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Aurora: Time-traveling Nazis & extradimensional cryptids in shocking tale of the weird wild west…
10.17.2017
06:33 am
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Poster by Dave McKean
 
When you say “the first UFO crash in American history” most people think of Roswell, but the honor actually goes to Aurora, Texas. In 1897.  I was excited to hear that my art dealer/book publisher friend Thomas Negovan entered the world of movie-making—he’s a man of extraordinarily great taste and an expert in Symbolist art (among many other things)—took the 19th century newspaper reports and wrapped them in a mind-bending tale of time-traveling Nazis and extradimensional cryptids in the weird wild west. It was even shot in an actual ghost town.

His film debut pays homage to science fiction and horror films of the 1950s and harnesses a lot of artistic talent: the release poster was designed by graphic novel legend Dave McKean (The Sandman, Arkham Asylum), the Nazi space suit designs are by fantasy painter Brom, with the creature concepts done by famed painter Gail Potocki. The soundtrack featuring thereminist Armen Ra and ex-Dresden Dolls and Nine Inch Nails drummer Brian Viglione will be released on glow-in-the-dark vinyl). The creature was appropriately voiced by none other than the very extradimensional Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, creating an alien language utilizing the William Burroughs/Brion Gysin cut-up technique. 
 

Creature designed by Gail Potocki.
 
The project features great art direction and a unique vision. It comes off as if Jodorowsky had directed an episode of The Twilight Zone.
 

Nazi space suit designs by Brom
 
Head to aurorafilm.info to watch the movie trailer and sign up for updates.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.17.2017
06:33 am
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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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Sex, drugs and terrible things: Lurid and decadent poster art from the bad old days
06.07.2016
03:16 pm
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A Socialist “Murder of Crows” poster uses the horrors of war for its political agenda.

Thomas Negovan, the gallerist behind the quirky Los Angeles-based Century Guild specializes in Art Nouveau and the Symbolist movement. He’s an expert at tracking down weird and wonderful things and now he’s offering new “Patronage Prints” struck from rare images from his archives. The prints are produced in small editions and prices start under $50. The idea is to support the research and also make it so that affordable versions of what would otherwise be ungodly expensive can be appreciated without spending your life savings. (And if you want to do that, no problem, he can sell you the originals.)

The originals of these posters are excruciatingly rare works on paper; in some cases, the ones Century Guild have exist in quantities fewer than five and they’re primarily in museums.  They’re true “underground” modern art. When they were created, they were meant to be destroyed, not kept, but their designs and sensibilities permeated the underground art culture and informed works that blossomed decades—or a century—later. Their common thread is that they were once trash, but we recognize them today as incredibly modern treasures—and the reason is because of that underground influence.

They’re printed on 11” x 14” archival paper. Order from Century Guild.


Decadent Weimar-era icon Anita Berber seductively reveals her heroin injection marks in a 1919 film titled ‘Prostitution,’ its racy subject matter disguised under the auspices of being a “social hygiene film.”
 

A giant poster celebrating a 1907 novel studying the life—and death—of Nostradamus.
 

White Slavery was a hot button in popular culture, capitalized upon in this 1927 “grand adventure” film by legendary political illustrator Mihaly Biró.
 
More mayhem after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Richard Metzger
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06.07.2016
03:16 pm
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By Popular Demand: Intimate Thomas Negovan performance in Los Angeles
01.23.2012
07:07 pm
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Chicago-based singer/composer Thomas Negovan has recorded the first new songs on an Edison wax cylinder since the 1920s as part of an ambitious art and music project cheekily titled By Popular Demand:

While a number of other musical acts have toyed with anachronistic ideas and themes, this record may be the first to truly act as a time machine to the early days of recorded music. Thomas Negovan’s debut solo album By Popular Demand features 8 original songs recorded using the most archaic of techniques: the wax cylinder. By stripping the music-making process of the gluttonously infinite possibilities of the digital age, By Popular Demand relied on the intimacy of the singer, his instruments, and the wax cylinder recorder. This meant no overdubs, no equalization, no editing, and most notable of all: NO ELECTRICITY. Using the most sophisticated recording techniques of 1911, By Popular Demand by name possesses a quality that is retro enough to be charming and ridiculous enough to be entertaining.

