“In ictu oculi” is a somewhat loaded Latin phrase that translates roughly as “in the blink [or twinkling] of an eye”. It’s also the title of a famously (and beautifully) grotesque Baroque painting created in Spain in the 1670s by artist Juan de Valdés Leal. Said painting depicts a skeletal Death, coffin tucked under its arm and clutching a scythe, hunched gleefully over a smorgasbord of earthly spoils.
With her video/photo-documented installation by the same name, modern-day Spanish multimedia artist Greta Alfaro –seemingly familiar with the layered meanings of the Latin shorthand and well-aware of the ensuing painting– has found an elegant, rather startling way to revisit many of the same themes Leal did. Alfaro was hidden from view mere meters away as she shot this footage of vultures descending on a feast she had prepared for them.
Alfaro has crafted several video/photo-documented installations in recent years, all of them fastidiously produced, to stark and haunting effect. She states:
“I work about the hidden and the unexpected. We live our lives governed by rules created in order to control chaos and vulnerability, but I am interested in the facts we try to hide or repress, in the differences between the private and the public, in the visibility of our everyday life hypocrisy.”
Can’t you folks create any campaigns that don’t hinge on some form of insipid, othering, sexist objectification? It shouldn’t be that difficult, considering your stated aims. Here’s an idea: rather than euthanizing a vast majority of your rescues, how about hiring ‘em to come up with some new marketing and promotional material for ya? Argh… I’m halfway serious. It’s entirely possible that a golden retriever could provide something more palatable than the dehumanizing dreck you keep churning out like, well, sausage.
Seattle Stranger commenter CrankyBacon puts it well: “This isn’t a sex-positive vs. prude situation. Women can be engaged in policy issues, make coherent arguments, be persuasive, protest, etc. They have more to offer than standing naked outside a butcher shop, or pretending to give a blow job to a cucumber and titty fuck a carrot.” Female activists have more to offer than going nude to titillate for the cause. Women can aid your agenda in ways that don’t require them to be depicted as battered, pantsless-in-public, grocery-buying/fanny-flaunting fuckholes for ubersexed males. (Sure, naked men sometimes feature in your campaigns, but not nearly as often, and never presented in a remotely similar context.)
“Chicks Agree”? No, actually. Not this ”chick”. Not with the persistent, lazy, women-as-meat misogyny, anyway. C’mon, PETA, don’t you owe it to human beings and animals alike to try to encourage more responsible and respectful discourse?
Sleeping Nude (1954) by Dorothea Tanning. Oil on canvas.
And she did. Countless others have walked through that door behind Dorothea Tanning– fellow iconoclasts and creative powerhouses (many women, but surely, many not) who might never have pursued their work otherwise.
Her independence, her intelligence, and her centenarian resolve to lead an extraordinary life no matter what, should be as central to her legacy as her art and writings. Tanning died in her sleep last night at the age of 101…
“…and pieces of history die with her. Artist, poet, wife of Max Ernst from 1946 until he died in 1976, and (along with Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington, Kay Sage, Lee Miller, Maya Deren, Remedios Varo, and Leonor Fini) one of a group of great women Surrealists, she was at the center of a movement that was a vicious mill for women. Among the surrealists, females — while ‘allowed’ to be artists — were often also relegated to the sidelines of neglected or beset mistresses, muses, and madwomen.” ~Jerry Saltz (for New York Magazine)
Birthday (1942) by Dorothea Tanning. Oil on canvas.
Her advice to younger generations: ”Keep your eye on your inner world and keep away from ads, idiots and movie stars.”
From the same land that recently brought us Vinicius Quesada’s ominous post-apocalyptic images in the McDonald’s color scheme comes this two-image series from Brazilian artist Lucas de Alcântara.
The strange atomic-age flying machines (robots? winged helmets? …life forms?) recall Leonardo da Vinci’s technical drawings, while the composition echoes high-concept, hand-drawn film posters of bygone days. The would look great on a wall next to some Takashi Itsuki prints, no?
The images appear in Alcântara’s Depthcore portfolio. Consisting of digital artists around the world, Depthcore is a treasure trove of weird cyberpunk art. Work on Depthcore seems to be presented in chapters, and the image above appeared in the chapter titled Obsolete among many other beautiful submissions.
[via the highly addictive Surrogate Self]
Spanish artist Oscar Sanmartin Vargas has a staggering portfolio of mixed media work, ranging from dioramas, to surreal architectural etchings, to detailed studies of alien biological specimens. The drawings are especially haunting; all their subjects depicted under a perpetually overcast sky. In regards to those strange animals: he released a book in 2007, entitled Leyendario: Criaturas de Agua (Legendary Creatures of the Water), a video preview of which can be found below. I am completely smitten with these — the line work, the use of empty space, the mystery of them. They are simply wonderful.
This momentous occasion offers us the perfect excuse to revisit a somewhat more time-honored form of squirrel appreciation, namely “Gonads and Strife“.
Threebrain, we miss you!
Previous squirrelage on Coilhouse:
Sometimes, when creative and inspired people get together to collaborate on making imagery in a specific vein that no one’s attempted before, a special kind of magic happens. Case in point, this elaborate photo series independently produced by Jessica Rowell of J-Chan Designs and photographer Nina Pak in cahoots with model Elizabeth Maiden:
Κατάρα της Αθηνάς, η μοίρα της Μέδουσας
Αθηνάς: Elizabeth Maiden
Μέδουσας: Jessica Rowell of J-Chan’s Designs
Photography: Nina Pak
Costume Design & Styling: J-Chan’s Designs
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Ancient Greek lore and steampunk culture clash, titan style, in a sumptuous mythos-meets-modernity photo series depicting the Goddess Athena (Elizabeth Maiden) and the Gorgon Medusa (Jessica Rowell).
According to legend, the once ravishing Medusa was cursed with a monstrous appearance after “seducing” Poseidon, Lord of the Sea, under the roof of Athena’s sacred temple. Hence, this series title (which, translated into English, means) “Athena’s curse, Medusa’s fate.”
Rowell pulled “inspiration from Desmond Davis’ 1981 film Clash of the Titans, then put an atemporal spin on things by incorporating several contemporary ingredients that “also felt industrial and familiar to alternative culture.”
Film by Anne Garland.
Things that make the world a better place:
Garland wrote this song especially to sing with Bunyan. It’s a single from his upcoming album Conversations with the Cinnamon Skeleton, to be released in early 2012. Keep your eyes and ears open.
Via Lee Mason, thanks!
Rob & Ben Kimmel’s collaborative father-and-son “lunch comics” (recently blogged on io9), which they’ve been making together since Ben started kindergarten over three years ago, are basically the best thing since sliced Lunchables™ processed pressure-molded bologna product. Better, actually! By leaps and bounds! If you’ve got some time to kill today, head over to their website, Wandermonster, and get your warm (geeky) fuzzies on.
Rob and his 8-year-old son Ben share a tender moment.