{ feuilleton }


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

Archive for November, 2009


Tite Street then and now


This LIFE magazine photo of Oscar Wilde’s home at 34 Tite Street, Chelsea, is fascinating for Wilde aficionados in being a far more detailed view of the “House Beautiful” exterior than one ever finds in books about the writer. No information as to when it was taken but from the look of the print it […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {gay}, {magazines}, {photography} | 4 comments »


Salomé posters


Salome (1918). You can’t keep a bad girl down… Attempting to gather all the painted representations of Salomé would be a foolish enterprise, there are far too many especially when you reach the 19th century, an age whose misogyny found an ideal expression in the emasculating temptress. Searching through 20th century adaptations yields some interesting […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {books}, {design}, {film}, {music}, {theatre} | 12 comments »


London Underground posters


top left: Power by Edward McKnight Kauffer; top right: Speed Underground by Alan Rogers bottom left: Which? by Maurice Beck; bottom right: St Paul’s Cathedral by Robert Sargent Austin A small sample of the many great posters commissioned by London Transport during the last century, part of the collection at the London Transport Museum. These […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {illustrators}, {technology} | 4 comments »


Elizabeth Fraser: the Cocteau Twins and me

Elizabeth Fraser: the Cocteau Twins and me | Her first interview since 1998.

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


Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown DVD


It’s that thing again… There’s much to loathe about this time of year—the short and dismal days whose appalling weather will persist until mid-March, the trees denuded at last of their leaves, the Chinese Water Torture of Xmas trivia—but the post this week at least brought some compensations. As well as the copies of Dodgem […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {work} | 3 comments »


Bacon Agonistes

Bacon Agonistes | John Richardson on Francis Bacon.

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


Prague panoramas


Now that we’re into the dismal weather, sombre views of Old Prague’s splendour seem appropriate. The pages at 360 Cities have a lot of Prague panoramas—76 in all—including many more of the Viriconium-esque Giant Mantis performance I linked to a few years ago. A shame they don’t do this every year. Previously on { feuilleton […]

Posted in {architecture}, {cities}, {photography}, {theatre} | 3 comments »


Dodgem Logic


You need this, boys and girls, yes you do. Dodgem Logic is the first worthwhile independent culture mag this country has produced since the sorely-missed Strange Things Are Happening. Perhaps significantly, both those titles featured Mr Alan Moore, being interviewed in Strange Things and presiding over the new title as resident magus and eminence gris-gris. […]

Posted in {comics}, {magazines}, {music} | 4 comments »


The art of Sydney R Jones, 1881–1966


Church of St Michael Paternoster Royal and Innholder’s Hall (1927). One of the better secondhand book discoveries of the past couple of years was London Triumphant, a collection of etchings and pencil drawings of the city’s streets and buildings by Sydney R Jones. The etchings immediately seized my attention, being the kind of closely-hatched architectural […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {illustrators} | 16 comments »


Demons and beefcake – the other side of Francis Bacon

Demons and beefcake – the other side of Francis Bacon

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {noted}, {painting} | Comments Off


Art Nouveau Revival 1900 . 1933 . 1966 . 1974


It was the slightly gamy residue of the super-elegant and exotic pictures of Aubrey Beardsley. I have always considered the 1900 period as the psycho-analytical end-product of the Greco-Roman Decadence. I said to myself: Since these people will not hear of aesthetics and are capable of becoming excited only over “vital agitations”, I shall show […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {design} | 4 comments »


Want to know what the 60s were like? Then look at Martin Sharp’s work

Want to know what the 60s were like? Then look at Martin Sharp’s work

Posted in {art}, {design}, {noted}, {psychedelia} | Comments Off


Inondations 1910


Rue Saint André des Arts sous l’eau Inondations. The Great Flood of Paris, January 1910, as seen via picture postcards. There’s more here and at Flickr. 75008 Bld Haussmann Effondrement Egout Inondations. Previously on { feuilleton } • Old lighthouses • Adolph Sutro’s Gingerbread Palace • Atget’s Paris

Posted in {architecture}, {cities}, {photography} | Comments Off


Barney ascendant


Poster by Barney Bubbles for Elvis Costello’s Get Happy!! (1980). Adelita, the publishers of Reasons To Be Cheerful: the life and work of Barney Bubbles, announced this week that Paul Gorman’s essential collection of BB graphics has been named Book of the Year in Mojo magazine: Reasons To Be Cheerful – the acclaimed study of […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {music}, {work} | 1 comment »


Hollywood’s Favourite Cowboy

Hollywood’s Favourite Cowboy | Cormac McCarthy and The Road.

