Date Archives May 2011

‘Strawberry Shortcake’ by Tom Rubnitz

'Strawberry Shortcake' by Tom Rubnitz

'Strawberry Shortcake' by Tom Rubnitz

Tom Rubnitz shot Strawberry Shortcake in 1991, right at the end of the Cold War and the height of VHS camcorders. The Chicago born video-artist unfortunately died of AIDS when he was only in his 30’s, but he still nonetheless helped build the image of RuPaul and the East Village drag queen scene by featuring them in his shorts. No one else but Tom Rubnitz could’ve put transvestites, cheap food, and neon colors together to form artistic masterpieces that have already been viewed by 1,000,000+ individuals because of the internet. If you feel like this clip makes you want to see more of Rubnitz’s work then you’re in for a surprise…a pickle surprise.


Please Welcome Daniel & Alec… And A Call For (Female) Writers

Daniel RolnikAlec Rojas

There’s a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes here at The Fox Is Black right now, and if there’s one thing I’m most excited about is getting more unique voices on the site. So after a bit of looking around, I came across two fellas that I thought fit the bill. The first guy is named Daniel Rolnik, he’s the guy on the left. Daniel lives here in Los Angeles and is the biggest ball of energy I’ve seen in my life. The guy introduces himself to everyone he runs into and he writes a mean interview. The second guy is Alec Rojas, who’s technically a legal advisor but I think another life he was some kind of shaman working for Jim Morrison. He’s got a great taste in food and music and is entrenched in the LA music scene. Daniel is going to providing daily posts on the site and Alec will be helping out much like Philip does, one or two posts a week. Please give them a warm welcome, I think you’re going to enjoy what’s coming.

But there’s just one problem… the site has become a sausage fest, and that needs to be remedied. So I’ve decided to simplify things a bit and I’m looking for two amazing female writers. It doesn’t matter where in the world you live, so long as you’re ahead of the curve on art, design, food and fashion. You know the difference between a passing fad and an upcoming trend and you want to inform people on the rad shit that’s out there. I want to find the female equivalent of me, wherever you are.

So please hit me up with an email of your work, specifically your blog that you keep freshly updated and the reasons why you think you’d make The Fox Is Black a thousand times better. Send it to thefoxisblack at gmail and be sure to title it New Writer for The Fox Is Black. We already have a couple of strong applicants but I wanted to open the flood gates a bit more. If you’re picked for a daily writing assignment, you will be paid after a short trial period.

Thanks everyone for sticking around this mad house. I promise that our content will continue to be the best, and that I’m not going to write any less, in fact, this just makes me work even harder.


Sneak Preview of the Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA (74 Photos)

Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA

Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA

Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA

Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA

Click images to enlarge

Yesterday Kyle and I had the opportunity to see a sneak peak of the upcoming Tim Burton exhibition at the LACMA’s new Resnick Pavilion, which opens to the public on Sunday, May 29. The exhibit is a retrospective of Burton’s career, starting with his early work as a kid growing up in Burbank and how he slowly became the creative genius we know today. The exhibit is filled with a mix of everything like paintings, sculptures, videos, short films, movie props and even a huge, black light installation.

My favorite part was seeing all of the old drawings and sketches he did when he was younger. You can totally tell that he was really bored when he was growing up, and channeled this boredom into art. But so many of these little drawings were the seeds of ideas, which would eventually translate into larger ideas, some even progressing into characters in his films.

There were also a ton of movie related sketches and items such as Jonny Depp’s costume from Edward Scissorhands, 3 Batman mantles and even the eyeballs used for Large Marge from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Another awesome part was The Nightmare Before Christmas section which contained about a dozen maquettes from the movie and about two dozen Jack Skellington heads. I’m a huge fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas so I was totally nerding out in this section.

