Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

de poepende man

October 18, 2017

About comics, art, and sanitation rather than language, taking off from today’s Zippy:

(#1) Zippy confronts Anthony Gormley’s sculpture Exposure.

[Late-breaking news. John Baker argues, in a comment on this posting, that the model is in fact Celeste Roberge’s Raising Cairn — with thoroughly convincing visual evidence.]

In the first panel, Zippy assumes that the squatting man is  defecating, something that people are expected to do in private — though this is a piece of public sculpture, so the man is engaging in what sanitation specialists call open defecation. And in the second panel, the squatting man seems to allude to human beings’ having befouled the earth. Defecation wasn’t Gormley’s own interpretation, but it’s not an unreasonable one.


Lilyturf, bronze pin heads, and ungrammatical yucca

October 15, 2017

All on a recent trip to Stanford Shopping Center, where I hadn’t been for several years. After massive reconstruction, it’s even more upscale than before, with a huge range of very high-end stores with designer facades and interiors (the older buildings, like Macy’s, now look like commercial architecture from a previous age), plus, in the mall’s ad copy, “breathtaking gardens, sculptures and fountains” and places to sit everywhere — the last important to me as I cope with shortness of breath under exertion. The effect is of world-class shopping streets located in the middle of extraordinary public parks (though it’s all very much private property).

A quick general tour, then three specific items: masses of lirope, or lilyturf, an amiable and modest plant, in the midst of extravagantly showy plantings; whimsical “pin head” bronze sculptures by Albert Guibara; and the oddly named fusion-Cantonese restaurant Yucca de Lac (with plenty of yuccas and a lot of dim sum, but, here in Palo Alto, no lake; lakelessness is not, however, the real problem with the name).


The archangel Michael

September 30, 2017

(And other wingèd men.)

Yesterday was Michaelmas, devoted to Saint Michael the Archangel, a figure of great power and terrible beauty, who among other things lent his name to the gorgeous autumn-blooming aster commonly known as the Michaelmas daisy (see my 10/5/13 posting).

(Today on the calendar of religious holidays it’s Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. A very different thing.)

Angels and archangels are messengers of god, also protectors. As protectors, they can be either militant (usually masculine) or maternal (usually female);  Michael, wielding his sword against the serpent / Satan, is definitely one of the militant band — but he can be portrayed either as a muscled hero (an Achilles or Ares figure) or as an ethereally beautiful young man doing holy battle (so a hybrid of Apollo and Ares, but Christian).


Disney meets Tom of Finland

September 19, 2017

From correspondent RJP, a link to this GayStarNews piece today, “Here’s what the Seven Dwarfs would look like as muscle daddies: Featuring Hunky Grumpy and Beefy Doc and a very hot Dopey” by Shannon Power:


Cat on a silken thread

September 12, 2017

My Swiss friend Guido Seiler (now professing linguistics in the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) just sent me the latest news from the Zwicky thread company, a firm I’ve posted about several times on this blog, partly because it’s a Zwicky company and partly because of this famous 1950 ad poster by Donald Brun:



In bronze and marble

August 31, 2017

A comment by H.S. Gudnason on my posting “The Fountain of Angels in America”, which was about (among other things) the Bethesda Fountain in NYC’s Central Park, with its crowning angel statue, the work of Emma Stebbins:

Emma Stebbins was for many years in a relationship with Charlotte Cushman, the first U.S. actress to gain international fame.

Stebbins was a notable American artist of the 19th century, a feminist, and a lesbian. A fascinating life history.


Revisiting 6: Fire Island Pines

August 27, 2017

From June 30th, a posting “In the dunes, in the dunes” about Fire Island Pines, in reality, in gay porn, and in gay cartoons. At the time, Emily Rizzo wrote me about Tom Bianchi’s [2013] book on the golden days of FIP (which I do not, alas, have, though I have other Bianchi books of male photography). And now, from Randy McDonald, a link to a Unicorn Booty piece on an exhibition of Bianchi’s photos.


Pouring it on

August 20, 2017

Today’s Zippy:


Well, about Bosco syrup, Vik Muniz, Hans Namuth, and Jackson Pollack. Zippy about art about art about art, with chocolate.


Two magazine covers

August 18, 2017

… in response to neo-Nazi and white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville VA. Yesterday’s posting “Two cartoonists take on Charlottesville” had a striking Jon Berkeley cover for the Economist. Now: a David Plunkert cover “Blowhard” for the New Yorker (alluding, like Berkeley’s cover, to a KKK hood) and an Edel Rodriguez cover for Time (alluding to the Nazi salute).


In camera

August 17, 2017

Today’s Zippy takes us to photographic LA:


While namechecking the famous American photographers Diane Arbus, Edward Weston, Berenice Abbott, and Weegee, Zippy peers in the window of the Darkroom at 5370 Wilshire Blvd. in LA, now a bar and restaurant, originally a camera shop in the shape of a camera.

Looking for buidings in the shape of a camera will then take us around the world, thanks to a construction company in Karawang, West Java, Indonesia.