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

Archive for November, 2011

 

Europe and the Spirit World

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The Temptation of St Anthony (c. 1470) by Martin Schongauer. From one lot of devils to another, and also another art exhibition with an occult theme. Are curators running out of ideas or becoming more adventurous? The answer probably lies somewhere in between. Europe and the Spirit World, or the Fascination with the Occult, 1750-1950 […]

Posted in {art}, {occult}, {painting}, {sculpture}, {surrealism} | Comments Off

 


Ken Russell, 1927–2011

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May–September 1970, Ladbroke Grove: Ken asked me what would most upset an English audience. Louis XIII dining al fresco, carelessly shooting peacocks on the lawn between courses. “Impossible,” said Ken. “How would you do that?” “Make some dummies, stand them on the lawn and detonate them.” “No, you’d have to shoot real peacocks. It wouldn’t […]

Posted in {film} | 11 comments »

 


Los Bikers by Dënver

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What’s going on here then? An epigraph from Yukio Mishima…an Air-like song…a pair of boys stripping down to their underwear to play bondage games…gorgeous dancers in white briefs performing amid statuary… Yes, it gets my vote. Dënver are from Chile, and the song is Los Bikers from their 2010 album Música, Gramática, Gimnasia. I’d tell […]

Posted in {dance}, {eye candy}, {gay}, {music} | 2 comments »

 


Weekend links 86

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Salammbô by Alastair (Hans Henning Voight) from Harry Crosby‘s Red Skeletons (1927). Dover published a new collection of Alastair’s drawings in September. “A Taste of Honey showed working-class women from a working-class woman’s point of view, had a gay man as a central and sympathetic figure, and a black character who was neither idealised nor […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {surrealism}, {theatre} | 3 comments »

 


A London Street Scene

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A London Street Scene (1840) by John Parry. If any painting requires the attentions of the Google Art Project it’s this depiction of a bill poster going about his work by John Orlando Parry (1810–1879). I know this from a cropped view (see here) which shows the care Parry applied to details of typography and […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {photography}, {typography} | 2 comments »

 


Watercolour ruins

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Approach of the simoom—desert of Gizeh. The paintings are by Scottish artist David Roberts (1796–1864) from two collections of prints of the Middle East, The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia (1842–1845) and Egypt and Nubia (1846–1849). These are a small sample from many more at the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs archive, […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {painting} | 3 comments »

 


Ver Sacrum, 1903

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Concluding the series of posts about Ver Sacrum, the art journal of the Viennese Secession. The volume of issues for 1903 continues the bi-monthly format from the previous year only this time the calendar supplement is at the end of the volume. This was the last year for the journal, unfortunately, not least because the […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {magazines} | 5 comments »

 


Pogány’s Turkish fairy tales

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The illustrations are by Willy Pogány, the forty-four fairy tales were collected and translated by Ignácz Kunos. This wasn’t the first edition of Kunos’s book which dates back to 1889, but Pogány’s edition must be one of the most heavily illustrated, with drawings in a variety of styles throughout. The tipped-in plates look like woodcuts […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 3 comments »

 


Japanese gay art

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An untitled drawing by Sadao Hasegawa from Japanese Gay Art, an English-language site with a substantial collection of works by Hasegawa and others, all of which are for sale. Examples run the spectrum from Gengoroh Tagame‘s beefcake S&M to Hideki Koh‘s delicate geisha boys. Something for everyone, in other words. There are also artist interviews, and […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {gay} | Comments Off

 


Alfred Rethel’s Totentanz

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Der Tod als Erwürger (1851) by Alfred Rethel. The Danse Macabre seems to be a theme of the month given recent postings at BibliOdyssey, Wurzletod and 50 Watts. In addition to posting examples, BibliOdyssey points the way to some original sources at Düsseldorf, four of them books that feature engravings by German artist Alfred Rethel […]

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

 


Weekend links 85

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Group I (Convertible Series, 2010) by Monir Farmanfarmaian. The four albums recorded by Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis under the name Dome are being reissued by Editions Mego together with Gilbert & Lewis’s Yclept album. I always preferred Gilbert & Lewis in their Dome incarnation (and Colin Newman solo) to the punk and post-punk stylings […]

Posted in {animation}, {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {collage}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {politics} | 3 comments »

 


Koloman Moser posters

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Secession poster (1899). Since I’ve been delving over the past year into the fin de siècle culture of Germany and Austria, the name of Koloman Moser (1868–1918) has kept recurring. This is partly because of Moser’s associations with the Viennese Secession and the Wiener Werkstätte, of course, but I’ve made a point of drawing attention […]

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

 


Ver Sacrum, 1902

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Continuing the series of posts about Ver Sacrum, the art journal of the Viennese Secession. The volume of issues for 1902 maintains the same format as the previous year, beginning with a series of calendar pages then proceeding to showcase art, sculpture and graphics from Austria and elsewhere. The Secession exhibitions in Vienna were a […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {magazines}, {painting}, {symbolists} | Comments Off

 


Secret Societies and Spirit Boards

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Komposition für einen Rhombus (2007) by Fabian Marti. Fabian Marti’s print is one of the few works that stood out for me in the press materials for the Secret Societies exhibition which has just opened at the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux: [Secret Societies] deals with the general theme of secret societies through the […]

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

 


The art of Mel Odom

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Boys Kiss 2 (2007). The gay artists archive has for a long time been the most popular part of this site, that page proving twice as popular as the next post down. In which case I feel I ought to try and add to its contents a bit more frequently… Mel Odom is an American […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {painting} | 3 comments »

 


