Archive for the Antique Fairs Category

…and Miles to Go Before We Sleep (1: final San Diego photos.)

Posted in Antique Fairs, Century Guild Contemporary, Century Guild Events, Comic Conventions, Gail Potocki, Jim Rose Circus, San Diego Comic Con, Steampunk on 15 February, 2011 by Thomas Negovan
Rod wrangles the teeming hordes of Thomas Jane fans for us.

Rod wrangles the teeming hordes of Thomas Jane fans for us. His signings in our booth caused a bit of a traffic jam. (Ok, MORE than a bit, there was a whole security contingent issued to sort the mayhem.)

I am averaging about one post a decade at this pace.  Let’s relive the magic and splendor of Comic Con with the belief that if a picture tells a thousand words, you are about to experience a million word essay!

It is always magical to see Brian Froud and his wife Wendy, the artists who created the visuals for The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.  (Photo taken by Dave McKean, director of MirrorMask, the third of the three Jim Henson fantasy films.)

It is always magical to see Brian Froud and his wife Wendy, the artists who created the visuals for The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. (Photo taken by Dave McKean, director of MirrorMask, the third of the three Jim Henson fantasy films.)

Jim Rose is right: San Diego Comic Con is full of the strangest things one will EVER see...

Jim Rose (holding up a vintage poster for his Circus) is right: San Diego Comic Con is full of the strangest things one will EVER see...

An example of the insanity...

An example of the aforementioned insanity... From Art Nouveau... to LEGOs! In only twenty paces!

Because Michaelanne LOVES "CHiPs"! Her first celebrity connection at Comic Con? Erik Estrada!

Melissa auf der Maur (Hole, Smashing Pumpkins, Rufus Wainwright) was lovely... I suspect that her aura is a Heavy Metal loving teenage boy spinning a Pre-Raphaelite dream.

MAdM and Lee Moyer signed a poster for her "Out of Our Minds" environmental music and film Friday and Saturday.

I can't believe that the League of Steam convinced Gail and Stuart to do a circle of electrocution...

I can't believe that the League of Steam convinced Gail Potocki and Stuart to do a circle of electrocution...

But then I shouldn't be surprised that Holistic Health Maven and Consistent Overachiever Stuart did it TWICE.

As much as Michaelanne loves Erik Estrada, it doesn't come close to how much Gail Potocki LOVES Paul Komoda!!! Here she is with his pendant "The Kiss".

And before we knew it, it was midnight on Sunday. The neckties came off, and after hours of blood and falling timbers the truck was packed full of Art Nouveau goodness.

Thanks also to Steve Diet Goedde, who also signed in our booth but is strangely absent from photos!  The curse of the photographer, I suppose…

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Keeping up with the Zullis, part one of my summer…

Posted in A Day in the Life, Antique Fairs, Century Guild Contemporary, Century Guild Events, Comic Conventions, Dave McKean, Michael Zulli, San Diego Comic Con on 26 August, 2010 by Thomas Negovan

Michael insists that I blog, and in heading over to his site, I see that he is putting his money well where his mouth is.  So here I am.

Things have been relentless since April.  Most recently, I’ve been really wrestling with my optimism, and maintenance thereof.  I’ve also learned some great things about diplomacy from Melissa Auf der Maur, and am trying to figure out how to balance those ideas with the brutal honesty I crave.  San Diego Comic Con was wonderful, all said, but not using drugs does not equal sobriety, and the ways in which people fight tooth and nail to perpetuate a view of the world that makes them feel justified to be- well, to put it bluntly, shitty human beings- has shocked me once again.  “I can’t control what people think of me” is a sentence that shouldn’t be used as a license to be a complete and utter asshole.  Because one sure way to at least help increase your chances of people saying nice things about you is putting love and art above money and paranoia.  But I digress, with MAdM tugging at my sleeve to get back on point.

