Rodarte’s ‘Black Swan’ Exhibit at MOCA

May 10, 2011


I’ve been exploring new ways to isolate and play with cinematic fragments for my own studio work, so these images from a new MOCA exhibit — featuring the designs of Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte — immediately caught my eye. The exhibit runs until June 5 at the MOCA Pacific Design Center and showcases the original ballet costumes Rodarte designed for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.

“The selected works are largely achromatic, dominated by black-and-white motifs with occasional red accents, and will be installed in a series of interrelated vignettes, both static and in motion, displayed off-figure and portrayed as charged sculptural objects. The installation will present inanimate objects in a state of flux, or animation, signifying the temporary states that material can assume. Acclaimed environmental fashion designer and runway producer Alexandre de Betak, founder of Bureau Betak and a longtime collaborator of the Mulleavys, will contribute a dynamic exhibition design, including kinetic displays, dramatic lighting, and other theatrical elements.”

Yes, please.

Associate Curator, Rebecca Morse: “By removing the garments from the figure and creating an installation around them, the focus will be entirely on the dresses and tutus as singular sculptural objects rather than pieces that are reliant on their relationship to the human form. Their inherent narrative qualities will be revealed.”

The design house is known for their expressionist, deconstructive, sculptural style — which basically means they aren’t afraid to tear, burn, stain, and reassemble precious/expensive materials with mundane or uncanny “textiles.”

“Materials are woven, knitted, or layered together as assemblages of plaid scraps, vinyl, cheesecloth, wool, cobweb, Swarovski crystals, macramé, leather, and more. Rodarte’s designs are inspired by sources uncommonly approached in fashion design — its Spring 2010 collection was based, in part, on the California condor. Other idiosyncratic influences include local landscapes, Japanese horror films, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein, and the work of Gordon Matta Clark.”


Visit MOCA’s website for more information, and check out other images from the exhibit at Trendland.

David Lynch Gets Dreamy With a Doll Head Over Coffee

[via: CardinalIron]

Lance Henriksen Interview: Not Bad for a Human

May 4, 2011

Recently, I spoke with Lance Henriksen for one of my writing haunts, It was a fascinating conversation — like it always is — mostly centered around his new book, which releases today (his birthday). You can check out the interview here, but since Lance is such a wonderful storyteller, I thought it’d be cool to share a few random/amusing/thought-provoking snippets that didn’t make it into my FEARnet piece. Writer John Kenneth Muir also recently posted some interview outtakes, and they’re well worth a peek.

Happy birthday, friend.

On Getting Comfortable With Being

“I’ve always felt that because we have two lobes in our brain, that they’re always at war … One of the ironic twists to any pursuit that I’ve ever done is I’ve either succeeded or failed, but in the transition — between making the mistakes, and falling on my face, and something happening that’s really good — there’s always that war that seems to keep you off balance. And that’s just in my life, I’m not saying that’s for everybody. I don’t personally know really when I’ve succeeded or failed, and ironically when you write a book it’s there in black and white. You can study it. I mean, it’s literally a tangible thing. I feel like that’s my process, and it’s just slowly revealing itself. I didn’t set out to write a book and suddenly a theme took over. The theme took over because that’s the way I seem to live. I think being a human being is an amazing phenomenon, because we live with so many defects … ”

On Creating Challenges

“I worked with Ed Harris on Appaloosa, and I watched him have to direct a movie. And he’s the kind of actor that has to live the character. So here’s a guy directing, living the character, and directing it through that character, and I went, ‘Holy shit.’ I saw him do a few things and I went, ‘Man, if it was directed at me, I’d be the most grateful guy in the world.’ Because a challenge on an artistic level, is probably one of the sweetest events in the world for an actor … There are a lot of good actors and a lot of bad actors. And the way that they’re bad actors is when they’re shutting off. They’re just manipulating to get what they want, but they’re missing the one primary thing, and that is the relationship you’re having at that moment … ”

On Growing

” … I’ve had a distinct feeling in my youth that I was going to come and go, and no one was ever going to know I was there. I remember somebody reciting a Dylan Thomas poem to me and it was something like: ‘Wherever I went in those lamb white days, I left my quivering prints.’ And what I got out of that was just … you can come and go and never be heard from again, like the billions or millions that have already inhabited the earth.”


