Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Cyanotype Machines of Blue

Did you know restaurant menus NEVER use blue ink? It is because blue has been shown to decrease the appetite. Think about it. From the Waffle House all the way to the Four Seasons, every shade of bright, vibrant and fresh appears, but blue is a no-no.

in 1842 Sir John Herschel invented the cyanotype, but it was a woman named Anna Atkins who turned it into an art. In one of the most arcane activities I can imagine, and for some curious reason, Dame Atkins decided to collect algae and save them by laying each on light-sensitized paper, creating some 400 images which were published in the first book of photographs. So the very first photograph book was not only published by a woman, it was composed entirely of blue photographs of seaweed. Only 17 copies exist today.

Cyanotypes must be the least expensive photography technique, as the once ubiquitous "blueprints" used by architects and home builders were cyanotypes.

The most extraordinary property of the cyanotype is it's regenerative behavior.
Like a starfish with an arm torn off, they come back! They lose their blue easily, but if a faded cyanotype photograph is stored in a dark environment, a good deal of the original color will return like magic. Maybe we should print money in blue?

Pages from an unidentified book of industrial cyanotypes, no cover or date.  Circa 1920 
Collection Jim Linderman

Liz Renay Bizarre Outsider Artist and Mob Gun Moll

Any artist admired by John Waters is at the very least interesting, he being an informed, if unconventional collector.  This HAS to be especially true if the painter happens to be a former gun moll, showgirl and self-admitted lover of 2,000 men. Her autobiography was titled My First 2,000 Men and while I haven't read it, I believe her. She had two week long marriage at age 15. It set the pattern, but she survived.
Ms. Renay lived a rich life.  She knew and consorted with Mobster Mickey Cohen, and she loved him, I guess.  At least, she loved him enough to help him launder some money which came up during the investigation of the murder of mobster Albert Anastasia.  That is not a small time gangster. That is a gangster when they were bigger than General Motors.  Anastasia was said to have been done in by Crazy Joe Gallo.
Liz passed away on January 22, 2007.
One of the best ways to remember Pearl Elizabeth Dobbins, her real name, would be to appreciate the fabulously goofy outsider art paintings she created. There aren't enough paintings by showgirls.

Unlike most self-taught naives, Liz eventually went from obscure to big time, finally achieving a major show at adventurous and prestigious art gallery Deitch Projects in New York.  Art snobs like to say an artist's background doesn't have anything to do with their artistic esthetics, painterly qualities and such, but I think Deitch knew a good story when he saw one.

The magnificent exhibition of paintings was put together by the Burlesque Hall of Fame and Deitch. Not only are they huge in scale and scope, they are bizarre and that's great.  That whole "Low-Brow" art movement owes her a debt. The installation was a few years ago, but let's help it keep making some news. It is said she painted 150 works.

View the show HERE, which was installed with numerous objects from her career.  Her work, which sold for a few grand in the 1960s is holding firm...see one for sale at 15 grand HERE

Deitch Projects is HERE. Burlesque Hall of Fame is HERE, and the images are theirs.  A nice slide show also appears HERE on artnet.
My First 2,000 Men is HERE.   

The Horrible Gag Cartoons of Anonymous

The Horrible Gag Cartoons of Anonymous.  Circa 1960.  Collection Jim Linderman

Lair of the Goatman

Free Thinking Christian Mission Headquarters of Chess McCartney the Goatman.  Your call...
Original Postcard dated on reverse 1957.  Jefferson County, Georgia.  
Collection Jim Linderman

GINGY and his Friends!

It's GINGY and his friends.   Thanks and a tip of a Gingy hat to Shannon Regan.

Folk Art Embroidery Pair Risque Man and Woman with Trapunto Butts

Trapunto is the technique of padding sections of a textile to create a puffy, stuffed decorative feature.  These "morning ritual" padded butts qualify!  Matching hand towels.  Man holds razor, woman a powder puff.  Circa 1950.  Collection Jim Linderman

Home Visit from a Burlesque Queen c. 1950 Original Photographs

Home Visit from a Burlesque Queen and her trunk of changes.  Group of original photographs, circa 1950.  Collection Jim Linderman

August Mack makes a Serpent! Giant Folk Art Snake

A giant devil rattlesnake acts up through the power of Satan (and electricity running through the conduit pipe) which brings him life!   It's Augie Mack's giant automaton!  The powerful creation of Mr. Mack weighed 300 pounds. The blog post HERE tells as much of the story as is known. 