I really liked the show overall, but Kyle mentioned that the exhibit could have been way more creative overall. Maybe they could have ran it during Halloween? Or maybe they could have made the experience more interactive and less… a standard exhibit. Especially after seeing Art In The Streets so recently, it’s hard not to make a comparison. Nonetheless, if you’re as big of a fan of Tim Burton’s work as I am you’ll still love this show.

Under the cut I’ve posted 71 more photos from the show, so if you don’t live in L.A. or don’t plan on visiting in the next 3 months, you’ll get a good taste of what the show was all about. I hope you guys enjoy it!

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The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73 Join Together and Get Weird

The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73 Record

The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73 Record

The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73 Record

The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73 Record

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The Super Moon Made Me Wanna Pee!!! by The Flaming Lips with Prefuse 73

To some extent, this was a psychedelic meeting waiting to happen. The Flaming Lips has teamed up with Prefuse 73 to release a four track, limited record… in Oklahoma. Far out, right? From the most serene to the most artificial of noises, Prefuse 73 and his many incarnations are collages of sound, retrofitted and mashed into the same sonic canvas. And the Flaming Lips’s often go to as many different musical places as possible, but never venture outside their sonic universe.

The overlap from these two groups resides in their galactic forays. This conceptual little record might as well be music to take for a planetarium, and names of the songs are exactly what they mean. Lead track, The Supermoon Made Me Want To Pee!!!, feels exactly like that: a frantic drum beat and pace pushes the song until it ends into a satisfying-as-a-piss ambient synth. Heavy Star Moving… takes shape as a slow celestial dirge, with guitars contrasting to create a sweeping fuzz for Coyne to sing over. Be Like That…That…That… might as well be a lost transmisson from space while Guillermo’s Bolero rocks as a piano driven synth blend. It’s star gazing and light-show fun.

These hand pressed records are imbued with a variety of colors, as colorful as the music they contain. I’d kind of want to have one for that day I buy a really expensive telescope to pair with a record player. Or go outside with a telescope with a portable record player. Or gaze at the stars with a beer and google skymaps. When’s the next supermoon? Seriously… when?

You can also see more photos of the all the records that were pressed by clicking here.


World Premiere of Alex Stapleton’s ‘OUTSIDE IN: The Story of Art in the Streets’

Shepard Fairey Spinning at the premiere of Alex Stapleton’s 'OUTSIDE IN: The Story of Art in the Streets'

The Premiere of Alex Stapleton’s 'OUTSIDE IN: The Story of Art in the Streets'

'OUTSIDE IN: Art In The Streets' Film Premiere'

OUTSIDE IN: The Story of Art in the Streets is a great glimpse into the making of the current MOCA exhibit. When I saw the footage of Barry McGee and Stephen Powers painting and putting together their incredible installation at the museum I gained a whole new level of respect for them, especially since they created a majority of the pieces at the location. Swoon did the same thing with her team and it was awesome to see them on the ground with X-Acto blades.

The director even managed to interview REVOK before he was arrested for vandalism back in April. He’s now serving 120 days in jail with a $320,000 bail, an amount SABER pointed out as “over $100,000 more than OJ Simpson’s, and OJ was on trial for murder”. So, it was no surprise that the MSK crew were yelling at the screen whenever LAPD officers appeared on screen. In a candid moment towards the end of the film, Shepard Fairey talks about his family and what they think of his graffiti “My daughter knows to only talk to the police if she’s in trouble…not when when she’s putting up stickers”, an act that Shepard may or may not have perpetrated on the stalls of the men’s bathroom.

When the last credit rolled, Jonathan Wells, Programming Director of Levi’s Film Workshop and Executive Producer of the film, invited SABER, Mr. Cartoon, C.R. Stecyk III, Shepard Fairey, Patti Astor, Alex Stapleton, Neckface and exhibit curators Aaron Rose, Roger Gastman and Ethel Seno to come onstage for a Q&A. There was an awkward silence as the crowd built up enough courage to start asking questions like “Where do you get your paint from” to which Neckface replied “I started out stealing my shit…and I still steal my shit” – making us bust up laughing.

