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‘All I See Are Monsters’: Amusing Polaroids of imaginary creatures in everyday surroundings
10.10.2017
09:14 am
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‘Can we eat it?’
 
We all know monsters are everywhere, don’t we? It’s not just at Halloween that monsters like to creep out from under the bed, or crawl up from the depths of that dark, dank cellar, to scare the bejesus out of people. Monsters are everywhere—but we just have to know where to look.

Artist, illustrator, and purveyor of fine goods, Martin Grubb likes to imagine monsters are all around us too. So much so, it inspired Mr. Grubb to create All I See Are Monsters, a series of fabulous Polaroid photographs of just what some of these imaginary beasts might just look like and what they might be up to.

Grubb creates his pictures at his home in Glasgow. He starts off by photographing himself with whatever props he has to hand. “I then use Photoshop,” Grubb tells Dangerous Minds, “to add monsters with the idea that monsters are all around us but go mostly unseen.”

Some of these creatures are far closer than we may like to think.

“Some people have monsters inside,” says Grubb, “these monsters can be destructive or a hindrance but maybe some can be of comfort.”

Apart from creating works of monstrous beauty, Grubb also runs an independent art boutique and gallery supporting local and worldwide artists, illustrators, and jewelry-makers called The Shop of Interest. If this tickles your fancy (and why wouldn’t it?), then you can see more of the talented Mr. Grubb’s work at Grubby Arts or visit his boutique gallery here.
 
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‘Bandmates.’
 
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‘Why can’t I be Batman?’
 
More Grubby monsters, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.10.2017
09:14 am
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Amusing vintage photos of people posing with their TV sets
07.24.2017
08:55 am
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Evolution: Fire, fireplace, radio, television, computer, smartphone.

Once upon a time, families gathered in front of the fireplace to have their photographs taken. The flickering flames, the giver of warmth, the focus of a family at rest was quickly and dramatically usurped by technology—first the wireless then television from the 1950s onward. Now kith and kin gathered together to pose in front of the flickering cathode ray. Next time some know-it-all from the last century tut-tuts your obsessive use of a smartphone or numerous hours spent clicking “like” on Facebook, just remind them that once upon a time they too did the very same when they sat and supped from the glass teat of television.

Though television has been around in one form or another since the 1920s, it wasn’t until the fifties that TV became the first choice for family entertainment. America pioneered the way, producing a golden age of dramas and serials and films. For most people, TV sets were expensive, very expensive. They were considered valuable assets, signifiers of a family’s wealth and status. To own a color TV in the 1950s was to be part of a much-hyped affluent jet set (and presumably a big Perry Como fan as his show was just about the one thing to watch in color during that decade). Up until the late 1960s color TV sets were still pretty much a rarity.

I was a wireless kid. My parents first rented a TV sometime in the late sixties-early seventies. Even then, a new TV was way too expensive for many British families to buy outright, so most people rented their TV sets from companies like Granada or Radio Rentals. “Great service you get/Renting your color set/From Granada” went one of the cheesy ads for TV rentals in 1977. TV sets came in ornate boxes sometimes with doors on the front to disguise the set as some kind of tasteful item of furniture—a drinks cabinet maybe or a redwood sideboard credenza. And don’t be fooled, most TV pictures were pitiful when compared to today’s 4K sets as TV signals were atrocious. The public spent most evenings fiddling about the TV aerial trying to find a better picture. Applying a ball of tinfoil was the sole option to improve the signal, decidedly low tech “hack” that was a common enough sight.

Yet, TV was everything. And that’s why people posed for photographs in front of their expensive, valuable, and trusted friend the electronic eye.

For the past decade or so, artist Oliver Wasow has been collecting found images on the Internet and organizing them into some kind of order. Pictures of families celebrating birthdays, or blurred images, or teen titans working out, or people holding cameras, or children holding guns, or just couples arm-in-arm or dressed for a night out. One set that particularly attracted my attention consisted of people standing beside TV sets looking proud and happy as if introducing a new family member to the camera: “Here’s our new grandchild,” or “Here’s my new husband.” These images brought back memories of how TV sets were once such very potent symbols of status. And how people once considered the TV set as being a part of the family—a companion—strange though that may seem today. Just look at the joy some of the following people show on their faces while in proximity to their little box of delights.
 
