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Archive for the ‘Exhibits’ Category

Last month we went to check out the Stanley Kubrick photography exhibit over at the Museum of The City of New York. Stanley Kubrick has always been one of my favorite film directors. Back in high school, I made it a mission to check out every film Kubrick directed. This was way before the days of Netflix. If it wasn’t available on VHS, then I would hit up all the revival movie theaters. You millennials have it so easy nowadays!

Luckily films are now more easily obtainable. If it can’t be found on Blu Ray, DVD or through a streaming service, there always places in NYC. For example, Videology Bar and Cinema over in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Anyway, I sought out most of Kubrick’s films. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lolita, the prophetic Dr. Strangelove, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and of course, A Clockwork Orange. Even sat through that yawn fest Barry Lyndon. Although I never managed to catch the earlier films like The Killing or Paths of Glory. Did watch Eyes Wide Shut much later on – despite my disdain for Tom Cruise.

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Entrance for the Stanley Kubrick photography exhibit over at the Museum of the City of New York. July 2019. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Before Kubrick became an influential film director, he got his start as a photographer for Look Magazine. At the exhibit, open until Oct. 28th, 2018, you can see the gritty yet candid detail that would later show up in Kubrick’s films. Kubrick was just 17 years old when he sold his first photo to Look back in 1945. These photos also show how NYC was from 1946 to 1951.

 

New York City wasn’t just Kubrick’s subject. At the exhibit, a Kubrick photograph of a tattooed and pierced carny was not accepted by the editors of Look. Apparently the photo was thought as ‘too extreme.’ It was decades before the ‘Modern Primitive‘ movement, which led to the current acceptance of body modification.

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The photo below particularly stood out. It’s of professional boxer Rocky Graziano. Graziano was trying to repair his reputation when Look did a feature on him. Boxing later helped Kubrick make the transition from photography to filmmaking.

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After walking through the Kubrick exhibit we checked out the rest of the museum. Right next to the Kubrick showing was the last day of Rebel Women, which inspired this sketch done back in August.

 

At the other end of the floor was a retrospective of the feminist era. It showed the beginning of the women’s rights movement, ending with one of Hilary Clinton’s infamous pantsuits.

 

Which leads to the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. This sketch isn’t just a sketch. This weeks shows the cover of the latest Psycho Bunny issue. If all goes well, hopefully Psycho Bunny issue 3.5 will be released at the end of October.

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This may or may not be the final version of the cover. It really depends on finding the original typeface of the lettering used for the A Clockwork Orange film poster. For now you have an ideal about what the front cover looks like. Other details forthcoming. If the latest issue is completed in time, it’ll mostly likely debut at Incredicon, taking place in Upstate NY, Oct. 28th. Incredicon is a very small con, but it’s been a while since I’ve tabled at a comic book convention.

My life has been busy as of life. You however, still have time to check out these social media links:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items.

Still haven’t gotten around to posting those commissions on this blog. Maybe this week I’ll get around to doing so. Until then, stay tuned.

 

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First off. I know this particular blog post is late. This exhibit happened all the way back in Jan. 6 to February 10th, 2018. Why am I posting about this now? This year is halfway over. Fall is already around the corner. Guess I’m getting 2018 out of the way.

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Industrial Culture Handbook. Published by RE/Search Books.

As a huge fan of the RE/Search book series, I discovered bands, underground personalities, subcultures, tattooing, occultism, tribal culture, strange films, sado-masochism, subversive literature, etc. RE/Search had a huge influence on me during my late teens and early 20s. It was through one of the RE/Search titles, Industrial Culture Handbook‘. It was purchased at the zine shop See/Hear maybe sometime back in 1990 or 1992. That’s when I first read about Mark Pauline. (You can read about See/Hear in this post. Better yet, now you can download the PDF version from this site, although I strongly encourage you to purchase the book.)

Mark Pauline is the founder, director and member of Survival Research Laboratories. SRL for short. He specializes in creating confrontational  industrial mechanics. The robotic movements of these creations could be considered performance art, even if occasionally unpredictable.  In January 2018, the Marlborough Contemporary gallery located in Chelsea, NYC showcased his work. As stated in a press release: “…is pleased (and slightly nervous) to present Inconsiderate Fantasies of Negative Acceleration Characterized by Sacrifices of a Non-Consensual Nature by the legendary Survival Research Laboratories. The exhibition, the first solo presentation by SRL in a commercial gallery, comprises eight kinetic sculptures dating from 1986 to the present, along with video documentation of past performances in which these machines were engaged.”

I’ve always wanted to witness an SLR event. After all these years here was my chance.

