Josef Sudek – a passionate man: Jeu de Paume

by Kim Steele

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Rarely does a photographer look so inward to create his or her images. In the many years I have viewed photography, I have not been so emotionally moved by the sentiments of a series of images depicting the inner sanctum of a visual artist. The range is extreme here in this retrospective: well hung and captioned in this lovely intimate space, Jue de Paume – within stones throw of The Louvre. (The Intimate World of Joseph Sudek: until September 25, 2016)

So often I have thought that a photographer needed to go nowhere in order to create powerful images.   The compelling photos of our time have focused on conflict and refugees, which are raging around the world and are indeed powerful. Done years ago, Salgado’s work on refugees speaks so distinctly today. Josef Sudek has trained his camera on his inner landscape. This was due in part, to his confinement to his apartment during the occupation of Prague by the Nazis. His series My Window depicts this intimacy with great courage and skill. Employing everyday objects – they can appear sentimental or destructive. They are eloquent in their tenderness, and passionate in their convictions. He expressed various photographic movements in this endeavor.

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Rue de Prague, 1924, photograph by Josef Sudek

Sudek was a technical virtuoso employing various printing techniques, including pigment prints using carbon tissue. His color images here have never been heretofore exhibited.   I imagine him printing in the mode of Cameron – in the kitchen sink while fetching water nearby. The adversity prevalent in his work arises from heart. He was drafted into the Hungarian Army in 1915 and served on the Italian Front until he was wounded in the right arm. Infection set in and eventually surgeons removed his arm at the shoulder. But somehow Sudek managed to carry his large format camera atop a tripod around the city. A vision! A physician friend, Dr. Peter Helbich gave  his own private assessment of the connection between Sudek’s life and his work.”Ever since he lost his arm,” Helbich explained, “Sudek has felt estranged from the rest of humanity, and his photography is a means to bridge the gap. It is the reason for the melancholy in his photographs,” said Helbich. “Sometimes I think if he had not lost his arm, he would not have become the great artist he is.” Josef Sudek, by Charles Sawyer [originally published in Creative Camera, 1980]

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Studio, 1940, photograph by Josef Sudek

His early work was influenced by the powerful movement titled “Pictorialism” – spearheaded by Alfred Stieglitz‘ groundbreaking magazine Camera Work. But later, Stieglitz and Steichen opened the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, breaking from this earlier tradition, it eventually became known as 291, after its address. This movement spanned the turn of the century until the early 1920’s. During this time Sudek was visiting his mother in Kolin, while traveling and photographing along the Elbe River. He experimented in gelatin and bromoil prints favoring the soft tone and moody swathes of shades. Indeed Romantic in style, there underlies a sadness and loneliness that permeated his work thought his life. Sudek preferred to work in series. There are seven represented here.

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Kolin, 1922. photpgraph by Josef Sudek

For this reviewer, The World from my Window is the most powerful emotionally, though not the most graphic or compelling visually. The melancholy nature of the images are heartfelt and tender, like tears or droplets on the window behind a solitary rose. The subject is not the visual world but his inner one. There is a cycle of Nature’s dimension to the work, seasonal changes with hope announced by spring or contrastingly, darkness shrouding the potential danger afoot. His still-lifes beckon the same spirits.

 

Night Walks bespeak the Nazi occupation of his city from 1939 until the end of the War. The ‘enforced’ darkness intrigued him in it’s mystery; the curfews could have cost his life if he were caught. Not inconspicuous with the large camera and his hunched figure, his small courtyard of Sudek’s home provided a secretive subject where he could concentrate on mutable plays of light and darkness, acting as ‘equivalents’ of his emotions. There is a wonderful video of Sudek in the exhibition that is endearing, which demonstrates his love for classical music, while entertaining friends in his atelier. A shy man, he never married and rarely included people in his photographs. There are a few portraits in the exhibition, titled Friends and Artists that are quite well executed and reflect a deep connection to them, full of intimacy and empathy.

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Prague at Night, 1950, photograph by Josef Sudek

The St. Vitus Cathedral was a haunt Sudek frequented. Its large interior lent itself to his continued exploration of light and dark, as in his psychological dimensions. He often visited other nearby locales. These included the forest of Beskid Mountains and Hukvaldy, home of Sudek’s favorite composer, Leo Janáček; although he was an urbanite, Sudek admired Nature’s force.

