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the beautiful destruction

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


The only escape from summer heat
Pictured: Artwork by incredible illustrator Matt Clark.

To say the weather as of late has been humid would be a massive understatement. It feels like I'm walking through some sort of cream-style soup out there. Fuck. I've never sweat so much in my life. I feel like I'm trapped in a perpetual glaze of my own perspiration. It's not exactly a useful tool for attracting friends. Good fucking Christ.

I've never really paid attention to all the talk of global warming, but maybe I should. Or, what about the hole in the ozone layer? Is that what's causing this suffocating heat wave? Is outer space just a really humid place and we're experiencing a trickle-down effect? Do we actually know that there's no oxygen in space?

Who knows, maybe the planet is plummeting into the wet and boggy crotch of some extraterrestrial giant? Speaking of crotches, does applying baby powder to your testicles actually help with the discomfort and jungle-like climate in one's pants? It's always seemed like such an outlandish idea to me--applying powder to one's nuts that is.

It's times like these that I curse myself out for not buying a house with air conditioning (or better yet, a house in an entirely different state). But, being as I live in Pittsburgh and it's only warm about 2.5 months out of the year, it shouldn't have been a concern. Wrong again Newton.

There are certain telltale signs that indicate the temperature around you has skyrocketed: 1.) Sweaty top lip or "sweatstache" 2.) Extensive chaifing of creased and hidden crevices 3.) A meat-scented odor, often leaking from your underarms or sometimes your "other" spots 4.) Noticing that your cats are draped motionless across the hardwood floor like taxidermied rugs 5.) Scantily-clad humans... for better or worse.

But once you've noticed the signs, what do you do? I've just tried to stay very still, hoping that the thick air will not notice or strangle me. But that hasn't helped. I've also considered packing my shorts with ice, but reconsidered when I thought of the pain it might cause to my nether-region (not to mention the puddles in the house).

I suppose I just need to "suck it up" or "play through the pain" as they say in the sports world. However, until this heat wave subsides, the neighbors will just have to get used to seeing me minus my clothes. Hey, it's not my fuckin' problem.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Travis Millard
Pictured: Illustration by visual badass Travis Millard.

The last week has been intense. Work was and still is busy-as-fuck. I worked 50+ hours last week and still feel like I'm behind. Yesterday was extremely productive though. I got caught up on an ass-load of freelance business and now feel much less-burdened. I've got some cool projects in the works for a bunch of different mags. I'll post the articles when they're done.

Last week I did manage to get some work down on the website redesign for Poison Control. I'm planning to relaunch the site (with oodles of new content) by August 1st. I'll keep ya posted.

I saw a couple good movies recently. The best one of note though was Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. This movie is pure stupidity, but funny nonetheless. The lead actors do a great job and the comedic commentary on racial stereotypes is so well-done. Plus, there's lot of poop jokes, off-color humor, weed comedy, and a cameo by Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser).

Friday, July 08, 2005


Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Pictured: Artwork from London's own Mysterious Al.

"Strange Brew" is a new addition to the website. Let's refer to it as a column of sorts. With the world turned on its ear, and life seemingly becoming stranger by the minute, there's a plethora of odd, alarming, and downright peculiar new bytes bubbling up at all times. It's sometimes hard to capture them all. So here's where we intend to boil it all down. Consider "Strange Brew" an attempt to neatly package the absurdity of 21st century life.

London's transportation system was bombed this week. And while this news is not strange, it is alarming. With the official death toll exceeding 50, authorities are still recovering bodies from the wreckage in The Underground. Unfortunately, it seems living with the constant threat of terror attacks and suicide bombings is now just another modern stress we must endure. It is quite a sad fact, and our thoughts are with our friends in London.

On somewhat of a lighter note (bad pun intended), Steve Vaught, a 400 lb California man who embarked on a 3000 mile weight loss pilgrimage from San Diego to New York City this past April, has just reached Arizona. However, I'm hard-pressed to say whether he's making good time or not. He has lost 50 lbs though.

Do you like porn? How about railroad hobos? Ever think about what some titles of hobo porn films would be? Me neither. But here's a a vital link [after Pixelsurgeon] to a Hobo porn film name generator, just in case you're curious. My favorite title so far: Hot Squat Hanky Panky.

BUSTED! I found this gem while perusing Arkitip's newsfeed the other day. The reactions on the faces of these poor people are priceless. Though, I think I'd probably look the same way if someone was unsuspectedly snapping photos of me getting it on.

Last but not least: A North Carolina man is auctioning off his beard, which he claims is possessed by the Devil or some dark spirit, on eBay, San Francisco-based artist Jill Miller is waiting for bigfoot, and new findings on the origins of Stonehenge.

THIS JUST IN: R&B singer Omarion is a douchebag.

Do you have an odd or downright absurd tidbit of news that you're eager to share? Drop me an email and I'll include your find in an upcoming installment of Strange Brew.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005



Sophie Toulouse captures the beauty and uncertainty of life with her large-scale visual installations. Working from her studio in Paris, Toulouse is the quintessential digital artist, bringing lush graphic design to life on the stark white walls of galleries the world over. We took a moment to speak with Sophie about her work ethic, bad habits, and her ongoing Nation of Angela project.

Q: What initially attracted you to art and how has it kept your attention?

It's tough to know, my father definitely pointed it out to me then it followed its own path.

Q: How would you explain and describe your work to a blind man?

[Ornate], graphic, layered, [and] detailed.

Q: What do you see as the purpose of the artist in contemporary society?



Q: What is a normal workday like for you?

I work two hours at a time, rarely more. Then I go off for a walk or a chat or whatever I feel like doing. That's extreme luxury to me. I don't have [a] dime [to] my name but I feel free.

Q: What tools do you use to do your art?

Mostly [Adobe] illustrator.


Q: What do you hope to convey through your illustrations?

I hope to surprise and entertain.


Q: Could you discuss the Nation of Angela: what it is, when it was founded, the concept behind it?

N.o.A (Nation of Angela) is a utopian island where communal ideals coexist with fashion, glamour, and luxury.

N.o.A is a lost paradise, a utopia both on a personal and political level.
It's inspired by Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle, Guy Debord, it is the post-spectacle.
It's about the question 'What are you doing after the orgy' (Baudrillard; what is there to do when you can have it all).

The project started in 2001, on the Frying Pan [in] NYC—a boat at the Chelsea Pier [where] people would sign up to become citizens (super-model citizens of the superficial fabulousness).


Q: What influences and inspires you?

Victorian style, punk, art deco, pop art, etc.

Q: Would you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist?

I'm a fairly happy pessimist


Q: Do you have any bad habits?

I find balance extremely boring.

Q: How do you translate your work from computer to gallery wall?

With a lot of money


Q: Your work is both beautifully dense yet also conveys a hauntingsense of reality. Do you try to convey specific themes in your work?

I think I've been working mostly on the culture of image and how to deal with it.

Q: What role does environment (i.e. urban vs. rural, indoor vs.outdoor, etc.) play in your creative process?

It has a direct influence on my drawings and my ideas (colors, themes, etc.)


Q: What projects are you currently working on?

I'm working on my next wallpaper and on an animation for another group show, at the institute of contemporary arts of fribourg, fri-art. It will still be on and about the Nation of Angela.


Q: You've shown your work in many galleries and group shows. What experiences were your most memorable?

The first show I ever had. I can't believe I pulled it off (I seriously kicked ass!)

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I already chose my wall at the MoMA!

For further information about Sophie Toulouse, visit her website: