Tattoo Boulevard

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THE MAN RAY MYSTIQUE

To understand the work of Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky), you first need to understand the person behind the art. Ray was not your average artist ( if there can be such a thing as an average artist), but was instead a bold and unique mystery. His work is, to an extent, a reflection of his personality; stark, often cold and enigmatic. For most of his career he refused to comment on his life, his history and his family. His life was a detachment, an abstract, and his work was equally detached. Although famed more for his photography than anything else, Ray always considered himself to be a painter, expressing it once as:

I paint what cannot be photographed, that which comes from the imagination or from dreams, or from an unconscious drive. I photograph the things that I do not wish to paint, the things which already have an existence.” (Quote published in Man Ray: Photographer, 1981.)

In style, Ray was (loosely) from the Dada and Surrealist schools, which could be described as acting as a precursor for Postmodernism. In this regard, he was truly a visionary – a vision that he could not see born in The United States, as he felt unable to articulate the Dadaist ethos whilst in New York, thus choosing to work in France instead.

His work (and the Dada movement in general) has been described as ‘Anti-Art’ due to its stripped back and barren expression. Ray adopted strange and unusual methods for producing photography, paintings and other works of art.

Looking at his work, you could say that Ray was a man who was determined to destroy art, with work clearly trying to provoke a response. His efforts to this end often included taking pre made objects, on one occasion a sowing machine, and altering it slightly to present it as art (the sowing machine was wrapped in cloth and tied with a bow). His work was clearly designed to tear down any preconceptions of what constituted art.

But Ray was not an artist who saw his work as ‘advancing’ any cause or movement. He did not view art as a process or an evolution, but as simple discovery of something that already existed in some form. He articulated this best himself:

“There is no progress in art, any more than there is progress in making love. There are simply different ways of doing it.” (Quote from Rays 1948 essay “To Be Continued, Unnoticed”.)

To Ray, art was not about creating something new or unique (that was not mans place), but rather to reproduce the work of the true artist. He saw his work, not as pushing boundaries or artistic frontiers but as simply producing art in a different way. Of course, this meant ‘educating’ his audience to his way of thinking.

The work of Man Ray is as stark as it is bold. It is often cold and isolated in its expression. As you become accustomed to his work, the question begins to dawn on you – is the artistic work of Man Ray an expression of Man Ray, or is Man Ray an expression of the art?

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OPENING DAY: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS

One of the years most anticipated releases materializes on motion picture screens nationwide today. Part one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (Part two will be released next June) has already created a major buzz and early reviews of the franchise’s final installment promises to conjure the type of cinematic magic that is more than just smoke and mirrors. It’s a more mature, fast paced adventure that ensures the blockbuster series ends in a fireball of hype and glory.

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ALBUM ARTISTIC

With so much of today’s music being purchased by way of download, album and cd cover art has lost much of it’s impact. Classic bands such as Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones didn’t need great covers to sell their albums, but that didn’t stop them from compiling some magnificant images. Not only did bands benefit from this marketing tool, but several photographers and design teams gained notoriety based on their work on album covers. In honor of these wonderful works of art, we present ten album covers that stand as timeless reminders of the days when going to a record/cd store still carried a hint of magic.

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TATTOO BOULEVARD INVADES FRANCE

The French are known for their taste for the finer things in life, whether it be food,art, or exquisite websites. God love em.

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: STORM OWL

                                               

Storm Owl is a  22 year old, self taught artist from Ottawa, Canada, specializing in photo manipulation.  Often combining fantasy images that are both dark and romantic, she has a bold, dynamic style that stems from a therapeuetic need to unleash her anger and depression (her earlier works are much darker) through art. The single mother of a four and a half year old son plans to attend University this fall to get a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Criminology.  Even so, we’re sure we’ll be seeing much more of this artists amazing work in the coming years.  She recently spoke to Tattoo Boulevard about a few of her creations.

HALLOWEEN BONES:

                                                                                            

“Halloween is my favorite holiday, so inspiration never comes up short for me in that department (lol). I’ve done many pieces but I wanted something more “simple”, yet elegant as well, with a touch of horror Halloween spirit kind of thing. One of my friends even mentioned that it looked a bit like an advertisement photo for perfume or something (lol).”

CHANGE:

“This one I made as an Global Warming statement, but I was tired of always doing the same ones that you can see all over the internet and decided to take a fantasy twist on it instead. I picked a mermaid because I think that the biggest change we see are the water shortages and lake shrinkage.”

CROW:

                                                                                     

“With this one, I wanted to play more with “depth” (the blurry feathers in the front), and I wanted to mix a beautiful elegant scene (thank you for the stock provider of these beautiful stairs!) with a dark gothic with crows stereotype and mix it all together.”

