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On November 20, 1969 a ragtag group of Indian college students embarked on a journey to Alcatraz Island, home of the notorious and now abandoned federal penitentiary, occupying it for a period of 19 months as an act of distinctly Native American resistance and protest until June 11, 1971. According to the occupying group, the IAT (Indians of All Tribes), the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) between the U.S. and the Sioux stated that all retired, abandoned or out-of-use federal land was to be returned to the Native people from whom it was acquired. Since Alcatraz penitentiary had been closed on March 21, 1963, and the island had been declared surplus federal property in 1964, a number of Red Power activists felt the island qualified for a reclamation. Despite an attempted Coast Guard blockade, the island was taken en mass by unarmed students and families from all over Indian country. In all, 79 Indians took up residence on Alcatraz included including students, married couples and six children. At the height of the occupation there were 400 people on the Island.

The protesters were publicly offering the federal government the same amount for the land that the government had initially offered them; at 47 cents per acre, this amounted to $9.40 for the entire rocky island, or $5.64 for the twelve usable acres. The plan was to reclaim the island for natives and create a university and cultural center. Organizer Richard Oakes sent a message to the San Francisco Department of the Interior:

“We invite the United States to acknowledge the justice of our claim. The choice now lies with the leaders of the American government - to use violence upon us as before to remove us from our Great Spirit’s land, or to institute a real change in its dealing with the American Indian. We do not fear your threat to charge us with crimes on our land. We and all other oppressed peoples would welcome spectacle of proof before the world of your title by genocide. Nevertheless, we seek peace.” #destroytheday

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The Wang Saen Suk Monastery Garden (also known as Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden and Thailand Hell Horror Park) is a garden in Thailand. A popular tourist attraction, it is meant to describe and depict Naraka, the Buddhist hell.

This is the largest hell garden in Thailand. At the entrance of the monastery garden, a brightly colored sign reads “Welcome To Hell.” Further inside the garden, another sign reads: If you meet the Devil in this life, don’t postpone merit-making which will help you to defeat him in the next life.

Entering the park, you see two large figures named ‘Nai Ngean’ and 'Nang Thong.’ They stand high above the tortured souls of the garden; their emaciated appearance, long necks and distended bellies seems to mark them as Preta, the 'hungry ghosts’ of Thai folklore. Around the feet of these figures are arranged 21 tortured souls, each with the head of a different animal. These animalistic characterisations reflect the nature of each soul’s sin; plaques at the feet of each feature inscriptions such as: Ones who make a corruption are punished in the hell, they are named as the spirits of the pigs….or…Ones who sell the habit-performing drugs are punished in the hell, they are named as the spirits of the cows.

Other designations include the ungrateful becoming tigers, jealous people being named rabbits and a bird head given to those who steal cooked rice. After this first area come more sculptures of the specific punishments for a list of very particular crimes. These include depictions of human sinners being ripped apart by the dogs of Hell, burnt alive in boiling cauldrons, disembowelled by birds, and having their head replaced with that of an animal. #destroytheday

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Stephen Wiltshire was born in London, England, in 1974 to West Indian parents. Wiltshire was mute when young. At the age of three, he was diagnosed as autistic. The same year, his father died in a motorbike accident. At the age of five, Stephen was sent to Queensmill School in London where he expressed interest in drawing. He began to communicate through his art. His teachers encouraged his drawing, and with their aid Wiltshire learned to speak at the age of five. At the age of eight, he started drawing imaginary post-earthquake cityscapes and cars. When he was ten, Wiltshire drew a sequence of drawings of London landmarks, one for each letter, that he called a “London Alphabet.” In 1987, Wiltshire was part of the BBC programme The Foolish Wise Ones. Drawings, a collection of his works, was published that same year, with four more books of his art being published between then and 1993.

