Results tagged “sideshow”

12:44 PM

For fans of sideshow, here's a video look back at Coney Island's beautiful freaks, dancing girls and even a bit of tattoo history (around the 4:10 mark). Today's resident performers continue traditional sideshow arts, like sword swallowing, with a contemporary edge, and also attract guest performers like our fave, The Lizardman.

[The video is part of the Prelinger Archive, which I highly recommend to artists looking for public domain films and clips.]  

Via the fabulous Pat Sullivan.
05:36 PM
We've got a lot of love for Brooklyn here at at the Needles and Sins Compound and an even deeper love for Coney Island; with it's boardwalks rotting out from under your feet, rides that might kill you at any second and the glorious art of the sideshow.  No summer in NYC is complete without a Nathan's hot dog, some Coney Island Lager and someone pounding 10" nails into their sinuses.

rollino.jpgSo it's with sadness that we report the passing of former Coney Island strongman, Joe Rollino, who was struck and killed by (of all things) a minivan earlier this week.  He was a boxer, a Coney Strongman (who started his strongman career at the age of 10), a member of the Polar Bear Club and just a year ago, at the age of 103, he could still bend quarters in his teeth.

As we watch Coney Island change, gentrify and Disney-ify, it's sad to know that one of its legends is no longer with us.

The New York Times wrote about his passing here, and NPR also did a broadcast about him, which you can read the transcript of or stream the audio here.

[photo credit: Charles Denson]
02:09 AM

Visit Matt Hoyle's site to see his collection of portrait photography featuring active sideshow performers and other "circus freaks."

Writers are often told that editing is a far superior skill to actual writing. Most art can learn from this lesson. As these individuals are such unique and interesting characters in their own right, Matt does a terrific job in editing out any photographic editorializing and capturing the naked essence of his subjects. 

These performers are artists, entertainers and individuals who, like tattoo collectors, utilize their bodies in ways beyond the comprehension of normative society. I felt a spiritual and aesthetic kinship to Matt's subjects that I did not realize before being placed face to face with them.
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