If I’d have seen it earlier I would have included this animated film in my Echoes of de Chirico post. Chirico (2008) is a wordless 4-minute homage to the maestro of pittura metafisica directed by Keiichi Tanaami with Nobuhiro Aihama. In addition to being a celebrated artist and designer, Keiichi Tanaami has been making short animations since the 1960s, usually with the assistance of other artists. This one puts familiar de Chirico motifs through a metamorphic Surrealist wringer in a manner that could easily have been extended into a much longer film. De Chirico has evidently been a preoccupation for Tanaami in recent years, providing a landscape he can appropriate for his bad-trip take on psychedelic art.
One of a number of strange, short animations made by Tanaami in the 1970s with the assistance of professional animators. IMDB lists 13 of these films but biographical notes for Tanaami refer to others before and after. This one is on YouTube together with a handful of others, or you can see the same films in better quality at Ubuweb.
After Bathing At Baxter’s (1968) by Jefferson Airplane (front).
More psychedelia, although Ernst Fuchs could be considered psychedelic to some degree, and I did give him a mention in the piece I wrote for Communication Arts earlier this year. Keiichi Tanaami is less well-known in the west than Tadanori Yokoo despite the pair being contemporaries. This is only a partial discography, there may be more to find as Tanaami’s cover work isn’t always credited properly on Discogs. The Jefferson Airplane and Monkees covers were done specially for the Japanese releases. In the case of the Airplane one I much prefer the cover to Ron Cobb’s literal drawing of an aircraft.
After Bathing At Baxter’s (1968) by Jefferson Airplane (back).
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. (1968) by The Monkees.
Psychedelic Sounds In Japan (1968) by The Mops.
Wunderkammer (2011) by Emma Leonard.
As someone who was eight years old at the time of the Apollo moon landing, I remember calculating that I would be thirty-nine in the magic year 2000 and wondering what the world would be like. Did I expect I would be living in such a world of wonders? Of course. Everyone did. Do I feel cheated now? It seemed unlikely that I’d live to see all the things I was reading about in science fiction, but it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t see any of them.
• Constellation, a series of portraits by Kumi Yamashita: “This body of work consists of three simple materials that, when combined, produce the portraits: a wooden panel painted a solid white, thousands of small galvanized nails, and a single, unbroken, common sewing thread.”
• Nicole Rudick at The Paris Review on the history of psychedelic art. Related: The psychedelic art and design of Keiichi Tanaami. Also Manifesting the Mind: Footprints of the Shaman, a two-hour documentary about psychedelic drugs.
• “I can’t think of anybody who would have a good word to say for centipedes…” Duncan Fallowell (a Can associate for many years) interviewed William Burroughs in 1982.
• Strange Flowers goes to the movies with everyone’s favourite Bavarian king, Ludwig II.
• The Sphinx’s Riddle: The Art of Leonor Fini at the Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco.
• More Teutonica: A Spacemusic Primer by Dave Maier.
• Forty Posters for Forty Years at Pentagram.