Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Artist Lisa Petrucci and the Cultural Uplifting of Film and Art. Something Weird?

 Artist Lisa Petrucci and the Cultural Uplifting of Film and Art.  Something Weird?

While one of the greatest cultural institutions in the United States is SOMETHING WEIRD VIDEO, yesterday was the annual announcement of culturally significant films added to the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress.  One of the picks?  TOP GUN.  Hmm.  That film is already preserved on millions of video cassettes taped from viewings on television, but then we do seem to love our war pilots. I hope the screening in DC happens to mention that at least one singer turned down an offer to contribute to the soundtrack because the film glorified war.  When Top Gun came out, sales of hip "bomber" jackets jacked.  I have no idea how many millions saw the film, but Seven million bought the LP.  It all "Take(s) my Breath Away."  The timing is suspect…are we about to enter another "Danger Zone?"  I have never seen the film but was given no choice about the songs. The radio air was polluted with them for years. The film has also spawned a crap-load of war video games…it's the war gift which keep giving!

The REAL culturally significant films are the 2,500 films found and saved by the late Mike Vraney of Something Weird Video.  If you don't know about the company, you should.  In fact, of you don't know about Something Weird Video you simply haven't lived.  God bless them, and God bless Mr. Vraney.  Something Weird's idea of a war flick is, say, the Biker movie She Devils on Wheels where the only weapon is female fists and shivs.

Mr. Vraney did have a secret weapon. though she is hiding in plain sight.  Mike's partner in exploitation cinema was the much loved painter Lisa Petrucci.  A personal hero of mine and a progenitor of the "low-brow" art movement which just keeps moving along.  Ms. Petrucci has considerable art world bonafides, such as a degree in Art History from Bradford college in Massachusetts. She was also director of the Pat Hearn Gallery and the Bess Cutler Gallery.  Both at one time not only ground-breaking, but their influence remains today.

Lisa was a rebel then and now.  She left the hoity-toity of the upward-nose Manhattan art world for the other coast, and was soon creating the paintings for which she is known.  Lisa's enormous collection of kitsch is also admired, but it was her own paintings which took off like an F-14A Tomcat Jet.  Since 1993, her Kickass Kuties have become the standard for, well…kickass cuties!  It is the name of the 2009 book which collected many of her major works.

Like prominent painter Philip Pearlstein, who is famous for placing objects from his folk art collection behind his nudes, you will see some of Petrucci's shelf pieces in the background of her paintings once in a while.  Others have described her work better than I ever could. Feminist with an extra cute twist.  It is enough for me to simply show a few here with her permission.

Here, Lisa takes inspiration from an archival quality film clip of Aleene Dupree from the Something Weird inventory and pairs it with her rendering of same.  Top Gun?  Please.  THESE are culturally uplifting Library of Congress.

Petrucci's paintings are loved and treasured.  They have also, unfortunately, been scarce for a little while.  Ms. Petrucci has been running the business started by Mr. Vraney and the paintings have slowed down a bit.  Who can blame her?  She is preserving and making available one serious big chunk of popular American culture, even if some of them appeared only at the Drive-In.  What is more American and deserving of national recognition than that?

You CAN enjoy Lisa's work at THE ART OF LISA PETRUCCI and send her best wishes. 

Pair of Miniature Carved Bee Skeps in Mustard Paint Folk Art Toy Sculptures Antique

Pair of Miniature carved Bee Skeps in Mustard Paint.  At least that is the only thing I can figure.  My guess is that these were carved for use in a handmade toy farm tableau or some type of decoration?  Clearly old and with thick mustard paint.  Each 3 inches tall, and remnants of green paint on the base.

Folk Art Carved Wooden Toy Bee Skeps (?) 

World's Smallest Cabinet Card Photograph. Trade Card for Photographer Hemphill circa 1900?

An extraordinary cabinet card trade card and picture business card for a Pennsylvania photographer at the turn of the century named Edward W. Hemphill.  Hardly larger than a penny, which is unusual enough, but note his "portrait" which appears to show the photographer (?) peering through a monocle.  Fantastic!   Obtained from one of my favorite photography and antique dealers Natalie Curley, who I have mentioned here before.  See some of her objects for sale HERE

Miniature Cabinet Card Photograph circa 1900 (?) Collection Jim Linderman

19th Century Hand-cut "Forget me Not" Folk Art Whimsy

19th Century Hand-cut Whimsy Forget me Not Dated 1894  Collection Jim Linderman

Larger than Life Size Handmade Folk Art Black Bear Mask

Larger than Life Size Handmade Folk Art Black Bear Mask.  Circa 1950.  
Collection Jim Linderman

19th Century Folk Art Drawing Kings Corner Schoolhouse Ohio by Ora Maxwell

The artist has included a pump, a weather vane, a bell and a notice tacked on the building.  
19th Century Folk Art Drawing Kings Corner Schoolhouse Ohio by Ora Maxwell (You may also enjoy seeing the book Eccentric Folk Art Drawings of the 19th and 20th Centuries HERE)   Collection Jim Linderman

Old Make-do Weathervane with Propeller Folk Art Sculpture

Make-do Weathervane with Propeller Folk Art Sculpture No Date Collection Jim Linderman

Old Folk Art Articulated Figure with Small Arms

Old Folk Art Articulated Figure with Small Arms, Depression era?  Collection Jim Linderman

Hand Painted Folk Art Sign by Ignelzi 20th Century

Hand Painted Folk Art Sign by Ignelzi  20th Century Collection Jim Linderman

End of Day still Today? Folk art Doorstop 20th Century

"End of day" refers to the practice of potters creating whimsical pieces when they are winding down...A practice I thought had ended long ago.  Yet this Arc-Welded piece appears to be just that.

