Published in 1973, Arthur Tress‘ photo book, The Dream Collector, features visions of childhood dreams and nightmares. Tress began shooting these dream scenarios in the 1960s, first speaking with children about their dreams and nightmares, then staging an interpretation of the children’s visions via photography. During the 60s, staged photography was a rather new development within the photography medium; most photographers were taking shots on the streets. Over the next 20 years, Tress developed his trademark black and white, mythological, surreal photography. The Dream Collector collection represents Tress’ particular style while expressing “how the child’s creative imagination is constantly transforming his existence into magical symbols for unexpressed states of feeling or being.”
“The children would be asked means of acting out their visions or to suggest ways of making them into visual actualities,” Tress explains. “Often the location itself, such as an automobile graveyard or abandoned merry-go-round, would provide the possibility of dreamlike themes and spontaneous improvisation to the photographer and his subjects. In recreating these fantasies there is often a combination of actual dream, mythical archetypes, fairytale, horror movie, comic hook, and imaginative play. These inventions often reflect the child’s inner life, his hopes and fears…”
Bob Staake, the author and illustrator of more than 50 children’s books, has reimagined the covers of kid-friendly classics from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, giving each one a twist that is often more PG-13 than G and always darkly comical. With a simple off-beat quip and a slightly adjusted illustration, those once comforting, sweet tales of little trains that could and hungry little catepillars morph into something a little more sinister and a bit disconcerting. You know what? You can take a look at more of Staake’s “Bad Little Children’s Books” after the jump, while I go find a stuffed animal to hug.
Feast your eyes on the highly amusing creations of Massachusetts-based photographer Nadine Boughton. When the artist came across a collection of vintage men’s adventure magazines (…think “Weasels Ripped My Flesh!” and “Chewed To Bits By Giant Turtles!”) at a flea market, she was inspired to combine their over-the-top renderings of burly men saving damsels-in-distress with the clean interiors spotted in contemporary Better Homes and Gardens.
About the series, the artist says: “Here is a collision of two worlds: men’s adventure magazines or “sweats” meets Better Homes and Gardens. These photocollages are set against the backdrop of the McCarthy era, advertising, sexual repression, WWII and the Korean War. The cool, insular world of mid-century modern living glossed over all danger and darkness, which the heroic male fought off in every corner.” (Via Flavorwire)
There are some things that are just too awesome to be forgotten…. in a sea of trends that the design world is often forced to weather. Take for instance, the 1960’s revolutionary trend of poster printing called The Black Light poster. You’ve got to love the free form type, the over-the-top color, the hand-drawn graphics. How could we ever say this art is dated? This was Plus, these posters have the dual ability to look great in daylight, and look even better under the glow of a black light in a dark room, (that may or may not smell like marijuana). Everybody loves stuff that glows in the dark, even if they’re not high – though I suppose they’d be even more mind blowing when viewed through the colorful lens of LSD.