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

Archive for October, 2013

 

A mix for Halloween: Ectoplasm Forming

Ectoplasm Forming by Feuilleton on Mixcloud Presenting the eighth Halloween playlist, and this year I decided it was time to finally make a proper mix of my own. Reluctance in years past has been mainly a result of the time it takes me to put things like this together, hours spent pondering the order of […]

Posted in {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music} | 1 comment »

 


Witches

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Scene of Witchcraft (1510) by Hans Baldung Grien. Earlier this year Pam Grossman declared 2013 to be the Year of the Witch, so in honour of that (and the season) here’s a handful of sorceresses through the ages. Most can be found in higher quality at the Google Art Project but a couple are from […]

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

 


The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope

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The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope (1983) is the third and best of three Gothic shorts made by Jan Svankmajer, the two earlier works being Castle of Otranto (1973–79) and The Fall of the House of Usher (1980). Svankmajer combines Poe’s famous tale of Inquistion torment with A Torture by Hope by Auguste Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, […]

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Robin Redbreast by John Bowen

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This TV play from 1970 was one of the films I watched last year at Halloween, a very poor bootleg copy from the BBC archives with a timecode running away in one corner. So it’s been a surprise to find the BFI releasing it so soon after on DVD. I never saw Robin Redbreast originally, […]

Posted in {film}, {horror}, {television} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 183

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La table qui tourne (1943) by Robert Doisneau. In [Gödel, Escher, Bach], Hofstadter was calling for an approach to AI concerned less with solving human problems intelligently than with understanding human intelligence—at precisely the moment that such an approach, having borne so little fruit, was being abandoned. His star faded quickly. He would increasingly find […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {photography}, {science}, {technology}, {theatre}, {typography} | 3 comments »

 


JK Potter and HP Lovecraft

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American artist JK Potter is another photo-montagist whose work since the 1970s has been very popular as illustration for books of horror, fantasy and science fiction. Potter’s portrait of HP Lovecraft on the October 1979 issue of Heavy Metal was my first introduction to his work. The original version of that picture can be seen […]

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Holly Warburton record covers

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Jesus Egg That Wept (1984) by Danielle Dax. Most of the examples here are for singles and albums released by Danielle Dax in the 1980s but British artist Holly Warburton has done a lot more besides. The work from the 80s involved the re-photographing of images projected onto canvas or other materials, effects that are […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {music}, {photography} | 2 comments »

 


Hugo Steiner-Prag’s illustrated Poe

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Halloween approaches. Edgar Allan Poe illustrators are legion—some of the better ones appeared here a couple of years ago (see the links below)—but I’d not seen these lithographs by Hugo Steiner-Prag (1880–1945) before. Steiner-Prag was an ideal illustrator for Gustav Meyrink’s The Golem so it’s a pleasure to see him addressing Poe’s poems. All the […]

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City of Night by John Rechy

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City of Night (1963), Grove Press. Surprising to read this week that John Rechy’s pioneering novel of gay nightlife in America is now fifty years old. The attitude and style of Rechy’s work looks so much to the 1970s that it seems out-of-place in a time when writing about male hustlers was almost as risky […]

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Wildeana 11

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The Happy Prince And Other Tales (1888). Continuing an occasional series. Recent Wildean links. • Jeanette Winterson makes a persuasive case for the importance of Wilde’s stories for children: “Wilde had a streak of prophecy in him. The children’s stories can be read as notes from the future about Wilde’s fate. It is as though […]

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Ye Sundial Booke

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I almost posted this in place of The Book of Old Sundials but to have done so would have made the former volume redundant. This is the same idea—pen drawings of British sundials with accompanying pages of sundial mottos—but a much more comprehensive treatment. The antiquated title is an affectation by its author, T. Geoffrey […]

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

 


Weekend links 182

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Mirror of Water (1981) by Reika Iwami. • The week in comics: Paul Gravett interviews Enki Bilal. | Paul Kirchner’s wordless and inventively surreal strip, The Bus, was republished in France last year but it’s been out-of-print for years everywhere else. Read it online here. | Bill Watterson has made the entire run of Calvin […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {science fiction}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »

 


The Book of Old Sundials

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The Book of Old Sundials & Their Mottoes (1922) is uncredited although it contains an introductory essay which may be the work of the Viscount Knutsford. The mottos section runs throughout the rest of the book, a collection of philosophical rhymes, moralising admonitions and the inevitable sombre memento mori. The illustrations by one Warrington Hogg […]

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The Weird

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This is a piece of promotional art I’ve done for The Weird: Fugitive Fictions/Hybrid Genres, a two-day event taking place in London next month at the Horse Hospital and the Institute of English Studies, University of London. Organiser Tim Jarvis asked me to contribute an unspecified something; I suggested a poster but that idea proved […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


Wicker mania

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US reissue poster (1979). The restored version of The Wicker Man (1973) has been showing in UK cinemas recently, and the Blu-ray edition of the film is released this week. My copy arrived from Moviemail, and while I’m not in a great hurry to watch it again—this is one film that’s so familiar I could […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {occult} | 3 comments »

 


Beardsley reviewed

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More Aubrey Beardsley ephemera. These pages are from the bound edition of The Studio for 1894, reviews of two of Beardsley’s earliest publications: the first editions of Le Morte d’Arthur (which was published in multiple volumes), and the illustrated edition of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé which sealed Beardsley’s reputation as a major force in the art of […]