What is extremely notable is that Wiltshire can look at a subject once and then draw an accurate and detailed picture of it. He frequently draws entire cities from memory, based on double, brief helicopter rides. For example, he produced a detailed drawing of four square miles of London after a single helicopter ride above that city. His nineteen-foot-long drawing of 305 square miles of New York City is based on a single twenty-minute helicopter ride. When Wiltshire took the helicopter ride over Rome, he drew it in such great detail that he drew the exact number of columns in the Pantheon. In May 2005 Stephen produced his longest ever panoramic memory drawing of Tokyo on a 32.8-foot-long canvas within seven days following a helicopter ride over the city. A 2011 project in New York City involved Wiltshire’s creation of a 250-foot (76 m) long panoramic memory drawing of New York which is now displayed on a giant billboard at JFK Airport.
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Chicken Boy, aka the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles, is a landmark statue on the historic U.S. Route 66 (North Figueroa Street) in the Highland Park, California area of Los Angeles. The colorful 22-foot tall fiberglass statue was first perched atop a fried chicken restaurant in downtown Los Angeles on Broadway (also Historic Route 66) between 4th and 5th streets, near L.A.’s Grand Central Market in the 1960s. At that time, International Fiberglass Company, in Venice, California, was manufacturing the more familiar roadside Paul Bunyan and Muffler Man statues for use as outdoor advertising. The Los Angeles chicken restaurant bought one and hired an artist to customize it. A chicken head was fabricated to replace the man’s head. The arms were re-worked to face forward and hold a bucket, rather than as the axe-wielding original. The iconic downtown statue remained in place until 1984 when the restaurant owner died. The statue was given to Amy Inouye, after many queries and requests, and it went into storage until a suitable location could be found, as it turned out some 20 years later. In 2007 Inouye moved the statue to its current location at 5558 North Figueroa. Inouye’s design firm, Future Studio, had relocated to a commercial space that had a reinforced roof strong enough to support the statue. It remains there today as an icon of hope. Chicken Boy’s ceremonial birthday is September 1, 1969 as listed in Chase Annual Events book, a volume for US morning DJs listing important and wacky birthdays for each day. #destroytheday

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The Cementario de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is easily one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. Designed by French engineer Próspero Catelin and remodeled in 1881, the cemetery is a Victorian neoclassical explosion, with ornate mausoleums at every turn. Meant to house Argentina’s rich and famous, the crypts and gravestones are huge baroque masterpieces, mimicking the architecture of the city’s wealthy houses. Among the cemetery’s elite are Eva Peron, Nobel winner Luis F. Leloir, and Isabel Walewski Colonna, grandchild of Napoleón Bonaparte. One gravestone not belonging to anyone particularly famous, however, embodies one of the cemetery’s most interesting—and horrifying—stories.

Rufina Cambacérès was born into a wealthy family, heirs to a large cattle fortune, and her father Eugenio Cambacérès, was a well known writer and politician. Rufina suffered an early tragedy when her father died of tuberculosis when she was only four years old. In 1902, Rufina was nineteen and had grown into a beautiful young woman, and something of a Buenos Aires socialite. While getting ready to attend a show, Rufina suddenly and without warning collapsed onto the floor. (Many modern versions of this story include a bit about this being caused by a scandalous revelation, something about her boyfriend sleeping with his own mother, but this is almost certainly a fabrication added on later to spice up the story.) Doctors were called in, and supposedly all three doctors pronounced the young Rufina dead of a heart attack. Rufina was put in a coffin and sealed in her mausoleum, and a funeral was held. #destroytheday

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Rosemary’s Baby curse part 2
Perhaps the thing that fully fueled the idea of a curse on the film was in 1969 when the Manson Family murdered Sharon Tate, Polanski’s pregnant wife. Tate was two weeks from giving birth and entertaining friends in her home on the night of August 8th. Polanski was in London at the time.

