Tag Archives | Art

How Hunter S. Thompson and Psilocybin Influenced the Art of Ralph Steadman

ralph-steadman-fear-and-loathing-in-las-vegas-by-hunter-s-thompsonOpen Culture revisits the influence of Hunter S. Thompson on the art of Ralph Steadman.

Via Open Cuture.

Though the two men only occasionally collaborated over their long friendship, the work of Kentucky-born “gonzo” journalist Hunter S. Thompson and that of British illustrator Ralph Steadman enjoy a cultural symbiosis: Thompson’s style of writing puts you in the mind of Steadman’s style of drawing, and vice versa even more so. At this point, I have a hard time imagining any suitable visual accompaniment to the simultaneously clear- and wild-eyed sensibility of Thompsonian prose — “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone,” he famously said, “but they’ve always worked for me” — other than the bold strokes and violent blotches with which Steadman renders visions of highly controlled madness. The clip above, from Alex Gibney’s documentary Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, explores the origins of their aesthetic and psychological partnership.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

In A World Full Of Street Artists, Taggers And Vandals, Should Banksy Get A Free Pass?

Pic: Nola Defender

Pic: Nola Defender

Celebrated street artist Banksy’s famous painting of a girl standing under an umbrella was defaced with red spray paint over the holiday. (It is currently being restored.) The identity of the vandal or vandals is as yet unknown, and will probably remain so given the at best legally ambiguous nature of Banksy’s work. While Banksy’s paintings are appreciated by many, the defacement provokes this question: Should his work be considered sacrosanct?

By choosing public space as his canvas, he is operating in a living, competitive environment: a rich artistic biome full of taggers, street artists, sloganeers and run of the mill vandals. Defacing or modifying the work of competitors is par for the course in this Darwinian milieu. Should we, as Banksy’s audience, be any more outraged when his work is defaced than we would be when another street artist has his labor destroyed?

It can be argued that the public outcry is symptomatic of personal identification with a brand and acceptance of its commodification.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Psychoactive Soundscapes: The Trippiest Albums of 2013

sacredsigilservitor2A lot of the problem with viewing the universe as being comprised of matter comes with the idea that it’s devoid of conscious experience somehow. More and more, little by little, we’re starting to wake up to the insane limitations of this philosophy. Renders people humorless if you ask me. Nothing adds up, which creates profound existential desperation resonating throughout the collective psi-grid of humanity. There is no explanation for why anything happens, so we instead focus on how things go down in obsessive detail. Not to knock this approach, as it creates order by combining with the mystical chaos of internal infinity. Too much mystic psychic sizzle and you’ll get torn to shreds, but when you look at only shared perceptual experience, you’re editing out the vast majority of reality. It’s all dark matter through those eyes. Endless blacked out pages on a declassified UFO report.

What I’ve found is that by shifting models of reality interpretation just slightly from conceiving the world as being made of matter to one comprised from conscious experience, coherent macro concepts of conjoined narratives learning lessons throughout cycles of shifting lifetimes starts to take shape (which I talk about all the time on Facebook; friend me).… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Failed Smell Concert Of Sadakichi Hartmann

sadakichiMovies and music are filled with sight and sound, but when will humanity master the expressive and exploratory power of the other senses? The Believer on an ill-fated pre-Surrealist attempt to transport a theater full of people to Japan via a series of perfumes projected by fan:

In the fall of 1902, when he was around thirty-five years old, the papers announced that Mr. Sadakichi Hartmann, the eccentric art critic, would present a short performance entitled “A Trip to Japan in Sixteen Minutes.” The piece was described as a “melody in odors.”

The turn of the twentieth century saw a flurry of sense experimentation. The color organ was patented in 1895, an instrument with colored panels that lit up and changed in time to music. A few years later, one of the first electric organs, the Telharmonium, would have its debut in a specially built concert hall in New York.

The perfume concert was the featured event on a bill of a casual Sunday pop, held at the enormous entertainment complex known as the New York Theatre.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

William Blake’s Super-Trippy Illustrations For ‘Paradise Lost’

BlakeSinDeathDevilOpen Culture spotlights William Blake’s surrealistic illustrations inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost. Blake was a fascinating character: An Outsider Artist before there was such a term. A mystic, poet and cultural radical (a 19th century advocate of “free love” among other notions), one wonders why there haven’t been a successful biographical film about this revolutionary figure.

