Τετάρτη, 28 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Édouard Chimot

Édouard Chimot (26 November 1880 – 7 June 1959) was a French artist, illustrator and editor whose career reached its peak in the 1920s in Paris, through the publication of fine quality art-printed books.

Δευτέρα, 26 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

"Time tell no lies" by Praying Mantis (1981)

One of the small diamonds of New Wave of British Haevy Metal, early 80s. More in allmusic

and a completely new track the selftitled from their 2011 30 anniversary EP Metalmorphosis:

Παρασκευή, 23 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Rodney Matthews: epic fantasy artwork

artwork for Nazareth's "No Mean City"

artwork for Praying Mantis' "Time tell no lies"

Rodney Matthews (1945-) is a fantasy artist and illustrator. He has worked with a number of bands on album covers, the most notable of which is Birmingham melodic rock band Magnum for whom he designed the art-work for Chase The Dragon, The Eleventh Hour, On A Storyteller's Night and Sleepwalking as well as various compilations and reissues. He also designed album covers for Thin Lizzy, Tygers of Pan Tang (Crazy Nights), Diamond Head (Borrowed Time), Praying Mantis (Time Tells No Lies, Predator In Disguise), Nazareth (No Mean City), Scorpions (Lonesome Crow), and Eloy (Metromania and the picture disc for Time to Turn). More recently he worked on Magnum's later album, Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow, which was released in March 2007; this is the first Magnum studio album since 1992 to feature his art-work. He has also worked with the rock group Asia. His most recent work to date is on The Immortal, a solo album by Magnum lead singer Bob Catley, released in September 2008.

Alongside his album cover work, he has illustrated a number of books and magazines, primarily fantasy and science fiction. He worked on the covers for the Witch World novels by Andre Norton and many of the novels by Michael Moorcock who introduces a section in "In Search of Forever". He also worked as the artistic designer on Gerry Anderson's 1998 TV series Lavender Castle.

Τετάρτη, 21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

William H. Mortensen (1897–1965)

Preparation for the Sabbath

William H. Mortensen (1897–1965) was an American art photographer, primarily known for his Hollywood portraits in the 1920s-1940s in the pictorialist style. Although he was well known at the time, he has been dismissed as an unimportant figure more recently. Larry Lytle says "Due to his approach—both technically and philosophically in opposition to straight or purist adherents — he is amongst the most problematic figures in photography in the twentieth-century... Over the last few years historians and critics have described his images as "...anecdotal, highly sentimental, mildly erotic hand-colored prints...", "...bowdlerized versions of garage calendar pin-ups and sadomasochist entertainments...", "...contrived set-ups and sappy facial expressions...", and finally he was described by Ansel Adams as alternately the "Devil", and "the anti-Christ."


Death of Hypatia




Κυριακή, 18 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Grand Guignol (Γκραν Γκινιόλ)

The Grand Guignol was a theatre of legendary cult status, operating in Paris for 65 years, between 1897 and 1962. From its opening in 1897 until its closing in 1962 it specialized in naturalistic horror shows. It produced, almost exclusively, one-act plays from 10 to 40 minutes in length, and was infamous for the production of violent and erotic works of horror.

The theatre was opened by Oscar Metenier, a writer and police secretary, who created slice-of-life plays about the Parisian underlife and stories of true crime. Metenier was a follower of Naturalism: a movement in late 19th Century theatre that attempted to create a perfect illusion of reality. Naturalistic works often exposed the dark harshness of life, with themes of poverty, racism, sex, prejudice, disease, prostitution, and filth.

Max Maurey incorporated melodrama into the Grand-Guignol’s acting style to heighten the emotion of the more sensational elements while keeping Naturalism as the guiding principle for characters and situations. It was under Maurey that the style of the Grand Guignol became renowned throughout Europe and, eventually, the world. The term ‘Grand Guignol’ has even passed into the English language, as a phrase referring to any bloody spectacle or violent entertainment.

Paula Maxa was one of the Grand Guignol’s best-known performers. From 1917 to the 1930s, she performed most frequently as a victim and was known as “the most assassinated woman in the world”. During her career at the Grand Guignol, Maxa’s characters were murdered more than 10,000 times in at least 60 different ways and raped at least 3,000 times.

Spectators would regularly faint in the early days of the theatre: indeed, a doctor was reputedly kept on hand at all times – although on one occasion when the doctor’s assistance was required, he was unable to help, having already fainted himself!

Audiences waned in the years following World War II, and the Grand Guignol closed its doors in 1962. Management attributed the closure in part to the fact that the theater’s faux horrors had been eclipsed by the actual events of the Holocaust two decades earlier. “We could never equal Buchenwald,” said its final director, Charles Nonon. “Before the war, everyone felt that what was happening onstage was impossible. Now we know that these things, and worse, are possible in reality."(Theatre of Blood)

Το Grand Guignol ήταν ένα θρυλικό θέατρο που λειτούργησε στο Παρίσι για 65 χρόνια, από το 1897 μέχρι το 1962 που ειδικευόταν σε θέματα φυσικών (νατουραλιστικών, όχι υπερφυσικών) σόου τρόμου, εξ ου και το όνομα Γκραν Γκινιόλ που το χρησιμοποιούμε για να περιγράφουμε παραστάσεις τρόμου και φρίκης. Οι παραστάσεις διαρκούσαν από 10 έως 40 λεπτά και αφορούσαν σαδιστικά εγκλήματα, πάθους, ερωτικής διαστροφής, περιπτώσεις παρανοϊκών δολοφόνων, ή καταστάσεις τρέλας και ψυχιατρείων με σκηνοθεσία αυτών των τελετουργικών ή εξαιρετικά βίαιων φόνων με τον πιο ωμό τρόπο που μπορούσε να παιχτεί σε θέατρο.

Η πιο γνωστή ηθοποιός που συμμετείχε σε αυτές τις παραστάσεις ήταν η Paula Maxa, η οποία από το 1917 μέχρι το 1930 συμμετείχε ως θύμα σχεδόν σε όλες τις παραστάσεις και χαρακτηρίστηκε ως «η πιο δολοφονημένη γυναίκα του κόσμου». Οι χαρακτήρες, τους οποίους υποκρινόταν, δολοφονήθηκαν πάνω από 10.000 φορές, με 60 διαφορετικούς τρόπους και βιάστηκαν τουλάχιστον 3.000 φορές.

Το να λιποθυμούν από το σοκ και τη φρίκη θεατές ήταν πολύ σύνηθες φαινόμενο, γι’αυτό υπήρχαν και γιατροί στις παραστάσεις για να επεμβαίνουν σε τέτοιες περιπτώσεις. Αλλά σε μια τέτοια περίπτωση που χρειαζόταν γιατρό, είχε λιποθυμήσει και ο ίδιος ο γιατρός!

Το θέατρο άρχισε να παρακμάζει μετά τον Β’ Παγκόσμιο πόλεμο και το θέατρο έκλεισε για πάντα το 1962. Η διοίκηση του θεάτρου απέδωσε την παρακμή στο γεγονός ότι η σκηνοθετημένη φρίκη των παραστάσεων ωχριούσε μπροστά στην πραγματική φρίκη των πραγματικών γεγονότων του Β’ Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου με το Ολοκαύτωμα, το Αουσβιτς, το Μπούχενβαλντ, τη φρίκη της μονάδας Unit 731, κλπ. Όπως δήλωσε και ο τελευταίος σκηνοθέτης του Γκραν Γκινιόλ: «Πριν τον πόλεμο, ο καθένας αισθανόταν πως αυτά που έβλεπε στη σκηνή ήταν αδύνατο να συμβούν. Σήμερα γνωρίζει πως αυτά που έβλεπε στη σκηνή μπορούν να συμβούν και μάλιστα ακόμα χειρότερα».

Παρασκευή, 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Paul Delvaux (1897-1994)

Paul Delvaux (23 September 1897 – 20 July 1994) was a Belgian painter, famous for his surrealist paintings of female nudes. The young Delvaux took music lessons, studied Greek and Latin, and absorbed the fiction of Jules Verne and the poetry of Homer. All of his work was to be influenced by these readings, starting with his earliest drawings showing mythological scenes. In the early 1930s Delvaux found further inspiration in visits to the Brussels Fair, where the Spitzner Museum, a museum of medical curiosities, maintained a booth in which skeletons and a mechanical Venus figure were displayed in a window with red velvet curtains. This spectacle captivated Delvaux, supplying him with motifs that would appear throughout his subsequent work. The paintings Delvaux became famous for usually feature numbers of nude women who stare as if hypnotized, gesturing mysteriously, sometimes reclining incongruously in a train station or wandering through classical buildings. Sometimes they are accompanied by skeletons, men in bowler hats, or puzzled scientists drawn from the stories of Jules Verne. Delvaux would repeat variations on these themes for the rest of his long life, although some departures can be noted. Among them are his paintings of 1945-47, rendered in a flattened style with distorted and forced perspective effects, and the series of crucifixions and deposition scenes enacted by skeletons, painted in the 1950s.

Τρίτη, 13 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Alfred Kubin (1877 – 1959)

Alfred Leopold Isidor Kubin (April 10, 1877 – August 20, 1959) was an Austrian printmaker, illustrator and occasional writer. Kubin is considered an important representative of Symbolism and Expressionism.In 1896, he attempted suicide on his mother's grave, and a short stint in the Austrian army the following year ended with a nervous breakdown. The aquatint technique used by Klinger and Goya influenced the style of his works of this period, which are mainly ink and wash drawings of fantastical, often macabre subjects. Kubin is considered an important representative of Symbolism and Expressionism and is noted for dark, spectral, symbolic fantasies, often assembled into thematic series of drawings. He illustrated the works of Edgar Allan Poe, E.T.A. Hoffmann and Fyodor Dostoevsky, among others. The best known of Kubin's own books is Die Andere Seite (The Other Side) (1909), a fantastic novel set in an oppressive imaginary land. The Other Side has an atmosphere of claustrophobic absurdity reminiscent of the writings of Franz Kafka.

and this is a series of danse Macabre drawings: