I’m off to Portland, Oregon on Saturday for Bizarrocon and donuts. I’ll be gone for about three weeks but when I return I’ll be full of writerly information and other helpful things.
I’ve read in a couple of different places that Portland is “becoming like Paris in the 1920s,” all the writers and artists are flocking there. I don’t expect it to look the same as 1920s Paris, even Paris doesn’t look the same as 1920s Paris, but I hope to be inspired by a similar artistic atmosphere.
The Années folles (crazy years) was a time between wars where everyone who wanted to make art, dance to jazz or just get a drink (America was under Prohibition) converged on the city. Gertrude Stein held court at her artistic salon (described in her book The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas), Andre Breton was leading the Surrealist movement, and Anais Nin was a brief fixture of the Montparnasse cafe scene.
If you wanted to get a glimpse of dancing girls (*whisper* in the nude) you could pop off to The Folies Bergère. One of the headliners at the time was Josephine Baker, a woman of colour treated like a second class citizen in her native America and a star in Paris.
Tracking shot in the 1927 Clara Bow movie Wings:
Below is a promotional film for Josephine Baker’s ‘new’ show. Contains 1920s boobies:
Paris was known for the latest fashions:
And finally, a silent travelogue through all the city had to offer. Toodle pip, and I’ll see you on the other side of my own adventures!
If you’re creatively inclined with your hands (I’m really not, everything handy I try to do comes out looking a little depressed) maybe you can have a go at this insane horror illusion make up for Halloween. Some people make it look so easy, and SammyLovesFossas is one of those people.
Here’s a Matrioshka (Russian dolls) effect:
Eye Popping Make Up:
The Last of Us:
Human Gruel facepaint:
Honestly there’s so much more, please visit her channel for more amazingness. See you soon!
Hello my little sections of time spent in bed when you know you have to get up soon thus making it even more comfortable, I found this stop motion animation the other day and couldn’t wait to share its creepy glory.
Alex, aka Guldies, is a Swedish stop motion animator. Have a look at his (pretty sure it’s a he, sorry if not) youtube channel. Enjoy!
The other day I went to use the computer only to be shocked by a terrifying, eternal grin repeated many times over. Bill had discovered Yue Minjun and saved his picture to the desktop. I thought immediately of Aphex Twin or Being John Malkovich.
Minjun is an artist from Beijing who uses his own face, frozen in a grin, in all his paintings and sculptures, which often replicate iconic imagery such as the Terracotta Army. There’s a kind of mischief and joy to his work, which has been shown in China, London, France, and Switzerland among others.
Bonjour my little balls of bellybutton fluff that are quite cute really so you leave them where they are. I’m madly getting everything ready for my reading in Brighton this weekend (for the Fringe Festival) so expect more on that next week.
In the meantime here are some short films, some on writing, some on art, some just creative, from a video, article and exhibition project called The Fifth Sense between Chanel (yes, the perfume/designers) and iD. Vice has more info.
I like Jellywolf because it gives you a really good insight into my life around age 19-24: lots of luminous clothes and clubs and a world not quite set in reality.
Here’s the director, Alma Har’el, talking about making films.
Photographer Harley Weir discusses her photography and film work.
Her final project became portraits of five different artistic women. The first is poet Zariya Allen.
Next is dancer Manthe Ribane.
Then artist Christine Sun Kim.
Then photographer Momo Okabe
Lastly actress Oulaya Amamra.
Finally, here is a video of the mirror sculpture exhibition by Es Devlin. See you next week!
I think we can all agree that it’s far too hot to think. If you’re one of those people who likes the sun then, well, nothing really, just carry on liking the sun and I’ll carry on hiding from it. However I will share with you a web series that I’m continually inspired and fascinated by, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.
When I saw the first one, many moons ago, I thought to myself, “what the hell is this?” Then I reached the surprise ending and I was in love. I shared the first episode with the other new authors of Eraserhead Press and we all agreed it was really about us and our editor was the writing pad.
However, I think the third is my favourite. If ever I were to utter the words “This is my aesthetic” it would be about that: a veneer of rainbows and cute, while underneath something very unpleasant lurks. Plus it has a catchy song.
So, without further ado, here’s Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 1-6
I hope you’ve been having wonderful, liberated fun out in the corn fields of happiness. Now that summer is approaching it’s time to think about cool clothes and ice cream. However, I don’t think you’ve seen adverts like this before, though it definitely made me want ice cream.
This company’s web ads have introduced a kind of Welcome To Night Vale horrific nightmare surrealist poetry to their frozen products and I urge you to watch them all. Because I love you I’ve also added the making of and frequently asked questions at the end. Ta dah!
This Is A Special Time:
Check Out Our New Package:
Doug Garth Williams Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions:
My bowl of love Bill Purnell did this adorable doodle for my surreal advice column Ask Maddie to go on my website. He does web design, book covers and commissioned art and graphics, just contact him. Also read the bio on his website, it’s hilarious.
Why not ask me the most surreal, the weirdest, most horror inspired question you can think of? Just follow this link.
Good day! My book made an appearance at Bizarrocon which is very exciting. Unfortunately I couldn’t but there’s always next year.
In my recent travels I discovered the weirdest hip hop artist I’ve ever seen (except perhaps the Hitcher from the Mighty Boosh), weirder even than this lady (rude lyrics of course) and that time MC Hammer tried to go gangster.
Sucka MC is a giant lollipop and appears to be affiliated with a group of artists including Cig Neutron who made the book Bizarro au-gogo, something I’m quite keen to get my surreal mitts on (will keep you updated). Have a peek.