Bohemians at Large; Bashful Cartoon Stalks Citizens of New York

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“At first I thought it was only an obsessed fan.” An unnamed actress told me. She was of course referring to the vague sensation many in the Big Apple recently had of being watched by an unseen presence.

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“We stood in front of the statue of liberty and it was just overwhelming.” said a Boston couple and their small yippee dog. The dog was especially frustrated that it’s owners hadn’t seen what was peeking over the horizon. “It wasn’t the sun.” The dog insisted, “there was this thing but it wasn’t the sun!”

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Authorities believe that it hid itself in the glare of the sun so as to avoid detection as it peered around tall buildings. Sometime you might have caught it fleeing in the corner of your eye. What was it? What did it want?

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It’s said to have entered restaurants, shops and museums of local interest. One might have noticed footsteps concealed within one’s own in those darker, damper recesses of the art world.

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Some say it arrived on one of the dubious vessel’s docked at the South Side Pier . . .

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. . . others say it lurks amid the green vastness of central park – with the birds – (it really likes the birds for some reason.)

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There are those who say it dwells deep underground in the tunnels and sewers – with the alligators we are told don’t exist.

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Citizens taking the subway were strongly cautioned not to approach the apparition, and under no circumstances were they to emulate it’s behavior which was described as extremely unsafe.

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As of late, the sightings have stopped. Where did it come from? Where did it go?
Was it passing through on it’s way to some brighter, more slate-tinted place, or was it merely . . . on vacation?

Many thanks to Nire Leetsac for the use of these – not so typical – vacation photos.

Nire Leestsac likes to draw, juggle, and teach. Check out more of her art at: http://nireleetsac.deviantart.com

http://erincasteel.blogspot.com

Or visit her on face book at http://www.facebook.com/erin.casteel

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Bohemians At Large:”Free Art For The People!”

Art for the people!

When was the last time you stumbled onto an art exhibit and were allowed to steal something?

Never?

Doesn’t that just get you goat?

Well here are some people who want to send you on an impromptu Easter egg hunt!

Our first installation takes us back to October, 1869.

The place was a small village in New York state.

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Workers digging a well discovered a marvelous wonder; a 10-foot tall stone man laying buried beneath the fields of an otherwise unremarkable town.

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Thank you very much!

Some said the man was a true giant; turned to stone in the biblical past.

Others said it was a statue; perhaps of some ancient, North American god.

The truth would only make people more determined to catch a glimpse of the Cardiff Giant.

For the statue was only completed a year before its discovery by a man who sought to prove that people were gullible.

The giant now rests in The Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, New York, but if you wish to hunt for your own Cardiff Giant, legend has it they can be found on the opposite coast in Pasadena, California.

Since September 29, 2011 an artist going by the name of Cardiff1869 has been making tiny replicas of the giant, and leaving them scattered about the town of Pasadena.

Nestled on little beds of leaves or hanging by bits of string, these eerie little nudes seek to beguile passers-by.

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This is the basic idea. I had to Photoshop this because I don’t live in Pasadena.

Should you be loath to part with your discovery – feel free to take it home!

For this is the Cardiff1869 free art project!

Though most of us can’t travel to California, we can experience the thrill of discovering one of these little giants by viewing their past hiding places at

http://cardiff1869.com/

I discovered this ingenious art project while reading about the pranksters and con-men at

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/

If your one of those people who doesn’t like it when the truth gets in the way of a good story, or if you just in for some historical high jinks this site makes for some mighty interesting reads.

Want in on this whole installation art thing?

A blogger called The Meeping Koala has developed a yarn-related shenanigan that may succeed where other urban knitters have failed.

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“Hi, I’m a tiny bunny!”

Some know her as person raising awareness of the plight of singles by dropping fuzzy hearts in comic book and video game stores – as well as other haunts of the romantically challenged.

Others know her as the founder of Operation Bunny Drop, aka – The Bunny Drop Project.

Her goal is to unleash an army of tiny yarn bunnies upon unsuspecting citizens, but she can’t do it alone!

