Falling Leaves: the Ardes blog

Monthly archives for "January 2015"

Despise not the Racketeer

Ray Drainville

Joseph Ducreux’s Archaic Rap. It’s worth your while to watch one of the great RocketBoom “Know Your Meme” videos.

I never thought my art history background & Internet LOLs would ever cross paths. I rather liked Ducreux’s paintings—in an era filled with cute imagery best replicated on a box of sweets, he (like his contemporary, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt) worked to create more animated imagery in his paintings. This one seems so fresh to us because it’s an ephemeral pose we see all the time in real life, but not one we ever see in the stiffer confines of art.

Now that I’ve ruined that for you…

Cannot Unsee

Ray Drainville

From the Psalter of St Louis & Blanche of Castile, ca. 1225–1250:


60s Psychedelic Posters

Ray Drainville

The San Francisco International Airport ran an exhbition recently called “When Art Rocked”, a collection of psychedelic rock posters of the 1960s.

Personally, Polish movie posters are more to my taste, but this has a personal connection. My father-in-law, Frank Saul, is prominently displayed, having been photographed in one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. A physical anthropoligist by training, he was helping design space suits (or what were called “extreme high-altitude suits” back then), and the light source helped map people for the close-fitting garments they have to wear.

We’ve got that 13th-Floor Elevators poster up in our house, in fact. How strange seeing it in its full context!

Instant Familiarity

Ray Drainville

I understood this immediately, and I blame a friend of mine who, when I was an impressionable 18-year-old, demanded that we see this movie 10 times one Summer.

So there’s this guy up on stage with on-fire barrels and the Santa Carla crowd is just loving it and he’s this big bodybuilder with an extremely oiled and nude torso and long greasy mullet and I think some chains around his neck—not like pretty little gold chains but the kind of chains you use to haul an engine out of a ’64 Thunderbird? And he’s singing and pointing at the stone foxes in the crowd but then he also pauses from time to time to lustily play the saxophone. But Jason Patric is too infatuated with Jami Gertz to pay attention and Corey Haim is all WTF why are you not totally entranced by the oiled saxophonist like I am, and that, son, that is why the Eighties was the best decade ever.