The album was recorded in two grueling one day sessions, requiring Negovan to use the sheer power of his voice and 12-string guitar to move a small sapphire needle across wax cylinders. By utilizing the bygone artistry of wax cylinder recording popularized at the turn of the century by Thomas Edison, Negovan’s decision to bypass modern digital method makes for a sound that is undeniably haunting and organic.

The record itself comes in three versions with limited pressings. The retail version features marbled black and translucent red vinyl housed in a sleeve overlaid with work by colloidial photographer Greg Martin. The other two are deluxe versions, pressed in both black lacquered and red translucent vinyl, with hand silkscreened sleeves adorned in artwork by Cursed Pirate Girl creator Jeremy A. Bastian.

By Popular Demand features the debut single “The Divine Eye,” to be released on wax cylinder in a limited edition of 50. The single is a first of its kind since 1924: recorded AND released on wax cylinder.

Negovan is performing in Los Angeles on January 25th at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery to celebrate the release of By Popular Demand. He explains how the recording was accomplished and you can see one of the tracks being recorded, in the video below:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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01.23.2012
07:07 pm
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HÄXAN: Satan and the women who love him


Above, Dean Karr’s “Prague Twins”
 
Ack! I missed out on posting about the opening of this incredible looking art show currently hanging in the Windy City, but it’s still up for a few more days should you live or find yourself in Chicago this week:

Century Guild invites you to investigate the dark and sensual wilderness of two of history’s most vilified figures: THE WITCH and her dark master, SATAN.  “Grand Guignol II: HÄXAN – Satan + The Women who love Him” explores not only turn-of-the-century artists’ fascination with these embodiments of evil, but also brings together a roster of acclaimed contemporary artists who’ve rendered their dark visions for a one night only special exhibition.  This event marks the one-year anniversary of Century Guild’s showroom, which opened its doors in Chicago’s industrial Kinzie District last October for the beyond capacity show, “Grand Guignol: An Exhibition Celebrating the Legendary Parisian Theater of Terror.”

Artworks include original historical posters from the French theater of terror Le Théâtre du Grand Guignol, antique works on paper by Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Mucha, a selection of 19th century Devil imagery, and modern contributions from contemporary painters Dave McKean (cover illustrator of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman), Michael Hussar, Gail Potocki, and Chris Mars; photographers Dean Karr (video director for Marilyn Manson), Austin Young, and Steve Diet Goedde; Italian poster art collective Malleus, and more.

You can email Century Guild curator Thomas Negovan for a private appointment to see “Grand Guignol II: HÄXAN – Satan + The Women who love Him”

Below, Dangerous Minds pal Austin Young’s fab portrait of infernal opera diva, Diamanda Galas:
 

 
“Unkept and Whispered,” a triptych by the extremely talented Gail Potocki, below:
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.02.2011
01:09 pm
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Michael Zulli: The Fracture of the Universal Boy

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Dangerous Minds friends Century Guild announce the release of “The Fracture of the Universal Boy,” a new graphic novel by Michael Zulli, years in the making. Zulli was a regular artist on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic and is well-known to the 4-color literati. Century Guild proprieter Thomas Negovan blogs about the new book here:

Speaking of focus, the kind of focus that makes electrons shudder, imagine being at the top of your game for decades.  Say, being one of the go-to artists on something as seminal and powerful as Neil Gaiman?

Posted by Jason Louv
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11.02.2009
02:40 pm
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Voluptuaries and Vivisections Art Show: A Celebration of Sex, Murder, and Anarchy
08.11.2009
04:04 pm
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Voluptuaries and Vivisections: A Celebration of Sex, Murder, and Anarchy curated by Thomas Negovan and Century Guild. A selection of rare 19th and 20th Century Symbolist work. Decadence, dandyism, sex, and murder: this work provides windows into the darkest corners of human compulsion. La Luz de Jesus invites you to be a part of an unprecedented show that explores the taboos that have titillated and tormented since the turn of the century. Masterpieces of lithographed poster art from 1880-1940 illustrating subjects ranging from seminal S&M literature to STD warnings to serial killers will be shown.

Opening night party, Friday August 14, 8-11 pm at La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.11.2009
04:04 pm
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