Friday, March 13, 2009

A toast of respect for magical prowess


I just purchased a very large reproduction of this 1899 image on canvas. We hung it over the mantle. Can you imagine my poor kid? Who hangs something like this in the most prominent place in their home? Your dubious hostess, that's who!

First off: I love vintage magic posters. I've loved this one in particular for years and years. I love the way Mephistopheles is depicted as androgynous. But he's not androgynous in a soft way. The lines between his male and female components are hard--really hard. The masculine face, the voluminous dress. This is no Boy George, baby. This is a devil to sin with.

I want that mother's hat.

I love the huge goblets of brandy their hefting. No little candy-ass sips of polite aperitif here! I love Kellar's tuxedo, the intensity of his eyes as they bore into the smirking devil. I love the bats in the background and the outlines of other evil entities, the distant pitchfork. I love the colors.

And for those who are wondering, yes, everything in my house is this weird.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it says something about me but why wouldn't that be in a prominent place in the home?
Pretty nice piece. My daughter (soon to be eleven) seems to have embraced my "weirdness." She is rarely surprised by anything I say or do anymore and actually likes to join in the fun.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

Actually, RJ, you are right. I'd go one step further and say that the image commands such attention that anyplace you put it would immediately become prominent.

And it's true about my kid as well. She loves that her house has cool weird stuff.

Man I love that poster!!

(S)wine said...

i love these kinds of pieces, as well.

also, Toulouse-Lautrec's stuff that was originally done on bits of cardboard or wood. 'cause those boys were poor back then.

Timothy O'Regan said...

I just Wikied yer man there and discovered he married an Australian chickie who then became his 'lovely assistant'. Apparently he took his show Down Under which would have been a big production in them days.

Timothy O'Regan said...

On my wall is a dead man hanging from an ancient Roman torture device, so you're not so weird.

Erin O'Brien said...

TIM! Link to a copy of your pic, please!

Timothy O'Regan said...

St. Francis 'Neath the Bitter Tree by Fr. William McNichols, SJ, depicting St. Francis of Assisi embracing Christ crucified as One suffering with AIDS and rejected by society.

http://www.jesusinlove.org/artthatdares/atd6-mcnichols-z.html

Zen Wizard said...

Still absorbing the vicarious trauma we all feel as a nation at Bristol and Levi's breakup.

Can't focus...

Timothy O'Regan said...

Speaking of magic: Erin, are you a sorceress because you've certainly bewitched me?! ;-)

Kirk Jusko said...

How about the circus posters of the era? They're not particularly sinister, but they show a lot of imagination. I'll bet the actual circus was a bit disappointing by comparison.

I also like advertising from what's now called the Golden Age of Illustration. I don't like new advertising because it's goal is to manipulate me into buying something. The old ads? It's meant to manipulate people long since dead, so I'm not threatened.

Erin O'Brien said...

That's why I love the vintage magic posters, Kirk. They had to seduce with ideas instead of bikini clad chicks.

Will google around for vintage circus images ...

Amy L. Hanna said...

From the pics I've seen you post so far, your dwelling seems to have evolved into an ad-hoc museum of found (and also purchased) objets d'art.

Maybe at some point you and The Goat can play curator and charge beer admission.