The art of Gregorio Prieto, 1897–1992

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Predicadors del be i del mal (c. 1928–1930).

My thanks to Will at 50 Watts for sending these experimental photos by Spanish artists Eduardo Chicharro (1873–1949) and Gregorio Prieto, neither of whose work I’d looked at before. Prieto is of most interest here (that’s him in photo five with the metalwork wrapped around his head) for the homoerotic quality of his other work, a quality which no doubt explains why some of these pictures set the gaydar bells ringing. I thought that Javier at Bajo el Signo de Libra might have featured Prieto already but it seems not.

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Iluita (c. 1928–1930).

The photos are from Les avantguardes fotografiques a espanya, 1925–1945. The superimposed images are reminiscent of those that Emil Cadoo was producing in the 1950s albeit with more of a deliberate Surrealist flavour; the ruins and Classical references are also a feature of Prieto’s paintings, some of which can be seen here. (Also a coloured print of the first photo above.) The homoerotics is most evident in his line drawings, some of which can be seen here. His reclining youths and embracing sailors look rather Cocteau-like but they probably owe more to the etchings of Picasso’s Vollard Suite which were being produced around the same period. There’s more Picasso-esque Prieto at Flickr including a drawing dedicated to Lorca.

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Metamorfosi (c. 1928–1930).

Continue reading “The art of Gregorio Prieto, 1897–1992”

Weekend links 42

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Blasphemous Rumours (2009/2010) by Ryan Martin. The artist now has a dedicated site for his paintings.

The Museum of Censored Art, a mobile gallery, will be showing the withdrawn David Wojnarowicz film outside the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, until their contentious gay art exhibition closes next month. Related: Bishop of Mallorca criticises calendar—which shows Catholic youths posing naked—for ‘not respecting Christian symbols’.

• Didier Lestrade published French gay zine Magazine in the 1980s, and later co-founded Têtu. He’s interviewed at BUTT and has started uploading the entire run of Magazine about which he says: “I don’t want to stamp some kind of logo on this material. It’s gay. It’s gay history. It belongs to everybody. If you want to take a piece of it, please try to mention the origins of it, a simple code word “Magazine” will be enough. If you wanna be more specific, be my guest.”

HMV, Britain’s last big music chain, is closing 60 branches. Yet a new wave of CD stores is thriving. Oh, HMV, how I’ll miss your £17 CDs (and double-CDs at £34)… On second thoughts, no I won’t, your wretched retail barns always exemplified the greed endemic in the music business.

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Love Comes/Destroyer by Stephen Kasner.

• Artist Stephen Kasner‘s work has adorned music releases by Sunn O))), Isis and others. He’s currently another American creator in need of assistance with medical expenses. Details here.

The Ghosts of Old London: the gloomy Victorian metropolis in all its deteriorated splendour. See also: In Search of Relics of Old London.

• “It’s time to recognise [Sandy] Denny as not simply a folksinger but one of Britain’s great poets of song,” says Rob Young.

Louis Pattison talks to Locrian about JG Ballard, old VHS tapes and their new album The Crystal World.

The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of: Lebbeus Woods’ big drawings.

Hannes Bok portfolios at Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

An Iranian rapper named Salome. Also here and here.

A Moment of (Alan) Moore.

RIP Mick Karn.

Book Worship.

Sons of Pioneers (1981) by Japan; Tao-Tao (1982) by Masami Tsuchiya; Glow World (1983) by Bill Nelson.

Dirty Dalí

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The paranoiac-critical gaze: Dirty Dalí.

I finally managed to see this fascinating documentary this week. Since my TV broke down some time ago I refused to waste money buying another, partly for the reason that films such as this are increasingly rare and most of them have been shunted to minority channel BBC 4 which I can’t receive. Thanks to BitTorrent you can still find the worthwhile stuff, of course, but this often requires patience.

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The Wines of Gala and of God (1977).

Dirty Dalí: A Private View was a reminiscence by art critic Brian Sewell about his encounters with Dalí and wife Gala at their home in Port Lligat in the late Sixties and early Seventies. What’s interesting about it is the first-hand light it throws on Dalí’s complicated sexuality which has been the source of speculation in biographies (notably Ian Gibson’s The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí) but which is confused by the artist’s simultaneous revealing of his obsessions in his art and the veiling of his interests in public statements, not least the frequent declarations of impotence. Sewell confirms that Dalí was interested in both men and women although purely as a voyeur, and recounts how his first encounter with the artist led to his having to lie naked in the armpit of a giant Christ sculpture in Dalí’s garden, masturbating while Dalí took photographs. Sewell also examines Dalí’s affair with Federico García Lorca, the closest the artist came to a gay romance, and his subsequent relationship with Gala, which became one where the pair used the artist’s celebrity to attract delectable people of both sexes, like a pair of art world super-swingers. According to Sewell, Dalí’s physical ideal was the hermaphrodite which would possibly explain his attraction to (alleged) transsexual Amanda Lear during this time.

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The Great Masturbator (1929).

As a piece of television the film struggles to fill out its running time by resorting to animating photographs, a persistent hazard for documentaries that lack the relevant raw material. All the footage of Dalí is lifted from previous documentary films including a large chunk of Russell Harty’s Aquarius interview, Hello Dali! (that camp double-entendre now seems very apt), from 1973. The overall effect of Sewell’s narrative is to add to Dalí’s already considerable feet of clay but that’s the inevitable outcome of nearly any biography; real lives are always messy. Sewell nonetheless ends by reaffirming Dalí’s principal importance as one of the great painters of the 20th century and, in an interesting side note, declares him to be the last great painter of a religious work with his Christ of St John of the Cross. A great religious artist and also one who produced hundreds of pornographic drawings, some of which are seen in the film. In art, as in the life, the contradictions are everywhere.

