The Orchid Garden: Diabolical & supernatural imagery from history’s very first fantasy magazine
08.17.2017
12:20 pm
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For the past decade, Thomas Negovan, the deeply erudite proprietor of the visionary Century Guild Museum of Art in Los Angeles has been publishing beautiful art books, many of them funded via a smart and efficient use of Kickstarter. He’s one of the most successful and consistent publishers on the platform and I can personally bear witness that his deluxe volumes on artists like Clive Barker, Gail Potocki, David Mack and Michael Hussar are truly exquisite books indeed. He’s also publishing limited edition lithographs reprinting famous posters from the Symbolist movement. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Los Angeles, you definitely need to check out his space, but if not, he’s got an active online store as well.

Negovan’s newest project The Orchid Garden: Diabolical Fantasia collects images from The Orchid Garden, the very first fantasy magazine in history, preceding even Weird Tales by about four years. As you might expect from Germans during the era of the Weimar Republic, the publican was filled with sex and murder by way of Expressionist linework. Freaky flowers, gigantic insects, impossible creatures and Lovecraftian visions, The Orchid Garden had all that and more:

Der Orchideengarten was published after the First World War when German art was at its height of decadence and debauchery, the magazine included a wide selection of new and reprinted stories by both German-language and foreign writers ranging from suspense and terror to crime and the eerily-erotic. 

While the literary content is historically significant, many of the stories have been reprinted in multiple places across the last century; we have focused our attention on what has gone undocumented: the incredible artworks that illustrated these stories.

The artworks range from peculiar medieval etchings to occult woodblocks to expressionist visions—all balancing the romantic and the gothic with hyper-elegant sophistication. 

Der Orchideengarten gets mentioned frequently on blogs, at fantasy conventions, and at certain full-moon cauldron gatherings, but the same low-resolution images get shared over and over again.  This book is an opportunity to explore the 1919 publication in depth, with high resolution scans made from a pristine collection!

There are also limited edition letterpress prints available.

Below, some of the images from The Orchid Garden that will be seen in the new book:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.17.2017
12:20 pm
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Yep! At long last there’s a Flying Spaghetti Monster colander!
08.17.2017
11:10 am
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Perfect headwear for your next driver’s license photo, this is the Flying Spaghetti Monster Colander designed by Lior Rokah Kor. The colander is available through Ototo for only $18. The Flying Spaghetti Monster Colander is on preorder and will be available with a September 6, 2017 release.

Since it’s plastic, I’m going to assume that it might not be dishwasher safe. 


 
Some examples of Pastafarians wearing colanders in their driver’s license photos:


 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.17.2017
11:10 am
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Beautiful hand-colored photographs of Japanese women in the late 19th-century
08.17.2017
10:42 am
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‘Seated Woman.’
 
Kusakabe Kimbei (1841-1934) was a Japanese photographer who learned his trade as an assistant to Felice Beato, the pioneering photojournalist who came to Japan to document its people and their culture. Japan had just been through a civil war that led to the restoration of imperial rule. The country had also been forced—under the shadow of U.S. Navy battleships—to open trading routes with America. This new trade brought technology, tourism, and for some, the opportunity to turn imposition to advantage. And that’s what Kimbei did.

After learning all that he could from Beato, Kimbei established his own photographic studio in Yokohama in 1881. Kimbei had a natural talent for art and had spent part of his time coloring Beato’s photographs. Hand painting photographs was a way of redefining the medium and adding “an artistic Japanese intervention to Western technology.”

Once he established his studio, Kimbei plied his trade producing souvenir photographs of Japanese culture—samurais, geishas, tea drinking, musicians, everyday workers. These photographs maintained Japanese traditions at a time of great social, political, and cultural change when it seemed the very fabric of the country was being irredeemably changed. Among the many pictures Kimbei produced was a large set of portraits of Japanese women and their daily lives. But there’s an interesting thing going on in these photographs. What at first appears to be a straightforward representation is often an idealized or Western view of Oriental life intended for foreign consumption. Yet, at the same time, Kimbei transcends this view by use of color and composition.

This balancing between Japanese and Western media parallels national tensions concerning the degree that Japan should adopt foreign tools and technology, contrasted with a desire to preserve indigenous traditions and practices.

Kimbei became one of the most famous and respected Japanese photographers of his era, and his work gives a rare insight into Japan of the late 19th-century.
 
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‘Flower Kept Alive by Putting in Water.’
 
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‘Girls Carrying Paper Lantern in Winter Evening.’
 
See more of Kimbei’s work, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.17.2017
10:42 am
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Super ‘wide-angle’ Italian lobby cards for ‘Easy Rider’
08.17.2017
09:26 am
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I haven’t posted much about lobby cards on Dangerous Minds. They can be cool but basically it takes a lot to impress me. Most lobby cards are just random stills from the movie with some text underneath (or in the corner). It’s not often that someone in the process goes the extra mile to make them really interesting.

For some reason the Italian lobby cards that were produced for Dennis Hopper’s 1969 directorial debut Easy Rider are little short of breathtaking. Apparently the movie was called Easy Rider: Libertà e Paura (Liberty and Fear) there, and a fair bit of artistic ingenuity and creativity went into these excellent images that are in fact, strikingly, even wider than the movie’s aspect ratio of 1.85:1. They aren’t merely stills but instead are conceptual collages that create fascinating and wholly imagined tableaux that never actually appear in the movie at all. They’re overstuffed and provocative and full of life and all I can say is “Bravo!” (or “Brava!”) to whatever individual or group of individuals was responsible for them.

In case you didn’t know, there’s only a tiny handful of movies that can be said to have kicked off the bracing, vital American cinema of the 1970s, and Easy Rider‘s on the short list for sure. Among its other virtues, the movie brought into mainstream cinema frank content about drug use.

But forget all of that and take in these marvelous bits of advertising which can be appreciated by all who’ve seen the film, and even those who have not.
 

 

 
See the rest after the jump…...

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.17.2017
09:26 am
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