The Koala insists that all willing and able knitters make tiny bunnies bearing this sign –

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and leave them in places where they will be discovered by – hopefully appreciative – strangers.

Instructions for knitting a tiny bunny can be found on her site

http://themeepingkoala.wordpress.com/ visit and help hasten the coming of the Yarn apocalypse!

Many thanks to Meeping Koala for the use of the pictures –

and to Wikipedia for duty-free stock photos –

and to Cardiff1869 for sharing his little giants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bohemians at Large in Paris!

The Crime of Backwards Vandalism

How dare they trespass on public property and fix things!

The Paris Pantheon is a sacred monument for the heritage and history of France, a resting place of it’s greatest heroes and most brilliant academic minds. Recently it was also the scene of a crime, at least according to the assistant administer at the time.

I’d be edgy too if someone put me in charge of this thing. It looks very expensive and easy to break.

Back in 2006 the Pantheon’s administrator and his assistant were confronted by a group of ruffians who called themselves Untergunther. The group brashly admitted to invading this national treasure after hours, squatting within it’s confines, and secretly tampering with one of the priceless relics it contained – namely a vintage clock that had been silent for fifty years.

They claimed to have restored the annoying thing which would now require winding and regular maintenance . . . With an already stretched budget, methinks management was not in a position to spend any resources on a thing not even worth mentioning on the tours.

and to your right . . . oh nevermind that’s nothing.

The Administrator was reportedly thrilled, hearing of how these intrepid rogues hid in the building until closing time, and let themselves out through some carelessly unlocked doors. Doors that would grant them passage night after night, until they got a hold of copied keys.

They explored the place from top to bottom – going where no visitors were allowed and no doubt touching things with their unwashed peasant hands.

They soon laid claim to a forgotten chamber just above the ceiling of the pantheon’s famous dome. Here they set up shop, creating a hideout worthy of childhood fantasies. Complete with electricity and internet access, this secret workshop housed a library, and easy chairs that could be folded into unassuming crates should suspicious eyes gaze in.

Also smuggled into this annex was an expert who specialized in antique clocks. He soon discovered why the unrenowned Wagner Clock had stopped functioning.

Apparently someone had taken a crow-bar to its escapement wheel back in the sixties – perhaps a former employee. An electric mechanism had replaced the damaged gears, but that too was deliberately sabotaged. Clearly some one had it in for this hapless time piece.

After dismantling and washing out the rusted works one part at a time, and repairing the damaged wheel, the group removed all evidence of their presence in the building. The only proof being their story, and the newly restored clock.

Naturally the authorities feared for the Pantheon’s security should it’s extreme ineffectiveness became common knowledge. Not surprisingly the current administrator was soon replaced by his more level-headed  assistant, who had a better grasp of law’s letter – if not it’s spirit.

Weeks went by as the group smugly awaited a demonstration of it’s achievement. Fearing their work was for naught they sneaked in once more, on one of the few days the building was closed.

Bells that had not rang in decades chimed on Christmas morning, filling the deserted interior of the neoclassical cathedral.

To the newly promoted assistant, arriving after his vacation, this tick-tocking present was less welcome than a pair of moldy socks. It meant the backwards vandals had struck again.

An expert was hired to return the clock to it’s deteriorating state and Untergunther was taken to court.

Attempts to Sue them however, proved that they hadn’t technically broken any laws – though changes have been made since. It also turns out that trespassing on public property and fixing things is a hard case to sell to a Judge.

The clock itself was only carefully disconnected. The escapement wheel removed. The expert hired to unfix the thing probably never had a request like that in his life and was understandably confused.

You want me to do what now? Break it? couldn’t you just do that yourself?

Unterguther claims it has successfully stolen the wheel from the administrator’s office and plans to try it’s little caper again. Rumor has it they are still going about their business literally over the heads of the Paris Pantheon’s appointed staff.

 Images courtesy of Wikipedia and this flicker account –

http://www.flickr.com/photos/23339804@N00/6014140483/

 

There is also a lot more to the Untergunther story. Dig deeper here –

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/04/unlocking-the-mystery-of-paris-most-secret-underground-society/

 

 

 

Bohemian’s at Large: Eli IS Metal.

