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

Archive for June, 2015

 

Le Città In/visibili

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Thin Cities 3: Armilla by Luca Enoch. Sergio Bonelli Editore, an Italian comics publisher, staged an exhibition of art based on Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities at the Triennale Milano in 2002. The drawings for Le Città In/visibili head in the opposite direction from Mikhail Viesel’s depictions, and in several pictures push the cities towards generic fantasy […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 4 comments »

 


Mikhail Viesel’s Invisible Cities

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Thin Cities 2: Zenobia. I’ve a lot of work to get through this week so the theme will be illustrated Calvino, and that means looking at various renderings of the Invisible Cities. Calvino’s novel has many attractions for illustrators, at least superficially: all those descriptions, the endless variety and invention. Whether the book should be […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {cities}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 265

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The White House, Washington DC, on the evening of June 26, 2015. I can remember that after the cops cleared us out of the bar we clustered in Christopher Street around the entrance to the Stonewall. The customers were not being arrested, but a paddy wagon had already hauled off several of the bartenders. Two […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {politics}, {science fiction}, {television}, {typography} | Comments Off

 


Lichtspiel Schwarz-Weiss-Grau, a film by László Moholy-Nagy

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A beguiling short from 1930 made by the Hungarian artist to demonstrate the patterns of light and shade created by his Light-Space Modulator (aka Light Prop for an Electric Stage, 1922–1930), an early kinetic sculpture. The film could have worked well enough as a series of documentary shots but Moholy-Nagy compounds the effects with superimposition, […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {art}, {black and white}, {film}, {sculpture} | Comments Off

 


English printers’ ornaments

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As a book designer you can never have too many printers’ ornaments, especially if you’re required to mimic period designs. These are from a historical overview, English Printers’ Ornaments (1924) by Henry Robert Plomer. Ideally I’d prefer several volumes gathering hundreds of these things from different periods but such a hoard seems a distant dream. […]

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The recurrent pose 56

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A pair of literary poses for this increasingly sluggish series. Both these titles are gay-themed to a greater or lesser degree. James Purdy (1914–2009) received much praise from contemporaries while he was alive but, like Angus Wilson, he’s one of those writers’ writers you don’t hear about today. Outsiders were a favourite Purdy theme, and […]

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

 


Bookmark: Italo Calvino

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I’ve been re-reading Invisible Cities this week so the discovery of an interview in English with its author was most welcome. Bookmark was a BBC series about writers that ran throughout the 1980s; each programme usually lasted for 50 minutes but this episode from 1985 only devotes 25 minutes to Calvino’s life and work. Considering Calvino’s […]

Posted in {books}, {television} | 2 comments »

 


After Beardsley by Ryan Cho

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One of the posts last week concerned a swipe from Harry Clarke by an unknown illustrator. This Beardsley pastiche came to my attention shortly after the Clarke discovery, not a swipe but a deliberate exercise by American illustrator Ryan Cho in adopting the Beardsley style. It took some effort to trace the origin of Cho’s […]

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More Brothers Quay scarcities

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Look What the Cat Drug In (Long Way Down) (1992). More short films by the Brothers Quay that haven’t yet appeared on their DVDs. Look What the Cat Drug In is a music video for Michael Penn that I was unable to find last time I did a YouTube trawl. It’s a good one. Dolls (1994). […]

Posted in {animation}, {drugs}, {film}, {music} | Comments Off

 


Weekend links 264

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Stonehenge Suite, No.10 (1977) by Malcolm Dakin. • “Part of me always wanted to write a teatime drama. That’s something that I wanted to get out of my system,” says director Peter Strickland. The results may be heard here. In the same interview there’s news that Strickland will be adapting Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {religion} | 1 comment »

 


Fu Liu, a film by Xiang Pu Zhu

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According to the notes for Xiang Pu Zhu’s short demo piece, all the shots here are computer generated. Some are more obvious than others but the combinations of liquid and particles are very impressive. The music is by Esther Garcia.

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {animation}, {film} | Comments Off

 


More Spare things

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A couple of Austin Spare-related news items arrive in the same week so it’s worth linking again to Earth: Inferno (2003), a short film by Mor Navón & Julián Moguillansky based on the book by Austin Osman Spare. This is a production I have to damn with faint praise by being pleased that Spare is […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {occult}, {surrealism} | Comments Off

 


Copying Clarke

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“On to the brocken the witches are flocking.” From Faust (1925) by Harry Clarke. Spotted earlier this week, a rather blatant swipe from Harry Clarke’s Faust by an unknown cover artist for the Avon Fantasy Reader. Such borrowings weren’t uncommon in the pulp magazines—the pressure of deadlines no doubt encouraged them—and I’ve logged a couple […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {pulp} | 2 comments »

 


TV Wipeout revisited

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TV Wipeout, as detailed in an earlier post, was a one-off “video magazine” compiled and released on VHS by Cabaret Voltaire in 1984. This was the fourth title on the Cab’s own Doublevision label which was easily the best of the UK’s independent video labels at the time. Many of the other Doublevision releases have […]

Posted in {electronica}, {film}, {magazines}, {music}, {television} | 4 comments »

 


The Duc de Joyeux

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I was writing about the Vorticists last week so for the traditional Bloomsday post here’s a portrait of Joyce by Wyndham Lewis. The Vorticists were supporters of Joyce (he’s praised in the first issue of Blast), and Lewis produced several portrait sketches. This one—The Duc de Joyeux Sings—is the only example I’ve seen in something […]

