Monday, January 31, 2011

Berlin street art tour

What makes street art so fascinating?

The process of creating street art is intriguing.  There's an allure to the illegality of the act:  the artist works disguised in darkness, and there's always the potential for chase, capture, and punishment by the law.  There's excitement in the physicality: the artist places himself in mortal danger by scaling ladders and walls and dares gravity by walking ledges and roofs.  There's an edge provided by competition: each artist wants to one-up the others by tagging a higher, more unreachable, more impossible canvas.  There's sympathy for anarchy: private property is rendered public, and the artist pierces social convention for the sake of statement.  And there's a tickle to street art's inherent irony: the artist searches for fame, but is often anonymous, his fame a kind of secret fame.  

There's controversy.  That street art is simply vandalism is a widely held view.  And the truth is that there's a very fine line. We should distinguish between creating a stenciled graphic in order to make some greater point about a societal issue and spray painting one's name in neon in order to mark territory like a pissing dog.   We should distinguish between the social effect of painting a mural on the wall of a store and the social effect of having gone into that store and shoplifted $50 worth of spray paint cans with which to paint the mural.  We should distinguish between acts of destruction and acts of creation.  It is always easier to destroy than to create, unless you're talking about a mess.  The argument about whether street art is even art can only be won by street artists producing good art.

Finally, street art is interesting because while street artists often shoots the finger at capitalism, they employ branding techniques just like any corporate marketer.  The street artist creates a brand and seeks to spread awareness of this brand (the artist's name/style) by advertising (creating public art) in various media (walls, billboards, trains).  The joke is that while the street artist's style becomes recognizable due to repetition, while the artist has accomplished the process of selling a product, the artist has no product to sell.  The street artist, in effect, brands mystery.  The viewer of the art is left to wonder who took the time and risk to produce it, and why, since the artist can't profit from it.  Why should we do things that are hard and dangerous but don't necessarily enrich us?  That, my friends, is a good question to ask of ourselves, and for that reason if no other, street art is of value to society.   

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Without this your coffee table might float off like a helium balloon.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A visit to the Museum of Bad Art

The Museum of Bad Art in Dedham Square, MA has a fine collection of some of the most putrid yet sublime paintings ever created.  As the curators point out, you know bad when you see it... and these are so bad they're good, and all the way back to bad again.  Delicious.  Visit MOBA for more.

Sunday on the Pot with George

On the Shore at Sunset

My Left Foot

Mama and Babe

Peter the Kitty

Woman Riding Crustacean

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

more bad art

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cut paper art by Peter Callesen.

Artwork by Dutch artist Peter Callesen. 

Often cut from a single sheet of paper, Callesen's figures struggle to enter the three-dimensional world but are tethered forever to the plane of their creation.  His birds struggle to fly, but cannot transcend.  The hummingbird and the flower are of the same paper, but the bird can never drink.  His stairs have inserted themselves into our universe, but cannot withstand our weight.  Small tragedies in a plain, white world.  More at

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Because you want to try your hand at this...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lay my body on the railroad tracks, I hear the train a comin'...

Ever want to know what would happen if you were to lay down on the railroad tracks while a train rumbled past over your body?  Now, you'll never have to try it, since this fellow did the experiment for you.  What would have happened to you?  In this case, at least, with these tracks and this train, you would have survived.  But... 99 out of 100 people would have called you a fool for the rest of your life.  You'd have had to live with the guilt and shame of having possible inspired the death and dismemberment of children who try to copycat you.  And no one would have ever had sex with you again because you'd have had near-death stink all over you.  Look.  Gravy Rainbow loves crazy and random.  But there are smarter ways to try to slice out your 15 minutes of fame.  Now go jump off a roof.         

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Monday, January 24, 2011

Steampunk Palin

Steampunk Palin.  Even in a world with Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, this is bizarre.  Read the story of this Sarah Palin comic book here.

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Friday, January 21, 2011

Photo Friday January 21

 This week's theme... Big and Beautiful!

More pictures here, here and here!

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Savant Sculptor's Amazing Menagerie

Alonzo Clemens creates incredibly accurate animal sculptures out of any clay-like material.  What I find most interesting about this video is that while his animals are anatomically perfect, his human figures are not.  Why, in his mind, are we not like other mammals, forms composed of muscle and bone?  Why can he sculpt horse or cow but not man?  Why does he sculpt animals and not inanimate objects?  And the big question: is this art?