” … I see in pictures. I don’t think in words … ”

Dining With Lance

“I have a real revulsion to white dinner plates. To me it’s like people eating out of their kitchen sink, or off their toilet bowl. A bunch of white porceleine — it’s soulless. Food is the most nurturing thing in the world, so why do we have to connect being sanitary when we have such a beautiful, artistic thing like food?”


“You know I keep talking about this — and it is romantic and it is naïve — but, I keep talking about a neighborhood that I’ve always wanted. A real neighborhood. I had it for a very short time when I was a kid, and I really liked it. That you could walk down the street and go, ‘Hey. Hi.’ Or a store that you always went into, and it was a comfortable place. I remember there was a little soda fountain place in New York, and he was always playing Fats Domino, and these songs on the jukebox that were so comforting. They were part of the era. I even knew it then … I look back on those things and they’re very comforting images. I hope the book will create a neighborhood … ”

Looking Forward

” … I’m hoping that the best work that I will do in my life is still ahead of me … ”

Check out my Lance Henriksen Blogathon reviews of The Pit and the PendulumNear Dark, and Hard Target.

Read other author’s entries in the Lance Henriksen Blogathon over here.

Autistic Artist Draws Entire Cityscapes from Memory

April 14, 2011

Sometimes you stumble upon something so amazing that it makes you want to just throw in the towel. It’s not always the finished product you admire so much. Sometimes it’s the level of obsession, detail, or dedication it took to get the thing made. And some people can’t control that — they were just wired that way.

Stephen Wiltshire is one of those guys. He’s a British artist who was diagnosed with autism at three years old. Apparently he never actually spoke his first words until he was five. Eventually it became clear that he had an innate ability to draw and recall vivid details from memory. In his panoramic drawings of cityscapes, Stephen depicts entire cityscapes with amazing accuracy after seeing them in person for only a few minutes. This video shows what he created after a helicopter ride over Rome, Italy.

Visit Stephen’s website for more information. He also sells his work there.



Michael Galinsky’s Mall Rats Photos

March 17, 2011

The mall usually shocks me into sensory overload, so I avoid it at all costs. Malls smell like boiled butter, cheap perfume, and sweat — which may actually all be the same thing. They sound worse. The rest of my diatribe will bore you to tears, so let’s look at some late ’80s/early ’90s mall rats courtesy of filmmaker and photographer Michael Galinsky (also the bass player in Sleepyhead).

P.S. Let’s petition for the return of Tape World, or at least their logo.

[Hat tip to Philebrity; pics from HowToBeARetronaut]



Art Porn from American Apparel

February 4, 2011

Boris Lopez makes pretty, porny 70’s/80’s-style pictures with pencils and watercolors. He works with Hustler’s Barley Legal magazine and several other clients who cater to similar audiences. Of course, that means American Apparel became interested in his work, and they’ve been using it in their latest ads.

There is more of Lopez’s dewy, softcore artwork on his website that doesn’t involve hawking mesh bodysuits or thigh-high gym socks ( … which I admit I love wearing because they’re comfy and cute — even though American Apparel sounds like Satan to work for).

The Hypnotic Tale of Bankers & Lolitas: Sue De Beer’s ‘The Ghosts’

February 3, 2011

I’ve had a major art crush on Sue De Beer since I discovered her video installation, Black Sun a few years ago. The images I came across looked like they were torn from the reel of a giallo favorite. She has two new shows coming up — one of which opens this weekend. The Ghosts runs through February 6 at The Armory and seems to contain the familiar blend of gooey dream-memory iconography, horror, and poetic narrative.

A clip I peeked on The New York Times’ interview with her confirms it will be as intoxicating as her other works. Jon Spencer (singer from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) and German artist Jutta Koether (who has done work with Sonic Youth) star. Here are a few fever dream images from the clip for your viewing pleasure.

“I want to hear you say that you miss me.

I want to hear you say I’m sorry

Say it to me.

I’m sorry.

And I will wait for you to come just close enough.

I will let you come just close enough,

So that you can feel it when I leave.”

The Erotic World of Salvador Dalí

February 2, 2011

Salvador Dalí for Playboy Magazine, 1973.

‘Twin Peaks’ 20th Anniversary Art Exhibition

February 1, 2011

There is one DVD that never leaves my side — David Lynch’s supremely weird TV classic, Twin Peaks. My teenage years are a blur, but I remember who I was with when I saw the series for the first time, where I saw it, and how hard I fell for it’s strange, misunderstood characters.

