DRB Visual Caffeine #6

Link - by Avi Abrams

DRB Visual Caffeine: a thrilling blend of art, architecture, myths and fabulous technology - Issue 6

This is the sixth issue of our "visual caffeine mix" (read the first one here) - somewhat unpredictable short forays into spectacular history of art and architecture, coupled with mythology, culture and fabulous (modern and vintage, often quaintly obsolete) technology.

Baroque Spaceships and Byzantine Machinery

Coming in for the landing: this golden starship looks like something straight out of Ian M. Banks "Culture" novels, or a dream illustration for some Alastair Reynolds "Revelation Space" epics:

(image credit: Jae Cheol Park)

This is the work of Jae Cheol Park (who goes by "PaperBlue" on ArtStation) and we highly recommend checking out his other work there. Great website for futuristic flying machinery geeks Concept Ships also has an overview PaperBlue art.

Hailing from the heady 1970s-1980s Golden Age of Manga/Anime Space Adventure is this Captain Harlock spaceship, created by legendary Leiji Matsumoto for the "Space Pirate Captain Harlock" manga series:

(image via)

Pablo Castello's "Brain Bot": a perfect illustration/cover for Philip K. Dick "existential android angst" fiction - see more concept art awesomeness by Pablo Castaño Norkus (from Caba, Argentina) at his ArtStation portfolio:

"Reconstruction Project" impresses with gigantic, mega-complex "oil refinery style on steroids" sophistication:

(images credit: Pablo Castaño Norkus)


Cities in the Sky

"Laputa: Castle in the Sky" by Hayao Miyazaki (info) is still my favorite high-fantasy/dieselpunk fix (which is admittedly a strange combination, but Japanese are so adept at combining the fairy-like purity and "blood & sweat" of the machines in their pop culture - and this is one of the best examples). The following are some high-fantasy Tolkienesque cities set in a "Lost World" environments - truly a potent visual mix, if there ever was one:

(original unknown)

SilentField from Seoul, South Korea, has a smorgasbord of high-flying cities on his ArtStation page:

(images credit: SilentField)

"Magic Kingdom" by Ivan Laliashvili - his portfolio is also worth taking a look:

(image credit: Ivan Laliashvili)


Victorian Fairies & Angels, by legendary Hans Zatzka

Hans Zatzka exemplifies Beaux-Arts and Baroque Rococo Revival in his visually stunning paintings: he worked between 1890s-1910s in Vienna, and his style became the standard for fanciful decorations in Europe during that Silver Age before the advent of Art Deco and harsh realities of Totalitarianism and militarization in the 1930s. His work explodes with flowers and sheer joy of living, his painting are inhabited by fairies, "Spring Beauties", female Elves (of that unadulterated Rivendell highly-exalted variety) and female angels (muses):

This oriental dancer is still as beautiful as any angel in previous pictures. By the way, I highly recommend hunting down and reading Richard Burton original unexpurgated 12-volume "Arabian Nights" translation; this Hans Zatzka painting perfectly captures the heady exotic and highly-glamorous atmosphere of that literary wonder:

What's that with the swans? German fairy tales (such as The Six Swans, The Wild Swans, etc) abound with transformations of beautiful women (fairies) into swans; many ancient myths have the same motif (see Arabian Nights, for example):

Charming the animals, before Snow White and Cinderella were "Disneyfied" for the silver screen:

Dutch and Flemish painters in the last quarter of the 16th century have perfected the art of majestic still life compositions, see for example work of Jan Bruegel - but Hans Zatzka has brought the similar "flower explosions" back into fashion in the 1890s Europe:

Another "Floral Apotheosis" in oils: is this the ultimate in sensual and joyful art? decide for yourself:

Some of the Victorian high-fantasy/pastoral pastimes are enumerated here:

And we finish with the "dream sequence", easily one of our most favorite Victorian/Neo-Baroque paintings:

(images credit: Hans Zatzka)


Soaring Deco Imagery

Continuing our visual time travel from Art Nouveau to Art Deco, we enter the "imperial-minded" Thirties, and the most appropriate symbol for the whole era is, perhaps, a sinister gargoyle sitting on a proud "industrial temple" skyscraper. Here we have New York City gargoyle captured on film by legendary photographer Margaret Bourke-White (former associate editor and staff photographer of Fortune magazine), who braved the heights viewing these creatures of stone up close in 1930:

(image credit: Margaret Bourke-White, via)

More Gotham can be seen in concept art of Dylan Cole (right image below), in 1930s Chicago skyline shots (left), and in unknown artist futuristic panorama conceived below:

(top right image credit: Dylan Cole Studio, bottom image: original unknown)

Art Deco Movie Sets were truly masterpieces of epic proportions: witness, for example, Greta Garbo and Conrad Nagel in "The Kiss" (pre-code Hollywood film from 1929, info) - set design by Cedric Gibbons (Irish-born art director and production designer). The following collage also features Nadja Regin in a glamorous mode (as "The Goldfinger" Bonita girl):