Literally – He’s a cyborg 😉

 My brother recently contacted me about his Jewelry making venture. He is in the habit of collecting “Meddly bits” (screws, washers, small machine parts, scraps of rusted or twisted metal, he finds lying around on side-walks and in parking lots.)

Rust! It’s a woman’s best friend – apparently.

He assembles these fragments into pendants. Often he is forced to age store-bought parts with corrosive chemicals that come with “rusting kits” but I’m told this is no substitute for the natural patina of found parts, which conspires to make each of his pieces unique.

Left to right; Timekeeper’s Key – Pendulum of Risk – Conflux Cog – Iscariot’s Cog

He started with the metal and plastic string picks guitar player’s often ware around their necks. These picks have become a fad among anyone who loves music, and are more often than not merely decorative. He used these guitar picks as a base plate for his earlier work, things I feel, really define the wearer as a true fan of metal.

A great way to say – “I Don’t really use these to play the guitar but – arn’t they cool!”

Recently he started to make more complex, labor-intensive pieces that have attracted the attention of his friends and co-workers. He has already sold several, and is optimistic about where this can go.

Eastwest! says the Fool’s Compass. I want it but he is keeping it.

A friend of his owns a café with an adjoining gift shop, and has been after him to display his pieces there.

Wyrd Inc.

Recently he has asked me if I would mind writing a steam punk mythology to accompany his pieces. Larger pieces may be given their own unique stories but here is the one that describes every piece –

He hopes to sell them online using Etsy – though Wyrd Works is still in the works. 

 

Bohemians at Large: This is some ‘Complex S@*!’

Pardon my french, but the name of this art piece just so happens to be – Complex S@*!. 

Where does Godzilla go? Anywhere he wants!

I don’t know what I find funnier; the fact someone actually made this thing, the fact a reputable museum was willing to display it, or the fact it was able to escape and go on a homicidal rampage.

The Paul Klee Centre in Bern, Switzerland, was proud to present an exhibit it called –

East of Eden: A Garden Show,

and before any accuse Switzerland of sullying its reputation as the pinnacle of western civilization know that this literal poo pile was the brain child of an American.

Paul McCarthy was born in 1945 in Salt Lake City Utah and has been treating the people of earth to his intellectual excrement ever since. Some of his early experiments challenge the limits of the human gag reflex, and are a little too graphic to discuss in vivid detail on a site I’d like to think is for everyone. I will sum it up by saying that Paul is a master multi-media Shock Jock, painting his words of wit upon the bathroom stalls of life.

His recent Christmas themed pieces reflect a subtler approach. Featuring a Santa Claus holding an apparently suggestive tree. I considered posting an image but will show you this ‘Sweet Brown Snail’ instead.

I’d be willing to bet It’s the only G-rated thing he has ever done and it was a collaboration with Jason Rhoades

Now back to the dookie.

I forgot to mention their inflatable.

Clearly the Klee Center noticed the hazard posed by these irregularly shaped brown blimps. A system was employed to deflate them should the wind pick up. Mother nature however was not about to miss a chance like this. The system failed and the s@*! hit the fan – tearing loose from its moorings to frolic in the countryside.

A power line was knocked down, and a greenhouse was damaged – as well as an orphanage of all things. Plans to return the sculpture to display have met with controversy.

Fears have been expressed,

of another s@*! storm.

 

Bohemians At Large; Robert Rauschenberg’s “White” paintings.

Robert Rauschenberg’s classic triptych still has critics drawing a blank.

Not long ago I visited the art museum in Huston, Texas and was surprised to find that someone had hung three blank canvases on a wall. “Hey.” I almost screamed at a passing guard, “you forgot to paint these!” Instead I just wrote it off as some invisible bowls of fruit and called it a day.

On my way out I passed a prominent painter carrying three identical canvases. Curious, I followed him, thinking that maybe I’d get some kind of explanation. “Sir what are you doing?” “A reproduction of Rauschenberg’s White paintings.” He set up shop near the panels. I cleared my throat. “You are already finished.” He looked up from his easel. “Indeed I am. That was easy.”

The experience set me to wondering about this Rauschenberg fellow, and the unbelievable amount of guts it must have taken to unveil this paradox. Did he have something against the museum, or did someone remove his masterpiece from the studio far too early? I did some research and found this was only one of a series.

Born in the city of Port Arthur, in the state of Texas in 1925 to uptight, religious parents, this kid seemed destined to do something unorthodox.

After attending art school in Kansas, then France, he found himself in North Carolina’s Black Mountain College, where he was taught by the famous Josef Arbers. Josef had a philosophy – “When you’re in school, you’re not an artist, you’re a student.” – In other words – “shut up you punks and pay homage to the square!”

Josef Arbers – Homage To The Square. I kid you not.

Josef discouraged what he called “Uninfluenced Experimentation” Rauschenberg of course, would have none of that. Claiming he was inspired to do “exactly the reverse” what he was taught.

Rauschenberg made a name for himself in the 1950’s, completing thousands of often nameless paintings. Some were blank, others were adorned with random junk he happened upon while out walking. He died one the most prolific artists on the American scene.

The White Paintings, while not my favorite among Rauschenberg’s works, are still hard paintings to ignore.

My favorites are ‘Monogram’ (AKA – the one with the goat)

That’s alright, I don’t get it either.

 

and ‘Canyon’ (AKA the one with the bird)

What is the significance of the pillow?

The white paintings are shocking even to those who claim to understand modern art. Yet some have apparently drawn inspiration from them.

The Beatles famous “White” Album.

 

 

Bohemians At Large; Pink Yarn Monster Shot Down Over Italy.

I love this thing – but – don’t completely understand why.

The dangers of the recent knitting fad have been discussed in my previous article –

https://rastelly.com/20ll/08/13/bohemians-at-large/

There, I expressed my concern about the Auntie Alliance and their plans to make tacky sweater wearing mandatory. I dismissed their colorful critters as a harmless by-product of an otherwise sinister scheme but clearly I was unaware of an incident that transpired back in 2005.

It seems the beast was conjured by an Austrian group called Gelitin, but fortunately, was taken out by military aircraft as it slowly descended from the night sky. We can only hope that this is the fierce, ancient deity responsible for the current craze, and not one of it’s smaller minions.

My modest estimate places it’s length at some two hundred feet long and our friends at Google Earth have discovered that it’s visible from space.

Purported to have been “knitted by dozens of grannies out of pink wool” (I suspect Missus Flutterbe and her coven of quilters was involved) The sculpture, entitled “Hase” Is German for “Hare.” and rest assured it is completely bio-degradable.

The carcass will be left to rot for the next twenty years presumably as a warning to all extraterrestrial demons seeking to follow in its fuzzy, pink footsteps. Those wishing to pay homage to their fallen master may make a pilgrimage to the great hill Colletto Fava in the Piedmont region of northern Italy.

The art group Gelitin – ponder more of their delicious insanity here –

http://www.gelitin.net/mambo/index.php

had this to say about their colossal achievement – I suppose, in response to cries of WHAT THE &@#* were you thinking.

“The things one finds wandering in a landscape: familiar things and utterly unknown, like a flower one has never seen before, or, as Columbus discovered, an inexplicable continent;
and then, behind a hill, as if knitted by giant grandmothers, lies this vast rabbit, to make you feel as small as a daisy.
The toilet-paper-pink creature lies on its back: a rabbit-mountain like Gulliver in Lilliput.

Happy you feel as you climb up along its ears, almost falling into its cavernous mouth, to the belly-summit and look out over the pink woolen landscape of the rabbit’s body, a country dropped from the sky;

ears and limbs sneaking into the distance; from its side flowing heart, liver and intestines.

Happily in love you step down the decaying corpse, through the wound, now small like a maggot, over woolen kidney and bowel.
Happy you leave like the larva that gets its wings from an innocent carcass at the roadside.
Such is the happiness which made this rabbit.
I love the rabbit the rabbit loves me.”