follow us in feedly
Dead Creepy: Family portraits with deceased relatives

A000ddcrpy00A.jpg
 
Whenever a relative died when I was a child, we would gather around their body, sometimes laid out on a table, a coffin or slowly cooling under the bed sheets, and say five decades of the rosary for the repose of their soul. I attended at least half a dozen funerals before I was twelve: my father’s side of the family were descendants of fertile Irish-Scottish Catholics. The dead always looked more peaceful before they were wheeled off to a funeral home, where make-up was applied, cheeks rouged and lipstick smoothed around mouth. These applications usually gave the deceased the appearance of an eerie ventriloquist’s doll, waiting to yap their mouths and roll their eyes. Death was just a common part of life. But now the relationship between the living and the dying and the dead has become once removed, with the undertakers and funeral homes taking control of those once natural rituals that connected us all together.

In Victorian times, it was common for grieving families to be photographed with the deceased. It was a way of commemorating the dead loved one. With high child mortality rates, most of these portraits were of parents and children. The images are often moving, even heartbreaking, and there are some that may seem bizarre to modern tastes.
 
bbddcrpybb.jpg
 
ccddcrpycc.jpg
 
010ddcrpy10.jpg
 
000ddcrpy0.jpg
 
uuddcroyuu.jpg
 
vvddcrpyvv.jpg
 
More portraits of the living and the dead, after the jump….
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
The psychedelic madness of Louis Wain’s cats
10.29.2014
04:18 pm

Topics:
Animals
Art
Unorthodox

Tags:
cats
Louis Wain
Schizophrenia

YY11lswn11YY.jpg
 
Though I do prefer dogs, I cannot but help but love Louis Wain’s cats—those beautiful playful wide-eyed felines that slowly evolve (disintegrate?) into psychedelic creatures of the electric night. These paintings have inspired considerable speculation with the oft-cited suggestion that Wain’s paintings show his gradual psychosis and descent into schizophrenia.

Louis Wain was born into a working class family in Victorian England in 1860, and died just prior to the Second World War in 1939. He was born with a cleft palate and was kept off school during a large part of his childhood. When he did eventually go to school, he spent most of his time playing truant, wandering the city, people watching. However, he must have been clever for he attended the West London School of Art and became a teacher. When his father died, Louis became the chief breadwinner and decided to make his living as an illustrator for the various top line London magazines. He had his own style and wit, and produced satirical cartoons and illustrations of cats in various human situations: playing golf, singing opera, having a tea party, singing carols, eating cake. He explained the inspiration for his work:

I take a sketch-book to a restaurant, or other public place, and draw the people in their different positions as cats, getting as near to their human characteristics as possible. This gives me doubly nature, and these studies I think my best humorous work.

Yet despite his success, Wain was always in financial difficulties—some of his own making, but most by those business people around him who exploited, used and literally stole from him.

When he was thirty, his sister was committed to an insane asylum—it was the first rumble of the fate that was to befall Wain. He continued providing for his mother and sisters, but he spent long seasons in asylums caused by his psychosis and schizophrenia.

News of his circumstances were publicized by H.G. Wells, who organized the funds to move Wain into a nicer hospital with a colony of cats, along with Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald who personally intervened on Wain’s behalf.

There has been some speculation that Wain’s schizophrenia was caused by toxoplasma gondii—a parasite found in cat’s excreta. Whatever began the illness, Wain was incarcerated in various asylums and mental hospitals for years at a time. The changes to his life were reflected in his art. His paintings of cats took on a radiance and vitality never before seen: the fur sharp and colorful, the eyes brilliant, and a wired sense of unease of disaster about to unfold.

But these paintings look normal compared to the psychedelic fractals and spirals that followed. Though these are beautiful images, startling, stunning, shocking—they suggest a mind that has broken reality down to its atomic level.

Though it is believed that Louis Wain’s paintings followed a direct line towards schizophrenia, it is actually not known in which order Wain painted his pictures. Like his finances, Wain’s mental state was erratic throughout his life, which may explain the changes back and forth between cute and cuddly and abstract and psychedelic. No matter, the are beautiful, kaleidoscopic, disturbing and utterly mesmerizing.

Beginning in the late 60s, Wain’s work came into fashion again and has become sought after by collectors. In 2009 Nick Cave, a Wain enthusiast since the late 70s, organized the first showing of Wain’s work outside of England when he exhibited his work as part of the All Tomorrow’s Parties concert series in Australia. Artist Tracy Emin and musician David Tibet are also prominent collectors of Wain’s work.