Last week, I discovered @TwinPeaksArchve on Twitter, and to my delight they are just as obsessive as I am about the show. They’re a virtual well of Twin Peaks awesomeness! That’s where I learned about this 20th anniversary exhibition, In the Trees, which opens Saturday, February 12 in L.A. (get there early, it’s first-come admission). Clifton’s Brookdale in downtown L.A. is hosting the exhibition, which will feature work by David Lynch, Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer), and Richard Beymer (Benjamin Horne) — along with a slew of other artists.

David Lynch/Twin Peaks news site,, has also announced the following:

“The event will also mark the release of an official product line for “Twin Peaks.” Products include items from the town of Twin Peaks itself, such as a hotel stationary set from the Great Northern, shirts from Big Ed’s Gas Farm and coffee cups from the Double R Diner. A David Lynch-designed logo for the 20th Anniversary will also appear on merchandise.”

Yes! This!

Visit the event site for further information (you’ll supposedly be able to order the new merch there too), and check out the Twin Peaks Archive. Below are some of the works that will be on display.

UnSpooling: Artists & Cinema

December 15, 2010

Hey Youseoutthere, I’m being lazy. This looks excellent though, no? From the press release:

UnSpooling – Artists & Cinema
Until 9 January 2011

70 Oxford Street
Manchester UK, M1 5NH

UnSpooling – Artists & Cinema, is a large and ambitious group exhibition that straddles two giant bodies of reference – art and cinema – showing 19 international artists:

Michaël Borremans, Cartune Xprez, David Claerbout, Sally Golding, Ben Gwilliam & Matt Wand, Roman Kirschner, Kerry Laitala, Wayne Lloyd, Sheena Macrae, Elizabeth McAlpine, Juhana Moisander, Alex Pearl, Greg Pope, Mario Rossi, Gebhard Sengmüller, Harald Smykla, Ming Wong and Stefan Zeyen.

The artists’ featured present current reflections and interpretations of cinema and new possibilities of future cinematic production, spectacle and storytelling; and gathers a wide range of works that use or abandon the usual conventions of cinema, such as celluloid, digital video, motion, and time. Cinema is explored in an alternative range of artistic strategies, through sound, chemistry, gesture, spoken-word, painting, drawing, and sculpture.

This exhibition includes a number of new commissions that cut to the heart of cinema bringing out its hybrid anarchistic side, these include Stefan Zeyen‘s site-specific fly-poster piece Weekend (2010); Alex Pearl‘s lo-fi film series, Pearlville (2010); Wayne Lloyd‘s spoken-word and drawing performance, Hell is a City (2010); Juhana Moisander‘s series of uncanny video interventions; and Mario Rossi‘s new restaurant canopy, Thief of Baghdad (2010).

Alongside these, cinema gets a great deal of recycling and rehashing by acclaimed Singaporean artist Ming Wong, in his ‘world cinema’ piece, Life and Death in Venice (2009); Elizabeth McAlpine‘s Hyena Stomp (2006); Sheena Macrae‘s remix of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in Odyssey(2006); and Gebhard Sengmüller‘s installation Slide Movie (2006).

Elsewhere, artists unite themselves with the cinematic more readily including Harald Smykla‘s Movie Protocol series; Roman Kirschner‘s Roots (2005-06); Michaël Borremans‘ The German (2004-07), and David Claerbout‘s Bordeaux Piece (2004).

A live event saw the cinematic explode from fixed and flat screens, which featured leading exponents in live, expanded and improvised cinema, including Ben Gwilliam & Matt Wand’s, Sally Golding, Kerry Laitala, Greg Pope with Lee Paterson and Cartune Xprez.

This exhibition is accompanied by a publication that includes texts from the curators, plus contributions from Prof. Steve Hawley (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Dr. Janet Harbord (Queen Mary, University of London). Available online from Cornerhouse Books

Hear from the curators, follow discussions on future cinema featuring critical texts by Daniel Miller, Laura Allsop and Eliza Tan, and get a real insight into this exhibition through videos, audio and interactive features.

Visit the dedicated microsite:

Produced by Cornerhouse in collaboration with Abandon Normal Devices (AND). Curated by Andrew Bracey & Dave Griffiths.

Exhibition supported by Austrian Cultural Forum, The Finnish Institute, Finnish Embassy, The Flemish Authorities, FRAME, MMU, University of Lincoln, The University of Manchester (ICP/RICC) and City Inn, 52 Princess Street and The Manchester College.