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More found photos of people posing with their TV sets, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.24.2017
08:55 am
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Vintage photographs of women posing with their pagan fertility symbols
12.23.2016
08:13 am
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Every Fall I keep my eyes peeled for the appearance of the first Christmas tree. They seem to come earlier every year. The earliest I’ve ever seen one was at the end of September last year when a bright glittering aluminum tree appeared high in a tenement window in the north of the city.

By December windows all across town are glowing bright with colored lights like so many opened windows on an Advent calendar. The earlier the tree, the more likely it is to be aluminum—or “artificial” as we call it in the UK—for obvious reasons.

My parents always had a fake tree, which was taken down from the attic during the second week of December then covered with baubles, tinsel, candy canes and lights. The usual kinda stuff. There was always a great pleasure taken in decorating the tree—a childish excitement at the fast approaching holidays.

Which brings me to these fine vintage photographs from the 1950s and 1960s of women proudly sitting or standing beside their Christmas trees—looking all happy and proud. Though these are quite wonderfully festive pictures they kinda overlook the original history of such seasonal trees as giant phallic symbols that have a pagan history going way back to ancient times.

Depending on who you read the Christmas tree became fashionable with northern Europeans around the mid-fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Estonia and Latvia still bicker over who put up the first Christmas tree—the Estonian’s claim they did in 1441—while the Latvians point out they have documentary evidence to the first decorated Christmas tree displayed in Riga in 1510.

Thereafter, the use of trees to celebrate Christmas spreads to northern Germany where the first printed reference of such festive firs appears in 1531. These trees were later decorated with cake, candles and even glass baubles.

This tradition spread to England where in 1800 Queen Charlotte the German wife of George III, “set up the first known English tree at Queen’s Lodge, Windsor, in December, 1800.” It would take until during the 1840s when—after their promotion by Prince Albert (the German husband of Queen Victoria) and through Charles Dickens’s popular festive tales—decorated Christmas trees became a seasonal “thing” in people’s houses, rather than town squares or churches. The Christmas tree was seen as a symbol of renewal and hope—which kinda takes it back to its pagan history.

Long, long before Victorians popularized the Xmas tree—the ancient Greeks considered pine trees as sacred to Attis the god of flora and Cybele the Earth goddess. The Greeks were said to decorate their trees with small silver trinkets as a symbol of rebirth and renewal—which was similar to how the ancient Egyptians viewed their palm trees, using palm leaves to decorate their homes as as “sign of resurrection.”

Then there were the Romans who associated evergreens with the return of the sun during their festivities for Saturnalia during December—a period of gift giving, feasting and human sacrifice. The Romans decorated their “trees with bits of metal and replicas of their god, Bacchus [a fertility god]. They also placed 12 candles on the tree in honor of their sun god.”

The evergreen fir tree was seen as a highly potent phallic symbol for continuing fertility during the winter solstice—symbolizing the soon approaching Spring and the birth of new life.
 
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Just waitin’ for Santa.
 
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Santa knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.
 
More festive women and their Xmas trees, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.23.2016
08:13 am
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Growing Up Rotten: Pictures of a young John Lydon

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Photographs of John Lydon from cute, tartan-clad child, via brainy school portrait, to long-haired, teenaged hippie, who was going to Hawkwind concerts and allegedly selling LSD.
 
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Via The Times, Stereogum, Fodderstompf, and Fark
 
More of young Master Lydon, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.30.2013
11:16 am
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Victorian photo booth
07.08.2011
02:09 pm
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I love these two. It’s such a sweet treat to see a Victorian era photograph with smiles and giggles like this.

(via reddit)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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07.08.2011
02:09 pm
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