Simon Marsden’s Photography

Posted in Death, Photography with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2016 by elgrayso

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Simon Marsden (1 December 1948 – 22 January 2012) was an English photographer and author. He is known best for his uncommon black-and-white photographs of allegedly haunted houses and places throughout Europe. The first of his works were published in photography periodicals at the end of the seventies. Two grants from the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1975 and 1976 allowed Marsden to undertake extensive journeys throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, photographing the architectural subjects and varied landscapes he encountered.

Marsden’s particular interest was “eerie” motifs like graveyards and old ruins, as well as the legends and tales that are often connected with these places. Yet the gloomy atmosphere of Marsden’s pictures is not based on careful choice of the motifs alone, but to the same degree on Marsden’s photography technique, which included the use of infrared film. Marsden’s photographs already became world-famous and are exhibited at a large number of museums. [from Wikipedia]

Juan Cabana’s Mermaids

Posted in Animals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2013 by elgrayso

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Mr Cabana has created an entire menagerie of mermaids, sea monsters and aliens, some of which he offers for sale on eBay under the name “seamystery”. Cabana does not specifically state that his creatures are sculptures in his eBay descriptions. Instead, he creates fictional cover stories to go with the sculptures that include such information as how and where the particular creature was supposedly washed ashore and subsequently discovered. In a Small WORLD PodCast interview, the artist claims that he gives the items a cover story to create excitement about the sale and add an element of fun. He says that he at first made clear in his auction listings that he had actually made the objects but that approach “seemed like it was boring”. Adding a story, he says, generates a lot more excitement. He assumes that most potential buyers will understand that the stories are tongue in cheek. Within the context of their original eBay listings, this assumption is not unreasonable. However, when the pictures and stories “escape” into cyberspace and get passed around out of their original context, they are apt to deceive many recipients. It should be noted that the images are taken from the ebay listings and distributed via email without Mr Cabana’s permission or knowledge.
Although his works may not be to every body’s taste, Cabana really is a talented sculpture. His bizarre but very lifelike creations are quite outstanding. The artist uses a variety of materials including fish and animal skin, animal skulls, steel and plastic. [from Hoax-Slayer]

To learn more about Juan Cabana and his mermaids, visit his website www.thefeejeemermaid.com.
To learn more about Feejee mermaids visit my other post on them.

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Richard Teschner’s Puppets

Posted in Dolls with tags , , , , , , , on March 25, 2013 by elgrayso

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Richard Teschner, puppeteer who developed the artistic potentialities of the Javanese rod puppet for western puppet theatre.

Teschner studied art in Prague and was already an accomplished puppeteer and stage designer when, in 1906, he established his own marionette company in Prague. Five years later, while travelling in the Netherlands, he became interested in the rod-puppet figures brought by Dutch explorers from Java. Returning to Vienna, he opened a small rod-puppet theatre called Figuren Spiegel (Figure Mirror). Teschner variations on the Javanese figure resulted in such figures as the woman whose chalk-white face changes into a skull and the gorilla whose lower and upper lips retract to bare fangs. The puppets were controlled by a central rod and had a network of internal strings to manipulate hand and leg movements, bending to the front or back, and sensitive facial expressions.

Teschner’s work with rod puppets influenced leaders of the 20th-century puppet revival and contributed significantly to the popularity of rod-puppet theatres throughout Europe and the United States. [from Encyclopedia Britannica]

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Weegee the Photographer

Posted in Photography with tags , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2013 by elgrayso

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Weegee was the pseudonym of Arthur Fellig (June 12, 1899 – December 26, 1968), a photographer and photojournalist, known for his stark black and white street photography. Weegee worked in the Lower East Side of New York City as a press photographer during the 1930s and ’40s, and he developed his signature style by following the city’s emergency services and documenting their activity.[1]Much of his work depicted unflinchingly realistic scenes of urban life, crime, injury and death. Weegee published photographic books and also worked in cinema, initially making his own short films and later collaborating with film directors such as Jack Donohue andStanley Kubrick. [from Wikipedia] weegee-aka-arthur-fellig-ca-1952-naked-hollywood-bookweegee-recto140a3dba4d-28e1-4743-95d0-8d1a01ba599cWEEGEE_1938_Children_on_Fire_Escapetumblr_m5j2fxvHTK1r146zvo1_12808weegee_2070_19939_weegee_133_1982_custom-c1b5ee3b348e309c8996d24e4fdf0e0f37e1b95e-s6-c10Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 5.53.25 PM

Ape Woman Buried

Posted in Death, Science with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by elgrayso

This website doesn’t often feature recent news, but there was an interesting story that came out just over a week ago that I thought I would share.
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Mexican ‘ape woman’ buried 150 years after her death

An indigenous Mexican woman once described as the “ugliest woman in the world” has been buried more than 150 years after her death and a tragic life spent exhibited as a freak of nature at circuses around the world.

She sang and danced for paying audiences, becoming a sensation who also toured Europeand Russia. She and Lent married and had a son, but she developed a fever related to complications from childbirth, and died along with her baby in 1860 in Moscow. Her remains ended up at the University of Oslo in Norway.

Mexican ambassador Martha Bárcena Coqui, who is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, formally received Pastrana’s coffin at a ceremony on 7 February at Oslo University Hospital before the coffin was flown to Mexico.

“Today, it’s almost incomprehensible that a circus used corpses for entertainment purposes. Hers was used in a way we today would consider to be completely reprehensible,” he said. “It’s important that we now have a clear end to the way she was treated.” [read more from The Guardian]

Antikamnia Calendar (1899-1900)

Posted in Death, Science with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2013 by elgrayso

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The Antikamnia (Opposed to Pain) Chemical Company of St. Louis, Missouri produced several calendars (1897-1901) illiustrated with Skeleton Sketches–chromolithographed series based on watercolors by the local physician-artist Louis Crucius. The limited edition calendars were mailed to physicians who provided business cards or letterhead correspondence as evidence of their medical standing. Antikamnia was a proprietary product consisting of acetanalid (antifebrin) combined with sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and caffeine. [from UCLA Library]

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The Haunted House (1908)

Posted in Video with tags , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2013 by elgrayso

The Haunted House (La maison ensorcelée) is an amazing little short silent film from 1908 by French director Segundo de Chomón. It’s very strange and definitely worth a viewing!