Galleries Open:
Mon: Closed
Tue-Sat: 12:00 – 20:00
Sun: 12:00 – 18:00
Galleries also closed: Fri 24 – Sun 26 & Fri 31 December
Galleries open from 12:00: Mon 27 & Tue 28 December
[email protected]
T + 44 161 200 1500

Smithsonian Removes Jesus-in-Ants Video After Republicans Weep

December 1, 2010

“House Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) and incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Tuesday called for the dismantling of an exhibit in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery after they learned that it contains video of a Jesus statue with ants crawling on it, as well as works of art with strongly sexual themes.”

I’m not sure what’s more offensive: that the NPG’s funding is now being threatened because these two guys have such a narrow world view and don’t understand the meaning behind the exhibit, or that they’re claiming taxpayers’ money went to fund this exhibit which isn’t true, or that they’re trying to spin this into a poo-poo on the Christians thing, or some of the reader comments. Decisions!

Read the whole story here.

Robert De Niro, Sr. Prize Honors American Art

November 18, 2010

Even though I’m a huge fan of the abstract expressionists, I’m not terribly familiar with the work of Robert De Niro, Sr. He exhibited at all the right places and rubbed elbows with people I’ve dreamed about talking to — continuing to show throughout the ’80s and teaching at places like ye olde Cooper Union. His subjects are pretty standard stuff — regardless of his style — but there’s an interesting, intuitive quality about the work.

Now, the Estate of Robert De Niro Sr. and the Tribeca Film Institute announce the Robert De Niro, Sr. Prize, honoring American artists for their achievements in painting. From the press release:

“The Robert De Niro, Sr. Prize, which will be administered by the Tribeca Film Institute, has been established to recognize an American artist whose work over a considerable period of time has made a significant contribution to the field of painting.  The prize honors the career and legacy of accomplished painter De Niro, Sr.  A selection committee of distinguished individuals in the art world will be appointed annually to nominate and select three finalists and the prize recipient. The estate of the late artist will host a group exhibition for the finalists where the winner will be announced. The prize, which is among the first to celebrate and shine a light on mid-career artists, will be funded by Robert De Niro.  The first prize will be awarded in 2011.”

It’s great to see De Niro honoring the memory of his father in this way. He’s always spoken fondly of him and even maintains his studio as it was before he passed away in 1993.

Review: Destricted

November 8, 2010

Nudity and sexuality are prevalent throughout the history of Western art – from the prehistoric Venus figurines and painted portraits of Lucian Freud, to the porno-kitsch objects of Jeff Koons and Robert Mapplethorpe’s very well endowed … photos.

At its most compelling and creative, graphic/sexual imagery asks questions about the aesthetic and philosophical relationship between art and sex. In a time where the labels and boundaries of media, art, and culture are blurry at best, some contemporary artists are left pondering the divide and many are making a case that it no longer exists. Alt porn mavens like GodsGirls demonstrate this by presenting provocative imagery that often feels as though it’d be as much at home on the walls of a downtown gallery as it would be on an adoring fan’s computer screen; this is no doubt thanks in part to photographers like JM Darling, who engages and toys with his subjects in the realm of erotic storytelling — elevating his models beyond a mere pound of flesh.

Revolver Entertainment’s short film series, Destricted, also explores the intersection of sex and art – providing a platform for uncensored expression through the eyes of a diverse group of visual artists and directors. The eight-part portmanteau features several names familiar with the realm of controversy and censorship including Kids director Larry Clark — whose recent Paris photo retrospective was forced to prohibit minors from entering the exhibition – as well as Irréversible director Gaspar Noé, and Richard Prince – whose appropriation of a Playboy photo featuring a naked, heavily made up, prepubescent Brooke Shields was removed from the Tate Modern exhibit, Pop Life, last year.

