Oscar Sanmartin Vargas

Spanish artist Oscar Sanmartin Vargas has a staggering portfolio of mixed media work, and ranging from dioramas, pharm 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.

Volkswagen Continues Its Love Affair With “The Imperial March”

A quick Google search shows that this video is pretty much everywhere, but I just can’t resist putting it here. Following up their Star Wars themed Passat commercial for last year’s Super Bowl, Volkswagen returns this year, and once again puts “The Imperial March” to excellent use, in this case having it performed by twelve dogs, some in various forms of Star Wars costumery. It’s so very silly but I love it so very much; especially the grand entrance of the twelfth and final member of this canine chorus. So. Good.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Minjeong An’s Self Portrait Diagrams

Korean artist Minjeong An’s oeuvre is varied but these self portrait diagrams stand out. Mind-bogglingly detailed, they invite the viewer to fall into their complex webs of lines and labels. Visually they’re almost overwhelming, the lines seeming to shift between abstract patterns and strictly ordered plans. These you really have to check out on her site in high resolution, as our image sizing here doesn’t do them justice.

Via 50 Watts

Limerence for Ron Turner

I just stumbled across The Bold Italic‘s lovely tribute to countercultural legend Ron Turner via Laughing Squid and smiled until my face hurt. Sasha Darling writes:

Of all the brilliant and amazing people I have encountered here, none are as dear to me as Mr. Ron Turner of Last Gasp. He’s equal parts underground comic book publishing icon, art collector extraordinaire, genuine gentleman, and dirty old man.

[…] Ron, with his long white beard and rosy cheeks, is a man who has rubbed shoulders with Timothy Leary, received fan letters from Charles Manson, and discovered important artists like R. Crumb. Yet he still has the dignified character to make every person in the room feel just as interesting as the legends he shares his delightfully interesting past with.”

Truer and more accurate words were never spoken! Nadya and I had the pleasure of taking Mr. Turner out to a business lunch in SF early last year. Our valiant-but-inevitably-hopeless attempts at verbally “one-upping” this unflappable pervert, this wondrous wizard, this mischievous genius, over quivering bowls of Cafe Gratitude porridge, resulted in one of the most memorable, not to mention visceral, professional lunches Coilhouse will ever host.*

After our meal, Ron graciously invited us back to Last Gasp headquarters, which feels simultaneously like a publisher’s warehouse and a cozily vibrant museum, thanks to his astonishing personal collection of books, prints, original artwork, vintage magician posters, carny ephemera, taxidermy, etc. Another treasured memory. Be sure to check out Darling’s photographs of Ron’s office, as well as his and his wife Carol Sue’s wondrous home. So great. We adore this man. Art crush, for sure.

Photo of Ron Turner by Pilar Vree for artbusiness.com.

*I’m honestly not sure how it happened, but we ended up spending approximately 91% of our summit with this legendary gentleman gabbing about about strap-ons and breathatarians and fecal impaction and ejaculate –the Landmark hippie vegans were nonplussed, lemme tell ya– and perhaps 9% of it discussing business strategy. (Though, to be fair, it was very powerful and insightful 9%.) BEST BUSINESS LUNCH EVAR.

“Two Against One” By Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi

“Two Against One” from the album Rome, a collaboration between Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi, which came out last year. Featuring vocals by Jack White, it’s been supplied with a spectacularly hallucinatory video directed by Chris Milk and Anthony Francisco Schepperd. Just beautiful work.

Via who killed bambi?

Adorable Rocker Clogger Girl

Dusty Paik just shared this on her Facebook page:

Rocker Clogger is a spirited seventeen-year old American amateur clogger who likes to dance to Adam and the Ants, The Cure, David Bowie, Oingo Boingo, Siouxsie & the Banshees, and Johnny Cash.

From her cute costumes, to the peaceful backyard background sounds of birdsong and wind chimes and rustling trees in all of her clips, to that irrepressible “I Gotta Be Me” attitude of hers, everything about Rocker Clogger’s videos fills my heart with squee.

“I’m NOT a professional dancer! I’m just having fun.” Girl, do your thing. Never stop.

(Several clips are listed after the jump, and check out her YouTube page for plenty more.)

Rocker Clogger and equine friend.

New Larkin Grimm Album Imminent, Free Village Voice Download

Photo by Dese’Rae L. Stage

The powerfully enchanting Larkin Grimm, previously interviewed by Angeliska on the Coilhouse blog and featured in Issue Four of our print issue, has a new album coming out next month! You can read about what she’s been up to recently, and preview/download her song “Paradise And So Many Colors” at the Village Voice website.

Last year, the sartorial site StyleLikeU (oh good gracious, LOVE these ladies) posted a wonderful “Closet Feature” on Grimm. It’s as endearing a portrait of the woman as you’ll find anywhere:

Lou Nasti Builds Robots

I seem to have completely missed this upon its release (and it may have been better posted around Christmas), but Cool Hunting has a short profile of Lou Nasti, whose studio, Mechanical Displays, who has done animatronic installations all over the world. His most famous might be various Christmas displays for storefronts on Manhattan’s 5th Avenue. Nasti (whose resembles Disney’s version of Mister Geppetto to such a degree that one would be forgiven for thinking it intentional) is the perfect type for this sort of piece: earnest and in love with his work. He oversees a shop stacked high with tools and parts, and toys. Admittedly, I have a penchant for these sorts of spaces, with their towering, organized clutter. They have a character all their own, often as interesting as the people who work in them.

Via Cool Hunting

Dueling Theremins

If ever there was a thing that needed to happen it is the theremin duel between Barry Schwam and Coilhouse’s very own Meredith Yayanos going down in my mind’s eye at this very moment. Seriously, you guys should see it. There are fog machines and lasers and rotating platforms. It’s just beautiful.

Via PCL Linkdump

A Rainbow Post Apocalypse

Take one part Hieronymous Bosch and sprinkle liberally with bright, rainbow colors and you’re about halfway to describing the work of Jonas Burgert. Here is a world in which people inhabit barren wastelands and nameless nowheres, outfitted in the vivid hues of their particular tribes. I really like the interplay of these two elements; the color trying, and failing, to act as a camouflage for the decidedly bleak subject matter. The colors splattered and scribbled all over, it’s like some child’s coloring book of Hell — both unsettling and beautiful.

Via Hi-Fructose