The art of Paul Binnie

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Dragon and Demon (1997).

More Japanese art, although the artist responsible happens to be Scottish. One of Paul Binnie’s prints appeared here in January in a post about the Itsukushima Shrine together with ukiyo-e views by other artists. Binnie studied print-making with a Japanese master of the medium in the 1990s, and many of his prints that follow traditional ukiyo-e subjects are now valued by collectors. He also has a nice line in homoerotic portraiture, which is what you see here, a few examples from this collectors’ site. Most of my selections are those styled like his traditional prints but you’ll find plenty of paintings and drawings in the “Handsome Men (Bidanshi)” section.

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Celadon Censer (2004).

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Yoshitoshi’s Ghosts (2004).

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Bang Bang (2011).

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Hokusai’s Waterfalls (2006).

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Katana (2007).

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Maple Leaves (1994).

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The gay artists archive

Fresh BUTT

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Yoni by Kuba Ryniewicz.

My favourite gay mag, BUTT, resurrected itself in September by publishing a new issue, something I only discovered by accident and might easily have missed altogether. I ordered a copy as soon as I saw the news. The BUTT brand (for want of a better term) has been continually active via the magazine’s website but with ten years having elapsed since the appearance of the 29th issue I really didn’t expect to see another one. The new issue of the self-styled “Fantastic Magazine for Homosexuals” is no. 31 which leaves us to ponder the question of the missing 30th issue.

Whatever the reason for the numbering it’s good to see BUTT continuing as before, as though it hadn’t been dormant for such a long time. The new issue is almost exactly the same as previous numbers: slightly taller, slightly longer (100 pages) and with its first glossy cover. Under the covers the formula remains the same, all pink paper (with a familiar fresh-paint aroma), minimal design, sporadic nudity and informative interviews. The egalitarian nature of the latter has always been one of the attractions of the magazine, which in this issue features those with public profiles—Hilton Als, Arca, Durk Dehner of the Tom of Finland Foundation—and those without, like cover star Yoni (an Ethiopian currently living in Newcastle) and Stas, a Ukrainian DJ.

• Distribution: UK | EU | US/World

Previously on { feuilleton }
BUTT covered

Weekend links 643

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Freundschaftsfoto (1964) by Jürgen Wittdorf.

• “It’s truly astonishing how Laswell collided with vastly divergent musicians and genres while somehow still representing complementary musical spheres.” Yes, indeed. Mixes of the week: Bill Laswell Research Institute: Vol I & II, two 90-minute collections at Aquarium Drunkard dedicated to the career of the indefatigable musician/producer/catalyst.

• “These pieces are created using custom developed software and laser specialised machines resulting in highly detailed laser cut works on layered paper with some works comprising over a thousand individual parts.” Works in paper at Studio Ibbini.

• “The visual history of polyhedra is littered with false starts, poignant failures, and allegories unable to convey the weight of their subject matter.” Noam Andrews explores the history of rendering polyhedral objects in art.

• “When it came to homosexuality, the east was as bourgeois as the west.” Homoerotic art from the communist era by Jürgen Wittdorf (1932–2018) receives a reappraisal.

• More MR James: All of James’ ghost stories in a single volume at Standard Ebooks, the home of free, high-quality, public-domain texts.

• More mixes: A mix for The Wire by NikNak, and XLR8R Podcast 769 by The Sun Ra Arkestra.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Tracing the history of railways in Japan through art.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Marie Menken Day.

Angeline Morrison‘s favourite albums.

Ghost Train (1961) by Virgil Holmes | Ghost Train (1961) by Electro-Tones | Ghost Train (1962) by The Partners

Weekend links 636

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Untitled painting by Oliver Frey based on The Wild Boys by William Burroughs.

• RIP Oliver Frey, a prolific illustrator and comic artist whose art for UK computer magazines in the 1980s made a lasting impression on a generation of games players, hence this obituary at Eurogamer. On this site, however, Frey is also remembered for his artistic alter-ego “Zack” (previously), an equally prolific creator of comic-strip erotica for Britain’s few gay-porn mags at a time when any such material being sold in the UK ran the risk of police seizure or even a court appearance. For a while, Zack’s Rogue and Tom of Finland’s Kake were rare examples of assertive, unashamedly lustful gay characters with strips of their own, which makes Oliver Frey something of a pioneer, and a daring one at that.

• “The title characters were a trio of boys named Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw, and Bob Andrews, who live in the fictional California town of Rocky Beach, not far from Hollywood, on the coast…” Colin Fleming on the satisfyingly spooky adventures of Robert Arthur Jr’s Three Investigators. I was never as obsessive as Fleming was but I read all of the books about the trio that I could find in our local library.

• “Though its inimitable visual style has safeguarded it as a quintessential cult film most at home behind a shroud of pot smoke, the influence of Koyaanisqatsi has been sweeping.” Josef Steen on 40 years of Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi.

• “Putting it simply, coincidences and curiosities and chance encounters happen when people go looking for zodiacs.” Mark Valentine on Britain’s terrestrial zodiacs.

• At Literary Hub: Marguerite Duras on writing the screenplay for Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima Mon Amour.

• New/old music: a reissue of Solar Maximum by Majeure.

• New music: Kerber Remixes by Yann Tiersen.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Ingrid Caven Day.

• Threnody To The Victims Of Hiroshima (1959-61) by Krzysztof Penderecki | Memory Of Hiroshima (1973) by Stomu Yamash’ta | Hiroshima Mon Amour (1977) by Ultravox!

Weekend links 634

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Cover for Amazing Stories, October 1992, by Douglas Chaffee. A delightfully strange painting that suggests a no doubt unintentional homoerotic scenario when divorced from its original context. Via.

• “The most curious aspect of Buckminster Fuller’s arc is that he became a counterculture icon while entrenched in the very things that betrayed its spirit.” Pradeep Niroula on Buckminster Fuller (again) whose self-importance is deflated in a new biography, Inventor of the Future: The Visionary Life of Buckminster Fuller by Alec Nevala-Lee.

• “I love both King Diamond and Weird Al. Lana del Rey and Anna von Hausswolff. Golden age illustrations of elegantly levitating fairies in a lush vibrant summer garden and the gothic charcoal rendering of melancholy moth singed by a candle’s flame.” S. Elizabeth talking to Luna Luna Magazine about inspirations and The Art of Darkness.

• “I’m writing this from my office which has a record player, currently about eight thousand records, and just one CD.” Vinyl-head Jonny Trunk talking to Norman Records about the finding and releasing of rare music.

A painter’s brilliant achievements, the unique traits of his particular style, rest on an abiding substratum of coordinated specialized crafts, a body of knowledge and practice safeguarded by a tradition upheld by the guilds. Beneath the glimmer and foreground of art history, like a powerful underground river, flow the patterns of training and production developed in the crafts. Art history is centred on individual talents romantically bringing forth their creations on their own, out of nothing. Craft is collective and anonymous. Someone had to weave the pieces of cloth that form the giant canvas of Las Meninas. Someone had to sew them together so that the stitching would show as little as possible. Someone had to cut and to assemble the struts for its support and then nail to them a canvas which in fact is not of the highest quality. It seems that Velázquez enjoyed the roughness of a surface that favoured his subtle veils and ambiguities. The loose manner of painting developed in Venice is linked to the quality of the pigments that could be purchased there, as well as to the oil medium and the thick, porous quality of a cloth that allowed subtle veils and ambiguities that are impossible to achieve on the surface of a wood panel.

Antonio Muñoz Molina on the materiality of painting, and its highest expression in the art of Diego Velázquez

• The films of Japanese director Kinuyo Tanaka are criminally overlooked, says James Balmont.

Winners of the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2022.

• From 2012: The Disappeared by Salman Rushdie.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Standish Lawder Day.

• New music: Octopus by Sunfear.

Come Sta, La Luna (1974) by Can | Fontana Di Luna (1978) by Michael Rother | La Luna En Tu Mirada (2003) by Ry Cooder & Manuel Galbán