 

 

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The opening event took place on a sub-zero freezing Saturday night. The exhibit was part retrospective, part demonstrative. There was a robot moving around directionless in one area. Another machine featuring decaying animal corpses spun the carcasses inside the transparent globes

 

Here’s a YouTube clip I complied from all the smartphone footage filmed from opening night. I was experimenting with some free video maker, so you’ll have to excuse the cheesy soundtrack.

Here’s a more professional video of SRL/Mark Pauline demostrating these machines:

Some more articles about Mark Pauline and SRL: 

New York Times

Hyperallegic

Vice Magazine 

Office Magazine

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All photos by Michele Witchipoo unless otherwise stated. 

 

 

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Really didn’t do another David Bowie blog post. Thought that was done once I visited the Bowie exhibit over at the Brooklyn Museum. Unfortunately, everything has been really busy lately. Once I had some free time, the first three days was spent sleeping in and whatnot. Now that I’m back blog posting, there’s art to upload, concerts to semi-review, etc. It’s Friday as of this post. So it doesn’t make sense to finally post a new Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Those entries are usually online from Monday to Wednesday, most likely Monday. So let’s go back a few months to when the Brooklyn Museum and Spotify had a massive clever promotion at the Broadway-Lafayette subway station. In addition you could score your own limited edition Bowie Metrocards. Currently I have the complete set in my possession.

It also gave me a chance to take some selfies with my freshly dyed hair, thanks to Second Star salon. Usually I do my own hair, but hey. My friend has some serious skills.

Basically the entire subway station at Broadway-Lafayette/Bleecker Street was covered with Bowie. Hopped on the 6 train. Upon arrival, there it was.

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Here’s some more photos of the Bowie-fied station. Slightly reminded me of Christiane F, when she used to hang around Zoo station in Berlin. All was needed was Warszawa playing in the background. Only it’s gentrified NYC 2018 with no junkies in sight.

It was time to collect those Bowie subway Metrocards. People were lining up at the token booth. How it went was, most of the cards was in the self-service machines. However, to avoid wasting your money with random cards, you could also buy the card you needed at the booth. Luckily the machine gave me one of each, and only needed to buy one card from the token booth to complete my set.

As I was getting most of the Bowie cards from the self service machines, a tourist was looking over my shoulder, watching what Bowie cards I was receiving. Then some Japanese film crew came over, interviewing me about my purchases. They filmed me getting one of the final cards. That same Japanese crew then interviewed some man who told them he couldn’t be bothered doing the physical random purchase; so he already brought a complete set from eBay for $200. Must be nice to have money to burn. When the tourist wanted to do a Metrocard trade, that was my cue to take a break. Too many people were hovering over those Metrocard dispensers. Even though for the most part, it was peaceful.

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The display inside the subway station was still nothing compared to the actual exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

A few days later, I just happened to find a book in the street. It was a Bowie biography. Barely read, near the stairs of some apartment building. Right in my own Queens neighborhood. That was some synchronicity.

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That should cap off the Bowie posts for now. Next week I’ll return with some brand new Psycho Bunny sketches of the week.

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Inside the Brooklyn Musuem for the Bowie Is exhibit. Photo taken by Natasha Michalina, July 2018.

On Sunday, July 15th 2018, the Bowie Is exhibit wrapped up it’s five year tour at the Brooklyn Museum. Since the V&A traveling exhibit began in 2013, it has visited four continents, twelve museums, and attracted 1.8 million viewers. It was Bowie’s personal request that the touring exhibit end in New York City, where he spent the last twenty years of his life.

I was lucky to have caught this exhibit during its last week at the Brooklyn Museum. Advanced tickets were completely sold out. The alternative was to wake up at the crack of dawn, just to get in line before the doors open. Right before 11 am, the line was starting to feel like general admission to a concert rather than an exhibit.

Luck was on my side last Wednesday. I was able to get in for the 12 afternoon showing.

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My ticket for the special Bowie Is exhibit inside the Brooklyn Museum. July 2018.

First of all, the exhibit itself is far from any form of hero worship. It showed almost every era of Bowie’s career. While the initial attraction was seeing his stage outfits up close, it was the breakdown of his creative process that stood out. Handwritten lyrics, rough sketches of stage design, storyboards, scripts, all documents showing behind the scenes.

One example was the “cut-up technique“, originally created by Tristan Tzara, and brought into the public consciousness by Brion Gysin. Bowie, being a William S. Burroughs fan, used the cut-up method on and off in various stages of his recording career. In 1995, Bowie took this a step further when creating lyrics for his Outsider album. He used a custom program called the Verbasizer on his Mac computer, shown during the Bowie Is exhibit.

