In late 1978, an exhibition of cartoonist Chester Gould‘s (d. 1985) art for his strip, Dick Tracy, was held at the Museum of Cartoon Art (now defunct) in Port Chester, NY. In the catalog published to coincide with the show, there is a massive appendix of 200 characters Gould created for the strip over the years. Now I’ve never read Dick Tracy as it was a bit before my time, but I had absolutely no idea it was so weird. The characters have bizarre appearances and names like Flattop, Nothing, and Vitamin Flintheart. Matt Masterson, the man who put the appendix together, says:
When I asked Chet Gould where he got the names for some of his characters, he told me he used to ride the train from his home in Woodstock, Illinois to his studio in Chicago and sketch various people he observed on the train. He would exaggerate upon certain features or characteristics. The name would follow, with he one exception being Flattop, whose name came from the popular aircraft carrier of World War II.
Some of my favorites are after the jump, but if you want to see the whole collection, click here.
Artist Lisa Park‘s performance titled Euonia – a Greek word that can be translated as “beautiful thinking”. The title is apt as Park’s thought’s are central the beauty of her performance. She makes use of an EEG headset which monitors various brainwaves and eye movement. The resulting information is translated into sound directed to one of five speakers. A shallow pan of water sits on each speaker, vibrating and shimmering with each of Park’s various thoughts. Park associated each of the five speakers with a different emotion and would recall various memories of people important to her in order to manipulate the speakers. She had hoped to develop the ability, through practice, to end her performance in silence but could not – an outcome perhaps more interesting than she had intended. It may be the brain is much more difficult to quiet than it seems. Be sure to check out the video to see Lisa Park’s brain in action. [via]
Melanie Authier’s paintings bring together visual contradictions into one imaginary space. By drawing upon the histories of abstraction and the strategies of representation, she presents improbable environments. A sense of disorientation comes about through the way in which colour, texture, line and shape compete for room within the canvas. Each work presents a brimming jostle of oppositions that the viewer is invited to bring into a certain order.
While we are in Graphic Design land, let’s get electrifyingly trashy with a typeface called “Elektrotrash”. Alex Varanese constructed this computer rock font, or as he refers to it – “a found art typeface”. Fun stuff.
Aaron McIntosh reinterprets old romance novels and photographs in his art while examining the lines between abnormality and normality, pleasure and disturbance. He is fascinated by human romantic and sexual natures, and both questions and challenges our social constructions of love and sex.
The songs are heartfelt and powerful with Lee’s fragile and beautiful voice as the centerpiece, and the recordings are an instantly engaging blend of high and low fidelity, mixing lush studio productions, featuring keys, guitar, violin and banjo, with clattering homemade percussion and found sounds. While the album is certainly Lee’s brainchild, the recordings are very much a collaborative effort featuring contributions by friends and others met along the way.
Mutual Benefit is currently on a US tour with European dates to follow. Check out his video for Advanced Falconry and then catch him live this Tuesday, January 28th at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock in Los Angeles. He’ll also be playing some East Coast dates in early February before heading off to Europe.
In applying vibrant colors to discarded containers, Tony Feher’s objects become transformed into beautiful and arresting pieces of sculpture. Evoking lanterns or hummingbird feeders, these majestic works have a meditative mood, and, although constructed from manmade materials, present a relationship with nature. A personal favorite is the tower of green fruit baskets. Appearing fragile and ephemeral in its airiness, the piece hints at architecture and minimalism. With a strong interest in transparency and suspension as an aesthetic tool, Feher provides a
Snaggs lives and works in Seattle. Inspired by stuffed Nauga Monsters from the 1960′s, she uses vinyl and felt to create pop culture monuments. Her Star Wars heads immortalize a time when action figures dominated and large character cases were made to organize a collection. She also frequently produces large Atari cartridge works that are ripe with nostalgia. In this increasingly digital age we are moving away from the days when packaging meant everything and a physical object was needed to entertain. By increasing the size of these cartridges she allows the viewer to perceive imagery from the 70’s and 80’s in a whole new way.