{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for February, 2009


Gallery ghosts


Ghost Stories, an exhibition by Japanese design company Nendo at Friedman Benda, New York. The installation presents 40 of their Cabbage Chairs embedded in a sea of suspended cords that fill the gallery space creating a visual haze and forces physical participation if you want to see the chairs up close. Via Core77 when you […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {sculpture} | Comments Off


Malevolent voices that despise our freedoms

Malevolent voices that despise our freedoms | Not terrorists; the government. Philip Pullman on recent iniquities.

Posted in {noted}, {politics} | 5 comments »


Butterfly women

The Flapper by Frank X Leyendecker, Life magazine (1922). When I posted this splendid cover last July I said that I ought to make a post of Butterfly Women, so here is one. Don’t expect this to be at all comprehensive, women with butterfly wings are as legion as mermaids, these are merely a couple […]

Posted in {art}, {fashion}, {film}, {illustrators}, {miscellaneous}, {painting} | 4 comments »


Franciszek Starowieyski, 1930–2009


Not only Philip José Farmer but Polish poster artist Franciszek Starowieyski also died this week, something I probably wouldn’t have known had it not been for the indefatigable Jahsonic. I mentioned Starowieyski’s stunning work earlier this month since he produced the poster for Hour-Glass Sanatorium by Wojciech Has. There’s a further link to Bruno Schulz […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {film}, {painting} | 3 comments »


Philip José Farmer, 1918–2009

top left: artist unknown (1969); top right: Patrick Woodroffe (1975) bottom left: Peter Elson (1988); bottom right: artist unknown (1995) The great science fiction writer Philip José Farmer died today. I wrote about his more excessive works back in August 2007 and that post is as good an obituary as I could offer now. A […]

Posted in {books}, {pulp}, {science fiction} | 4 comments »


Why I judge albums by their covers

Why I judge albums by their covers | A note to JJ: Pearls Before Swine had Bruegel on one of their covers in 1968.

Posted in {art}, {design}, {music}, {noted}, {painting} | Comments Off


The art of Paul Richmond


Forgive Me Father For I Know Not. Paul Richmond explores the development of his sexuality in a fascinating series of paintings which adeptly blend figurative and abstract elements. Some of these resemble painted Photoshop collages which may well be how they started out. If so he’s one of the first painters I’ve come across who […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {painting} | 2 comments »


Steampunk framed


Dana Mattocks wrote to me a month or so ago asking if he could have a print of my Steampunk picture to go in a frame on the wall beside his jaw-dropping Steampunk Frankenstein case-mod. I immediately agreed after seeing his photos. A single picture doesn’t do justice to the amount of work and detailing […]

Posted in {film}, {horror}, {science fiction}, {technology}, {work} | Comments Off


The exile’s library

The exile’s library | Alberto Manguel on the history of the Wandering Jew. Great essay.

Posted in {books}, {noted} | Comments Off


Blackout day

William Burroughs’ Control Virus is alive and well and ready to flourish in New Zealand on February 28 where new copyright laws will force ISPs to take down material as a result of accusation only, no proof required. 16,000 people have signed a petition against this at the Creative Freedom Foundation site. Update: Internet copyright […]

Posted in {miscellaneous}, {politics} | Comments Off


Meet the new freedom fighters

Meet the new freedom fighters | “A coalition from left and right determined to uphold our hard-won civil liberties and rights.”

Posted in {noted}, {politics} | Comments Off


Designing Booklife


I created a cover design recently for Jeff VanderMeer‘s new novel, Finch, and shortly after completing that Jeff asked if I could put together some cover ideas for his forthcoming writer’s guide, Booklife, which Tachyon will be publishing later this year. Jeff is known as a fantasy writer but this book was intended to have […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {technology}, {typography}, {work} | 24 comments »


A design for life

A design for life | Jon Savage on the history of the Smiley symbol: Watchmen, Acid House and beyond.

