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September 2016 New Dark Age

Filed under: Art Reviews,Live Music,live music,New Dark Age Monthly,Uncategorized — doktorjohn September 20, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

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New Dark Age August – September 2016

Filed under: Art Reviews,Goth Stuff,Live Music,live music,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn September 7, 2016 @ 12:48 am

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Nights Out

The Memory Pain at The Famished Frog

Aug 5, 2016
Morristown NJMemory Pain

We had the good fortune on this Friday night to catch a performance of top-notch cover band The Memory Pain while dining at Morristown’s The Famished Frog. This venue hosts a large, noisy and distracted crowd whose patrons are mostly 20-something imbibers who are there on dates or looking to pick-up or be picked up while ambling around the big rectangular bar in front of which The Memory Pain performed. A nice, recessed space provided adequate room for this 4-piece group to spread out comfortably. That’s important, because frontman Fred Zoeller performs in a remarkably active, excited and physically mobile fashion.

When TMP performs their flawless, live covers of hits from the past 20 or so years, it isn’t just a walk down memory lane, but rather a dynamic, faithful reprise of great music from the past that we all share. The repertoire is drawn largely, but not exclusively from standards from the heyday of MTV in the 90s when most of us acquired and refined our taste in rock. “Talented,” “tight” and “professional” are the words that come to mind in summing up the performance by this well-rehearsed quartet. Veterans Fred Zoeller (lead vocals/guitar) and Dan Esser (bass guitar) are joined by alternate lead vocalist Dan Callas on guitar and multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist Adam Gruss on drums to create a rich, authentic and room-filling sound. This is essential to re-creating faithful reincarnations of well-known and beloved favorites of the audience’s shared musical history.

Despite the fact that dating and dining are their primary reasons for being present, some of the audience felt so compelled by the good music issuing forth from the band that they broke into dance although there was little spaced allocated for it. If hearing masterful, accurate covers of famous hits by Counting Crows or Third Eye Blind have that same effect on you, I suggest you follow The Memory Pain at various venues where they perform and where you can come as close as possible to being at live performances by the originals.

Lost Boys Beach Party at QXT’s

QXT'sCappello

Newark nightclub QXT’s held a theme night called “Lost Boys Beach Party.” The club was absolutely packed, both the upstairs main hall where DJ Ron Medina spun his usual masterful mix of 80s and Dark Wave; and the two lower spaces, where DJs Wintermute and Mykill Plague assaulted rivet-heads and their ilk in Area 51 with EBM and industrial; as well as The Crypt where DJ Helixx aired danceable, but horror-themed Goth and darkwave. Vendors were present offering horror and vampire themed merchandise as well as accessories of club attire. There were periodically announced giveaways.

A special treat was a live performance by singer/saxaphonist Tim Cappello, known and revered for his musical performance in the now-classic vampire movie “The Lost Boys.” Appearing youthful and muscular at 61 years of age, wearing little more than an elaborate set of chrome chains, a ponytail and a black wife-beater, Cappello absolutely enthralled the audience with his energetic show. The crowd pressed up to the stage to get the most out of his performance. Excitement was heightened further when Cappello jumped off-stage, singing and wailing from his sax right into the midst of the crowd who responded with enthusiasm and a flurry of camera-phone flashes. Despite the love showered upon him, Cappello limited his performance to the single “I Still Believe,” modestly admitting it to be his one and only hit. But what a hit!

Necropolis at Windfall
5th Anniversary

Necropolis 5th Anniversary

On Sept. 3, veteran DJ and club organizer Fr. Jeff Ward celebrated the 5th anniversary of his over-the-top, successful monthly dance club night, Necropolis, at midtown Manhattans’ Windfall. Jeff managed to rescue from oblivion a dance night called Necromantik that he had co-hosted at the Knitting Factory some 9 years ago. The Knitting Factory has long since moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn. He recruited 3 top deejays, Patrick Cusack, Sean Templar and Erik Aengel who now serve as consistent resident DJs to the renamed, monthly Necropolis along with various guest spinners. Moving from the Knitting Factory to The Bowery Poetry Club, then later to Element (previously The Bank) Jeff finally settled on Windfall.

For this anniversary celebration, the guest was noted musicologist and published author Andi Harriman, as pleasing to the eyes as to the ears. Together, they created a festive and gala observance of the milestone event with a rhapsodic mix of classic post-punk and oft-forgotten gothic/industrial treasures, such that the floor was crowded with fervid and energetic dancers like rarely seen elsewhere.

Windfall is an elegant bar and dance hall smack in the middle of Manhattan’s midtown. Once the site of the Architects’ Guild, it boasts modern interior design in the Frank Lloyd Wright or Mission-style, with stately wood floor and paneling, to which a curved and lengthy polished-top bar has been added. It is the location where black-attired and finely groomed Goths and denizens of the NYC after-hours music crowd gather on the first Saturday of every month to attend Necropolis.

Doors open at 11:00 pm. Imbibers line up and socialize at the exquisitely designed and well-stocked bar, where knowledgeable and attentive mixologist Gerard serves up the concoctions of their choice. Attentive, pony-tailed manager Chris roams the space, ever watchful to assure everyone enjoys a perfectly comfortable time. The main reason for attending this particular night is the uncommonly astute musical selection served up by Father Jeff (Ward 6) and his cohort of similarly skilled DJs, to provide a the atmosphere for a night of New Wave and Goth-Industrial dance. Eminently danceable musical rarities are blended in with beloved favorites from the Depeche Mode/Sisters of Mercy/ Siouxsie repertory.

Celebrities of Gotham’s underground scene are noted to come and mingle, sometimes spreading word and flyers of upcoming social and musical events. Merging with the crowd of gorgeous and transgressively garbed patrons this night were DJs Arsenal and Ron Medina, Sir William Welles and Matt V Christ. Among the glitterati, Shirley Alvarez and Kai Irina Hahn of The Sedona Effect add glamour to a ravishing and splendid crowd of attendees.

Memento Mori 1st Anniversary

memento mori 1st anniversary

This monthly, Thursday night Deathrock-themed dance party celebrated its 1st Anniversary on August 25, drawing its largest crowd ever, culminating a success story beyond expectations, at the customary location, the appropriately decorated Bedlam in Alphabet City, NYC. Doors opened at 10 pm, and the turnout grew exponentially as the denizens of the Greater New York demimonde began showing up to enjoy the music and extend their congratulations to the principals involved. Returning briefly from the U.K. for the celebration was Ana Vice, long-time mainstay in the scene and mentor to the enterprising group consisting of two novice DJs, Valefar Malefic and Bela Lugosi Alex, and the established, seasoned DJ Mike Stalagmike, host of Defcon. Together they managed to pull off the difficult accomplishment of drawing a steady and satisfied crowd to a late-night, weekday night event.

Greeting guests at the door was the glamorous and beautiful Catgirl Morales who heaped praise on the organizers and was happy to disclose the details of the past year to interested attendees. A who’s who of famous celebrities of the Goth scene included Aurelio Voltaire, just back from an international tour; gorgeous and multi-talented Kai Irina Hahn; impresario William Welles; and DJs Mark Cage Knight and Joe Hart of Procession, which is yet another successful and on-going weekday night dark dance party. Goody bags with candy and Memento Mori buttons were among the giveaways.

The scene was appropriately lit with only scattered tea-light candles and draped with hanging shroud tatters. A pitch-black musical selection of classics and obscurities entertained a roomful of die-hard guests until 4 a.m.

Bodylab
at La Poisson Rouge

Bodylab

Extensive Facebook promotion of this new, free and thematic dance party paid off for the organizers , DJs Eisdriver and Arsenal who succeeded in drawing an staunch crowd of between 25 and 30 committed, rivet-headed industrial music enthusiasts on a Thursday night to the downstairs at La Poisson Rouge lounge. Starting around 10:00 pm, attendees were assaulted (in the favorable sense in which they understand it) with a blend of the hammering sounds of old-school industrial and mechanized Germanic EBM (electro-body music).
The classics of the 80s and 90s from Skinny Puppy, Front 242 and Ministry are now-largely neglected, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear these and more woven into a selection of Nordic/Germanic and highly danceable Neo Old School EBM.