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Still-life, 1968, photograph by Josef Sudek

Sudek was a hoarder. Despite his small studio, he collected object for possible ‘still life’ studies. This included feathers, paper, tinfoil, glasses, seashells, string and shoe molds. Once again, he found beauty in everyday objects. This could have been influenced by his Dada comrades. Sudek also experiments with compositions and light in a “Modernist” convention. There was a foretelling of Cubist direction here, later explored by Rodchenko and Oppenheimer to a greater degree, but Sudek foraged in those explorations. His concentration of pure form and illusory perception evidenced by some surreal subjects and choice of subjects (broken dolls similar to Bellmer) that bespeak transition and impermanence, these concerns were always just below the surface of Sudek’s later images. There is always the strain of devastation and destruction that Sudek witnessed in the battlefields of First World War and later, as a witness the Second World War, in his work, regardless of the subject. It translates to a melancholy of spirit in his work.

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Statue, v. 1948, photograph by Josef Sudek

Sudek enjoyed some recognition later in life, as he did modestly throughout his career, in the early seventies, including an exhibition at the renowned Eastman Kodak House. He died 1976. Sudek is a lesson for young photographers trying to find a vision. It can be as close as your kitchen counter.

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The World is my Oyster ~ artist Ahmed Alrashid

by Kim Steele

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Ahmed Alrashid

 

The ‘Global Village’ is a clique. But in the world of design, be it architecture, graphic or product design – it is a global market. Jordan tennis shoes come to mind. Working from the Middle East, based in Kuwait and traveling to Dubai, Ahmed Alrashid, has struck a note that resonates throughout the world, as his success reflects.

 

Tennis Shoe, by Ahmed Alrashid

Tennis Shoe, by Ahmed Alrashid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From tennis shoes to drinking cups, to these designs speak to an audience of youth and vitality from Converse to Starbucks. After achieving his degree in Business Management, in Kuwait, he continued to pursue the skills in computer imaging that led to his success. Ahmed conducts workshops in the Gulf to spread his spirit to other designers.

 

Starbucks Tumbler by Ahmed Alrashid

Starbucks Tumbler, by Ahmed Alrashid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahmed’s uniqueness stems from his approach to place his designs directly on the products with markers for his prototype, very hands on and reminiscent of the Pop Art era of Warhol and Rauschenberg, which in some cases becomes his final statement. This enables him to foresee the design and experiment in a freeform manner to interact with the product.

 

Mercedes Benz drawing by Ahmed Alrashid

Mercedes Benz art, by Ahmed Alrashid

 

Ahmed is a believer in the social media world and started his sharing on Instagram, [@ahmadalrashid] (where he first sold his Converse shoes in auction to a follower in Bahrain). Vibrancy is the hallmark of his work; it speaks with volume to the contemporary design world. He states, “merging colors is the one of the most important aspects of my creativity, it helps in bringing the whole design together.” Bright – bold and exercising the color theory of Joseph Albers.

 

Body painting by Ahmed Alrashid

Body painting, by Ahmed Alrashid

 

Alrashid’s work has an intelligence that is informed by his business acumen and experience in the marketplace. In the same way Warhol understood the role of the patron and artist, Ahmad grasps the role of art and commerce. What is so interesting is that his work is global in design, that speaks to no particular culture, but the village as a whole. I was impressed by his spanning of world cultures in our meeting and further correspondence. Ahmed is truly an ambassador for design. He harkens back to the likes of Milton Glaser (and Pentagram), who became a tradition in the speaking of many languages.

 

Nespresso Middle East art, by Ahmed Alrashid

 

Gem in the Desert, Museum of Islamic Art ~ Doha, Qatar

by Kim Steele

Night skyline view with Museum in foreground, photograph by Kim Steele

Night skyline view with Museum in foreground, photograph by Kim Steele

Approaching the cubistic building along a path of luscious palm trees, I knew there was something special inside this Museum. In my travels across the Mid-East, there was an alarming dearth of cultural artifacts. The National Museum in Kuwait City was appalling, and impossible to find, as well. The excuses for cultural artifacts were dark dioramas of ‘life’ in these countries from the nineteenth century – mannequins leaning over fires making jewelry or molding tools, somehow providing some insight into their history; sadly this was the case as well in Dubai. I pondered why a culture of many thousands of years was so poorly represented. Was it the Bedouin lifestyle or the tribal aesthetic or possibly the harsh environment that created this vacuum? Possibly all three. The relatively youth of these ‘re-drawn’ nations may contribute to this lack of historical reference.

