Shao Yinong & Mu Chen: Childhood Mementos in China

I adore this photographic series called ‘Childhood Memento’ by Chinese husband and wife team Shao Yinong and Mu Chen.  The colors are dazzling, and I like the simplicity of the model’s pose against the vivid background in each image:

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Shao Yinong & Mu Chen – Childhood Memento – Weiming Lake (2001)

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Shao Yinong & Mu Chen – Childhood Memento – Yuanmingyuan Lake (2001)

Art Speak China: Mu Chen and Shao Yinong

Miquel Blay Fábregas’s ‘Los Primeros Fríos’

Miquel Blay created this beautiful sculpture, Los Primeros Fríos (The First Freeze)–featuring an old man and, presumably, his granddaughter–in 1892 and won first prize for it that same year at the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes de Madrid.  There are two versions: the original marble version, in which the figures are nude, and a bronze version onto which clothing was added.  The original, much in need of repair, now rests in Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays in the Palermo district of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Miquel Blay Fábregas - Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (1)

Miquel Blay Fábregas – Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (1)

Miquel Blay Fábregas - Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (2)

Miquel Blay Fábregas – Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (2)

Miquel Blay Fábregas – Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (3)

Miquel Blay Fábregas – Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (4)

Miquel Blay Fábregas – Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (5)

Miquel Blay Fábregas – Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (6)

Miquel Blay Fábregas - Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (7)

Miquel Blay Fábregas – Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (7)

Miquel Blay Fábregas - Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (8)

Miquel Blay Fábregas – Los Primeros Fríos (Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (1892) (8)

Larry Welz – Cinnamon Poptart Speaks Her Mind

Larry Welz, creator, writer and illustrator of the erotic comics series Cherry Poptart (later just Cherry), also worked on the Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book I posted yesterday. Cinnamon Poptart was Cherry’s little sister, and as far as I know made exactly one appearance in a single one-page segment, to make a point. Now, I’ll let Cinnamon speak for herself:

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Larry Welz – Cherry Poptart, Issue No. 2 – Cinnamon Poptart

Cherry Comix (Official Site)

Smoking Crater (Larry Welz’ Blog)

Wikipedia: Larry Welz

A Counterculture Coloring Book

Here’s a wondrous little curiosity that would never be published today, given the ongoing modern obsession with stamping out every hint of child nudity in art.  Heaven forbid kids realize they have sex parts!  The Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book was published by Last Gasp, one of the original purveyors of underground comix, which fostered the careers of some of the most recognized comics illustrators and lowbrow and pop surrealist artists on the scene (Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Melinda Gebbie, Robert Williams, Mark Ryden, Gilbert Shelton, Rick Griffin and Vaughn Bode,  to name a few.)  The coloring book, while not exactly a high artistic achievement (much of it was clearly dashed off pretty quickly), is certainly a fascinating cultural artifact from a time when liberation of children from the stifling patriarchal idiocy, religious nonsense, sexual repression and social engineering of the 1950s made significant headway.

Then came the 1980s and the end of a wonderfully progressive era.  I have long contended that there were two things that killed the Sexual Revolution.  One was AIDS, which made its way into America (and the American consciousness) in the early ’80s.  The other was the child sexual abuse/exploitation scare, which started in the late ’70s but really took hold after the publication of the Meese Report on pornography in 1986. Although largely a bust in curtailing pornography on the whole, the Meese Commission’s one real success was heightening of public fears about child pornography. Coupled with the growth of the daytime talk show industry, which exploited sensational issues like child abuse to increase ratings, the moral panic over children and sex was all but assured but the 1990s and has never abated since.

At any rate, among the artists that contributed cartoons and illustrations for this coloring book are Kim Deitch, Julie Wood, Bill Griffith, Lary Welz and Trina Robbins.

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Larry Welz – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (front cover)

Trina Robbins - Kids' Liberation Coloring Book (back cover)

Trina Robbins – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (back cover)

Willie Mendes - Kids' Liberation Coloring Book (1)

Willie Mendes – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (1)

Willie Mendes - Kids' Liberation Coloring Book (2)

Willie Mendes – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (2)

Larry Welz - Kids' Liberation Coloring Book (3)

Larry Welz – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (3)

Note the conceptual similarities between this next page and the Sun Tarot:

Larry Welz – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (4)