From street to surreal: a mini bag of artistic joy

I don’t claim to be down with the hip cats daddio, you dig (what is with these outbreaks of Kerouacism?)? But during my occasional work as a life model I’m exposed to art from the old Masters to more recent fare like Jenny Saville, and I like to nudge the pickle jar of artistic interest now and then. Here are a few things that have aroused my eyes lately.

First off you should skip over to Slinkachu’s website. You may have seen his Little People before – he does do other things but Little People became quite popular and I love them; miniture vignettes of tiny plastic people left around cities such as this entitled “They’re not pets, Susan:” theyre-not-pets-susan_slinkachu

And this, Slinkachu-little-people-i-can't-actually-graffiti“I can’t actually graffiti:”

Next up blog Bizarro Central are continuing their countdown to Christmas with a new post on a different weird artist each month, today being Oleg Dou.

Finally (I said it was a mini bag, I got painkillers to take and The League of Gentlemen to watch Goddammit) are two films I recently saw of a surrealist or dada nature.

Dreams That Money Can Buy, directed by Hans Richter and featuring the visual work of artists such as Man Ray, Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp, is a surprisingly sweet and very pretty journey through the dreams sold by a young man who just wants to pay the rent.

Finally is Luis Bunuel‘s The Exterminating Angel. The premise is so simple and the ending got him into quite a lot of trouble with the Vatican (you’ll have to watch it to find out why, I’m giving nothing away), and it’s fascinating. Guests at a lavish, upper class dinner party find themselves unable to leave, sinking into desperation and degredation as the days wear on.

Well, that’s it! I’m going to have a cup of tea now, have fun putting your eyes on all the art and that. Byee!

Junky fights, escort ads and a suicidal Barbie

Yesterday I went for a wander through Shoreditch in London, where the hipster artists go to pose. It ended up being quite unexpectedly productive and gave me a story idea. I also noticed this artist selling her wares (the art, not herself) at the market.

I’ve also decided that once I actually know some things about photography and have a half decent camera I’ll wander around London and take pictures of the interesting folks; I like unusual types as mentioned in my post about ‘freaky fashion’.

I came across the amusing scenes in the photos below and overheard an argument between two junkies on the bus back, which was a bonanza. How did I know they were junkies? If you ever hear them talk, you know they’re on heroin.

Everyone else on the bus gave each other looks as if to say, ‘well, how awful!’ but I got out my pen and paper and wrote it all down.

I will call her Trixie, and him Jeff. Imagine their voices in an estuarine, drug-induced whine. This is roughly how it went:

Trixie: Well, who is that person’s number then?

Jeff: Text it then and say, who is this, its Trixie?

Trixie: You just want me to say who I am so she knows its me and not you

Jeff: No, just text it then, go on or give it here

Trixie: Alright! I am, I’ve done it.

Jeff: Well what did they say then?

Trixie: It says, ‘don’t know who this is, your girl borrowed my phone’

Jeff: Oh yeah, what have you been up to then you sh***y horrible c**t?

Trixie: You’re the one who’s been doin’ something you c**t

Jeff: You horrible c**t, what have you done?

Trixie: Oh yeah, you gonna split my face open when we get home?

Jeff: I ain’t never hit you

Trixie: You did…(inaudible)

Jeff: Well, you can either forgive me or you can’t. You need to get over it

Trixie: It makes me feel sick whenever I think about it. I ain’t giving you money for your next comedown

Jeff: Oh yeah, you was the one saying on the phone that time, ‘Can’t talk, Jeff’s here.’

And so it went on, until she declared she was going to her mother’s and they both got off the bus. I hope you like the snapshots I got on my phone of a couple of entertaining sights in Shoreditch:

Notice the Barbie about to jump

Alt models, weird designers and factory girls: Freaky fashion

Lithium Picnic (photographer)
Audrey Kitching on Jared Gold’s runway
apnea-photograph
Apnea (model)

I watched a rather peculiar documentary today called Party Monster, The Shockumentary. It’s quite a deliberately bad taste film about the Club Kids in late 80s New York – young people who dressed outlandishly and included fashion designer James St. James– and their party organiser Michael Alig who ended up murdering someone and putting the chopped up body in a trunk. Obviously it got me thinking about fashion. And murder I suppose but that’s no change.

I love art from Francis Bacon to Lempicka to photographers of the unusual like Diane Arbus, but I also love fashion. The outfits at the Bizarre Magazine Ball for example are truly bizarre and great, so here I shall include some of the things that make me weep with joy and perhaps you will find something of interest.

Most people complain that catwalks are full of designs people would never wear in the street, but to be honest that’s the thing I enjoy seeing, mainstream or underground. Regular fashion bores me but anything a bit fantastical, gothic, odd or grunge I love.

First off I have to include my favourite online shop, Joe Brown’s, as its something people will actually be able to afford. There’s some regular stuff but look around, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised.

Gothic Lolitas in Tokyo

The fashion pics of artist Man Ray are beautiful – as shown here on author Matthew Revert’s blog. They’re very imaginative of course.

Newish designer Jared Gold’s gothic and historical clothes are great, they have a similar Alice in Wonderland feel to Bill Gibb.

Tokyo is known for its ‘avant garde’ fashion and I’d love to go there. I particularly like the punk and Gothic Lolita styles.

Keeping in the fantastical realm I definitely recommend looking out for alternative models/designers out there such as Ophelia Overdose and Audrey Kitching. Also have a look at Bizarre magazine’s alternative model website Ultra Vixens for more ladies of the odd and artistic variety, or become one of them if you like. Plus Spitalfields market in London is host to the annual Alternative Fashion Week (presented by Alternative Arts), 16-21st April. Exciting! Colourful! Imaginative!

The model known as Scar

I have a book I love containing alt glamour/pin up pictures (piercings, tattoos etc) taken by Octavio Winkytiki and Lithium Picnic  (my favourite). They’re pretty and unusual, but be warned, some of the content on their sites is not for children’s eyes.

My good friend Emma Bailey is a photographer in Brighton and has done a number of burlesque shoots. Burlesque is fun, the women often have normal sized bodies and I love vintage glamour. Fancy Chance is very funny to watch live and Banbury Cross is lovely too.

I like how bananas high fashion can be, including the designs of Alexander Mcqueen and the photos of Tim Walker. Feast your face!

I’m not hugely a fan of Andy Warhol but I love some of the Factory types like the Velvet Underground, and there was something very interesting about his model Edie Sedgwick.

Lithium Picnic (photographer)

She had a fascinating life, one well worth reading more about.

Allison Harvard

I’m also drawn to the pictures of a model known as Scar, they’re creative and apparently she makes headresses too, which is nice. Another artistic model is Allison Harvard, who reminds me of a Tim Burton character, and gothic model Apnea is jolly too.

Warhol’s model Edie Sedgwick

Finally, I know it’s such a cliche that a person who likes Neil Gaiman and alternative models such as the Suicide Girls would also like the outfits in Tim Burton films but I do, so there. I’m not a goth but Alice in Wonderland and the White Queen had me searching for my dark lipstick, as did Lilly Cole in Terry Gilliam’s Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Here’s a video of a creepy mechanical doll themed photo shoot by Tim Walker for Vogue Italia 2011

Here’s a video of a Jared Gold fashion show in 2008:

Below is a short ‘documentary’ of Edie Sedgwick: