Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) is an American painter widely known for his colorful works depicting commonplace objects — pies, lipsticks, paint cans, ice cream cones, pastries, and hot dogs — as well as for his landscapes and figure paintings. In his defense of common objects as being suitable for painting, as seen with Candy Ball Machine (1977), Thiebaud often mentions the gumball machine. “A gumball machine can be a kind of icon, with its simple beauty, its colors, its relationship, its magic — we put in a penny and out comes a brightly colored gumball or prize. It is a glorious toy which we adults miss the wonder of.”
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Wayne Thiebaud, Draftsman, Which is on View at The Morgan Library in NYC Through September 23rd, 2018.
This quote by the late great David Bowie — “Tomorrow Belongs to Those Who Can Hear it Coming” — gets a vibrant new life when printed on the spines of horizontally stacked book that have been wrapped in pink paper or vinyl. According to this source, “Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming” was the slogan David Bowie coined to promote Heroes, the second installment of his great Berlin album trilogy. It neatly captures one of his most important talents: to intuit the future and draw it forward into the popular culture of the present. Sometimes he would simply grasp the importance of a trend, as when he understood that the arrival of the internet would transform the economics of the music industry and the relationship between artists and audiences. But more often it was his artistry in self-reinvention that opened up new modes of cultural expression or brought shooting up to the surface deeper social trends. When he famously threw his arms round Mick Ronson’s shoulders on Top of the Pops, he was doing more than advertising his bisexuality. He was helping catalyze the liberation in the politics of sexual identity that would unfold in the 1970s.
Photographed at the New York Now Home Show at Javits Center in February of 2018.
This photo is pulled from an 1977 Slingerland Drum Advertisement for their custom wrap kit, where they’d make shell wraps with whatever image you wanted on them. I’m not sure if some clever drummer out there actually made a Coca Cola Kit, but the photo sure is cool!
The Los Angeles-based street artist Thierry Guetta, better known as Mr Brainwash, has lost a copyright case involving a 1977 photograph of the punk rock musician Sid Vicious shot by the British photographer Dennis Morris. Guetta had claimed that the seven works he created using Morris’s black and white photograph, including one mural and one collage made of broken vinyl records, were sufficiently altered to be protected by the fair use defence, which allows for the use of copyrighted material for commentary, criticism and parody.
The federal judge rejected Guetta’s claim, saying that “most of [the] defendant’s works add certain new elements, but the overall effect of each is not transformative.” The judge also opposed the argument that “appropriation art per se” should be protected by fair use. As we went to press, the terms of the settlement, including unspecified damages, were being determined.
In 2011 Guetta lost a copyright case to Glen Friedman over his use of Friedman’s photograph of the rap group Run DMC, while last year the estate of the photographer Jim Marshall sued Guetta and Google for the unauthorised use of Marshall’s photographs of musicians. This case has not yet been decided and is due to go to trial in July.
On This Date, October 28th in 1977: Sex Pistols released their only album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, which featured the singles “Anarchy In The UK,” “God Save The Queen,” “Pretty Vacant” and “Holidays In The Sun.” In spite of a ban that kept the album out of many record stores and prevented some of their songs from getting radio play, Never Mind the Bollocks managed to reach the #1 spot on the UK albums chart. In other news, watch for my rad interview with Sex Pistols’ drummer Paul Cook coming VERY soon!
“I Danced Myself Into The Tomb. Is It Strange To Dance So Soon?”
On This Date, September 16th, in 1977: T. Rex singer and guitarist Marc Bolan was killed in a car accident in London when his girlfriend, American singer Gloria Jones lost control of her car and hit a tree. He was 29 years old.
On This Date, September 1st in 1977: Generation X released its debut single “Your Generation,” backed by “Day By Day.” The single reached the #36 spot on the U.K. singles chart. The London punk band, fronted by Billy Idol, disbanded in 1981. Generation X was always among my top three of four favorite first wave British punk bands, not incidentally because I had a mad crush on Billy Idol. Aside from the very excellent debut album I’d also recommend the band’s second album, Valley of The Dolls, which was produced by Ian Hunter.
On This Date, August 16th, in 1977: Elvis Presley left the building for the last time when he was found dead, laying on the floor of his bathroom at Graceland. The official cause of death was heart failure. He was 42 years old.