Transgender Day of Remembrance

Photo by Hans55, from last year’s Beacon of Hope vigil in Manchester, UK.

Today (Sunday the 20th of November) is the 13th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. Memorial events are taking place all over the world.

According to GLAAD, there has been an alarming global increase in brutal violence against LBTGQ people in recent years. More specifically, nearly two hundred transphobic murders were documented last year by the Transrespect vs Transphobia project. Statistics compiled by Trans Murder Monitoring assert that approximately every 72 hours, a trans person is murdered somewhere in the world. The countries with the most transphobic murders last year were Brazil, the United States, and Honduras.

These numbers only show us parts of a far bigger and more disturbing picture, as there are many countries where little, if any data, has been recorded. Nor do any of the statistics above include the gut-wrenching number of people who have been driven to take their own lives. Something to bear in mind: according to a National Gay and Lesbian Task Force / National Center for Transgender Equality survey posted at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine earlier this year, in the United States alone, “a ‘staggering’ 41 percent of the more than 6,400 respondents said they had attempted suicide, compared to a rate of 1.6 percent for the general population.”

Take a moment.

Oh-So-Cute & Creepy

Please give a warm welcome to our newest guest blogger, Caroline E. Willis! Caroline describes herself as “a writer and occasionally an archaeologist.” She also has a highly entertaining blog “about dressing up and hitting people with latex.” Needless to say, we like Caroline a lot. -Mer

“Sentimental” by Kathie Olivas, 2009, oil on canvas, 30”x40”. (Via)

“Most of us can agree on the artistic value of a Monet or Titian, but this work is for a daring audience, an audience open to exploring the strange beauty and the ecstasy inherent in our culture’s aversions.”

~Carrie Ann Baade
Guest Curator of the Cute & Creepy exhibition, FSU Museum of Fine Arts.

Drive past enough hazy bayous and bent oaks, sacrifice enough November butterflies on the altar of your windshield, and you’ll find something creepy in the heart of Florida. Carrie Ann Baade has collected the works of 25 fellow artists- works of beautiful, grotesque, adorable art- for the Cute & Creepy exhibition that’s currently taking Tallahassee by storm.

Over two-thousand people attended the opening- four times more than any other opening at the museum thus far, and some strange lure continues to draw unprecedented numbers to this show- a lure as hard to define as the subject of the show itself. Cute & Creepy is an exploration of boundaries, but the artworks on display do not so much “cross the line” as seem unaware that any boundaries exist. Each object is wholly itself; it is the viewers for whom categorization fails.

Toddlerpede 2.0” by Jon Beinart. 2011, mixed media sculpture, approximately 36”x36”x36”. Photo by Caroline E. Willis.

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” (Goodbye, Steve Jobs.)

“I find it rather fascinating how respected Steve Jobs was by corporate capitalist bigwigs and art freak anarchists alike.” – @colinaut. “Steve Jobs dies. Protesters being beaten on Wall Street. Custom stem-cell cloning achieved. Hell of a night. Rest easy.” – @warrenellis. “Man, I’m really, really sad. I always wanted to meet Jobs, always wanted to thank him for basically inventing my world.” – @jzellis “Overheard from one of the nearby reporters [at the SF Apple Store]: ‘I’ll keep looking, but nobody here is crying yet.'” – @DocPop. “Gone way too soon. Thanks for everything Steve.” – @zoecello. “Wow, even my retired dad is sending me RIP Steve Jobs emails – from his iPad.” – @claytoncubitt “If you want to honor Steve, don’t mourn. Do your best work every day. Live your life to the fullest. Never settle. His spirit lives on.” – @sdw “iRIP, Steve Jobs. Thank you for making incredible things, so we can live in the future.” – @wilw

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs,
(February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)

“My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.”

Photograph by Ted Neuhoff

Mission most fully and beautifully accomplished, good sir. And the world still misses you very much. But we’ll keep believing, keep pretending.

Happy 75th birthday, Jim Henson.


MizEnScen’s somber, surrealist collages

Bride I

MizEnScen’s elegant digital collages, laced with melancholia like mournful mezzotints, are a surrealist fusion of gleaned vintage engravings, illustrations, and photography in which she expresses her love of the macabre and whimsy through her work while “exploring the juxtapositions between what some consider beautiful and horrific”.
“To me,” she notes, ” they are one of the same.”

“The artist, in my opinion, is a monstrosity, something outside of nature”. -Gustave Flaubert,

Referencing this provocative quote,  she postulates that this sentiment “… pertains to my works’ visual theme and aesthetic.  I create images that draw on my morbid sensibilities and because of that, the images exhibit dark or morose elements.  In essence, I’m inclined to the things outside of nature because that is precisely what I find beautiful.”