she had dined at her favorite restaurant, El Coyote, with Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail Folger, returning at about 10:30 p.m. Shortly after midnight, they were murdered by members of Charles Manson’s “family” and their bodies were discovered the following morning by Tate’s housekeeper, Winifred Chapman. Police arrived at the scene to find the body of a young man, later identified as Steven Parent, shot dead in his car, which was in the driveway. Inside the house, the bodies of Tate and Sebring were found in the living room; a long rope tied around each of their necks connected them. On the front lawn lay the bodies of Frykowski and Folger. All of the victims, except Parent, had been stabbed numerous times. The coroner’s report for Tate noted that she had been stabbed sixteen times, and that “five of the wounds were in and of themselves fatal.” In all, the four victims received 102 stab wounds. Sharon Tate was the last to die, knived by Watson while she was held down by Susan Atkins.

Life magazine devoted a lengthy article to the murders and featured photographs of the crime scenes. Polanski was interviewed for the article and allowed himself to be photographed at the entrance of the house, next to the front door with the word “PIG” – written in Tate’s blood – still visible. Widely criticized for his actions, he argued that he wanted to know who was responsible and was willing to shock the magazine’s readers in the hope that someone would come forward with information. #destroytheday

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The Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques (Cemetery of Dogs and Other Domestic Animals) in Asnières-sur-Seine, France is the oldest pet cemetary in Europe and one of the first zoological necropolises in the world. The Cimetière des Chiens owes its beginnings to a law that was passed in 1898, when the Paris city government declared that dead pets couldn’t just be tossed out with the trash or dumped in the Seine, but had to be buried in hygienic graves at least 100 meters from the nearest dwelling. Attorney Georges Harmois and journalist Marguerite Durand quickly conceived the idea of a “cemetery for dogs and other domestic animals” on the outskirts of Paris. In June, 1899, digging began on a narrow parcel of riverfront land in Asnières-sur-Seine. The new cemetery opened for business that summer, and over the years more than 40,000 animals have been buried there.

The impressive entrance to the cemetery was designed by famous Art Nouveau architect Eugene Petit and can be easily seen as you cross the Seine. Instead of mausoleums, many of the tombs are stone dog houses often decorated with various dog toys. Some of the cemetery’s residents are famous in their own right such as Rin Tin Tin, the star of a number of Hollywood films, while others are the beloved pets of the wealthy who could afford this elaborate burial place such as film director Sacha Guitry. Buried here too, is the pet lion of stage actress, feminist, and co-founder of the cemetery, Marguerite Durand and the pet of Camille Saint-Saëns, composer of Carnival of the Animals. There is also a large monument to Barry (the world’s most famous St. Bernard) and at the back of the cemetary is a shelter for stray cats which are allowed to roam the grounds. #destroytheday

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The Starchild skull is an abnormal human skull allegedly found in Mexico that its discoverer claims to be the product of extraterrestrial-human breeding or genetic manipulation. mtDNA recovered from the skull has established it as human. Neurologist Steven Novella believes it to be the skull of a child who died as a result of congenital hydrocephalus.

Paranormal researcher Lloyd Pye, the owner of the skull, reported having obtained the skull from Ray and Melanie Young of El Paso, Texas, in February 1999. According to Pye, the skull was found around 1930 in a mine tunnel about 100 miles southwest of Chihuahua, Mexico, buried alongside a normal human skeleton that was exposed and lying supine on the surface of the tunnel.

Pye claimed the skull to be a hybrid offspring of an extraterrestrial and a human female. According to Pye, a dentist who examined the upper right maxilla found with the skull determined that the skull was that of a child aged 4.5 to 5 years. The volume, however, of the interior of the Starchild skull is 1,600 cubic centimeters, which is 200 cm³ larger than the average adult’s brain, and 400 cm³ larger than an adult of the same approximate size. The orbits are oval and shallow, with the optic nerve canal situated closer to the bottom of the orbit than to the back. There are no frontal sinuses. The back of the skull is flattened. The skull consists of calcium hydroxyapatite, the normal material of mammalian bone.
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Created by artist, Ricky Boscarino, Luna Parc is an outsider masterpiece that really has to be experienced to understand the full scale of the work. It is like a twisted fairytale cottage hidden in the woods of Montague, New Jersey. The exterior of the house is covered with incredible mosaics and the grounds are an ongoing sculpture garden. Inside, Ricky has filled the place with his collections of homemade lamps, bottle caps, Buddhas, taxidermy, art, miniatures, stringed instruments, stained glass and religious icons. In addition to his artistic talents on the Parc grounds, Ricky is also a brilliant jewelry designer. Visit his site and explore his house at www.lunaparc.com #destroytheday