The positives: well, there IS the Melissa Auf der Maur one, to begin- she really seems like one of the good ones.  I enjoyed getting to know her.  And for all the phone time I’ve had with Michael Zulli, this was the firs time we met face to face, and I have to say that I am deeply deeply in love with this man.  You couldn’t make him up!  Well, you could, but no one would believe it.  Dave McKean’s wife is amazing, and I keep seeing new facets to Dave each time I am around him- each one making me understand more that his success- both as an artist, and as a man- are no accident.

I’d like to thank ABC news for running that four minute piece on us, but then I’d have to show it here, and having the Anti-Defamation league call us Nazi Sympathizers for carrying a parody poster about “secret Nazi mating camps” is best left in the past.  But it was entertaining as hell.  The image in question is HERE, if you’re curious…

So thanks to everyone who came out to San Diego- Jeremy Bastian remains a genius to the nth degree, I’m even more of a Steve Diet Goedde fan than I was before, the lines for Thomas Jane caused massive disruptions for security, MZ’s lady Karen is like a goddamn superhero (I love her as much as I do Michael), Lee Moyer is an Angel with a capital “A”, and thanks to God’s Girls and Reverend Mitcz for keeping the Haute Campe corner fun.  Michaelanne, Jack, and Sioux came through in a big way, they are like marathon runners, and I continue to take Gail and Stuart for granted, thank God they know how much I need them, haha!

Enough with words, I never blogged about Artropolis, the movie deal, or what is coming next month, so I just need to let some pictures to the talking to try to recap five months of life and get back on schedule.  Love to you all, and yes- my optimism remains intact.  I am lucky to have had the parents I did, and the friends that I do.  Check it out…

Because no place is safe.

Because no place is safe.

Jack and Michaelanne dress up for Artropolis

Jack and Michaelanne dress up for Artropolis

Thomas Negovan and Stuart Tomc at Chicago Art Salon opening at Primitive Annex

Thomas Negovan and Stuart Tomc at Chicago Art Salon opening at Primitive Annex

Before the mad preparations for San Diego Comic Con, one last trip to the farm and the beach.

Before the mad preparations for San Diego Comic Con, one last trip to the farm and the beach.

Seeing this in my alley made me think of Jack for some reason.  A sign of the week to come?

Seeing this in my alley made me think of Jack for some reason. A sign of the week to come?

Lastly, the night before we left for San Diego, I had a candlelit concert with The Leather Push...

Lastly, the night before we left for San Diego, I had a candlelit concert with The Leather Push...

To be continued…

CENTURY GUILD Featured On Newest Doctor Who DVD!!!

Posted in A Day in the Life, Antique Fairs, Century Guild Contemporary, Century Guild Events, Comic Conventions, Dave McKean, Doctor Who, Gail Potocki, Jeremy Bastian on 2 March, 2010 by Thomas Negovan

All right, not really, but I finally watched “The End of Time” last night, and was thrilled that our booth of 19th Century and Symbolist Art showed up in the bonus features on the Complete Specials DVD!
You can clearly see the Dave McKean and Gail Potocki paintings, and Stuart for a few seconds (easily recognized as the only man to attend San Diego Comic Con every year since 1979 in a Gordon Gekko costume- he’s quite excited about Wall Street 2!) and as shown in my highly pixellated screencaps (sorry, best I could do), a couple of choice seconds of Jeremy Bastian (1st), and Jack and Sioux Sinner (2nd):
We meet the most talented people in the world at San Diego Comic Con- last year’s highlights were, for Gail Potocki, Billy Mumy (she always wanted to be a member of his family on Lost in Space!), for Sioux, Colin Baker (“He was MY Doctor!”), and- for me- John Barrowman, who might just be the most charming man I’ve ever met.  (And I’ve met a lot…)  Check out the photos where he and Gail Potocki talk about their mutual appreciation of mesocephalic sideshow Freaks here.  This is clearly shaping into a full-on Doctor Who fan post.  

When John said that Gail should paint his portrait, she joked that she should portray him with two heads- a personification of his high energy- for her Circus Freaks series.

