{ feuilleton }


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

Archive for April, 2009


Just who was the young, arrogant and confused man to whom Stephen Fry recently felt compelled to write a long and heartfelt letter? Himself, 35 years ago

Just who was the young, arrogant and confused man to whom Stephen Fry recently felt compelled to write a long and heartfelt letter? Himself, 35 years ago

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Gandharva by Beaver & Krause


I mentioned Wilfried Sätty’s collage work last week and this album sports one of his few cover designs. A cult object for several reasons, not least Sätty’s involvement. The title lettering was by fellow psychedelic artist David Singer who I had the good fortune to meet in California in 2005 whilst researching Sätty’s career. That […]

Posted in {art}, {collage}, {design}, {electronica}, {illustrators}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 3 comments »


Penguin science fiction


The Drought, 1968; design by Richard Hollis, photography by Dr. J Comroe. James Pardey contacted me earlier this week announcing his site devoted to Penguin Books’ science fiction covers. I posted some of my own dishevelled copies a while back and this news gives me an excuse to throw up another Ballard cover. Pardey’s site […]

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


The art of Anthony Goicolea


Premature (2003). It’s difficult to avoid the word “dreamlike” when looking at Anthony Goicolea‘s carefully-staged tableaux, all of which use the artist himself as their subject, redressed and multiplied by Photoshop into an army of clones. The artist-as-model isn’t a new thing—Cindy Sherman has been doing this for years—but the possibilities of digital manipulation still […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {photography} | 3 comments »


The cosmic clock with Ballard at its core

The cosmic clock with Ballard at its core | JGB, Tacita Dean and Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty.

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Psychedelic Life


left: “Hippies in a psychedelic coffee shop“, San Francisco, 1967; right: “Pair of long-haired Londoners in a psychedelic corner of the Beatles’ Apple boutique“, London, 1968. A few of the photos which turn up when searching for pictures of the psychedelic era at Google’s LIFE archives.

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Ropetackle Golden Ale


The last of the current round of new work updates is a beer label design for the Adur Brewery. The company specialises in bespoke brews and so commissions labels for each new ale. This one will be sold exclusively at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. If anyone sees a bottle in the […]

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Duke Elric: A cross between Conan and Camus

Duke Elric: A cross between Conan and Camus | Moorcock’s latest anthology reviewed.

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Das Haus zur letzten Latern


From HP Lovecraft to another writer of weird fiction, Gustav Meyrink. Das Haus zur letzten Latern is a tribute to Meyrink by Silence & Strength and the package I designed late last year for Horus CyclicDaemon has just been released. I’ve mentioned before that Horus make a particular effort with all their CD productions, choosing […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {work} | 4 comments »


Nyarlathotep: the Crawling Chaos


Unveiling another new piece of work, this is a T-shirt design for metal band Cyaegha whose Steps of Descent album I illustrated and designed last year. They asked for something based on HP Lovecraft’s god Nyarlathotep so I thought I’d take the opportunity to rework from scratch the version of this I created in 1999 […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {surrealism}, {work} | 9 comments »


Jack Cardiff, 1914–2009


Robert Helpmann, Moira Shearer and Léonide Massine; The Red Shoes (1948). Jack Cardiff, who died this week, was one of the great cinematographers from the postwar era, a period when British cinema was raised for a time to world-class level. His three films for the Archers, aka Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, are masterpieces of […]

Posted in {dance}, {film} | 2 comments »


Matrix III by John Whitney


Another great piece of abstract cinema by John Whitney. The soundtrack is an extract from Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band by Terry Riley. Previously on { feuilleton } • Symphonie Diagonale by Viking Eggeling • Mary Ellen Bute: Films 1934–1957 • Norman McLaren • John Whitney’s Catalog • Arabesque by John Whitney • Moonlight […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film}, {music} | 2 comments »


Ballard and the painters


Jours de Lenteur (1937) by Yves Tanguy. Behind it, the ark of his covenant, stood two photographs in a hinged blackwood frame. On the left was a snapshot of himself at the age of four, sitting on a lawn between his parents before their divorce. On the right, exorcizing this memory, was a faded reproduction […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {surrealism}, {symbolists} | 10 comments »