Occasionally, as in The Citadel in Amman, the modest but fascinating museum atop the Roman hillside, contained metal works, pottery and artifacts of life over several thousands of years was engaging.

Exterior of Museum on approach ramp, photograph by Kim Steele

Exterior of Museum on approach ramp, photograph by Kim Steele

But in Doha, The Museum of Islamic Art was a show-stopper! As soon as one entered the airy interior courtyard of the Museum, (opened in 2008) one knew a master architect created this, and indeed it was, I. M. Pei. (I had to ask the reception desk immediately!)

Interior Overview from above, photograph by Kim Steele

Interior overview from above, photograph by Kim Steele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At once awe-inspiring, influenced by ancient Islamic architecture, and welcoming, it draws one to the water beyond its massive five-story window, overlooking the impressive skyline of Doha, located on the Corniche –posing on the Arabian Gulf on a man made peninsula. A very dramatic setting indeed.

Persian Gulf view from crossing balconies, photograph by Kim Steele

Persian Gulf view from crossing balconies, photograph by Kim Steele

The interiors were designed by another firm, aside from the major features, general lighting, staircases and crossing balconies, Jean Michele Wilmonde, of Paris.  I confess to being a museum freak, and always seek them out around the world; I feel it is a bellwether of a city.

Concrete Walls delineating niches, photograph by Kim Steele

Concrete Walls delineating niches, photograph by Kim Steele

Displays of metalwork in cases, photograph courtesy of Museum

Displays of metalwork in cases, photograph courtesy Museum Of Islamic Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sumptuous interiors of a corrugated-styled (ridges pulled apparently by hand) concrete walls, bordered by wenge (native of central Africa) wood panels, delineate the niches displaying often a single artifact with dramatic lighting, was a breath-taking artistic experience. Each Section on the sides open up to a refreshing light filled atrium of the center court, a respite created by the gifted Pei.  The collection was only recently acquired in the last twenty years, and ranged from Early Islamic art of the 7 – 12th Centuries to a contemporary exhibition of women’s influence in Qajar Women: Images of Women in the 19th century Iran, shown in photographs.

Gold metal work, photograph by Kim Steele

Gold metal work, photograph by Kim Steele

The collection is very strong in ceramics, glass and metal works. The work is both religious and secular in nature, which provides a rich insight into the culture from which it came. The sources are vast, from China (textiles and ceramics), Central Asia, India, even Spain under the Moorish occupation, as well as many places in the Middle East, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey.

Interior staircase and lighting, photograph by Kim Steele

Interior staircase and lighting, photograph by Kim Steele

Both the collection, and the museum itself, are remarkable. One supports the other in this dialogue so infrequently found in contemporary museums. The fashion, dating from the nineties, of architecture first, then collection was found in many cities, from the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, to the Seattle and San Francisco’s museums paraded rising atriums at the expense of wall space and ‘invitability.’ Hopefully the soon to open extension of the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco will correct this dilemma. But this gem by Pei, does in fact sport a souring atrium, but not at the expense of wall space and ease of viewing. There is enough room here for both dimensions, and such a wonderful viewing experience, I was lost there for hours.

Doha skyline beyond the cafe, photograph by Kim Steele

Doha skyline beyond the cafe, photograph by Kim Steele

 

Saved by Ivana…

by The Boulevardiers

 

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Donald Trump, photograph by Kim Steele, for Time magazine, 1984

From our Boulevardier & Publisher, Kim Steele:

I shot a portrait once a week for Time magazine, Business section, in the 1980’s, and hit all the major players, including The Don.

Trump was the most difficult, made me wait for hours, hurried me, until Ivana came in and said, “The reason you don’t like your photos is that you give the photographers a very hard time.” I think he was ‘influenced’ by the Bolivian Army.

My photograph ran full page bleed in Time magazine!”

Biggest Scam in the Art World in a Century: Greed shows it’s teeth

March 4, 2016

Charles L. Knoedler (1863–1944), the youngest son of Michael Knoedler, at the gallery's fourth location, a rented brownstone at 170 Fifth Avenue and 22nd in New York, Getty Images photograph

  Forgery is not an offense under the law of Scotland, but here in the U.S. it has caused quite a stir. The distinguished Knoedler Gallery in Manhattan has shuttered it doors after one hundred and fifty years. Knoedler dates its origin to 1846, when French dealers Goupil & Cie opened a branch in New York, as […]

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Coralie Bickford-Smith — A Love Story

