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.


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.


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

The Dreaming – “Rise Again”

Filed under: Recorded Music,Uncategorized — doktorjohn January 27, 2015 @ 11:40 pm

Rise Again

Metropolis Records
By Doktor JohnThe_Dreaming-Rise_Again

Stabbing Westward’s lead vocalist Christopher Hall and programmer/keyboardist Walter Flakus have been reinventing themselves as The Dreaming since the demise of the parent band in 2002. Three EP releases, a video, a track for the movie “Elektra” and live performances on the West Coast have kept them busy since the band’s inception. Joined by former SW drummer Johnny Haro, plus a bass and a guitarist, “Rise Again” is clearly a resurrection of the immensely popular Stabbing Westward style.

The newest CD, “Rise Again” is scheduled for release this coming February and captures all the intensity and ecstatic bombast of the original band.

Consisting of 10 tracks, “Rise Again” is characterized by Hall’s extraordinary tenor vocals, full of intensity and defiance, accompanied by bombastic, symphonic metal.

The titles and the lyrics are profound and penetrating, mostly probing harsh, even painful emotions. The third track asks, “Why do all your kisses taste like death?” The fifth track aggressively asserts, “I will not be afraid anymore” as a kind of self-assuring mantra. I think you get the idea.

From the first track, “Alone” with its galloping cadence and accusatory tone, to the final and title track, “Rise Again,” every track has a delicious, melodious hook and a restless, hypnotic groove. Angry, belching guitars are woven into fast-paced electronic rhythms that will have industrial dancers in a frenzy on the dance floors or fervently bobbing their heads on the sidelines. For those who loved and sorely miss the now-defunct Stabbing Westward, this revival of that sound is more than welcome.
Rating: A+

Totowa Dawn

Filed under: My Art,Uncategorized — doktorjohn January 23, 2015 @ 4:21 pm

Transcendent pre-dawn image from 3rd floor window in Totowa

Acrylic on 22″ X 28″ board

Totowa dawn

My First Painting

Filed under: My Art,Uncategorized — doktorjohn January 19, 2015 @ 12:59 am

Doktor’s Bag

First painting

Acrylic on Canvas
Done while working in the in Madison NJ studio of Arie Galles, professor at Fairleigh Dickinson, in 1977