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Woke up to learn about the passing of a legend this morning. H.R. Giger passed away yesterday from injuries he sustained in a fall. He was such a huge influence to artists from every discipline in the dark art realm…painters, musicians, writers, sculptors…we all owe a debt of gratitude to the legacy he has shared with us. A genius and true visionary, Giger’s works will most definitely continue to inspire new generations. Hyaena is flying the metaphorical flag at half mast today. If you are an artist who has been touched by his art, keep pushing yourself to do something great with your talent. Leave your mark as he has. #destroytheday

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In 2005 Art League Houston had two decaying studio houses on the corner of Montrose Boulevard and Willard Street in Houston, TX that were scheduled to be demolished and replaced by a new building. For over 30 years, these two houses (circa 1920s) had been used for art classes and exhibitions. Prior to demolition the two homes were given to sculptors Dan Havel and Dean Ruck who proceeded to convert them into one giant farewell installation known as “Inversion.”

Havel and Ruck created a large funnel-like vortex beginning from the west wall adjacent to Montrose Blvd. The exterior skin of the houses was peeled off and used to create the narrowing spiral as it progressed eastward through the small central hallway connecting the two buildings and exiting through a small hole into an adjacent courtyard. “Inversion” existed for about one month before being torn down. It has become one of Houston’s most well-known, albeit vanished, sculptures and the artwork continues to be cited on design blogs. #destroytheday

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The Museum of Bad Art began with a single painting found between two trash cans on a Boston street in 1993. Antique dealer Scott Wilson spotted a portrait of an elderly woman dancing in a field of flowers under a yellow sky. In one hand she holds a freshly picked bouquet. In the other, she holds a red armchair. Using this heartfelt but poorly rendered artwork as a foundation piece, Wilson and his friend Jerry Reilly established a bad art collection. Their goal, and the goal of the museum to this day, was to celebrate artists’ enthusiasm and honor failure as an essential part of the creative process.

Since its inception, the Museum of Bad Art has had rigorous standards. Nine out of every 10 submissions are rejected on the grounds that they display too much artistic competence. Many of the chosen 10 percent – acquired via donations, thrift stores, yard sales, and trash heaps – exhibit wonky perspective, confusing symbolism, and lurid color combinations. Artwork depicting humans often omits or mangles hands and feet due to them being difficult to draw. “While every city in the world has at least one museum dedicated to the best of art, MOBA is the only museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the worst.” To be included in MOBA’s collection, works must be original and have serious intent, but they must also have significant flaws without being boring; the curators are not interested in displaying deliberate kitsch.

Twenty-five to 30 items from the museum’s 600 plus art collection are on show at each of its two Boston locations. Official museum commentary accompanies each artwork – Juggling Dog in Hula Skirt is described as “a fine example of labor-intensive pointlessism” – but guests are welcome to contribute their own interpretations in the visitor’s book. Hyaena’s own Wayne Lo has a piece in their collection! #destroytheday

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Myron Dyal is a modern mystic, a classically trained musician, and a self-taught Southern California artist. He has spiritual visions connected to Temporal Lobe Epilepsy that are the catalysts for the vast oeuvre of his work that spans nearly three decades. His figurative and organic forms are derived from visions he experiences during epileptic seizures and from self-induced trances he encounters on the spiritual journey.

