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

Archive for January, 2013

 

Wildeana 9

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Dorian Gray (1968) by Jim Dine; one of a series of prints for an illustrated edition. Rainbows didn’t become a gay symbol until Gilbert Baker’s flag design ten years later. Continuing an occasional series. • “…the Public is a very curious thing; it is sometimes perverse, and even obstinate, and it has evidently made up […]

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Cthulhu Labyrinth

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Something I was working on last August when I was putting together new pictures for the Cthulhu calendar, I’d actually forgotten about this until this week. The idea was to do something that was more of an abstract design than the rest of the art; having got this far I was undecided whether I wanted […]

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

 


The labyrinth of Versailles

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I ought to have mentioned this last week since a plan of the lost labyrinth of Versailles appears in the William Henry Matthews book. The labyrinth was completed for Louis XIV in 1677, and is unusual for being a series of paths without a central focus, and also a very ornamental affair containing thirty-nine fountains […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books} | 9 comments »

 


La tête de Robert

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I’m working against a deadline this week so I’ll apologise in advance if posts tend to be brief. I’ve had this picture hanging around for a couple of months, something that good friend Thom sent me (thanks Thom!) to add to the apparently limitless catalogue of Salomé-related pictures. The subject is everyone’s favourite fin de […]

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

 


Weekend links 144

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Ruins 3 by Rachel Thomas and Dan Tobin Smith. “Dan wanted to do something on a really large scale and was looking at a lot of Piranesi and started talking to me about ruins. I then started looking at modern interpretations of this idea, I was obsessed with the post modern architecture of SITE, Disney […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »

 


Spirit of Talk Talk by James Marsh

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In which artist James Marsh animates the paintings of his which appear on Talk Talk’s album covers. This is a promo film for Spirit Of Talk Talk, a cover version collection released last year on Fierce Panda. Thanks to Thom for the tip!

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

 


Maze and labyrinth panoramas

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Parc del Laberint d’Horta, Barcelona by Valentin Arfire. Continuing the maze and labyrinth theme, a selection of panoramas at 360Cities. Panoramic photography helps when viewing these constructions at a distance, especially when the camera is centrally positioned. The selection may be small but it shows how universal the urge is to build these things, with […]

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Early Venetian Printing Illustrated

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THE HISTORY OF THE ART OF PRINTING, studied in its most valuable examples, shows clearly how the work of the early printers took, from the very commencement, a national and also a personal character. These are recognised by the modern student in the special forms of type which they employed, and in the character of […]

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Mazes and labyrinths

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This book, Mazes and Labyrinths: A General Account of their History and Developments (1922) by William Henry Matthews, would have been very useful a couple of years ago when I was working on the cover design for Mike Shevdon’s The Road to Bedlam and required a labyrinth diagram. The one I used, a plan of […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books} | 9 comments »

 


Nigel Kneale’s Nineteen Eighty-Four

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If I’d been more diligent I would have posted this yesterday which happened to be the UK’s first George Orwell Day. The Quatermass Experiment and this adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four are the two outstanding dramas from the very early days of British television. Both were written by Nigel Kneale and directed by Rudolph Cartier, an […]

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Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon

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Nigel Finch was a key member of the team of producers and directors working on the BBC’s Arena arts documentaries throughout their golden run during the 1980s and 1990s. The films he directed himself—among them studies of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photography, and a history of the Chelsea Hotel in New York—gave him an opportunity to push […]

Posted in {film}, {gay}, {occult}, {television} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 143

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Ai No Corrida poster design by Egil Haraldsen (2001). • “Back then, publishing an interview with Félix Guattari alongside little chats with rough trade and street walkers was unheard of — it still is for the most part.” BUTT on Kraximo, a queer Greek magazine of the 1980s. • 13 books for 2013: A selection […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {borges}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music}, {science}, {television}, {typography} | Comments Off

 


Decapitations

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Judith with the Head of Holofernes (1520–1540) by Lucas Cranach the Elder. It doesn’t take much effort to refute the jeremiads of those who complain that popular culture is exclusively violent, all that’s usually required is to direct attention to Titus Andronicus or The Revenger’s Tragedy. Compared to the stage, the art world seems at […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {religion}, {theatre} | 10 comments »

 


Satyriconte

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Here in the northern hemisphere it’s the wrong time of year to be cavorting in the open air with your clothes off for any length of time. In warmer months the people behind Satyriconte—who were in touch earlier this week—do just this as an exploration of what they call “the contemporary tale of a satyre”: […]

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

 


The Eighth Court

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Mid-January and here’s the first book cover design of the year, and another title for Angry Robot. This is the fourth book in Mike Shevdon‘s Courts of the Feyre series; since I’d already provided the three earlier books with a uniform design it didn’t take long to create this one. I’ve been very pleased with […]

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Jean Genet, 1981

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Until watching Antoine Bourseiller’s film, the only interview I’d seen with Jean Genet was the one filmed by the BBC in 1985 in which a tetchy and evidently irritated Genet made a fool of interviewer Nigel Williams, and compared the whole experience to a police interrogation. (Williams and his interview are memorialised in Iain Sinclair’s […]

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The art of Henri Caruchet

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Byblis (1901) by Pierre Louÿs. Henri Caruchet isn’t in George Barbier’s league, never mind that of Alphonse Mucha whose graphic style Caruchet appropriated. I’ve not been able to find details about his life either, all that turns up is examples of his book illustration on various websites. Author Pierre Louÿs is notable for his erotic […]

