Wednesday, June 11, 2008

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Five year anniversary!

Yes, this blog began June 11, 2003

Fantastic!

And what better way to celebrate than to stop posting...

No, not a stop - A vacation!

For some time I've been wanting to update the overall design of the blog and maybe separate the blogging part from the more personal "Lennard Grahn" stuff.

A general overhaul and perhaps some new ideas about content could be great I think.

-This means changes!
-This means time needed for development!
-This means regular postings will return again :

Friday, August 1, 2008

See you then and have a nice Summer!

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~~~~~
Retro babe...You think we should name our son "Boy"??? well, why not...
^^^^^^
Panzer Sturmgeschütz III, Ausf G
Another shot of this "upgraded" Stug. Note the unusual vehicle number "1021" which might indicate the Stug belonged to a panzer regiment and not an independent Stug brigade. Vehicles other than panzers would sometimes receive numbers above the 1000 series (like vehicles belonging to the regimental staff)
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(unfortunately) Also my people
(regrettably) Also my war

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

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Dig my new profile at DeviantArt.com

The place for the enterprising Artiste, both amateur and veteran alike!

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~~~~~
Retro babe"...shady Sadie..."
^^^^^^
Panzer Sturmgeschütz III, Ausf G
Note the extra armour plates bolted to the front of this stug.
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(unfortunately) Also my people
(regrettably) Also my war

Monday, June 09, 2008

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How to make it as an Artiste - Ten (plus one) golden rules:

1) Be born into the middle classes (preferably the UPPER middle classes)
- Nobody lower class ever amounted to anything, except for a few shipping tycoons and 20'th century musicians, and people from the upper classes are busy running the world.
Coming from the middle classes your parents will also be able to bail you out financially every time your life crashes (and it will...)

2) Go to an Art school teaching modern art.
- You need people already in the art world to get going - not skills.
The modern type Art school delivers on both.

3) DO NOT go to a "traditional" school of art and design.
- They will teach you skills there which will be utterly useless for modern art and it might even earn you the disdain of your future colleagues in the REAL art world.

4) When in art school - Don't hang around the campus too much.
Being absent will add a sense of mystery to your persona - If people ask, make them believe you are involved in projects out in "the real world" which are much more interesting than what's going on at that stuffy old campus.
Remember to always turn up for the most hyped lectures and events, and all of the parties of course.

5) Only work when you are drunk or otherwise intoxicated.
- It will add an inept strangeness to you work that can pass for genius and If you work a lot you will also have an excuse for getting plastered a lot!

6) Be dirt poor.
- Even today there is still this strange romantic tradition for anyone wanting to be an artist - A mark of proficiency you might say.
At some time in your life you'll have to live without any sort of income or job (six to twelve months will usually do today)
Definitely a tough one in today's wealthy welfare societies... but frequent visits to family members who might slip you some cash takes care of the problem of paying for rent and food and artists materials you can always "borrow" from your colleagues when they are not in their studios.
Free alcohol are offered at Gallery openings so you can still get tanked plentifully - Hang in there, Vincent!

7) Don't read books on art, read magazines...
- Books on art are usually written by highly educated and articulate people and will only get you confused - Magazines are filled with contemporary art you can copy and pass off as your own work. Always have a stack of the most popular Art magazines in your studio, everybody loves them!

8) Suck up - Sneer down...
- Yes, in the art world it is also about WHO you know, not WHAT you know...
- Always remember to praise what others are praising and walk all over what others say is crap - The Art world is a small tightly-knit community, a bit like a village. Work to become the Vicar or the Mayor - Not the tramp or the Gypsy...

9) Don't worry about money...
- NEVER, NEVER, NEVER try to put a price on your own art, that's your DEALERS job...stay away from the whole money thing all together - You'll only screw things up and annoy your dealer. Money is serious business - Leave it to the professionals.

10) "Learn your lines"
YOU are the artist, YOUR job is to produce work and be drunk and abusive at openings and it's like they say : "...The world is a stage and each must play his part..." You play the part of the artiste - The better you play it the better you'll come out.