The black-clad, booted crowd consisted of recognizable adherents of the genre by their attire, their bearing and their mastery of the dance style, which is characterized by muscular, decisive and resolute stepping to the insistent beat of this mode of music. Celebrities of the scene were in attendance, including the statuesque and talented beauty, Kai Irina Hahn (front vocalist of The Sedona Effect), renowned DJ Father Jeff Ward and noted Diesel-punk artist CharleSilas Garlette. The hosts and their spouses greeted and mingled with the special and somewhat exclusive in-crowd of devotees. Raffle drawings and giveaways of CDs and tickets livened the evening. The crowd seemed to be actually growing when I left around 1:30 am.

Local Music Festivals

A Murder of Crows

A Murder of Crows

A Murder of Crows took place on August 12 and 13 at the Mercury Lounge, in coordination with The Red Party, billing itself a 2 Day Goth & Post Punk Festival hosted by DJ Patrick Cusack, Sean and Mandana Banshie Templar, Dave and Jenn Bats as well as Stefan Axell, Frank Vollman and Jaycee Cannon. Friday’s live musical lineup featured Ritual Howls, VOWWS, and the Memphis Morticians. Saturday saw The Exploding Boy, Frank The Baptist and Skeleton Hands. It is reported to have been a smashing success as revealed in the nearby photo.

nowhere to run

Nowhere To Run Post-Punk Festival

took place August 20 at The Paper Box in Brooklyn and also featured an all-day-and-night of bands and dance music. Music historian and DJ Andi Harriman opened the event at 2 pm and reports that the event was packed all night, estimating some 300 people, representing the whole spectrum of goth, punk, techno and industrial fans – came through the doors. Incidentally, Harriman succeeded in selling off the entire stock of her notorious book, “Some Wear Leather Some Wear Lace,” which covers the history of the Post Punk movement from the 80s onward, at the merchandise stand. Among the 11 or so live bands, Post-Punk group, The Pawns and industrial band Statiqbloom captured the audience with their on-stage presence and interesting sound.

Museums & Galleries

Taxidermy: Art, Science and Immortality
at Morbid Anatomy

taxidermy panorama

Brooklyn NY
Aug 12, 2016

Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum opened a new and dazzling exhibit with a champagne toast on a Friday evening. Attendees to the reception were guided through the multifaceted aspects of the art by the exhibit’s curator, J. D. Powe whose personal collection comprised the majority of the pieces. Mr. Powe, who is a co-founder of an educational software company, explained how his fascination with taxidermy began with his earliest visits to natural history museums. Small pieces and then large were added to his collection which by now boasts a staggering array of miniature as well as grand acquisitions, spanning the whole variety of specimens. These include wild and domestic; animal, fish and fowl; artistic arrangements; dramatic dioramas; furniture adornments; freakish abnormalities; and perfect, paradigmatic exemplars of the various species.

Thus we are treated to glass cases chock filled with vividly colorful birds, one serving as a fireplace screen. The right half of a sailfish in a regal pose floats high on a wall over a variety of his finny cohorts, while several toothed probosces of different sized sawfish lay disembodied and ready for inspection directly below. Two-headed cattle, a dwarfed calf, a walrus with duplicate tusks and other mistakes of nature are preserved for study and to evoke amazement at nature’s sometimes-slipshod processes of reproduction.
Elephant and rhinoceros feet drew attention in the case displaying functional items such as ashtrays, flower vases and bookends fashioned from animal parts. An entire wall was stacked high with glass cases housing the mortal remains of beloved, deceased pets, mainly dogs. Free-standing canines stood on the floor below them and were aesthetically beautiful representatives of man’s best friend, a large hound and a spotted Great Dane. Little dioramas housed theatrical tableaux, one of which posed a paternal frog administering an over-the-knee spanking of a young’un.

Enlightening, educational and at the same time mind-boggling, this exhibition brought a decidedly respectful – even loving – approach to a practice that might seem controversial to some. The emphasis here is on the beauty of the animal world and of each subject, the ingenuity and skill involved in the craft, and the fascination we appropriately feel when given opportunity to examine carefully prepared and maintained samples of the natural world.

The really good news is that this exhibit is being expanded starting in September with some anthropomorphic taxidermy, i.e. animals clothed and posed as if engaged in human activities. Look for it!