Those unfamiliar with her artwork may also know her as MizEnScen on tumblr in which she curates, among other things, a striking collection of film stills from early black and white cinema and cites an unapologetic love of the breathtaking, enigmatic Greta Garbo. It is unsurprising then, that she lists among her artistic inspirations: “silent film, melancholia, carnivals (sideshows), The Weimar Republic, Dia De Los Muertos, Edwardian/Victorian photography and illustrations, Surrealism, Pop Surrealism, engravings (particularly medical illustrations), German Expressionism, oddities/curios, graphic art, collage, and Dada.”

Her process involves both digital and traditional methods, about which she shares the following: “When I create a digital collage, I may or may not begin with an idea, but I simply rummage through illustrations to gather inspiration and play around with them in Photoshop.  Other times I create elements that I want to incorporate either as part of a altered-digital collage or my own illustration by sketching in graphite and ink, then scanning the artwork to alter in Photoshop.  Some of my other artwork is done in traditional paint and brush, my new favorite method being dry brush.  Essentially the tools I use are graphite, ink, acrylic, watercolor, oil, paper, canvas, engravings/illustrations, and Photoshop.”

Though not currently an artist by trade, she is working  toward making her artwork a full-time venture.  More of MizEnScen’s sketches, collages, etc. can be see on her flickr page and art prints are available through society6.  See below the cut for a small selection of her wistful, whimsical collages, compositions which resonate with both “traces of sadness and fleeting gladness”.

Official Trailer for “Autoluminescent” (Rowland S. Howard Documentary)

The lovely people at Ghost Pictures just sent us the link to their new official trailer for the upcoming Rowland S. Howard documentary Autoluminescent, which is slated for an Australian theatrical release of Oct 27, 2011.

“Autoluminescent traces the life of guitarist, songwriter and artist Rowland S. Howard. Rowland S. Howard was an influential figure in contemporary music, particularly renowned for his role in seminal post-punk bands The Birthday Party, Crime & City Solution, and These Immortal Souls. In a career spanning 30 years Howard worked with the best artists of his generation, including Nikki Sudden, Henry Rollins & Lydia Lunch. His was a singular talent, cut short by an untimely death in 2009.”

No word on further screenings yet, but if there’s any creative justice in this world, Autoluminescent will eventually be shown internationally and run the festival circuit. Fingers crossed, anyway.

Previously on Coilhouse:

BTC: Gunther von Häagen-Dazs

From the profoundly sick ‘n’ twisted punsters innovative educators behind Art of Bleeding comes this morning’s “anatomy lesson” in the form of a extended satirical mashup that riffs off the name of Body Worlds creator Gunter von Haagens and the moniker of a certain time-honored, faux-Scandinavian brand of ice cream.

This video is not safe for work, nor the squeamish, nor the lactose intolerant. TASTE DEATH.

Thanks, as ever, for keepin’ it real strange, Al.

HTRK: Work (work, work)

After the tragic death of bassist Sean Stewart last year, the remaining members of Australia’s HTRK –Nigel Yang and Jonnine Standish– have continued to record as a duo. Their latest release, Work (work, work), marks the beginning of a new route.

HTRK’s debut album, Marry Me Tonight (2009), produced by The Birthday Party’s Rowland S. Howard, was a modern take on the familiar musical connection between Berlin and Melbourne, a route frequented before by Howard himself, Nick Cave, Anita Lane, Phil Shöenfelt and other heroes of sultry, sticky new wave. Acute guitar structures and thick, uneasy basslines added an aggressively shuddering, no-wave influenced quality; Standish’s detached, blasé vocals completed the impression of intriguing discomfiture.

HTRK vocalist and co-composer Jonnine Standish, wearing Poltock & Walsh.

Work (work, work) is a different story, devoid of previous aggression, and filled instead with aloof blankness and withering instances of resignation. The music draws from popular retro-futuristic sources, exploring an imaginarium of digital decay, postindustrial wastelands, soulless end-of-days decadence and chemical cures for chronic anhedonia. There are echoes of mid-90s dystopian reverie, in which humans seek respite from their growing boredom and anxiety in cyberscapes or mechanical sex practices or drug delusions… although HTRK paints these millennial fears in more fashionable dress, using a production palette of all the sounds currently en vogue. Work (work, work) presents indifferent vocals, deeply steeped in slowly pouring, liquid-metal synths and distant waves of guitar noise. The songs, languidly spinning, encourage the listener to melt them together into a thick soup. Or paraffin. Or diesel oil.

The downtempo qualities can even evoke an image of post-2000 trip hop: washed out soul, dub influences, marijuana-induced laziness. Work (work, work) maintains  just as suffocatingly stuffy an atmosphere – and becomes equally as decorative as trip hop eventually grew to be. At times, it sounds like a nihilistic version of electronic sentimentalists and mood creators like The XX. The band’s new music has an oddly warm quality, yet it’s a warmth more resembling an engine cooling down than a sentimental smile.