11) Die...
Yes, dying is one of the best carear moves you can possibly make!
It will enable art historians and dealers to get a full overview of where to place you in the historical hierarchy of artists - Making it a lot easier to price your work.
Since you no longer are producing, your work becomes one big "limited edition" and the rest is up to your dealer.
Another benefit of your death is that art historians, journalists, colleagues and other people who hate you, can drag your work through the gutter without the risk of getting head butted by you outside the supermarket or at an opening - Everybody wins.

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~~~~~
Retro babe "...that IS a kinky west, honey...but I'm allergic to that type of material!.."
^^^^^^
Panzer Sdkfz 251/1
Another photo of the 251 during a type of "Army day" event. Judging form the bombed out ruins in the background we're probably talking late 1943 or later.
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(unfortunately) Also my people
(regrettably) Also my war

Friday, June 06, 2008

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Attending to casualties on the beaches of Normandy. Close to 9,000 men died on D-Day

Sixty fourth anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy - or "D-Day" which brought freedom from Nazi occupation to Western Europe.

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~~~~~
Retro babe Amateur photo of French streetwalkers with American troops, 1944
^^^^^^
Panzer Pzkpfw IV, Ausf H
Captured in Normandy, 1944. Note the tracks wrapped around the hull and turret for extra protection.
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(unfortunately) Also my people
(regrettably) Also my war

Thursday, June 05, 2008

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Socialism?..grow up, punk...

A Danish historian has revealed that former danish prime minister and head of the Social-Democratic Party H.C.Hansen was an agent for the CIA in the years 1943-46

Some years ago the late chairman of the Danish Socialist People's Party Aksel Larsen was also revealed to have been "...an agent of a Western intelligence service..."


Socialist workers party leaders of Denmark NOT working for the CIA, please raise your hands...


But why bother about this, Lennard - Would you rather have Denmark had taken orders from the Kremlin, perhaps!?!?!



No, obviously not...

not at all..

it's just that...

er...

you, know...

well, er...


Nah...

forget it...

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~~~~~
Retro babe"...how revealing - You're not with the CIA are you?.."
^^^^^^
Panzer Panther, Ausf D
The group of troopers are probably not the crew of this Panther since they are wearing the field grey uniforms for armoured artillery and panzerjäger crews and not the black panzer uniform.
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(unfortunately) Also my people
(regrettably) Also my war

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

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R.I.P, Bo Diddley, 1928-2008

"...a giant...a legend..." and all of that...and besides his well known "jungle beat" material he was also the author of one of my favourite songs: Mickey & Sylvia : Love is Strange

