Dazzling movie posters from the golden age of adult cinema
08.23.2017
10:10 am
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Motorpsycho, 1965
 
The urge to observe the sex act is probably an un-displaceable mainstay in the human animal, and the 1960s, ushering in revolutions in so many different arenas, also featured a noticeable mainstreaming of the X-rated movie. Interest in sexual subjects was brewing in the period just prior to that, for sure. In the mid-1950s Nabokov’s novel Lolita had been banned in England and France; while the U.S. authorities took no official action against the book, publishers were leery of offering it. Eventually Putnam took it on and it rapidly made the bestseller list.

Porn movies saw a somewhat similar evolution. At the start of the 1960s they were “unmentionable.” By 1970 they were a common topic of conversation among sophisticated adults, and there was even talk, which seems hopelessly quixotic today, of the existence of sex movies that would exist alongside foreign movies, documentaries, etc. as a respectable genre. By 1980 the initial impulse of curiosity had given way to a well-organized industry, and (as Boogie Nights taught us all) the advent of video threatened to do away with brick-and-mortar porn cinemas, and with them would go the amusing and/or startling X-rated poster.

Russ Meyer was obviously a dominant figure in this evolution, especially in the 1960s, and his playful obsession with large mammaries led him to direct several masterpieces of titillation, including The Immoral Mr. Teas, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Motorpsycho, and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
 

 
If you take anything from the 1950s and 1960s, whether it be TV commercials or matchbook covers or LP cover design or living room sets, it often elicits a powerful appreciation in us, partially out of reasons of nostalgia but also due to obvious aesthetic appeal. The same is true of X-rated posters, it turns out. The need to hide and yet reveal what the movie is about nudged graphic designers to get inventive with the imagery, and as a result the entire genre appears to us today to be simultaneously crass and innocent.

Reel Art Press has a marvelous volume coming out soon celebrating the graphic design of the X-rated poster from the classic age of porno, titled X-Rated: Adult Movie Posters of the 60s and 70s (edited by Tony Nourmand, designed by Graham Marsh). Featuring an introduction by Peter Doggett, author of respected tomes about the Beatles and Lou Reed, the book is jammed with pictorial marvels that are a feast for the eyes. We’ve selected a few sample posters to whet your appetite but the book has dozens more as well as helpful context for many of them.
 

The Immoral Mr. Teas, 1959
 

Eve and the Handyman, 1961
 

The Orgy at Lil’s Place, 1963
 
Many more posters after the jump…..
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.23.2017
10:10 am
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Extraordinary drawings in ballpoint and gold leaf
08.22.2017
10:00 am
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‘Funeral.’
 
With just an ordinary ballpoint pen, the kind we’ve all used to scribble down classroom notes or phone numbers for possible Friday night dates, Toronto-based artist Rebecca Yanovskaya creates exquisite, magical worlds filled with mythical beings and characters out of creepy old folktales (Bluebeard) which she then blings up with a lot of 22 karat gold leaf.

Yanovskaya has been drawing with a ballpoint pen since middle school and she finds it easier to use when bringing her imagination to life on the page. She usually starts off by sketching out her picture with a Bic Crystal on Moleskine paper. Then she fills out the background before working her way forward to the heart of the action. This allows her time to get a feel for how much light and shade the finished image will contain.

What I love about pen is that I can always jump back and forth to any area of the piece that I want to work on and not worry about smudging or messing up dark/light layers.

As for influences, Yanovskaya takes her lead from painters like the Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha, the English Neo-Classicist John William Godward, and more obviously because of his use of gold leaf, her own personal favorite the Symbolist Gustav Klimt. She also pulls in ideas from her interest in horror, fantasy, and mythology—of which Yanokovskaya has said:

Mythology to me has always been about bigger than life struggles, and a world which is better than life, more idealized. The personalities are strong, exaggerated, passionate, heroic, beautiful. These are all qualities I want to capture through my art.

Once the picture is all drawn out, Yanovskaya adds the gold leaf to create the final image—which is exquisite and utterly enchanting.

Some of Yanovskaya’s artworks are available on a selection of clothing and she has also produced illustrations for the Netflix series Shadowhunters as well as a commerative coin design for the Canadian Mint. See more of Rebecca Yanovskaya’s work here.
 
