Category Archives: Art

The Garden of Earthly Delights


Studio Smack, and animation company I know very little about, recently put together a contemporary animation of Hieronymus Bosch’s GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS, the original of which is hanging at the Museum del Prado in Madrid.  It’s pretty amazing animation.  They did a beautiful job.  I like to look at it and don’t want to forget this exists.  So I’m posting it here.  Vimeo Link

and yes, you’re welcome. 🙂

The more things change, the more they stay the same


Back in 2015…

Approximately a year ago, I was driving through West Virginia, when I chanced upon a diner with an old fashioned look to it. In my experience, that’s the kind of place to visit when you are on the road. I stopped in, had a great breakfast, and noticed a cute sign on the wall just opposite me. It said “Faith / Family / Friends” in gold pen, on a block of wood that rested on a little shelf on the wall. It appeared to me like it was designed to rotate:

From one year ago, table under the sign. I won’t name the diner.

“cute”, I reasoned. “But shouldn’t there be a reverse side, with reverse sentiments?

Pondering the Yin and Yang of evil, over coffee, a year ago.

What is the reverse of “Faith / Family / Friends”?

Fortunately, and oddly enough, I had a silver pen marker in my pocket, a year ago, so I executed an opposite side.

It came out very well indeed.

I was pleased with my opposite side, but the rest of the patrons hardly noticed the switch.


It’s 2016, though…

Almost a year later, I’m driving through again. Same place, same table. I look up.. no, someone HAD indeed recognized the incongruity about the paean to Satan and Hobos on the wall of a wholesome diner.

Of course, someone “fixed” it.

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Except…

Are they TRULY back to normal? The back side wasn’t erased, painted over or drawn through. Almost as if the cafe owner was acknowledging life has a dark side along with the light.

There. Lurking on the dark side of the cube was SATAN / HOBOS again. When nobody was watching, I flipped it back, paid for breakfast and went my wary way…

Image

By Their Deeds Alone Shall You Know Them


Colorized ancient image from a Doll Factory, Europe, 1931

By Their Deeds Alone Shall You Know Them – 2016, Walt O’Hara

Click to Enlarge

Robots and Donuts.. the world of Eric Joyner


The Final Blow

The Final Blow, by Eric Joyner

Robots & Donuts: The Art of Eric JoynerRobots & Donuts: The Art of Eric Joyner by Eric Joyner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Collected Works of Eric Joyner (to date) as portrayed in a giant picture book by Dark Horse Press with some essay work by the artist. And what work it is! Page after page of Eric Joyner’s epic whimsy about the tintype robots made in Japan in the Post World War II era marvelously brought to life and animated in all sorts of bizarre situations. In almost every picture, the humble glazed doughnut makes an appearance, either as the object of a ring toss game, part of the architecture, or just “there” in the mise-on-scene, as a prop. My two favorites are THE FINAL BLOW, which departs from tintype robots and features the two eponymous robots from ROCK-EM-SOCK-EM ROBOTS (a game from my childhood) and transports them into a 1950s vintage noir style boxing painting. The other favorite is ROBOT ALONE IN BAR, which features the Robot from Lost in Space, alone.. in a bar. With a donut in front of it. The implication being the Robot is lonely, or has been stood up on a date, perhaps. It’s that crazy juxtaposition of our reality and this loony Robot and Doughnut reality of Mr. Joyner’s that gives this series of painting such a relaxed, wonderful charm. I am happy to have picked up the Complete Robots and Donuts book, it is an addictive browse (I hesitate to use the word “read” here, it’s a picture book). In any event, a visit to Mr. Joyner’s world of cheap robots and sugary snacks comes highly recommended.

View all my reviews

1000D6 Tribute: Remembering artist Tobias Wong using dice.


Canadian artist and designer Tobias Wong died last year at the young age of 35, or more specifically, 13,138 days. In tribute, his friend Frederick McSwain created this immense portrait of Wong entitled Die using 13,138 dice as part of the BrokenOff BrokenOff exhibition at Gallery R’Pure in New York City.

Wong 1

Tobias Wong

Wong 2

Tobias Wong, from DIE exhibit

Wong 3

Tobias Wong tribute, from DIE exhibit

Dice as art medium, DIE exhibit, tribute to T. Wong

Dice as art medium, DIE exhibit, tribute to T. Wong

Images: Colossal Art and Design
McSwain: http://frederickmcswain.com/
On Tobias Wong: “The Mysteries of Tobias Wong” New York Times 6/27/10.

“DIE” Frederick McSwain Installation Time Lapse on VIMEO

Wargaming for the Art Hipster set, at long last


Reading this piece (link below) I was greatly amused and even a trifle proud that some wargaming buddies from HMGS East managed to help out  a performance artist named Brian Conley with a hoity toity art show at the Boiler in Brooklyn, New York on March 6.  Part of me thinks this is a great way to get the hobby we play with in front of a wider audience, the other part is seriously jonesing for that cool “flying in the air perspective” harness that the artist performing this piece is using.

Wargames as art

Imagine how useful this would be for those really HUGE wargaming setups?

More from the Boiler Pielogi

I like the way the browsers at this show look like they think this is something special, but really, this is kind of a standard setup for miniature wargaming.

Who knew we were culturally relevant art hipsters, all along?  Certainly not us!

Read the article:

Brian Conley: Miniature War in Iraq …and Now Afghanistan / The Boiler, Pierogi.

