Weekly Highlights: September 28 - October 4
A talented young man was murdered while creating art. Unfortunately, this is how we begin our recap of the week behind us, as the news broke on September 27th that Antonio Ramos lost his life while painting a community mural dedicated to children. We can do nothing more but pay tribute to him, together with his friends and family in West Oakland, in the hopes that violence and death would not continue to seize innocent lives.
Last week, we kept up our journey through the world of comic book art, so we’ve introduced you to Underground Comix, an independent “branch” of comics publishing which tackled shocking and controversial topics. We’d also like to invite you to stay tuned, as there will be more stuff on the subject. With news that Banksy’s Dismaland is getting ready to become building material for a refugee camp in France, the saga of the bemusement park may have ended with it. Widewalls was thrilled to once again host the talented MadC, who wrote the third part of her exclusive Diary (another one coming soon!), and erotic art made a comeback to our weekly highlights through the nudes of Imogen Cunningham.
Scroll down to revisit the seven days behind us.
Antonio Ramos Shot Dead
Californian street artist Antonio Ramos was murdered on Tuesday, September 29th while painting a mural in Oakland. The artist was shot while working on a community mural under the 580 freeway in West Street, around 10.30 in the morning. The 27 year old artist, was killed after confronting the gunman who was touching the artist’s supplies. In a conversation with whkradio on Wednesday the police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said that the authorities are searching for the shooter, but refused to disclose any further details about the crime while the investigation is ongoing. Antonio Ramos and a group of street artists were painting a large scale mural designed by the middle school children for the Oakland Superheroes Mural Project.
The Story of Underground Comix
As so many other works of art, underground comix movement started with a – prohibition. During the fifties, Entertaining Comics (E.C. Comics) were highly popular among youth of the United States. And what was not to like, too? Horror fiction, crime fiction, science fiction, satire, military fiction – who wouldn’t have loved that? Yet, the U.S. authorities back then have thought that comics are corrupting young people – and especially comics published by the E.C. Comics. During the twenties and the thirties, the main characters in comics were superheroes, talking animals or other acceptable heroes. And then, during the forties, comics started to embed some more serious subjects, which led to the emergence of the E.C. Comics in the fifties. Yet, in 1954, a guy named Fredric Wertham wrote an article at Reader’s Digest, where he stated that reading comic books resulted in “juvenile delinquency”.
Continue reading in Underground Comix – Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Art of Satire
Imogen Cunningham’s Erotic Photography
Dedicated to the poetry of form, photographer Imogen Cunningham worked in the field of erotic photography with same delicacy that graces her much better known images of flowers and industrial landscapes. One of America’s finest artists, she paved her way quietly to achieve her own status and establish a unique artistic style somewhere between those of Edward Weston and Alfred Stieglitz. For Imogen Cunningham, erotic imagery was always a passion, never a job, and her her good eye and printing skills allowed her to produce sensible and honest imagery that, as such, sometimes caused controversy and called out the questions of masculinity and femininity. Considered by many as the first professional female photographer, Imogen Cunningham worked largely in portraiture, which also resulted in a large portfolio of erotic photos.
See the stunning images in Sensuality Unveiled in Erotic Photography of Imogen Cunningham
MadC Paints an Old Master in London
Exclusive Chronicles for Widewalls
“I am back in London! I came here for the first time in 2006 to study at Central Saint Martins College. Through the past 9 years I learned to love the city and its people. On this visit I am here for 3 reasons – number one is my upcoming solo show at Pure Evil Gallery, number two my new book Mural XXL that just hit stores in Britain and a new mural, that I finished some days ago in Dulwich. Ingrid Beazley, the mastermind behind the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery, invited me to paint another wall based on a painting of the Dulwich Picture Gallery. I have painted a small wall based on a painting of Van Huysum in 2013 in Belair Park for the Dulwich Street Art Festival.”
See her work in MadC Diary – Painting an Old Master Mural
Dismaland Moves to France
And you thought the whole shebang about Dismaland was finally over… Well, according to the elusive creator, the bemusement park is to be taken down, dismantled and sent to Calais to become a shelter for the migrants. The migrants situation has been one of the top issues lately, and Banksy apparently couldn’t ignore the dire position they found themselves in. The website of Dismaland featured a picture of the migrant camp from across the channel in Calais, France with a superimposed fire-ravaged fairytale Cinderella Castle. Following the picture was a message which read: ”Coming soon…Dismaland Calais.” So, could this, perhaps, be the final happy ending to a “not-so-happy” story of Banksy’s project?
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