration of Barbara Leigh as Vampirella by American artist Bob Larkin on the cover of issue #78, October, 1978.
 
More Vampy action after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.21.2017
12:25 pm
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Covetable action figures based on classic and obscure 80’s horror films up for grabs!
07.20.2017
09:17 am
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A custom action figure based on the 1982 slasher film, ‘Pieces’ by Dan Polydoris of Death By Toys. $40 (two available).
 
Dan Polydoris, the founder of Death By Toys, has been creating small numbers of action figures based on films from the 80s since 2010, showing a particular affinity for the horror genre. Polydoris’ plastic characters quickly became super popular with collectors, especially those who, like Polydoris, dig on the “strange, offbeat, and absurd.” For his latest batch of action figures, Polydoris focused on eight different films from the decade including things like 1980’s Maniac, the 1981 Canuck cult classic, Happy Birthday to Me, and 1982’s Pieces starring the great Christopher George. If you just said “YES” to all of that, then listen up because I’m going to tell you how you *might* be able to make one of Polydoris’ newest rare figures yours.

Starting today, Thursday, July 20th at 12:30 CST, a small number of the figures will be available for purchase at the Death By Toys online store, and when I say small numbers I mean really small numbers. For example, Polydoris only made two of the hilarious killer “Kebab Playsets” from Happy Birthday to Me which will run you 40 bucks each. The packaging is also pretty fantastic as it uses images from the original back-in-the-day VHS tape cover art. Nice. All eight figures along with their various prices posted below. Happy hunting!
 

The hysterical ‘Happy Birthday to Me’ “Kebab Playset.” $40 (two available).
 

My absolute favorite of the bunch based on the 1980 film ‘Maniac,’ the “Bloody Scalp.” 30 bucks each (five available).
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.20.2017
09:17 am
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Bieber cums, Oprah shits & the Cockmuncher gobbles in Joe Becker’s bizarre pop culture paintings
07.13.2017
11:36 am
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‘Justin Bieber says “I love you so much I fucking cum hearts”.’
 
Joe Becker is a Canadian artist who paints big bold canvases filled with the rich detritus of pop culture. Hellbound TV hosts, masturbating pop icons, cadaverous singers, cretinous comic book superheroes, ravenous cuddly toys, and deranged cartoon characters jostle for attention. His cast of Bosch-like figures can be seen performing strange, perverse, and often comic rituals which may once have had some sacred meaning but are now just empty responses against an ever-encroaching chaos. Others are full frame portraits of lovable furry creatures who look half-bemused by the attention they’re receiving as though such vanity was solely reserved for humans.

But Becker isn’t being cynical in his use of pop culture iconography from the ‘80s and ‘90s. These are characters to which he has a “generally honest and sincere” connection.

There is a sincere affection for some of the pop characters I paint. As a kid I was a weird little shit, I once individually drew every character from He-man, I then coloured them and then cut them out and placed each one in a heart shaped box, I still have it. Some people think that my paintings are fucked up or weird but I think the stuff I did as a kid is truly bizarre.

Oddly, some people find his work offensive. In particular, his paintings aimed at the cult of celebrity—Bieber cumming love hearts, Oprah taking a shit, Cobain after his suicide. These paintings may be “cheap shots” but Becker is serious in his “loathing” for the vacuous adulation of such “celebrities.”

I highly doubt frenzied 13 or 14 year old Biebettes or dippy North American white suburban woman who worship Lord Oprah are into emerging contemporary Canadian painters, so those two demographics will likely not be exposed to my work, but if they ever were and they were enraged by my work then fuck them. I have never received hate mail yet, and if I did I would print it out and frame it. What kind of an asshole gets mad at a static, silent work of art anyway?

Becker’s powerful, complex, and darkly comic canvases have been exhibited all across the globe with a selection of respected collectors snapping up his work as soon as its on the market. Understandable, as Becker is mining a rich seam of pop culture icons to create his challenging, beautiful, and subversive art.
 
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‘Kurt Cobain.’
 
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‘Cockmuncher.’
 
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‘Oprah.’
 
More brilliantly rude paintings by Joe Becker, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.13.2017
11:36 am
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