Matthew Barney’s Hoist – an erotic meeting of libidinal and technological forces — and Larry Clark’s Impaled dominate the series, with Gaspar Noé following based on reputation alone. Noé’s We Fuck Alone is nearly impossible to take if you possess any sensitivity to the physical turned psychological endurance test he pushes you into. Clark’s short, which is a reality television meets pornography tale, is the longest of the bunch (which is perhaps why it’s one of the more successful entries) and is the same kind of adolescent, anthropological study we’ve come to expect from the director – with moments of disturbing hilarity. Young male porn star hopefuls are lured to Clark’s makeshift casting couch with the promise of having sex with a “hot porno chick.” After some uncomfortable silence, voyeuristic camera views of their naked bodies, and the selection of said porno babe – one of the boys gets exactly what he came for and a little something extra. Clark films the whole experience with unsettling, matter of fact style — showing audiences the gory, unedited details of real anal sex – a semi-successful attempt to investigate the parallels between fantasy and being a child of the porn age. Prince’s House Call is a strongpoint of the series – transforming re-shot/re-edited generic ‘70’s porn into a beautifully hypnotic, nebulous experience. Cecily Brown’s drawings and paintings in Four Letter Heaven are stop motion animated, but her voluptuous bodies don’t resonate as intensely in this medium. The soundtrack of Sante D’Orazio’s Scratch This is a winner solely because of its sounds. He edits ‘60’s lesbian porn to the tune of Jess Franco’s Vampyros Lesbos – scratching out the faces and genitals of the actresses. Meanwhile, Tunga’s Cooking is a dish best served raw.

Destricted proves to be frustrating at times, if only because the power of some of these works is diminished by the vastly different approach and medium each artist/filmmaker uses. While this format and variety can be appealing, some of Destricted’s shorter pieces feel lost in the mix or relegated to a kind of intermission experience, rather than the “breath” they should have been – like Marilyn Minter’s Green Pink Caviar, which features a gooey, psychedelic action painting made with a girl’s lips and tongue. Given Destricted’s target audience, it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable request to suggest time between shorts for moments of digestion, but it does present questions about the series’ mission statement and whether there’s enough of a thread to stitch these pieces together and allow viewers to draw bigger connections across the works.

Revolver’s series provides a platform for digital, sexual, artistic autonomy – a place of context for works that far too often battle the collective anxieties of contemporary society, stirred by the mass media. While Destricted has its share of hits and misses, it is a genuine attempt to explore the ways that film can traverse the boundaries of art and sex. Explicit and mostly entertaining, but never delivering quite the promise it offers, Destricted has the potential to open up a continuous dialogue on a subject that artists and filmmakers will never tire of exploring.

You can purchase Destricted on Amazon or watch it via Netflix.

American Abstract Expressionists’ Role in the Cold War Revealed

November 4, 2010

This story from The Independent about the role of modern art in the “cultural cold war” might blow your mind. Thanks to my friend Shaun for pointing it out.

“This was the “long leash”. The centrepiece of the CIA campaign became the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a vast jamboree of intellectuals, writers, historians, poets, and artists which was set up with CIA funds in 1950 and run by a CIA agent. It was the beach-head from which culture could be defended against the attacks of Moscow and its “fellow travellers” in the West. At its height, it had offices in 35 countries and published more than two dozen magazines, including Encounter. The Congress for Cultural Freedom also gave the CIA the ideal front to promote its covert interest in Abstract Expressionism. It would be the official sponsor of touring exhibitions; its magazines would provide useful platforms for critics favourable to the new American painting; and no one, the artists included, would be any the wiser.”

Rozz Williams Tribute Exhibition at Hyaena Gallery

November 1, 2010

If you grew up on Christian Death’s Only Theatre of Pain and worship the likes of Rozz Williams’ other prolific side gigs (Shadow Project and Premature Ejaculation to name a few … ) — or you’re a fan of his (often misunderstood) art — then you’ll want to attend a tribute exhibition honoring the artist at Hyaena Gallery in Burbank, California November 12th–14th.

Necessary Discomforts will feature a private collection of Williams’ artwork and the works of ten other artists he inspired including Ryan Wildstar, Rozz’s friend and collaborator on the haunting and brutal spoken word album, Whorse’s Mouth. Sadly, Wildstar was also one of the people who found the singer after he committed suicide in 1998 at the young age of 34.

Wildstar will be present for a gallery reception on November 13 (8–11PM) where among other things, he’ll be promoting a new book, Le Theatre des Douleurs / And What About The Bells? The first part of the book is a French language biography featuring exclusive interviews with some of Rozz’s closest cohorts. For those of you who haven’t taken French since High School, the second half of the book will probably interest you more; it’s  a book of poems by Rozz, compiled by Wildstar. Copies of Le Theatre des Douleurs / And What About The Bells? will be available for purchase at the show.

