Monday, November 9, 2015

New "Gruss vom Krampus" (Greetings from Krampus) t-shirt designed by James G. Mundie available


Ask and ye shall receive! 




Several years ago James created this design for a paper lantern he carried during the first Krampuslauf Philadelphia. We have made this available as a poster, but the masses have demanded this design in wearable form, so who are we to deny them? The new new t-shirt features Krampus in silhouette with a naughty child in his basket on the front, and the traditional seasonal greeting of "Gruss vom Krampus" across the back.



For those unfamiliar with Krampus, he is a goat-like horned devil with a long red tongue traditionally associated with St. Nicholas — however, this kinky Germanic yuletide spirit's folklore tradition actually predates the Christian era. The people of Europe's alpine regions had been marking the annual arrival of Krampus for many centuries before the concept of Christmas came along, and well before a certain former bishop of Turkey stole the spotlight. Traditionally, Krampus serves to punish naughty children by whipping them with switches or tossing them in icy rivers. Krampus is the “bad cop” to St. Nick's “good cop”. 

The shirts are a wonderfully soft cotton blend. The adult shirts are black, while the youth sizes are on a 'vintage black'  more like a charcoal grey. Sizes presently available are adult unisex XL, L, M, S, and XS as well as Youth M (tall kids could probably wear an XS).



Order now from the MundieArt Etsy shop!

Friday, March 6, 2015

James G. Mundie's Collection of Oddities



During the month of March, I will exhibit nearly thirty freaky original drawings, woodcuts, and photographs from my Prodigies and Cabinet of Curiosities series. This body of work is concurrently featured at Yale School of Art's exhibition Side Show, but you can experience it right here in Philadelphia (and more of it, too)!


This exhibition marks the inauguration of the PAFA Gallery within Artists' House. The newly designated space will feature exhibitions by Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts alumni.

There will be the usual madhouse opening on First Friday, March 6th, from 4:00 to 9:00 PM, and a more civilized reception on Sunday, March 8th from 2:00 to 4:00 PM.

Artists' House Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday.


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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Follow-up about "Side Show" at Yale School of Art

In January, I traveled up to New Haven to attend the opening festivities for Side Show, in which I am pleased to have my work included alongside the likes of Diane Arbus, Weegee, John Waters, and Otto Dix - to name a few.  

Having driven up from Philadelphia earlier in the day and finding I had some time to kill after checking into my hotel, I decided to stroll around Yale's campus. The temperature was only in the teens, but the sky was clear and the late afternoon sunlight cast itself rather fetchingly on Yale's neo-Gothic buildings. Armed with my Hasselblad, I took some photographs around the Yale University Art Gallery and Branford College.




All photographs by James G. Mundie.  See more on Flickr.

After walking around for about an hour, I returned to the hotel to restore circulation to my fingers and change clothes for the reception.

The exhibition itself is located on Edgewood Avenue, which was about a ten minute walk from where I was staying. I arrived just in time to attend the kick-off event of the evening: a standing-room-only lecture by magician/actor/author/collector Ricky Jay.  Ricky chose to speak about his interest in Matthias Buchinger, the 17th-century sensation known as "The Greatest Living German" and a highly successful magician and artist, despite having been born without arms or legs.

After Ricky's lecture we made our way downstairs to the find the tent erected outside the gallery completely backed. There was an actual line of people waiting to get in, and it moved very slowly. The gallery was mobbed all night long, despite it being a bitterly cold Tuesday night in January. Gallery staff said it was best attended opening they've ever had.


Al Stencell's girl show model

"Dance of Death" banner


More images from the exhibition may be seen on Flickr.

In addition to the art on the walls, visitors were treated to stellar performances by The Great Fredini, Johnny Fox, and duo Mat Fraser (presently starring as Paul the Illustrated Seal Boy on American Horror Story) and Julie Atlas Muz. Mat presented a sample of his one-man show Seal Boy: Freak, in which he portrays Stanley Berent, who worked shows as Sealo the Seal Boy; and together Mat and Julie performed a charming musical duet performance on ukulele.

Mat Fraser as Sealo the Seal Boy

A fine time had by all. Afterwards, many of us retired to a local Thai restaurant for an excellent meal and good conversation.

The show continues through March 20th.

Monday, January 5, 2015

James G. Mundie featured in "Side Show" at Yale School of Art


The Yale School of Art’s 32 Edgewood Gallery presents Side Show, an exhibition about the intersection of fine art and the historical American popular entertainment world of the side show – in which the bodily display of the abnormal, human or animal, would be the focus of the event. Issues of race, ethnicity, gender and disability will be considered.  

