Author Archive | JoeNolan

Subversive Artist Appropriates Scrooge McDuck

Scrooge McDuckRecently, I checked in with my pal Hector Hernandez to see what the Art Czar was up to … In a recent post, the ‘Czar had an abbreviated conversation with subversive pop artist Dave MacDowell:

Art Czar: Tell me about “Duck and Cover”

MacDowell: “Duck and Cover” was painted for a group show at Crewest Gallery in LA. I wanted an urban graffiti vibe to fit with the gallery, so I constructed the spray can out of cardboard and glued it to the canvas. The theme comments on human nature’s natural ability to lift up heros, only to knock them down. How anyone who has an original thought or idea outside of the status quo, usually gets silenced and sacrificed. People in power fear the power of the people.


Check out more great posts from the Art Czar!

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Donald Cammell’s Cinema of Excess

Anita Pallenberg with Cammell on the set of 'Performance.'

Even if you are a die-hard fan of outre, counter-cultural cinema, you might not leap to attention at the mention of the name Donald Cammell.

A painting prodigy as a young man, Cammell was making a living with his brushes by the age of 19. Having built the foundations of a lucrative portrait painting career, Cammell moved to Paris in search of a more inspired path in art. This shunning of commercial opportunity for artistic possibility marked Cammell’s pursuits in the years to come. It’s both the reason why he’s not more widely known and why he continues to be re-discovered by lovers of cinema on the fringes.

Returning to Swinging London in the 1960’s, Cammell decided that painting was dead and that he needed to turn his talents towards cinema. He lived a bohemian lifestyle and became the embodiment of the era’s libertine ideals.… Read the rest

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Kenneth Anger Interviewed by Gaspar Noe

Here is an interesting match-up... Pioneering esoteric filmmaker Kenneth Anger gets interviewed by pioneering esoteric filmmaker Gaspar Noe in this match-made-in-heaven (hell?) tete-a-tete:

Kenneth Anger, the octogenarian American underground filmmaker, has largely been heralded as one of the founders of experimental film, with his role in inspiring directors such as Martin Scorsese and David Lynch. He pioneered queer, cult and psychedelic film without ever imagining himself in a gere, and this year he crossed over into fashion and created a piece (with longtime collaborator Brian Butler) for the Italian fashion house Missoni.

Gaspar Noé, director of the recent film Enter the Void and creator of the controversial film Irreversible, has long been a vocal supporter of Kenneth Anger...

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Dead Sea Scrolls Go Digital

Dead Sea ScrollsWant your very own copy of the Dead Sea Scrolls? You’ll soon be able to access the ancient writings in their – sort of – original form thanks to this interesting new project brought to you by the Israel Antiquities Authority and Google.

Joel Greenberg of The Washington Post explains:

The joint project is the latest stage of gradually widening access to the 2,000-year-old documents, once available to only a restricted group of scholars but made more accessible in recent decades through facsimile editions and published studies. Organizers say the first images will be online in a few months.

The project marries “one of the most important finds of the previous century with the most advanced technology of the next century,” said Pnina Shor, the director of the project at the Antiquities Authority. “We are putting together the past with the future in order to share it.”

The scrolls were discovered in the late 1940s and the 1950s in caves east of Jerusalem, near the ruins of Qumran on the Dead Sea.

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The Wacked-Out World of Paul McCarthy

I can't talk any more.

I can't talk any more.

The internet has become an eternal shore for moving images of all kinds. A nimble search with creative keywords will almost always reveal compelling films and television episodes washing up in the hightidewhitenoise. Recently, we’ve been turning up a number of great art videos as well.

Quite by accident we just stumbled across this gem by Paul McCarthy. Here’s what Frieze Magazine has to say about “Painter”:

The Painter (1995) is a brilliant interrogation of the senility and late paintings of Willem de Kooning, complete with collectors and dealers puppet-mastering around him. It’s a video deploying, as so many of his videos do, the mise-en-scène of instructional television (from the Galloping Gourmet to Martha Stewart), but one in which the painter mumbles and cries: ‘You can’t do it anymore you can’t do it anymore.’ And later: ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ He means painting, he means art-making, he may mean life.