Also of interest is filmmaker Nico B’s 1334 — the second part to his 1998 movie, PIG. The dark, experimental film starred Rozz as a serial killer and was the last work he made before his death. 1334 will also be available for purchase at the gallery.

Though I can’t comment on the actual book, or the works featured in the exhibition (can someone teleport me to the West Coast for a few hours, please?), it’s nice to see people come together to present the work of someone who was innovative and lyrical in everything he touched. Visit the curator’s website for further details about the exhibition. (more…)

Marquis de Sade Subject of New Digital Artist Work

October 29, 2010

Badlands Unlimited — publisher of ebooks, paper books and digital/print artist works — is finding their place in a time where “historical distinctions between books, files and artworks are dissolving rapidly.” They’ll be at the 2010 NY Art Book Fair premiering three works, as well as a sculptural installation in collaboration with Cassie Raihl and a reading/book signing with artist Paul Chan.

Chan’s 2009 exhibition, Sade for Sade’s Sake, premiered at the Venice Biennale and is now being offered in soft cover and ebook form (the drawings, writings, and fonts he used for the show are at least). The ebook version includes four video clips and never before seen drawings, as well as new writings by Chan that explore the origins of his project.

In case the title didn’t tip you off, Chan’s exhibition was based around philosopher and perv extraordinaire, Marquis de Sade. The show included a five hour+ video projection of life-size shadow figures convulsing in various states of sexual ecstasy — or what could quite possibly be psychotic seizure — that eventually disintegrate in a shifting, colorful light. This, along with diagrams (some with invented fonts) and explicitly sexual drawings, transform the transgressive acts into a basic written/visual language and series of systems. These sometimes abstract and other times figurative fragments demonstrate a complex relationship with the political, erotic and violent — “evoking the spirit of Sade’s radical critique of freedom and reason for the 21st century.”

You can purchase the multimedia ebook and softcover version of Sade for Sade’s Sake on Badlands’ website (they offer a few samples for your perusal as well). Note the other interesting works available, including Chan’s Phaedrus Pron and a collaborative effort surrounding Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot.

Sigmund Freud’s Wolf Man Paints

October 28, 2010

Sigmund Freud’s famous patient, Sergius Pankejeff — otherwise known as The Wolf Man — will be the center of an exhibition at one of my favorite Philly art haunts, the Slought Foundation, November 18-January 22, 2011. The Wolf Man Paints! will show Pankejeff’s drawings and paintings, offering an in-depth look at his art, a history of his life and time as Freud’s patient — documenting an important period in the history of psychoanalysis.

Slought is hosting a symposium on November 18th at 7PM with various Wolf Man experts and other scholars. There’s also a series of film screenings — all titles related to Freud and Muriel Gardiner (the psychoanalyst who also supported Pankejeff’s artistic endeavors).

Head to Slought’s website to read more about this fascinating figure. If you won’t be in Philadelphia for the show, you can listen to a recording by Professor Liliane Weissberg discussing the origins and her thoughts on the exhibit.

“Freud first published his famous case study of Pankejeff in 1918, naming him the “Wolf Man” in allusion to a dream he had repeatedly of a tree populated with wolves, which instigated Freud’s theory of a “primal scene.” Pankejeff, who was ultimately supported financially by Freud as well as members of the psychoanalytic organization, became in time something of a professional patient, offering autographs, and writing his own recollections of his therapy with Freud. Two of Pankejeff’s paintings are well-known and reproduced—a painting of the aforementioned dream he gave to Freud, as well as a self-portrait. A couple of years ago, curator Liliane Weissberg discovered that these known paintings were part of a rather large artistic production that is largely unknown to a general public. Muriel Gardiner, a psychoanalyst trained in Vienna who eventually worked in New Jersey, encouraged Pankejeff to paint, and bought some of the paintings herself, while giving away others to Philadelphia psychoanalysts. These works, often sold for a pittance, were viewed more as souvenirs of Freud’s famous patient than as works of art. Other paintings were bought by Viennese institutions, or analysts who approached Pankejeff directly. The largest collection of Pankejeff’s work is deposited together with his papers in the Freud Archives at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. As an organization based in Philadelphia, Slought Foundation is pleased to record this local history through the exhibition.”

Witch-Burning Beer on Trial

October 17, 2010

The Lost Abbey brewery is getting a lot of flack for designing a wheat ale they call Witch’s Wit, which features an image of a woman burning at the stake on the label. Pagans have taken to the Internet, expressing their disgust for the “dehumanizing” graphic.