Frank Frazetta has passed into the West


Dark Kingdom

"Dark Kingdom" by Frank Frazetta (also a Molly Hatchet album cover)

If you were a kid growing up in the 70s and early 80s, and you were a kid who read a lot, and probably read a lot of cheap fantasy and science fiction paperbacks or comic books, then chances are almost certain you have encountered the artistic work of Mr. Frank Frazetta. You didn’t have to picture what Conan the Barbarian or John Carter of Mars looked like, Frank Frazetta showed you. Frazetta’s distinctive, moody style set the visual tone for genre paperback books and comics for at least three decades. So many artists have followed his inspiration it’s hard to remember that if there was a single guy to take credit for the fantasy art explosion after the 70s, it was probably Frazetta. Frank Frazetta labored in the trenches of commercial illustration and comic book artistry for decades, starting at age 16. His distinctive style– a dominant central figure, usually a brawny heroic type with well defined musculature, accompanied by one or more beautiful women with over-sized womanly attributes, became a defining visual of genre fiction during that time. Frazetta was so prolific during his lifetime I could scarcely do the man justice here. Many famous genre characters were given life by his brush.

Frank Frazetta passed on yesterday.. a sudden stroke at his residence in Florida. He had had a rough last decade of his life– plagued by ill health, declining faculties and an increasingly intense family squabble that eventually led to one of his children being arrested for breaking into the Frazetta museum and stealing 80 of his paintings. I like to think that Mr. Frazetta has passed into a better reality now– but I know loyal SF/Fantasy geeks like me will continue to miss him. Rest In Peace, Frank Frazetta.

The Alphabet City, by Scott Teplin


Draftsman Scott Teplin has released a series of limited color prints of an imaginary city where every letter of the alphabet is an architectural drawing of a building.

From the head and hand of master draftsman Scott Teplin comes a series of 26 dream-houses fashioned after our alphabet. Explore in each a bizarre, miniaturized constellation of bed rooms, drawing rooms, fantasy swimming pools, mysterious laboratories, personal ice cream parlors, gambling halls, nuclear reactors, and oozing phenomena of unknown consequence. Each crisp drawing pops from its page in a field of floating color.

Because the artist is selling these images I’m only going to display a few here– I think they are visually stunning.

M building I building S building T building E building R building
N building I building Z building Z building

Click on the individual letters to see the larger pictures of the “Letter Buildings”…. this is pretty innovative art, I think.

To see the artist’s site, visit teplin.com

Santa’s Trigger Finger, a Reliquary


Santa's Trigger Finger copyright 2008 Al Farrow

Santa’s Trigger Finger, and many other very clever post-modern reliquaries executed by Al Farrow. See his exhibit HERE for a weird frisson of religious ecstasy and psychological weirdness. All the pieces in this exhibit were made from pieces of weapons and ammunition.

Art: “Santa’s Trigger Finger”, copyright 2008 by Al Farrow

A future that never was…


Paleo-Future Website

Check out “Paleo-Future”, a great website that documents images of the future that once were part of popular culture, but have faded away into the past.

http://paleo-future.blogspot.com/

Well worth a visit, especially for the more retro steampunk, Victorian and art deco art pieces contained therein.

Parallel/Parallel


Neat little forced perspective short film.. it won a few awards here and there. Check it out.

Air Force Art Collection for 2006


C’est la Guerre and Bon Chance

Paul Yetmar, a LCDR in the Navy and friend of mine, dropped by with a gift today.

It turns out the Air Force maintains its own art collection, pertaining to aviation and flight topics. Most of them either feature an airplane of some sort or a memorable instance in military aviation history. Here’s an example of one, TOP COVER by William Marsalko. The imprssive thing about the Air Force art collection is that not all of the subjects are of American aviation, Top Cover demonstrates.

Every year, The Air Force selects a painting (or paintings) to be part of their lithograph collection. This year’s selection came as a bit of a surprise to me. Jim Dietz’s time series paintings of BON CHANCE and C’EST LA GUERRE feature the exact same scene and the same grouping of subjects. In the first painting, BON CHANCE (good luck!), a cheerful group of young RFC flyers in World War I are off for their morning patrol. The Reconnaissance officers all have their machine guns on their shoulders and the pilots display a typical cocky attitude. Take a moment to look at the painting. Whom is the young woman on the right looking at? In the second painting, C’EST LA GUERRE, what has transpired? Observe the behavior of the dogs in both paintings. What about the squadron officer, seen through the window in the first painting?

Pretty different for the Air Force, particulary at this gung ho point in history. A very commendable choice of subject, in my opinion. And here’s the great part. You can get these lithos for free! That’s right, the AF has printed them up by the pallete load and they are easy to obtain. Follow this link to the USAF Art Collection website to get more details.

I’m getting mine framed. Hanged if I know WHERE I’m going to hang these but I love ’em.

William Burroughs and the Mask of the Red Death


Burroughs
bullet rocket

Spoken Word snippets

William Burroughs is a headache to read. His prose is disjointed, random, unfocused, but it is also laden with some of the oddest, most descriptive verbiage I’ve had the pleasure to read. So you have to be schizophrenic to consider yourself a fan of the guy. I have found the perfect compromise, the spoken word audio recording. Burroughs was an enthusiastic narrator of his own work and recorded MANY spoken word projects with many collaborators– Laurie Andrson, Byron Gyson, John Cage and others. Here is William Burroughs reading somebody ELSE’s work, namely Poe. I uploaded a MP3 of Burroughs reading THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH onto sharbigfile.com. Here’s the URL if you are interested, the file is somewhat large.

http://www.sharebigfile.com/file/12940/masque-of-the-red-death.mp3.html

Here, also, is one of my favorites, “AH POOK THE DESTROYER” done as an animation with Burroughs narrating.

The latest from Monsieur Nizz


For your amusement… Darth Vader Grotesque


I’ve seen this thing. It’s very hard to make out unless you are in the upper galleries of the National Cathedral. Check out the story from the Cathedral website (in PDF)

Darth Vader Grotesque at the National Cathedral (right)

Darth Vader Grotesque at the National Cathedral (right)