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

 


Rock shirts

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Arriving in the post at the end of last week was this T-shirt for British Doom band The Wounded Kings. The Shadow Over Atlantis (2010) was the band’s second album, and they asked permission a while ago to use my Cthulhuesque De Profundis piece on this limited edition shirt. Permission was granted happily enough, my […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {music}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


Weekend links 263

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Dancing Horse (1972) by Tadashi Nakayama. • The Wounded Galaxies Festival of Experimental Media takes place in Bloomington, Indiana, on October 7–11, 2015. The event is an offshoot of the earlier Burroughs Century, and the phrase “wounded galaxies” is one of Burroughs’ own. It’s also the partial title of Wounded Galaxies Tap At The Window, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {television}, {work} | 4 comments »

 


Simulacra, a film by mustardcuffins

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The fragmentations of reality in Simulacra aren’t as radical as the Vortographs but they’re certainly mind-bending. No need to attempt an explanation when you can see for yourself. Previously on { feuilleton } • NY, NY, a film by Francis Thompson

Posted in {architecture}, {film} | Comments Off

 


Dracula and I by Christopher Lee

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Impossible, not to say foolish, to attempt a brief summary of Christopher Lee’s incredible life and career. Rather than compete with the obituaries, here’s something you won’t find elsewhere, a short piece by Lee himself about his relationship to the role that made him famous. This is taken from The Dracula Scrapbook, a collection of […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror} | 7 comments »

 


Vortographs

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Reading this article by Richard Shone about the Vorticists, I was struck by passing mention of Alvin Langdon Coburn’s “Vortographs”. Coburn was an American photographer whose most commonly reproduced works are his portraits, some of which included leading members of the Vorticist circle such as Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound, and a number of pictorial […]

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De Sphaera

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De Sphaera aka Sphaerae coelestis et planetarum descriptio is a collection of astrological plates and diagrams showing the symbolic attributes of the planets, and also their relations in the heavens according to the beliefs of 1470. There’s an obvious similarity to the celebrated (and much imitated) plates from the Splendor Solis (1582) plates although De […]

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Delineations

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The recent upgrading of the Internet Archive website has made visual browsing somewhat easier than before: areas visited in the past now offer up items that might have been overlooked. This is one such result, one of the many mysterious documents in the Manly Palmer Hall collection of occult manuscripts. Unlike the handwritten texts in […]

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

 


The Cosmic Grill

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Design and illustration by Barney Bubbles. The past week’s music listening has alternated between the back catalogue of Seattle band, Earth (who I recommend highly), and the early recordings of my erstwhile employers, Hawkwind. The latter were reissued recently in a 10-CD box, This Is Your Captain Speaking…Your Captain Is Dead (The Albums And Singles […]

Posted in {architecture}, {design}, {music}, {science fiction}, {typography} | 3 comments »

 


Weekend links 262

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You’ll Never Be Alone, Even In Death (2014) by Stacey Rozich. • “But the CD-R format, which eventually replaced the mix tape, turned out to be a technological letdown. ‘CD-Rs are just such an unstable format,’ Margolis says. ‘When you made 10 cassettes, the 10 cassettes generally played. If you made 10 CD-Rs, 8 of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {surrealism}, {technology} | 1 comment »

 


The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl

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Three months after The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath I can reveal my cover design for Ishbelle Bee’s sequel, The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl. Here’s a summary, swiped once again from the Barnes & Noble SF & Fantasy blog: Two orphans, Pedrock and Boo Boo, are sent to live in […]

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

 


A few more Salomés

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Jean Benner (1899). I’ve not done a Salomé post for a while so here’s another handful of different interpretations. The most interesting ones are the two most recent: a drawing by Barry Windsor Smith I’d not seen before (undated but it looks like his work from the 1980s), and a great piece by Paula Andrade […]

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

 


Lachman’s Inferno

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I’ve written already about Harry Lachman’s remarkable melodrama, Dante’s Inferno (1935), but the links to the Inferno sequence are now defunct so here’s an updated one. Lachman was an artist before he became a production designer for Rex Ingram, and later a director in his own right. The French government awarded him the Légion d’Honneur […]

Posted in {fantasy}, {film}, {religion} | 2 comments »

 


Hell, a film by Rein Raamat

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An inferno of a different kind, Hell (1983) is a short film by Estonian animator Rein Raamat based on a series of etchings by Estonian artist Eduard Wiiralt (1898–1954). The drawings date from around 1930 when Wiiralt was living in Paris so they’re understandably connected to Surrealism. Browse some of the originals at 50 Watts. […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {surrealism} | Comments Off

 


Inferni

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The Barque of Dante (1822) by Eugène Delacroix. More infernal visions. Depictions of Hell aren’t exactly recent but the 19th century saw an increase in Dantean themes, helped, no doubt, by the Romantic taste for violent drama. There are many more such paintings, especially of the doomed lovers Paolo and Francesca whose plight is almost […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {religion} | 4 comments »

 


Mirko Racki’s Inferno

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Mirko Racki (1879–1982) was a Croatian painter whose early work fits the template of allegorical Symbolism even if he was never part of any Symbolist movement. Dante’s Divine Comedy was a favourite subject: these canvases are among the available examples which also include a series of etchings. The painting above showing Charon ferrying Dante and […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {religion}, {symbolists} | 3 comments »

 


 


 

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