Sunday, 24 October 2010
I finally read the second-most disturbing graphic novel I own (Pim & Francie; the first being The Squirrel Machine) and am recoiling from the mix of beauty and horror. There are plenty of reviews for both books which are impressive bits of writing in their own right. Unlike the subjects of many florid Factsheet Five and Aquarius Records reviews, these works equal or surpass the imaginative, imagination-stirring descriptions they inspire.
I’ve always been attracted to “art” (comics, TV & movies, toys, ephemera, etc.) that marries an innocent childlike wide-eyed wonder with a macabre celebration of morbidity. It’s strange that the most successful examples of this naive and playful fascination with the repugnant are born from such intimidatingly intellectual artists, which in itself adds its own layer of threat. Disturbing work that seems to reflect a mind so brilliant and beyond our common empathies that it could snap into psychosis — and possess the means to destroy us (or at least our notions of security) in its play. A sophisticated mind that should “know better” than to indulge in such base scatological reflections, that should be squashing bugs instead of inviting them into the kitchen. Simultaneously unethical Mad Scientist and unbridled Primitive Man, extremes we typically cower from in a safe zone of bland mediocrity. As Tom Waits sings with suspicion in his neighborhood witch hunt rally, “What’s He Building In There?”
Is it better to embrace one’s inevitable debilitation and decay as if family, or willfully shut it out of our thoughts like an intruder? Maybe the only way to truly enjoy life is to laugh at death, to diffuse its danger through familiarity. Or perhaps it’s simply easiest to forget one’s own inescapable doom by delighting in reminding others of their own.
Monday, 4 October 2010
A Night with Paul Reubens.
Among other tidbits, he reveals that he feared the giant-headed salesman on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Glad I wasn’t the only one.
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Fastest needle in the west!
Friendly designer Twinkie Chan has a super-cool crochet book coming out in November. Check out her first promo video, which features a song from moi.
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Jason Dragon tipped me off to this article envisioning intuitive Minority Report style interfaces that would bypass input devices and screen. Why stop there? Get rid of the computer and files too! Reminds me of this funny Onion piece from 2003.
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Best bet: go back to basics.
It’s been a great year for strong black and white logos! Glad to see a return to real design sense. The trendy gradient-happy marks look absolutely dated and insecure in comparison to the strong simple brands.
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Leslie Levings is another favorite artist with a fun Flickr feed of her cute clay creatures. She also does a weekly photo-comic featuring her creations. Adopt your own Beastlies at her shop.
Monday, 9 August 2010
CW Wells, aka Snailbooty, is one of my favorite artists on Flickr. Her assemblages of toys, ephemera, and tiny hand-made masks provide a perfect dose of unsettling whimsy. I study the miniature dreamscapes in cautious fascination similar to that with which I inspected my childhood closet for monsters, spooking myself for fun.
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
On the Air.
Glad I’m not the only one who remembers David Lynch’s other TV show. “This is what Binky sees” is still a common catch phrase in my home.
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Christy Romanick, one of our favorite photographers and people, is featured in Scoute. Beautiful work as always.
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Almost makes me wish I had hair.