Pioneering Dutch botanist, surgeon, and obstetrician Frederik Ruysch built dozens of anatomical displays using genuine specimens, designed to aid both professional and lay persons in anatomy and nature. He used preserved tissues, bones and plants to adorn both jars of wet-preserved specimens and articulated skeletons. These dioramic displays presented tableaus that conveyed a message, a memento mori for the living, using the very substances of death. Rather than gruesome, his works used delicate and poetic means to relay this stern message.
This tshirt print represents one of his most famous tableaus, constructed of human fetal skeletons and the various tissues gathered from his obstetric practice for the royal dutch family. Printed in white plastisol ink on quality CANVAS brand tshirts.
See some of my assemblage/preservation specimen work in this show curated by Allison Meier at Urban Glass, Brooklyn. The show focuses on Dead Horse Bay, a little known New York beach park on Jamaica Bay, where refuse of several decades can be found washing ashore. Among the detritus, horse bones, remnants of the bone rendering plants from the turn of the century give the place its name. The place has been an inspiration to some of my work; I find it’s glass bottles and bones, old toys and everyday objects in various states of tide and weather worn decay fascinating.
The show opened February 1 and remains on view until April 1, 2017. I have three pieces on view, two of them are wet preserved specimens: Seahorse and Irwin, both of which utilize decorative Assemblage in the style of Frederik Ruysch, and another is a Natural History Sculpture using only elements from DHB.
Jan Toorop was a Dutch illustrator and painter in Symbolist and Art-Nouveau style, whose influnce can be seen in Gustav Klimt’s work. To a lesser extent than Alphonse Mucha, he worked in commercial advertisement. I first encountered his work in the album artwork of british punk/postpunk band UK Decay, and avidly searched his work ever since. Artist: Jan Toorop (1858 – 1928)
Medium: Black and yellow chalk, pencil and paint on brownish paper
Size: 60 x 75 cm
Location: Kröller-Müller Museum, Netherlands
This is a botanical woodcut, with contemporary colorization. It and many others first appeared in the 1562 Discorsi (“comments”, directed at Materia Medica of Dioscorides) by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, later reprinted in 1750s in Traité des Arbres et Arbustes qui se cultivent en France en Pleine Terre. The plant depicted is the Hawthorne Tree in the genus Crataegus. I often use their spikes in my artwork. While working on a new concept I discovered this image in my research, and added the file to my reference library.
Artist: Mattioli Botanical Prints c1750
Title: Crataegus, Hawthorne
Come visit me and a dozen other vendors of the strange and unusual at the Morbid Anatomy Flea Market this Sunday, May 29th at the Bell House. I will have new patches and prints, newly prepared and preserved animal specimens, and some antique and vintage pieces. My friends The Skull Next Door, Purevile, Daisy Tainton, Obscura Antiques, Divya Anantharaman, Invisible Brooklyn Antiques and more will all be there with taxidermy old and new, natural history creations, vintage jewelry and objects, antiques, books, ephemera and more.
Time: 12pm to 6pm (11am for members) Hope to see you all there!!
Location: The Bell House, 149 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215 (A block away from the Morbid Anatomy Museum)
I have recently expanded my online vending presence to the music webzine http://www.cvltnation.com’s designer marketplace, Cvltnation Bizarre. You can buy a limited selection of my work there as well. It’s proved to be a good move so far, and during the month of May I have reduced prices on patches to $2 (available through Etsy for the regular price of $3. The audience at CvltNation is certainly more directly in touch with the aesthetic I have been cultivating in the images I print. Natural History, Morbid Anatomy and Deathpunk Streetwear. So visit their site and have a look at some of the other vendors they host, many of which make and sell a lot of enviable wares.
This is a diagram of the equipment used in the 18th and 19th century trepanation process, including several gauges of bores and a usage illustration. This is a public domain image taken from the book From Skulls to Brains: 2500 Years of Neurosurgical Progress, published in 2008 by The American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Print area is approximately 16″x12″.
Buy On Etsy
Printed on black ‘Canvas’ brand cotton jersey t-shirt for excellent fit and quality. The color is an eggshell white, printed with discharge ink, a special ink that permeates the fiber of the t-shirt. Unlike most inks such as plastisol or water base that simply rest on top of the fiber and are prone to flaking off or leaving heavy deposits, discharge effects and bonds with the very material of the garment. Also available in:
• white plastisol on black shirt
• black waterbase in on grey shirt
• red plastisol on black shirt
Sunday December 13th is once again the biggest day of the season! Morbid Anatomy holds it’s annual holiday bazar, returning to the Bell House. I, alongside a dozen plus vendors of the unusual, scientific, natural, and strange from crafts to antiques.
I’ll have a little bit of everything: screen printed apparel and accessories, wet preserved specimens, natural history assemblage, vintage/handmade/upcycled curios and a brand new concept I call a “Mortarium”. These are various bottles of interesting shapes both vintage and contemporary (many thanks to The Library Bar, NYC), holding a melange of dead plants, flowers, bones, bugs, decayed fabrics and book fragments, epigramms, industrial relics and discarded treasures.
I’ll be selling along with TheSkullNextDoor, PureVile, Invisible Brooklyn, HoardaCulture, Obscura Antiques, Blue Meadow and many more!
The Morbid Anatomy Flea Market Holiday Bazarr
Sunday December 13th
Museum Members allowed entry at 11am
$1 donation for entry at the door
The Bell House
149 7th Street@2nd Ave in Gowanus Brooklyn
Smith & 9th Street F/G Train
Another favorite from Jean-Léon Gérôme. Pollice Verso is Latin for a gesture used during gladiatorial matches, given by the spectators when they wanted to indicate the victor should finish off his fallen opponent. The reverse signal would direct the gladiator to spare the victim instead. This painting shows the Emperor giving the gesture and the crowd follows his cue. The coliseum is reproduced from accurate drawings Gérôme studied from, and the armor based on findings at Pompeii, a popular archaeological find at the time, although it is not correctly assembled in this representation. Note the shafts of light that descend from the arena’s ceiling.
Artist: Jean-Léon Gérôme
Title: Pollice Verso
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Location: Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Written in the early 1930s while Isherwood was living in Berlin as an English teacher, he witnesses the simmering political situation as the Nazi party rises to power and prominence. As a former resident of Berlin in the later half of the first decade of the new century, I was able to follow Isherwood down the streets and through the routes he travels, into the hinterhofs and up the dark altbau stairwells. He describes in vivid detail the characters he meets, the crooks, the dandies, the whores, the pimps and crooks. The stories would later be woven together in a pastiche of scenes, characters and impressions for Broadway in 1966, then as the 1972 film “Cabaret” with Liza Minnelli and a very well cast Michael York.
The grim political tone aside, reading these stories transported me back into Berlin instantly. Nearly all the characters he encounters had their counterparts to my own experience. It’s an intimate look into this very special and unique time period from a very personal and sincere perspective – it’s no wonder this collection is so highly regarded in literary circles.
The introductory character, Mr. Norris, is a man of little scruples, a failed dilettante and businessman of no certain legitimacy. He swindles, schemes and manipulates his way through life, all the while remaining very charming in a certain way. He reminds me of the storyline set forth in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Satansbraten”. He seems to also be alluded to in “Cabaret” as the writer who Brian is paid to translates the smut book for. Sally Bowles is of course the focal point as the cabaret girl, who is in the book actually British, not American, as portrayed in the film adaptation.