That’s only one clue what the exhibit had to offer. Entering the exhibit, it was a bit overwhelming at first. There’s a helluva lot to take in. In all, the entire exhibit took three hours to complete.

Apparently Bowie was a huge literature fan. He took a trunk of his favorite books on tour with him, since he was an avid reader. Bowie was huge into German Expressionism at one point, which showed up in his own paintings, also on display. Bowie was more of a polymath than the public realized. At one point Bowie tried creating his own tarot deck. It was for his own private use, inserted into film slide frames. The personal project was never completed, only going as far as most of the major arcana. Unless if that was what Bowie had intended.

 Bowie was also an actor, art collector, collaborator, world traveler, well, perhaps just an overall innovator. But we all knew that last part.

After spending three hours in the Bowie Is exhibit, I was literally too exhausted to check out the rest of the Brooklyn Museum. A few days later, I drew something from Bowie’s Thin White Duke era. (A few years back, I had already did something from his Ziggy/Aladdin Sane era)

So which leads us to…yes, you guessed it. The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny as The Thin White Duke.

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David Bowie during his Thin White Duke era, mid-70s.

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Psycho Bunny as David Bowie during his Thin White Duke era. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. July 2018.

Here we go. The usual promotional hints:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress. Just put new widgets for both FB pages on this blog.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items.

One of my hobbies is documenting what goes riding the NYC subway lines: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch.

Additional Links: 

https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2018/03/17/594326984/what-you-could-take-away-from-david-bowie-is

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/david-bowies-secret-life-inside-the-stunning-david-bowie-is-exhibit-in-brooklyn-202335/

 

 

Special thanks to Natasha Michalina, who let me use her photos. Cellphone pics weren’t allowed, but she was brave enough to sneak a few. 

 

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Continued from MICE 2016 Part I and MICE 2016 Part II.

In all, being at MICE Expo 2016 was good. It was also a relief that not only did I make my money back for the table and bus fare, there was a bit of a profit. So it’s definitely worth break out of one’s comfort zone, and to do comic cons outside of your hometown. Even if you’re barely awake in the a.m.

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Comicbook/Zine artist and writer Michele Witchipoo at MICE Expo 2016. Photo taken early in the morning, Oct. 2016.

Some more photos from MICE Expo 2016:

 

 

Being in Cambridge was pretty nice as well.

 

Being at MICE, I had the rare occasion of being near Salem, MA for Halloween. Managed to squeeze in a few hours, jumping on the train. Wasn’t far of a train ride from Cambridge and Boston.

 

It’s very easy to walk around Salem once you navigate around the tourists. Surprisingly I got a very accurate tarot reading in one of those occult shops. The psychic was a kind gentleman. His advice was spot-on as 2017 later unfolded.

There was some annoyance when some fundamentalist Christians started preaching on a street corner. Shouting about the evils on Halloween. Right across the street from one of the witch stores. Nobody really paid them any mind.

Here’s some photos from Salem, Halloween day, Oct 31st 2016:

 

Soon it was time to head back to NYC. Left Salem right before the rush of the evening crowds started coming in. BTW, Beer Works in Salem is an awesome brewery.

I’ll end the MICE 2016 series with some comics and zines picked up during the weekend. There was tons of talented artists, writers, zine makers and comic creators. Unfortunately a few months after MICE, there was an abrupt apartment move (no thanks to a former corrupt, greedy landlord, but that’s another story.) Most of the merch brought at MICE was thrown into a box, which I still have to locate. Luckily I was able to retrieve these:

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Dead-End Rob issue 2 by Luke Howard. Brought at MICE Expo 2016. deadendrob.com

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Alter Boy By Rogan of LB Lee. Brought at MICE Expo 2016. etsy.com/shop/MadComics or email: loonybrain@healthymultiplicity.com

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Paper Pencil Life issue 2. Diary comics by Summer Pierre. Brought at MICE Expo 2016. http://www.summerpierre.com

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Me & Doctor Dee.: A Jape. Script and art by E.J. Barnes on Drowned Town Press. Seen at MICE Expo 2016 as well as other comic cons. http://www.drownedtownpress.com

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Tree Rats! or, The Crepuscular Hobbyhorse. A Farrago by E.J. Barnes. E.J. Available from Drowned Town Press. Seen at MICE Expo 2016 as well as other comic cons. http://www.drownedtownpress.com

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A Beautiful Young Nymph Going To Bed by Jonathan Swift. Illustrated by E.J. Barnes. Available on Drowned Town Press. Seen at MICE Expo 2016 as well as other comic cons. http://www.drownedtownpress.com

That concludes the belated MICE 2016 blog entries.

