Sunday, July 31, 2011


Cat People (1942) performed so well at the box office, it saved RKO films from financial ruin. Horror films have a reputation for making big money fast, but there is style, substance and overall creepiness that make Jacques Tourneur's B film stand out from ordinary scare fare.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


From Taschen

The Book of Symbols

350 essays from the fields of psychology, art, religion and literature explore symbolic images and their power and meaning across time, cultures and experiences.

Friday, July 29, 2011


In 1949, Look magazine published a series of photos for a story titled, Chicago, City of Contrasts
The photographer, Stanley Kubrick, was 21 years old.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Art history

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10 List: Playing against type

There are a surprising number of non-Asian actors
who have been mysteriously cast as Asian.

Katherine Hepburn, Dragon Seed (1944)

Marlon Brando, Teahouse of the August Moon (1956)

Mickey Rooney, Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

John Wayne, The Conqueror (1956)

Paul Muni, The Good Earth (1937)
Sidney Toler, Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938)
Alec Guinness, A Majority of One (1961)
Linda Hunt, The Year of Living Dangerously (1983)
Joel Grey, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)
Rob Schneider, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


James Brown:  The Godfather of Soul a.k.a.
 The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business.

I don't really care what people think,...I just do my own thing...I like being loud and letting people know I'm there.

You only live once.

Monday, July 25, 2011


For most of my adolescence, I shared my room with this winsome girl:

The large poster was a fixture on the wall beside my bed.

Years later, I traveled to San Francisco and saw William-Adolphe Bouguereau's lush
painting in the soft light of the de Young Museum. The docent pointed to the broken pitcher and remarked on the symbolism of lost innocence, the visitors nodded in agreement. But my impression was
filtered by all those days and nights of growing up and into young adulthood under her steady gaze.
She appeared no different from me or my teenaged friends; a little unsure, a little forlorn, and unaware of all that waited just ahead.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Advice to Little Girls

(written by Mark Twain in 1867)

Good little girls ought not to make mouths at their teachers for every trifling offense. This retaliation should only be resorted to under peculiarly aggravated circumstances.

If you have nothing but a rag-doll stuffed with sawdust, while one of your more fortunate little playmates has a costly China one, you should treat her with a show of kindness nevertheless. And you ought not to attempt to make a forcible swap with her unless your conscience would justify you in it, and you know you are able to do it.

You ought never to take your little brother's "chewing-gum" away from him by main force; it is better to rope him in with the promise of the first two dollars and a half you find floating down the river on a grindstone. In the artless simplicity natural to this time of life, he will regard it as a perfectly fair transaction. In all ages of the world this eminently plausible fiction has lured the obtuse infant to financial ruin and disaster.

If at any time you find it necessary to correct your brother, do not correct him with mud--never, on any account, throw mud at him, because it will spoil his clothes. It is better to scald him a little, for then you obtain desirable results. You secure his immediate attention to the lessons you are inculcating, and at the same time your hot water will have a tendency to move impurities from his person, and possibly the skin, in spots.

If your mother tells you to do a thing, it is wrong to reply that you won't. It is better and more becoming to intimate that you will do as she bids you, and then afterward act quietly in the matter according to the dictates of your best judgment.

You should ever bear in mind that it is to your kind parents that you are indebted for your food, and for the privilege of staying home from school when you let on that you are sick. Therefore you ought to respect their little prejudices, and humor their little whims, and put up with their little foibles until they get to crowding you too much.

Good little girls always show marked deference for the aged. You ought never to "sass" old people unless they "sass" you first.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Art for the people

Gustav Klutsis

Ladislav Sutnar

Josef Sudek

Constructivist art and design of the 1920's:  
streamlined, modern, dynamic, exciting... even after a century
has passed.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Graphic imagination

The ixxi modular connecting system transforms your favorite photo or painting into dramatic wall art or a room divider with high impact and without installation damage. So fresh, simple and clever! I'm coveting one of their pixelated Dutch masters!

Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring

Vincent van Gogh's Self Portrait: Saint-Rémy


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Red car

On the road. Images from the excellent book, Drive by Andrew Bush.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Looking at Norman Rockwell's carefully constructed, meticulously detailed illustrations, one can appreciate his reliance on working from photographs of his models and props. When a painting is exhibited alongside preliminary sketches and studies, the viewer gets a rare firsthand peek into the artist's process. Rockwell chose photography for his 'studies,' working closely with several skilled photographers over his lengthy, celebrated career. Gene Pelham, an illustrator, painter and photographer, collaborated with Rockwell on many iconic Saturday Evening Post covers; his photographs are nearly identical to the final illustration.

Gene Pelham, Photo for The Tattoo Artist, 1944

Gene Pelham, Photo for The Tattoo Artist, 1944

Norman Rockwell, The Tattoo Artist, 1944

Gene Pelham, Photo for Girl at Mirror, 1954

Norman Rockwell, Girl at Mirror, 1954

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

That's it

Well, I'm not going to get into that. I think those kind of distinctions and lists of titles like 'street photographer' are so stupid. I'm a photographer, a still photographer. That's it.

--Garry Winogrand

The photograph should be more interesting than what was photographed.

You have a lifetime to learn technique. But I can teach you what is more important than technique, how to see; learn that and all you have to do afterwards is press the shutter.

Images from Winogrand's book, Women Are Beautiful (1975)

Monday, July 18, 2011


For any creative, having a wide range of projects is a smart approach towards building a solid career. Tai, the magnificent Indian elephant appeared in the 1995 comedy, Larger Than Life with Bill Murray, was part of an elaborate Banksy installation in the 2010 documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop
and stole every scene in the 2011 romance, Water for Elephants with Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

General appearance

Two brilliant Harry Bertoia chairs, and a to-do list that reveals his excellent penmanship.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A day at the beach

Clear your mind, get inspired and beat the heat.

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner

Albert Einstein

Edward Hopper

F. Scott, Scottie and Zelda Fitzgerald

Louis Prima (second from left) and bandmates

Virginia Woolf and Clive Bell

Friday, July 15, 2011


Eero Saarinen with wife Aline, 1957 

Saarinen's list of Aline's many good qualities
(from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art)