Surprise trivia: Served as a Deputy Sheriff for two years in the 1970's

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YouTube: Bo Diddley
~~~~~
Retro babe"...but, Dr. Bergen-Belsen...I'm the patient - Shouldn't I be on the couch?.."
^^^^^^
Panzer Sdkfz 251/1, Ausf D
Judging from the relaxed mood of the troopers chatting with civilian women this could be "Army day" or a similar event, probably summer of 1944.
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(unfortunately) Also my people
(regrettably) Also my war

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

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it was twenty years ago today...

Well, maybe not exactly today...but some time in June 1988, I moved into the villa on the above photo - Hortensiavej 18, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen.

And so did most of my friends.

Our small group of neo-dadaists/ brats on welfare had previously found a common cause around various bands and other artistic outlets in the town of Roskilde, twenty miles from Copenhagen. Some of us had already lived in Copenhagen on and off (my own experiences covered previously on this blog) but the time had come to move on to something better - For real...share our lives, hone our creative skills, laugh in the face of oppression, fight the bourgeoisie. And party.

The first month we stayed there really was like one long party - In my memory - Long nights exploring our combined pool of records, stoned - Bicycling around Copenhagen, stoned - Talking about life/ art/ women, stoned.

Or just getting,

stoned.

One night we wanted to find a name for the place - Our Ark amidst the flood of Danish mediocrity and economic recession...and eventually we came up with:

SKODBORG

Not easy to translate but a possibility could be "BUTT MANOR" (as in cigarette butt), Castle Butt or maybe BUTTBURG...

"Skod" was the Danish word for a cigarette butt but also a derogatory term for something (or someone) used up/ worn out or just generally useless.
The name reflected the self-depreciating humour and dismal mood of the era quite well - The place was shabby back then and kids on welfare and the dole don't nesceceraly generate a high level of self-esteem (today the villa is restored to the prevailing "Millennium" standards, and is probably worth a fortune...)

The people who owned it let us rent it for two years only, after that we would acquire some expanded renters' rights and they didn't want to be bothered with that.

This was common practice in those days, Copenhagen had many run down apartments, villas and backyard houses you could rent cheaply.

That is, if you didn't mind the absence of hot running water, bathing facilities and double glazing (pasting plastic disposal bags onto the inside of your windows was a recurring ritual come winter tyme - Cheap building insolation...)

This was after all the time of the major post-war recession in Denmark - 1988-91 - if you were young there was not much being offered in terms of jobs or education. For my group of friends and me it meant going on welfare or "the dole" and spending our time being creative - Why not be an artist? there's nothing better to do...

We also found ourselves in the final stages of the Iron Curtain/ Cold War era (three of us visited Berlin when the wall was still there) The threat of global nuclear war had been repeated so often in the media that we had practically become numb to it - "Oh, wow, yeah - The world is gonna blow up...if I'm stoned I can trip out on the colours of the explosions..."

Yep, I was stoned much of the time...

and if you are the type who regards cannabis smoking as the anti-social loser thing to do, remember this:

It was cheap.

Going to a bar or club cost money, and getting drunk at these placed cost (a lot of) money too...

So did, paint, canvasses, guitar strings, video tapes, food.

Going to Christiana, buying and sharing a gram of hashish would secure a whole evening of highs - Even if you were a group of five or six people...

After smoking you didn't need a club, talking or bicycling around was fun enough,

At least for me it was.

Gazing at a speck on your toilet wall could be fun...

Cheap fun.

(unless you OD'd, which I frequently did...then you'd spend some time in cannabis purgatory - Nasty...)

Yeah, it wasn't all about doom and gloom and the crumbling welfare state - Just look at the place! A villa on a quiet street, smack in the middle of Copenhagen! if my generation was spoiled rotten or completely fucked in a very subtle way I will never know...maybe we were both...

maybe just me.

And we had plenty of space there! Each person could have his/ her own room and there were even special rooms in the basement for rehearsing with bands/ getting stoned and a room for watching TV/ getting stoned...

At a point some of us began watching the British 80's comedy show The Young Ones The quality of the desperate and off-beat humour plus the obvious parallels between the world of the show and our own existence were too much to resist and our enthusiasm for the show evolved to a point where we would quote the dialogue continuously, driving our visiting friends mad and greatly alienated.


Well,

I could go on...


Thanks a lot, all:

Christel
Dorte
Esben
Folke
Gert
Hans
Jens
Kim
Mads
Mei
Morten
Peter (Bondeesen)
Troels
Uffe
Ulla
Yvonne

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YouTube: The Young Ones - University challenge
~~~~~
Retro babe "...yeah, you got it, sweets - Caravan - that's a great tune..."
^^^^^^
Panzer Sdkfz 251/1, Ausf A
Brilliant pre-WWII photo of the early version of the 251.
Judging from the body language of the mechanic you might suspect it wasn't all "spit and polish" around the car pools of the Wehrmacht...
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(unfortunately) Also my people
(regrettably) Also my war

Monday, June 02, 2008

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If Hitler had been a hippy, how happy we would be

British renegade conceptual artists Jake and Dinos Chapman have purchased original water colours made by Adolf Hitler for £ 115,000 and added rainbows and smileys to them.

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~~~~~
Retro babe "...Oh, you're the little lady..."
(it's only funny is you are familiar with the recordings of this man)
^^^^^^
Panzer Panzerjäger Marder III, Ausf M
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(unfortunately) Also my people
(regrettably) Also my war