Vicki Noble, the co-creator of Motherpeace Tarot, had this to say:

“Can you imagine them showing a black person being lynched or a Jewish person going to the oven? No, of course not, such images are simply not tolerated in our society anymore (thank the Goddess) and this one should not be either. Please call them or write them a letter to protest this hateful and dangerous expression which dehumanizes women.”

Other Pagans are stating that the protesters are overreacting and that the image simply depicts a piece of history that shouldn’t be ignored. They feel that if anything, it illustrates a struggle that has been overcome.

Lost Abbey’s seasonal selection features other religious imagery, like their Belgian-inspired ale, Judgment Day. The company’s logo is a Celtic cross and their beers are created in the spirit of the Monastic brewing traditions, so they’re certainly not shy about utilizing various kinds of iconography. I’d probably end up buying this beer for the label alone. Witches taste better when they’re extra crispy.

[via: Occult Follower]

Vivienne Dick’s No Wave Psychodrama at Artists Space

October 16, 2010

Artists Space is hosting a screening and “conversation” with filmmaker Vivienne Dick on Friday/Saturday October 22/23. Dick hails from the No Wave scene where artists like Fingered director Richard Kern found his start in the 70’s. My favorite works, however, are the shorts she did with Lydia Lunch.

Their first film together, Guérillère Talks, is a series of portraits where Lunch, Pat Place and Ikue Mori are given free reign to perform for the camera. Lydia dons the persona of a news reporter for Geraldo Rivera (teehee!) — hanging out against the crumbling architecture of an abandoned building — and in her darkly humorous, tough girl prose-pose describes why it’s “no fun being a teenager anymore.” She looks like she’s about 14-years-old (she was 19 at the time), but has the ferocity of someone much more life-worn (though her own beginnings don’t exactly sound like they were a cakewalk … ). Dick’s voyeuristic camera captures a kind of vulnerability, as the reel records long after the dialogue stops. She Had Her Gun All Ready does the opposite for Lunch — playing upon the badass, femme fatale persona that we’re more familiar with.

Artists House is also showing Ready, Beauty Becomes the Beast, Liberty’s Booty, Visibility: Moderate and A Skinny Little Man Attacked Daddy — with a talk by Dick afterward. I’m sorry to say I don’t know what more the filmmaker has been up to since her No Wave days, but these shorts are enough to make me want to haul ass to New York next week.

Check out a clip from Guérillère Talks below. (more…)

Fumetti Babe: Lucifera

October 12, 2010

Ediperiodici’s Lucifera is full of delectable succubus action. She spends most of her time naked, inflicting pain for pleasure, seducing various creature hybrids and hanging out in hell being Satan’s bitchfork. Not a bad life, really. Lucifera’s famous curves have been sculpted by the pens of Satanik’s Morrik and Biancaneve’s Leone Frollo among others.

This site has some excellent covers to gawk at, as does The Groovy Age of Horror.

‘Amityville Horror’ Dot, Dot, Dot …

October 9, 2010

The reason why we’ll never be able to look at quarter moon windows the same way ever again …

A crime scene photo taken in Ronald “Butch” DeFeo, Jr.’s bedroom. I think I might go mad too if I had to stare at that wallpaper.

In 1974, DeFeo killed his entire family (6 people). His story is the real life inspiration behind the 1979 film, The Amityville Horror.

The crime scene photos on this site are disturbingly beautiful.

Larry Wessel’s New Film Explores Why Boyd Rice is an ‘Iconoclast’

October 7, 2010

Provocative, controversial and unapologetic force to be reckoned with, Boyd Rice, wears many hats. I first learned about Rice through his work under the moniker NON, where he combined abrasive noise and other experimental sounds — becoming a pioneer of the genre. Fast forward to 2008 when I met Rice at a book signing for Standing in Two Circles: The Collected Works of Boyd Rice. For a moment, it was hard for me to imagine the man standing before me as a Tiki culture enthusiast and pop culture junkie — his fierce, palpable intensity (and sordid reputation) belying some of his more lighthearted interests. But as the book title suggests, he’s made a career out of constantly usurping our expectations (his reputation as a prankster helps of course … ). And I haven’t even touched up on his work as a photographer, writer, DJ and actor among other things. Reviled and revered for his associations with underground/subculture deities like Charles Manson and Anton LaVey — as well as his own ideologies — Rice remains a seminal figure in underground culture.