“I understand why people get frustrated by graffiti…If I caught some kid tagging my fence I’d knock him out, but if I didn’t catch him, I’d cross his name out first before I buffed it.” – Mr. Cartoon

By the end of the night we had met all of our rebel heroes, heard Shepard Fairey dj a set of punk and hip-hop, and had gotten a better perspective of all the hard work that went into putting Art in the Streets together.

A big thanks to the Levi’s Workshop for inviting us, and a congrats for making all of this happen. ALl of the videos were created at the Levi’s Workshop in the MOCA, where you can make videos or rent cameras for your own projects.


Stussy x Marvel

David Shrigley's Hulk for Stussy x Marvel
John K's Crystal & Johnny Strange for Stussy x MarvelTodd James (AKA REAS)'s She-Hulk for Stussy x Marvel

I’m a little late on this but recently the Californian based clothing brand Stussy joined forces with both Marvel Comics and a group of artists to create a series of special edition t-shirts. This is the second series in their Stussy x Marvel range and this one is particularly great because of the talent that they’ve been able to attract. Above you can see some good examples of the kind of thing to expect from the series, with each superhero being re-imagined in the artist’s signature style. Above, you caught David Shrigley’s Incredible Hulk, Ren and Stimpy creator John K’s take on Crystal and Johnny Storm, and Todd James’s She-Hulk. They’re pretty crazy but I think they’re really great.

The talent doesn’t end just there either, check out their site and you’ll see people like the LA tattoo artist Mr. Cartoon, the American animator Bill Plympton and British illustrator Will Sweeney have all contributed designs for the project. I think my personal favorite might be James Jarvis’ take on The Thing which just has so much character. If you’re interested in finding out more about the project I’ve included a little video below the cut which was made by the guys at HBTV. It’s fairly typical marketing schtick but it’s worth the watch to see plenty of the artists speaking about the influences that Marvel has brought upon them and you’ll also catch Mr. Cartoon do a sweet little rendition of the Spiderman theme!

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The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Yours, Roxanne

Yours, Roxanne

It’s already Wednesday, we’ve hit the halfway point and you deserve some new art to grace your monitor. Thankfully, Roxanne Daner, better known as Yours, Roxanne, has you covered. Roxanne lives and works here in Los Angeles and her style is totally fun with lots of great textures and tones. I feel like her desktop wallpaper is what’s going on behind the scenes of Dan Cassaro’s wallpaper, and that’s partly why I love it. In her own words, “I called it Hard Drive and well… it illustrates whats going on inside your computer to keep everything running smoothly.” I would certainly hope that a gnome, a dog, a bird and a rabbit are doing a good job making my computer keep ticking. Beautiful work, Roxanne!


Renée Rossouw’s Pattern Diary, An Artistic Investigation

Renée Rossouw's Pattern Diary

Renée Rossouw's Pattern Diary

Renée Rossouw's Pattern Diary

Renée Rossouw's Pattern Diary

Renée Rossouw is a young designer from Cape Town who has recently completed a cool, interdisciplinary project that ties in writing, pattern making, and ceramics. The result is Pattern Diary, where Rossouw hand painted patterns inspired by her 2010 diary entries on to vases. The result is a collection of many unique, different ceramics, all hand painted, all different, but all working well together as a set. A collaboration with Italy’s Bosa Cermaiche, the pieces all compliment each other, all using a similar visual vocabulary to express very, very different abstract ideas: one vase may have a pattern that resembles suspended bricks, while another may represent a night’s sky or part of a vehicle. The white base of the ceramics, the use of only reds and blues, and Rossouw’s strong style provide for any one piece to stand alone quite nicely or with one or two other vase buddies to form a crew.

Each piece is a different thought, but are obviously from the same thinker. Pattern Diary is a clever and beautiful means of expression that ties so much together, from telling the story of an artist’s personal journey to providing a new outlet for visual illustration.

Found through Yatzer