Selene Luna: Born to Be Alive

Photo by Tim Palen. (Patti LaBelle, eat yer heart out!)

Selene Luna, our lovely and amazing Issue 02 cover girl, just announced her new one-woman show, Born to Be Alive, which will be running at the Davidson/Valentini Theatre from May 28-June 27. Written by John T. Stapleton and Selene Luna, and directed by Derick Lasalla, Born to Be Alive sounds like Luna’s most ambitious solo project yet. From the press release:

Selene Luna’s story is unlike anything being presented on stage today. The diminutive actress/writer/burlesque artist/stand-up comic/fashion model/activist has faced more obstacles than most as a woman born a little person who emigrated from Mexico to the U.S. with her family when she was just three years old. Confronting and overcoming multiple levels of discrimination, the Logo Award nominee has become one of the hottest members of Hollywood’s “eccentric artist community” and has crossed over into mainstream film, television, theatre and the print fashion world.

Aspects of Luna’s improbable odyssey have been explored in her previous plays, but Born to Be Alive is different. “I’ve evolved so much as a writer and performer,” Luna explains, “and I’ve also become much more willing to be open and vulnerable. This will be my most honest show ever, as well as my happiest and funniest.” It’s also the first time she’s had the support of a director (Derick LaSalla) and production team. The luxury of focusing exclusively on the creative elements of the show gives Luna the ability to go places she’s never touched before.

photo by Matthew Cope

Tickets available here, and more info here. Net proceeds from the production will benefit the Center’s broad array of services for the LGBT community.

Antoinette Cakefight

Just a cute little video for a cute little techno song: a budget version of the Sofia Coppola’s Antoinette cast engulfed in a messy food fight for a video called “Lightworks” by the Acid Girls – a band consisting of these two mustached dudes. What’s interesting about this video is that it was paid for by Toyota Scion. As part of their marketing efforts, Scion pours tons of money into the arts. But most of the artists in Scion’s stable always struck me as rather safe, rather dull. This music video isn’t “transgressive” by any means, but there’s something genuine about it that I found missing from many of the other artists on Scion’s A/V site. The word I’m looking for may not even be genuine, but silly. I mean that in a good way.

Suzanne Wurzeltod is Plotting Something Wondrous

“Alien Faced People of the World Unite!” by Suzanne Gerber.

The marvelous, nurse oft-mentioned curator/creator/writer Suzanne Gerber recently posted something on her main site,, that should catch the attention of artistic East Londoners:

I recently came to the conclusion that it’s about time for me to get my own little space for art and exhibitions. I know this is not going to happen from one day to another and I’m also fully aware of all the competition around and the dire economic times, but heck, this is as good or bad as any time to start a business when you put a mind as determined as mine to it and if I never try, I will never know.

I have been wanting to get a shop/show room for a long time now and I know that I’m not the only one with such grand hopes but zero cash. So here I am, asking you, fellow (preferably East) London creative/artist/designer/utopian to join forces with me and share a space for creative endeavours with me. I’m looking particularly (but not exclusively) for:

  • An artist in need of a studio
  • A (fashion) designer in need of a shop space
  • A creative hairdresser in need of a salon
  • An (art) book/mag/graphic novel nerd/collector in need of a book shop
  • A restaurateur in need of a small café
  • A combination of the above
  • Someone who already owns a space with a creative direction and wants to rent parts of it out

So if you’re any of the above or know of someone who is and if you have been wanting to have a space of your own for a while and are committed, trustworthy, hardworking and willing to make human sacrifices, please do get in touch so that we can discuss everything over a few cups of hazelnut soy latte.

Best of luck, lovely lady. Break limbs and hearts and piggy banks, whatever it takes! Hoping to hear a lot more about this in the coming months.

Timeless Prelude by Neon O’Clockworks

These images, created by conceptual art/illustration/photography unit Neon O’Clockworks, appeared in the Japan/Victorian issue of Yaso Magazine. (Yaso, a Japanese-only art magazine published in Tokyo, has issues with themes like “doll,” “vampire” and “Svankmajer” – more about this incredible publication, with pictures and reviews of specific issues, later this week!) The series that these images come from is called “Timeless Prelude,” subtitled “Victorian Period & Huge Head” – click here to see the entire project. The artists write that the series was inspired by the huge wigs of bygone eras, along with Japanese geisha makeup. The result is a nostalgic, Sarah Moon-esque atmosphere that dips into the 1700s and the 1900s, Kabuki stylings and German expressionism, East and West. Not to be missed on their site are some of the other projects: the Kragenedechse installation (make sure you see the room of silence and the exhibition’s window display!), the Japan Avant-Garde portraits and the Dressed/Naked book.

Madame Peripetie vs. Eva Nyiri: Warriors in the Dark

These Nomi-inspired pieces were created by Hungarian designer Eva Nyiri. Her first collection, a slick robotic-samuri affair titled “Black on Black,” sparked awe on blogs such as Haute Macabre earlier this year. Nyiri’s work represents a new breed of sophisticated, grownup-goth Eastern European fashion designers, along with fellow Hungarian Dora Mojzes (Nyiri’s best friend of 10 years), Serbian-based Marko Mitanovski, and Slovenian prodigy Tea Bauer.

This week, German photographer Madame Peripetie – who you may remember from the impossible-shoe Insectarium series – published her new collaboration with Nyiri, titled “Warriors in the Dark.” The full shoot consists of twelve images, and can be found in the latest issue of Nico Magazine. More images from the shoot can be seen at the Larapixie blog. Expect more great things from both Peripetie and Nyiri in 2010!