60 Years of Thames & Hudson

60 Years of Thames & Hudson | And still a great publisher.

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JG Ballard, 1930–2009


Panther Books paperback edition, 1968; cover painting: The Eye of Silence by Max Ernst. If I can’t remember when I first encountered JG Ballard’s work, it’s not because I was reading him at a very early age, more that a childhood enthusiasm for science fiction made his books as omnipresent in my early life as […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {borges}, {burroughs}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {surrealism} | 13 comments »


Naked Lunch is still fresh

Naked Lunch is still fresh | William Burroughs’ notorious classic, fifty years on.

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The art of Philip Shadbolt


Lila. I’d intended to feature Philip Shadbolt’s paintings earlier but his site was offline last time I looked. The hiatus was a temporary one which means that the beautiful men, beatific gods and kaleidoscopic mandalas of his Earth and Spirit galleries are available for viewing again. One of these paintings is very aptly used as […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {music}, {painting} | 1 comment »


Younger crowd digging vinyl’s sound

Younger crowd digging vinyl’s sound | Snap, crackle and pop.

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New things for April III


The results of the Figment album art competition have now been posted and you can see my choice of the winner on the left here. You can see the rest of the winners and read my comments on the Figment site. The winning design reminded me of the famous cover for the first King Crimson […]

Posted in {design}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 2 comments »


Blood, guts and bullets

Blood, guts and bullets | Alex Cox on death scenes in Spaghetti Westerns.

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Yellow Submarine comic books


By the time Yellow Submarine appeared on TV in the early Seventies I was already a keen viewer of anything showing the groovier side of the late Sixties. What I recall of that decade is resolutely unspectacular—I was only 7 in 1969, after all—but Swinging London as seen in the lighter films of the period, […]

Posted in {comics}, {film}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 2 comments »


New things for April II


Another work-related update. This HP Lovecraft collection is published by Barnes & Noble next month and features my colour rendering of the rising monstrosity on its cover. Nice to have something decorating an actual Lovecraft book, the second time this has happened (first time was for a French volume). B&N also sell my own book, […]

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New things for April


I drew attention yesterday to the abraded look of the Taking Woodstock poster and mentioned a recent book design of mine which used a similar effect. This is that cover, created for a collection of Joe R Lansdale’s horror novels coming soon from Underland Press. Lansdale is known mainly for being the writer of the […]

Posted in {books}, {comics}, {design}, {horror}, {music}, {work} | 2 comments »


Taking Woodstock


I mentioned Ang Lee’s forthcoming film, Taking Woodstock, last week and this poster by Mojo makes a decent fist of capturing some of the West Coast psychedelic style. I thought at first that the rainbow hues were garish in the wrong way, the San Francisco poster artists used bold colours but limited their palette since […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {design}, {film}, {gay}, {psychedelia} | 3 comments »


A conversation with Rick Veitch, with an introduction by Alan Moore

A conversation with Rick Veitch, with an introduction by Alan Moore | An exclusive interview/feature at Arthur.

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I haven’t been using Twitter for very long and until today hadn’t seen the way it can spur people to action with incredible speed. Among my circle of people it was Neil Gaiman who set things rolling with a link to this post by author Mark R Probst which describes how Amazon.com have been quietly […]

Posted in {books}, {burroughs}, {gay}, {politics} | 5 comments »


Naked furniture


Taking a break from the psychedelic overload today with a return to (what else?) black and white photographs of naked men. The subjects this time are from Mobilario Humano, fanciful suggestions for furniture designs by David Blázquez which use the photographer himself as the subject, collaged into a series of pliable clones. Allen Jones produced […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {kubrick}, {photography}, {sculpture} | 4 comments »


Psychedelic vehicles


Further: the second version of Ken Kesey’s Merry Prankster bus. The word psychedelic, like surreal before it, slipped from its original meaning through appropriation. Humphrey Osmond’s neologism was first coined in drug-related correspondence with Aldous Huxley in 1957 and was specifically intended to describe the “mind-manifesting” quality of the hallucinogenic drug experience. The drug-inspired art […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 11 comments »