Dead-End Rob by Luke Howard: deadendrob.com

Alter Boy By Rogan of LB Lee: etsy.com/shop/MadComics

Paper Pencil Life issue 2. Diary comics by Summer Pierre. www.summerpierre.com

Me & Doctor Dee.: A Jape/Tree Rats! or, The Crepuscular Hobbyhorse. A Farrago/A Beautiful Young Nymph Going To Bed by Jonathan Swift, Illustrated by E.J. Barnes all available on DrownedTownPress: http://www.drownedtownpress.com/

Then there’s me, Michele Witchipoo: WitchesBrewPress.com

Facebook: Psycho Bunny and Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress

MICE Expo 2018 Fundraiser: http://www.micexpo.org/2018/fat-cats-for-mice-fundraiser/

MICE 2018

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Continuing where I left off from MICE 2016 part one.

After setting up my table early in the a.m., I caught a bit of a local comic artist giving a small pep talk/lecture to the newer exhibitors.

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MICE Expo veteran giving a quick lecture to the newer exhibitors. Cambridge, MA. Oct. 2016. 

As the comic con unfolded, you couldn’t help but notice many attendees in costume or cosplay. It just happened that MICE 2016 was scheduled on the weekend before Halloween. Here’s a few photos.

Surprisingly I did good at MICE. To my left was an artist who I met for the first time at NYCC 2016. Had brought his comic at NYCC. Had no idea only two weeks later I would be sitting next to him at MICE. It’s a small world after all. He was a former school teacher who decided to follow his dream.

Also had a chance to meet someone I’ve been conversing online since the early 2000s. Michelle Kane came down to the comic con. After our conversation, she invited me for some karaoke in her area of Quincy, MA. Usually I hate karaoke, but this time the invite was accepted. Later on after MICE closed for the night, me and E.J. Barnes, who was gracious enough to let me stay at her place traveled over.

We arrived at a huge restaurant called Cathay Pacific. In my little black heart I have a soft spot for old school Chinese eateries with vintage Polynesian decor. It was love at first sight. Didn’t care how good or bad the food was. After Michelle introduced us to her buddy Stephen Jay “The Handyman” Spector, karaoke began. Have to say, all three, E.J., Michelle and Stephen all had good voices. As for me, I sat my out of tune ass down.

To be continued…

MICE 2018 fundraiser: http://fundraiser.micexpo.org/

 

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That’s right. It’s a blog post about a comic con I vended at in Cambridge, MA during Oct. 2016. Finally having the chance to post some long delayed photos from when I was lucky enough to get a table at MICE 2016. It was one of the best comic cons I’ve had the pleasure of taking part since I’ve started publishing my own comics.

MICE, which stands for the Massachusetts Independent Comic Expo focuses mostly on indie, alternative, undergound, and art house comics. Many of the comic artists were self published. The annual event takes place in Cambridge area just outside of Boston.

Despite my NYC loyalty, I’ve always loved Massachusetts. Particularly Boston, Salem and Cambridge. Best part was MICE 2016 took part during Halloween weekend. After MICE was over, I managed to zip down to Salem on Halloween day, right before taking the bus back to the Big Apple. In between MICE and Salem was a night at karaoke in Quincy, MA at some old style Chinese/Polynesian restaurant.

 

The night before MICE was going to kick off, there was a cartoonist party at HUB Comics. Located in the Somerville, Union Square area, the next town after Cambridge. Was very impressed by Hub comics. If I opened my own comic shop, this is what it would resemble. A very good mixture of mainstream and alternative comics, graphic novels and other merch. Also got to mingle with the other local cartoonists. My friend and fellow cartoonist E.J. Barnes (who helped put together the tribute anthology to Luisa Felix along with Paul Curtis) showed me around the area, and helped introduce me to the locals.

Also checked out the main drag around Cambridge. Discovered a shop called Cheapo Records, ate at a vegetarian diner, checked out and paid a visit to the Middle East.

Back to business. After setting up my table, anyone who had a table was treated to breakfast and a quick lecture, if anyone wanted to listen. Through out the day, the artists were given water and snacks by volunteers. MoCCA could use a few pointers from MICE.

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Michele Witchipoo/WitchesBrewPress table at MICE 2016. Oct. 2016.

After the first day, there was a celebratory dinner for everyone in MICE 2016 at another venue. Artists were encouraged to doodle on the wall with some free art supplies. Some even showed up in costume.

Day two was more or less the same. Breakfast and someone was doing a quick lecture on the floor before the con started. Since it was Halloween weekend, many showed up in costume.

Part two begins on the next blog post. 

 

 

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