April Fools Day Pair of Press Photographs 1937

April Fools Day Pair of Press Photographs 1937.  Embellished by Hand.
Collection Jim Linderman

Occupational Vintage Photo: Whiskey Still, Worker and Fiddle

Occupational Vintage Photo: Whiskey Still, Worker and Fiddle.  Circa 1900.  
Collection Jim Linderman

Best Film Opening Ever? Crime Without Passion

THIS is how to open a film.  Above is an original still photograph from the stunning opening of the film Crime Without Passion being produced.  Enjoy this clip...and marvel.  Film making at the highest level, and 85 years ago.  Still 8 x 10 promotional photograph collection Jim Linderman

Folk Art Morton Salt Girl. Early 20th Century Appropriation of Brand Images Outsider Art

Here, Dorothy Hudgens recreates the Morton Salt Girl (invented 1914) in her presumably school age manner. The piece comes from a folder dated 1926.  Dorothy Hudgens lived with two artistic sisters. All were pretty good!  Still I wonder about branding young children. 

Outsider art fans might be interested in this piece by the artist James Castle.  Same time period, same salt?  James Castle piece is taken from the web, I am afraid I don't know who owns the work.
Collage c. 1925 Dorothy Hudgens.  Collection Jim Linderman.  
Thanks to Natalie Curley Antiques.

Harry Bentz Cowboy Artist / Western Folk Artist

 Among outsider art enthusiasts, The phrase "real deal" comes up often. Those who have become familiar with the material know what it means.  It could be a certain look to the work. It can also be as much the artist's motivation as skill. Harry Bentz is what once would have been called the work of a Sunday painter or a folk artist.  An amateur. Maybe he was an American primitive.  Maybe not.    

Actually the most accurate label would be Cowboy Artist. Mr. Harry Bentz was the real deal when it came to roping, riding and even mining. A real cowboy who made art. Untrained, but highly motivated to learn and create. 

There are a few brief biographies. My guess is that Bentz found himself some time and started using it to make art. In the 1960s he painted what could be some 200 works. Along the way, he learned that through some primitive xerox (ayup) and a goofy photo stat process of some sort (ayup) he could make editions!  Of a sort. The cowboy took advantage of modern technology available to the common man.  Again speculating, I believe the artist wanted something to sell in a rack alongside his paintings at events.  How many of these could range into the hundreds.

As with many primitive painters, he used found material to paint on. Some were uneven, large boards.  Many of the sketches are on the reverse of used paper from the Bureau of Mines.   

Apparently Bentz was working on a book.  Among his papers are handwritten captions for "Sketches of the West" which would have been 60 pages.

The drawings would not have been shown art fairs, but at western events. In some ways, as far outside of the contemporary art world as one can be.  He fished, hunted, broke horses, played the guitar and took out pack teams as a hunting guide. In 1951 he became a member of the Rodeo Cowboys Association. He began serious painting while working on a ranch near Kennewick, Washington. Reflected in his work is the life he lived.
All paintings and drawings collection Jim Linderman.  


Love During Wartime Vietnam Edition. Pair of Snapshots

Love during wartime, Vietnam Edition.  Identified as "house girls" on reverse.  Anonymous photographs, circa 1970 Collection Jim Linderman  One of a continuing series on Dull Tool Dim Bulb.

Trench Art with a Twist Hammered copper sculpture made from old copper stills after World War One

Trench Art with a twist, but not all trench art was made in a trench. Generally, the term refers to art sculpture made from expended artillery shell casings. Nothing to do but stay down, cringe at the incoming and hammer copper. However this group of decorative items was made by a different group of soldiers.  As noted on the reverse of the image, These fine examples were made by disabled soldiers as they recuperated. The material is taken from the remnants of old copper stills.  Prohibition provided the material!  World war one ended in 1918.  Prohibition started in 1920.  Must have been a bitter pill to have fought for your country only to return without having even a beer. 
The Trench Art  of the Great War website refers to pieces like those above as convalescent soldier art.  The Wikipedia entry for Trench Art suggests "Outsider Art" as a related category.

Original undated, anonymous 8 x 10 press photograph circa 1920.  No credits on photograph. 

Collection Jim Linderman

Niuglo's Huge Camera! Mexican Pin up Photographer for Vea Magazine

It's Niuglo's huge camera!  Largely a mystery, the staff photographer of Pin up magazine VEA was an unrecognized master. In this cover photograph from 1954, he places a model next to a massive antique camera. He appear to have been staff photographer for VEA magazine from 1941 to 1954. He also sold work to Star Magazine. Niuglo is likely a palindrome of his surname Olguin. He also produced and sold postcards of beautiful Mexican Women, possibly at tourist shops and through the mail. 
VEA magazine (Mexico) 1954 collection Jim Linderman.

El fotógrafo personal de Pin up revista VEA era un maestro desconocido Niuglo. En esta fotografía de portada desde 1954, pone un modelo junto a una antigua cámara masiva. Parecía haber sido fotógrafo para VEA revista desde 1941 a 1954. También vendió la obra a la revista Star.
Niuglo es probablemente un palíndromo de su apellido Olguin. Curarmepara produce y vende postales de hermosas mujeres mexicanas, posiblemente en tiendas para turistas y a través del correo.