Mathematics – A Beautiful Elsewhere

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David Lynch turns up again via a post at New Scientist about Mathematics – A Beautiful Elsewhere, an exhibition currently running at the Fondation Cartier, Paris: A large number of mathematicians and scientists contributed to the creation of this exhibition, and eight of them acted as its overseers: SIR MICHAEL ATIYAH, JEAN-PIERRE BOURGUIGNON, ALAIN CONNES, […]

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

 


Edward Gorey book covers

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Scribner’s edition (USA, 1978). I’m still working through the Robert Aickman stories so curiosity had me looking up the covers of his first editions. Edward Gorey was a fitting choice as artist for Aickman’s fifth story collection, Cold Hand in Mine, and it’s interesting seeing his work labelled on both these books as “strange stories”; […]

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

 


Weekend links 84

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Regeneration (2011) by Toshiyuki Enoki. Via. • HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, the art exhibition that caused such a fuss last year at the Smithsonian Institution, opens at the Brooklyn Museum, NYC, on November 18th. Among the events associated with the show is a screening of James Bidgood’s lusciously erotic Pink Narcissus. David […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {fashion}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {politics} | 1 comment »

 


Pádraig Ó Méalóid talks to Steve Moore

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Author Steve Moore discusses Somnium, his occult novel for which I provided a cover illustration, with Pádraig Ó Méalóid at the Forbidden Planet site. In addition to examining his comics work and long friendship with Alan Moore, Steve also tells us something about his novel and his lunar obsession: Without giving away too much of […]

Posted in {books}, {comics}, {occult}, {work} | Comments Off

 


Saul Bass album covers

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Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems Of Color (1956). The great designer and filmmaker Saul Bass is the subject of renewed attention with the publication this month of Saul Bass: A Life In Film & Design by Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham, the first comprehensive examination of the man’s work. A post at AnOther has an […]

Posted in {design}, {film}, {music} | 8 comments »

 


Ver Sacrum, 1901

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Continuing the series of posts about Ver Sacrum, the art journal of the Viennese Secession. After a somewhat lacklustre collection for 1900 the journal finds its vitality again, the painters of happy Teutonic peasants having been dropped in favour of more remarkable prints and graphics from Vienna’s finest. The contents for this year parallel some […]

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

 


A hustle here, a hustle there…

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Male hustler standing on street corner (1967) photographed by William Gale Gedney. One of those irresistible confluences of disparate things occurred this week. Watching Todd Haynes’ fabulous Velvet Goldmine for about the tenth time at the weekend had me listening to Lou Reed’s Transformer album the day after. The sight of these New York street […]

Posted in {eye candy}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {photography} | 2 comments »

 


Dalí’s discography

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Lonesome Echo (1955) by Jackie Gleason. Not a definitive list, I was merely browsing Discogs.com out of curiosity. For an artist eager to infiltrate every medium you’d expect there to be more involvement from Dalí with the music world. The Jackie Gleason is included here as the earliest entry for which the artist apparently provided […]

Posted in {art}, {music}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 3 comments »

 


The Crackdown by Cabaret Voltaire

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I mentioned yesterday Richard H. Kirk’s announcement that Cabaret Voltaire’s albums on the Virgin label are to be reissued next year by Mute Records. The news gives me a topical excuse to write something about the first album in that series, The Crackdown, which happens to be my favourite of all their releases. Cabaret Voltaire, […]

Posted in {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {typography} | 10 comments »

 


Weekend links 83

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In Memory by Caitlin Hackett who describes her astonishing drawings as “contemporary mythology”. • David Lynch’s solo album, Crazy Clown Time has just been released so The Guardian last Friday let the artist/director/musician edit their G2 supplement. Xan Brooks tried to get Lynch to open up about his inspirations while elsewhere Lynch had a chat […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {politics} | 6 comments »

 


Weird Fiction Review

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weird, a. 1. Having the power to control the fate or destiny of human beings, etc.; later, claiming the supernatural power of dealing with fate or destiny. Originally in the Weird Sisters = †(a) the Fates; (b) the witches in Macbeth. 2. a. Partaking of or suggestive of the supernatural; of a mysterious or unearthly […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {horror} | 3 comments »

 


Ver Sacrum, 1900

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Continuing an occasional series of posts about Ver Sacrum, the art journal of the Viennese Secession. The collected issues for 1900 undergo a change of design, and not necessarily for the better. Gone are the decorative covers of previous years, replaced by small emblem-like vignettes for each issue. The one above is a design by […]

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

 


The art of Jindrich Styrsky, 1899–1942

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From a late Surrealist to an early one. Jindrich Styrsky is a Czech artist best remembered today for his collages but he was also a painter, a photographer and a publisher of erotic material. He illustrated and published a Czech edition of Lautréamont’s Maldoror, and helped found the Surrealismus review in Prague. The Bathe (1934). […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {collage}, {photography}, {surrealism} | Comments Off

 


Klaphek versus Ballard

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left: The Hostage (1966); right: The Female Terrorist (1971). Both by Konrad Klaphek. No, I’m not suggesting that David Pelham’s paintings for the Ballard covers he designed in the 1970s are inspired by the earlier work of German artist Konrad Klaphek. But it’s tempting to think of Klaphek’s isolated objects as being intended for Ballard […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {surrealism} | 3 comments »

 


Alice in Liverpool

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Alice and the Caterpillar (1865) by John Tenniel. It’s perhaps surprising that an art gallery, rather than a library, is holding a huge survey exhibition about Alice, but then Carroll’s creation has been and still is the inspiration of artists, photographers, theatrical designers, animators, film-makers. Thus Marina Warner writing about an exhibition of art based […]

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“feed your head”