Corinne Griffith is shown below left, as the "Spirit of Ecstasy" in the year 2500 A.D. in "Lilies of the Field" (1930) - and on the right are John Boles & Nancy Carroll in 1933 "Child Of Manhattan":

(images via)

On the right below Merna Kennedy - this is one of our favorite images and movie sets from the Art Deco and Film Noir era:

(images via)

Showgirls from "Dames" 1934 movie (left) and Greta Garbo in the "The Mysterious Lady" (1928) on the right - she gives us that classic bored/sophisticated look that pierces the soul (especially considering the fate of Germany coming soon after):

(images via)


Chrome, Shark Fins, and Big Car Ecstasy

Some of the shark-finned police cars are a pleasure to behold, and are highly collectible today:

1958 Pontiac Bonneville Custom Sport Coupe is simply spectacular piece of "Detroit Iron":

(images credit: Barrett-Jackson Auctions)

"The Engineer's Triumph: 1949 Chrysler New Yorker" - read more about it:

Continuing on to the 1970s and "The Chrysler Fuselage Look": Dodge Monaco 2-door Hardtop 1971 (see more at CarInfo):

Another example of fuselage design: Plymouth in all its glory -

True to our tradition of mixing retro actresses and girl models with glamorous cars, here are Hayley Mills, Jenny Agguter, and further down Russian actresses: Ada Sheremetieva in "Molodo-Zeleno" (1962) and Galina Belyaeva:

Traveling in style:

(unknown 1950s Italian movie still)

Marylin Monroe

Grace Kelly (Princess of Monaco) and Jean Simmons - the epitome of glamour:

The sultry 1960s look: actress Jackie Lane (later Jocelyn Lane):


Note of Luxury

Arriving at modern times, we see glamour alive and well: witness work by Kristina Makeeva - and on the right is the latest Rolex luxury watch auction: "Rainbow Daytona" appeared at Sotheby's Action with estimated price of 300.000 USD:

(images credit: Kristina Makeeva, Sothebys)


Keep on trucking!

Here is a beautiful Kenworth K100 Truck:

Russian "Shaman" is the mind-boggling version of the ultimate off-road truck, sporting somewhat intimidating look:

That "Shaman" vehicle would fit right in as a "land cruiser" vehicle in Roger Zelazny's classic of 1970s post-apocalyptic adventure "Damnation Alley". Here is another twisted "zombie apocalypse vehicle" vision of these crazy Russian engineers: Sherp ATV (more info and images here):

(image via)

This is all for now, folks. Keep the sunshine, and stay tuned for more awesomeness on DRB. Visual Caffeine issues, Feel-Good issues (formely "Biscotti Bits") and Link Latte (link compilations) should brighten up your daily coffee ritual, as we've been happily providing them since 2005:

Read previous Visual Caffeine Issues here:
Issue #5
Issue #4
Issue #3
Issue #2
Issue #1



Visual Caffeine #8
Visual Caffeine, Issue 8

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Visual Caffeine #7
Visual Caffeine, Issue 7

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Art Deco
Imperial Dreams: Art Deco Update

Wings, Gears, & Glamorous Ladies

1970s SciFi
DRB Pics-of-the-Day

Grand Space Adventure 1970s Art

"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"

DRB is a top-ranked and respected source for the best in art, travel and fascinating technology, with a highly visual presentation. Our in-depth articles in many categories make DRB a highly visual online magazine, bringing you quality entertainment every time you open your "feed" reader or visit our site - About DRB

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damnation Alley was written by Roger Zelazny and the only thing the movie had in common with the book was the title. Harlon Ellison wrote a post apocalypse story called "A Boy and his Dog" and that didn't have an off road vehicle in it.

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Great correction, thank you, fixed

Blogger anthrax2525 said...

There's a fair amount of interesting Art Deco setwork in the Marx Brothers movies "Animal Crackers" and "Duck Soup".

Anonymous Jan said...

Thank you very much DRB!

From the first day l discovered it, in 2007, l still love your website, but in the past few years, you have not given it the attention you used to!

Please do! Its a cool website with great ideas.

Could you please do an article about massive round stones in Yemen. When l was a kid, we would drive past it, it was a round stone, around 15 - 20 M in diameter, and it had a square room carved in it. Can you find something about that and do a webpage on that.

Blogger Vlad Boyarkin said...

Hi! It's so refreshing to have you back!

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Great! Thanks! We will track down these stones in Yemen, sounds tremendous

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Chrystral building top cover is made of stainless steel. The eagles were copied from the hood ornaments of the Chrystral cars.
In the caption it said that the the gargoyles were made of stone.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The actress opposite the man with the maracas: Is Marujita Diaz, deceased.


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