Press photo: Nigel Yang & Jonnine Standish.

Purchase Work (work, work) and other HTRK output at your local indie record shop, or directly through their record label, Ghostly International.

Upcoming HTRK Tour Dates:

  • Sept 06 Portland OR – Mississippi Studios
  • Sept 07 San Francisco CA – Public Works
  • Sept 11 Los Angeles CA – The Echo
  • Sept 14 New York NY – Home Sweet Home
  • Sept 17 Brooklyn NY – Secret Project Robot
  • Oct 12 Krakow PL – Unsound Festival
  • Oct 24 London UK – The Garage
  • Oct 30 Kortrijk BE – Sonic City Festival

New Fineries and Art Fund by Stephanie Inagaki

I know everyone’s waiting with bated breath for more news about Coilhouse’s Black & White & Red All Over Ball in New York. We’d been working on the announcement all weekend, but with more art and performers still being confirmed, and some other details to iron out, we’ve decided to wait just one more day to spill the beans. In the meantime, check out these lovely new creations from Miyu Decay, the jewelry and adornments company of artist Stephanie Inagaki (previously on Coilhouse). Shot beautifully by Allan Amato, the images feature models Lacy Soto, Alexandra Matthews, Jill Evyn, and Yellow Strange. All these items can be purchased at Miyu Decay’s Etsy store.

Later this month, Stephanie and the other artists involved in this shoot will be throwing a very special fundraising event in LA in honor of James Ribiat, Stephanie’s fiancee, who died of a heart attack nearly two years ago. We met Stephanie and James when they became impromptu bartenders at the Coilhouse launch party three years ago, and James’ passing was a shock for everyone on the staff. Stephanie writes:

James always encouraged me to be creative, to continuously do better and was my biggest critic.

Our family established an arts endowment in his honor, which will be used to give scholarships to local students who want to pursue the arts.  James was an ardent supporter, always donating to museums and the LA Philharmonic. We had received generous donations from friends to initially start up the endowment but it is necessary to raise more funds in order to give back to the community.  An endowment works similarily like a savings account, where you can only take off of what the interest makes.

I am organizing a memorial benefit show to raise more funds. It will be held on Friday, August 26th from 7pm-12am at Sancho Gallery in Echo Park. I am in the process of hopefully attaining an Alcoholic Beverage Control One Day License as well because everyone knows booze brings in the most cash! The entrance fee will include one raffle ticket, which I think will be about $10.  There will also be an option to buy more raffle tickets as well!

The event will feature performances by Daniel Ribiat of Cinema Strange and Colin Ambulance, as well as a raffle for artwork donations from Zoetica, Tas Limur, Yume Ninja, Paul Koudounaris, and many other artists. See the full details on at the event page here.

Fashioning the Sublime: Alexander McQueen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

CONTRIBUTOR’S NOTE: This week marks the final chance to see Savage Beauty before it closes on Sunday, August 7th. Due to the exhibit’s overwhelming popularity, the Metropolitan Museum has scheduled special viewing times for the upcoming weekend. Do not miss the opportunity to witness this one-of-a-kind show honoring one of the most spectacular talents to ever grace the fashion world.

Alexander McQueen’s “The Horn of Plenty”,  autumn/winter 2009-10. Black duck feathers. (via)

“When I am dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen.” -Alexander McQueen (1969-2010)

The death of the Scottish designer Lee Alexander McQueen in February of 2010 sent shockwaves throughout the fashion industry that rippled steadily outward, pervading the worlds of fine art, music, theatre and design. Suddenly, one of the bravest, boldest and incredibly imaginative forces in fashion was gone. McQueen’s suicide took place just a week after his beloved mother, Joyce, died from cancer, and with little more than a month to go before he was to debut a new collection in Paris. The international outpouring of grief was palpable, as everyone, from socialites, celebrities and fashion students from countless walks of life remembered the designer in extensive magazine features, blog posts, Twitter updates, and Tumblr tributes. McQueen’s strong features and piercing stare appeared on the cover of most major newspapers.


McQueen’s influence was undeniable; he had unleashed, with collection after collection, a romantic assault on the senses and invited his viewers to look with their minds, not merely their bodies, when deciding what to wear and how to wear it.

Never had a designer injected so much personal anguish and cerebral delight in his creations, and the materials he used, from pony skin, ostrich feathers, medical slides, hammered silver, balsa wood and tulle, became fashioning for the soul. For the past several months, devotees have streamed through the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to personally experience many of his most iconic creations up close, presented in the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty retrospective. Curated by Andrew Bolton of The Costume Institute, the exhibit shows more than one hundred designs in tailor-made galleries befitting each of McQueen’s influences.