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


Edmund Teske


Kenneth Anger, Topanga Canyon, California, Composite (1954). This portrait of a dashing Kenneth Anger juxtaposes the filmmaker with an engraving by Gustave Doré for Paradise Lost. Like his contemporary Emil Cadoo, photographer Edmund Teske (1911–1996) often concealed the homoerotic nature of his pictures by rendering them “artistic” through double-exposure. Teske was friends with rock group […]

Posted in {film}, {gay}, {music}, {photography} | 4 comments »


More book covers


One of my Cthulhu portraits as it appears in Image Swirl, a new Google feature-in-search-of-a-purpose. Yes, I own a portion of the Googleverse, or the Googleverse owns a portion of me; the latter seems more likely. As well as being the cover of my Lovecraft volume, that picture appeared earlier this year on a reprint […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {science fiction}, {technology}, {work} | Comments Off




The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1907). I finished reading Neil McKenna’s excellent biography recently, The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, a book which makes an ideal companion to Richard Ellmann’s 1987 life of Wilde. Whilst reading about the two trials I remembered that among five pages of digitised Wilde volumes at the Internet Archive there’s […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {gay}, {illustrators} | 2 comments »


The best films never made

The best films never made | David Lean’s Nostromo? Michael Powell’s The Tempest?

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


Lumiere at Durham


Durham Cathedral as it appeared this weekend as a part of the four-day Lumiere art event which illuminated the cathedral’s already spectacular location with projections and light installations. Flickr has a wide selection of photos documenting the various stages of the event. The fluorescent bulbs on the banks of the Wear would have dazzled even […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {sculpture}, {technology} | 5 comments »


Nabokov book covers


Flowers are the sexual organs of plants, which may have been what designer David Pelham had in mind when he created this cover for the Penguin debut of Nabokov’s densely-written and erotic novel, Ada in 1970. (Butterfly orchids also feature in the text, of course.) The Russian maestro has been unavoidable lately on account of […]

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


American inferno

American inferno | David Vann on the malign magnificence of Blood Meridian.

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


Luke Smalley memorial exhibition


Megaphone from Gymnasium. I wasn’t aware that photographer Luke Smalley had died prematurely this year until a brief post I’d made about his work started getting hits from an obituary piece at the NYT. Bill O’Connor of Wessel + O’Connor emailed this weekend with news of a showing of Smalley’s final photo series, Sunday Drive, […]

Posted in {gay}, {photography} | Comments Off


Butch Sales


We haven’t had any proper eye candy here for a while so let’s correct that with some Brazilian beauty in the shape of model Arthur Sales, from a shoot for Butch Swim. Photo by Cristiano Madureira. Via VGL where you can see a lot more pics.

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


Lennon, Manson and me: the psychedelic cinema of Alejandro Jodorowsky

Lennon, Manson and me: the psychedelic cinema of Alejandro Jodorowsky

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


The art of Ralph Koltai


Ralph Koltai‘s contrasting of panels of corroded metal with smooth objects makes for some attractive combinations, reminding me of similar rough and smooth juxtapositions by artist and designer Russell Mills, notably on one of his Samuel Beckett covers and his design for Harold Budd and Brian Eno’s The Pearl. Koltai’s site also includes a gallery […]

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


Netherlands decorated books


left: Over kunst en kunstenaars (1923); right: Over literatuur (1924). A few examples from a collection of gorgeous Art Nouveau and Art Deco cover designs. The books cover the period 1893–1939 and contains bindings in the Nieuwe Kunst and Art Nouveau styles by contemporary artists working in the Netherlands such as Jozef Cantre (1890–1957) and […]