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

 


George Barbier’s Falbalas et Fanfreluches

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George Barbier’s work has been a regular visitor to these pages. Falbalas et Fanfreluches was a series of pochoir print portfolios published from 1922–1926, a catalogue of various liaisons and amours with a mildly erotic tone. There’s also some sly humour in the examples below, such as the tiny dogs menacing a dandy in L’Agression, […]

Posted in {art}, {fashion}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 142

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Gratifying this week to see album cover art under discussion even if the heat-to-light ratio was as unbalanced as it usually is when pop culture is the subject. Jonathan Barnbrook, who also designed the Heathen (2002) and Reality (2003) packaging for David Bowie, wrote about the thinking behind the new cover on his blog. (And […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {sculpture}, {television}, {typography} | 6 comments »

 


Jon Finch, 1941–2012

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Macbeth (1971). There are few actors I’ve ever felt sufficiently cultish about who could make me watch films or TV dramas I wouldn’t otherwise be interested in. Orson Welles would be one (up to a point, he was in a lot of crap in later years), Patrick McGoohan another and Jon Finch most definitely a […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {science fiction}, {theatre} | 3 comments »

 


Repulsion locations

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More Polanskiana. This film location site made the tracking down of locations in Repulsion (1965) an easy business. I was hoping they might have an entry for The Tenant, much of which is filmed around the Porte Saint-Denis in Paris but the only other Polanski entries are for Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby. No matter, one […]

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Claudio Bravo’s packages

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Before the Game. (Sorry, but that pun was unavoidable.) Claudio Bravo was a Chilean hyperrealist painter who died last year. I don’t recall having come across him before but it’s a hazard of a photographic style that your work may superficially be taken for the output of other artists. Looked at more closely his painting […]

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Rhinoceros by Jan Lenica

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As noted here last year, Polish artist Jan Lenica (1928–2001) was also an animator as well as a celebrated poster designer. Die Nashörner (1964) is an 11-minute condensation of Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros that no doubt works best if you’re familiar with the play but which nevertheless contains some funny moments, especially when “Rhinocerosism” starts to spread. […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {theatre} | 1 comment »

 


Reverbstorm on sale

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At long last, the news that many people have been waiting for: the Reverbstorm book is now on sale at Savoy. From the hyperbolic press release: “Surfin’ bird Bbbbbbbbbbrbrbrbrbrb…awawawawawawawaaaaaah! A-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-ooma-mow-mow Papa-oom-mow-mow!” The Trashmen, Surfin’ Bird Welcome to the nightmare metropolis of Torenbürgen, where New York’s Art Deco architecture has fused with the termination machinery of […]

Posted in {books}, {comics}, {work} | 4 comments »

 


Polanski details

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Roman Polanski as Alfred in Dance of the Vampires (1967). I’ve always admired the attention to detail in Roman Polanski’s films, a quality evident not only in his careful adaptations but also in areas that lesser filmmakers might ignore. Dance of the Vampires (1967) is a good example (sorry, I refuse to call it by […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {film}, {horror}, {painting} | 9 comments »

 


Weekend links 141

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From the Beautiful Faces series (2012) by Tran Nguyen. • “What possessed a generation of young European artists, and a few Americans, to suddenly suppress recognizable imagery in pictures and sculptures? Unthinkable at one moment, the strategy became practically compulsory in the next.” Peter Schjeldahl on the birth of abstraction. • “A profanely mystical work […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {photography}, {politics}, {psychedelia}, {technology}, {theatre} | 1 comment »

 


Repulsion posters

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More Roman Polanski. The BFI is running a season of the director’s work through January and February so Repulsion (1965) and Chinatown (1974) have been put back into circulation nationwide. I don’t live in London but I have a large number of Polanski’s films on DVD so it looks like this month will also see a […]

Posted in {design}, {film}, {typography} | 2 comments »

 


Geschichte der Nacht

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Houses, lines of houses, streets, miles of pavements, piledup bricks, stones. Changing hands. This owner, that. Landlord never dies they say. Other steps into his shoes when he gets his notice to quit. They buy the place up with gold and still they have all the gold. Swindle in it somewhere. Piled up in cities, […]

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Atalanta Fugiens

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Alchemy (1969) by the Third Ear Band. Design by Dave Loxley. For an idea of how these posts often come into being, this one is the result of the following chain of association: an article by Leo Robson about the films of Roman Polanski > A re-viewing of Polanski’s Macbeth > A re-listening to albums […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {film}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult} | 5 comments »

 


Peake’s glassblowers

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The Evolution of the Cathode Ray (Radiolocation) Tube (1943). The BBC recently completed its Your Paintings project which displays online all the oil paintings in Britain’s galleries, over 210,000 works in all. I’ve glanced through the catalogue a couple of times but so far I’ve been too preoccupied to seach for many of the pictures […]

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

 


02013

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Vaslav Nijinsky in Fokine’s Schéhérazade. A print by George Barbier (1913). Happy new year. 02013? Read this. “Taking your measure”: October, 1913. “The elevated sidewalk: How it will solve transportation problems”: July 26, 1913. November 15, 1913.

Posted in {art}, {dance}, {magazines}, {miscellaneous} | 2 comments »

 


 


 

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“feed your head”