Tag Archives: Macabre

Crime of Passion or Crime of Fashion?

Everyone enjoys a mugshot, as much as the next. Invasive? Essential? Photography lent itself as a most incredible resource for law enforcement around the world. No one can doubt that!

These days we’ve all seen the Mel Gibson, Heather Locklear, and the yearly Lindsay Lohan. Somehow, it seems, the mugshot has lost all it’s vintage charm! What happened to the mugshots of yesteryear?! Not to fear, we have unearthed some treats!

“I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman.”

David Bowie.

Some cultures believe a picture holds your soul- your very essence. Before the days of digital, photographs were rendered using chemical processes that captured the very essence of the moment. So, if not your soul, definitely a true essence of ‘time’ has been made.

Pictures speak a thousand words, and most of the stories told here are in the eyes, and naturally, outfits of these “fallen” individuals who were all “taken in” for one thing, or the other. What could their crimes have been? Definitely ask yourself as you take in some special one-of-a-kind cruise through vintage angst, vanity, and liberation.

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.”

Janis Joplin

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.”

Malcolm X

“The best revenge is massive success.”

Frank Sinatra

“Vanity is my favourite sin.”

Al Pacino

“I don’t believe in that phony hero stuff.”

Steve McQueen

Why are we always fighting for freedom when we are all supposed to be free? We all have our reasons, and whatever they be- being true to yourself will never be a crime, no matter how you are judged. Keep on keeping on!

“But the whole point of liberation is that you get out. Restructure your life. Act by yourself.”

Jane Fonda

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History {Is Made At Night} – The Poison Apple That Killed The Father of Computer Science

There is no doubt that the world would not be the same place if it hadn’t been for Alan Turing [b. 23 June 1912 – d. 7 June 1954]. In fact, you wouldn’t be reading this delectable morsel if it weren’t for the incredible genius of this British mathematician in developing the modern day computer.

A prophet of mathematics, with a natural inclination to numbers and science, Turing entered King’s College in 1931 and graduated Honors in Mathematics pioneering the working model for the Turing Machine, which operated on “Algorithims” that would make computing any mathematical problem conceivable. Obtaining a PhD from Princeton in June 1938, Turing  furthered his concepts introducing oracles that could plan and solve complex problems that the Turing Machine was unable to compute.

It wasn’t until war time that Turing’s incredible genius would truly be implored, joining the German code-breaking team at Bletchley Park in September 1938. Using his profound wizardry in the realm of numbers, Turing was able to develop a statistical approach using computing machines to decode the impossible German Enigma-codes. This would ultimately provide the Allies with a major advantage in winning the war.

Turing was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his services during wartime.

Turing also applied his mathematical brilliance in the fields of biology, imploring mathematical thought to the idea of pattern formation in nature. He also used mathematics to develop the foundations for the science behind morphogenesis – how biological forms come to be.

So in short, a {Hero}.

However, although interesting, it’s not his mathematic, scientific, or civil achievements that really caught our attention. It is, in fact, his mysterious and bizarre death.

It all began quite innocently – the way these things always begin. After being victim to a petty burglary of his home in January of 1952, police investigations opened the flood gates, revealing Turing’s homosexuality, which in fact was illegal in the UK at this point. Wanting to evade going to prison, Turing was able to go on probation after agreeing to a chemical castration that would require him to take injects of stilboestrol, a synthetic estrogen hormone.

Perhaps the injects caused moments of weakness or uncertainty, as various mood disorders and physical ailments have now been attributed to stilboestrol. And while he is recorded as throwing “such a jolly [tea] party” for a neighbour and her son four days before he died, he was found in the most macabre of circumstances: laying in bed with a half-eaten apple at his side.

If this sounds like fairy tale, don’t be mistaken, the past is a twisted and dark place, but there’s no denying the comparison to Turing’s death and the story of Snow White and The Seven Dwarves – Turing’s recorded favourite fairy tale. Novelist David Leavitt quotes that the mathematical genius took “an especially keen pleasure in the scene where the Wicked Queen immerses her apple in the poisonous brew.”

Many have speculated that Turing may have soaked the apple in poison as an homage to his favorite tale of dark pleasure and deceit, others (his mother particularly) have asserted that Turing was in fact just careless when it came to storing his lab chemicals. Whatever the truth may be, the circumstances surrounding Turing’s untimely demise are as fascinating as his science. His death was ruled a suicide, but recent discoveries seem to point in other directions.

Perhaps it was just a way to say good-bye to a cruel world, unwilling to accept the man, no matter how great his genius. He was but the innocent, and it was a truly unjust society that would poison the likes of such an incredible mind.