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


The Triumph of the Phallus


The Triumph of the Phallus (1700–1750). We haven’t had a decent phallus picture here for a while (well, a couple of months…) so here’s one part of a three-part French engraving after a drawing by Francesco Salviati (1510–1563). Another great print from the British Museum collection. I’ll leave you to discover the triumphant member’s destination. […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white} | 2 comments »


Dalí in Wonderland


I’d only seen one or two of Salvador Dalí’s illustrations for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland before but you can see the complete (?) set here. These date from 1969 when Dalí was well past his prime as an artist but they’re still worth a look to see how he tackled each chapter, using the skipping […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {film}, {illustrators}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 3 comments »


A life of rhyme

A life of rhyme | Robert Chalmers meets the great John Cooper Clarke.

Posted in {books}, {noted} | 1 comment »


Beardsley at the V&A


This battered item is my copy of the V&A guide to the landmark Aubrey Beardsley exhibition held at the museum from May to September 1966. That exhibition introduced Beardsley to a new public and made his work very trendy for a while, helped by the Beardsley-styled sleeve of the Beatles’ Revolver album which was released […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {books}, {design}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »


A winter’s tale

A winter’s tale | Tove Jansson’s The True Deceiver.

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


Finch posters


I won’t say this is by popular demand but after persistent requests for posters of my cover art for Jeff VanderMeer’s latest novel, Finch, I’ve opened a new CafePress shop selling exactly that. The largest of these is 58.38cm x 82.55 (22.984″ x 32.5″) which should be big enough for most appetites. There’s also a […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {work} | Comments Off


Rerberg and Tarkovsky: The Reverse Side Of “Stalker”


Stalker (1979). Among the new documentary films being shown at the Sheffield (UK) Doc/Fest is Igor Mayboroda’s Rerberg and Tarkovsky: The Reverse Side Of “Stalker”.  Behind the unwieldy title there lies an exploration of the troubled genesis of one of my cult artefacts, Andrei Tarkovsky‘s 1979 science fiction film, Stalker, a personal adaptation by the […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {music}, {science fiction} | 11 comments »


Drowned worlds


Hollywood at Night (2006). Alexis Rockman‘s paintings of swamped or ruined American landmarks present views which are a novelty in contemporary art galleries whilst being very familiar to science fiction readers. Many of these could well be illustrations for JG Ballard’s 1981 novel, Hello America, which imagined a depopulated United States reclaimed by flora and […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {work} | 11 comments »


Virtual Alice


No, I didn’t go searching for this, I had my fill of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland last month. The British Library website is a lot more amenable than it used to be for the casual browser, and one of its newer sections is a small collection of what they call virtual books which enable you […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {work} | Comments Off


Salomé scored


Alla Nazimova as Salomé (1923). I wrote a while ago about Alla Nazimova’s luscious silent film production of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, a suitably Decadent affair with an allegedly all-gay cast, and costume and stage design based on Aubrey Beardsley’s celebrated illustrations. The film is currently touring England and Wales with a new score for four […]

Posted in {beardsley}, {design}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {theatre} | 3 comments »


Heart of dance


One of a series of stunning ads by Y&R of Chicago for the River North Chicago Dance Company which give the old “body as machine” a contemporary and rather erotic twist. (I would have credited the photographer but the ad agency site is the usual Flash interface which refuses to work in any of my […]

Posted in {dance}, {design}, {eye candy}, {photography} | 1 comment »


Berlin Horse and Marvo Movie


Two experimental films by British filmmakers. Berlin Horse (1970) at Ubuweb is a hypnotic piece of minimalism by Malcolm Le Grice who subjects found footage of exercising horses to a series of loopings and filterings that push the degraded images to a point of textured abstraction. Of note with this film is the equally minimal […]

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


A Journey Into Vision & Sound


The Million Volt Light & Sound Rave (1967). More psychedelia as Paul Gorman at The Look alerts me to an exhibition of work by Pop artist Dudley Edwards running this month at 3345 Parr St, Liverpool. Edwards was a part of the Binder, Edwards & Vaughan design collective in the 1960s, renowned for their light […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {painting}, {psychedelia} | 1 comment »







“feed your head”