In the late 1930s, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) brought his imaginary creatures to life, sculpting them out of wood, mounting them on the wall, and imbuing them with a haunting realism by incorporating real animal parts. The remains of deceased animals came from his father’s workplace, the Forest Park Zoo.
After their construction, the creatures, bearing delightful names like the “Andulovian Grackler” and the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” were sold as a collection under the title “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy.” After living in a child’s bedroom, the pieces were retired to an old barn and resold in 2004. The Chase Group later made resin copies of many of the works. Some of these pieces are available for sale on eBay.
Each sculpture stays true to Seuss’s touchingly earnest connection with the imaginative realm of childhood. The animals, though mounted on a wall, maintain a poignant emotive ability; the marriage of raised brows and mellow smiles with the antlers of genuine beasts makes the works magically vital, communicative— and somehow— real.
The profound soulfulness of the work is only enhanced by its hints of morbidity. In what is perhaps a critique of taxidermy practices, the prolific artist chose to present these fantastical creatures within the context of human domination, forcing viewers to reconcile our desire to believe in magic with the knowledge of environmental destruction. In this way, the aging of the works has not detracted from their potency but has serendipitously heightened it; years after the prolific author’s death, we are asked to search these faded faces for indicators of bestial personalities and traces of the beloved artist’s hand. Take a look. (via This is Colossal and the world’s best ever)
Dean Bradshaw is an advertising photographer based in LA who’s created an entertaining series of portraits of senior citizen athletes. Their characters are hilariously over the top, though his attention to detail keeps them from being tacky. The colours are vibrant and youthful, and photos crisp to match the playfulness of the subjects. It’s obvious that the project was fun to put together.
Bradshaw says of his work:
“I’m drawn to storytelling, character and well-crafted, stylized imagery.
I’m attracted to the ‘why’ of things, the essential ingredients that comprise a story, a brand or a character – those elements below the surface which define the exterior. I enjoy immersing viewers in imagery that takes them into a world outside the ordinary. I’m fascinated by narrative, but find inspiration in the real world where things can be equally, if not more, peculiar. More than anything, I enjoy ideas – but realize that they are nothing without equal part execution.”
The images knock the severity out of sport imagery. The idea of an athlete is often limited to someone in peak physical condition, and necessarily younger. Though lifting a massive dumbbell may not be an activity recommended to the average senior citizen, sports are not exclusive to young people. Bradshaw’s series helps to broaden our perceptions of an older generation.
Marc Quinn’s surreal sculpture work is undeniably provocative and captivating. While he uses many different materials for his sculpture and installation work, he always seems to address the idea of bodies and their boundaries, the materiality of the human condition, or the relationship between nature and culture. Quinn’s 2004 exhibition, The Complete Marbles, is a collection of marble sculptures depicting amputees and disabled individuals that alludes to the style of Greco-Roman statues. Quinn recently donated his paradoxical sculpture from 2008, “Planet,” for permanent display at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Very large and heavy, this sculpture depicts his son as a sleeping baby and appears weightless, almost floating. His most recent solo exhibition, All the Time in the World, is currently on display at Mary Boone Gallery in New York until June 29th.
Jean Marembert (1904 – 1968) was a founder of the group with Louis Cattiaux – a group of Surrealists of a more decorative nature. His work is also, like Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s work, looks like it was made in this century instead of the last. That just goes to show how our current sensibilities are based off the past. Old aesthetics are recurring and cycled through, even filtered down. That’s why I believe it when people say that nothing is ever original anymore.
Brookyln based photographer Peter Schafer sent over a few images of a series he’s been working on. Schafer says:
Specifically, it’s a series of screen captures of partially downloaded bit torrent files of webcam porn videos – young women undressing and masturbating, basically. When the files are partially downloaded, impatiently viewed prior to the video file being complete, some strangely beautiful images appear. Capturing the image degradation of video compression and finding beauty in it is a lot like my photography in that you have to catch an image at just the right time, with often the best stuff being unintentional and flawed.
He’s captured some sublime expressions with these. It’s almost as though the girls are posing only for him. The increased pixelation on the images due to their partially downloaded state blurs and distorts the girls to the point where an entirely new context is revealed; one you might create on your own.
“Bela Lugos’s dead, undead undead undead…” sang Peter Murphy to the first of two sold out shows at Los Angeles’ Fonda Theatre a couple of weeks ago celebrating thirty five years of Bauhaus with the Mr. Moonlight Tour. While I would have liked to have seen Bauhaus perform, I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to see Peter Murphy and his band perform an all Bauhaus set.
Opening the show with King Volcano and playing songs like Stigmata Martyr, The Passion of Lovers and of course Bela Lugosi’s Dead, it was definitely a sing-a-long with Peter Murphy kind of night. Peter Murphy looked as cool as ever dancing around stage with his trademark moves. Of course the show wouldn’t have been complete without them ending with the Bauhaus versions of T. Rex‘s Telegram Sam and David Bowie‘s Ziggy Stardust.
The US tour has ended, but he’ll be in Mexico at the Teatro Metropólitan tonight Thursday, August 8th and will follow with shows in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and ending in Sao Paolo, Brazil on Wednesday, August 14th at the Carioca Club