“Cupid and Centaur” by Joel-Peter Witkin (1992)

(un)Naturally, we can’t have Centaur Week without posting one of Joel-Peter Witkin‘s most famous works, riffing off the classical Greek “Kentauros & Eros” motif…

“Cupid and Centaur” by Joel-Peter Witkin (1992)

(Preaching to the choir, here, but) Is there another photographer living whose sublime darkroom necromancy conveys quite the same level of beauty, horror, ferocity, compassion, grace and grotesquerie as Witkin’s? Doubtful.

Buy his books:

“The Centaurs” by Winsor McCay (1921)

The advent of animated features and silent films remains one of the most significant accomplishments of the 20th century. Sadly, before celluloid preservation standards were set in place, much of the early studio output of the 1920s was lost or damaged beyond repair. One of those pieces is an animated film, The Centaurs, produced by Windsor McCay in 1921. Of the sole print, which disintegrated due to negligent storage, only about 90 seconds have been salvaged.

The animation style is quite beautiful, very influenced by the Art Nouveau motifs of the times, recalling Jugendstil illustrations, like this one, in particular.

There is no solid indication available anywhere about McCay’s original intentions for the feature. Was there to be a plot, or did he mean for it to be a romantic, picturesque montage of frolicking centaurs? (Nothing wrong with the latter.) At least we have this little bit to enjoy.

Some Hot Human-on-Centaur Action

This image was scanned by one malpertuis and captioned “A card I got when I was a kid – no idea on the artist.”


[via pig baby]

Editor’s Note: Coilhouse reader Dicyfer just commented that this is Centaur Kiss” by George Leonnec. It ran as cover artwork for the magazine La Vie Parisienne back in 1924. Thanks, Dicyfer!

Prints and a Novella by Richard A. Kirk

“The Sinister Game of Paperface” by Richard A. Kirk

Artist and author Richard A. Kirk (who we’ve mentioned twice before on the blog) has just put a bunch of very reasonably priced prints of his recent work into his Etsy store. If you’re shopping for darkly whimsical holiday gifts for your more fae or macabre friends (or just for yourself!) you’ll definitely want to take a look at these intricate, elegant pieces.

Kirk’s phenomenal illustrated novella, The Lost Machine, is also worth checking out– a bleakly beautiful weird fiction story that features ghosts, witches, crows, and enchanted automata. Kirk’s prose is as delicate, finessed and strange as his drawings. Highly recommended.

“The Unaccountable Absence of the Wastrel” by Richard A. Kirk

BTC: Donkey Rhubarb!

Good morning, good morning, good moooorrrrrrniiiing! Have some warm (creeping) fuzzies:

Yes! It’s ye olde “Donkey Rhubarb” video! One of musician Richard D. James’, director David Slade’s, and Canary Wharf’s finest moments.

James called these charming creatures his “Rhubears”, and toted them along to several live Aphex Twin shows in the mid nineties. Via wiki: “James has also admitted to having his friends dress up as them to terrorise line-ups outside of clubs.”


It would seem that Coilhouse’s favorite power couple, the Joslins, are going for complete and total art world domination in late 2011! These two lovelies have been consistently inspiring, supporting, and contributing to us since the very beginning. Jessica was our biggest feature in Issue 01 of the print magazine, and we just published a lavish interview with Jared in Issue 06. (Which, btw, is still available in our shop… but not for long! Get it while you can.)

We love these two! Here’s a quick rundown of Jessica and Jared’s various exploits in recent months:

“Devil’s Kiss” by Jared Joslin. Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches, price upon request.

Jared’s newest oil painting “Devil’s Kiss” is the first in a new series of paintings exploring the high life and thrill of masquerade balls of the 1920’s. Says Jared:

“In this dream-like whirl of frenzied delight, set in a snow globe atmosphere of streamers, confetti and balloons, I intend to explore and depict stolen moments, passionate persuits and secret longings. Moments marked by intense pleasure in a state of high celebration.”

Meanwhile, Jessica’s gorgeous creatures are scampering all over the place! Comet (pictured below) is going to London for the “Wild Life” group show at Stolen Space Gallery, opening tomorrow, Dec 2:
Comet, by Jessica Joslin.

