Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Henry McCausland

Published June 8, 2010 by Molly




When given the opportunity to gaze upon Henry McCausland’s work, it’s hard not to let the adjectives pile up willy-nilly. One’s eyes glaze over in delight and a series of words come to mind: enchanting! vivid! smart! detail-oriented!

Maybe this isn’t such a bad response to have. Maybe this is what good illustration should do: provoke the imagination, please the eyeballs, stymie the brain. In any case, there’s so much to see.

Riley Payne

Published April 22, 2010 by Molly

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Riley Payne’s meticulous drawings of trees, kids, animals, plants, greasy spoon breakfasts and kissing couples are shot through with a quiet humor and mind-boggling attention to detail. Each drawing takes months to finish, and it’s no surprise: just look at them!

We especially enjoy the breakfast series and feline extravaganza, because everyone loves bacon and kitties.

Coming Soon

Published April 8, 2010 by Spike

The Bill Tracy Project

Published April 2, 2010 by Molly

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Apropos of our post on the Theme Park Maps archive, WLYS reader Hugh kindly pointed us in the direction of the Bill Tracy Project. Reader, if you are interested in spelunking down into your most fearful childhood memories, we’d recommend you start paying attention right now.

According to its manifesto, the Bill Tracy Project is a website founded in order to “consolidate all known Bill Tracy information into one dedicated resource, thus, creating the largest official source of information pertaining to this subject in existence.” Um…who is the Bill Tracy to whom we owe such a fervent resource? Good question!

As for an answer, hmm. Where to begin. Tracy was a master of dark rides—theme park rides, that is, designed to convey guests through an indoor space. Early dark ride technology centered around things like ultraviolet lights and fluorescent paint and moved onto mechanically complex systems designed to give the illusion of, say, a female victim being severed in two by a circular saw.

Tracy’s hallmarks included complex facades and detail-oriented creepiness, and some of his most famous rides included the Whacky Shack at Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, Kansas and The Haunted House at Trimper’s Amusements in Ocean City, Maryland. Check out the site’s insanely comprehensive biography as well as the section full of rad concept drawings and ride layouts. Spectacular!


Published March 26, 2010 by Rubin


Phantogram is a duo from Saratoga Springs, NY and I’m pretty sure from the blog posting and comments I’ve seen and received directly this band made a lot of new fans by playing shows at SxSw this past week.

My friend Mike told me about the Phantogram record Eyelid Movies and I was really into it after a few listens. The synths, sampling, drum beats, melodic kinda 90’s sound with energy and the really pretty female / male vocals. It really grows on you quickly and I suggest you listen a few times and find the many videos floating around from their live performances.

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Listen to: “Mouth Full Of Diamonds”

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Listen to: “Turn It Off”

Find out more at Myspace. Pick up Eyelid Movies. Go see them live.

I’m Here

Published March 19, 2010 by Graham


It’s here, just in time for the weekend! We first brought you word of Spike’s new movie last August, when it was still just a “secret robot short film.” After the Sundance premiere in January, Nieves released a zine, Opening Ceremony designed flipbooks and a window display, and now finally Absolut has posted I’m Here in its entirety online. Go check out the robot romance if you’re 21 or older, and stay tuned for even more radness surrounding this lovely short!

An ambitious project collapsing

Published March 3, 2010 by Molly

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The greatest trick the internet ever pulled was convincing the world it didn’t exist. Just kidding. The greatest trick the internet actually pulled was turning itself into a machine for fine-grained aggregating. If the word “curate” wasn’t already abused to death, we’d say that the internet facilitates the kind of link-curating that allows us to absorb the best news/music/fashion/whatever just by clicking around to a few faithful aggregators.

Among these is an ambitious project collapsing, which assembles images from around the net that have only their visual peculiarity and resonance in common. Among the works on view: Joan Crawford in a sweater that her husband doodled on, crepe paper masks, LPs from West Africa, old photographs of immigrants and hobo whittlers, needlepoint pillows, sinister puppets, chairs, backpacks, and what looks like an image from a family photo circa 1984.

If you like surprises and virtuosity, this is the aggregator for you!

Eat When You Feel Sad

Published February 11, 2010 by Molly

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Eat When You Feel Sad by Zachary German is a novel about watching television, feeding a cat, microwaving veggie burgers, Gchatting, riding a bike, drinking orange juice, wishing for a girlfriend, listening to music, brushing one’s teeth and getting mustard on one’s clothes. It’s written with the kind of exacting detail we usually associate with instruction manuals or a child’s recollection of a dream, although it’s actually neither.

Tao Lin rhapsodizes on the book’s back cover: “Moving, funy, emotional and—in a revolutionary way—both highly-readable and avant-garde, Eat When You Feel Sad excites me very much in terms of literature and also life itself.”

Novels, as they say, can come in many forms.

RxArt x Yayoi Kusama

Published December 22, 2009 by Molly

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Esteemed woman of arts and letters Margaret Drabble recently released The Pattern in the Carpet, a nonfiction chronicle of jigsaw puzzle history laced with the author’s own personal jigsaw lore. Even in the age of the internet, it seems, analog jigsaw puzzles are a perennial attraction for curious humans.

This truth is one that RxArt has adapted for charitable purposes. The non-profit organization is known for its commitment to bringing art into healthcare facilities as a therapeutic aid to patients, encouraging artistic expression and curating contemporary installations in hospital settings. It’s a noble mission— and an effective one too.

For the holidays, then, RxArt has teamed up with Yayoi Kusama to produce a limited-edition 200-piece puzzle of Kusama’s 2008 Self Portrait. The vivid hues and simple geometry of Kusama’s piece make for an eye-popping image and a puzzle that is bound to divert the Margaret Drabbles of the world. Dan Colen and Terry Richardson have also collaborated on puzzles with the organization, providing puzzles for art-lovers of all proclivities.

Marc Bell’s “Hot Potatoe”

Published December 7, 2009 by Molly

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Examining a Marc Bell drawing is like gaining entry into the mind of a psychotically talented and slightly autistic doodle-machine. It’s art that’s fun to look at but funner to snuggle up with, which is why we’re happy that the Vancouver artist has released a book of comics and artwork on drawn and quarterly. Hot Potatoe combines experiments in typography with comic stories and stand-alone assemblages, and at an imposing 272 pages, the book contains enough of Bell’s work— or “Fine Ahtwerks” as he calls it— to keep you armchair-traveling for hours.

It’s worth mentioning that Bell scored a glowing mention in the New York Times, where Ken Johnson compared his drawings and paintings to “medieval manuscript pages with collage and sculptural elements sometimes added” and praised the “wild shifts of space, time and scale.” Meanwhile, LA Weekly has called the artist “a riddle wrapped in a conundrum further wrapped in salty bacon.” Yummers!

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