The Strawberry Alarm Clock


I’m on a total psychedelia groove at the moment—again—so expect more posts like this. The iTunes playlist is stuck in 1965–69 and doesn’t exclude moments of kitsch psych such as Incense and Peppermints by the Strawberry Alarm Clock, their debut single and a big hit from 1967. Thoroughly infectious and redolent enough of the era […]

Posted in {design}, {film}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 4 comments »


Paula Nadelstern’s kaleidoscope quilts


Kaleidoscopic XXXIII: Shards (2008). More kaleidoscopes, the sewn variety this time, from New York quilt maker Paula Nadelstern. Amazing work, especially in the detailed views. An exhibition, Kaleidoscope Quilts: The art of Paula Nadelstern, opens at the American Folk Art Museum, NYC, on April 21st. Via DO. Previously on { feuilleton } • Deluxe kaleidoscopes […]

Posted in {art}, {design} | 2 comments »


Top 10 grimoires

Top 10 grimoires | The Necronomicon at #9. Hail Yog-Sothoth!

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Versum – Fluor by Tarik Barri


Regular readers will know I’ve enthused before over the electronica of Robert Henke, aka Monolake. The Monolake site recently resumed its monthly free downloads and the offering for this month is a 9-minute piece of abstract video by Dutch artist Tarik Barri. Fascinatingly immersive, this is like a 360º view of the Star Gate from […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {electronica}, {film}, {music} | 3 comments »


Arthur Tress’s Hermaphrodite


Hermaphrodite behind Venus and Mercury (1973). We had Austin Spare and absinthe yesterday. Looking at some of Arthur Tress‘s photographs today I was reminded me of one of Spare’s hermaphrodite studies (below). The photo is from a series, Theater of the Mind, which Tress created during the 1970s. • Arthur Tress at GLBTQ Gynander: Mutation […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {occult}, {photography}, {surrealism} | 3 comments »


Austin Spare absinthe


An Austin Spare pastel (?), Astral Body and Ghost, from the collection of Cyclobe‘s Ossian Brown adorns the label of this edition of Absinthe Brevans. Would the artist approve? Do we have to ask? He spent much of his life haunting pubs and I’d be very surprised if he hadn’t tried absinthe when he was […]

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Soundsuits by Nick Cave


No, not the Australian singer. Soundsuits are wearable artworks by an American artist, dancer and fashion designer. Bigger pictures here while the Jack Shainman gallery has details of a recent exhibition. Metal armatures adorned with a range of objects including painted ceramic birds, flowers, brass ornaments, and strands of beads, top the figures and serve […]

Posted in {art}, {dance}, {fashion}, {sculpture} | 5 comments »


Personal web data to be stored for a year

Personal web data to be stored for a year | A policeman’s job is only easy in a police state. Time for everyone to start using Tor.

Posted in {noted}, {politics}, {technology} | 1 comment »


Magic carpet ride


Viktor Vasnetsov. The Flying Carpet (1880). Based on the Slavic folktale of the Firebird and depicting Prince Ivan returning with the fabled bird in a golden cage. Wikimedia Commons has a very large copy.

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


Fred Tomaselli at White Cube


left: Summer Swell (2007); right: Big Raven (2008). I like Fred Tomaselli’s hyper-detailed psychotropic paintings a great deal. Londoners can see an exhibition of new work at the Mason’s Yard branch of White Cube until 16 May, 2009. Tomaselli’s new work is a departure from his earlier, more direct use of pills, hemp leaves or […]

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




You don’t have to agree with bullfighting to appreciate Torero, Ruven Afanador‘s photo series which brings to the surface the usually latent but always present homoerotics of the sport. These were part of a book collection in 2001 which seems now to be out of print. With Torero, Ruven Afanador lays open a world of […]

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 4 comments »


False perspective


Satire on False Perspective by William Hogarth (1753). Whoever makes a Design without the knowledge of Perspective will be liable to such absurdities as are shewn in this Frontispiece. More eye-deceiving art for All Fools’ Day. Everyone knows MC Escher‘s pictures which continually played with the rules of perspective. Hogarth’s satire is less well-known and […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 10 comments »







“feed your head”