Category Archives: contemporary art

Icon of Erotic Art #33

Fischl Eric bad_boy by m_orfeo0111

Bad Boy (1981) by Eric Fischl

Today is Icon of Erotic Art #33 day. Remember this series is handmade, I’m not pulling this out of a list. So it was with great pleasure that I was reminded Eric Fischl‘s Bad Boy painting[1].

Bad Boy (1981) depicts a young boy looking at and older woman shown in a provocative masturbatory (a beaver shot to be precise) pose on a bed, while the subject is surreptitiously slipping his hand into the woman’s purse and presumedly stealing its contents.

The painting unites eroticism and crime, between the two is a very strong link first explored by Sade and verbally juxtaposed by Jules Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly in Happiness in Crime, a short story first published in the 1874 collection Les Diaboliques. I hope to explore this connection later.

Bad Boy is a painting which provokes the imagination, an equal amount of events seem to be in the painting as outside of it.

I imagine the neighborhood outside the room depicted suburbian. I imagine her husband (she is married and sexually neglected) watering the garden in a David Hockney painting manner. Maybe her husband is taking a A Bigger Splash[2] in their pool. Or the same husband is entertaining his gay lover in Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)[3].

Since all figurative painting involving the human figure is narrative painting a number of questions can be raised:

What is the relationship between the older woman and the boy? Is he her son? Or is she barren? Is he a neighborhood boy who entered her house without her knowing? Is the woman aware that she is being stolen from and spied upon at the same time? Is it a game they play regularly and is the boy rewarded the money afterwards? Who is to tell?

Whither now, anarchitecture?


Some Office Baroque footage, Some footage similar to Office Baroque

Gordon Matta-Clark died thirty years ago today. He stayed in Antwerp for a while in 1977, just before his death, working with Florent Bex, creating Office Baroque, which he called anarchitecture. Pieces of his “building cuts” were sold around the world[1].

I like him, much as I like the near-contemporary and also short-lived Robert Smithson. Whither now, anarchitecture, and other visionary environments?

Happy birthday Luigi Colani

The earth is round, all the heavenly bodies are round; they all move on round or elliptical orbits. This same image of circular globe-shaped mini worlds orbiting around each other follows us right down to the microcosmos. We are even aroused by round forms in species propagation related eroticism. Why should I join the straying mass who want to make everything angular? I am going to pursue Galileo Galilei’s philosophy: my world is also round. — Luigi Colani.

Car Styling 23 Luigini Colani special by you.

[FR] [DE] [UK]

There is one available now at, 69 EUR.

European designer Luigi Colani turns eighty today.

I can’t remember the first time Colani came upon my radar, but it must have been in the various design books I read in my twenties, this was in the 1985-1995 period. He – and his celebration of curvilinearity (one of the faultlines in 20th century art) – remain paramount in my design canon.

Modern and contemporary designers in this tradition include Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Isamu Noguchi, Carlo Mollino and Marc Newson.

Connecting keywords are non-Euclidean geometry, ferrocement, organic design. [I must look into this non-Euclidean geometry thing, some interesting connections are bound to appear]

Also of interest is the survey of Eric Hunting, ‘The Classic Rock Realm of Ferro-Cement’[1].

Around that same period I bought a monograph of Colani’s work, a special issue of Japanaese Car Styling magazine, #23. Personally, I prefer his non-car styling designs and the issue of Car Styling aforementioned features some rare works of eroticism (ceramics, photography, drawings) and sanitary ware by Villeroy and Boch.

The cover of that magazine is noticeable for its Böcklin typeface.

Previously on Jahsonic: Lost and found: biomorphism

Icon of Erotic Art #31

It is time for Icon of erotic art #31

Truck Babies (1999) by Patricia Piccinini

Truck Babies (1999) by Patricia Piccinini presents a pair of infant trucks. It is Icon of Erotic Art #31.

“The Truck Babies are infantile not miniature; they have big cheeks and fat bottoms, little wheels and lovely big eyes. They are what I imagined to be the offspring of the big trucks that I saw on the road. I examined the relationship between babies and fully-grown animals and people and applied these developmental changes backwards to the trucks.” [1]

The eroticism of this work is not obvious, but derives from the fact that most procreation is derived from the sexual act. It is my basic tenet that the sexual act is not necessarily “natural“, my favorite quote in this regard is from Leonardo da Vinci:

“The art of procreation and the members employed therein are so repulsive that if it were not for the beauty of the faces and the adornments of the actors and the pent-up impulse, nature would lose the human species.”

A quote that also comes to mind is one by Susan Sontag:

Human sexuality is, quite apart from Christian repressions, a highly questionable phenomenon, and belongs, at least potentially, among the extreme rather than the ordinary experiences of humanity. Tamed as it may be, sexuality remains one of the demonic forces in human consciousness – pushing us at intervals close to taboo and dangerous desires, which range from the impulse to commit sudden arbitrary violence upon another person to the voluptuous yearning for the extinction of one’s consciousness, for death itself.” –Susan Sontag in the The Pornographic Imagination

The sexual act requires humans to gain intimacy to body parts which are “naturally” abhorred by humans, body parts which involve excrementation for example.

