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

Archive for August, 2013

 

Tom Adams book covers

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Dust jacket for The Magus (1966) by John Fowles. I pulled my 1982 paperback of John Fowles’ The Magus from the bookshelf recently. After flicking through the pages I decided to start re-reading it, having realised that in the thirty years which have elapsed since I first read it I couldn’t remember much at all […]

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Sirene by Raoul Servais

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Sirene (1968), a short animation by Belgian filmmaker Raoul Servais, isn’t as sinister as his nightmarish Harpya (1979), despite the similar titles. But Sirene does have a collection of anthropomorphic harbour cranes, and a flock of inexplicable pterodactyls like something out of a Gerald Scarfe cartoon. Watch it here. Previously on { feuilleton } • […]

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Words and pictures

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This one has been a long while gestating. Evan J. Peterson asked me late last year to contribute a cover to a new edition of Seattle’s Gay City anthology which he was editing with Vincent Kovar. In May this year the anthology successfully covered some of its production costs with a Kickstarter fund, and the […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {gay}, {science fiction}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


Dr Mabuse posters

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This picture of a séance in the 1920s circulates endlessly in the Tumblr labyrinth, usually without attribution so many of the people seeing it won’t be aware that it’s a still (or a set photo) from Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922). Mabuse himself originates in a novel of the same name by Norbert […]

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

 


The art of Roland Cat

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Axium, 1969). The work of French artist Roland Cat is less Surreal—although some of it could be classed as such—than Fantastic in a manner similar to that of contemporaries such as Michel Henricot, Jean-Pierre Ugarte, Jean-Marie Poumeyrol, Gérard Trignac and others. Art of this nature receives support and encouragement from […]

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The art of James Gleeson, 1915–2008

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Funeral Procession in a Wounded Landscape (1945). James Gleeson was an Australian Surrealist painter whose work I don’t think I’d seen before. The early pictures tend towards the post-Dalí school that crowds the second and third generation of Surrealist painting. More interesting for me are the later landscapes (if they can be labelled such) produced […]

Posted in {art}, {collage}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 174

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Dress (2012) by Nao Ikuma. • Two of my Cthulhu artworks can currently be seen in the Ars Necronomica exhibition at the Cohen Gallery, Brown University, Providence, RI. The exhibition is part of NecronomiCon, and runs to September 13th. In related news, my steampunk illustration has been nominated in the Visual category of this year’s […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {borges}, {collage}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {politics}, {theatre}, {typography}, {work} | Comments Off

 


Doublevision Presents Cabaret Voltaire

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Videocassette box insert. Design by Neville Brody. A couple of years back I tracked down some of the releases on Cabaret Voltaire’s Doublevision video label, the early titles of which have never been reissued on DVD. The first Doublevision release was the Cabs’ collection of their own music videos which Mute Records reissued on DVD […]

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

 


Just the ticket: Cabaret Voltaire

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The current issue of The Wire has a great appraisal by Keith Moliné of the musical history of Cabaret Voltaire, a well-timed piece given the recent announcement of forthcoming reissues from Mute Records. Having been a Cabophile from the start I’m rather biased but the Wire piece has had me listening to the early albums […]

Posted in {electronica}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music} | 5 comments »

 


Two sides of Liska

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Et Cetera (1966). A little more on the music of Czech soundtrack composer Zdenek Liska (1922–1983). Liska seems to stand in relation to Czech cinema as Ennio Morricone does to that of the cinema of Italy, being similarly prolific, highly regarded, and idiosyncratic to a degree that makes his work immediately recognisable. Both men could […]

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Liska’s Golem

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The Last Golem from The Nights of Prague (1969). Since watching The Cremator I’ve been listening to Zdenek Liska’s music from the early Svankmajer films, and following leads to the composer’s other work. One film with a Liska score that I’d not previously come across is Prazské noci (The Nights of Prague, 1968), one of […]

Posted in {fantasy}, {film}, {music} | 1 comment »

 


The Cremator by Juraj Herz

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The Cremator, a film directed by Juraj Herz, missed out on the attention given to other Czech films in the late 1960s, something the Brothers Quay note in their enthusiastic introduction to the Second Run DVD. Unlike other films made during the Czech New Wave, Herz’s film premiered in 1969 then was promptly banned, and […]

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Les Terres du Ciel

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Frederic Thompson’s amusement ride attempted to give exposition visitors in 1901 the experience of a journey to the Moon; Camille Flammarion’s Les Terres du Ciel (1884) is a pictorial voyage around the solar system which includes the Moon among its ports of call. Subtitled Voyage Astronomique sur les Autres Mondes et Description des Conditions Actuelles […]

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Weekend links 173

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Icarus (1974–75) by Lili Ország. • The Cabaret Voltaire albums released on the Virgin label in the 1980s have suffered the same shoddy treatment on CD as other Virgin reissues, a situation to be rectified in November with an extensive revisiting of the CV back catalogue. The long-overdue reappraisal will also include the release of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {collage}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {surrealism} | Comments Off

 


A Trip to the Moon, 1901

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On the Airship Luna, visiting the Queer City of the Moon, and the wonderful Palace of the Man in the Moon. An artist’s rendering of Frederic Thompson’s amusement ride created for the Pan-American Exposition of 1901 which is no doubt more impressive than was the earthbound reality. Thompson’s ride pre-dates Georges Méliès’ Le Voyage dans […]

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Elric 1: Le trône de rubis

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The closest I ever got to illustrating Michael Moorcock’s Elric character was the sleeve for The Chronicle of the Black Sword in 1985, a Hawkwind concept album based on the first couple of Elric books. That design favoured a decorative approach over anything illustrative, however. At the time I felt too intimidated by the renderings […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {music}, {work} | 1 comment »