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Blog Link Exchange Page

Hi and welcome to our link exchange page.  Exchanging links with other blogs and websites to form a network can lead to improved attention from search engines like Google and Bing, leading more traffic to your site, e.  I'm happy to link with other blogs with funny, interesting and/or personal content.  Let's exchange links!

Just create a link to Gravy Rainbow on your blog or website.  Once you've done so, email me or leave a comment on this page indicating the URL where the link can be found and the URL of the page you would like me to link to.  Then I'll add a link to your site in my sidebar.  Please no porn, hate-speech, etc.   I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

***Gravy Rainbow***

Fist Goodbody's Traveling Torture Show

click to enlarge
It was 1977, and there was no internet.  If you wanted gay BDSM porn, you got off the seat of your buttless biker jeans, got the girls together and went to the show.  Or, you bought this LP and listened to whips and moans in your basement while your wife was upstairs making cookies.  Oh, Fist.   



***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Dock Ellis LSD no-hitter

Hilarious cartoon built around an interview with Dock Ellis, who threw a no-hitter in 1970 while pitching for Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates.  As Ellis reveals, it was a different culture back then.  I'm still chuckling.

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Messages from the Dead

What would you say to the people you love from beyond the grave?

Deathswitch is an internet service which lets you send private emails to your friends, family or coworkers in the event that you die.  The website asks you to respond to its email requests on a regular basis.  If you fail to respond for an extended period of time, the Deathswitch service assumes you are dead and sends out emails you've prepared.  These could be passwords, living will, last care requests, confessions, bank account information... just don't forget to update your settings if you plan to spend your two week vacation in the mountains.

What would you say, and to whom, if you knew they wouldn't read it until you were dead?

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

hollow people haunt these streets

Street artist Mark Jenkins creates people and animals out of tape, dresses them, them films people's reactions to seeing them on the street.  Unnerving.  See a portfolio of Mark's work here.   

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

<-- watch Exit Through the Gift Shop, an excellent street art documentary.

I like it blunt

Funny stuff at!

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Monday, January 17, 2011

Are we too squeaky clean?

An interesting theory to ponder.  Our bodies are their own 'ecosystems'.  Does over-cleanliness destroy 'good' bacteria, upsetting the balance?  Does this imbalance contribute to immune disorders like allergies and asthma?  We all know overuse of antibiotics has led to resistant strains of bacteria.  Here's the case against antibacterial soaps.

Does hyper-hygiene ultimately weaken our immune system by depriving the body the opportunity to learn by exposing it to tiny doses of a wide variety of microorganisms over a lifetime?  I've been biting my fingernails for as long as I can remember.  Have I actually been helping train my body to fight disease all my life?  Try this Radiolab episode on parasites for more.

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

I first read Parasite Rex : Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures after hearing Carl Zimmer on an episode of This American Life.  This book is filled with interesting and unsettling insights... you'll never look at your world in quite the same way again.   


***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Found at
***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Manic street art

This guy's a street art madman.  Amazing Jimi Hendrix painting in under three minutes.  I've become more interested in street art since seeing Exit Through the Gift Shop, a great documentary movie about street art, identity and the business of art.  I was riveted.  Funny, shocking, and intriguing.  

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Who Needs Photoshop? #2

Self-portrait by Arno Rafael Minkkinen -- he has an amazing lifetime portfolio of serene but striking black and white photographs.  Great balance between shocking and naturalistic, all done with contortions but no photo alteration.  His coffee-table books of photographs Waterline and Saga: The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen are a must for anyone who loves black and white photography.

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Who Needs Photoshop? #1

Chinese artist Li Wei -- see more of his amazing stunts?  acrobatics?  artistry. If anyone has a link to a site showing his works "in-progress," I'd like to see.  I'm always interested in how a magician does his or her tricks.  

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Awesome treehouse. I want one!

More spectacular treehouses! You may want to show these to your kids.  If you want to be pestered into building one ;)

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

What a 6-Month-old thinks about


***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Windex's newest spokesmodel...

cheerios... CHEERios...
***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bus Bump

My cat makes this same recovery move when she fails.  Like it never even happened. This girl should have started licking her paw. 

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

wookie sex talk

From Tastelessly Offensive
Surrender, Dorothy.

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

Solar System Tattoo

Heranus is the 10th planet?  Picture from
And when is she going to laser out Pluto?  It's not a planet, folks.  It never was.  What else has science been lying to you about?

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow