Weekend links 556

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Captain Edward St. Miquel Tilden Bradshaw and his Crew Come to Grips with Bloodthirsty Foe Pirates by S. Clay Wilson, Zap Comix no. 3, 1968.

• RIP S. Clay Wilson, the wild man of American comics. The scene of mayhem above is typical in being barely coherent at a small size; click for a larger view. Patrick Rosenkranz at The Comics Journal describes Wilson as “the most influential artist of his generation…creating an extensive body of work that will defy authority and offend propriety until the end of days”. When Moebius was writing in the 1980s about the founding of Métal Hurlant he had this to say about the American undergrounds: “They were the first in the world to use comics as a means of communication, to express real emotions. Before, comics were used only to do stories, entertainment. They had some great moments but they were all very conventional. The American Underground showed us in Europe how to express true feelings, how to tell something to the reader through the comics. They blew the minds of the few professionals in Europe who saw them.” Also at TCJ, the S. Clay Wilson Interview. Wilson sent me a postcard once. I wish I knew what the hell I’d done with it.

• Michael Hoenig, synthesist for Agitation Free and (briefly) Tangerine Dream, plays one of the pieces from his debut album of electronic music, Departure From The Northern Wasteland, on a radio show in 1977. Hoenig’s album is long overdue a remastering and re-release.

• “My job, which the BBC has tasked me to do, is to provoke people and ask them, ‘Have you thought about looking at the world this way?'” Adam Curtis talks to Michael J. Brooks about his new TV series, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.

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{ feuilleton } celebrates its 15th birthday today. Monsieur Chat, the mascot of this place, is happy about that but then Monsieur Chat is happy about most things.

• At Greydogtales: Opening The Book of Carnacki. A call for contributions to a collection of new stories about William Hope Hodgson’s occult detective. I’d be tempted if I didn’t already have more than enough to keep me occupied.

• “I’m being asked to talk about it a great deal at the moment, with the pandemic.” Roger Corman and Jane Asher on filming The Masque of the Red Death.

• New music: Cygnus Sutra by Mike Shannon, “a soundtrack to a fantasy/sci-fi epic not yet written”.

• A trailer for The Witch of King’s Cross, a documentary about occult artist Rosaleen Norton.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Spotlight on…Hans Bellmer & Paul Eluard The Games of the Doll (1949).

• RIP also this week to Rowena Morrill, fantasy artist, and to Chick Corea.

• “Computers will never write good novels,” says Angus Fletcher.

• DJ Food on Zodiac posters by Funky Features, 1967.

• Mix of the week: Fact Mix 794 by Lutto Lento.

Annie Nightingale’s favourite music.

Zodiac (1984) by Boogie Boys | From The Zodiacal Light (2014) by Earth | Zodiac Black (2017) by Goldfrapp

Hans Bellmer’s Maldoror

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Les Fleurs du Mal.

That favourite novel of the Surrealists receives the attention of yet another Surrealist artist. Dalí and Magritte both made their own attempts to illustrate Lautréamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror, a book that many people would consider beyond the reach of easy pictorial representation. I tend to think that the novel’s delirious, dream-like prose offers endless interpretations; this earlier post managed to haul one paragraph in the direction of the Cthulhu Mythos.

Hans Bellmer’s series of 33 intaglio prints were produced from 1967 to 1971, and use the book as a mirror for the artist’s erotic obsessions. Not an unwarranted point of view but Bellmer makes the novel seem much more overtly erotic than it is. The images here aren’t the best quality. Better copies and a complete set of the prints may be viewed at a larger size here.

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Ecstasy.

Continue reading “Hans Bellmer’s Maldoror”

L’Amour by Didier Moreau

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Didier Moreau is one of a handful of obscure artists whose work I go searching for now and then in the hope that more of it may have been posted somewhere. Moreau’s drawings first came to my attention via the marvellous Art Nouveau Revival 1900 . 1933 . 1966 . 1974 exhibition catalogue but details about either the artist or his work are scant, especially on Anglophone sites where more recent French artists tend to be marginalised at the best of times. Matters aren’t helped by there being several Didier Moreaus in the world, and the possibility that Didier the artist may not have produced a great deal of work after the early 1970s.

L’Amour, a portfolio of drawings from 1973 was discovered on an auction site. The drawings themselves date from 1970, and look very much like improvised pieces. The examples in Art Nouveau Revival were vaguely erotic in tone but distinctly Beardsley-like in style; the pieces here are much more erotic (hence the title) but with a style that’s closer to Hans Bellmer: all those fused bodies, multiplied limbs and sinuous, organic forms. If something like this can turn up out of the blue you have to wonder what else may come to light in the future.

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Continue reading “L’Amour by Didier Moreau”

Several more Salomés

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Cover of Salome by Oscar Wilde (1903) by Modest Alexandrovich Durnov.

Gathering a few more Salomé renderings which have caught my attention recently. The biggest surprise is the one from Picabia since he’s an artist who these days is almost always associated with the Cubists and Dadaists. In the 1920s he returned to figurative painting and produced a number of pieces in this style. The overlaying of images reminds me of some of Hans Bellmer’s drawings.

Michael Zulli is an American comic artist whose work I’ve always liked a great deal. No information about his drawing, unfortunately, so I can’t say whether it’s a one-off or part of a larger project.

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Salomé (1917) by John Riley Wilmer.

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Salomé (c. 1928) by Francis Picabia.

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Salomé Sphinx (1928) by Nicholas Kalmakoff.

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Salomé (no date) by Michael Zulli.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The Salomé archive

Weekend links 104

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Prettiest Star (2004) by Timothy Cummings.

I Want Your Love, a feature film directed by Travis Mathews catches my attention for having been described as “the gay Shortbus” even though (as the director notes) Shortbus was pretty gay to begin with.

• I’ve always found Hans Christian Andersen’s story of The Tinderbox—a tale of spectral dogs with enormous eyes—to be rather weird. But these illustrations by Heinrich Strub for a 1956 edition beat everything.

• “From an early age, however, I became in secret the slave of certain appetites.” The line that Robert Louis Stevenson deleted from The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Scientific American: Homophobes might be hidden homosexuals. Not exactly fresh news but always worth bearing in mind when someone starts ranting about those evil gays.

Minimal Wave: The 80s synth-pop underground. The Minimal Wave label releases a vinyl compilation by Hard Corps this month.

• “Blame the Victorians for making menswear boring.” Alex Jung on the endless tyranny of the suit-and-tie combination.

• Women, Vaginas and Blood: Breaking menstrual taboos with artist Sarah Maple.

London’s lost rivers (again): the hidden history of the city’s buried waterways.

Vincenzo Pacelli says the Knights of Malta murdered Caravaggio.

Street style 1906: Edward Linley Sambourne’s fashion blog.

Architectural Stationery Vignettes at BibliOdyssey.

Hans Bellmer & Unica Zürn at Ubu Gallery, NYC.

Pam Grossman admits to being a “candle hooch”.

Dirty (1986) by Hard Corps | Lost Rivers Of London (1996) by Coil | The Tinderbox (2009) by Patrick Wolf.