Happy Ending in Cartoon Motion

Happy Ending is the third single release from London-based singer Mika, taken from his debut album Life in Cartoon Motion(2007). The music video was directed by AlexandLiane (Alex Large and Liane Sommers)

 
 

The cover for the album and booklet was designed by Mika’s sister, Yasmine, who works under the pen name DaWack, Richard Hogg and Mika himself.

 
 

Mika described the story behind the song in an interview with the Sun newspapers, on 2 February 2007:

“It’s about a few things. In a way, it’s a kind of sad break-up song like ‘My Interpretation.’ But, at the same time, it’s about a lot of other things. I’ll never forget when I was actually recording this song in Los Angeles, I would take this drive from where I was staying to the studio, which wasn’t in the city and the amount of homeless people I saw on the way was absolutely shocking. Those horrible images of homelessness that I would see every morning really connected with that song. So it just comes to show you that a bright song in a certain mindset had a meaning that really evolves and changes as time goes by. I think that it is very important that other listeners find their own meaning to songs. So many people are very openly suggestive to the point of being abstract. It’s the most powerful thing when that becomes the song.”

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Future is a Naked Baby

…Future is a naked baby*

Consequently vain unpredictable

When you least expect it

Whether it puts a rose on your ear

Or it piss on your innocent bald head.

Mario Benedetti

Imperfect Future

 
 

Illustrations by Joseph Christian Leyendecker

 
 

The line “future is a naked baby” was inspired on a poem by Argentinian poet Raúl González Tuñón

Sensuality Unveiled

For the calendar’s 50th anniversary (2014), Pirelli is unveiling a never-before-seen Helmut Newton-lensed collection of photographs that was supposed to be for 1986. Serendipitously, 2014 and 1986 share the same calendar year.

 
 

In 1985, Pirelli’s British and Italian teams both commissioned a 1986 calendar – Britain enlisting photographer Bert Stern, Italy enlisting Helmut Newton. Until then, the project had been handled solely by the UK arm of the company.

A slight ruckus ensued as to which version would be published. Coincidentally, Newton had to abandon his project mid-way through shooting due to personal issues, and as such the commission was won by his contemporary Stern.

Nevertheless, Newton’s vision was completed by his faithful assistants Manuela Pavesi and Xavier Alloncle – to his precise specifications – and then stored in the Pirelli archives as a ‘family heirloom’ waiting for the right occasion to step into the limelight.

Burst Like Bubbles

“…Dreams burst like bubbles in the wind. But change takes time.When people fall in love and lose the overwhelming desire for it to last a lifetime,they think something is wrong with them.Only now,when every other marriage ends in divorce,have people begun to understand that falling in love seldom grows into love,and that not even love can free a person from loneliness.And that sexual enjoyment does not make life meaningful.”

Marianne Frediksson*

 
 

Kate Moss photographed by Bruce Weber

 
 

*Marianne Fredriksson was a Swedish author who worked and lived in Roslagen and Stockholm. Before becoming a novelist, she was a journalist on various Swedish newspapers and magazines, including Svenska Dagbladet.

Fredriksson published fifteen novels, most of which have been translated into English, German, Dutch and other languages. Most of her earlier books are based on biblical stories. A central theme in her writings is friendship because, as she maintained, “friendship will be more important than love” in the future.

Must Be Santa

Mick Jagger

 
 

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

 
 

Jimi Hendrix

 
 

Kurt Cobain and Chris Novaselic

 
 

Alice Cooper

 
 

Iggy Pop. Galleries Lafayette ad campaign

 
 

Ronnie Vannucci Jr.

