Category Archives: aesthetics

Introducing Mr.Fox: Darker Deeper

Introducing Mr.Fox: Darker Deeper


Mr.Fox: Darker Deeper[1][2] is an Anglophone visual culture blog with a focus on transgressive black and white photographs founded in May 2008.

As of May 2009, its most recent entries included Deus Irae Psychedelico[3], Robert Gregory Griffeth[4] , Rik Garrett[5] , Laurie Lipton[6] , Simon Marsden[7] , Sanne Sannes[8] , Jeffrey Silverthorne[9] , Edward Donato[10]

As of May 2009, the blog was connected with Blind Pony, EDK, Fetishart, Indie Nudes, Medieval Art, Morbid Anatomy, Ofellabuta, SensOtheque, With the ghost and Woolgathersome.

Jean Marembert, and, Icon of Erotic Art #41

Nude by Marembert

Nude (c.1930) by Jean Marembert [source]

Icon of erotic art #41

Au carrefour étrange uncovered a 1947 edition of Petrus Borel‘s Champavert [1] and presents us with the exceptional work of Jean Marembert.

Jean Marembert (19041968) was a French artist who is tangentially connected to such people as Louis Cattiaux, Jean Crotti, Suzanne Valadon, Kees Van Dongen, Paul Colin, Moise Kisling, Man Ray, Leonor Fini and Labisse. He exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon des Tuileries. His biography can be found in the 2004 book on figurative painting, Modern Figurative Paintings: The Paris Connection. Modern Figurative Paintings: The Paris Connection (2004) is a book by Martin Wolpert and Jeffrey Winter on modern figurative painting.

Modern Figurative Painters (2004) [] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From the blurb of Modern Figurative Paintings: The Paris Connection:

“The first half of the 19th Century spawned one of the most exciting concentrations of artists and artistic innovation in history. The French impressionists opened the door to creative freedoms never before experienced, and a community rich in artistic and intellectual talent coalesced to forever change the direction of art. This book documents more than 150 artists who worked, studied, and exhibited in Paris between 1890 and 1950. Many of them have been completely overlooked by scholars and art historians. Their work encompasses the La Belle Époque, Postimpressionist, Cubist, and School of Paris movements. More than 375 color images of their paintings document this fabulous cultural explosion, and also present a visual time capsule, showing the populace at work and at play in bars, cabarets, and jazz clubs, even scenes of the artists’ own studios. This book has been a labor of love; many years in the making. Collectors, curators, and historians will find it an invaluable tool for understanding the art of this period. By documenting artists who have not been written about for many years, the authors offer insight to their paintings, which can still be acquired at equitable prices.”

Artists in this book include Jean Crotti , Grigory Gluckmann, Louis Icart, Louis Legrand, André Lhote, Jean Marembert and Marie Vassilieff.

Edward Steichen @130

Edward Steichen @130

Steichen's The Pond-Moonlight

The Pond-Moonlight

Edward Steichen (18791973) was a pictorialist American photographer, painter, and art gallery and museum curator, born in Luxembourg, Europe. He is known for such photos as The Pond-Moonlight.

Pictorialism was a photographic movement in vogue from around 1885 following the widespread introduction of the dry-plate process. It reached its height in the early years of the 20th century, and declined rapidly after 1914 after the widespread emergence of Modernism.


Baron Haussmann @200, Haussmannization and creative destruction

Baron Haussmann @200

Paris_Arc_de_Triomphe by you.

Place de l’Étoile

Baron Haussmann (18091891) turned 200 today.

Haussmannwas a French urbanist who called himself an “artiste démolisseur,” literally translated as artist destroyer, a concept with a political equivalent of creative destruction. I’ve mentioned Haussmann and Haussmannization here [1] and here[2].

Haussmann’s renovation of Paris is often simply referred to as Haussmannization, connected to the notion of creative destruction, a political concept.

creative destruction, surplus product

The notion of creative destruction is found in the writings of Mikhail Bakunin, Friedrich Nietzsche, and in Werner Sombart‘s Krieg und Kapitalismus (War and Capitalism) (1913, p. 207), where he wrote: “again out of destruction a new spirit of creativity arises”. In Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter popularized and used the term to describe the process of transformation that accompanies radical innovation. It contrasts with various tactics of preservation and embalming the past.

Interestingly, Flaubert’s friend Maxime du Camp said:

“Paris, as we find it in the period following the Revolution of 1848, was about to become uninhabitable.” — [Paris Arcades] quoting from Maxime du Camp, Paris, vol 6 (Paris, 1875), p.253.


“Its population had been greatly enlarged and unsettled … and now this population was suffocating in the narrow, tangled, putrid alleyways in which it was forcibly confined.” — [Paris Arcades] quoting from Maxime du Camp, Paris, vol 6 (Paris, 1875), p.253.]

It was Jules Ferry who wrote “Les Comptes fantastiques de Haussmann,” his indictment of the bold handling of public funds for the Haussmannization. It was published in 1867, its title being a play on words between contes, stories or tales – as in Les contes d’Hoffmann or Tales of Hoffmann, and comptes, accounts.