Luckily, Turing’s legacy lives on every we look. From this computer screen, to our televisions, and phones, the airplanes in the sky, the subway beneath my feet – all these things and more would not be possible without Turing’s ingenuity and courage to innovate.

Can we say ‘Hello 21st Century’!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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{PHOTOBLAST} My Demon Brother . . .

“Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk folly, nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth. “

[Book of the Law: Chapter 2, Line 53]

Seems like the invocation went well last night.

Our demon brother walks the Earth, tempting the weak at heart and empowering the brave. We wanted to bring this PHOTOBLAST back to the hermetic roots of our wayward journey, and raise the demon brother in us all.

 n. De-mon [dmn] 

1. an evil supernatural being; a devil.

2. A persistently tormenting person, force, or passion.

3. One who is extremely zealous, skillful, or diligent.

4. Genius.


The word ‘demon’ has quite an interesting origin in the realm of man. Before gathering itself as a symbol of supernatural evil, the word came from the Greek , Daemon. The wise Plato invested great interest in these mysterious spirits.  These metaphysical beings, who held a state between God and Mortal were “interpreting and transporting human things to the gods and divine things to men; entreaties and sacrifices from below, and ordinances and requitals from above…”

Plato believed that allotted to every man and woman, a daemon would distribute destinies and wisdom to us all. Call it, a conscience of man. Plato would eventually have charges laid against him for “”corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel.”

“Man tells his aspiration in his God; but in his demon he shows his depth of experience.”

-Margaret Fuller






So, dare not fear your demon brother, my friends, for there is indeed a voice that binds man in the form of the night.  If we are all things at once, infinite, a journey to the dark is a quest to find your heart. For wrestling in the soul of man is a struggle bigger than that of you or I.

There is mythical genius in all of us, and what better way to display your gifts of knowledge than with the very threads you wear.  The struggle is to find pride in your sacred identity, whatever that it may be.  So don’t get mad if you find your own demon brother giving you tips on a star-filled night. He might just know a thing or two.

Enjoy our musings…

Don’t forget to Shop the {SHOP} .

XIXIXI gets you 25 % Off at the Checkout

Message me if you need clarification.

Others know.

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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The Eye of Faith Gets “Lost in the Memory Palace: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller”

 

portrait_cardiff_miller_2012

[Photo: Zev Tiefenbach]

The world of Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and Geroge Bures Miller exist somewhere between reality and the vortex of our imaginations. . . 

The artist duo are known for their of-this-world out-of-this-world creations that combine objects, sound, images, mechanics, lighting, construction, and cinema to create one-of-kind experiments and showcases in the transcendental quality and nature of art.

As one of the world’s most internationally respected artist partnerships, we were lucky to get a chance to enjoy a retrospective of their work, in an exhibit appropriately title “Lost in the Memory Palace”, which runs from April 6 until August 18, 2013 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

From the beginning of their partnership in 1995 to their work today, the artist duo have expertly managed to create evocative and multi-textural and dimensional works that transport its viewers to other worlds and often exotic states of mind.

portrait-janet cardiff and george miller_Bodtlaender

The duo has cited cinema as a major driving force in their work, bringing the immersive technology of the cinema to life in a gallery setting,  allowing the viewers an accessibility and availability that is mostly foreign to other works in the art gallery setting. While we are often encouraged to keep a distance in the world of art, Cardiff-Miller’s pieces are encouragingly tactile and require a closer look.

This is not a show that you can skim through and really “get” immediately. Going into it with this frame of mind would be disaster.

Like a film, the pieces require a dose of commitment, and an ability to get lost in the world being offered to you by the artists. The worlds are often slightly disturbing as you notice odd-looking effigies, or are startled by an abrupt sound; the element of mystery is definitely in the air, forcing you to question your own reality.

Such is the case with “Dark Pool”, the couple’s first installation created in 1995.

Cardiff Miller- Dark Pool

darkpool_4

I like that the technology is so popular it is almost invisible so that people can become intimate with it. At the same time the recorded voice is removed and has a sense of past that a real voice doesn’t, so it can actually get closer to the audience through that removal. They feel safe being intimate with a removed voice.

-Janet Cardiff

You are invited to open a paint chipped antiquated door to enter a long, dark, small room filled to the brim with boxes, books, furniture, rolling racks, and antique objects. You might want to, at first, turn back in fear of what could be lurking in the shadows, but very quickly you find yourself exhilarated by curiosity. As you walk through the room, you hear voices and whispers from the past (children, an elderly woman, a young couple), and begin to notice the clues all around you:

darkpool_3

darkpool_5e

darkpool_5c

[Photos: Cardiff/Miller]

An opened book on reading tea leaves sits behind a tray full of dirty empty tea cups. Two viewfinders, side by side, show a man and woman in a passionate embrace, the other shows a couple with signs of stagnant disdain. You see a collection of porcelain hands. A half-eaten biscuit on a plate. You hear the sound of Judy Garland launch from the radio singing her tragic anthem, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. You notice a book that dictates the signs of mental instability.