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London Calling – Again

Ray Lowry the Clash London CallingThe image of Paul Simonon smashing his bass on the cover of The Clash's London Calling is one of the most iconic images in all of rock 'n' roll. While you can't always judge a record by it's cover, in this case, you can. London Calling is a great record in a great looking package, but Marcus Gray's new book  Route 19 Revisited: The Clash and London Calling is a different story. While the book's cover - and its title - implies that this volume is an examination of the band's 1979 release, and a critical analysis that would argue it's place among rock's best records, covers can be misleading. This is actually much, much more...
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Bill Hicks: Censored!

bill-hicksIn October of 1993, Bill Hicks made his last appearance on Late Night with David Letterman…sort of. In October of 2010, Hicks is funnier than ever.

Hicks was a favorite comedian on Letterman’s old Late Night show and the television venue was Hicks’ most consistent national audience. After a routine taping, Hicks left New York expecting to see himself on television that night. He didn’t. Letterman decided to censor Hicks, pulling the performance. The decision was made all the more tragic by Hicks’ untimely death in February, 1994.

In 2009, Letterman showed a lot of class by inviting Hicks’ mother to his new show, taking responsibility for the censorship and apologizing to her and his audience for his decision. He then aired Hicks’ censored performance for the first time.

Hicks has said that the performance had been pulled because he made fun of Pro-Life groups who supported the show. Letterman doesn’t get specific, but what is amazing about the content is that – despite the dated references – the power of the man’s imagery and delivery remains undiminished more than a decade later.… Read the rest

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Brion Gysin: ’80s TV Star

I spy with my little i...

I spy with my little i...

Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted.

The wonderful Brion Gysin was a writer, painter, filmmaker and restaurateur. He was a friend and collaborator to William S. Burroughs. Burroughs said of Gysin, “He was the only man I have ever respected.”

If you are a frequent reader of these posts, you are no doubt already familiar with Gysin. However, despite several recent publications and a new tour of his visual art, the man remains elusive.

We were really excited to find this footage of the master at work. This video is from a late ’80’s pirate TV show out of London, England called Network 21. This is a rare chance to see Gysin’s paintings come to life as he rolls out patterns and grids before piling on layers of text and calligraphy.

The man has a way with a line…

This Network 21 episode also features: Kenny Morris talking about dreams and Genet; a Mayakovski film; a photoshoot with the Rolling Stones in drag; footage from a tattoo convention in 1985; an excerpt from Warhol’s “Trash” with Joe Dallessandro and The Sex Pistols’ famous appearance on the Bill Gundy show.… Read the rest

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Terence McKenna Channels John Dee

Good morn, good readers. I woke early to a cloudy Sunday in the Old South, however, this dark little gem has polished my resolve. Wrap yourself in melancholy and join Terence McKenna for this trip through the history of The Great Work. Terence McKenna's The Alchemical Dream: Rebirth of the Great Work is a 2008 film produced by the good people at Sacred Mysteries.
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Shooting Che Guevara

As always I’ve been staying up late and fishing the ‘net for the flashing, magical treasures you’ve come to expect from our sleepless trollings on this sea of dreams.

My latest find is a film called KORDAVISION: The Man Who Shot Che Guevara.

Having read a number of books about and by Mr. Guevara, I’ve been compelled to watch a number of films about the man as well. Of course, I thought this flick would be a doc that focused specifically on Guevara’s last days in Bolivia and his subsequent execution.

I was totally wrong.

Millions of posters and T-shirts all over the world have been adorned with the same iconic image of Che Guevara, but it remains a footnote that this ubiquitous image was based on a photograph taken by famous Cuban photographer Alberto ‘Korda’ Diaz. This film profiles Diaz, telling the story of his life, his career, and the infamous photograph known as ‘Guerillero heroico.’

~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide

Here is the trailer…

This is a really interesting take on the Cuban Revolution, the mythologizing of Guevara and the power of images.… Read the rest

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