The Creeper Gallery
in New Hope, PA

IMG_1006Creepy monkey

No trip to the twin cities of Lambertville NJ and New Hope PA is complete without a long and leisurely tour of this extraordinary gallery where artist-owner D.L. Marian gave us a brief rundown on how and why she came, along with her partner and fellow-artist, Danielle Deveroux, to fill this tiny storefront with grotesque and gorgeous sculptures, paintings, mixed media constructions and rogue taxidermy specimens, all of museum quality. Definitely not for the squeamish or the easily offended, these works, self-described as “gothic,” are horrific, iconoclastic, charming, even while bordering on the sacrilegious, but seem to get away without offending by being so ingeniously conceived and artfully crafted. There are fabricated or altered effigies, dummies, heads, skulls, shrines, photos, paintings, constructions and assemblages to provide material for your nightmares as well as food for your thoughts on mortality, morbidity, aberrations and Hell.

You can learn more by checking out their website, but nothing can substitute for first-hand, up close and painfully personal viewing of the ever-changing exhibit of items for sale at the Creeper Gallery.

Manus x Machina
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

On exhibition from Fashion Institute of Technology at ”Manus x Machina,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art held a display of the wildest and most artistic and high tech examples of mainly dress designs produced by a combination of astounding and specialized manual skills and modern day mechanization, such as 3D printing. The range of styles and materials was overwhelming in diversity, but we zeroed in on the most sci-fi and gothic pieces.

MetMuseum goth coutureMetMuseum Leather

Which all goes to show how far and deep into the mainstream culture that gothic/punk/industrial taste has penetrated!

Meanwhile, on the roof of the Museum, the Met had erected the façade of everybody’s favorite creepy domicile: The house from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” which, set against the beautiful twilight cityscape of New York City’s skyline, appeared as a mischievously evil blot on the otherwise uplifting panorama. MetMuseum %22Psycho%22 House

New Dark Age in the April-May Issue of The Aquarian

Filed under: Art Reviews,Events,Goth Stuff,Live Music,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn May 18, 2016 @ 2:03 pm

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“House of Wax” at Morbid Anatomy museum

Filed under: Art Reviews,Events,Goth Stuff,Uncategorized — doktorjohn October 27, 2015 @ 9:33 pm

House of Wax: Anatomical, Pathological & Ethnographic Waxworks

This up and coming Brooklyn institution has hit the jackpot with its latest exhibit, titled “House of Wax” for which a well-attended opening night party was held on a late October Friday night at their 3rd Avenue establishment in the borough’s Park Slope section. Custom craftsman and bone collector Ryan Matthew Cohn served as curator of the exhibition which featured a collection of wax figures which he was fortunate enough to obtain from a long-defunct German “panopticum,” actually a 19th century museum of sorts. He spoke at length about the provenance and historical significance of his acquisition. He led the crowd of attendees in a champagne toast to kick things off. VIPs were also treated to cocktails provided courtesy of Hendricks Gin.Roy Matthew Cohn

Ryan Matthew Cohn

In the 19th century and early 20th century, before the advent of cinema and related media, entertainment-seekers and those in pursuit of knowledge outside their limited scope used to pay to attend waxwork venues where they could view highly realistic effigies representing everything about which they harbored morbid curiosity disguised as academic interest. This particular selection represents the assemblage from “Castan’s Panopticum” which was in business in Berlin from 1869 – 1922 and contains life-sized, anatomical abnormalities (with an emphasis on genitalia and private parts), exaggerated caricature busts of human ethnic examples, the death masks of famous historical figures (Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm I, Mary Queen of Scots, et al.), a few versions of the pregnant uterus with various obstetrical predicaments, as well as internal and external disease processes and more. Think Madame Tussaud’s crossed with the Mutter Museum.

anatomical venus

Two “Anatomical Venuses” in foreground, Ryan Matthew Cohn in background, left

Foremost, and occupying the center of the exhibition room are a couple of examples of what is termed “Anatomical Venus” — beautifully idealized, complete human female figures with their innards revealed, all lovingly rendered in wax sculpture. Professor Rebecca Messberger informed the listeners about the place of women, not just as the subjects of anatomical wax sculpture, but she also referred to the 18th century Italian sculptor, Anna Morandi, known as the “Lady Anatomist” who was a supreme artist in this medium. rebecca Messbarger