Often times, as in the case of “Storm Room” (2009), the imagined world is created so thoroughly, you really do question whether the artists have perhaps maneuvered a time slip or some sort of trans-continental teleportation device to get you to the empty Dentist’s office near Tokamachi, Japan, that was recreated for the piece.

Storm Room 1

[Photo: N.M. Hutcgubson]

An elaborate system of pipes, lighting, and speakers provide an uber realistic rendition of finding yourself unsure, even whilst in the comfort of “safety”. You can hear the coughing of a neighbour in the next “room”, and while you wait for the storm to “end”, you find yourself wondering where exactly you might have landed.

Storm Room 2

[Photo: N.M. Hutcgubson]

As water streams down the windows, and the rolling sound of thunder rattles the floor, you notice a roll of Japanese dental floss, buckets filling with water, a telephone, some old Japanese calendars, and a floor fan that only helps instil the uncomfortable quality of a 1960s Hiroshi Teshigahara film.

The Killing Machine- Cardiff Miller

[Photo: Seber Ugarte & Lorena Lopez]

Another unsettling piece, 2007’s  “The Killing Machine”, transports to a world unexpected and unknown. Forcing the viewer to imagine the violence and pain of being held on its soft pink fur chair at the will of two  elegantly choreographed, rotating stabbing wands, the piece is equally unsettling as it is beautiful.

Cardiff Miller- the killing machine - 2007

[Photo: Seber Ugarte & Lorena Lopez]

A statement on the nature of capital punishment, as well as a riff off Franz Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony”, the piece works on the level that it blends these horrors with a beautiful array of coloured lights, a disco ball (who doesn’t love a disco ball?), and almost triumphant orchestration for a bizarrely amusing and eerie imagining of our society’s indifference to killing.

The most impacting piece, had to be the first piece ventured to in the gallery – “Opera for a Small Room” which the couple created in 2005. The piece is a 20 minute long immersion into the tale of a sad and mysterious man (“R DENNEHY”) who speaks throughout the piece about his sad tale of lost love, and a seemingly lost sense of self.

Cardiff Miller - Opera for a Small Room

[Photo: Cardiff/Miller]

Contained in a small shed-like space filled to the brim with nearly 2,000 individual records, eight record players, and twenty-four antique loudspeakers; the piece encapsulate a mysterious, melancholy, and mildly sinister mood, all while telling the story of the strange man who embodies the space between the sounds of various arias, sounds, songs, and pop music. The entire story is aligned with the change of synchronized light and colour.

cardiff miller- opera for a small room- detail

cardiff miller- opera for a small room- detail 2

[Photo: Cardiff/Miller]

As the piece progresses you are enticed to circle the “room” to peer through the wall’s various cut-outs and doorways in hopes of gaining new perspectives on the world inside. As your eyes begin to wander you notice bowling trophies, suitcases, and other objects that add to this strange simulated reality. Its an opus of emotion, and another testament to the artists’ unique craft.

opera for a small room- cardiff miller- room

[Photo: Kunsthaus Bregenz]

   Writing is like a 3-Dimensional process for me. The words and sentences have to work with a physical space, resonate with that space. One thing works on the page but it’s a different thing when they are juxtaposed with a physical environment.

Janet Cardiff

Like a movie in real time playing before your eyes, the works of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are remarkable and exciting works of contemporary Canadian art that we are lucky enough to have gotten the chance to enjoy so closely and thoroughly.

The artists’ cinematic tendencies and unusual combination of various sound and media point to a world where the disparate worlds of various arts and industry can coincide and exist together, for engaging and elevating works of art that not only provide an aesthetic experience, but delve deep into the psyche to penetrate the world of dream, nightmare, and emotion.

To put it plainly, “Lost in the Memory Palace” is as close to Utopia as we’ve seen in this world yet. There are plenty of other pieces by the couple to enjoy at the exhibit, so be sure not to miss out on this incredibly poignant and realized showing on now at the AGO.

“Lost in the Memory Palace: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller” at the Art Gallery of Ontario {April 6, 2013 – August 18, 2013}, for more info click here.

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {February 20, 2013} – James Dean’s ‘Life’ Mask {circa. 1955}

JAMES DEAN 1955 HAND PAINTED MASK - 1

We’ve learned there is a lot of crazy cool stuff on ETSY, but this one has to take the cake as the find (at least of the week)! Does he look familiar to you? He should. He’s a pretty steady regular here for us, at The Eye of Faith; after all, he is the one and only King of being bad, of embracing that rebel spirit and never letting go – JAMES DEAN.