 
 

Brandon Flowers

 
 

Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons

 
 

Flea

 
 

Bette Midler

 
 

Katy Perry

 
 

Cee Lo Green

 
 

Mariah Carey

 
 

Destiny’s Child

 
 

Elvis Presley

 
 

Bono

 
 

Ian Anderson (lead vocalist of Jethro Tull)

 
 

Bob Dylan. Must Be Santa (Nash Edgerton, 2009)

 
 

Based on a German drinking song, Must Be Santa is structured as a call and response, with the lead singer posing the question of who has a certain feature, with a chorus responding that Santa Claus has said feature. After every other verse, the list of features mentioned up to that point is reiterated, followed by the chorus of “must be Santa” repeated three times and ending with “Santa Claus.”

In November 2009, Bob Dylan covered Brave Combo‘s version of the song in a polka style for his Christmas album, Christmas in the Heart. The New York Daily News described Dylan’s version as such: “It’s sort of unclear if Dylan (…) was aiming to celebrate the holiday, or gently poke fun at the music’s Norman Rockwell-esque simplicity.”

Father Christmas Was a Rolling Stone

Interview magazine, December 1977

 
 

On the front cover over an image of Mick Jagger as Father Christmas carrying Iman and Paul von Ravenstein in his sack. Founded in 1969 by the pop art pioneer Andy Warhol, Interview Magazine was dedicated to the cult of celebrity. It featured cutting edge graphics and interviews with some of the most notorious figures of the day. In the early days Warhol himself would distribute copies free as he walked the streets of Manhattan’s Upper East Street

Uneasy Christmas in the Birthplace of Christ

Uneasy Christmas in the Birthplace of Christ (Christmas Eve in Bethlehem), Norman Rockwell. Story illustration for Look, December 29, 1970

 
 

The Basilica of the Nativity, built from 527 to 565 AD, stands where it is claimed Jesus was born. On December 9, 1969, Norman Rockwell decided to go to Bethlehem to paint a Christmas scene. Two weeks later, accompanied by his wife Molly and his photographer, Brad Herzog, he flew to Jerusalem. On Christmas Eve, from the roof of a Bethlehem hotel, he gathered impressions for his painting and directed photography. He was particularly moved by the “sumptuous” presentation of the high priests, cardinals, and bishops as they proceeded to the Basilica. “The high priests carry large crucifixes and banners,” he said, “and wear white and scarlet robes, some of them with their red bishop’s caps. . . . It is indeed a tremendous spectacle and, although I am not a religious man, I was greatly impressed.”

Rockwell’s early version of the rooftop onlookers included “devout native Israeli, Christian, Jewish and Mohammedan.” The picture was a compromise between Rockwell and Look’s art director, who wanted him to omit the Arab and one soldier. But Rockwell kept both soldiers, “They never seem to go singly about the streets of Bethlehem,” he said. Another compromise was made when, at the art director’s request, he removed the tourist family’s souvenirs and guidebook from the painting. Look wanted Rockwell to do portraits of Prime Minister Golda Meir, Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, and General Moshe Dayan during his five-day stay in Jerusalem. Rockwell met with Meir at her home and with Kollek. Dayan, however, would not meet with him. Rockwell later did a portrait of Mayor Kollek based on photos taken during the visit, but Look decided against the project and never published the portrait.

 
 

Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to men and women of good will

Christmas Rush

Christmas Rush (Tired Salesgirl on Christmas Eve). Appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published December 27, 1947.

 
 

This Norman Rockwell Christmas painting was the 250th overall out of 322 total published Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover. Rockwell’s career with the Post spanned 47 years, from his first cover illustration, Boy With Baby Carriage in 1916 to his last, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, in 1963.

This was also the seventh of seven Rockwell painted Saturday Evening Post covers in 1947.

This Christmas picture continued The Post’s long tradition of presenting a Norman Rockwell Christmas painting on its cover.

I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas

I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas, Richard Hamilton, 1971

 
 

Richard Hamilton made his first etchings and drypoints as a student in the late 1930s. Throughout the following decade he continued to use etching, drypoint and aquatint and experimented with lithography, but it was the influential screenprints incorporating photographic and hand-drawn stencils made in the 1960s which brought him international acclaim as a printmaker. The use of photography has long been an integral part of Hamilton’s working process.

