Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Electric Snake Scarecrow

Those high-tech scientists at General Electric have solved many problems, but this “Electric Snake” scarecrow wasn’t one of them. Let’s read the press release from 1951: ELECTRIC SNAKE “SHOCKS” ROBINS An “electric snake” keeps marauding robins out of a GE engineer’s garden here. Simple but effective, the “snake” itself consists of two basic parts: a 12 foot light bamboo fishpole and a thin heart-shaped piece of aluminum about 10 inches in diameter. The pole is striped with alternating bands of green and red paint. The head is white with glaring black eyes. What scares the birds away is the fact that the “snake” moves. A clock motor connected to the pole at its balance point keeps it turning continuously. Squirrels, who like strawberries, are unimpressed by the contraption, according to Halsey W. Kline who built the “snake.” Original General Electric News Bureau promotional photograph, September 6 1951. Collection Jim Linderman / Dull Tool Dim Bulb

Antique Dancing Man 19th century Folk Art Handmade and Homemade Comic Character

Antique Dancing Man 19th century Folk Art Handmade and Homemade Comic Character. In amazing condition after having been stored in an envelope since 1906. It was mailed from Arlington, Kansas. He "leeched" a bit and left a shadow on the envelope paper. Less than six inches tall and fully functioning. Handmade paper dancing newspaper cartoon figure 1906. Collection Jim Linderman

Hudson Marquez Artist and Art

Hudson Marquez Artist and Art (Originally posted on the original Vintage Sleaze Blog by Jim Linderman 2013)

I believe Hudson Marquez is the first participant in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary series to have been voted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame, but I first knew of his work without even knowing it…through familiarity with the Cadillac Ranch and the work of the Ant Farm Collective.  Cadillac Ranch is off the scale as far as environmental art goes…one of the most famous art installations in history, and one which makes the late windbag Christo seem as profound as Leroy Neiman.  There are plenty of contemporary artists making large scale environmental sculpture and installations, but the Cadillac Ranch is the effing mother tailfin of them all.
Which is why we are thrilled not only to have Mr. Marquez as a fan of Vintage Sleaze, but now a willing participant in the series.  As is the case of most notables, Hudson is modest and self-effacing.   Following is his entire autobiography, dutifully pecked into his cellphone especially for us on request.

 "Hudson Marquez Was born in New Orleans Louisiana. He got out as soon as possible.  His travels finally led him to San Francisco where he helped found the Ant Farm, and arts collective that was very active in the late 60s early 70s. He became addicted to video and in 1972 Started the video group TVTV. This group of small format video pioneers had a great run, Producing a number of award winning documentaries for PBS. In 74 he created the Cadillac Ranch sculpture in Amarillo, Texas. Now living in Los Angeles, ex- pornographer Marquez splits his time between writing and painting pictures of cars and girls."
Well, with all respect, we can do better than that.

Marquez has been a provocateur his entire life.  A story teller as much as a person who lived to tell the tales… and considerable tales there are.  Like being with Led Zeppelin tales.  Like meeting Charlie Manson tales.  Like Canned Heat (look them up. listen and learn kids) tales and, well…pussy tails.  Hudson likes women and it shows.  He also once said all women should drive in high heels, a quote not only tailor made for this site, but one which could be pondered and debated in many circles.

Anyone who makes it through the decades as active, as political, as involved and as talented as Mr. Marquez deserves kudos.  That he has survived it with a glorious sense of humor and irony is admirable.  Trust it was not easy for smart people to live through the 1960s and 1970s.  Hudson is cracker-smack smart and he survived it.

A mere dip into the world of Hudson Marquez is to have the major cultural high and low points of several decades circle you like a tornado.

Mr. Marquez has work showing now at the
La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Angeles. 

Hudson's work is Acrylic and Ink on canvas now.  Big ones. With big roots from New Orleans.  Hudson is one of the few folks around who can put Professor Longhair across the table from Jayne Mansfield and make it work.  Hudson knows without Ike Turner, Tina would still be Anna Mae Bullock from Nutbush, Tennessee and if he were looking over my shoulder as I write,  I would proudly tell him I saw Ike and Tina from the first row in a gymnasium in 1971 blowing smoke right up the Ikettes skirts the entire show.  In fact, I love Hudson so much, I am putting a teeny cribbed photo of my vantage just for him.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the post here OR Hudson, but I think he'll like it.