Posted in {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {noted} | Comments Off


Brian Eno: Imaginary Landscapes


From Eonism back to Eno with Imaginary Landscapes, a 40-minute documentary from 1989, directed by Duncan Ward and Gabriella Cardazzo. As usual it’s good to see BE discussing his ideas about music and art although I’d have preferred less of the atmosphere shots and more talk. The film is available to view in a streaming […]

Posted in {art}, {electronica}, {music} | Comments Off


Brian Eno: The well of freedom is running dry

Brian Eno: The well of freedom is running dry | Your shiny New Labour police state awaits.

Posted in {noted}, {politics} | Comments Off


Eonism and Eonnagata


The Chevalier d’Eon wins a fencing bout. I’ve known of the cross-dressing Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Thimothée d’Eon de Beaumont—or the Chevalier d’Eon (1728–1810) to give him his title—for some time thanks to a typically witty and informative entry by Philip Core in Camp: The Lie that Tells the Truth (1984). The nobleman rubs shoulders there with the equally […]

Posted in {animation}, {books}, {dance}, {fashion}, {television}, {theatre} | 6 comments »


The name’s d’Eon. Chevalier d’Eon

The name’s d’Eon. Chevalier d’Eon | “He was an 18th-century spy who loved to cross-dress and swordfight.”

Posted in {dance}, {miscellaneous}, {noted} | 1 comment »




An automated performance of György Ligeti’s Poème symphonique for 100 metronomes at Ubuweb. Since its world premiere in the Netherlands in 1963, Poème symphonique for 100 metronomes has been very rarely performed in public. The complicated scenographic staging, the detailed preparation by hand, the need for around ten technicians to activate more or less simultaneously […]

Posted in {art}, {music}, {sculpture}, {surrealism} | 1 comment »


Font haiku


Nothing doing here for the past twenty-four hours due to things collapsing at the webhost end. Everything seems stable now (fingers crossed). In future when this happens check my Twitter feed for reports. So then… The above is the better of my two entries for a Valentine’s day competition on the Extensis blog which required […]

Posted in {miscellaneous}, {typography}, {work} | 3 comments »


The slow death of modernism


“Soon to be picturesque ruins” was a slogan the Situationists used to enjoy posting on Parisian buildings but their rebuke to architectural hubris can be applied anywhere. St Peter’s College seminary building at Cardross near Glasgow was an example of post-Le Corbusier concrete construction which drew praise for its clean modernity in the 1960s. Today […]

Posted in {architecture}, {photography} | 1 comment »




Tweet addicts may like to know that I’m now on Twitter.

Posted in {miscellaneous} | 1 comment »


The art of Hideki Koh


Boys in kimonos and shirtless youth are Hideki Koh’s thing and you can see more of these at his site or at Mayumi International. As is all too common, most of the examples shown are painfully small although he has a page of wallpapers. A tip for artists everywhere: we don’t want to steal your […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {painting} | 2 comments »


The biter bit


For the Love of Disruptive Strategies and Utopian Visions in Contemporary Art and Culture No.2 by James Cauty. I usually wouldn’t bother writing about the over-rated and over-valued Damien Hirst—I’ll leave that to heavyweights such as Robert Hughes—but one story this week toasted the cockles of my black and cynical heart. Before we get to […]

Posted in {art}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »


Blood and gutsiness

Blood and gutsiness | The horror films of Amicus.

Posted in {film}, {horror}, {noted}, {pulp} | Comments Off


Three today


Three Spheres II (1946) by MC Escher. Celebrating the third { feuilleton } anniversary and post number 1,438. It’s become customary now to list the most popular posts of the past year so here we go again: • The Underwater Sculpture Gallery. This has been surprisingly popular for several months now, despite pictures of the […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {eye candy}, {gay}, {miscellaneous}, {sculpture} | 3 comments »


Darwin at 200


Man is But a Worm by Edward Linley Sambourne (1882). Happy birthday Charles Darwin. The reaction to Darwin’s work from Punch and other journals was typical. While his studies remain controversial among those who believe there were dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark, his life and work are now celebrated on the Bank of England’s Ten Pound […]

Posted in {design}, {illustrators}, {religion}, {science} | Comments Off


Hawk things


The Barney Bubbles revival continues with news of Space Ritual 09, a concert dedicated to BB by ex-Hawkwind members at the Roundhouse, London on March 8th. The headline band is a new version of Hawklords, notably sans Dave Brock who controls the Hawkwind name and hasn’t been too happy recently with Nik Turner’s revisionist activities. […]

