Upon deciding to use the pseudonym Alice Springs, photographer June Newton (wife of photographer Helmut Newton), did not anticipate or foresee the confusion caused by searching her name in google images. How could she? In 1970 Helmut Newton caught a bout of influenza and taught his wife June how to use a light meter and his camera so that she could take his place in shooting an advert for the French cigarette brand Gitanes. After the advert Alice Springs is born and the rest is history. Taking her pseudonym from Alice Springs, Australia where she was born, starts her career as an actress, and ultimately falls in love with Helmut Newton. Fate has taken stranger twists. Visit the ‘June room’ at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin or check out her book published by Taschen.
“It is all well and good for children and acid freaks to still believe in Santa Claus — but it is still a profoundly morbid day for us working professionals. It is unsettling to know that one out of every twenty people you meet on Xmas will be dead this time next year… Some people can accept this, and some can’t. That is why God made whiskey, and also why Wild Turkey comes in $300 shaped canisters during most of the Christmas season.”
University of Leicester researcher finds photographs of Amazonians brought to London by Roger Casement as ‘living curiosities.’ Click here for more info.
Like Miko Smiling for Christopher Williams, 2008
Michelle duBois traveled through Asia in the 1970s and 80s and took thousands of pictures of herself in various costumes and dress; she also “turned tricks” to survive. But, is Michelle duBois the fiction of artist, photographer Zoe Crosher? Zoe Crosher has been collecting the duBoise archives and exhibiting it’s vast treasure of photographic ephemera internationally; all the while building a myth and legend around the artist and Michelle duBoise. www.zoecrosher.com
Europa and the Bull by Gustave Moreau, watercolour, c. 1869.
“Gustave Moreau is one of the radical artists of the nineteenth century whose imagination seems to anticipate the cinematic. His art is one of spectacle and alive with fabulous stories. Unique in his own time, especially for painting the great mythological and exotic stories of the ancient world, erotic and often violent, Moreau’s painterly bravura is vivid, his colour dazzling and jewel-like. At times he applies paint and uses mixed media with a freedom verging on the abstract – so that he seems to possess a modern sensibility.” A small selection of the symbolist painter’s works are on view in Victoria. Gustave Moreau and the Eternal Femine is showing at the National Gallery of Victoria until April 10th, 2011. www.ngv.vic.gov.au
“Feldmann entered the art world in the late 1960s when he began to construct and exhibit editions of small booklets containing found images such as postcards, magazine clippings, and posters. These images constituted part of Feldmann’s massive “picture archive,” an assortment of images categorized according to the artist’s own system. In the event that a part of the archive was incomplete (an image was missing), Feldmann would capture this image via his own photography. Using image reproduction, photography or otherwise, as a means to illuminate the mysteries of daily life, he consistently gives credence to under-recognized art forms such as the photo album, never underestimating the power of the most “common” aesthetic strategies…..Hans-Peter Feldmann lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.” A major collection of his works is on display at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid. www.museoreinasofia.es
Cut Copy “Take Me Over (Thee Loving Hand Remix).” Zonoscope is due out this February.
Theo van Doesburg
Are you a neoplasticist at heart? De Stijl, Dutch for “The Style”, also known as neoplasticism, was a Dutch artistic movement founded in 1917. The theories and founding philosophies were propagated culturally by the artistic journals of Dutch painter, designer, writer, and critic Theo van Doesburg; it could even be said that Doesberg was the founder of de stijl or neoplasticism. “De Stijl sought to express a new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order. They advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour; they simplified visual compositions to the vertical and horizontal directions, and used only primary colors along with black and white.” It all started in 1915: during a two year stint in the army Doesburg meets Piet Mondrian, who was eight years older and had already gained some attention for his strange geometric paintings. Doesburg is fascinated by Mondrian. De Stijl was influenced by Cubist painting as well as by the mysticism and the ideas about “ideal” geometric forms (such as the “perfect straight line”) in the neoplatonic philosophy of mathematician M.H.J. Schoenmaekers. The works of De Stijl would influence the Bauhaus style and the international style of architecture as well as clothing and interior design. Visit the Tate Modern for an exhibition entitled ‘Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde – Contructing a New World.’ “Including over 350 works (many unseen in the UK before) by key artists as Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, László Moholy-Nagy, Piet Mondrian, Francis Picabia, Gerrit Rietveld, Kurt Schwitters and Sophie Taeuber.” www.tatemodern.org.uk
Carol Jerrems, ‘Vale Street,’ 1975
Carol Jerrems, ‘Mozart St’ 1970
Carol Jerrems, ‘Mark and Flappers’ 1975
In Carol Jerrems’ short sweet life she photographed everything she could; even herself dying of a terrible, rare blood disease. Jerrems became prominent in the 1970s in Australia as apart of a new wave of young photographers and is just now over the last five years finding a reemergence in world culture; akin to posthumous rise of Francesca Woodman, an American photographer, whose life was also claimed by tragedy at a young age. Jerrems photographed Australian outcasts and subcultures…anybody who stood out…anybody whose soul she could fit in the diary of her photographic oeuvre. Her photograph ‘Vale Street’ is practically iconic in Australia. Even at the age of 31, as she lingered around in her last days in the hospital, she took meticulous journalistic notes and photographs of her own decline. Last October saw the close of a show of her work in a group exhibit at at the Heide museum in Victoria, Australia, but you can still find a nice catalog of images in their store here. You can also view an amazing clip of a documentary about Carol Jerrems here.