February 12, 2016

Designs by Coralie

        The Boulevardiers have a new friend, Coralie Bickford-Smith ~ the book designer.  When you read about Coralie and her magnificent work, if you don’t know Coralie yet, you will be envious of our friendship. Don’t despair, it’s ok to fall in love, read on…!     In Coralie’s words from her […]

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DAVID IRELAND – San Francisco’s Most Famous Art Home

January 17, 2016

David Ireland with Broom Collection (1978)

  The first time I had the honor to walk into the home at 500 Capp Street of the renowned artist in 2001, about whom I knew very little, I realized it was a special place. I was introduced by the Director of Crown Point Press, Valerie Wade, a friend of Ireland. Ireland was elderly […]

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Albertopoulis…the V&A…and an “extremely capacious handbag”

December 25, 2015

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  Happy & Beautiful Holidays to all our Boulevardiers & Readers…thank you for another inspiring year!   The Boulevardiers recently did London, from top to bottom, Shakespeare to the Houses of Parliament, to Bond Street & Saville Row, to museums, many, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, which is really one of the wonders of […]

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MICHAEL HEIZER: The man who moves mountains

October 27, 2015

Michael Heizer on his desert ranch  with Potato Chip
Credit:  Isaac Breeken, New York Times

  THE MOST PROMINENT EARTH SCULPTOR IN THE WORLD, Michael Heizer has experienced a resurgence in his work, as evidenced by his recent exhibition at Gagosian Gallery in New York this summer, which The Boulevardiers had the pleasure of viewing. As a neophyte in art reviewing, just awarded my NEA grant as an ‘emerging critic,’ […]

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When in Milan … Expo 2015

September 19, 2015

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The Boulevardiers have been to EXPO 2015. We were impressed, surprised, entertained, humbled, underwhelmed, treated to a world-class press tour of the Switzerland pavillion, in awe of the Korea pavilion, left with big thoughts, and big questions. Sustainability, the ifs ands and buts are resoundingly evident at EXPO 2015, more here. Does this drive all […]

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Flaming June, and other Pre-Raphaelites

July 19, 2015

Sir Frederic Leighton’s 1895 painting Flaming June. Photograph: Museo de Arte de Ponce

“PAINT the leaves as they grow! If you can paint one leaf, you can paint the world.” John Ruskin The Guardian, Friday, May 1, 2015: A remarkable study for Flaming June, one of the best known of all Pre-Raphaelite paintings, has been discovered hanging discreetly behind a bedroom door in an English country mansion. I […]

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John Heartfield…Abandoned in a field by his parents as a child…

May 29, 2015

Nascido Helmut Herzfeld

  “I lost my parents in 1899 and thereafter lived as an orphan with different families.”   John Heartfield managed to rise to a distinguished career as a graphic designer after a very challenging childhood, founding a publishing house, Malik-Verlag in 1917, with the renowned artist George Grosz, one of this publisher’s favorite artists.  Both […]

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Emancipation & Esteem

May 27, 2015

Juneteenth Flyer Musician

65th Annual SF Juneteenth Celebration Commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation “The Journey Continues” Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day, is a holiday in the United States that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas in June 1865, and more […]

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Save the date: May 9th, 2015 ~ Fondazione Prada

May 8, 2015

FondazionePrada4

On May 9th Fondazione Prada, Largo Isarco 3, Milano, will be open to the public from 10 am to 9pm.     Once a former distillery, in the industrial south section of Milan–8,900 square meters, it is now the home of the biggest, and arguably, this city’s most exciting contemporary art space. The new location […]

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In the Studio: Photographs

April 11, 2015

Photograph by Constantin Brancusi, 
View of the studio: Plato, Mademoiselle Pogany II, and Golden Bird, c. 1920; © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

  An ambitious exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue, curated by Peter Galassi, rustles up many issues. As Roberta Smith quoted in the New York Times: “…trophy-curators. Clout is definitely on display here, contributing to that heady combination of overt excellence and subtle vulgarity that may be something of a Gagosian specialty.” The […]

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“I would rather sleep in a bathroom than in another hotel.” Billy Wilder

March 8, 2015

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    Just In Case The Raphael is Booked                                                      …by Jerry Bowles                                                                         There is nothing quite as deliciously self-indulgent or decadent as a great hotel. Hemingway wasn’t whistling Dixie when he said “Whenever I dream of afterlife in Heaven, the action always takes place at the Paris Ritz.” Papa loved the […]

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William Randolph Hearst ~ Boulevardier of the Year

January 18, 2015

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~~~~~~     WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, your readers might like it. ~WRH   One of the most telling descriptions, for better or worse, is the fact that his Senator father, George Hearst, willed his entire fortune upon his death in 1895 to his wife, Phoebe, stating that his […]

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How to be Successful in the Arts 101… Shear Madness

December 31, 2014

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    “I’ll never forget my first words in the theatre. Peanuts. Popcorn.” Henny Youngman     What happens when 2 actors from upstate New York decide to pursue their dreams, buy the rights to a murder-mystery written in German, by Swiss playwright Paul Portner for $50,000, turn it into a comedy, and spend another […]

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Boulevardiering — the verb

December 12, 2014

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  The Boulevardiers are proud of and bemused by the mileage and velocity we are encouraging via our use of the term Boulevardiering (our Twitter name). We are Boulevardiers, indeed Chesterfieldian, flâneurs, fops, walking-stick nuts, so are most of our friends, and garnering that curiosity and energy is the reason we started this publication over […]

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Arnold Newman – Master Class in Portraiture

November 25, 2014

Arnold Newman, Sir Cecil Beaton, photographer and designer, Broadchalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, 1978.

Photography of Photographers   Portraiture is about revelations.  Either for the subject or the artist.  So often in painting, El Greco, or Singer Sargent – exemplified by his most famous portrait, Madam X, the subject is somewhat incidental, especially out of the cultural context of the era.  But in photography, the subject is paramount.  Some […]

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The Era of AREA ~ New York’s most revered club

October 31, 2014

AREA partygoers, from Photos from Area--1983-1987, by Eric Goode and Jennifer Goode, Abrams Books, photograph by

In 1983 a nightclub opened in Manhattan unlike any before it. Minimally named “AREA,” the club would set a new precedent not only in the nightlife world, but also in the art world. More precisely, during its relatively short reign from 1983-1987, AREA represented a heady commingling of these two worlds. While its chronological precedent […]

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“Nothing should be noticed.”

October 12, 2014

Marella Agnelli, Truman Capote, and Bunny Mellon, with unidentified man, lunching at Lafayette the day after Capote's Black and White ball

“I don’t know what I’ve done that has made people so interested in me, more than anyone else.” Imagine being Bunny Mellon. From Listerine heiress, to Paul Mellon’s wife, to designer of the White House Rose Garden, to age 103 and upon her death 1000+ items from her collection donated to the National Gallery of […]

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Elwood Smith – Today’s Dagwood

September 28, 2014

elwoodsworld

    Elwood H. Smith is an illustrator who speaks a language that appeals to various strata of readers.  I can remember my father laughing out loud at the comics. I have read The New York Times for thirty-five years, and they deign to include the ‘comics’ for it’s low brow aesthetic.  That is fine […]

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Italy: Non abbastanza monete nella fontana…

September 11, 2014

La Dolce Vita, and the Trevi Fountain

  Non abbastanza monete nella fontana…not enough coins in the fountain! Italy has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, currently 75. In a country which bleeds culture, history is an irreplaceable natural resource. We have seen first-hand that Italy is crumbling. To the rescue come some legendary names in fashion […]

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Portrait of a Photographer as a Young Man

August 26, 2014

Self-Portrait, Monument Valley, Utah
1958, Photograph by Ansel Adams, Collection Center for Creative Photography, © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

  ANSEL ADAMS FORMATIVE YEARS     Born at the turn of the century, Adams grew up in the hinterlands of dunes and beaches of the City of San Francisco.  Descending from Maine stock, originally from Northern Ireland, the Adams Family created a niche in the physical and social scene of San Francisco.  Ansel could […]

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Comic CONsciousness

August 10, 2014

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“The great thing about the comics industry is that it’s driven by passion …it isn’t driven by money.” Royden Lepp, graphic novelist, The New York Times, 7/28/14 The New York Times: Armed Animals Don’t Invent Themselves ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Character Creators Fight for Cash and Credit “Like millions of moviegoers over the weekend, Bill […]

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Good Days and Bad Hair Days

July 29, 2014

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  I never knew that April 30th is National Hairstyle Appreciation Day … but that’s another day and a different story. I’ve been thinking about hair, and styles, and reminiscing. The options are numerous, and hysterical, and just plain ridiculous. Some are so bad, they’ve morphed to good, great or even legendary (in their own […]

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CASANOVA: (Catalan or Latin, casa ‘house’ + nova ‘new’) Lover; a man who is a promiscuous and unscrupulous lover

July 12, 2014

Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, painting by 
Alessandro Longhi

    Giacomo Girolamo Casanova: Synonymous with lovemaking charm and persuasion, even since Casanova’s death in 1798, his name evokes and defines the same person to this day. In today’s vernacular, “Womanizing.” Despite his impoverished condition and position at his death in Bohemia, Giacomo Girolamo Casanova’s memoir fetched a stunning figure in 2010 by the Bibliotheque […]

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Fair Cecily, and other fair-weather friends

June 29, 2014

Rex Whistler; Cecil Beaton; Georgia Sitwell; Sir William Turner Walton; Stephen Tennant; Zita Jungman; Teresa Jungman, photograph by Cecil Beaton

  All I want is the best of everything and there’s very little of that left. Never in the history of fashion has so little material been raised so high to reveal so much that needs to be covered so badly. What is elegance? Soap and water! …quotes by Cecil Beaton   I have an […]

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An Ephemeral Awareness — Death and the Coming of War

June 21, 2014

BA ephemeral

When we arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, in January, 1966, one of the most unusual thing that we saw were tanks in the streets and soldiers behind sand bags around government buildings.  In the following days we learned that some government officials, senior military leaders and the Sultan of Sokoto had been killed during a coup […]

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Machu Picchu — “The First Tourist”

June 9, 2014

Machu Picchu, prior to excavation

      “The Explorer” by Rudyard Kipling, “Something lost behind the Ranges.  Lost and waiting for you. Go!” The Boulevardiers have been to the mountain, and climbed it. Machu Picchu, the Old Peak…and Huayna Picchu, the New Peak, to be exact. Sources noted below have reviewed its “discovery”. There is no clear and definitive […]

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Black Mountain College ~ America’s Most Creative Art School

May 10, 2014

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The New York Times has titled Black Mountain College as one of “six nodes of progressive culture in America.”  Founded in 1933 by John Andrew Rice,  there were innumerable renowned artists that pasted through these hallowed halls for such a  limited period of existence, including Robert Rauschenberg, Ben Shahn, and Joseph Albers — who brought the […]

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Whitney Biennial ~ a meaningful surfeit

April 14, 2014

There was a time when the Whitney Biennial was the much-anticipated barometer of the state of American art…   Whether praised or reviled, everyone could be counted on to have an opinion. This year, as has been the case for some time, the Biennial is just another blur in the bombardment of art as excess […]

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Ironing One’s Shoelaces

April 1, 2014

Coco Chanel gown, 1938

  Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends…. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.  ~Henry David Thoreau Vintage has always been at the top of my list, the visual, touch, feel, quality. I would rather spend hours, weeks, months, years amidst the old wood cases of museum costume […]

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Laces of The Boot — Campania, Italy

February 25, 2014

View from Centola, Campania, Italy, photograph by Kim Steele

    The Cape of Palinuro is a delicious slice of timeless travel, it is a sight to behold along the Cilento coast…we hesitate a bit in saying this, as it is sort of a secret…   According to Virgil´s ancient legend, Aeneas´ unfortunate helmsman Palinuro fell overboard close to the coast, giving his name […]

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Да мы будет смотреть за — Sochi Olympics 2014, Yes we will be watching!

February 7, 2014

sochi

    “Жаркие. Зимние. Твои,” Translation: “Hot. Cool. Yours.”   OK, Boulevardiers & curmudgeons unite. Enough griping about the Sochi Olympics (scary sad story here from the Atlantic). Of course we are red, white & blue, through & through, and starting tonight, we will be watching with pride. Olympic events give us an opportunity to […]

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Gian Lorenzo BERNINI ~ The Great Sculptor

January 26, 2014

Rendering of The Louvre, by Gianlorenzo Bernini

~ Gian Lorenzo BERNINI ~   “He is so adept at imitating, without affectation, what was most perfect in nature that anyone who studied his works was left in doubt as to which was greater, his artistry or his mastery in hiding it.” Domenico An artist of such renown, that Gian Lorenzo Bernini is synonymous […]

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David Foster Wallace — Being A Ghost

January 6, 2014

David Foster Wallace, photograph by Giovanni Giovannetti, Effigie

For the writer, David Foster Wallace, “every love story is a ghost story”, because for David Foster Wallace, being a person was like being a ghost.     David Foster Wallace suffered extreme self-consciousness, day in and day out.  He obsessed about sweating, brushed his teeth and gargled for 45 minutes at a time, mixed […]

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