For images from Louis Wain’s children’s books check here and for more cats check here.
 
AA00lswn00AA.jpg
 
101BBlswnBB101.jpg
 
101CClswnCC101.jpg
 
UU11lswn11UU.jpg
 
zz001lswn001zz.jpg
 
More of Louis Wain’s fabulous cats, after the jump…
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Sacrilicious! Our Barbie of Guadalupe meets Crucified Ken


 
The only two English words on the Facebook About page for Argentine art duo Pool & Marianela are “Lowbrow art.” Their portfolio is loaded with exquisitely detourned children’s toys, mostly Barbie and Ken dolls refashioned into Catholic icons. If you just rolled your eyes, I totally get why, but take a look at this stuff—this is no mad-at-daddy art student hack job. All the details in the garments and packaging are thoroughly considered and painstakingly well executed.
 

 

 
Unsurprisingly, the duo has sparked controversy in heavily Catholic Latin America. The works will be exhibited in Buenos Aires, starting on October 11, in a show called “Barbie, The Plastic Religion.” The pair are clearly quite keen to agitate—they’re also known for making inflatable punching bags of Argentine public figures.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Lastly, check out their St. George slaying a My Little Pony. I actually laughed aloud a little bit.
 

 
Via Latino Rebels

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Barbie doll created with average US woman’s measurements is repulsive hag
Skinhead Darby and Mohawk Ben:’ Hilariously ‘insider’ punk Barbie doll Parody from 1982

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
follow us in feedly
‘In the Orbit of Ra’: New Sun Ra collection curated by Arkestra saxophonist Marshall Allen
09.23.2014
08:08 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Unorthodox

Tags:
Sun Ra
Marshall Allen


 
Sun Ra might need little introduction to many readers of this blog, I’d expect, so I’ll keep this brief: Sun Ra was once Herman Blount from Alabama except that he was always Sun Ra from the planet Saturn. He was a jazz bandleader and visionary whose career spanned the ragtime and free jazz eras, during which he dove deep into the avant garde, forming a band (“Arkestra”) that was as much a commune as a musical group. His work touched heavily on, among many other things, African/Egyptian themes, outer space, Kabbalism, and Gnosticism. Ra’s music, lifestyle, beliefs and personality were far too esoteric for anything even remotely like mainstream acceptance to find him, but he nonetheless recorded prolifically, and brought a heavy influence to bear on psychedelia and funk. Just last year, he came to somewhat wider public attention when Lady Gaga heavily quoted his “Rocket Number 9” in her single “Venus.”

Sun Ra left us in 1993, but had he lived, 2014 would have been his 100th year. His still-living stalwart saxophonist Marshall Allen continues, at the age of 90, to lead the Arkestra, and he’s recently compiled a collection for Strut Records, spanning 25 years of Sun Ra Arkestra music, remastered from the original tapes, and it’s being touted as “the first internationally released compilation to provide an introduction to the music of Sun Ra.” It’s called In the Orbit of Ra, and the CD and digital are out this week. (Those of us who prefer vinyl apparently have to wait until October. Boo.) An admirable lid has been kept on its contents—only one remastered track is available for streaming, the late ‘50s composition “Plutonian Nights:”
 

 
New mini-documentary on Sun Ra after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
follow us in feedly
MAGMA’s cheerfully insane brand of sci-fi avant garde make them prog rock’s weirdest outliers
08.19.2014
07:59 am

Topics:
Music
Unorthodox

Tags:
prog rock
MAGMA


H.R. Giger’s cover for 1978’s Attahk album

From the Dangerous Minds archives:

French progrockers MAGMA sing their lyrics in “Kobaïan,” a made-up phonetic language based on German and Slavic languages constructed by the group’s founder, Christian Vander, after he had a “vision of humanity’s spiritual and ecological future.”

MAGMA’s albums tell the multi-part sci-fi saga of humans who have been forced to leave a dying Earth behind and settle on the planet Kobaïa. MAGMA’s unusual sound is described as “zeuhl” in Kobaïan, which means “heavenly” and Vander claims his biggest musical influence is John Coltrane at his most celestial. One can also detect some Zappa, Stravinsky and “Carmina Burana.”

