The weekend artists, 2012

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Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (2012) by Lesley Barnes. She also has peacock wrapping paper.

The most popular post of the year was one I made last December featuring all the artists whose work had appeared throughout 2011 in the weekend links posts. (The surge of views occurred early in January when it was linked on Stumbleupon.) Since I’ve been away this week there aren’t any links so here’s a retrospective of things that caught my eye in 2012.

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Heartsick (2011) by Kelly Durette.

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Self-portrait by Jon Jacobsen from his Home series.

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Der Triumph des Tintenfisches from Meggendorfer-Blätter (c. 1900). Via Beautiful Century.

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Two Grove Press covers by Roy Kuhlman. From Arden Kuhlman Riordan’s Pinterest page collecting her father’s cover designs.

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Technological mandala 02 (The beginning) (2012) by Leonardo Ulian.

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Books of blood

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Artist Nick Kushner writes to alert me that his 2010 painting Maldoror: Satan Seated Upon His Throne has been used on the cover of a recent Russian edition of Lautréamont’s novel. Kushner uses his own blood to create his paintings, and the cover below has been created using the same material. Maldoror himself would no doubt demand that proper homage be paid by binding the volume in human skin. That’s something publisher Provocateurs’ Club can maybe try for the special edition.

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This news has reminded me that I had a mail last month from another American artist, Robert Sherer, concerning a book collection of his own blood paintings. Sherer also uses the blood of friends both HIV-negative and HIV-positive. Blood Works: The Sanguineous Art of Robert Sherer is published by Kennesaw State University Press.

Previously on {feuilleton }
Magritte’s Maldoror
Frans De Geetere’s illustrated Maldoror
The art of Robert Sherer
Maldoror illustrated

Be prepared

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Sodomites (no date) by Robert Sherer.

The Boy Scouts of America yet again proved itself a retrograde organisation by deciding this week after a two-year review to maintain its policy of exclusion for gay scouts and gay scout leaders. The Girl Scouts of America don’t have this kind of policy, nor do UK Scouting organisations. In honour, then, of the Boy Scouts of America’s decision here’s some work by a trio of North American artists all of whom have used scouting iconography for subversive or satirical purposes. Robert Sherer and Jason Driskill are both American while Daryl Vocat is Canadian. Vocat’s portfolio of prints is particularly funny, showing scouts tattooing each other and making bombs; William Burroughs would love it. Poor old Chuck Norris, meanwhile, would no doubt collapse with a fit of the vapours at the sight of Sherer’s scouts holding hands.

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Prints from A Boy’s Will (no date) by Daryl Vocat.

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Judging (2004) by Jason Driskill.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The gay artists archive

Weekend links 116

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Ankle Deep, a pyrograph by Robert Sherer whose work is showcased at The Advocate.

• “Bertrand Russell wrote in 1932, during another period of economic distress, ‘that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial societies is quite different from what always has been preached.’ ” From The Devilishness Of Idleness by Alex Gallo-Brown. Related: Owen Hatherley says “It’s the 21st century – why are we working so much?”

Restoring James Joyce’s book of the night: Joyce biographer Gordon Bowker reviews the new edition of Finnegans Wake. Over at the NYRB Michael Chabon has a great piece about his own relationship with Joyce’s novel that manages to make some very un-NYRB references to Cthulhu, the Necronomicon and Michael Moorcock’s Elric. Related: Leopold’s Day, a limited edition (and expensive) map of Dublin using typography to depict the people and places of Bloomsday.

Verbally, it feels as though Burroughs, Joyce and Beckett are text messaging haikus back and forth: ‘beautiful/last/random fragments of poetry/finding syllables,/the waters fall/the waves fall/musical./pencil murmuring’.

James Kidd on A Humument by Tom Phillips.

The Expanding Universe (1980), an album of early computer music by American composer Laurie Spiegel, will be reissued with additional recordings in September.

• A previously unreleased remix by Surgeon of Teenage Lighting by Coil has been made public.

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Small Museum of Nature and Industry (2010) by Susan Collard.

Queer Kids In America, a photo project by M. Sharkey.

Walter Benjamin’s Grave: A Profane Illumination.

The Visual Art and Design of Famous Writers.

Nylon Sculptures by Rosa Verloop.

Froschroom (1994) by Mouse on Mars | Bib (1995) by Mouse on Mars | Cache Coeur Naïf (1997) by Mouse on Mars.

Fred Holland Day revisited

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St Sebastian with wounded chest (c. 1906).

The work of American photographer Fred Holland Day (1864–1933) has featured here in the past but it’s only recently that I came across the archive of prints at the Library of Congress. Not all the works there are digitised yet, and some are still unavailable for viewing, but the LoC prints one can view are always quality scans. Day would have been a significant photographer whatever his subject but his work has additional interest today for its overt homoerotic dimension; he manages to play the usual evasive games with Biblical themes or Classical mythology whilst maintaining a pictorial quality through soft focus and heavily-grained paper. The mood of some of these shots makes them seem far in advance of other work of the period.

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St Sebastian in loincloth, tied to tree with rope, arrows in stomach and side, hands behind back (1906).

Continue reading “Fred Holland Day revisited”