When Myron was 4 years old, he fell into a coma. When he finally awoke, his memory was completely erased and he began having his visions. He began making artwork in the 70s, but only went public with it in 2005. He wrote a book entitled “The Boy Nobody Wanted” which details his life experiences and perception of the world. It is fascinating, heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting in my opinion. Each piece of art he creates is a record of a vision he has experienced and Myron has created over 5000 drawings, paintings and sculptures thus far.

A main character in his life/work is Charon, his spiritual mother, father, friend and guide. Charon acts as a counterbalance to the dark forces, oftentimes restraining them to allow Dyal’s consciousness to recover from their ravages. Flooded with images, Myron renders them in acrylic, graphite, watercolor, and ultimately papier-mache: in large part because the immediacy accommodates his urgency to see objects in three-dimensional form. His last major work, Charon’s Pantheon, is a series of hauntingly beautiful sculpted figures. Each one is a representation of the Goddess energy, light and dark, that he is witness to in his visionary world. #destroytheday

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The Grove of Monsters is a strange garden located just outside the small village of Bomarzo, in Italy. It contains some of the most horrific statuary that one can imagine. A huge elephant carries a trampled soldier, a giant tears apart his enemy, a dragon combats its prey and a colossal mouth gapes open to swallow visitors.

Built around 1556 by a young nobleman named Duke Pierfrancesco “Vicino” Orsini. It is believed that the garden was created to honor his beloved wife, Guilia Farnese, who passed away shortly after he returned from war.

There is no way to know what Orsini’s true intentions were in creating the peculiar grove filled with macabre statuary. He did, though leave hints, placing inscriptions near many of the objects, giving us some clue to what he was thinking. Upon entering what Orsini called his Bosco Sacro (“Sacred Grove”) visitors are greeted with the message:
“You who enter this place, observe it piece by piece and tell me afterwards whether so many marvels were created for deception or purely for art.”

There are more than two dozen major works of immense art in the garden including a dragon fighting with lions and wolves, many figures depicting the Roman/Greek gods,and a house purposely built on an angle to throw visitors off balance. The artist who created the scupltures is thought to be Pirro Ligorio, a well-known architect of the time.

The grove was laid out on a hill and the statues carved out of natural, volcanic, rock outcroppings. For this reason there seems little order to how the place is organized. This, however, might have also been a part of Orsini’s plan. With no logical layout, as one of the inscriptions say, it might have been his way “just to set the heart free.” #destroytheday

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“In the late 1970s a stockpile of over a thousand distinctive wire sculptures were found in cardboard boxes on the street in a slowly-gentrifying neighborhood in South Philadelphia. The works consist of different gauges of wire wrapped around everyday found objects and materials such as food packaging, umbrella parts, tape, batteries, pens, nuts and bolts, nails, foil, coins, toys, watches, eyeglasses, tools, and jewelry.

The maker, who remains unidentified, possessed an astonishing ability to isolate and communicate the concepts of power and energy through his selection and transformation of these ordinary materials. The pieces are often compared to African fetish objects and other ritualized, vernacular traditions, but resonate equally with historical and contemporary art practices. The collection has come to be regarded as an important discovery in the field of self-taught art.

The artwork appears to be the creation of one male artist, due to the strength involved in manipulating often quite heavy-gauge wire into such tightly-wound nuggets. The dense construction of the work, despite a modest range of scale and materials, is singularly obsessive and disciplined in design: a wire armature or exoskeleton firmly binds a bricolage of found objects. The sculptures were first exhibited in 1985 and have been shown in many museums in the United States and Europe since. #destroytheday

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Hyaena gallery turns 8 today. This is what the space looked like on the first day I walked in back in 2006. I had less than $200 in my pocket and a firm belief that I could make this empty shell into something really great. I look at what Hyaena has become, this huge community of artists and art lovers, and I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve done together. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this experience and supported this gallery and the artists who make up our family. Hyaena loves you. Amen. #destroytheday

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