Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Skull 1

Apologies to all as it has been a while since my last post. Much has changed since I was last informing you of something irrelevant that I, at least found interesting. However I will save you the details at this time.

Back to the review, and the most recent exhibition to get me out of my four walls was Richard Haris’s ‘Death: A Self-Portrait’ at Euston’s Welcome Gallery.

The exhibition consists of around 300 pieces of art, sculpture, animation that is devoted to attitudes surrounding death and our complex & contradictory attitudes towards the theme.

The exhibition is divided into five categories:

Room 1 – Contemplating Death: The contemplation of morality and our views around it. Images of skulls combined with the theme of time are prominent in this room to reconcile us with morality and condemn morality
Room 2 – The Dance of Death: The universal certainty of death, regardless of social status. The world has periodically suffered war, famine and disease and death provides the ultimate leveler. Skeletons alongside humans highlight the frailty of man with dark humorous overtones prevailing.

Skel 2

Room 3 – Violent Death: The question this room asks is whether art can provide aesthetically pleasing work about violent death and the damage of war to body & souls. The pieces on show act as anti-war messages highlighting the damage caused.
Room 4 – Eros & Thanatos: This room questions people’s fascination with disturbing or morbid phenomena cannot be attributed to scientific curiosity. There is a strong connection with living subjects alongside skulls and skeletons.
Room 5 – Commemoration: Rituals associated with death, burial and mourning have transformed over centuries and across cultures. This room highlights the populist subject has integrated into modern culture and commercialism.

Skull2

Although a little macabre for most tastes, the exhibition is thought provoking and highlights how societies view on death and morality have become heavily desensitised. There is a dark humored undercurrent that ensures the exhibition flows from theme to theme and isn’t too morbid. Overall a great exhibition and well worth a few hours of your time.

Memento Mori

New York Graffiti Pics

Posted: November 2, 2012 in Art, Graffiti, New York
Tags: , ,

So, EastCityRat has temporary traveled further afield to the ‘Big Apple’ New York.
Whilst dodging hurricanes, I was able to add some NY graffiti to my UK based posts.

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These two linked into one large piece

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These three despite their delicate appearance are on a correctional facilities wall

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This exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of punk graphic design, surveying imagery produced before, during and after the punk years, and drawing upon previously unseen public and private archives and collections.

Hosted by the Hayward gallery, the exhibition hosts original posters, fanzines and early 7″ records. Rather than the pieces on display, it is the sense of unity and community within the scene that really struck me. All the pressings were hand-drawn, manually photocopied and stapled together, publishers were only considered if the numbers increased to 4 digits. I can envisage the fans at time physically having to travel to buy or trade music, something that has been lost since the Internet and MP3.

The music industry has changed, and although file sharing sites are technically a larger scale version of trading cassettes (remember them?), I can’t help but feel the soul of the industry has been lost. Whether punk is your choice of music or not, I really recommend seeing the exhibition if only to understand how the scene at the time was worth so much more than just the music

Brighton Graffiti

Posted: May 2, 2012 in Art, Graffiti
Tags: , , ,

During a weekend visit to Brighton I had to stop and take a few pics of amazing graffiti down a few side roads. I actually have to thank @teaandchocs who braved the rain to take them with her iPhone (while I was hiding under shelter).

A few pieces all close together (wish I had taken the road name down)

Who would have thought that Run DMC would make an appearance

Dark side of the Smurf’s

David Shrigley is currently occupying the Hayward Gallery, Southbank. The exhibition consists of Shrigley’s drawings, hand written texts partnered alongside sculptures, photography, animated films, neon signs and music. The work consists of his early pieces from the mid 1990’s to especially commissioned work for this showing. 

‘Brain Activity’ like all Shrigley’s work, humorous and often makes the viewer laugh out loud. However, to dismiss his work purely as a one-liner or a quick laugh will not do it justice. He also twists everyday scenarios into darker situations with a deathly & violent theme.

The work needs to be seen to fully be appreciated, however I hope a few sneaky pictures that I had taken for me provide an insight into what to expect. Brain Activity closes on May 13th so get down there before it finishes… There is even a dead rat on display!

Do Not Linger At The Gate

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Roof Sculptures

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Drawings & Hand Written

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Family

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Plot Overview – Plot Spoiler

The comic begins with the necromancer executing his way through the Oliginistic army. Although these actions are expected by the reader, Monocyte reflects ‘Long Have I Sought This Gift’ ‘Death’… ‘You Are My Envy’. This is the first character development we have received.

Again confronted by 6 Olignistic soldiers, Monocyte uses their psyches as individual keys to enter their city. The Conduit is his target, Monocyte reveals his discontent for the Olignistics greed and mocks their very existence as ‘transient’. Upon reaching the chamber of the Conduit we also discover his previous knowledge of the Conduits fate, and ‘she’ who resides within it.

We are reintroduced to Grod who is residing on the wasteland between the two great cities, now nothing more than an open grave. This two page spread focuses on his bitterness of being removed from the Conduit and his human cattle. He reflects on his crest, his symbol of nobility. We also gain an insight into his current plight when he confesses to have wanted more than immortality, ‘a greater sway, greater prestige and greater power’. He curses his races arrogance as the Monocyte marches through his city with only the dead remaining. His disgust for the ‘Shepherd’ is again revealed blaming her for removing him and therefore salvation for their kin.’ The Shepherd has forsaken them all.

The Monocyte finally faces the Shepherd who presents the final hurdle between the Conduit and himself. The Shepherd recognises the Monocyte from past memory. She also speaks of how the previously brought the Conduit online, however he sees their fate as the same… both to end in death. The Shepherd knows it was Azrael who sent him to do Deaths bidding.

