Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Friday, 8 February 2019

It's a look

Introducing... "The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black", aka performance artist Kembrah Pfahler and her cohorts, "a theatrical glam-punk-metal unit who, to match the Rocky Horror-style teased black bouffant wigs, blacked-out teeth, black stiletto boots, black underwear and nude ladies painted blue, pink and yellow, play standard-issue riff'n'roll that nods to everyone from Suzi Quatro to Siouxsie Sioux, Alice Cooper to Marilyn Manson."

In addition to the description above of her band, Ms Pfahler herself was reverently characterised by the Guardian as:
"...a musician, actress and multimedia performance artist who as a kid attended a nursery school where there were rumoured to be satanic cults, afterwards confessing that she was pissed off that there actually weren't; who appeared in a Calvin Klein "heroin chic" ad campaign that led to dope dealers on her block in New York naming a strain of junk after her; who has been a wrestler and appeared in numerous Super 8 horror and fetish movies; who was mugged to within an inch of her life but survived; who mimes onstage fornication with a skeleton symbolising her deceased boyfriend and other such transgressive acts including cracking paint-filled eggs on her vulva; who has cavorted in the recording studio with notorious coprophiliac GG Allin; who was into body mutilation and dysmorphia and so wanted to challenge preconceived notions of female sexuality that she SEWED UP HER VAGINA."
A great person to invite to a party - if among the guests at that party were Aleister Crowley, Félicien Rops, Tallulah Bankhead, Gabriele D'Annunzio and Bertolt Brecht, of course...

Read an interview with the eccentric Kembrah Fahler over at the ever-wonderful Dangerous Minds.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Demise of another London landmark

Oh, dear. For the second time in recent years, the venerable music retailer HMV (formerly known as "His Master's Voice") has had to be rescued from going into administration.

The new Canadian owner has announced, however, that 27 stores in the chain will close - including the "granddaddy" of the lot, the Art Deco audiophile emporium on Oxford Street...

It will leave one helluva gap in the history of London's premier shopping street.


Friday, 1 February 2019

'Do of the Day...

...belongs to today's birthday girl the divine La Tebaldi, one of the greatest opera singers of all time, and long-time rival to Callas!

Quite a splendid 'do it was, too, in all its guises:

Her outfits veered on the OTT, too:

...and here is the great diva herself, in a brilliant duet with the "Prince of Tenors":

So, let us join her compatriots Regine Crespin and Rita Reznik - and raise our glasses in a toast: "The higher the hair, the closer to God!"

Renata Ersilia Clotilde Tebaldi (1st February 1922 – 19th December 2004)

Monday, 28 January 2019

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Yeah. You know Haus!

From the Bauhaus 100 site:
From foundation, the Bauhaus saw itself as a part of the modern movement and as its mediator. Created from the migration of artists and ideas, it developed in constant interaction with various groups of architects, urban planners, artists, scientists and designers. The constitutive ideas of the Bauhaus come from the Arts and Crafts Movement of the prewar period, especially the progressive education movement and the concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) that unites all of the arts as well as aesthetic education in all areas of life as represented by the Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation) and Art Nouveau...

...The return to craftsmanship was not connected with the intention of creating industrialised reproductions of past styles that evolved from craftsmanship but with the development of a new formal vocabulary based on experimentation and craftsmanship that would do justice to the industrial manufacturing process...

...The artist William Morris (1834–1896) was the founder and leader of a reform movement that aspired to counter the cultural damage caused by industrialisation. Starting in 1861, he revived historic handicraft techniques in his workshops and used them to produce high quality goods such as fabrics, carpets, glass paintings, furniture and everyday objects. In his own publishing company, Kelmscott Press, he produced books that paved the way for Art Nouveau.

Morris triggered a wave of reform that was to reach Germany later, where industrialisation had achieved a new quality after the foundation of the German Reich in 1871. Germany also recognised that well-designed industrial products represented a significant economic factor. The British educational system was analysed in order to reform the German schools of arts and crafts. An entire generation of painters now understood that the applied arts were their most important task. The Dresden Workshops (1898), whose ‘machine furniture’ was designed by Richard Riemerschmid, are the best-known example of the many workshops established on German soil. In 1903, the Wiener Werkstätte (Viennese Workshop) was established in Austria with Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser as its most important representatives.

The Weimar State Bauhaus was founded [in 1919] by Walter Gropius with the goal of overcoming the division between the artisan and the artist. The employees of the Bauhaus wanted to eliminate social differences through their creative work.
But, as they say, "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". And in the hands of Oskar Schlemmer (Master of the mural-painting and sculpture departments at the Bauhaus), the enthusiasms of the students "at play" certainly knew no bounds...

I feel a future theme for Gay Pride outfits coming on...