Although above, Hudson says he was glad to get out of New Orleans, it stayed with him.  There is nothing more valuable for a contemporary artist to have in his blood than some New Orleans, and the ghosts of the city meet an amazing crew of icons in his paintings.

A fabulous, essential, hilarious interview with Hudson Marquez is HERE

Essential reading on Cadilac Ranch is HERE

Why would the Outsider Artist Justin McCarthy sign a painting as by Rubens ?

A cruise ship lounger on deck with a bright red sunburned face. But why would Justin McCarthy sign a painting as by "Rubens" Justin McCarthy suffered what has been called "a major nervous breakdown" from 1917 to 1921 or so, some years of which he was in an institutional setting.This occurred shortly after his well-to-do family left him (as a young man) to wander the Louvre. The story of how he painted himself back to reality has been often told. But the signature? During his recovery McCarthy signed numerous names to his work, but Art scholar Nancy Green Karlins Thoman deserves the credit for revealing some of McCarthy's hand written notes from the time period in her dissertation “Justin McCarthy (1891-1977) The Making of a 20-century Self-Taught Painter.” In a sketchbook from 1919 - 1920 he jotted down his impressions of the great artists noting their characteristics as he remembered them. Among them Van Dyke (sic) Rembrant (sic) and Whistler. And for Rubens? McCarthy wrote “Rubens - red agent, ruby red.” He certainly couldn’t have been intending to copy Rubens with a woman on the deck of a steamer but in his somewhat troubled mind it made sense. To the artist, it was the color red. Years later his friend and patron Sterling Strauser had McCarthy go back and sign many works. Hence, his own signature appears as well! Justin McCarthy Untitled (Woman on a Ship) circa 1920 - 1930? Collection Jim Linderman

Antique Folk Art Paper Shadow Puppet Figures late 19th - early 20th century. Collection Jim Linderman

Shadow puppets and shadow play is an early art form with many relatives. Paper cuts. shilouette cuts, even the more common hand shadow which is known as ombromanie. Often associated with Asian cultures,there are plenty of Western examples. In an earlier post on the blog I discussed hand puppetry and much of what was said relates to those fellows. “…the early practitioner who would travel from gig to gig (or birthday party to school assembly) often had a patter to go along with the work...moral tales, jokes, and frequently an agenda of either the person paying for the show or the artist. But it wasn't necessary. The mere, temporary existence of the work was enough. Like the chalk talkers I love so much, the art form was often, and is today when you can see it, frequently hijacked by the religious prothelesizer. Get thee before a light! I don't think they do any "in and out" shadows with a circle and a thrusting digit, but that is probably the most popular example today, and usually made in a dorm room or, if you can find a spot, a well-lit corner of the local tavern.” These are early examples found as a group, cut by an expert and lovingly preserved. The notables include Shakespeare, Christ and “a monk” of unknown name. Six late 19th, early 20th century hand cut shadow puppets of paper. Collection Jim Linderman

Love During Wartime wood carving

A folk art miniature carving entirely from one piece of wood, even the tree. Dated 1945, and likely a gift to honor a soldier home, or to encourage the start of a family tree! A mere 3 inches tall, with original paint. Folk Art Carving of a Couple 1945 Collection Jim Linderman

Antique Ivory Soap Carving of Christ c.1930 Folk Art Sculpture

The Ivory soap company formed the National Soap Sculpture Committee in the 1920s. Based on the soap patina, I think this piece dates to that era! Here’s a bit from the Procter and Gamble brochure of 1936: “For young and old, for amateur and professional artists, soap sculpture offers a new and satisfying medium for artistic expression. Thoroughly democratic in spirit, and well within reach of all, carving in soap has become firmly established in America.” They also published a 31 page book on “The Development and Use of Soap Sculpture” selling for a dime. This fellow is 3 inches wide and 4 inches tall, and is certainly a prize-winner in my eyes. Antique Soap Carving of Christ, circa 1930. Collection Jim Linderman / Dull Tool Dim Bulb.