Exquisite Tymoshenko Doll Helps Orphans

[Image courtesy of Reuters]

Can one of you guys please get me this Yulia Tymoshenko doll for my birthday? A $53K porcelain representation of Lady Yu as Robin Hood, complete with a bow and arrow and leather boots fitted with spurs, isn’t too much to ask for this year, is it? Anyone? …guys? Okay, fine. I’ll settle for the homemade Barbie version. (Unless Marina Bychkova decides to take a stab at it.)

The dolly above, along with other figures of prominent Ukrainian politicians, was crafted by artist Yelena Kuznetsova for yesterday’s Ukrainian Doll Parade, an auction aimed towards raising money for the construction of an orphans’ rehabilitation center. Tymoshenko’s doll was by far the most popular; it was auctioned off for ten times the estimated price, according to news source RT.

Top row: L: Yulia shows the babybats how it’s done. R: Yulia and the Prince of Darkness. Bottom row: L: Yulia and her pet tigress, Tigrulya. R: Yulia knows how to accessorize.

The Coilhouse obsession with Tymoshenko (and, more recently, her tribe of Amazonian defenders) dates back to 2007. Since then, she’s been busy – negotiating oil disputes with Russia, campaigning for health reform, and galvanizing global support for leg-o-mutton sleeves and black lace. After falling out with President Yushchenko earlier this year, Tymoshenko announced her bid to run in the January 2010 Presidential Elections. While I’m neutral on Tymoshenko as a politician, I’m a staunch supporter of her hair and its commitment to solving the gas crisis.

Today is Tymoshenko’s birthday, so here’s wishing our Ukranian Dune Priestess the very best on her special day. Your update on Yulia’s gothic agenda, after the jump.

The Great Tumbleweave Diaspora

“Unfortunate little tumbleweave that met an unhappy end on V Street, hospital NE Washington, shop DC. Tumbleweaves thrive here in DC, their numbers are great.  She was one of the unlucky few.” – Urban Tumbleweave

A tumbleweave is the part of a hairstyle that, once mature and dry, disengages from the host and tumbles (rolls) away in the wind, seeking its own fortunes. The tumbleweave habit is most common in urban areas, such as PHILLAY. However, the ripe specimen of tumbleweave pictured below was sighted by intoallthat in Baltimore. Some thorough scientific analysis yields the following theory: “possibly originating continents away in a proto-religious Eurasian hairletting ritual, [this tumbleweave] found itself hopelessly and aimlessly clinging to a patch of concrete in downtown Bowtimo. Possibly looking for a cameo on The Wire.”

The blog Urban Tumbleweave seeks to further chronicle tumbleweaves discovered in Philadelphia, West Oakland (“the Philly of the West Coast”) and beyond. Each tumbleweave is like a snowflake, representing a particular genus, such as the exotic Synthetica Prolifera. Tumblewave sightings can also be submitted to this excellent Flickr pool.

A typical specimen found in Baltimore

The Higher the Hair, the Closer to God

In a couple of hours I’ll be making a post about urban hair carnage (by popular request… from one of my co-editors), so I thought I’d build up some anticipation by making a quick post celebrating the kind of hair engineering we all know and love. It’s been a while since we featured a nice, sculptural-looking ‘do, so here you go. Hairstyle by Andreas-H, photo by Kris Baum, makeup by Corrine, model unknown Aileen Lorenz. One more image, after the jump. Check back in a few hours to see where this kind of hairstyle goes to die.

RUFFGASM! With Your Host, Natalie Shau.

Remember the Coilhouse ode to ruffs? And the slightly shorter ode to digital artist/photographer Natalie Shau? Well, here we have two great tastes that taste great together. I could easily see this image, titled Dominion, on the cover of Elegy. I love the colors, the wallpaper, the texture of the ruff. The waist is maybe a bit too Ralph Lauren-ish – if you’re going to make it that small, I feel like it should look obviously cinched, like Mr. Pearl – but I love everything else about it. Go Natalie! For more new work, check out her site.

Lost Marvels of Revolution-Era Russian Theater

Some excellent detective work by Ghoul Next Door has uncovered the origins of this 101-year-old photo. The stunning image was brought to our attention by guest blogger Angeliska, who writes, “I’ve become totally obsessed with this carte de visite depicting Maria Germanova of the Moscow Arts Theatre, costumed for her role [as the fairy] in Blue Bird. She is my perfect style icon, now and forever.”

Unfortunately, the photographs of the actors are all that remain of this 1908 premiere of Maeterlinck’s Blue Bird, produced by Stanislavsky. A descriptive play-by-play of the performance can be found in the 1920 book The Russian Theater Under the Revolution by Oliver Sayler (thanks, Google book search!), but all other images of this art noveau-inspired production have been lost to time, despite Sayler’s valiant attempts to preserve more for posterity, recounted in the book:

I asked Stanislavsky eagerly for photographs of scenes from “The Blue Bird” or else for the original designs of the scenic artist so that I might have them copied… the photographs, I was told, were not available – except those of the players themselves – for the originals had been made by Fischer, a German, and had been destroyed in the pogrom at the beginning of the war in 1914. And in the difficult times Russia has undergone since then, no others have been made. When I pressed my point and asked about the orignal designs, the firm, square but kindly face of my host carried a passing glance of embarassed modesty and then admitted that there were no designs. He had conceived them himself and had personally directed the artist, V. E. Yevgenoff, in the execution of the settings.

Yep, 1908 is definitely going to the top of my “If I Had a Time Machine” list. Craving more images after discovering Germanova’s fairy, I did a bit of searching on the Russian web and uncovered the images below (from an Ogonyok article about Blue Bird). After the jump, a full-body shot of Germanova looking like a pre-Raphaelite sorceress.