Dirty Dalí at Grey Lodge
Homage to Catalonia: Robert Hughes on Dalí

Previously on { feuilleton }
Impressions de la Haute Mongolie revisited
Dalí and Film
Ballard on Dalí
Fantastic art from Pan Books
Penguin Surrealism
The Surrealist Revolution
The persistence of DNA
Salvador Dalí’s apocalyptic happening
The music of Igor Wakhévitch
Dalí Atomicus
Las Pozas and Edward James
Impressions de la Haute Mongolie

Tim Buckley on DVD

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Not before time. Thanks to Jay for the tip.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TIM BUCKLEY
My Fleeting House
Documentary featuring rare performance and interview footage spanning his entire career

My Fleeting House is first-ever DVD collection of performances of Tim Buckley. This essential DVD features rare live performances from various television shows and interview footage spanning his entire career.

The DVD has eleven full-length songs, and three partial performances. This DVD also features insightful interviews with Larry Beckett (co-writer of many songs with Buckley), Lee Underwood (Buckley’s guitarist) and David Browne (author of Dream Brother: The Lives of Jeff and Tim Buckley).

The footage spans his entire career, from 1967 to 1974, and includes unreleased video of interaction with Buckley on The Steve Allen Show (1969) and on WITF’s The Show (1970). The footage is taken from various television programs from 1967 to 1974 right up to the time of his death in 1975. All but two of the musical clips are unreleased. As an additional oddity, the clip of Buckley being interviewed on The Steve Allen Show includes Jayne Meadows complimenting Buckley on his hair.

Despite having produced nine studio albums, three live albums, and many “best of” compilations—My Fleeting House is the first-ever authorized collection of Buckley’s visual performances. Several segments on this new collection have not been seen for over thirty years. MVD Visual has secured the best possible, first-generation video sources for the compilation, including footage from American, British, and Dutch television, and also a forgotten feature film. This DVD has the full approval of the Estate of Tim Buckley.

Buckley was an experimental vocalist and performer who incorporated jazz, psychedelia, funk, soul, and avant-garde rock in a short career spanning the late 1960s and early 1970s. He often regarded his voice as an instrument, a talent most exploited on his albums Goodbye and Hello, Lorca, and Starsailor. He was the father of musician and singer Jeff Buckley, also known for his three-and-a-half octave voice, who died in 1997. Buckley released his debut album Tim Buckley on Elektra in 1966. A folk-rock album, it contained psychedelic melodies written with input from Beckett. He went on to release Goodbye and Hello (1967), Happy Sad (1969), Blue Afternoon (1969), Lorca (1970), Starsailor (1970), Greetings from L.A. (1972), Sefronia (1973), and Look at the Fool (1974).

Born in Washington DC, Tim Buckley lived for 10 years in New York before moving to southern California. During his childhood, he was a fan of Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Nat King Cole, and Miles Davis, although country music was his foremost passion. He left school at 18 with twenty songs written with Larry Beckett under his belt—many of which later featured on his debut album. Mothers of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black introduced Buckley to Herb Cohen, and he quickly got him signed to Elektra record company. He also met guitarist Lee Underwood around this time, who became a big part of nearly all of Buckley’s artistic endeavors.

On June 28, 1975 after returning from the last show of a tour in Dallas, Buckley snorted heroin at a friend’s house. Having diligently controlled his habit while on the road, his tolerance was lowered, and the combination of a small amount of drugs mixed with the amount of alcohol he’d been consuming all day to celebrate the tour’s end was too much. His friend took him home thinking he was merely drunk. He was put to bed by his friends, who told his wife that he’d also used some barbiturates. As she watched TV in bed beside him, Buckley turned blue. Attempts by friends and paramedics to revive him were unsuccessful. Reportedly, Buckley’s last words were “Bye Bye Baby,” delivered in a way reminiscent of the line in Ray Charles’ Driftin’ Blues. Buckley was just 28 years of age.

Arranged in chronological order, My Fleeting House traces the evolution of Buckley’s music, voice, songwriting, and backup bands.

DVD extras:
A 12-page booklet of unreleased Buckley photos
An album-by-album review by Underwood, Beckett, and Browne
Beckett (also a poet) reciting ‘Song to the Siren’

Tracklist:
Inside Pop—’No Man Can Find the War’
Late Night Line Up—’Happy Time’
Late Night Line Up—’Morning Glory’
Old Grey Whistle Test—’The Dolphins’
The Monkees Show—’Song to the Siren’
Greenwich Village—’Who Do You Love’
Dutch TV—’Happy Time’
Dutch TV—’Sing a Song for You’
Music Video Live—’Sally Go Round the Roses’
Boboquivari—’Blue Melody’
Boboquivari—’Venice Beach (Music Boats by the Bay)’
The Show—’I Woke Up’
The Show—’Come Here Woman’
The Christian Licorice Store—’Pleasant Street’

• Official Website: http://www.timbuckleydvd.com/
• Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHCccGEUMr0

Selection #: DR-4566
UPC: 022891456698
Street Date: 5/15/2007
List Price: $19.95
Running Time: 105 minutes