 
 

This work was based on colour cine-film frames from the Bing Crosby movie Holiday Inn (Mark Sandrich, 1942) . The work was printed by E H Schrieber, Stuttgart, H P Haas, Stuttgart and Dietz Offizin, Bavaria and published by Petersburg Press, London in an edition of 150.

Neither Santa nor Scrooge

“Christmas is when you have to go to the bank and get crisp money to put in envelopes from the stationery store for tips. After you tip the doorman, he goes on sick leave or quits …”

Andy Warhol

The Philosophy Of Andy Warhol

 
 

Truman Capote, Andy Warhol and his dachshund. Photo credit: Mick Rock, 1979

 
 

By the time Andy Warhol wrote these words in the 1970s, he was extremely rich. He’d fulfilled the American dream but never claimed it made him happy. He describes himself in his book as a loner obsessed with jewelry and money. But he did have a talent for making gifts. As a young man he was entranced by Truman Capote, author of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, telephoning him almost every day. Capote dismissed him as “one of those hopeless people you just know nothing’s ever going to happen to”; then one Christmas he wondered if he was wrong. A friend sent him a golden shoe painted by Warhol, dedicated to Capote.

Warhol never really escaped his childhood. According to Capote, Warhol’s mother, Julia, was a bad-tempered alcoholic; she moved to New York to live with her son, still maintaining her pious ways, and they shared not just home life but work. Julia drew angels (Warhol got them published) that are closely related to his Christmas card designs. For him the American Christmas was an anthropological fantasy, something he watched reflected in Tiffany’s window. Yet it was a fantasy in which he tried extremely hard to participate. Of course, that’s what it is for everyone. The images of Christmas he created for Tiffany’s are of the perfection that everyone fails to attain.

Andy Warhol’s Christmas Cards

Naomi Sims and Andy Warhol, Interview Magazine Gala Christmas Issue, December 1972

 
 

Interview Magazine Christmas Card, c.1980. Issued by Interview Magazine’s publishers in the 1980s, the card features the artist playfully posing as Santa Claus, with a white beard drawn on by Richard Bernstein, who designed the card. The inside of the card is signed “love Andy Warhol” by the artist himself

 
 

Since Andy Warhol arrived in Manhattan, his fey sketches had blurred the line between commercial design and fine art. And he had become, among other things, the new king of Christmas. In 1956, in addition to all the work he was getting drawing shoes and bags, he was commissioned to design Christmas cards for the Fifth Avenue temple of Tiffany & Co. Warhol’s cards were subsequently published by Tiffany’s every Christmas up to 1962, the year he started to show his paintings of soup cans.

Picture a can of Campbell’s soup – eating it by yourself. Then contrast this mental picture with Warhol’s 1962 Tiffany’s Christmas card depicting a star constructed of fruit and holly – a picture of the good life, hearty and shared. Food is a constant theme of his Christmas cards. He drew a Christmas tree made of fruit, a reindeer centrepiece for the table, a basket stuffed with food and wine. Then there are the gifts, wrapped or opened, and arranged around the fireplace – a doll, a rocking horse, a striped candy cane with a pink bow: Andy Warhol’s vision of the perfect Christmas.

More recently, Warhol’s Christmas cards have been republished, and there’s even a little book of them. You might dismiss this as the extreme, ephemeral end of Warhol rediscoveries; he himself never claimed that his early graphic output was a significant part of his oeuvre. And yet, when you look at Warhol’s Christmas cards alongside his greatest paintings of the 1960s – the suicide, the car wrecks and so on – they become oddly telling. Set them beside his electric chair and their optimism about a warm and kind American community suddenly looks desperately fragile and consciously artificial. Then you realise why he needed to give up designing Christmas cards.

 
 

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

Yoko 1, Archival pigment print on cotton rag paper, Emilie Halpern, 2010

 
 

Bianca Jagger

 
 

Isabella Rossellini

 
 

Anjelica Huston

 
 

Hope is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Emily Dickinson