Category:
Art

Eugênio Hirsch

Discovering traces of a forgotten surrealist/pop artist is always nice and weird. That's why I'm happy to present here some data on Eugênio Hirsch--a name I believe will be little-known to English-speaking art-lovers.

I took the liberty of having Google translate his Spanish Wikipedia entry, and then cleaned up the text a bit.

Eugênio Hirsch (Vienna, 1923 - Rio de Janeiro, September 23 2001) was a visual artist of Austrian origin, considered one of the pioneers of Brazilian graphic design.

Eugênio Hirsch was born in Vienna, Austria in 1923. Given the imminence of World War II his family emigrated in 1938 to Argentina, where Hirsch was highlighted as a graphic artist. During his stay in Argentina, he lived in Buenos Aires where he worked for the Encyclopedia Codex. In 1947 he met Monteiro Lobato, who illustrated texts mentioned in the editorial. He also lived in San Miguel de Tucuman where he worked with Lino Spilimbergo Enea.

In 1955 he emigrated to Brazil. Beginning in 1960 he was hired by the publisher "Civilização Brasileira" and in a short time revolutionized the concept and design of book covers, becoming one of the biggest names in this specialty. In 1960 he won the Jabuti Award (highest distinction in the field Brazilian literary and artistic). He was considered a pioneer of graphic design with decisive influence on subsequent generations. One of his favorite quote was "Uma feita layer is to attack, did not to please" ( "A cap is used to attack, not to please"). In 1965 he traveled to the United States where he collaborated with Playboy magazine and then to Europe, but then returned to his adoptive country, Brazil.

Among his most famous works include the illustration done for the novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. He was also recalled for his eccentric personality.

Eugênio Hirsch died in Rio de Janeiro on September 23, 2001.


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You can see some of his book covers on this Flickr page. But my favorite is this one he did for the novel Flesh by the great Philip Jose Farmer.




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How did I chance upon Hirsch's work? Through this pictorial in Playboy for December 1965. The mildly NSFW totality of the feature is to be found after the jump.





More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Sun Aug 10, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Pop Art, Surrealism, History, Historical Figure, Literature, Books, Science Fiction, Magazines, Sexuality, Sex Symbols, World, Europe, South America

The Singing Nun

Step back in time now with me to that long-lost year of 1963, possibly the last moment when innocent virginal piety ruled the pop charts. I am referring of course to the Singing Nun, and her hit song "Dominique," heard below in its original form, and its groovy 1982 disco update.





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I recently purchased the Sister's first album in a 3-for-a-dollar bin at my favorite used-vinyl store. Opening its gatefold, I found inside a nine-page booklet, telling the charming fable of our tuneful nun's career, illustrated with gaily wistful drawings by one F. Strobel reminiscent of the style of Ludwig Bemelmans. I've scanned the booklet and reproduce it now for your enjoyment, the first page here (each page is two files. picture and text) and the others after the jump.

I venture to say you'll find this vital, albeit seldom-perused document nowhere else on the web. Only WEIRD UNIVERSE brings you such treasures!

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More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 08, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Celebrities, Fads, Music, Religion

Random Rant

I dug this out of my files, and although it's nearly twenty years old, a good psychotic rant never goes out of style.

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Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 05, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Eccentrics, Education, Literature, Obsessions, Scholarship, School, 1980s

The Art of Chris Mars

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If you dig weird art, you could not get more satisfaction anywhere than at Chris Mars's site, where he's just added some new paintings.

While you're viewing the site, spin some discs by the Replacements. Mars was their drummer before his painting career.

My story, "Jack Neck and the Worrybird," which attempts to capture in prose the weird imagery straight from Mars's paintings, is contained in my collection Little Doors

Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 01, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Literature, Fantasy, Music

The Bridge to Nowhere

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No, not that bridge in Alaska. This one was designed by Michael Cross:

The Bridge is a series of steps which rise up out of the water in front of you as you walk from one to the next, and then disappear back underneath behind you as you go, leaving you stranded with only one step visible in front of you, and one behind. The bridge ends in the middle of the water, where you find yourself totally isolated and cut off from the shore. You return the way you came.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 31, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Buildings and Other Structures

The Snowglobes of Thomas Doyle

Thomas Doyle offers this description of his art:

My work mines the debris of memory through the creation of intricate worlds sculpted in 1:43 scale and smaller. Often sealed under glass, the works depict the remnants of things past—whether major, transformational experiences, or the quieter moments that resonate loudly throughout a life. In much the way the mind recalls events through the fog of time, the works distort reality through a warped and dreamlike lens.

Here's one of his works titled "The reprisal":

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And another titled "Clearing (UXO)":

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Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 29, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Art

Micronations

The concept of micronations is a fascinating idea. I utilized the notion in one of my recent stories, the title piece from The Emperor of Gondwanaland and Other Stories. But I hardly began to exhaust the narrative possibilities of the idea.










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Here's a recent article on one such place, the Republic of Molossia.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 28, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Performance Art, Customs, Foreign Customs, Eccentrics, Government, Officials, Regulations, History, Law, Military, Obsessions, Patriotism, Politics, Travel

Plants With Eyes

A strangely disturbing video. The computer graphics are so hyper-realistic that it's easy to think these plants are real. I was uncertain for a while until I did some research and learned that it's a video created by animation studio 1st Avenue Machine. Their website states that they create "high end design work by employing 3D in ways that blur the line between what we perceive as real and impossible." The music is "Sixes Last" by Alias.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 28, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Video

They’ll Do It Every Time

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When I was a kid, I loved the comic strip THEY'LL DO IT EVERY TIME, by Jimmy Hatlo. It was one of my first introductions to poking fun at irrational or weird human behavior.

What I did not quite realize is that the strip had a revival under artist Al Scaduto. But unfortunately, he passed away on December 8, 2007, and his last strip ran on February 3, 2008.

Here's an archive of that current version.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 26, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Comics, Customs, History, Newspapers, 1920s

Robotic Writing Monk

The relentless march of progress continues. Now monks have been automated, thanks to The Bible Scribe.

The installation 'bios [bible]' consists of an industrial robot, which writes down the bible on rolls of paper. The machine draws the calligraphic lines with high precision. Like a monk in the scriptorium it creates step by step the text. Starting with the old testament and the books of Moses ‘bios [bible]’ produces within seven month continuously the whole book. All 66 books of the bible are written on rolls and then retained and presented in the library of the installation.


Start looking for a new job, Brother.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 23, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, Religion, Technology, AI, Robots and Other Automatons, Books

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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