More of Storm Owl’s memerable work can be viewed at her gallery at Deviant Art [link], Wix [link],
 or on her Facebook page.  [link]

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REGGAE REBEL: PETER TOSH

If you were to take a crash course on the history of Reggae, you’d be hard pressed to find a more influential figure from the scene than Winston Hubert McIntosh, better known to the world as Peter Tosh. Oh, there have been more famous names in reggae (has anyone not heard of Bob Marley?), but few can match his influence.

Comparisons to Marley are natural, as both lived in and around the same Jamaican slums, and played in the same band, but the truth is that Tosh and Marley were very different creatures, with very different messages. Marley’s message was one of love; a recipe for how to transcend harsh reality, but it was precisely this harsh reality that Tosh saw and depicted in the music that cemented his influential status.

 Tosh rallied against the injustice of the world as he saw it, and in fact,the first two studio albums he released as a solo artist – ‘Legalize It’ (1975) and ‘Equal Rights’ (1977)  – clearly demonstrated that he was not a man to sit back and just blindly accept his place in an unjust world.  This blazing musical soap box is reminiscent of  some of the most influential musicians of the last decade such as Rage Against the Machine and The Beastie Boys. Sure, the music may sound light years from Tosh, but the spirit, the fight, the desire for social change; this attitude and spark are much the same. This is his legacy. Generations who refuse to accept the status quo, whether it be freedom in Tibet today or the regime in South Africa for Tosh, the spirit and drive remain the same.

 The attitude of Tosh is better put into perspective when compared to his peers. Whilst several acts were still throwing televisions out of hotel room windows in somewhat random acts of rebellion, Tosh was getting beaten by police for his outspoken beliefs. None of this should detract from his music, however, and with The Wailers, he wrote some of the classic tracks of his generation, and is considered to be one of the pioneers of the distinctive reggae guitar sound.  It was his musical fire and spirit that he is, and always will be best known for.

 People who saw Tosh perform as a solo artist never forgot the occasion – from his impromptu rants about the evils of the prohibition of marijuana, to his intense performance – the music and the politics and the smoke all merged into the making of a rebellious legend. Unlike so many, Tosh was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in, or even take a beating from the authorities for it on occasion. His fearless and controversial pushing for the legalisation of marijuana and for equal rights are what generations will remember Tosh for, articulated beautifully in music and iconically on stage.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK

 

                                                                                                                

 

                                                                                           “I’m the Urban Spaceman” by Treamus

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POP COOL: SWINGERS

Much like movies such as My Best Friends Wedding and Pretty Woman were made the ladies,  Swingers was undoubtedly made for the guys.  It’s for guys going through a breakup, guys looking for a little swagger around the ladies, and guys who just love to wallow in the nightlife.  Sure, girls will think it’s cool, but they won’t see it in the same light and will likely miss alot of the little treasures that make it so electric, or as Vince Vaughn’s Trent would say, make it sooooo money, baby. For Vaughn, though,  Swingers really was money.  Most major hollywood stars have a role that stands out from the rest of their resume- the role they were meant for- and for Vince Vaughn, this was it. Perfectly cast as the smooth talking Trent, Vaughn took the role and ran with it all the way to stardom.

Swingers was written by Jon Favreau(who also starred in the movie as Mike) in the span of two weeks, and to help gain interest in the project, he and Vaughn put on a Reader’s Theatre production of the completed script. Director Doug Liman was then brought on board and the film began shooting around various sets in Los Angeles and Las Vegas(even earning a mention in the L.A. Times as one of the best movie sets in the city).  The movie’s premise revolves around Mike’s introduction to the Las Vegas nightlife by a small group of friends after a breakup with his New York girlfriend. Unable to keep up with his fast talking friends, he finds romance with a waitress named Lorraine, who is also coming off a breakup. The film has a die hard following and was included in Bravo channel’s 100 funniest movies, as well as a mention on Spike TV’s movie awards.

BEST SCENE:

Swingers has several moments that could be considered classics, but the scene that truly represents the tone of the film takes place at a party where Trent(Vaughn) hits on a woman smoking a cigar. The way he continues to ask if she’s looking at him yet is pure gold and will surely strike a familiar nerve with anyone who’s been out with “the guys”.

MEMORABLE LINES:

“Look at this, okay? I want you to remember this face, here. Okay? This is the guy behind the guy behind the guy.”

 
“Trent, the beautiful babies don’t work the midnight to six shift on a Wednesday. This is like the skank shift.”
” Wait I’m gonna do my thing with the thing.”

“Um… a malt Glen Garry for me and my friend here. And if you tell that bartender to go extra easy on the water, this 50 cent piece has your name on it.”

“You’re so money and you don’t even know it.”

“All I do is stare at their mouths and wrinkle my nose, and I turn out to be a sweetheart”

“I don’t want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone’s *really* hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know, the guy you’re not sure whether or not you like yet. You’re not sure where he’s coming from. Okay? You’re a bad man. You’re a bad man, Mikey. You’re a bad man, bad man. ”

“This place is dead anyways, Man. Let’s do it.”

                                                                                                                                                                               

 

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