 

A funny story about Sioux’s Dalek tattoo… when she took her coat off at Dave McKean‘s signing at Soap Plant in Los Angeles, Dave leaned forward, grabbed her arm and asked incredulously, “Please tell me that washes off…?” The next day, I offered to pay for all of us get Doctor Who tattoos as we drove past a parlor (to needle Dave’s comment the night before), and Dave commented, “I shudder to think what I would have chosen as a permanent artwork when I was in MY twenties… I think I’d have a giant YES logo across my chest today.” (But Jack and I aren’t sure that that’s a bad thing…)
Sioux SInner, back when she was still sporting short hair; and Jack, back when he was...ummm...

Sioux Sinner and her Dalek tattoo, back when she was still sporting short hair; and her pet Jack-a-lope

 

 

Tractator

Tractator

 

Then, last weekend, I was interviewed by androzani.net about my unhealthy addiction to clutter. Well, that’s not exactly how THEY phrased it, but that’s how Gail Potocki is going to describe it when she reads this: http://androzani.net/archives/732. (I really wanted to wait until she showed up in Chicago and saw that drippy snail guy hanging out next to my bed, but the news must go on. BOB- don’t tell her!!! There is still a chance for surprise!)

“I bought one of the Tractators from the Peter Davison episode Frontios, and a Plasmaton costume. God knows what I’m going to do with THAT.”

Plasmaton

Plasmaton, or Thomas answering the door to collect the post.

 

The only thing I’ll add is that I obviously DO know what I’ll do with a Plasmatron costume… (my mail lady doesn’t know what she’s in for).  Plus, I think it’s funny that the way that I said it was as though the Tractator costume was not ridiculous at all- in my sentence there is a very clear delineation between that and the of-course-it’s-useful-to-have Tractator, haha!  I did think about using the costumes to scare the neighborhood children, but I’d probably get beaten unconscious, what with kids today and their rap music and video games.  My generation?  We knew how to be scared by a snail-man and a rock-guy!

Tractator

"My" Tractator in its previous home in the travelling museum exhibition, "Doctor Who Up Close"

 

Davison and Tractator

Peter Davison and a Tractator

 

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Merchandise Mart Fall Antiques Fair: “Laugh, Clown, Laugh”

Posted in Antique Fairs, Century Guild Events, Opera artifacts, Silent Cinema on 30 October, 2009 by Thomas Negovan

First of all, I just read the title that Jack put on our new soon-to-be announced sister blog, and laughed so hard that if I were drinking milk it would have come out of my nose.

As in the confessional: “please forgive me; it’s been nearly eleven weeks since our last proper update.”

(1) The event at La Luz de Jesus was a wild success, thank you to everyone who showed up!

(2) We had a fantastic show at the Merchandise Mart which was an even bigger success… we tried something a little more “accessible to the masses” and it was a good move- the giant Pagliacci poster was a standout favorite of a number of celebrity designers, as was (of course) the legendary Verdi poster.

(3) COMING UP: Winnetka Modernism (Nov 6-8), yes; and GAIL POTOCKI at BILLY SHIRE FINE ARTS! November 14th opening, all new great works! Please tell your friends!

Here are photos from the Merchandise Mart, another update is imminent. Thanks for reading.

MART-pagliacci

Laugh, Pagliacci, laugh... circa 1910. Gigantic, rare... and breathtaking.

MART-09-6

Merchandise Mart Fall 2009: Art Nouveau, Opera, Gothic, and 1950s masters.

Tom-mart09small

Thomas Negovan loves purple striped slacks from Savile Row.

MARTfall09_1

1880-1920 now becomes 1880-1960...! Edmond Lachenal meets Invasion of the Star Creatures, Hermann August Kahler meets X, The Man With the X-Ray Eyes.

MART09-5

Guiseppi Palanti

MART09-3

The only time Stuart Tomc sat down the entire weekend.

MART09-2

Envy, an Italian silent film, 1911.

Tom-MART-closer-1

(Because purple striped slacks deserve an encore.)

This weekend: Sex, Murder, and Anarchy at La Luz de Jesus in Hollywood!

