Archive for April 17th, 2013

April 17, 2013

Rick Griffin

rick griffin

Rick Griffin (1944 – 1991) was an American artist and one of the leading designers of psychedelic posters in the 1960s. As a contributor to the underground comix movement, his work appeared regularly in ‘Zap Comix.’

Griffin was closely identified with the Grateful Dead, designing some of their best known posters and record jackets. His work within the surfing subculture included both film posters and his comic strip, ‘Murphy.’ Griffin was born near Palos Verdes amidst the surfing culture of southern California.

read more »

Tags: ,
April 17, 2013

Zap Comix

zap comix

Zap Comix is an underground comics which was part of the youth counterculture of the late 1960s. ‘Zap’ #1 was published in San Francisco in late 1968. It featured the work of satirical cartoonist Robert Crumb. Some 3,500 copies were printed by Beat writer Charles Plymell. ‘Zap’ #1 was the first title put out by publisher Don Donahue under the ‘Apex Novelties’ imprint.

Philadelphia publisher Brian Zahn (who had published earlier works of R. Crumb in his tabloid called ‘Yarrowstalks’) had intended to publish an earlier version of the comic, but reportedly left the country with the artwork. Shortly before ‘Zap’ #3 was to be published, Crumb found photocopies of that earlier issue, drew new covers, and published it as ‘Zap’ #0. The first issue was sold on the streets of Haight-Ashbury out of a baby stroller pushed by Crumb’s wife, Dana. In years to come, the comic’s sales would be most closely linked with alternative venues such as head shops.

read more »

Tags:
April 17, 2013

Booji Boy

Devo

Booji Boy is a character created in the early 1970s by American New Wave band Devo. The name is pronounced ‘Boogie Boy’—the strange spelling resulted when the band was using Letraset to produce captions for a film, and ran out of the letter ‘g.’ When the ‘i’ was added but before the ‘e,’ Devo lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh reportedly remarked that the odd spelling ‘looked right.’

Booji Boy has traits of a simian child and typically wears an orange nuclear protection suit. He is portrayed by Mothersbaugh in a mask and is the son of another fictitious Devo character, General Boy. The intent of the figure is to satirize infantile regression in Western culture, a quality Devo enjoyed elucidating. This character was officially introduced in the 1976 short film ‘The Truth About De-Evolution.’

read more »

Tags:
April 17, 2013

KRK Ryden

KRK Ryden

KRK Ryden (b.1953) is an American visual artist. His surrealistic art style is reflective of his taste in cartoons and pulp art and his work is described as ‘colorful and visually appealing reflections on discarded icons.’ In 1977 Ryden changed his name from Keith to Keyth for ‘numberoligical [sic] reasons’ and to differentiate himself from his father’s first name.

Ryden took up the theremin in 2003 and created a band called Ken the Magic Corner God. With his theremin, and Josh Mcleod on keyboards, they recorded one studio album. Their most famous performance was with Mark Mothersbaugh as Booji Boy (a character DEVO created) singing the song ‘U Got Me Bugged.’

read more »

April 17, 2013

Mark Ryden

Ryden

Mark Ryden (b. 1963) is an American painter. Ryden is one of the most well known artists of the Pop Surrealist movement, an underground, pop-culture-infused art scene with its origins in 1970s Southern California. He was dubbed ‘the god-father of pop surrealism’ by ‘Interview Magazine.’ Ryden’s aesthetic is developed from subtle amalgams of many sources: from Ingres, David and other French classicists to ‘Little Golden Books.’

Ryden also draws his inspiration from anything that will evoke mystery; old toys, anatomical models, stuffed animals, skeletons and religious ephemera found in flea markets. According to ‘The New York Times,’ ‘Ryden’s pictures hint at the psychic stuff that pullulates beneath the sentimental, nostalgic and naïve surface of modern kitsch.’

read more »

April 17, 2013

Korova Milk Bar

A Clockwork Orange

The Korova Milk Bar (‘korova’ is Russian for ‘cow’) appears in the novel and film ‘A Clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess. It is a twisted version of a milk bar (general store) that serves milk laced with drugs. The novel begins with the droogs (friends) sitting in their favorite hangout, drinking milk-drug cocktails, called ‘milk-plus,’ to hype themselves for the night’s mayhem.

The protagonist and narrator Alex lists some of the (fictitious) ingredients one can request: vellocet (opiate), synthemesc (synthetic mescalines), drencrom (adrenochrome). For another ingredient he advises to, ‘(drink the milk) ‘with knives in it,’ as it ‘would sharpen you up.” By serving milk (instead of alcohol), the bar is able to serve minors. In the film, the bar has furniture in the shape of naked women and the milk is served from their nipples.

April 17, 2013

Jen Stark

Paper cut sculpture

Jen Stark (b. 1983) is a contemporary artist who creates paper sculptures. She also works with drawing and animation. She draws inspiration from microscopic patterns in nature, wormholes, and sliced anatomy. She studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BFA majoring in Fibers with a minor in Animation.

Stark’s ideas are based on replication and infinity, echoing patterns found in nature. Since expanding her medium from paper to include wood and even mirrors, Stark’s oeuvre of optically and methodologically baffling sculptures and drawings has enjoyed a renaissance of context. Her signature creations combine a variety of materials in hypnotic mandala-like configurations. Stark lives and works in Miami, Fl.

April 17, 2013

White Elephant

A white elephant is an idiom for a valuable but burdensome possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness or worth. The term derives from the story that the kings of Siam (now Thailand) were accustomed to make a present of one of these animals to courtiers who had rendered themselves obnoxious, in order to ruin the recipient by the cost of its maintenance. In modern usage, it is an object, scheme, business venture, facility, etc., considered to be without use or value.

The term derives from the sacred white elephants kept by Southeast Asian monarchs in Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. To possess a white elephant was regarded (and is still regarded in Thailand and Burma) as a sign that the monarch reigned with justice and power, and that the kingdom was blessed with peace and prosperity.

read more »

April 17, 2013

Yerkes–Dodson Law

yerkes-dodson

The Yerkes–Dodson law is an empirical relationship between arousal and performance, originally developed by psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson in 1908. The law dictates that performance increases with physiological or mental arousal, but only up to a point. When levels of arousal become too high, performance decreases. The process is often illustrated graphically as a curvilinear, inverted U-shaped curve which increases and then decreases with higher levels of arousal.

Research has found that different tasks require different levels of arousal for optimal performance. For example, difficult or intellectually demanding tasks may require a lower level of arousal (to facilitate concentration), whereas tasks demanding stamina or persistence may be performed better with higher levels of arousal (to increase motivation).

read more »