 


Ralf and Florian

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Ralf and Florian, 1973. Back cover photo by Barbara Niemöller. Kraftwerk’s third album, Ralf and Florian, is forty years old this year. It was recorded and mixed from May to July, 1973, and released three months later. As with the first two Kraftwerk albums, it still hasn’t been given an official CD reissue. When so […]

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

 


Tokyo details

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Another enormous gigapixel panorama appeared this week, this one being a view from the Tokyo Tower by Jeffrey Martin. Some cities suit this detailed bird’s-eye view more than others. A similar panorama of Prague wasn’t as interesting for me as the view over London which appeared at the beginning of this year. Tokyo from this […]

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Alas Vegas Tarot cards

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Back in February I bought a Wacom drawing tablet and said I’d show some proper results from its use later. For the past few months I’ve been working on this project using a combination of Wacom drawing and vector graphics. The initial brief from games designer James Wallis was for six Tarot-style card designs for […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {design}, {occult}, {work} | 16 comments »

 


More Cameron

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Untitled (Peyote Vision), 1955, Cameron (from Semina journal, no. 1). Thanks to Erik Davis for drawing my attention to a small online exhibition of Marjorie Cameron artwork and documentary material. Semina was the magazine founded by Cameron’s artist friend, Wallace Berman. The exhibition note tells us that: Wallace Berman’s only exhibition at Ferus Gallery in […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {drugs}, {film}, {magazines}, {occult} | Comments Off

 


Weekend links 172

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Complete Stop (2008), an oil painting by Gregory Thielker from his Under the Unminding Sky series. • For Halloween last year I watched a very poor copy of a BBC Play For Today production, Robin Redbreast, a piece of rural horror by John Bowen which received a single screening in 1970. That poor copy—black-and-white, timecoded, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {cormac}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {painting}, {television}, {typography} | 4 comments »

 


Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome: The Eldorado Edition

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More Cameron, and her finest cinematic moment as she plays two roles—The Scarlet Woman and Kali—in Kenneth Anger’s erotic/psychedelic/thaumaturgic Bacchanal from 1954. Ordinarily there wouldn’t be much reason to draw attention to this, it’s been available on DVD and Blu-ray for several years, and various plunderings are scattered all over YouTube. The version here, however, […]

Posted in {film}, {music}, {occult}, {psychedelia} | 5 comments »

 


The Wormwood Star

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I’ve waited about 20 years to see this one, after first learning of it via a Curtis Harrington interview in Michael Weldon’s Psychotronic magazine in the 1990s. The Wormwood Star (1956) is a 10-minute study of the occult art and witchy persona of Harrington’s friend Marjorie Cameron (1922–1995), best known these days for her memorable […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {occult}, {painting} | 4 comments »

 


Tonto’s expanding frog men

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I wasn’t going to write about album cover art three times in a row but things keep catching my attention this week. Anyone interested in the history of electronic music knows the name Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, the duo formed by Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff to create music with Cecil’s huge, custom-built TONTO (The […]

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Newspaper record covers

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Gazette Vol. 2 (1961) by Pete Seeger. More elaborate record sleeve design. Was Pete Seeger the first artist to have a fake newspaper as a cover design? Gazette Vol. 2 is the earliest example I can find. Some of these examples were suggested by this earlier overview. If anyone knows of any omissions then please leave […]

Posted in {design}, {music} | 11 comments »

 


Ptooff!

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There’s a sub-genre of the psychedelic album cover in which florid, unfocused and vividly polychrome doodles by friends of the band are used as the principal artwork. (The cover of The Parable Of Arable Land [1967] by The Red Crayola is a typical example.) The art which decorates the fold-out sleeve of Ptooff! (1967), the […]

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Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

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First English translation, 1970. Faux-Penguin edition by gregoreverb. 1: A Surrealist novel (1932) by Vítezslav Nezval. Design by Rudolf Nemec. 2: A feature film (1970) by Jaromil Jires (director), Ester Krumbachová (screenplay) and Jirí Musil (dialogue). (Region 2 DVD from Second Run.) Design by Josef Vylet’al. Figure originally by Aubrey Beardsley from The Comedy Ballet […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {film}, {music}, {surrealism} | 5 comments »

 


Weekend links 171

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Jeune moine à la Grecque (1771) by Benigno Bossi. Via Monsieur Thombeau. • Victoriana: The Art of Revival is an exhibition which will run throughout the autumn at the Guildhall Art Gallery, London. Some of my steampunk work will be included. Related: Rick Poynor on Soft Machine’s Dysfunctional Mechanism. • “The egg glows and hovers […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture}, {work} | Comments Off

 


Ads for The Yellow Book

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More Beardsley ephemera, and more from the recently upgraded NYPL Digital Collections. These US ads for The Yellow Book date from late 1894 to early 1895, a couple of months before Oscar Wilde was arrested and Aubrey Beardsley had to leave the magazine despite having no connection with Wilde’s activities. What’s most interesting for me […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {magazines} | 2 comments »

 


The Outer Church

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Compilation albums: on the one hand they’re in the lowest echelon of the musical world, all those cheap pop collections you see in any supermarket; on the other they provide an introduction to zones of activity which might seem too rich or too obscure to easily investigate; Soul Jazz Records is a master at this […]

Posted in {electronica}, {horror}, {music} | Comments Off

 


Lindsay Kemp’s Salomé again

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The NYPL digital library has recently upgraded its website (thanks to BibliOdyssey for the news), adding some features that make searching (and random browsing) an easier business. At first glance the contents seem pretty much the same but I definitely hadn’t seen this set of photos by Kenn Duncan before. The all-male production of Oscar […]

Posted in {gay}, {photography}, {theatre} | 4 comments »

 


 


 

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“feed your head”