Weekend links 527


Poster art by Bob Peak.

• Sidney Lumet’s 1977 film of Peter Shaffer’s Equus receives a limited blu-ray release by the BFI in August. Richard Burton’s performance has always received a mixed response (I’ve never been in the anti-Burton camp) but the film is serious and well-made. And, as with The Offence (1973), there’s the thrill of seeing Lumet turn his attention away from his beloved New York City to examine British lives.

• “Astronomer claims to have pinpointed date of Vermeer’s View of Delft.” Yes, but how long did it take Vermeer paint the view? Speaking as someone who used to paint a lot, I’d say two or three days at least. Then there’s that awkward thing known as “artistic licence”…

• “I was taken aback by the antic side of Borges. He was irreverent, funny, insistent on his ways, and brilliantly talkative.” Jay Parini on Jorge Luis Borges, and his experience as the writer’s chauffeur in the Scottish Highlands.

• Strange Islands: Benjamin Welton on a favourite cinematic micro-genre I explored here a few years ago: the mysterious tropical island that’s a home to fearsome beasts and outsized (often deranged) personalities.

Greydogtales on The Sapphire Goddess of Nictzin Dyalhis, the Weird Tales writer with a name like a character from one of his stories.

• “I came for the giant phalluses and stayed for the joy of being a gay person.” Eight artists on the influence of Tom of Finland.

Tamsin Cleary on Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House (1977) which she calls “the world’s most demented haunted house film”. It really is.

The Gone Away, a short film by Sean Reynard for the forthcoming album from Belbury Poly.

Moorcography: the beginnings of an online Michael Moorcock bibliography.

• “Our sound engineer got a death threat”: Andrew Male on Olivia, a lesbian record label.

Bajo el Signo de Libra explores the art of Aubrey Beardsley.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Hans-Jürgen Syberberg Day.

The secret drawings of Great Britain’s UFO Desk.

Wyrd Daze Lvl.4 is here.

The Four Horsemen (1971) by Aphrodite’s Child | All The Pretty Little Horses (2004) by Coil | When The Horses Were Shorn Of Their Hooves (2018) by Dylan Carlson

Weekend links 198


Bum (1966) by Pauline Boty.

Eleanor Birne on Pauline Boty, “the only prominent female Pop artist among a generation of famous men”. Ken Russell’s Pop Art documentary, Pop Goes the Easel (1962), which features Boty, may be seen here. Two years later Boty was back with Ken Russell playing the part of the prostitute from The Miraculous Mandarin in a film about Béla Bartók. That’s something I’d love to see. There’s more about her painting, and the work of other female Pop artists, here.

• Why Are We Sleeping? Mark Pilkington on the music world’s recurrent interest in the philosophy of GI Gurdjieff. Pilkington’s most recent Raagnagrok release with Zali Krishna, Man Woman Birth Death Infinity, was reviewed by Peter Bebergal.

• Cinematic details: Frames-within-frames in The Ipcress File (1966), and the typography of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).


A Jay Shaw poster for Ben Wheatley’s forthcoming film of High-Rise.

• “…a large cavity must be dug in the bird’s shoulder and filled with ball bearings.” Christine Baumgarthuber on the dubious delights of The Futurist Cookbook.

• Why Tatlin Can Never Go Home Again: Rick Poynor on the difficulties of finding a definitive representation of an artwork online.

Jay Parini reviews Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris by Edmund White. At AnOther Donatien Grau talks to White about fashion.

• At Bajo el Signo de Libra (in Spanish): the homoerotic and occasionally Surrealist art of Pavel Tchelitchew.

• At 50 Watts: Kling Klang Gloria: Vintage Children’s Books from Austria.

• The motorbike girl gangs of Morocco photographed by Hassan Hajjaj.

Geoff Manaugh on how LED streetlights will change cinema.

Stylus “is an experiment in sound, music and listening”.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen mix 106 by Senking.

• At Pinterest: JG Ballard

This Is Pop? (1978) by XTC | Pop Muzik (1979) by M | Pop Quiz (1995) by Stereolab

Big fish


Illustration by Lawrence for The Undying Monster (1946) by Jessie Kerruish.

Another of those collisions between fine art and pulp fiction that I like to note now and then. The drawing above by Lawrence Sterne Stevens (from this page) I immediately recognised as borrowing its fish from the painting below by Néstor Martín-Fernández de la Torre (1887–1938), or Néstor as he’s usually known. Stevens was also usually credited by the single name Lawrence, and this is one of his many first-rate contributions to Famous Fantastic Mysteries. I’ve already noted a similar borrowing by his contemporary, Virgil Finlay, so this example isn’t too surprising. It’s unlikely that many of the readers eagerly devouring Jessie Kerruish’s tale would have been familiar with Néstor’s paintings. On the same Lawrence page there’s his illustration for Arthur Machen’s The Novel of the Black Seal which ran in the same issue.


Poema del Mar: Noche (1913–1924).

Néstor is distinguished by a predilection for aquarian scenes and writhing figures, all of which are presented in a very distinctive and recognisable style. He also happens to be one of the few major artists to come from the Canary Islands which no doubt explains his interest in the sea. The Poema del Mar series, and other works such as this satyr head, often find him numbered among the Spanish Symbolists although he’s rather late for that movement, and this assumes that every artist has to be placed in one box or another whether they belong there or not. These giant fish could just as well make him another precursor of the Surrealists, and they do occasionally receive a mention for their similarity to (and possible influence upon) Dalí’s enormous Tuna Fishing (Homage to Meissonier) (1966–67). There’s more of Néstor’s work over at Bajo el Signo de Libra (Spanish language).


Poema del Mar: Tarde (1913–1924).


Poema del Mar: Reposo (1913–1924).

Continue reading “Big fish”

Andrey Avinoff revisited


(My apologies for the recent downtime. The hosting for this site has been a bit more unstable than usual.)

At a time when various Russians are trying to rewrite their nation’s gay history, there’s hardly been a better moment to remind ourselves of some of the people who contributed to that history. When I discovered the art of Andrey Avinoff (1884–1949) in 2007 most of the online examples of his work were in the collection of the Kinsey Institute. Avinoff was a friend of Kinsey’s (the artist escaped the revolution to live in the USA), and the professor no doubt took an interest in the evident homoeroticism of the drawings.


The homoerotics (mostly male nudes in fantasy scenes) are combined with some remarkable occult designs in Avinoff’s 21 illustrations for The Fall of Atlantis, a book-length poem by George Golokhvastoff published in 1944. The book was a limited edition, and a complete set of the drawings wasn’t forthcoming in 2007 so it’s been great to find Javier at Bajo el Signo de Libra posting the complete set. These are stunning illustrations which really ought to be seen by a wider audience; Avinoff isn’t a name you find very often in either the gay or the occult art world yet his draughtsmanship and imagination demand attention from both.


Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The gay artists archive

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The art of Andrey Avinoff, 1884–1949

The art of Gregorio Prieto, 1897–1992


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.


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.


Metamorfosi (c. 1928–1930).

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