“The scroll shows the stages of decomposition of the body of a woman, beginning with her fully clothed body and ending with her bones being eaten by dogs. The subject is an ancient Buddhist one, treating of the transience of the physical body, but which later assumed didactic functions relating to the proper conduct of women. In this example, however, the theme is given a new and somewhat prurient twist by its featuring of a prostitute as the subject. The work intersects with the world of ‘erotic pictures’ (shunga) and gives a very useful counterpoint for studying that genre. A prolific and versatile artist trained in the traditional Kano school, [Kobayashi Eitaku] achieved success rather through ukiyoe works and newspaper illustrations, but his reputation in Japan is not yet as high as it should be. Like many important artists whose careers straddled the end of the Edo period and beginning of the Meiji era, Japanese scholars have found it problematic to classify him.” — The British Museum
There have been some great, attention-getting breast cancer awareness campaigns floating around lately. Social media activists Boobie Wednesday, for example, are taking every online opportunity to remind women and men to perform monthly self-exams. Now artist Maisa Chaves has contributed to the cause with her ad campaign for DDB Mozambique. Featuring DC and Marvel superheroines encouraging people to kick cancer in its ass early by doing auto-examinations, the ads will hopefully grab hold of those who have been avoiding dealing with this important issue. She-Hulk, Wonder Woman, Storm, and Catwoman remind us that no one is immune to breast cancer below.
I received this press release from artist and philosopher Jonathon Keats about his new exhibition that opens tomorrow in San Francisco’s Modernism Gallery. This is the same gentleman who attempted to genetically engineer God, and his work is worth a peek. If you’re out west, please pay him a visit.
Four hundred and sixty-eight years after Nicolaus Copernicus informed the world that Earth orbits the Sun, his revolutionary idea is gaining acceptance with artists, and threatening to shake up museum collections from New York to Tokyo and Paris. An exhibition at Modernism Gallery in San Francisco, opening on October 20th, will be the first to present art made in accordance with Copernican principles, including paintings the color of the universe. The show will be supplemented with Copernican cuisine and music.
The new Copernican art promises to be more profound than any painting or sculpture ever before seen, according to artist and philosopher Jonathon Keats, who has previously exhibited abstract artwork by both cypress trees and extraterrestrials. “And that’s not promising much,” he says, “when you consider that art on our planet has hardly evolved since the first cave paintings were made.”
Mr. Keats acknowledges that reform takes time. “Science didn’t really begin until the Copernican revolution,” he says. “After millennia of egocentric navel-gazing, astronomers learned from Copernicus that there’s nothing special about us. We’re on an average planet in a typical galaxy, and that’s to our advantage because it lets us assume that whatever we observe here, like the speed of light or the forces within atoms, will be the same everywhere.” In other words, scientists can make generalizations about the entire cosmos without ever leaving home, because everything about our home is perfectly mediocre.
House of Hammer magazine underwent many incarnations (you can read about its full history on Monster Magazine’s website), but the UK studio-centric zine was a hit in the late ’70s — promoting Hammer horror film favorites adapted into comic book storylines. Popular writers like John Brosnan, Dennis Gifford, Ramsey Campbell, and Alan Frank were paired with the artistry of talents like Brian Lewis, Brian Bolland, and John Bolton to illustrate the fiends of Hammer horror, under the guidance of Marvel UK editor and Monster Mag/Starburst leader Dez Skinn.
Some of the British horror mag’s vampiric strips were resurrected by World International Publishing in the early ’80s for a one-off annual titled Dracula’s Spinechillers. Part monochrome, part color, the annual format — a Christmas staple in the UK — compiled stories, games, and other goodies within its hardbacked binding. This example, however, is hardly festive — promising readers “Scary strip stories and tales to tremble by!!”
Tommy Hartung’s stop-motion actionist video flux in low-fi unreality. Queens basement art.
“I’m more interested in some kind of dead cinema. A lot of animation is describing some kind of real or life-like situation. I’m sort of interested more in my characters or any human-esque subjects in a movie … being not believable, and what kind of illusion can you create out of that.”
English artist James Roper is taking a passage from the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila about religious ecstasy to a porny degree in his Rapture drawing series. Simple monochrome renderings of porn stars are highlighted with a swirling storm of color that resembles a fog of orgiastic fervor. Roper describes it as ” … the shedding of carnal bodies giving way to an abstract purity beneath,” and the most interesting pieces are indeed the ones where bras, bodysuits, and bikini tops mimic flayed flesh, Hellraiser style.
“He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.” –Saint Teresa of Avila
* Mike Shiflet’s Llanos has been in heavy rotation. He’s playing at Vox Populi June 27.
* Nick Cave’s rejected Gladiator 2 script: “Following the success of Gladiator, released in 2000, Crowe and Scott invited Cave to write a script for the sequel. They hoped that the macabre musician could find a creative solution to Gladiator 2′s main hurdle – that Maximus, Crowe’s character, dies at the end of the first film.”
“It is not by chance that the project looks sweet like Candyland — much of our inspiration came from the sensations of taste and our perception of a visualization of these sensations. It is our hope that this project will push boundaries and leave viewers with a wider imagination of what architecture and design can be.” –Virginia Melnyk, co-architect (with Tiffany Dahlen)
The My Modern Met blog also adds that the design of this Japanese nightclub was influenced by ” … the vibrant youth culture of Harajuku and the high-end fashion district of Omontesando.” Candy Land and Harajuku indeed — or the center of some kind of psilocybin, intergalactic vagina.