The story the progresses to the Antedeluvian City, to the throne of the Green Man: Donum Sancti. The Marquis De Seraphim informs the Green Man of the Monocytes destruction in the Olignistic city and the uncertainty of his intentions for their kin. Meanwhile, Moses has retreated into meditation solitude to summon ample defence against the one-eyed. We are then treated to an amazing full-page of the meditating Moses who delves into the one-eyed’s mindset and wish for death.

The Shepherd explains how she was there when the Conduit went online and how easy it was to deceive the humankind and how her position granted special privileges. She talks of how the Conduit can hear her words before denouncing her union with the Conduit over while anticipating what the Monocyte will do with it.

The Chamber of the Conduit – Shakespeare’s Hamlet is then quoted at the Monocyte approaches the Conduit, who is now begging for his existence. However, no mercy is shown. The Olignistics know their Conduit has fallen and their immortality finished. Only one has survived, Grod.

I must admit that like #1 this is a very intense book, and I must that I didn’t understand all of what was spoken and written. However the stunning artwork guides you through the story. Although complex and detailed, it effortlessness guides you through each scene. This comic demands high amounts of concentration and focus from the reader and that is its strength.

Like #1 we are also introduced to two short stories. First is by Alan Hubbard accompanied by Chris Newman’s art. I think it has to be read to be described, however it involves an immortal sacrificing human life’s.

Secondly is the amazing Ben Templesmith who provides his own artwork and story. If Monocyte was confusing, this takes it to a new level. The two pages consist of pig like humans rolling on their backs before being executed.

Cover 4/5 – The cover provides an excellent preview of what’s contained within the comic. Like #1 there is the chance of lazy Geiger/Alien comparisons, however whenever I see it in my pull list I automatically forget the other 19 being delivered.

Art 5/5 – I think the artwork manages to exceed the previous comic. The double page spread of Grod procrastinating, the naked woman on the door of the entrance to the Conduit, Moses in a levitational meditation, the Conduit itself… I could go on. I am now in the process of saving to actually purchase some of Menton3’s visually stunning work.

Story 4.5/5 – I think #2 continued how it was expected to, however the small character developments including glimpses into his history and his need for death change how the one-eyed is viewed. The text used in this comic is deliberately detailed to demand fine full attention of the reader. The only drawback is that by being a bi-monthly title I did have to re-read the first chapter to remember certain points. However, this is destined to be read as a trade in its entirety.

A plane of dead passengers (other than the 3 lone survivors), no signs of struggles or resistance from the victims. A mysterious engraved coffin and chain of events that Dr Ephram Goodweather need to understand.

The comic immediately focuses on the opening of the engraved coffin. Once opened the smell of decay is apparent, however the soil contained is alive and rich. A second question of what was initially in the coffin is raised. Ephram has also noticed that despite two hundred and six airline meals in the cabin decaying, there was not a single fly. Also disturbing is the fact that none of the bodies have rigor-mortis or started to decompose.

The survivors are being observed at Jamaica Hospital Media Centre. Ephram & Nora Martinez question the pilot on his memories regarding the journey. This calm questioning can’t be used on their next interviewee Mr Barbour who is more concerned with getting home to his wife, kids & dogs. The final survivor is goth rocker Mr Bolivar whose main goal is to see if he can get any Oxy’s. Although he seems a likely character to have such a coffin, he soon corrects Ephram that is look is an act to sell records and get laid. Ephram is then informed of his duty to perform a press call before we receive a reminder of his personal life that he has had to temporary leave behind.

Chesapeake Bay, Dark Harbour, Virginia – home of the multi billionaire Eldritch Palmer. Eldritch the ‘mastermind’ behind the hugely successful Stonehouse Group. Their latest acquisition has been in energy-futures and their 6 nuclear plants are due to go online shortly. Eldritch is an old and frail man who relies on heavy medications and ongoing care. He doesn’t see energy as the future, however he sees ‘life’ and is proud that he is proving the medical
world wrong as he was not expected to live beyond forty. We understand the extent he is willing to take to survive.

While Ephram is addressing the media, the city in watching a solar eclipse that has plunged the city into a temporary darkness. Nora is at the airport wanting to start the sample process, before discovering it has been removed. This proves to be a fatal mistake as we see the drivers deformed body, with the top of his skull removed (surrounded by black cats).

A mysterious man pays a low life to drive a truck to a set location. His details are hidden in darkness, however he must have influence as he is aware of the hired helps past record and family history. Unfortunately, he is unaware of his deadly cargo and his closing panel would appear to be his final.

We return to Ansel Barbour’s home where his religious wife is blessing his return. Ansel himself is praising his luck, although not feeling 100%. Meanwhile, Ephram & Nora are in the office of the chief medical examiner, Manhattan. They have noticed a small scalpel like piercing in the deceased, they can assume that it has been used to remove blood from the victims, however they are at a loss to the white ‘milk’ like substance which is in its place.

The comic closes with Ansels wife calling him and the kids as he has been in the shed for over an hour. Only then does the cover image connect the story so far.

Art 4/5 – The comic follows similar form to #1, with the brighter more vibrant colour of the living compared to the dark and looming environment. The panels follow a standard format, although they ensure the story continues at a steady pace.

Cover 3.5/5 – I was a fan of the first cover and although I have no complaints this time either, it lacks the immediate impact. However, I do believe it still provides enough of a teaser to tempt readers into getting involved in the story.

Story 4/5 – I am a real fan of this series and I hope that now the first two releases have been to build the story, we start to see the bigger dangers ahead. There has been a good combination of character building and story development and a comic that I look forward to receiving each month.