{ feuilleton }


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

Archive for August, 2012


Blowing bubbles


Chiozza e Turchi, fabricants de savons (1899) by Adolf Hohenstein. My regular email account is currently malfunctioning so if anyone has sent a mail to my discordia address after 10.00am (UK time) on August 29th I haven’t received it. For the time being I’m switching to my Google account as the default so if anyone […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {design}, {miscellaneous} | Comments Off


The Bookman Histories


Now that Angry Robot books has revealed the cover design which kept me busy throughout July I can do the same here. The Bookman Histories is an omnibus reprinting of Lavie Tidhar‘s steampunk trilogy which comprises The Bookman, Camera Obscura and The Great Game. The stories are frenetic, crowded with incident and feature a huge […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {science fiction}, {typography}, {work} | 5 comments »


The recurrent pose 49


In which personal obsessions infiltrate the outside world… Rastko (above) writes that he remembered the recurrent pose archive when playing with his camera’s self-timer whilst on holiday on the island of Brac in Croatia. The result was this photo which is posted here with his permission. A rare example of the pose in question being […]

Posted in {photography} | 3 comments »


Raymond Bertrand paintings


Scanning some of my work today I thought I’d follow yesterday’s post with a few scans of the colour plates in the second Eric Losfeld volume of Bertrand’s work, Dessins Erotiques II (1971). None of the pictures in the book are titled, and there’s little detail either about their production. Among the colour works is […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {painting}, {surrealism} | Comments Off


Raymond Bertrand’s science fiction covers


Work by the elusive French artist Raymond Bertrand has appeared here before although the art continues to be more visible (if obscure) than the man himself. Bertrand’s most famous drawings are the naked women that appeared on the cover of issue 28 of Oz magazine, the notorious School Kids Issue, but I don’t think he […]

Posted in {art}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {science fiction} | 1 comment »


Weekend links 123


La Perspective Curieuse (1663) by Jean François Nicéron. From Curious Perspectives at BibliOdyssey. • 1612 Underture is a forthcoming album by The Eccentronic Research Council and Maxine Peake which extends the electronics + occult concept to encompass Kraftwerk and the Pendle Witches. The Quietus has a review of their album, and an interview and report […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {science} | 4 comments »


Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers


Poster on the left designed by Major Felten (1931). In 1914, [Ruth] St Denis married a twenty-two-year-old gay man, the ambitious and sexually charismatic Ted Shawn (1891–1972), who became her dance partner. Shawn appeared at any opportunity in the scantiest of costumes. In 1915, they founded the Denishawn Dance School in Los Angeles, which became […]

Posted in {dance}, {gay}, {photography} | 2 comments »


The recurrent pose 48


Following some leads about American dancer Ted Shawn (1891–1972) turned up this series of photos from 1923 in which he adopts the Flandrin pose whilst enacting “The Death of Adonis”. The series is from a large collection of Shawn photos at the NYPL Digital Gallery. The dancer had dark hair which has here been covered […]

Posted in {dance}, {photography}, {theatre} | Comments Off


Chute Libre science fiction


La Jungle Nue (A Feast Unknown, 1974). Illustration de Alain Le Saux. Chute libre means “free fall” in French, and here refers to an imprint of French publisher Champ Libre that from 1974 to 1978 reprinted a series of science fiction titles under that name. The imprint is notable for a number of reasons, not […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 9 comments »


More from the Decadent Dutch


Illustration by Otto Verhagen from Yolanda – Het Boek van Bloei (1931) by Nan Copijn. Would-be Decadents is perhaps a better label, the Decadent ship having set sail across an absinthe-tinted sea by the time these artists were putting pen to paper. Their drawings are another set of scarce images forwarded by Sander Bink who […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators} | 7 comments »


Ephraim Moses Lilien’s Lieder des Ghetto


There are no golems in Morris Rosenfeld’s Songs of the Ghetto (1899), translated here by Berthold Feiwel for a German readership as Lieder des Ghetto (1902). But the Berlin edition does contain many superb full-page illustrations and embellishments by Ephraim Moses Lilien (1874–1925), a German artist whose work has featured here on a number of occasions. […]

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


More Golems


Golem by Jiri Barta. There are always more golems. Among recent reading I’ve been catching up with the works of Michael Chabon, and have just finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000), a novel concerned with several things that obsessed me when I was 13, namely Harry Houdini, conjuring tricks and the Empire […]

Posted in {animation}, {books}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {film} | 2 comments »


Weekend links 122


Transmitter Crowbar Discharge Unit, Bates Linear Accelerator. Photo by Daniel Jackson from his Dark Machines series. The language we use for writing about art is oddly pornographic: We know it when we see it. No one would deny its distinctiveness. Yet efforts to define it inevitably produce squeamishness, as if describing the object too precisely […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {cities}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {photography}, {politics}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {science}, {technology} | 4 comments »


Wildeana 7


Continuing an occasional series. The drawing above is frequently credited to Aubrey Beardsley in books about Oscar Wilde but receives an “anonymous” attribution in books of Beardsley’s work. The copy here, and the pages below, are from Bibliography of Oscar Wilde (1914) by Stuart Mason. • Last November it was announced that Wilde’s lipstick-blotched tomb […]

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


H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction


Illustration by Sven Geier, design by Jo Obarowski and Rebecca Lysen. HP Lovecraft would have been as surprised as anyone if he could have witnessed the tremendous posthumous triumph he and his work have achieved. Thus leading Lovecraft biographer and scholar ST Joshi in the introduction to this suitably monstrous book. H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {work} | 9 comments »


The Flow III


A short motion study by David Vigh for Bose Collins. Sometimes the simplest tricks are the most effective, as with these shots of coloured inks dropped into water and mirrored at their vertical axis. The resulting symmetry effortlessly prompts our pareidolia. Bose Collins has some additional experiments in this series, including one exploring the weirdness […]

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


Further echoes of Aubrey


Dorian Gray (1924) by Otto Verhagen (1885–1951). If you need an idea of the colossal impact Aubrey Beardsley’s drawing had on the art world of the 1890s consider that the entirety of his career—from his first public exposure in The Studio in 1893 to his very untimely death in 1898—lasted a mere five years. Decades […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {illustrators} | 7 comments »


Books Borges never wrote


Design by Hector Haralambous. The composition of vast books is a laborious and impoverishing extravagance. To go on for five hundred pages developing an idea whose perfect oral exposition is possible in a few minutes! A better course of procedure is to pretend that these books already exist, and then to offer a resume, a […]

Posted in {books}, {borges}, {design}, {fantasy}, {work} | 4 comments »


Borges and I


Another piece of revenant television to tick off the “When will I see this?” list, I mentioned David Wheatley’s film Borges and I back in January in a post about Wheatley’s dramatisation of the life and work of René Magritte. It was that student film that secured for Wheatley a job as a BBC director […]

Posted in {books}, {borges}, {television} | 3 comments »


Weekend links 121


Title spread for The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities (2011) edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer. I was surprised this week to find myself nominated as Best Artist in the World Fantasy Awards. The results will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention in November. Among the books nominated for Best Anthology is the Thackery […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music}, {photography}, {politics}, {science fiction}, {work} | 7 comments »


The art of Ismael Álvarez


Sangre Virgen. Yeah, trust me to pick the gore-drenched teen out of a gallery of otherwise wholesome drawings… Ismael Álvarez is a Spanish artist with a nice clean line, a sense of humour and an imagination that can encompass comic imagery like the pictures below or run to full-on erotica. Of the latter there’s a […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {horror}, {illustrators} | 2 comments »


Hysterical Literature


Male sexuality receives more than enough attention on these pages so here’s something from the opposite end of the spectrum, albeit with an unusual twist. Hysterical Literature: Session One is a seven-minute video by photographer Clayton Cubitt which shows just how enthralling a film can be when its content is nothing more remarkable than an […]

Posted in {books}, {film} | 5 comments »


Mars panoramas


“Greeley Haven“, Mars (2012). This is the latest panorama released by NASA July 2012. It was assembled from 817 images taken between Dec. 21, 2011, and May 8, 2012, while Opportunity was stationed on an outcrop informally named “Greeley Haven”, on a segment of the rim of ancient Endeavour Crater. Probably the only time panoramas […]

Posted in {photography}, {science} | 4 comments »


Robert Hughes, 1938–2012


Read this book. Revised edition, 1991, no designer credited. “Robert Hughes”: those were the first words I wrote in the first post for this blog, six years ago, referencing a piece Hughes had written about Rembrandt for the Guardian that week. Re-reading his polemic Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America earlier this year I […]

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


A Trip to Mars


A floating Martian city from Letters from the Planets (1890) by WS Lach-Szyrma. Illustration by Paul Handy. In honour of the remarkable landing on Mars of the Curiosity Rover, a handful of random illustrations from the vast stock of imagery generated by the Red Planet over the past century-and-a-half. When it comes to Mars I’m […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {science fiction}, {science} | 2 comments »


Muto Manifesto, volume 7


In which Muto Manifesto, the photo-magazine created by ace French photographers Exterface, celebrates a year of publication with a new edition that’s available in two print editions (one of which is already sold out). The model is the splendid Matthieu Charneau who featured in the first issue. See page samples here and in the online […]

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {magazines}, {photography} | 1 comment »


Weekend links 120


• More Nabokov: The University Poem by Vladimir Nabokov, translated by Dmitri Nabokov and read by Ralph Fiennes. And Breitensträter – Paolino, a short story from Nabokov’s Russian period that’s only just been translated into English. • More LSD: “For decades, the U.S. government banned medical studies of the effects of LSD. But for one […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {theatre} | Comments Off


Visionaries: The Art of the Fantastic


Curandera (2011) by Martina Hoffman. Another US art exhibition, Visionaries: The Art of the Fantastic has been running since mid-July at the QCC Art Gallery, New York. I’d have mentioned this sooner but last month has been rather hectic, work-wise. A great opportunity for anyone in the NY area to see original works by artists […]

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


Cum In Your Eye by Scott La Force


American artist/photographer Scott La Force sent the above details of a show of his work at the suitably named Cock Gallery in Portland, OR which will be running throughout this month. There’s more work like the examples below on his website, while the gallery itself has a Facebook page apparently, but I can’t access it […]

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


Gore Vidal, 1925–2012


You could spend all day picking out choice quotes. So much is still pertinent. From ‘Women’s Liberation: Feminism and Its Discontents’: Those who have been treated cruelly will treat others cruelly. This seems to be a fact of our condition. The Patriarchs have every reason to be fearful of woman’s revenge should she achieve equality. […]

Posted in {books}, {gay}, {politics} | 1 comment »


Steinlen’s cats revisited


Chris Marker’s feline obsession was oft-remarked: cats feature regularly in his films, and in later years he’d often send a picture of a cat to anyone requesting a portrait photo. The Immemory CD-ROM features his cartoon avatar/companion/alter-ego Guillaume, a character who later manifested in three dimensions in Marker’s corner of Second Life. All of which […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {film} | 2 comments »







“feed your head”