 

 

Read the rest

Continue Reading

George Zimmerman Is Now Selling Original Oil Paintings On eBay

paintingsTaking into account the abysmal artistic quality, six-figure price, and notoriety of its creator, could this be considered the worst art in American history? Tampa’s Bay News 9 reports that George Zimmerman is selling his signed paintings on eBay and bidding is skyrocketing:

It appears George Zimmerman has turned to painting, and is selling his own, original artwork on eBay not one week after prosecutors dropped domestic violence charges against him.

Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., has confirmed the auction is real, and said the painting is, indeed, the work of his brother, who was acquitted of murder in July for the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

The painting’s starting bid was set at $50, plus an additional $40 for expedited shipping from Sanford, according to the auction page. As of 10:50 p.m. Monday, the leading bid was $99,966.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Modifying Nature (Humans Included) To Save It

Image from Arne Hendriks’ fictional proposal to shrink humans for the good of the planet.

Image from Arne Hendriks’ fictional proposal to shrink humans for the good of the planet.

How extreme should our solutions to save the planet be? Tate Williams reports on some ideas from the fringe including shrinking humans to the size of chickens and giving us cat eyes so we can see at night without electric lights, at Medium:

Imaginative minds are exploring some strange and audacious solutions to our worst environmental problems. They are not, however, for the faint of heart, particularly if you have a strong attachment to the human body as it currently exists.

Biologists have already been toying with the idea of engineering endangered species to make them more resilient, or even resurrecting certain extinct species. But there’s a set of artists and scholars taking the concept of green bioengineering much further, imagining new species of synthetic, beneficial creatures and even biologically modified humans that leave a lighter footprint on the planet.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Scott McCloud’s Four Types of Artists

artquadHere’s a fun scheme of classifying different types of artists. The scheme is Scott McCloud’s, mapped onto Ken Wilber’s quadrants. Can you think of any more examples?

From FC Student Blog:

In his book, Making Comics, Scott McCloud created a chart categorizing artists according to four intentions — what artists are most interested in, in creating art. His categories are:

  • Formalist — The Formalist is interested in examining the boundaries of an art form, stretching them, exploring what the form is capable of. The Formalist is interested in experimenting, turning the form upside-down and inside-out, moving in new, bold, untried directions, inventing and innovating. Formalists are the cutting edge, the avant-garde, the ones willing to break tradition and established ways. Strict narrative or craft is not as important as trying something new and unexpected, playing with and breaking traditional concepts, getting to the heart of understanding what art itself is.
Read the rest
Continue Reading

How to Succeed in Contemporary Art Without Really Trying

Dumpster-Diving-Art-Basel-093729899359
The art world has just vacated Miami after that city’s warm weather version of the Art Basel fair. Vocativ explains how it truly seems as though anyone can create a modern art sensation at an art fair:

Own a trash can? Have a basement, garage or closet? Are you physically able to wrap pears in tinfoil or drop stuff on a floor? Well, you might as well buy a villa in France, friend, because you are a successful contemporary artist. That’s right: Now you, too, can earn $100,000 to $1 million at Art Basel without even leaving the house! It’s that easy.

Wait a second, you’re asking, do I need to buy all kinds of fancy equipment or expensive professional art supplies? No and no! Just follow these 14 simple DIY steps using everyday household items and a little imagination. We’re not even going to make you buy the infomercial DVDs or pay shipping and handling, we’re just going to give away this life-changing information free of charge.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Artist Neil Harbisson Is The World’s First Legally-Recognized Cyborg

harbisson Dezeen writes that the sensory augmentation device worn by the completely colorblind Harbisson is now recognized by authorities as part of his face:

Barcelona-based Harbisson wears a head-mounted antenna attached to a chip at the back of his skull that allows him to perceive colours. Harbisson charges his eyeborg via a USB power cable that attaches to the back of his head.

Harbisson wears the “eyeborg” headset to overcome a visual impairment called achromatopsia, which means he sees the world in shades of grey. The eyeborg turns colours into sounds, allowing him to “hear” them.

After a long battle with the UK authorities, Harbisson’s passport now carries a photo of him wearing his eyeborg, making him the world’s first government-recognised cyborg. In 2010, Harbisson founded the Cyborg Foundation – an organisation whose mission statement is to “help humans become cyborgs, to promote the use of cybernetics as part of the human body and to defend cyborg rights.”

Read the rest

Continue Reading