Posted in Antique Fairs, Century Guild Contemporary, Century Guild Events, Silent Cinema, Transmission Atelier on 11 August, 2009 by Thomas Negovan

Still not sorted out from San Diego, we’re loading up the caravan again to head to Los Angeles for an exhibition of our most disturbing and sexy posters at the legendary La Luz de Jesus.

Billy Shire, founder of La Luz de Jesus, is Godfather of the whole LA art scene.  He was instrumental in the careers of Joe Coleman, Shag, The Clayton Brothers, Glenn Barr… his resumé reads like a “Who’s Who” of art legends.  Our favorite Gail Potocki shows at his elegant BSFA space, and he is one of the most gentle and inspired human beings I’ve had the honor and pleasure of meeting.  We’re holding our 2010 Dave McKean/ silent cinema exhibition at his BSFA space, but to properly appease the raunchy Gods of Victorian Sex and Murder, we need to be in- where else?- Hollywood…!

Syphilis, 1918

Syphilis, 1918

Voluptuaries & Vivisections:
A Celebration of Depravity

Guest Curator: Thomas Negovan

August 14 – 30
Opens Friday, August 14, 2009
8 – 11 PM

These are images that burned themselves into the minds and hearts of unwitting late 19th/early 20th century citizens, inciting unparalleled controversy all over Europe and beyond… and promise those same reactions in those who cross paths with them today. Decadence, dandyism, sex, and murder: more than mere posters, these are windows into the darkest corners of human compulsion.

In an event curated by Thomas Negovan and Century Guild, a Chicago gallery known for museum quality Art Nouveau and Symbolist Art, La Luz de Jesus invites you to be a part of an unprecedented event that explores the taboos that have titillated and tormented since the turn of the century. Masterpieces of lithographed poster art from 1880-1940 illustrating subjects ranging from seminal S&M literature to STD warnings to serial killers will be shown, all of which shall be sure to incite reactions of lust, terror, anger, nausea, and inspiration. NOT TO BE MISSED!

The Haunted Castle, 1924

The Haunted Castle, 1921

I would heartily agree with the “not to be missed” aspect… here are some of the other images that will be on display…  No excuses, get over to this show and say hello!!!

Carriage No. 13, 1921

Carriage No. 13, 1926

Mistresses of the Pope, seminal S&M literature from 1891

Mistresses of the Pope, seminal S&M literature from 1884

Grand Guignol, c 1920

Grand Guignol, c 1920

White Slavery, 1926

White Slavery, 1927

July recap, part 2 of 2: San Diego Comic Con!

Posted in Antique Fairs, Century Guild Contemporary, Century Guild Events, Comic Conventions, Dave McKean, Gail Potocki, Jeremy Bastian, Olympian Publishing, Silent Cinema, Transmission Atelier on 9 August, 2009 by Thomas Negovan

I feel as though there should be some celebration for post number 13.  A party around a cauldron, perhaps?

We are getting ready for the LA exhibition, things aren’t slowing down a bit, and I have to get something up about San Diego Comic Con so that I can write a post before leaving for California again- we are all racking up the frequent flyer miles, that is certain.

Crowds begin to form at the San Diego Convention Center (photo taken by Dave from his hotel window)

Crowds begin to form at the San Diego Convention Center, from Dave McKean's hotel window

Ummm… what do I remember?  Setup was long but not too difficult, opening night was upon us before we could blink.  The big news opening night?  Kildanny.

I have footage somewhere of Jeremy Bastian‘s expression of surprise when he saw his character come to life thanks to my friend Lex Rudd of Primal Visions.  We publish Jeremy’s book Cursed Pirate Girl, and Kildanny is a character in a tale that Cursed Pirate Girl weaves to scare some young boys.  (Cursed Pirate Girls are known to like to scare boys.  For fun.)  Cameras were flashing NONSTOP all weekend, and the amount of photos online are wonderful.  Here’s one:

The dreaded pirate Kildanny, from Jeremy Bastian's Cursed Pirate Girl

The dreaded pirate Kildanny, from Jeremy Bastian's Cursed Pirate Girl

Jeremy Bastian, with Kildanny come to life!

