3 Artists Who Straddle Time with Old and New Photos

We’ve explored examples of photography as time travel — time slipping, time collapsing, time-telescoping, and more. With one small (but fun!) variation, the images from the three photographers below share a theme of time straddling: using a photo, in the place it was originally taken, as a picture-window into the past. (How long before VR goggles help us not only see through time in still imagery, but allow us to walk around in the past?) Notice how each artist approaches the same concept differently, and with different effect. Julien Knez’s windows into historical Paris remind us of how well-preserved the city is (and, subtly, why that is); in contrast, Babak Fakhamzadeh’s work in Freetown shows us the decay that’s set in in many post-colonial African cities. Far afield from both is Francois Dourien’s ongoing project: more whimsical, yet with a sly nod to how popular culture – as delivered by our smartphones – can become the goggles through which we view our physical environment. Links will jump you down the page: Julien Knez: Paris then and now. Babak Fakhamzadeh: Freetown, Sierra Leon then and now. Francois Dourien: Pop culture images superimposed over IRL. Julien Knez Taking advantage of living in what’s possibly the… Continue reading 3 Artists Who Straddle Time with Old and New Photos

Vintage Photos of Halloween Costumes Both Hilarious and Disturbing

The waters of the Great 2016 Creepy Clown Hysteria seem to have receded (and shifted to the UK, where there are now anti-clown patrols). What better warmup for Halloween? Halloween started as Samhain, a pagan Celtic New Year’s observance, a transition between life-giving summer light and harvests, and death-bringing winter dark and cold. The Celts believed that the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred on this night, and that ghosts walked the earth. People built huge bonfires to keep back the dark, wore costumes of animal heads and skins to disguise themselves, and left out food as further distraction and appeasement. The Druids, priests of Celtic culture, made living sacrifices, and predictions of the future. The Romans later made their contribution, incorporating Feralia rituals that involved the passing of the dead, and offerings to Pomona, goddess of fruit and trees (this is where bobbing for apples is thought to have come from). The Catholic church made its mark too, first calling the festival All Saint’s Day, then later All Soul’s Day; by then the costumes represented saints, angels, and devils. At some point the day became known as All-hallow’s Mass, with the night before being… Continue reading Vintage Photos of Halloween Costumes Both Hilarious and Disturbing

26 Vintage Creepy Clown Pictures That Will Either Freak You Out, Or Get You in the Spirit

The Great Creepy Clown Hysteria of 2016 started in August in Green Bay, Wisconsin with reports of a clown wandering the streets late at night – or sometimes just standing by the side of the road – holding a bouquet of black balloons. The clown, it turned out, has a name – Gags the Clown – and was part of a guerilla marketing campaign for a short horror movie. But the evil clown meme, which is actually older than this country, had taken hold again, starting in South Carolina, where police started getting reports of sinister clowns trying to lure children into the woods with promises of cash. It spread from there. (One thing that’s new this time: Google Maps. The Mercury News put together a Creepy Clown Sighting Map – check it out at the bottom of the page). Behind those map pins: school closures, arrests, and plenty of fear. The New York Times ran a fascinating piece on the history of Creepy Clowns, noting that such hysterias and urban legends “spread in times of anxiety, when there are low levels of trust in official institutions and sources of information.” ‘Nuff said, right? Almost. Here are some vintage photos of… Continue reading 26 Vintage Creepy Clown Pictures That Will Either Freak You Out, Or Get You in the Spirit

The Good, the Bad, and the Sexy: 59 Rare Images of Santa Both Old and New

I don’t know about you, but I found out Santa wasn’t real through an offhand comment from a kid on the school bus. But with some pretty long hindsight, I think that kid had it all wrong – clearly, the guy’s everywhere, and has been for, well, longer than there have been school buses. So maybe the better question to ponder is how did Santa get to be so real?  In that spirit, here’s a brief, non-exhaustive history, along with some of his more varied flavors – including (links jump down the page) Vintage Creepy, Modern Sexy-fashion, and Vintage Classic Santa. 270: A child is born in Asia Minor (now Turkey) who will be known as the Bishop of Myra. The good bishop was imprisoned by the Roman Emperor Diocletian (As Christians often were at the time), then later reinstated by Constantine (more on him in a minute). The bishop had a reputation as a gift-giver, reportedly paying the dowries of impoverished girls, and handing out goodies to children, who’d leave their shoes out overnight in the hopes he’d leave them a little something. A cult of the bishop started in Greece, then spread; later he was canonized St. Nicholas, patron saint of… Continue reading The Good, the Bad, and the Sexy: 59 Rare Images of Santa Both Old and New