The mysterious MAGMA are considered somewhat tangential members of the progressive subgenre (“avant garde” might be a bit more accurate) and have little in common with the likes of Yes, Genesis or King Crimson. Certainly it can said that they hoe their own row! Often they sound like an extremely dark heavy metal band. You can’t really compare MAGMA to anyone else, they’re just that weird. Give me MAGMA over Emerson, Lake & Palmer any day!

As on YouTuber quipped:

If anything could be more twisted and insane than Magma, it’s early Magma.

They’re even weirder than Gong and that ain’t easy!
 

 
More MAGMA after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Woman tried to poison roommates after they caught her having sex with dogs
08.15.2014
08:04 am

Topics:
Kooks
Sex
U.S.A.!!!
Unorthodox

Tags:
bestiality


If you’ve ever wondered what kind of person would…

The story goes that Ernest Hemingway once made a $10 bet that he could make readers cry with a six-word short story. Hemingway wrote:

“For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”

That story may be apocryphal, but in this case, packing a narrative into a single sentence or even a title was pretty easy. However inducing tears in the reader is unlikely to happen this time. Something else maybe, but not necessarily “sadness” per se...

Via The Raw Story:

An Albuquerque woman tried to poison her two roommates after one of them caught her having sex with a dog, police said.

One of the roommates said she found 53-year-old Shari Walters lying nude in a backyard shed with her German shepherd, Spike.

Walters admitted to having sex with both of the roommate’s German shepherds, the woman said.

A male roommate who had been dating Walters broke up with her “because she was having sex with dogs,” police said.

I really can’t say I blame ‘im!

The Gollum-esque Walters is alleged to have spiked their water with rubbing alcohol and of putting toilet bowl cleanser in the meal she had prepared for them. She also is said to have admitted that she’s been having sex with canines since the apparently not-so-tender age of 14.

Walters was charged with aggravated battery, cruelty or extreme cruelty to animals, and assault with intent to commit a violent felony. Not to mention, her photo is plastered all over the Internet today in a, uh… dogfucker kinda context. Both roommates were treated for minor injuries and poisoning.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Roman shower: How to turn an ordinary shower head into a vomiting girlfriend?
07.15.2014
08:20 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Sex
Unorthodox

Tags:
shower heads


 
Japanese blogger ARuFa wanted to spice up his bathroom because he thought it was ugly and boring. In order to “gorgeous-ify” it, he came up with the brilliant idea of the DIY lady (girlfriend?) shower head! Now this is coming from a Japanese website and I do not speak or read Japanese so I’m at the mercy of Google Translate. I *think* this is what’s going on. I mean, he does seem rather pleased with the end results, doesn’t he?

While I applaud AruFa’s creativity—you can’t say he wasn’t thinking outside the box—but this emetophile‘s…. er… “wet dream” is the most horrifying shower head I’ve ever seen! I don’t think he has many girls over to his place, what do you think?

The step-by-step visual instructions are below. You can read them here IF YOU’RE INTO THIS KIND OF THING…
 

 

 

 

 

 
See the horrifying results after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Listen to ‘The Worst Demo Tape Compilation in the World’—if you dare!
06.28.2014
04:02 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Unorthodox

Tags:
Robert Popper

Terrible music
 
We all secretly wanted a “Golden Throats” compilation for our time, and now Robert Popper of Look Around You has kindly supplied us with one.

Popper writes:
 

In the late 1980′s, my cousin gave me a cassette that instantly became an obsession of mine. It was a tape, compiled by a UK record company – and made purely for internal use – featuring the worst songs they’d ever been sent from the thousands of demo tapes they received each year.

There were no details of any of the ‘artists’, and it’s all quite mysterious, but as someone who has heard loads of terrible demo tape complilations, this one is definitely the best/worst. Get ready for the dullest rendition of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, a spooky lady singing about ‘Alfreston’ while playing the organ, and the genuinely terrifying end track, ‘All the People With the Money’. By the way, I lost the tape years ago and thought all hope was lost, until my buddy Peter Serafinowicz found it last week in a box in his office. We celebrated with a listen and a good ole sing-a-long. Hope you guys sing along too…

 
If your brain doesn’t melt by the time you get to the utterly demented last track, you’re made of sterner stuff than I am….
 

 
via reddit
 
Thank you Mark Davis!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
This spectacularly WRONG, bust-a-gut funny ‘Full House’ re-edit will have you in tears
05.07.2014
10:22 am

Topics:
Amusing
Television
Unorthodox

Tags:
Full House


 
Exactly how many episodes of Full House did YouTuber “Sourfest” have to watch in order to make this? God bless ‘em I guess ‘cause I will never see Bob Saget’s character “Danny Tanner” in the same light again. Never.