That’s right, kids. This is a death mask of the true blue American icon, and idol of style for millions around the world, both during life and after death. Reminds me of the Elizabeth Taylor mask, Lanier Smith shared with us in the past, but this is, as I said – JAMES DEAN!!!

JAMES DEAN 1955 HAND PAINTED MASK - 2

Described here by the seller:

They were selling for $900 in California in 1955. That was quite a lot of money. Dean was beloved by many and right now still wildly popular among all generations. This mask was considered unusual because J. Leslie painted it, eyes and all by hand.

It is quite stunning and yes, these absolutely are James Deans features. They were made from the first mask created. 

These are becoming much harder to find, it comes with a license plate that went with the plaster mask.

It states California-James Dean-1931-1955.

Incredible, huh ?! Sometimes you just have to take that search a little further, turn that corner to the next page, and bona fide gems like this are just waiting to say ‘Hey’ to their new owner.

At $395, it’s a little bit our of our league, and maybe a bit frivolous, but God I’d love to own it. As the seller also mentions:  “This is a must have for a true fan, it is as close as you are going to get to a dead man.

Perhaps that’s creepy, but at the risk that James Dean’s death mask will start talking mysteriously one night, I’d be willing to take those chances!

James Dean is our rebel icon. Live Fast. Die Young. And Always Look Your Best – Even in Death.

{You can check out more listings from the dealer, FIVEHANDS CURIOSITIES  here. They have a really great selection of unique and bizarre items from all decades of the past. And while you’re browsing, don’t forget to visit our own hand-picked selection of men’s eclectic finest}

DON’T FORGET TO TWEET, TWEET, TWEET! #vintage #theeyeoffaith @theeyeoffaith

Until next time,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {February 6, 2013}

EOF- Adventure Boy Ready For Action

Are you ready for adventure?

Check out the {SHOP} for all the necessities you need to get lost . . .

Fashion Time Travellers Unite.

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Steve McQueen Doesnt Even Want To Go Into It

E.O.F. Photoblast: The Perils of a Mask


As we spend our waking days on the open road, we come across so many new faces any given sunday.  Each with a story, and a depth of compassion unique to each individual.

If one common thread runs true, it’s the restraint one can take to fit the ‘norm’.  We’re constantly encouraging our readers to do away with this mask of normality, and craft a new facade, mirror’d in your own image.  With qualities unique and true.

Time holds no barred, because this is a tale as old as time.  Make your mark, and proudly wear the mask of yourself while starring back at your own destiny.  Head no fear, temptation will be near.  The strength you have in diversity will always stand beside you in your courage.

Old photographs tell the oldest tales perhaps the loudest.  With mystery behind the eye’s, story’s we’ll never truly get to hear,  yet an expression of a mask telling every detail.

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

-Oscar Wilde

So head our words, the world is full of so many pressures today, and it seems like everyday the numbers are growing, so the last thing you need is adding yourself to the equation! JUST DO YOU!

Find what makes you happy, and what sets you apart, then just let the freak flags fly. For two thousand years we have been obsessed with being unhappy with ourselves, and it’s about time we start to change that!

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Face the Future: Vapid Freakshow Covers Vogue Italia


Sex and vanity collide in the  not so distant future.   S&M undertones emerge and take over the carnal landscape of this isolated Ranch.   A day in the life with rich bliss and voyeuristic intentions have us intrigued and mildly disturbed.  So follow our lead as we take you through this bizarre yet eye-catching display of Fashion at it’s finest.

From the September spread for Vogue Italia shot by Steven Meisel, we are taken to a dark and strange world, with high end appeal.  Watch the above video by Gordon Von Steiner to get a glimpse into the weird world of mystery and perversion, mixed with aspirational sex appeal.

Model Carolyn Murphy channels her best Sharon Needles in this latest cover story.  With dozens of masks, each freakier than the last, and gorgeous styling by Karl Templer, we are blown away by the horror we find looking through this spread.

Thanks to Haute Macabre for bringing these images to our attention, we just knew we had to share it with our readers here at The Eye of Faith. Share with us your thoughts on this strange and telling tale of masked beauty and eerie fascination.


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“When I grow up, I want to be a Funeral Mute….”

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From our friends at {Retronaut}

“From about 1600 to 1914, funeral mutes were professional mourners. Symbolic protectors of the deceased, the mute would usually stand near the door of the home or church. [wikipedia]”

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{theEye}

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E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {August 14th, 2012}

{Model’d after Frankenstein, gruel make-up and  Tea time with a Munster!)

{The Eye}

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