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Posted May 16th by in Fashion, Style

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The New Woman International

Posted May 16th by in Art, Culture, Film, Photography

Germaine Krull by Eli Lotar

Images of flappers, garçonnes, Modern Girls, neue Frauen, and trampky—all embodiments of the dashing New Woman—symbolized an expanded public role for women from the suffragist era through the dawn of 1960s feminism. Chronicling nearly a century of global challenges to gender norms, The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film from the 1870s through the 1960s (University of Michigan Press) is the first book to examine modern femininity’s ongoing relationship with the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’ most influential new media: photography and film. You can find the book here.


Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams

Posted May 16th by in Art, Culture

Victor Brauner, Romania/France 1903–66, Loup-table (Wolf-table) 1939, 1947, Wood and taxidermied fox

This June marks the beginning of a unique, expansive exhibit of surrealist artwork in Queensland, Australia. The Gallery of Modern art in Queensland, a land far from the birth of surrealism, is borrowing “the core” of one of the finest and largest collections held at the The Musée national d’art moderne in at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Its a rare occasion in that the collection rarely leaves Paris.  The exhibition presents more than 180 artworks by 56 artists, including paintings, sculptures, ‘surrealist objects’, films, photographs, drawings and collages. Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams is on view June 11 to October 2 at the The Gallery of Modern Art in Queensland –


Guy Bourdin: Oedipus Rex & High Heels

Posted May 16th by in Photography

Guy Bourdin – Pentax Calender – 1980

You wouldn’t need Freud to tell Guy Bourdin that his unhealthy fetish for redheaded women stems from his mother who abandoned him when he was only a year old. Twisted and contorted like compromised balloon dogs and subordinate porcelain dolls, Bourdin’s redheads became the tumescent idols of his sparkling photographic oeuvre.  Something of an antithesis to Helmut Newton – Bourdin was more mercurial, irascible - never once having the semblance of desire to publicly exhibit his work and angrily turning down what must have been multiple book offers. Myths are also quick to to invent Bourdin as something of a sadist – a regular 21st century Marquis de Sade – leading those close to him to take desperate measures to escape him. One of his girlfriends hung herself – her body discovered by Bourdin’s 13 year old son. Another attempted suicide by slashing her wrists. A third died in a fall. Another of a drug overdose while in bed watching television. Its the stuff of legend. Once, Bourdin’s assistants covered a pair of models with black pearls using a type of glue that interfered with the ability to regulate body temperature – the pearls were feverishly removed and after the models awoke from losing consciousness Bourdin muttered, coldly, “Oh, it would be beautiful to photograph them dead in bed.” However, beyond the circumstances of his turbulent life and troubled psyche, Bourdin was a luminary who created indelibly brilliant images that will no doubt have an eternal influence on fashion photography. (READ MORE >>>>)


PAUL THEK: Diver, A Retrospective

Posted May 13th by in Art, Culture

Paul Thek: Diver, a Retrospective is the first retrospective in the U.S. devoted to the legendary American artist Paul Thek (1933–1988). A sculptor, painter, and one of the earliest artists to create environments or installations, Thek was first recognized when he showed his sculpture in New York galleries in the 1960s. These early works, which he began making in 1964 and called “meat pieces,” resembled flesh and were encased in Plexiglas boxes that recall minimal sculptures. With his frequent use of highly perishable materials, Thek accepted the ephemeral nature of his works—and was aware, as writer Gary Indiana has noted, of “a sense of our own transience and that of everything around us.” With loans of work never before seen in the U.S., this exhibition is intended to introduce Thek to a broader American audience. On view at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles – May 22 to August 28 – website.


EDITORIAL: Pavilions of Sun

Posted May 13th by in Editorials, Photography



[INTERVIEW] Austra Wants Your Blood

Posted May 13th by in Music

Meet Katie Austra Stelmanis. Katie didn’t know that her middle name means goddess of light in Latvian mythology until someone brought it up recently, but it makes a great name for a band – in Stelmanis’ words “its ambiguous.” Austra, who is due to release their first full length album entitled Feel It Break next week, is one part gothic, wagnerian siren Katie Stelmanis, one part brooding, angst ridden bassist Dorian Wolf, and one part high school outcast, black lipstick wearing drummer with a resentment for all cool people Maya Postepski. I don’t know any of these people personally, not in the least, but you can just feel it in the music – especially in the songs Villain or Darken Her Horse. Feel it Break is the kind of album that plays when you head back to your apartment, and you realize you’ve forgotten to pay the gas bill in ages and its cold as shit, and you decide to break all the pictures of your girlfriend, and then it still plays, faintly in the background, on a radio maybe, as you spend the night shivering – knowing full well the meaninglessness of life.

“…as you spend the night shivering – knowing full well the meaninglessness of life.”

As if to live up to the record’s name Stelmanis’ voice could very well break your heart more than any girlfriend could. In a powerful, heart twisting contralto, Stelmanis’ voice soars violently-but-sweetly above a digital backdrop that gives both a sense of longing and an uncontrollable urge to tap your feet. Wherein the record seems like a large abyss with plenty of high places to jump to your death – it is also extremely danceable, cathartic, beautiful, strange, weird, and a little surreal. (READ MORE >>>)


Warhol Worship: Aloof Self Portrait Goes for $38.4 Million

Posted May 12th by in Art

In 1963 Andy Warhol was on the cusp of fame when patron of the arts Florence Barron commissioned a painting that would become a seminal work of art in a nascent pop art movement. Barron purchased the self portrait, in which Warhol photographed himself in a photobooth and silkscreened the image onto a four panel canvas, for $1,600 – in installments. After a heated 16-minute bidding war the self portrait was ultimately won by an unnamed European collector who agreed to pay the $38.4 million.


Minimal Eccentricity: Émilie Meldem

Posted May 12th by in Fashion

The 2011 Hyères festival of fashion and photography in Southern France has come and gone.  Swiss designer Émilie Meldem, who won this year’s Special Jury Prize, makes a unique and remarkable statement. Émilie Meldem “takes her inspiration from her native Switzerland, which she transposes into an isolated country, caught between modernity and tradition, restriction and freedom, fragility and strength. This duality results in a form of minimal eccentricity, which is at the same time decorative and radical.”  (SEE MORE PHOTOS >>>)


Paris: Life & Luxury

Posted May 12th by in Art

Francois Boucher “Lady Fastening Her Garter” of “La Toilette” 1742

An exhibition at the Getty in Los Angeles, entitled Paris: Life & Luxury,  “evokes the rich material ambiance of Paris during the mid-18th century. It brings together a wide variety of objects—from candlesticks and firedogs, to furniture and clocks, dressing gowns and jewelry, musical instruments and games—all from elite society in Paris, the fashion and cultural epicenter of Europe at the time.” On view until August 7.





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