Category Archives: art

William Burroughs: Dr Benway Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgpfmehW7iE

Thanks, Skary Nurse, for reminding us about this video….

(From Wikipedia)

Benway is the name of a character in many of William S. Burroughs’ novels, including Naked Lunch. Usually referred to as “Dr. Benway” or “Doc Benway,” (his first name is not revealed), he was used by the author to parody the medical profession and, perhaps, the misuses of science in general. More of a maverick surgical artist than a doctor, Benway lacks a conscience and is more interested in his performance (and his next fix) than his patients’ well-being. Benway is a manipulator and coordinator of symbolic systems, an expert on all phases of interrogation, brainwashing and control. He is also a master of disguise and gender ambiguity, playing the role of ‘mild mannered doctor’ stateside, whilst simultaneously maintaining the persona of ‘fadela- the bitch queen’, leading a carde of lesbian lovers in the medina and puppeteering a drug network.

More Anatomical Textile Art

textile1

 

textile2

A couple more exciting interesting images have been circulating through the Tumblr universe.

The first a bustier trotted out at this summer at “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” at the Montreal’s Musée des Beaux-Arts.

The knitted autopsy is the work of  Canadian multimedia artist Cadace Couse and appeared recently on the always-entertaining Street Anatomy.

 

Rx: Kitsch with Bob Byerley

Googling for “Medical Paintings” the other day turned up these kitschy wonders painted by artist Bob Byerley.

Aside from a colossal sentimentality that makes Norman Rockwell look like George Grosz, Byerley’s undeniable technical skills have helped make his paintings a hot Red State commodity.  Taking a cue, no doubt, from fellow conservative artist/entrepreneur Thomas Kinkade self-styled “Painter of Light,” Byerley bills himself as “The Painter of Our American Childhood,” stressing his heartland cred by pointing to a childhood spent in Kansas City, the propagandistic extremes of this opium dream of an Americana childhood can probably be explained by the fact that the artist only began painting toward the end of the 1960s.

Still, there’s something to love in his depiction of those  low-budget homemade medical props these kids have so ambitiously thrown together.  Can’t help but remind us of an Art of Bleeding show.

Or with a little help from psychedelics maybe this painting, Alice in Nukeland by Alejandro Dini. (thanks LaughingSquid.)

Masaru Shichinohe’s Magic Nurse

We don’t know much about Masaru Shichinohe, but we know what we like, and we like the not-entirely-innocent magic of these dreamlike scenes of children playing doctor. His site is in Japanese, so all we can say is that he was born in 1959 and has 18 books published, none of which have yet been translated into English.  Linguists and publishers take note!

You can find more of these images here and on the artist’s website.

 

The Anatomical Art of Fernando Vicente

vicente3

vicente4

vicente1

vicente2

Spanish illustrator and artist Fernando Vicente merges photography and painting in his illustrations for magazines, books, CDs, and film posters, but may be most well known in this country for his anatomically themed “Vanitas” and “Anatomias” painting series — the former dissecting the fashion world with a rather literal touch and the latter taking a similarly literal approach to the machine/body analogy.

Inappropriate Playthings

We’re always collecting pictures related to medical, health, safety, and the like, but sometimes other themes emerge. Like with these three otherwise unrelated images all representing things that probably shouldn’t be given to children but apparently were.

plaything1
This painting by Dutch artist Jan van Neck depicts the great anatomist Frederick Ruysch dissecting a stillborn infant as part of an anatomy lesson. However, it’s not so much the dissected baby that caught our eye as the child (Ruysch’s son?) who’s been invited in to rubberneck. And in particular it’s that fetal skeleton the kid’s apparently been given as a toy.

plaything2

Probably not quite as dangerous as it sounds, but still alarming if nothing else for its pro-nuke propaganda, this item was produced by the A.C. Gilbert Company in 1950. It contained a geiger counter, cloud chamber, electroscope, spinthariscope, and some genuine radioisotopes just to get things popping. Gilbert was also the inventor of the classic engineering toy, the Erector Set, (which, come to think of it, is also a kind of inappropriate at least as far as that name goes.)

plaything3

And speaking of “Erectors,” the Tumblr wonderland Mostly Forbidden Zone dug up this wrong-headed attempt to — what? — make oxygen more fun to breathe? I wasn’t aware children needed additional incentive other than the threat of suffocation when it came to breathing, but even if your normal oxygen tank might be less than inviting to particularly sensitive respiratory patients, I’m not sure encouraging them to “suck on the candy tube until you make the clown’s eyes roll,” is really putting the right idea in their heads. Or maybe I just overly suspicious of clowns.

 

Medical Fantasy Art from the Wellcome Museum

While poking around Sutured Infection’s Tumblr, we found these lovely medical themed paintings by Richard Tennant Cooper commissioned in 1912 by the Henry Wellcome for his museum of medical history.

cooper-cancer

Richard Tennant Cooper – “A giant claw pierces the breast of a sleeping naked woman, another naked woman swoops down and stabs the claw with a knife ; symbolising science’s fight against cancer.”, c. 1910

V0017053 An unconscious naked man lying on a table being attacke

Richard Tennant Cooper: “An unconscious naked man lying on a table being attacked by little demons armed with surgical instruments; symbolising the effect of chloroform on the human body.”, 1912

V0017232 Syphilis. Gouache by Richard Tennant Cooper, 1912.

Richard Tennant Cooper: “Syphilis”, 1912