Agate (pictured below), as well as Almond and Silver (shown after the jump) are all headed to Roq La Rue in Seattle. Opening Dec 9, 6-9pm:

Agate, by Jessica Joslin.


Via Mr. & Mrs. Great Dismal comes word of this (relatively) new and unusually heart-tugging form of adventure sport… Parahawking:

The filmmakers mention Rio at the YouTube link, but this footage looks like it was shot in the sky above the Torrey Pines bluffs of N. County San Diego, California. And here’s another Torrey Pines clip of paraglider falconers, soaring with a Harris Hawk named Shanti.

Harris Hawks are an unusual species of raptor that can adapt splendidly to relationships with humans, becoming one of the most well-loved breeds among North American falconers. (Most raptors prefer to hunt alone, but Harris Hawks hunt together in family groups, and exhibit complex social behavior.)

Other folks have been intentionally paragliding with birds of prey elsewhere in the world for about a decade now, namely Spain and Nepal.

Soaring above the Himalayas with Kevin the Egyptian Vulture. Photo by D. Stemler.

Click here to read some parahawking FAQs answered by sport innovator Scott Mason. Mason, who has organized teams based out of both places, works primarily with endangered Egyptian Vultures (another highly social bird that gets along well with people) as well as other Asian vultures, kites, and eagles.

It’s hugely inspiring to read his words on how the sport, and his work in particular, has come to benefit conservation efforts. Mason has said that only rescued and rehabilitated birds are trained for parahawking; he never takes them from the wild. In fact, he and his partner, Anita Hjertas, also run a wild raptor rescue and conservation village called Maya Devi. Wounded wild raptors are brought there to heal, and then returned to the wild whenever possible.

So uplifting, literally!

EDIT: GAH! John P. just shared this incredible clip of Kerri Wolter from South Africa, soaring with vultures. Thank you so much, mister!

Mr. Mead’s Menagerie

There is a strange charm to these portraits by Tom Mead. They do not dazzle you with an abundance of complexity, nor do they belie any movement or sense of place. In fact, they seem to tell the story of some non-place, a nowhere void populated by well dressed but decidedly sinister individuals, something accentuated by the stark, black backgrounds which, in this case, work for the pieces instead of coming off as lazy. This void is mirrored in their eyes, inky pools that appear to be empty sockets, devoid of any visual equipment whatsoever — though they still manage to stare. “Edward Gorey doing The Fantastic Mr. Fox” was the first description that entered my head when I saw these, but that’s not quite right. Maybe if The Fantastic Mr. Fox had been the book written by HP Lovecraft instead of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.

Tender, Elegant Muskrat Lurve

Just a little afternoon delight, courtesy of Captain & Tennille…

Via Siege. (Of course.) Original song by Willis Alan Ramsey. 

This aired on national television in the late 70s on The Captain & Tennille Show. Toni-T croons of the ardor between two semi-aquatic rodents named Suzie and Sam to the beige and incontinent bleep-bloops of the Captain’s keys. (Apparently, the 7″ single for this tune features an “endless loop” of synthesizer interpretations of muskrat fuck sounds, encoded into the end-groove of the vinyl. It’s the first known hit single to have a recorded locked groove.)

Good times!

Bonus weirdness: here’s a home karaoke video of a woman covering the same song while holding her rather shellshocked-looking guinea pig, Simon, aloft.

Strange Angels: The Art Of Joe Fenton

Details abound in the works of Joe Fenton. Amidst the twisting, mouth-tipped flora are dozens of tiny figures. Their heads are simply eyeballs or animal skulls or something almost like a brain crossed with a Piranha Plant. All nude, some are lithe and sensuous, others cherubic. Look closer still and you begin to see a second set of figures, tiny imps with horns or wings sprouting from their spherical forms. There’s an aura of mysticism throughout his work, as if the pieces illustrate some esoteric religion. Visually dense, his work manages to just avoid overwhelming the viewer and turning each piece into a tangle of lines. It’s worth visiting his site, so as too look at these at a much higher resolution than our pages allow. There’s a video, below, of Fenton working on his painting The Lullaby, giving a brief glimpse into the amount of work that goes into one of these.

Via who killed bambi?