20th century Whimsical "End of Day?" piece cut steel.  Doorstop?  Collection Jim Linderman

Early Automobile with (a) Character Painted on the Radiator!

Early Automobile with (a) Character  Painted on the Radiator! Original photograph collection Jim Linderman.  Thanks to Curley's Antiques.

Our Thanksgiving Snapshots came back from the Shop! Folk Art Installation ???

It was nice to have cousin Joey home for the holiday!

Snapshot circa 1940?  Collection Jim Linderman

Carnival Sideshow Folk Art Ball Toss Bean Bag Toss Original Paint circa 1940

Carnival Sideshow Ball Toss Bean Bag Toss Original Paint circa 1940
24 x 33 with original standing legs.  Collection Jim Linderman

19th Century Folk Art Handmade Jack In the Box Folk Art Toy

My second 19th Century Folk Art Handmade Jack In the Box.  A little prize for a child way back when, and for a handmade toy collector like me today.  See other example HERE.

My WPA Sculpture Restoration Project

WPA era sculputure of a woman, and my restoration project for the last five years.  I'm not a fast worker!  This is from over 100 pieces, with many to go.  Figure is 20 inches tall and nearly three feet around.  Worth saving.  When all the pieces are firmly attached, I'll make a paste out of the "crumbs" which I saved as well and fill in some cracks. 

Real Cowgirls original snapshot photograph circa 1940 Collection Jim Linderman

Cowgirls snapshot circa 1940  Collection Jim Linderman  
You may also enjoy the following photography book by the author. Cyber Shopping!

Old Antique Folk Art Whirligig Collection Jim Linderman

Antique Folk Art Whirligig ex- Barenholtz  Original Paint. Collection Jim Linderman

CLOCKED! Real Men Don't Need Guns RPPC

CLOCKED!  Real Men Don't Need Guns RPPC  circa 1920 Collection Jim Linderman

Sounds from the Air number two Handmade crystal radio antenna

Handmade radio antenna circa 1930?  Collection Jim Linderman   See also Sounds from the Air number ONE

Wooden Antique Folk Art Score Keeper

Wooden Antique Folk Art Score Keeper with Hand Painted sliding numbers. Billiards? Antique Collection Jim Linderman

Vintage Folk Art Sculpture Birds

Vintage Folk Art Sculpture Birds.  Life size paper mache flock circa 1950.
Collection Jim Linderman

Shavings Shop Whirligig Maker and what it Inspired

From a listing on ebay, I found some new information on the whirligig shop shown in this RPPC and which I previously discussed extensively HERE

Turns out it was used as inspiration for a Joseph Lincoln Novel titled SHAVINGS in 1920. 

Antique Folk Art Sculpture Carving Articulated Dancing Man

Antique Folk Art Sculpture Carving Articulated Dancing Man with worn out ankles!  Circa 1940. Collection Jim Linderman

Man with Camera and Man with Telephone

Man with Camera and Man with Telephone circa 1920.  From the BOOK Eccentric Folk Art Drawings : Obscure Drawings of the 19th and 20th Centuries from the Linderman Collection.     "When does an artist become an artist...?" 
 Available in paperback or PDF Download HERE

Bettie Page Nude Camera Club Study by Rudolph Rossi 1952

Bettie Page Nude Camera Club Study by Rudolph Rossi 1952 Original 8 x 10 Hand-tinted by the artist.  Collection Jim Linderman

Delicious Hamburgers and Cheeseburgs Original Paint Folk Art Sign

Painted by Hand Folk Art Sign Circa 1950 Delicious Hamburgers 25 cents and Cheeseburgs 30 cents.  Collection Jim Linderman

You might also be interested in the new book ECCENTRIC FOLK ART DRAWINGS : Obscure Drawings of the 19th and 20th Centuries available in paperback OR affordable instant PDF Download

Dutch Twins at the Tulip Festival Wooden Shoes in Michigan 1943

Two crisp 8 x 10 original photographs from the Holland, Michigan Tulip Festival, a show which persists to this day.  They both show the Baker Twins.  They are joined by friends for the second.  The Tulip Time Festival has been going on since 1929, and as these photos are from 1943, they weren't going to let Hitler's occupation of the real Holland stop the show. 

In 1928, The Holland city council bought 100,000 tulip bulbs from Holland and stuck them in the ground.  They come up every year, and so do buses of tulip fans.  

Holland, MI is super-conservative and super-religious. The "What would Jesus Do" wristbands originated there.  The city recently adopted a backwards anti-discrimination policy which specifically omitted the rights of LGBT citizens as well, but that will go away when they finally learn it's bad for business.  There are some level-headed progressives working to correct the situation, and 25 years from now I suspect the Tulip Festival will be more crowded then ever. I mean please.

"The Baker Twins" photographs, 1943 by anonymous.  Collection Jim Linderman 

You might also be interested in the coffee table book THE BIRTH OF ROCK AND ROLL

Antique Folk Art Sculpture Tin Weathervane Whirligig of an Airplane

Tin Weathervane Whirligig circa 1935?  Original Barn Red, secondary coat radiator silver.  Collection Jim Linderman