Some artists leave us tangled legacies– reputations tied up in creative theft, family feuds and unresolved estates. Others, like Adolf Wölfli, leave us a veritable Pandora’s Box for consideration. At a glance, Wölfli’s work oozes the sentiments of Psychedelic art; its kaleidoscopic swirls of colour look fresh off the Haight Ashbury, circa 1967. In truth, they’re the relics of a man orphaned in the 1800s, whose life was bookended by the abuse he both received and committed, and whose days were spent incarcerated at a Swiss mental hospital with schizophrenia.
1. Discovery of a 3000-2000 BC ‘high priest’ in a vessel during the Uruk excavation of 1929/30
At MessyNessyChic, we spend a lot of time in the 1960s, revisiting rock & roll communes, getting to know
One of the first things you’ll start to notice about Joe Christian Leyendecker’s work is that his women were never quite as good-looking as his men, who were devastatingly handsome. He gave us the elegance of Gatsby 20 years before F. Scott Fitzgerald had even invented him. Take a moment to observe the dashing man on the stairs, who couldn’t be showing less interest in the girl standing below him in the provocative pink slip dress.
1. The ridiculously dangerous sport of “Auto Polo”
Automobile polo or Auto polo was a motorsport invented in the United States with rules and equipment similar to equestrian polo but using automobiles instead of horses. The “sport” which was popularised by an automobile dealer as a publicity stunt for Ford cars.
…A tally of the damages encountered by Hankinson’s British and American auto polo teams in 1924 revealed 1564 broken wheels, 538 burst tires, 66 broken axles, 10 cracked engines and six cars completely destroyed during the course of the year.
“Then the Alka Seltzer shoots into the stomach!” are words you might not expect to hear from Salvador Dali from the comfort of your own living room. Yet, for anyone with a television in the 1960s and ’70s, the Surrealist legend also became a staple of the small screen, sharing his abounding, rehearsed excitement for ads about chocolate, and ink wells; airline companies and cures for indigestion. Naturally, critics and creatives lost it.
Five men, six women and one 101-day, sex-starved ocean adventure. Has a catchy ring to it, no? “It was a fabulous adventure story,” said Marcus Lindeen, director of a 2018 documentary called The Raft that chronicles 1973’s “Acali Experiment,” in which an eclectic group set sail to find out if the best– or worst– of humankind rears its head in isolation.
1. Pyramid of Unas
“The sword of Orion opens the doors of the sky.
Before the doors close again the gate to the path
Over the fire, beneath the holy ones as they grow dark
As a falcon flies as a falcon flies, may Unis rise into this fire
Beneath the holy ones as they grow dark.
They make a path for Unis, Unis takes the path,
Unis becomes the falcon star, Sirius.