Curated by Lisa Kereszi, the exhibition will be on view from January 13 through March 20, 2015.  A series of interesting events are planned around the show, including: performances by Ricky Jay, American Horror Story's Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz, and Coney Island Island Sideshows by the Seashore; a panel discussion featuring Dick Zigun, Todd Robbins and Jennifer Miller; lectures by artists and others such as James Taylor of Shocked and Amazed; and workshops. 

ARTISTS INCLUDED:

· Diane Arbus
· Susan Meiselas
· Weegee
· Otto Dix
· Peter Blake
· Chris Daze
· Roger Brown
· Pamela Joseph
· Jane Dickson
· David Carbone
· Johnny Meah
· Arnold Mesches
· Robert Cruikshank
· John Kay
· John Waters
· Al Stencell
· Fred Kahl
· Johnny Eck
· Toni-Lee Sangastiano
· Marie Roberts
· Edward Kelty
· Anonymous
· Henry Gerbault
· Fred Johnson
· Joe Coleman
· Snap Wyatt
· James Mundie
· Ed Paschke
· Riva Lehrer


This exhibition has been made possible by an Anonymous Donor with support from the Hayden Fund for Arts and Ideas.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Day in Philadelphia

Another New Year's Day, and another Mummer's Parade in Philadelphia - that gaudy spectacle in which blue-collar guys (and gals) bedeck themselves in feathers and sequins, strap on banjos and march on Broad Street. It's like Mardi Gras, but earlier, colder, and without the nudity. This parade has been happening for so long (on or around New Year's Day) that it is widely held to be the oldest folk festival in the United States. 


Always subject to budget constraints and controversy, this year the parade appeared in a rather abbreviated form, starting at City Hall and progressing southward down Broad Street only as far as Washington Avenue.  This not only reversed the usual direction, but cut two miles and several hours from the route and almost completely bypassed South Philadelphia, the mummers' traditional home neighborhood.

See more photographs on Flickr.


"When the spirit moves you" by James G. Mundie

Artist residency at Elizabeth Bishop House

A new year has begun, and so it is customary to reflect on the year just concluded. For us, the major highlight of 2014 was a week-long artist residency in July at the Elizabeth Bishop House in Great Village, Nova Scotia. The house was the childhood and spiritual home of Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), former poet laureate of the United States (1949-1950), and winner of the Pulitzer Prize (1956) and National Book Award (1970). Bishop spent much of her formative years here in her maternal grandparents' home. The rambling house and the village around it would feature prominently in Bishop's writing.

"EB's Room" by James G. Mundie

It was in this house in 1916, that Gertrude Bulmer Bishop - recently widowed mother of then five-year-old Elizabeth - lost her grip on sanity. Gertrude would commit herself voluntarily to the Nova Scotia Hospital which later declared her permanently insane. Elizabeth Bishop never saw her mother again, but the tragedy figures prominently in her later writings, particularly In the Village in which she describes her mother's scream as remaining recorded in Great Village itself, to be released by tapping the lightening rod atop the steeple of St. James.

"Built, Burnt, Built" by James G. Mundie



"A scream, the echo of a scream, hangs over that village in Nova Scotia... Flick the lightening rod on the top of the church steeple with your fingernail and you will hear it." 
- from In the Village by Elizabeth Bishop

In the late 1990s, the house was designated a Provincial Heritage Property. In 2004, group of Bishop enthusiasts purchased the house and opened it up to artists as a place for quiet reflection. These artist residencies - held under the auspices of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia and facilitated by the wonderful Sandra Barry - continued for ten years, but are now in limbo as the house was put up for sale during the last few days of our stay (but as of this writing, the house has not yet been sold).

"Vesuvius in Eruption (newspaper fragment glued to ceiling of attic room)" by James G. Mundie


A new volcano has erupted,
the papers say, and last week I was reading 
where some ship saw an island being born: 
at first a breath of steam, ten miles away; 
and then a black fleck—basalt, probably—
rose in the mate’s binoculars
and caught on the horizon like a fly.
They named it. But my poor old island’s still 
un-rediscovered, un-renamable.
None of the books has ever got it right.

- from Crusoe in England by Elizabeth Bishop

We felt honored and privileged to spend time in this special place. For our family it was a time of rejuvenation and exploration. Kate drew and painted, while I prowled with my camera and the kids played in the yard and out in the barn. Most days we would venture out to experience the magnificent landscape along the Bay of Fundy, often stopping at a beach to hunt for fossils and skip stones across the iron-tinged waves. Evenings were spent exploring the house's wonderful library and the writings of EB herself. It was a time of unhurried reflection that was a welcome relief from the stress and routine of our life in Philadelphia.

"27 Drawers" by Kate Kern Mundie

More of Jim's photographs from Elizabeth Bishop House may be seen on Flickr.