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

Archive for the {books} category

 

Tooropia

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The Sphinx (1895). The Dutch Symbolist isn’t a stranger to these pages but every so often a drawing or painting by Jan Toorop draws attention to itself. The Sphinx above is oft-reproduced but you don’t always see it in colour or at a size that does justice to its detail. De Staatskas (below) is a […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {symbolists} | No comments »

 


Polaroids

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I was given a Polaroid Instant Camera some years ago, not the cult SX-70, a later model. I still have it somewhere but never used it very much. The film cartridges were still available in shops, but at around £1 a shot Polaroids always seemed like a costly indulgence unless you had some specific use […]

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

 


NecronomiCon Providence 2015

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Next month I’ll be in Providence, Rhode Island, where I’m the Artist Guest of Honour for NecronomiCon Providence 2015. This is an honour for me in more ways than one: the city of Providence, or its representation in the spectral prose of HP Lovecraft, has occupied a fair amount of my creative life, especially in […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {events}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {work} | 4 comments »

 


Weekend links 269

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Grosses Wasser (1979) by Cluster. Cover art by Dieter Moebius. • RIP Dieter Moebius: one half of Cluster (with Hans-Joachim Roedelius), one third of Harmonia (with Roedelius and Michael Rother), and collaborator with many other musicians, including Brian Eno and Conny Plank. Geeta Dayal, who interviewed Moebius for Frieze in 2012, chose five favourite recordings. […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {music}, {painting}, {politics}, {science fiction} | 2 comments »

 


Escher’s snakes

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The Magic Mirror of MC Escher (1985). MC Escher has been in the news recently as a result of the exhibition at the National Galleries of Scotland. By coincidence, I’ve been engaged in some Escher-like work of my own this week, the project at hand being one that makes reference to Escher-style effects rather than […]

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

 


Célio’s Les Amis du Crime

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More porn. The Internet Archive has, until recently, been a somewhat chaste place where illustrations of sexual encounters are concerned. That’s mostly a result of their books being scans of works from libraries that wouldn’t have stocked illustrated editions of De Sade and company. Les Amis du Crime, together with yesterday’s volume, is part of […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators} | No comments »

 


Veneres uti observantur in gemmis antiquis

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A small selection of illustrations from Veneres uti observantur in gemmis antiquis (1785), a study of the pornographic art of antiquity by Pierre d’Hancarville. The book comprises 80 or so drawings with accompanying text in English and French, so for once it’s possible to read the commentary. Most of the selections here are (predictably) of […]

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Weekend links 268

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A City on Pluto (1940) by Frank R. Paul. Related: Paul’s predictions about life on other planets. • 23 Skidoo’s Peel Session from September 16th, 1981. Only 18 minutes of music but I’m thrilled for its being unique material that’s never been given an official release. There are many more Peel Sessions at the uploader’s […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {fashion}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {photography}, {science fiction}, {science} | 1 comment »

 


James Ellroy’s Feast of Death

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In which the Demon Dog discusses his obsession with unsolved murders whilst meeting cop friends (and Nick Nolte) over a series of dinners. Vikram Jayanti’s 90-minute film was made for the BBC’s Arena strand in 2001, and was later released on DVD. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen about Ellroy whose take-no-prisoners attitude […]

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

 


23 Skidoo

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1: A slang phrase Postcard via. skidoo, v. N. Amer. slang. (ski’du:) Also skiddoo. [Orig. uncertain, perh. f. skedaddle v.] 2. In catch-phrases. a. Used as an exclamation of disrespect (for a person). Esp. in nonsense association with twenty-three. (temporary.) 1906 J. F. Kelly Man with Grip (ed. 2) 99 As for Belmont and Ryan […]

Posted in {books}, {burroughs}, {comics}, {film}, {music}, {occult} | 5 comments »

 


The Plutonian Drug

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Cover art by Leo Morey. To HP Lovecraft, Pluto was the planet Yuggoth, home to the fungoid, brain-harvesting Mi-go whose exploits are detailed in The Whisperer in Darkness (1931). Clark Ashton Smith wasn’t averse to imagining the planets of the Solar System as exotic worlds but in his short story The Plutonian Drug, published in […]

Posted in {books}, {drugs}, {fantasy}, {magazines}, {science fiction} | No comments »

 


The Metamorphosis of Mr Samsa, a film by Caroline Leaf

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Caroline Leaf’s adaptation of Franz Kafka’s most famous story was made by animating sand on a pane of illuminated glass. Leaf made several films using this technique which gives painterly, if monochromatic, results, and is probably less time-consuming than other techniques that aim for similar effects. This is one story that’s best treated as an […]

Posted in {animation}, {books}, {film} | No comments »

 


Weekend links 267

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Black Fever (2010) by Polly Morgan. • “She was something of an Auntie Mame figure for me. We spent years haunting secondhand bookstores in Berkeley, Los Angeles, and New York, talking for hours over ever more bizarre dishes of Chinese Hakka cuisine in a hole-in-the-wall eatery at Stockton and Broadway in San Francisco, watching Kenneth […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {religion}, {sculpture}, {typography} | No comments »

 


Weekend links 266

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Spine and cover art by John Schoenherr for the first American edition of Dune, 1965. • “[Herbert] had also taken peyote and read Jung. In 1960, a sailing buddy introduced him to the Zen thinker Alan Watts, who was living on a houseboat in Sausalito. Long conversations with Watts, the main conduit by which Zen […]

Posted in {animation}, {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music}, {science fiction}, {sculpture} | 2 comments »

 


Invisible Cities: Miscellanea

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Cover art: The Castle in the Pyrenees (1961) by René Magritte. A final post for this week devoted to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, and it occurs to me that “Miscellanea” could easily be the name of one of Marco Polo’s cities. One thing that’s become apparent over the past few days is that this subject […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {fantasy}, {painting} | Comments Off

 


Seeing Calvino: Invisible Cities

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Continuous Cities 4: Cecilia by Leighton Connor. Seeing Calvino is the most recent of the illustration projects featured this week, a group effort by three artists—Leighton Connor, Matt Kish and Joe Kuth—dedicated to picturing all 55 of the Invisible Cities. Matt Kish has been mentioned here before since he and I were among the many […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | Comments Off

 


Gérard Trignac’s Invisible Cities

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I wrote a short appreciation of French artist Gérard Trignac back in 2006, and he’s been mentioned a few times since, so it would be remiss of me to not include his etchings in this week’s illustration series. Trignac is a favourite of mine among the current crop of French etchers and engravers for his […]

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

 


Colleen Corradi Brannigan’s Invisible Cities

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Cities and Memory 5: Maurilia. Colleen Corradi Brannigan’s multimedia project was linked here back in 2011 when news of her endeavours reached a number of high-profile websites. These artworks are another attempt to depict all of Italo Calvino’s cities, this time using a range of media that includes sculpture. I like the variety of this […]

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

 


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 »

 


 



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