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‘Paso Doble.’
 
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‘Bluebeard’s Bride—Chapter One.’
 
See more of Rebecca Yanovskaya’s amazing art, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.22.2017
10:00 am
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Creeping death: The decadent mythological artwork of Jaroslav Panuška
08.22.2017
08:34 am
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An eerie painting by Jaroslav Panuška,1907.
 
Czechoslovakian artist Jaroslav Panuška started his art career sometime around 1887 after becoming a student at an art academy in Prague run by Julius Mařák. Mařák, a talented Czech landscape painter, ran the school which is often referred to as the “Mařák’s School,” between 1887 and 1889 while Panuška and approximately 50 other students studied under him. Mařák’s goal was to enable his students to convey their inner emotions while observing nature in its purest form in order to see its “soul.” This approach deeply resonated with Panuška and it became the artist’s calling card for his entire career.

Sometime in the early 1900’s, Panuška illustrated a book with unsettling and dark fairy-tale like imagery. He would often incorporate typical fantasy characters like dragons, giants, and witches into his drawings. During this period, Panuška also began to reveal a much more sinister side of nature where ghosts and death were omnipresent, and the tranquil ponds full of lily pads were home to monsters lurking in the muck beneath. Panuška’s paintings and other artwork are coveted by collectors, and much of his large body of work is held in private collections. However, the artist’s most prized works are the ones that were done while he was seemingly under a heady spell that compelled him to conjure up images of creatures that only existed in stories or perhaps nightmares.

A beautiful-looking book on Panuška containing many examples of his art, Jaroslav Panuška 1872-1958: A Guide to Life and Work, can be purchased here for around $50. In other interesting news concerning Panuška, in 2014 old-school Czech black metal band Master’s Hammer released a song about the artist titled “Panuška” which directly referenced the work the he did during his dark mystical period, 56 years after he drew his last breath. Images from Panuška’s spooky days as well as an audio upload of Master’s Hammer and their black metal homage to the great painter below.
 

‘Spirit of the Dead Mother’ 1900.
 

‘Baba Yaga.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.22.2017
08:34 am
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Milk and cookies: Andy Kaufman’s legendary Carnegie Hall performance, 1979
08.22.2017
07:46 am
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Kaufman wrestling Deborah Croce on the Staten Island Ferry. Photo: Bob Mantin
 
As as true of Lenny Bruce, Andy Kaufman’s most noteworthy live appearance occurred at Carnegie Hall. The date of the gig was April 26, 1979, and the show could fairly be described as the most complete summation of Kaufman’s career. He ended the evening by taken many dozens of the audience members out for milk and cookies and continued the “performance” the next day on the Staten Island Ferry, treating the random stragglers who showed up to ice cream cones.

The show was filmed and released as a VHS cassette at some point, and now we’ve got a pretty decent upload on YouTube. I won’t reveal any of the gags here—you can see those for yourself—but will supply a few observations.

The show opens with Tony Clifton singing the National Anthem (badly) and then regaling the audience with a few observations and another song until he is forcibly removed from the stage. We’ve all had two solid years of observing Donald Trump in excruciating detail; I don’t think Trump’s similarities to Tony Clifton have been emphasized enough.

The opening act is the Love Family, a cloyingly sweet family who sings “The Age of Aquarius.” Kaufman apparently encountered them at Venice Beach in L.A. The choice of opener shows the tougher side of Kaufman’s humor—it seems that the Love family members were genuinely crushed when the audience started showing its displeasure with the act. According to Gregg Sutton, a friend of Kaufman’s, “For the first time in history, the audience wanted more Clifton!” (Crushed or no, they gamely rejoined Kaufman at the end of the show for a second round of bows.)

Robin Williams, who participated in the show, captured something essential about Kaufman’s milk and cookies stunt when he called it “P.T. Barnum meets Jung”:

“People who were heavily into hardcore drugs were going, ‘Oh, this is nice!’ This wasn’t party till you puke—this was milk and cookies! It was Howdy Buddha time.”

 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.22.2017
07:46 am
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