Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Nude Over the Bar

A Bar Nude from the Grand Imperial Hotel in Silverton, Colorado
I don't hang out in bars, but this gal does...every single night. Do her arms ever get tired of being in that position? I have to wonder. Maybe she is too drunk to notice and maybe she doesn't notice all of the men staring at her from their bar stools.
The same men every night. Drooling.
Lord Have Mercy.

The Romantic Sexuality of Surrealism

Meret Oppenheim's Famous Teacup 1936Meret Oppenheim holding a furry teacup in a furry outfit 1967
Robert Hughes wrote an article for the Guardian last March (as a review of the surrealist show at the Victorian and Albert Museum) about the romantic sexuality of surrealism. He went on to talk about the creation of sculptural objects that had a significant influence on design and fashion. Of all the objects one remembers, it is Meret Oppenheim's furry teacup and here is how the story went:
"The most famous of Oppenheim's works was Object, 1936, which grew out of an accessory design she had done for that principal patron of surrealist "thing-making", Elsa Schiaparelli. For the brilliant couturier, Oppenheim had done a gold metal bracelet covered (on the outside) with beaver fur. She wore it to meet Picasso for drinks at the Café de Flore, and Picasso remarked that if you could have a fur bracelet then practically anything else could also be covered with fur, and so transformed. Why not a coffee cup, for instance? So Oppenheim went right ahead, with cup, spoon and saucer, and the result was one of the few really sublime sexual images of the 20th century. It compels you to imagine raising this furry cup, wet with hot fluid, to your lips; it offers no possible meaning other than cunnilingus; it is exquisitely graceful and inescapably direct, both at once, and if ever a single work was enough for one artist's career, it is Oppenheim's cup."
Read more of this fascinating article by Robert Hughes here:
Meret Oppenheim Read about Meret,
one of Surrealism's many outstanding women artists and muses.

Monday, October 08, 2007

There Have Been Stranger Things

Double Bass Uke by Franz Walter AltpeterChris Knutsen’s family holding his harp ukuleles. Cute!
Gregg Miner wrote an interesting article about the history of a strange hybrid instrument called the Harp Ukulele. Gregg says, " Harp Ukulele – the name alone seems a contradiction in terms. Yet once upon a time in America, this unlikely hybrid (or perhaps 'variation' is a better word) was dreamt up and produced by not one, but two, unique individuals – separately and in completely different forms". The article goes on to tell us about Chris Knutsen's and Franz Walter Altpeter's original harp ukes and then we get to see some contemporary versions.

"Let Me Entertain You!"

Here are some choice images: French postcards I found on
The Casino de Paris dancers came from
I love them all, don't you? The costumes are rad. And so is the guitar.

Dolls by Krisztina Egyed at Puppenstube Gallery

These dolls are by Krisztina Egyed from Canada. I like them - they are realistic, yet magical. Egyed captures barefoot young girls in pouty, thoughtful moods with messed-up hair and gauzy circus costumes, holding onto their adorable stuffed animals. I found them at the Puppenstube Gallery website -which has links to other artists as well:
The Art of Amy Crehore
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Hans Baldung Grien

"The Witches", Monochrome Print 1510 (Louvre)
Detail -"Mater Dolorosa" from Freiburg Cathedral 1516

Hans Baldung Grien 1529 "Music", Munich
"Hans Baldung was a German painter and graphic artist (1484-1545).
By 1503 Baldung had become a member of Albrecht Dürer's workshop. It was probably here that he acquired the nickname 'Grien', perhaps a reference to his use of the color green.
He was responsible for introducing supernatural and erotic themes into German art. He often depicted witches." His masterpiece was the multi-paneled high altar for the Freiburg Cathedral. He was wealthy when he died in Strasbourg in 1545. Link:
Hans Baldung Grien
I like this symbolic painting of music with the female nude, a cat and a violin.
The Art of Amy Crehore
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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sparkling Chapels Built of Trash, Glass and Obsidian

Howard Finster with his banjo
Howard Finster's Chapel at "Paradise Garden"
Rasmus Peterson's Rock Garden

Martin Sanchez's beer bottle chapel
It's time to visit Marlow Harris and JoDavid's blog, Unusual Life, for another glimpse of the good things in life - namely, the work of folk artist Martin Sanchez who built his own little oasis at his "Tio’s Tacos" restaurant on Mission Inn Avenue in Riverside, California.
UNUSUAL LIFE has plenty of pictures and descriptive copy about this wonderful place.
It reminds me of my other favorite folk artist, Howard Finster (link) who built "Paradise Garden" in Summerville, GA out of anything he could get his hands on. I saw him play the banjo back in 1985 or so at the University of Richmond. He was a painter, preacher and musician.
In Oregon, we have a place called Petersen's Rock Garden which is located out in the desert near Bend, OR. Rasmus Peterson quietly built his little heaven from 1935-1952 out of Oregon agates, obsidian, petrified wood, malachite and jasper. He was originally from Denmark. I love to take people there on day trips. When the sun shines, the place is magic.
I live for this kind of stuff! All of these artists are truly inspiring to me.
The Art of Amy Crehore