Posted in {design}, {music} | 5 comments »


New things for February


More new work appeared recently although as usual this was something I completed a while ago. Einstein’s Getaway is a short album by Stranger Son of WB who play a kind of over-amped muscular harangue which you might call Post Rock if that wasn’t a very tired term by now. Mr Simon Reyonolds should give […]

Posted in {design}, {music}, {technology}, {wordpress}, {work} | Comments Off


The Hour-Glass Sanatorium by Wojciech Has


The original Polish poster by the incredible Franciszek Starowieyski. The shrinking pool of films still unavailable on DVD contracted by at least one title recently with the surprise appearance in the UK of The Hour-Glass Sanatorium (Sanatorium pod klepsydra; 1973) from the distinctively-named Mr Bongo Films. I’ve been waiting to see this for at least […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {film} | 7 comments »


The interview: Iain Sinclair

The interview: Iain Sinclair | Beating the bounds of Hackney.

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {noted} | Comments Off


The art of Cody Furguson


The Artist’s Chair. Cody Furguson’s work is a lot more painterly than that of many other gay artists and I like the way some of his recent pictures have backgrounds with a texture of flickering gold and abstract motifs reminiscent of Gustav Klimt. Makes me wonder why no one has tried updating the Klimt style, […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {painting} | 6 comments »


China Monumentis by Athanasius Kircher


From the title pages. All of Kircher’s illustrations fascinate for their detail and often bizarre or startling images. The high quality scans of his 1667 opus, China Monumentis, at VTS don’t disappoint, especially in the close-ups. Chinese mythology. Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The etching and engraving archive

Posted in {black and white}, {books} | Comments Off


Danger! High-radiation arthouse!

Danger! High-radiation arthouse! | Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker.

Posted in {film}, {noted} | Comments Off


Lux Interior, 1946–2009


Lux on stage in Glasgow, 1990. Lux Interior, co-founder of the Cramps and the group’s singer, lyricist, cultural archaeologist and a superb stage performer. Also one of the few people who could successfully enthuse about the delights of female sexuality while wearing nothing more than a pair of high heels and a black G-string. That […]

Posted in {music} | 3 comments »


Thursday Afternoon by Brian Eno


Cover painting by Tom Phillips, design by Russell Mills. A post for a Thursday. Brian Eno’s ambient music receives a lot of playing time here, especially Music for Airports, On Land, The Shutov Assembly and, when something really minimal is required, Neroli. But it’s Thursday Afternoon that receives the most attention. Recorded at the request […]

Posted in {art}, {electronica}, {music}, {television} | 4 comments »


Art Nouveau illustration


The cover picture of yesterday’s book purchase complements the month, being a woodcut by Leopold Stolba entitled February from a Ver Sacrum calendar for 1903. The book is Art Nouveau: Posters and Designs (1971), a collection edited by Andrew Melvin for the Academy Art Editions series and the book includes some covers for Jugend magazine […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {illustrators}, {magazines} | 6 comments »


Colin Corbett’s decorated jockstraps


I missed posting something about Strapped: The Art of the Decorated Jockstrap while the exhibition was running last month at the London College of Communications but better late than never with this. Designer Colin Corbett’s playful additions to the humble jockstrap hit so many spots of obsession it’s like he read my mind: black clothes, […]

Posted in {design}, {eye candy}, {fashion}, {gay} | 5 comments »


Jugend Magazine


Two of several cover illustrations by Hans Christiansen (1866–1945) for 1898 issues of Jugend magazine. I waited a long time for someone to put together a site devoted to Jugend and good as this one is I can’t help but wish it was as thorough as the Simplicissimus site. Jugend is a regular fixture in […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {illustrators}, {magazines} | Comments Off


The art of Ryan Martin


To Live and Die in LA. I really like Ryan Martin’s beautiful paintings of fey youths in vibrant, vaguely surreal scenarios. Those familiar with the work of Leonardo da Vinci may recognise Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want as being based on The Lady with an Ermine (1490). There isn’t a great […]

Posted in {art}, {fantasy}, {painting} | 1 comment »







“feed your head”