Professor Rebecca Messbarger

This exhibit represent the fifth such setup at this fledgling Morbid Anatomy Museum since its opening last June, each of which has been more elaborate, more organized and more fascinating than the one before it. By presenting “House of Wax,” the Museum has captured the very essence of what the institution is all about, its “core” mission, which from this perspective appears to be education, entertainment and bemusement of an audience of gutsy, curious and unconventional museum-goers.Layout 1

The Collector’s Cabinet – at Morbid Anatomy Museum

Filed under: Art Reviews,Events,Uncategorized — doktorjohn January 28, 2015 @ 8:24 pm

Exhibition Opening
Morbid Anatomy Museum

Brooklyn NY

A wine and cheese party was held at this uniquely eccentric Brooklyn museum to celebrate the opening of a new, mind-boggling exhibition, called The Collector’s Cabinet, the second at this institution since its opening last June.

The festivities began when curator and co-founder Joanna Ebenstein introduced the exhibitors, each a collector of oddly interesting items, and invited them to expound upon the items in their own display assemblage.

Joanna

Antique dealers, eccentrics and hoarders of unusual artworks plus a few medical professionals made up the list of contributors.

The range of things on display was eclectic to say the least, and included painted wooden religious figures, dental models representing the wide range of shapes of human teeth, séance props, a disarticulated skeleton and historic anatomical charts.

teeth

One wall was covered with an artistically-cheesy, carnival-type tent banner for a magician. Large glass cases in the middle of the room contained taxidermy specimens of squirrels dressed and posed in anthropomorphic situations: patrons imbibing at a bar and bikini clad, topless exotic dancers.

anthropomorphic squirrels

A pair of candlesticks was unique in that it was composed of actual, preserved baboon forearms. One wall display was a ViewMaster-like, 3-D, back-lit viewer with images of 19th century French miniature, sculpted diabolical tableaux. On display also was a series of cute little paired terra-cotta figurines of Death leading medieval characters to their doom, examples of what is called Danse Macabre or Totentanz.

One by one, each collector spoke briefly about the history and significance of the item or the array that they had lent to the Museum for this show. Art historians, antique enthusiasts and lovers of the off-beat crowded around and took obvious delight at each station.

Odd Man Items

Among the luminaries to present was Evan Michelson, co-star of TV’s long-running series, “Oddities” and co-owner of the NYC antiques boutique, “Obscura.” She demonstrated a pair of primitive artificial arms that once belonged to an unfortunate railway brake-man who lost his own arms in a terrible accident, but resumed his railroad career with these wooden replacements!Evan Michelson

The several taxidermy specimens included a kitten born with two faces, a two-faced calf-head, plus a seven-legged, two-bodied piglet.

Morbid Anatomy Museum co-founder and board chair Tracy Hurley Martin loaned one of the more serious and prestigious of the antiquities, a leather-bound first edition of the 18th Century Kuper-Bibel (Copper Bible), a compendium of art, mysticism, religion and science, containing exquisite copper engravings of cosmography, paleontology, zoology, botany and anatomy. This volume, along with various unclassifiable curiosities, articles of religious iconography, and tame, antiquated erotic images comprises representative sampling of the diverse spectrum of objects that embody the spirit of this museum of the forgotten but truly fascinating.

Copper Bible

QXT’s Art Series IX: Kaliyuga

Filed under: Art Reviews — doktorjohn March 25, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

QXT’s Art Series IX: Kaliyuga

March 21, 2014
Newark NJ
by Doktor John

Number nine in the series of art and media exhibitions held every other month at QXT’s, Newark’s iconic underground dance club featured a fascinating array of displays. Curated by multitalented impresario, Ben Faresich and his artist partner Nicole Zanetakos, who collectively conduct their operation under the title “Dactsaurylus,” this occurrence, as previously, featured around thirteen exhibits with displays of paintings, drawings, videos, electronic music and installations. An artist in her own right, Nicole comes up with a unique theme for each alternate-monthly exhibition based on her wide-ranging knowledge and interests. Ben, a remarkably accomplished photographer, works on developing Nicole’s ideas and helps bring them to fruition.

Many exhibitors were highly accomplished, i.e. attaining a professional level of proficiency. Other works were more raw and amateurish, rich with sincerity and honest ambition. The emphasis as always was on surreal, dark—even horrific—imagery. Training among the exhibitors always runs the gamut from those with graduate training in art through those who have never shown their works before to those currently enrolled in art schools.

Repeat exhibitor Charlie Garlette, who runs Bent Nail Studio, displayed some stunning, “DieselPunk” installation pieces impressive for their elaborate, electro-mechanical and mysterious nature. Flashing, multi-colored lights flickered around the base of a columnar array of metallic constructs, atop of which sat a fluid-filled, illuminated tank containing a biological specimen of god-knows-what creature. Behind and separate from this installation sat a diorama of sorts on a shelf, at its center a creepy bare tree upon which were arrayed true-to-life casts of Charlie’s fingers —eerily lit in dim blue light and set against a background of an electronic board.

Bent Nail blogBent Nail 2 Blog

Artists came from as far away as Long Island, spectators from as far as Brooklyn. A raffle was held that permitted lucky attendees to leave with artworks that had been generously offered as prizes by the artists.

raffle winner
Raffle winner and model Jessica Graves receiving prize from artist Celine Paz. Rob, DJ NueMatic in back. Curator Ben Faresich at far right

QXT’s was full like I’ve never seen it, although I wouldn’t say it was uncomfortably crowded. A great mix of goth, industrial and New Wave kept the dance floor packed with the frenzied and the enraptured.

Filmmaker Ryan Polukord showed his film, “Danger Zone,” a project he has been working on for two years. He took the time to film some of the artists at the show, and is working on a promo video for QXT’s Art Series. Rob Simscuk (AKA DJ NueMatic) performed his original electronic music, ranging from atmospheric and dark ambient to drum-and-bass for dance.

Look for a recurrence of this event at QXT’s in late May, or better still attend the Dactsaurylus-curated art show scheduled to take place at the easy-to-search Seed Gallery on Market Street in Newark on Saturday, April 26th.

Myke Hideous Photography Exhibition

Filed under: Art Reviews,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn December 17, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

Myke Hideous Photography Exhibition
Oakside Manor/Cultural Center Belleville NJ
Dec 11, 2013

by Doktor John

Multi-media artist and renowned local figure, Myke Hideous hosted a wine and cheese opening of his photography exhibition at the beautiful and historic Oakeside Cultural Center in Bloomfield NJ for the month of December. Widely known in the NY/NJ area and formerly prominent as a musician with a significant following, Myke left the music scene in 2008, devoting himself to the study of nature and photography.20131211_192651

His interest in photography and film development follows a family tradition which he has pursued since his teen years.

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Ever a bird and animal lover, he has extensively photographed the local population including eagles, owls, sea-birds and denizens of the meadowlands. Captured with his top quality and ultra-fast lenses, these were among the most strikingly beautiful pieces, whether the subjects were seen serenely perched or in graceful flight. Extreme close-ups of insects shot in “macro” mode were among the most fascinating.PHT01sml

Landscapes and architectural icons that make up the collective unconscious of us who inhabit north Jersey were rendered monumental and mystical when treated with Myke’s visionary style.PHT09sml

Practically everything shown at the exhibit was shot with Canon equipment, either a Rebel, a 7D or lately the 5D Mark III. As an active member of the Audubon Society and a volunteer at the William McDowell Observatory, he has access to the $150,000 telescope through which he shoots celestial objects. One such on view at the exhibit was a stunning, close-up of a quadrant of the moon.PHT29sml (1)
Myke’s involvement in the visual arts goes back at least as far as his career as a musician. Besides film, Myke has worked in drawing, painting, sculpture, furniture and clothing design, installation, found-art assemblage. This background serves his efforts with a camera very well, having developed his eye for composition, detail and novelty. To no one’s surprise, the enthusiastic crowd of attendees and collectors had Myke applying “sold” stickers on his framed works nonstop for much of the evening.20131211_19271720131211_192629

Sculpture of John DiTunno M.D.

Filed under: Art Reviews,Friends & Family — doktorjohn March 12, 2010 @ 11:10 am

I recently had the privilege to make the acquaintance of a true Renaissance Man, retired professor of Physiatry (that’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation), John DiTunno, M.D.

Dr. DiTunno is an amateur sculptor who has, among his many artistic accomplishments, re-interpreted Andrew Wyeth’s famous painting, “Christina’s World”, bestowing upon it a higher-still level of immortality by actualizing the image in stone!

Here we see his sculpture,“Christina,” and below it, Wyeth’s masterpiece, “Christina’s World.”

As we know, Wyeth’s painting portrays a handicapped lady who was renowned in her small world for having borne and in significant measure surmounted a physical disability both courageously and with dignity.


Just as John DiTunno, a physician who spent his life helping the disabled to overcome their physical limitations was inspired by Wyeth, so too a colleague of his—another professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Margaret Stineman, M.D.—was inspired to pen this beautiful poem in homage to John’s creation!

Tim Burton at The Museum of Modern Art

Filed under: Art Reviews,Reviews — doktorjohn January 16, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

Tim Burton at the Museum of Modern Art
Nov 2009 – April 2010
New York
By Doktor John

Surrealist and multi-media artist Tim Burton is the subject of a major exhibition at New York Citys MoMA that must be seen by everyone interested in pop culture. Attendance is overwhelming and it requires reservations well in advance. One of the first things one notices is the enormous body of work that he has churned out over the years. Known mainly for motion pictures like Mars Attacks and Batman which feature his eccentric design style, Burton is revealed to be an amazingly prolific and gifted in ink and in paint, on paper and on canvas, since very early in his life. Just as his movies seem to want to bridge the gap between child-like innocence and true horror, so too his witty and light-hearted drawings are filled with fantasy creatures that have dislocated eyeballs and with predatory clowns menacing with pointy teeth. Some of these have been translated by sculptors into jaw-dropping constructions and assemblages.

The lightly-colored pen-and-ink drawings include recognizable personalities such as Joey Ramone, Vincent Price and Alice Cooper. Others are anonymous humans with distorted body parts, aggressive toys or nightmarish yet comical fantasy-creatures. They are typically composed of weirdly proportioned, wiggly shapes that might have been drawn by Aubrey Beardsley intoxicated with absinthe, or by Edward Gorey if he executed them with his left hand. Many are hilarious visual puns. One entitled Tongue-twister displays a creature maliciously twisting a mans tongue as if wringing out a wash rag.

More than 700 pieces are on exhibit and include concept drawings for the characters in his movies, recognizable iconic mannequins, costumes and statuettes from both his animated and his live-action films. Among them are Catwomans costume, a life-sized effigy of Edward Scissorhands, and numerous statuettes representing the various creatures in the stop-action movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The monstrous, threatening Jack O Lantern from Nightmare hovers ten feet above the milling crowd of spectators and a crude ape-head with wooden-branch antlers from Planet of the Apes is mounted high on a wall evoking the feeling of strange otherworldliness.

This exhibition tells us much about post-modern culture, about ourselves and about the creative process. Tim Burton has spent a lifetime arduously and playfully exploring the borderland between the naive fun and the malignant fears of childhood which continue to haunt us well into adulthood.

This is the full page article as it appears in The Aquarian, unfortunately too small to read in its reduced form, here. The text is above the image in legible form.

Myke Hideous Exhibit at Paul Vincent Studio

Filed under: Art Reviews,Goth Stuff — doktorjohn November 1, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

Myke Hideous was among several artists exhibiting at an art oprening held Halloween Night at Paul Vincent Studio, 49 Harrison Street, Hoboken, N.J.

Greeting us at the door

were two of the finest witches to be seen in all of Hudson County that night!

Here’s Myke himself

taking photos of his guests

Marzena was in attendance, but uncharacteristically silent owing to the after-effects of laryngitis!

This is one of Myke complex collage-constructions

which he categorizes as “apocalyptic.” It features a variety of animal skulls, dried flowers and plants, a doll’s head and much more. It has to be seen to be believed, and was priced at a modest $500.

One very impressive painting on wood was this creepy number shown below, called “Escapism.”

Present, beautiful but speechless

(due to laryngitis) was Marzena, shown below.

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