Jeremy Bastian, comparing moustaches with Kildanny-come-to-life

So as you can imagine, he was very happy, which made me very happy!

The rest is a bit of a blur.  We’ll make a formal announcement soon about our new artists, but in brief: Lisa Black’s sculptures were a massive hit and everything sold, with them entering some pretty impressive collections.  Boingboing.com and Wired put them in their Comic Con review, and io9.com listed them under “The 17 most expensive things at Comic Con“…

Lisa Black's Fawn, from her Fixed series.  Taxidermy, metal and clockwork parts, 2007

Lisa Black's Fawn, from her Fixed series. Taxidermy, metal and clockwork parts, 2007

I was very happy that my sister/sweetheart/partner-in-crime Sioux Sinner drove in from Las Vegas to help out.  Her Doctor Who-related tattoos of a Dalek and an Adipose were quite the conversation starters for the boys.  Something that happens a lot at these shows is that pretty girls get hired to be “booth babes” and pass out postcards for whatever crap someone is promoting, so the ongoing joke with how successful our show was that obviously all we needed was a booth babe.  (Just to be clear, that was a joke.  Sioux is very smart and was there for non-booth babe reasons.)

Reason number one being David Tennant, current lead in the legendary BBC programme Doctor Who, who was at the show, along with producer Russel T. Davies and cast members from the fantastic spin-off Torchwood, which has become massively successful in the US.

Doctor... Tennant?

Doctor... Tennant? Not really. (Notice the girl in the back pointing at him?)

I am one of the people who has come to like Torchwood perhaps even MORE than Doctor Who, and was happy that Sioux brought star John Barrowman (affectionately known to the world as Captain Jack Harkness) to our booth.  He had just watched the movie “Freaks” with his sister, and was SO excited about Gail Potocki‘s new Freak series that I wish I had it on camera… he was very charming, and explained that as he and his sister watched the film they looked up facts on the internet.  Gail had done quite a bit of serious research, and he knew trivia that even she didn’t about her subjects!

The charming John Barrowman looking at Gail Potocki's Freak paintings

The charming John Barrowman discussing Gail Potocki's Freak paintings

'Pip' from Gail Potocki's new Freaks series.  (Who, thanks to John Barrowman, we now know was incontinent- hence the dress...)

'Pip' from Gail Potocki's new Freaks series. (Who, thanks to John Barrowman, we now know was incontinent- hence the dress...)

During set-up, we teased Gail that her Freaks prints were going out in the hallway because she was “old news” behind Jeremy Bastian and Dave McKean.  After the hysterical fun that the VERY charming John Barrowman brought into our booth she joked, “Don’t underestimate Pip- he saved the day!  Even though you tried to stick me out in the hallway.”

When John said that Gail should paint his portrait, she joked that she should do him as a 'Freak' with two heads

John Barrowman joking with Gail Potocki

Freak Appreciation Society

Founding members of the Freak Appreciation Society

Of course, the painting “Destiny” by Dave McKean was a huge hit, and the Transmission Atelier prints of Dave’s Nitrate series sold VERY well.  When Dave approached the booth, he said, “Hmmm… I like my billing- over Klimt, not too bad!”, something Gail had joked about during set-up…

Dave McKean's 'Destiny' painting (plus that guy Klimt)

Dave McKean's 'Destiny' painting (plus that guy Klimt). Jeremy Bastian and Jack help a customer, Emily appeears to be... reading? I'm not sure.

Century Guild booth: Opium, Cocaine...

Century Guild booth: Opium, Cocaine...

Gerard Way, looking at Symbolist artifacts

Gerard Way, singer for My Chemical Romance and author of The Umbrella Academy, appreciating the Symbolist artifacts

Sioux seemed to run into the most random people while she wandered; Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, cast members from Torchwood, True Blood, Twilight… the best story of all is when she pushed Stan Lee’s wheelchair around, but it’s sunrise here and I need to sleep.

Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer (creators of The Venture Brothers) with Sioux Sinner

Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer (creators of The Venture Brothers) with Sioux Sinner, right after she unknowingly crashed their interview- Not kidding.

goofy bourgeois

Posted in A Day in the Life, Antique Fairs, Gail Potocki, Jeremy Bastian on 3 June, 2009 by Thomas Negovan

Someone typed that on Google and it- curiously- led to our blog.  I’m serious. (And now that I’ve used it as a title, we are actively crawling up that particular search string.)

Too tired from looking at art and posters and making posters for Dave’s show and planning shows and exhibitions and booths and stamping books and packing art and shipping said art and eating leafy greens to do anything productive…

I thought about the interviews where they make an artist put their iTunes on random and make them share the playlist, no matter how embarrassing.  I won’t share the fact that I’m listening to Earth, Wind, and Fire relentlessly as I work on the Kinogeists book, or that my shuffle is now playing Rick Springfield, for fear of losing my massive artistic credibility.  What I will do is this:

Thirteen images, universally lucky number and Baker’s dozen, pulled from my iPhone by their anonymous file code, and presented here unedited and unphotoshopped.  (Let’s hope there’s no incriminating shots of Jack supergluing shut the new and highly controversial Chicago parking meters.)

I can’t wait for the Nitrate and Kinogeists show here in Chicago, I think that we may have a really fantastic new artist to announce before San Diego, and it is impossible to be as Zen-master calm as Allen Spiegel, but we mere mortals can keep trying.  In the meantime, enjoy thirteen magical seconds of my life:

Lovelovelove,

Tom

This one

Oh, this is a good one. Our archivist couldn't find a tube that was long enough to hold the Opium poster, so he wrote warnings on the side for the Merchandise Mart's not-always-so-careful Union handlers. The other sides said "Pushing Down=Murder" and "Push Down, Kiss Your Life Good Bye".

Jeremy Bastian loves Industrial music, and Mexican Food at 4 a.m.

Jeremy Bastian loves Industrial music, and Mexican Food at 4 a.m.

After the midnight show of The Dark Crystal at the Music Box; thankfully we only found one of these tossed aside.

After the midnight show of The Dark Crystal at the Music Box; thankfully we only found one of these tossed aside.

I didn't buy the chair.  But I should have.

Fairies and ghosts love old leather.

Gail Potocki is happy about twice a year.  This was one of those nights.

Gail Potocki is blissfully happy about twice a year. This was one of those nights.

Stuart was so funny this show, I wish we had a video camera.  I'm not kidding.

Stuart was so funny this show, I wish we had a video camera. I'm not kidding.

Every night is Halloween around here.  I love it.

Every night is Halloween around here, and I love it.

I pulled up to a stop sign around 1 a.m. just as this woman stumbled past in her bathrobe.  Not kidding.

I pulled up to a stop sign around 1 a.m. just as this woman stumbled past in her bathrobe. Not kidding once again.

The Reverend Hudson.  Jack touched Hugh Jackman's butt mere moments after this was taken.

The Reverend Hudson. Jack touched Hugh Jackman's butt mere moments after this was taken.

I have no idea.  I think for the wall texture.

I have no idea. I think for the wall texture. (It was very "European Gulag".)

Our Artropolis booth.  You can see the unbelievably sexy original Walter Schnackenberg painting pretty well here.

Our Artropolis booth. You can see the unbelievably sexy original Walter Schnackenberg painting moderately well here on the front column. People's reactions were VERY varied, and VERY entertaining when they rounded the corner and saw "Opium" "Hunger" "Syphilis" and "Cocaine".

This the second day in 2009 when Gail Potocki was wildly happy from playing in the garden.  That's her quota.

This the second day in 2009 when Gail Potocki was wildly happy from playing in the garden. (That's her quota.) This is an old box spring from a sleeper couch that she converted into a trellis for her Clematis. Lyta is wagging her tail as she gets scratched under the chinny chin chin.

Lyta has a magic snaggletooth that is soooo heavy that she just has to rest it sometimes.

Lyta has a magic snaggletooth that is soooo heavy that she just has to rest it sometimes. And, yes, she sits there with her legs straddling the arm of the chair like that every single day. When not sleeping on the back of the chair like a cat.