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A Scholar in his Study

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A Scholar in his Study (detail, 1650–1654) by Rembrandt van Rijn. Rembrandt produced many etchings throughout his long career, and if he hadn’t also distinguished himself as a painter his etchings alone would have ensured that his reputation survived. For an example of his mastery of deep shadow see St. Jerome in a Dark Chamber […]

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

 


Halsman and Cocteau

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A handful of the many photographs Philippe Halsman made with Jean Cocteau in 1949. The Dream of the Poet. The Blind Poet believes that he is the Emperor of China (Jean Cocteau with Birds). Cocteau with actress Ricki Soma and dancer Leo Coleman. Previously on { feuilleton } • La Belle et la Bête posters […]

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Weekend links 181

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Cover of Eye no. 86 vol. 22, 2013, a type special. Detail from 1970s Letratone brochure, overprinted by character from the Marsh stencil alphabet. The new edition of Eye magazine includes my essay on the evolution and aesthetics of steampunk. In the same issue Rick Poynor’s feature on the prints of Eduardo Paolozzi mentions a […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {fantasy}, {film}, {horror}, {magazines}, {music}, {photography}, {science fiction}, {science}, {work} | 4 comments »

 


More Salomés

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Salome (1918) souvenir book. A few of the Salomés recently added to the Google Art Project. The painting by Andrea Ansaldo shows a head that looks distinctly unwell, something that’s not so common in the world of glow-in-the-dark saints. Ansaldo’s Salomé, meanwhile, is so young and diminutive that she hardly seems capable of holding the […]

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John Batten’s Celtic fairy tales

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Yet more illustrations from John Dickson Batten, the pages this time being from Celtic Fairy Tales (1892), and More Celtic Fairy Tales (1895). Once again, both books were written by Batten’s regular collaborator Joseph Jacobs. As is often the case where less familiar stories are concerned, they yield some striking imagery.

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John Batten’s English fairy tales

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More from illustrator John Dickson Batten with pages from two further collaborations with writer Joseph Jacobs, English Fairy Tales (1890), and More English Fairy Tales (1894). The latter (on the lighter paper below) are much better than the earlier set. The second book also includes The Hobyahs, a surprisingly violent story about a gang of […]

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John Batten’s Book of Wonder Voyages

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The book illustrations of John Dickson Batten (1860–1932) turn up in collections of Victorian and Edwardian art but his name isn’t as familiar as that of his contemporaries, possibly because he was also pursuing a career as a painter. Prior to finding this volume I’d only seen a couple of his drawings before. The Book […]

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8 x 8: A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements

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Continuing the Cocteau theme, this fascinating film remains (for the time being) unavailable in a better copy despite its artistic all-star cast. 8 x 8: A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements (1957) can be regarded as a follow-up to Hans Richter’s Surrealist anthology Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947), the directorial credit this time being shared […]

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La Belle et la Bête posters

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Clive’s posts last week about Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête (here, here and here) sent me back to the film, a most welcome re-viewing. This in turn had me searching for copies of the posters of which these are some of the better examples. No dates or credits, unfortunately, although the French ones above […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {film} | 3 comments »

 


Weekend links 180

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One of Jonathan Andrew‘s photos of coastal bunkers and concrete defences from the Second World War. In 2006 JG Ballard looked at the way these structures embody the functional nature of Modernist architecture. • “Utamaro, whose prints of famous courtesans were regarded as the very models of sober beauty by 19th-century Western collectors, in fact […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {collage}, {design}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {photography}, {science fiction} | Comments Off

 


Paris Qui Dort by René Clair

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A half-hour comic science fiction film made the same year as Clair’s much more experimental Entr’acte (1924): The young keeper of the Eiffel Tower awakes one morning and, from his vantage point at the top of the tower, finds that the whole of Paris is at a standstill. On descending the tower, he finds the […]

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October

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The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834 (1834 or 1835) by JMW Turner. The tenth month of the year at the Google Art Project, or the Google Cultural Institute as it now calls itself. October (1903) by Károly Ferenczy. Near the Village, October (1892) by George Inness. October (1878) by […]

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The Metropolis of Tomorrow by Hugh Ferriss

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Crowding Towers. The work of architectural renderer Hugh Ferriss (1889–1962) has appeared here before. The Metropolis of Tomorrow (1929) was a major influence on the architectural style I deployed in the Reverbstorm series, together with Berenice Abbott’s photographs of New York City in the 1930s. Ferriss’s hazy proposals for cities of the future are more […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {film}, {science fiction}, {work} | 1 comment »

 


Design as virus 18: Sound Effects

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BBC Sound Effects No 1 (1969). Design by Roy Curtis-Bramwell. I used to own this album, the first in a series of sound effects collections from the BBC tape library intended for use by musicians, theatre technicians and anyone else who might need a recording of a thunderstorm, fire alarm or creaking door. Going through […]

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Aubrey Beardsley in The Studio

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Aubrey Beardsley in the year 1893 was 21, and on the threshold of being catapulted to fame (and notoriety) via his illustrations for Oscar Wilde’s Salomé. Some of Beardsley’s drawings in the distinctive style he called “Japanesque” had already appeared in The Pall Mall Magazine, and he was hard at work on some 600 illustrations […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {books}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {photography} | 1 comment »

 


 


 

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“feed your head”