Larry Wessel’s new documentary Iconoclast explores Rice’s influence on the counterculture at large — providing an in-depth look at the artist’s “life, career, creative development and mindscape.” Wessel’s film is comprised of six years worth of footage — running four hours long —  and features all the interviews, music, film clips, images and words that are sure to satiate the curious and Rice enthusiasts alike.

“From CHARLES MANSON to MARILYN MANSON and forces as diverse as T. REX and DAVID BOWIE to BOBBY SHERMAN and THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY, LARRY WESSEL’S digital dreamscape describes the creative development, and full life story of a uniquely disturbing American artist. The philosophy of ANTON LAVEY’S Church of Satan faces off against Christian Broadcasting Superstar, and Radio Exorcist, BOB LARSON.”

The film is already starting to make the rounds with a show at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater on November 1. For more information visit the movie’s official website. Check out a trailer for Iconoclast below.


New Book Puts a Face to Phone Sex

October 2, 2010

Though the phone sex industry thrives on nameless, faceless interaction, there is still an intimacy required to make it work that seems hard to perfect. Bringing someone’s fantasies to life (that someone being a complete stranger) takes a certain kind of intuition, creativity and openness.

Phillip Toledano’s new book Phone Sex has been making the Internet rounds. It contains nearly 30 photographic portraits of phone sex operators in their own homes — penetrating the myth created by lusty anonymity. Every photo is accompanied by some kind of story or experience written by the operator. These anecdotes range from quips about client’s particular fantasies, to how they got into the biz. While some of the images work beautifully on their own (like the 60-year-old academic shrouded in smoke and covered in gaudy jewelry) others rely more on their story. Take for instance the portrait of a woman with her child and a fleshy-looking sofa sectional … and an amusing, uncomfortable story about scat.

You can pick up a copy of the book over here. Check out a few images from Phone Sex on the book’s official website.

[via: Gala Darling]

Bones of the Black Forest

October 1, 2010

If Twin Peaks’ Great Northern Hotel, Marquis de Sade, Snow White and The Brothers Grimm got together and made babies, they’d probably look a lot like this website. Fischer-Antics offers antique furnishings that must have been lurking in The Black Forest at one time. And these pieces are quite literally indicative of the Black Forest style that was popular from the late 1800’s through the 1940’s. Antler furniture, tramp art, gory candelabras, strange hand-carved sculptures that are straight out of a fairy tale cottage and more are up for grabs.

I recently watched Jess Franco’s Barbed Wire Dolls and this is totally the kind of furniture Monica Swinn would have lavished herself with had she not been stuck in a lesbian prison dealing with everyone’s dirty work.

Alex Andreyev’s Subway Nightmares

September 30, 2010

Subway systems are hidden worlds — interstices below the concrete tedium where everything feels more menacing, more vulnerable and more honest. It’s also a place of ritual, where eye contact, conversation and human touch are forbidden and bodies give way to undulating machines. The uncomfortable meeting of private lives and public spaces (enclosed spaces at that) makes the underground journey all the more surreal.

Russian artist Alex Andreyev understands this — and I can only guess that the imagery for his photo series, Metronomicon, came to him in a dream the same way that Lovecraft claims his grimoire’s name did. Andreyev depicts horrific scenes in Moscow’s subway system where oversized insects and other strange creatures lurk in tunnels. People’s bodies have been overtaken by never ending tubes and some have heeded the mysterious call to kneel in prayer before train cars.

The images I’ve seen of the city’s subways depict highly decorative, Soviet-era architecture — remnants of ideologies past. Andreyev states, “It’s forbidden to make shots in Moscow subway, there are everywhere signs warning not to take pictures and cops checking that everyone abide this. [sic]” Recently this ban was lifted and cameras without a flash or other lighting are allowed. It’s a dark, strange setting where government policy and the ghosts of a city that never was intermingle — one that Andreyev is clearly not at ease with.

Currently, Andreyev is working on the concept art for the animated version of Kin-dza-dza! — a dystopian sci-fi classic virtually unheard of outside of Russia. Since the film will be aimed primarily at children, I’m hoping he’ll leave out the nightmare inducing cockroaches. Ok, I’m lying.

Check out a few images in the gallery below, then visit the artist’s website to learn more. Read up on Moscow’s fascinating underground history over here.


© Alison Nastasi, 2016