Monte Beauchamp’s book, Popular Skullture is a refreshing look back at the early days of mass culture print publishing, when skulls still evoked a sense of the macabre. Skulls are no longer scary symbols of death, poison, or motorcycle outlaws. As design elements they are so popular now that they appear on baby clothing. They’ve become kind of boring, because they’ve lost their punch.
Apart from a couple of short introductory pieces at the beginning, the book consists entirely of skull-themed cover art from pulp magazines, comic books, and paperback novels. With an eye for the imaginative, Beauchamp has selected covers that make clever, odd, and funny use of skulls.
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One of the most iconic images of Salvador Dali's career was the photo of a skull composed from the artfully arranged bodies of nude models.
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Don't tell anyone, but I plan to break into the Musée du Louvre and snatch this 17th century skull watch made by Jean Rousseau, grandfather of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Montre en forme de tête de mort
Milieu du XVIIe siècle
Argent, laiton doré
D. : 5,50 cm. ; H. : 4,50 cm.
"Montre en forme de tête de mort" (Thanks, Michael-Anne Rauback!)
Czech artist Monika Horčicová makes beautiful, haunting sculptures comprised of repeated, 3D-printed human bones. They remind me of the Capela dos Ossos in Portugal, whose walls and vaults are lined with bones of 5,000 parishoners from nearby churches. There's something about Czech artists and bones, it seems -- witness Alice, Jan Svankmajer's classic taxidermy adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.
Noah Scalin writes "At long last I'm finally publishing all 365 of my original Skull-A-Day creations in a single book! I've partnered with Chop Suey Books, an amazing local independent bookseller here in Richmond, Virginia to finally create the ultimate volume of my yearlong skull art making project. The store is even launching a new imprint, Chop Suey Books Books, just to make and distribute this beautiful hardcover volume (if I do say so myself, since I'm the one that designed it!). I'm most excited about sharing a new model for artists and local businesses to work together to create something outside of the old systems, that can benefit us both, as well as our community. To kick things off we've decided to pre-sell the book on Kickstarter with some unique thank you gifts, including some of the actual original pieces of the project! I hope you'll check it out."
$24 gets you an early-bird book. Noah is a guy who ships what he starts, too.
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Here's gallery of skeletons and skulls made from melted-down cassette tapes by Brian Dettmer. Memento mori for a dead medium.
Remember the kickstarter for the sugar skull spoon? They not only completed successfully, but are now in full production, and are available retail through the Colossal store for $13.
Utrecht neurosurgeons 3D-printed a large section of a skull and implanted it in a 22-year-old woman with a bone disorder. According to the University Medical Centre Utrecht, this is the first time such a large implant has been successful without rejection, so far anyway. After three months, the patient is back at work and, according to the surgeon, "it is almost impossible to see that she's ever had surgery." (Wired.co.uk, thanks Wes Allen!)
Nigel, a Scottish forensic artist, did this facial reconstruction job on a bottle of Crystal Head Vodka, yielding up a glimpse of how the grotesque crystalline monsters whose skulls are harvested by the Crystal Vodka people might look.
Ryan sez, "This is the spiral skull that I created in Zbrush and got printed in strong, flexible nylon. It's being featuring at the 3D Printshow in NYC which wraps up Saturday." It's called "Mortal Coil" (clever!) and it's €66.59 and up on Shapeways. If this sort of thing excites and amuses you as much as it does me, don't miss the fan-folded paper slinkoid sculptures of Li Hongbo.