The sex drive, to which near all human animals fall prey, has often propelled us to engage in the sexual act with non-human animals. I surmise that the depictions of human-animal hybrids featured in bestiaries so popular in the Middle Ages (only second in popularity to the Bible), is derived from the fear that human-animal copulation would result in offspring.

It is within the context of these bestiaries that the work of Piccinini should be viewed. The uncanniness of Truck Babies is derived from a fear of ascribing animal qualities to machines, machines having become the nearest equivalent to domestic animals in the post-industrial age.

Truck Babies also provides me with an opportunity to announce the death of American science fiction writer Thomas M. Disch (1940 – 2008), author of Camp Concentration, The Brave Little Toaster and 334. The oblique link between Truck Babies and Disch is the anthropomorphism evident in Truck Babies and The Brave Little Toaster.

Introducing Kati Heck

In Belgian magazine Focus Knack June 2008, Els Fiers reviews German-born contemporary Belgian artist Kati HeckGoogle gallery at the occasion of Heck’s first museum expostion. Fiers likens her to Eija-Liisa Ahtila“Dog Bites”, Sam Taylor-Wood “A Little Death,” [YouTube] and Léopold Rabus Two girls and a mushroom.

Wood’s work I’ve learned to appreciate via dmtls a month or two ago, Ahtila and Rabus are so-so on first impression, and Heck, I’ve been a bit of a fan for some time. If placement she deserves, I will locate her in the tradition of the German Comic Grotesque, a category which Pamela Kort recently examined in her eponymous book and of which the earliest practitioners are Lovis Corinth, Paul Klee, Max Klinger, Otto Dix, Alfred Kubin, Kurt Schwitters, Emil Nolde, and the greatest of them all (and with Klinger and Corinth, the only ones in the beloved public domain), Arnold –“Isle of the Dead” —Böcklin.

Please notice the word comic in Comic Grotesque. If Heck is a great painter or not is not for me but for the market to decide, but I can say this: she has a sense of humor, and it’s a rosy kind of insouciance, of a cynical variety perhaps, but nevertheless one which invites genuine (as opposed to ironic) laughter.

Speaking of comic, I would like to offer you this piece of eye candy:

Walking on water


Bridge by Michael Cross

Bridge is an installation by British contemporary artist Michael Cross currently hosted in Hasselt, Belgium. It gives the impression that one is walking on water.

Every step you makes a floater appear and disappear. It feels like hovering over an abyss. It is mechanically powered. One of the best things I’ve seen in a while.

If Hitler Had Been a Hippy

If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy we Would Be[1][2] is a 2008 series of paintings by Jake and Dinos Chapman which deface orginal paintings by Adolf Hitler. The Chapmans previously used a similar ploy on work by Goya (Insult to Injury).

At the end of May 2008 the White Cube Gallery exhibited the 20 authenticated watercolours and oils painted by Adolf Hitler, which the brothers have defaced with hippie motifs. Jake Chapman described most of the dictator’s works as ‘awful landscapes‘ which they had ‘prettified‘.

On a general level, if Rome was the art world capital from the Renaissance to the 1850s, Paris from the 1850s until WWII, a title which Paris lost to New York after the war; could it possibly be that London, with artists such as Emin, Hirst and the Chapmans, is the current art world capital? I don’t see any other country but the UK coming with consistently exciting work.

Introducing Praxis

[FR] [DE] [UK]

It’s actually strange that I’ve never actively come across this band besides of having heard of them. I am a big fan of Bill Laswell and all P-Funkiana, both are canonical to my encyclopedic work. Praxis introduces a whole collective of adventurous culture, from cutting edge music to exciting graphics, rebellious texts and tetsuoesque performances (is the life-size doll by Rammellzee?).


“Animal Behavior” (1992) from the Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis) album.

Praxis is the name of an ever-changing Bill Laswell musical project. Praxis combines elements of different musical genres such as funk, jazz, hip-hop and heavy metal into highly improvised music. First appearing in 1992 with the critically acclaimed Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis), Buckethead, Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell and Brain have defined the direction of the band over the last 15 years.

Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis) is the first album by Bill Laswell‘s everchanging “supergroupPraxis. This first album features Buckethead on guitar, Bootsy Collins on bass and vocals, Brain on drums, Bernie Worrell on keyboards and DJ AF Next Man Flip on turntables and mixer.

Transmutation features a wide range of musical styles, all mixed together to make a very diverse and unique album. Styles such as heavy metal, funk, hip hop, ambient, jazz and blues are blended together to form a strange style of avant-garde, with extended guitar and keyboard solos, and highly improvised passages.

The artwork is by James Koehnline, photography by Thi-Linh Le and liner notes by Hakim Bey.


Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928 – 2007)


Clickable version

Superb juxtapoem of image-to-music by Youtuber Zapple 101

Does anyone know which Karlheinz Stockhausen piece is on the audio track?

Update: regarding my previous question, the piece is “Mikrophonie 0.1”, here is more from Mikrophonie. (Studie II, 1954)