Introducing Ferenc Pintèr (1931 – 2008)

Ferenc Pinter by you.

Anima Mundi (2004) [source]

Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson (Italian edition cover by Ferenc Pintèr).

posted by tonto–kidd[3]

Researching Carlo Jacono in my previous post[1] brought me to the work of Ferenc Pintèr.

Ferenc Pintèr (1931 – 2008) was an Italian illustrator and painter. He is best-known for his book cover designs for Mondadori. he also designed tarot decks for Italian publisher Lo Scarabeo.


Pop. 1280 is a novel by Jim Thompson (19061977) first published in 1964. It is a particularly bleak species of American hard-boiled crime fiction, but exhibits experimental flourishes that align it with literary (as opposed to genre) fiction, as well as occasional surrealist episodes. The unreliable narrator as a story-telling device, of which Thompson was particulary fond, is exemplary in this  novel.

Pop. 1280 was made into the French film, Coup de Torchon by Bertrand Tavernier in 1981. In that film, Lucien Cordier (Philippe Noiret) is an ineffectual local constable (see bumbling authority figures in comedy) with a cheating wife and laughable job. He accepts condecension from his superiors and his wife with good humor, as his antisocial personality allows him to tolerate such abuse. However, he soon realizes that he can use his position to gain vengeance with impunity, and he starts to kill everyone who has regarded him as a fool. After numerous trysts and murders, his pathology catches up with him in the film’s climax.

Carlo Jacono @80 and Italian exploitation

Carlo Jacono @80 and Italian exploitation

Segretissimo n° 75 (art cover by Carlo Jacono)

An Italian translation of Malory by American author James Hadley Chase

Cover design by Carlo Jacono

Carlo Jacono (March 17, 1929June 7, 2000) was an Italian illustrator detective novel covers and regular contributor to Mondadori’s gialli and Urania magazine.

A digression into Italian exploitation.

My interest in regional exploitation or pulp culture is that what it tells about the region where it is produced. I am searching for national stereotypes by way of their exploitation culture; regional stereotypes deduced from regional fears and desires (horror and eroticism).

Italian exploitation culture is literature and films in the “low culture” tradition originating from Italy, cultural products which address the prurient interests of its audience. A quick glance at Italian society on the one hand, which its firm anchor in puritan Christianity, and its abundance on the other hand of graphic exploitation material, quickly reveals its double standards.

In print culture there has been giallo fiction, quickly followed by adult comics, the so-called fumetti neri.

But the nature of Italian prurience is most readily revealed in Italian cinema. Genres such as cannibal films, Italian erotica, Italian horror films, giallo films, mondo films, il sexy, spaghetti westerns, sword and sandal films all went a tad further than contemporary products of European exploitation.

Had it not for the world wide web, these maligned genres would probably not have been so widely known, but if you prefer reading books to the internet, here is a list of publications on European exploitation you may enjoy.

Pierre Bourgeade III

Plexus with a contribution by Pierre Bourgeade

Plexus (? – ?)

Plexus was a French language magazine, started under the auspices of Planète science fiction magazine to which the late Pierre Bourgeade contributed.

Planète (The Planet) was a French fantastic realism magazine created by Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels. It ran from 1961 to 1972.

See also: plexus,

Musidora @120

Musidora by you.

Musidora in Les Vampires (1915)


Musidora in Les Vampires (1915)

Musidora (February 23, 1889December 11, 1957) was the stage name of a popular French silent film actress of the early 20th century. She is best-remembered for her vamp persona in the roles of Irma Vep and Diana Monti in the early motion picture crime serials Les Vampires (1915) and Judex (1916), respectively.

Poster for Les Vampires

Adopting the moniker of Musidora (Greek for “gift of the muses“) and affecting a unique vamp persona that would later be popularized in the United States of America by actress Theda Bara, Musidora soon found a foothold in the nascent medium of moving pictures. With her heavily kohled dark eyes, somewhat sinister make-up, pale skin (see the heroin chic aesthetic) and exotic wardrobes, Musidora quickly became a highly popular and instantly recognizable presence of European cinema.

Beginning in 1915, Musidora began appearing in the hugely successful Feuillade-directed serials Les Vampires as Irma Vep (an anagram of “vampire”), a cabaret singer, opposite Edouard Mathé as crusading journalist, Philippe Guerande. Contrary to the title, the Les Vampires were not actually about vampires, but about a criminal gang cum secret society inspired by the exploits of the real-life Bonnot Gang. The somewhat surreal series was an immediate success with French cinema-goers and ran in ten installments until 1916. After the Les Vampires serial, Musidora starred as ‘Diana Monti’ in another popular Feuillade serial, Judex, filmed in 1916 but delayed for release until 1917 because of the outbreak of World War I. Though not intended to be “avant-garde,” Les Vampires and Judex have been lauded by critics as the birth of avant-garde cinema and cited by such renowned filmmakers as Fritz Lang and Luis Buñuel as being extremely influential in their desire to become directors.

I’ve previously mentioned Les Vampires[1].