This is perhaps the single most twisted re-edit of a family friendly sitcom I’ve ever seen. Takes these meme-ish re-edits to whole new level of artistry and wrong.

Danny Tanner filming the footsies. What the hell were they thinking? Certainly not that it would be used like this, I suppose… That would have been hard to anticipate back then.

Look at how the experience affected poor DJ!
 

 
Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Welcome to Scarfolk, the most twisted English village of the 1970s
04.25.2014
09:07 am

Topics:
Amusing
Unorthodox

Tags:
Scarfolk

Scarfolk
 
Have you been to Scarfolk? If you haven’t visited, you really should. You’ll learn about the dangers that babies pose to public safety, the fortifying properties of totalitarian salads, and the basic principles of scarecrow biology, among many other useful things. It’s a place in which the two most important facets are pagan rituals and totalitarian thought control. Rabies is a very serious problem. Best of all, the entire philosophy of the place is communicated via dog-eared paperbacks, stilted pamphlets, bizarre public-information posters, and thuddingly unsubtle PSAs. 

Scarfolk
 
Scarfolk is a multi-pronged attack on British culture, it seems, but it will surely resonate anywhere public officials use the deadening power of blandness to terrorize their citizens into conformity. Scarfolk might be the most satisfying bit of sustained satire I’ve encountered since, well, The Onion. It’s so incredibly well thought out and executed that it’s very difficult to do it justice in a blog post of this type. It’s got a little Monty Python in it, some League of Gentlemen, too, and it partakes of the same general wellspring of psuedo “vintage” weirdness as Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz’s Look Around You. What makes it register so deliciously is that, since the primary medium is a trove of “found” filmed and printed detritus, it all works by the power of implication.


 
Scarfolk is a village in northwestern England that has some become stuck in the 1970s (just like poor Phil Connors in Punxsutawney) until it has become a deathly chilling simulacrum of itself. It and all of its attention-getting materials are the brainchild of a designer named Richard Littler, whose introduction to Scarfolk reads as follows:
 

Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. “Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay.” For more information please reread.

 

 
Scarfolk is approximately what you would get if you put Fernwood 2Night, The Stepford Wives, Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and say, John Hodgman’s The Areas of My Expertise into a blender. What makes the project so remarkably effective is Littler’s deep command of the peculiar tone of public life in the 1970s, as reflected in the lovingly re-created and vaguely official gibberish and deadpan layout of news reports, well-meant public safety videos, and so forth. At a glance you could mistake one for the real thing (often the printed covers have little stickers on them, just as you would find on the real-life equivalent today). Its primary form of existence is a blog masquerading as the mouthpiece of the “Scarfolk Council” that has dozens of immaculately produced Penguin paperbacks, posters, pamphlets, et al., all with the weathered look of something you might find at a yard sale or a Salvation Army. (I collect Penguin paperbacks myself, so I’m particularly fond of his dead-on renditions of those.) 
 

 
The source of all this macabre hilarity stems from some vivid memories of how scary the 1970s actually were. As Littler explained to The Independent:

I was always scared as a kid, always frightened of what I was faced with. ... You’d walk into WH Smith [a popular newsstand-type retail chain in the UK] and see horror books with people’s faces melting. Kids’ TV included things like Children of the Stones, a very odd series you just wouldn’t get today. I remember a public information film made by some train organisation in which a children’s sports day was held on train tracks and, one by one, they were killed. It was insane. ... I’m just taking it to the next logical step. ... What if people learned that it was a good idea to have your legs removed, or wash your children’s brains? I’m pushing reality into absurd horror but, because life was already absurd and terrifying, it only takes a nudge.


 
A book version of Scarfolk is due in October 2014 but I think it’ll be available in the UK only, at least at the outset. There’s so much sheer awesomeness at Scarfolk that the best approach is probably just to direct you to the blog and leave it at that. By all means, visit it and wade around in its glories until your brain cracks in two. But here are two representative video clips just in case of a rabies outbreak or something.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Page 1 of 30  1 2 3 >  Last ›