Bring Out the Gimp

Musings on pop culture by freelance journalist Shawn Conner

Archive for the tag “art”


Nighthawks Edward Hopper painting

“We’d asked the writers to e-mail us their wish lists, and Nighthawks topped almost every one. It was something about the loneliness, the coffee, the silence—everyone wanted to lay claim to that one desolate corner of the universe… How could this one object embody loneliness, I wondered, when people crowded shoulder to shoulder around it, shared it, traded it, paraded it around? If Hopper’s little coffee counter was lonely, it was in the way a prostitute was lonely. Or an actor.”

-from Rebecca Makkai’s 2010 short story “Peter Torrelli, Falling Apart”

Zig-a-Zigallery – Spice Girls Art Show at the FALL

Spice Girls diorama at the Fall Gallery Vancouver photo

Spice Girls diorama at the Fall Gallery Vancouver July 7 2012.

Before the Dukes of September show last night (read my review here) with the fogies at the Orpheum we stopped in at the Fall Tattoo and Art Gallery to see what the kids are up to these days.

Turns out they’re into their own form of nostalgia – remembering/celebrating the ’90s by way of the Spice Girls.

Vancouver nurse/gallery curator Christina Chant put on the show, a follow-up to Bill You Murray Me, another celebrity-inspired gallery from earlier this year. The idea is to come up with some Spice Girls-inspired art; everyone, no matter what their degree of talent, is invited to submit.

As with the previous show, Zig-a-Zigallery offered an embarrassment of creative riches. These pics, as bad as they are, don’t do justice to the variety and imagination on display, but they give some indication of the art. Not pictured: a two-page comic strip; Spice Girls envisioned as Futurama-ish disembodied heads; and the drag version of the singers, who were to make an appearance later on in the evening.

Spice Girls diorama at the Fall Gallery

Spice Girls art at the Fall Gallery Vancouver

Spice Girls art at the Fall Gallery Vancouver

Spice Girls art at the Fall Gallery Vancouver

Spice Girls via Picasso at the Fall Gallery Vancouver July 7 2012.

Tales from the Wedding Present

When The Wedding Present came through here over a week ago, I was lucky enough to snag a copy of Tales from the Wedding Present. (When I interviewed singer David Gedge at the beginning of the band’s tour in Austin, I asked if he could set one aside for me. And he only charged me $5, half-price. Rock Journalism does have its perks.)

It’s a comic book featuring stories by former bassist Terry de Castro about life on the road with the band. The black-and-white art is by Lee Thacker, who’s got a nice, clear line that complements the direct, Harvey Pekar-esque slices-of-life. Thacker also did the art for Snapshots, a 2011 anthology of stories based on Wedding Present song titles. The book features a number of (British) writers while Thacker tries out an impressive array of styles, paying homage to Chris Ware and Charles Burns, among others.

The collection is surprisingly strong; you don’t need to be a Wedding Present fan to enjoy the Twilight Zone-ish “I’m Not Always So Stupid” (text with photos) and the romantic doubledealing of “This Isn’t What it Looks Like”. Recommended (you can order it here).

Snapshots Wedding Present anthology cover by Lee Thacker

La Rotunda del Mar (The Rotunda of the Sea) by Alejandro Colunga

Rotunda of the Sea Alejandro Colunga

Rotunda of the Sea by Alejandro Colunga. Puerto Vallarta March 26 2012. Shawn Conner photo

On our trip into the town of Puerto Vallarta a week-and-a-half ago, we came across this fabulous and fantastic display of street, or rather in this instance boardwalk, art.

“La Rotunda del Mar” (“The Rotunda of the Sea”) is a 1997 piece by Guadalajaran painter/sculptor Alejandro Colunga. describes it thus: “The Rotunda of the Sea consists of a number of high-backed bronze chairs that mix fantastic human features and nautical imagery – one chair is topped with an octopus, others are humans with an old diving helmet and what looks to be a periscope. Facing all of the chairs is a bench with two giant human ears.”

It’s a fascinating set of sculptures that look like something out of a nautical themed version of Neil Gaiman‘s Sandman comics or Mike Mignola‘s B.P.R.D. books (specifically, his character Abe Sapien). I particularly loved the attention to detail, like the many and varied types of feet. There are so many different facets and angles to take photos from that I couldn’t stop taking pictures. These are a few of my faves.

Rotunda of the Sea by Alejandro Colunga

Rotunda of the Sea by Alejandro Colunga

Rotunda of the Sea by Alejandro Colunga

Rotunda of the Sea by Alejandro Colunga

Rotunda of the Sea by Alejandro Colunga

Rotunda of the Sea by Alejandro Colunga

Rotunda of the Sea by Alejandro Colunga

Rotunda of the Sea by Alejandro Colunga

Rotunda of the Sea by Alejandro Colunga


Mike Ploog! and Werewolf by Night

Watched Ralph Bakshi‘s Wizards last night, in anticipation of the 35th anniversary DVD/Blu-Ray re-release tomorrow (March 13). The last time I saw the 1977 animated feature was probably the only time, in theatres around the time of its release.

One thing I discovered on watching it again was the awesome art by Ian Miller and Mike Ploog; Miller did backgrounds and Ploog did interstitial art that set up and helped tell the story.

It was good to be reminded of Ploog, who was one of the best of Marvel’s stable of ’70s artists. Check out this cover from Werewolf By Night (and what a title!).

Werewolf By Night Marvel Comic book cover by Mike Ploog

Illustration – Robert McGinnis, ‘You Only Live Twice’

I was originally going to do a post of great James Bond paperback covers when I came across several extraordinary illustrations by American artist Robert McGinnis. Here’s one for You Only Live Twice:

you only live twice robert mcginnis altered artwork bath

You Only Live Twice – James Bond illustration by Robert McGinnis. The Group of Seven does nothing for me, but this I like.

Wally Wood – Artist’s Edition

I want this – I really, really want this. Unfortunately no comic book stores in Vancouver seem to have a copy in stock (it was shipped to go on sale today, Feb 22, apparently).

If you see this book for sale, let me know!

Wally Wood Artist's Edition cover

Wally Wood Artist’s Edition. Where is it?

Wally Wood is considered one of the best cartoonists of the last 60 years. His stories for EC are considered by most to be his best work, I think, though he also worked on Marvel’s Daredevil in the ’60s.

Lady Gaga The Monster Ball 2011 calendar

Lady Gaga 2011 calendar

What a find – less than $7!

As mentioned in a previous post, I scored big-time at the cut-rate Zellers department store near my parents’ house in Winnipeg, Manitoba. All 2011 calendars were half off sticker price, which means I walked away with a Mad Men and a Lady Gaga for about $7 each.

The Mad Men calendar is cool – Christina Hendricks playing accordion! – but the Lady Gaga calendar is hilarious – there at least three butt shots! Photographer is Josh Olin. Here’s my fave:

Lady Gaga ass shot

May 2011. Coming soon…

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