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 Learning to See 
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Image

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David Moore. Coronation Time. London. 1953.

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Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:03 pm
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Robert Frank. Man Resting Aboard the Congressional Limited. 1955.

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One of my favorite photographers, the countercultural yet quintessentially American Robert Frank. I'm going to make my way through his influential photobook The Americans while I'm posting his pictures.

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Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:17 am
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I want to take a journey on a passenger train. Last time I rode on a train that wasn't a subway train (and I only did that twice in San Francisco in 2013) was when I was in second grade in Hot Springs, Ark. and we rode the MoPac up to Benton, Ark. Then took cars home. Which disappointed me. Little me couldn't understand why they didn't just turn around and take us home on the cool train, too.

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:16 am
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Robert Frank. Bunker Hill. 1955.

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Robert Frank has also dabbled in filmmaking. The first film of his I saw was Cocksucker Blues, the unreleased Rolling Stones documentary. Only bootleg versions exist. Due to its content (drug use, sexual hi-jinks, etc), the Stones didn't want it shown, and a court order declared that the film can only be screened in Robert Frank's presence. It strips away the glamour and shows the ennui of life on the road. It's probably the most honest rock documentary ever made.

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Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:24 am
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Robert Frank. London. 1951.

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Frank's best known film is likely Pull My Daisy, a carefree half hour collaboration with the Beats. Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, and other Beat luminaries performed in the film, which was shot silently, and Jack Kerouac improvised the narration.

The entire film can be viewed here for free.

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Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:46 am
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Robert Frank. Ben James. Wales. 1953.

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“The kind of photography I did is gone. It’s old. There’s no point in it any more for me, and I get no satisfaction from trying to do it. There are too many pictures now. It’s overwhelming. A flood of images that passes by, and says, ‘why should we remember anything?’ There is too much to remember now, too much to take in.”
Robert Frank, quoted in this article, which champions his legacy, in particular The Americans, which it calls "perhaps the most influential photography book of the 20th century."

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Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:59 am
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Robert Frank. Assembly Plant. Ford. Detroit. From The Americans. 1955.

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This New York Times piece is a wonderfully comprehensive and engaging look at the personal and professional life of Robert Frank, who it calls "the most influential photographer alive". It also includes snippets of interviews with Frank and some interesting insight into the artists he knew and collaborated with.

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Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:56 am
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Robert Frank. Chinese Cemetery. San Francisco. From The Americans. 1956.

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Candy Mountain, Frank's only narrative feature, a collaboration with Rudy Wurlitzer (novelist and screenwriter of Two-Lane Blacktop), is a picaresque search for a legendary guitar maker. The tone and style is very reminiscent of Jarmusch, especially his later films from the 90s. It drifts from incident to incident, but it's always strange, observant, funny, and quietly but beautifully shot. It also makes a great case for casting musicians as character actors: Tom Waits, Joe Strummer, and New Orleans' own Dr. John all turn in great performances.

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:11 am
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Robert Frank. Canal Street, New Orleans. From The Americans. 1955.

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In addition to collaborating with Frank on Pull My Daisy, Kerouac wrote the introduction to The Americans in his characteristic style. This is how it begins:

Jack Kerouac wrote:
That crazy feeling in America when the sun is hot on the streets and music comes out of the jukebox or from a nearby funeral, that's what Robert Frank has captured in tremendous photographs taken as he traveled on the road around practically forty-eight states in an old used car (on Guggenheim Fellowship) and with the agility, mystery, genius, sadness and strange secrecy of a shadow photographed scenes that have never been seen before on film. For this he will definitely be hailed as a great artist in his field. After seeing these pictures you end up finally not knowing any more whether a jukebox is sadder than a coffin.


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Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:20 am
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Good to see this thread is still wonderful. Love Robert Frank's work, saw a pretty good exhibition which featured him a great deal recently.

Image

this one stood out


Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:21 am
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Robert Frank. Trolley – New Orleans. From The Americans. 1955.

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Possibly Frank's most famous shot, and the cover of my edition of The Americans: a segregated streetcar in New Orleans. Like his Canal Street shot, it captures the diverse faces of the city, but here he compartmentalizes them, isolating the figures in their own frames.

For more supplemental reading: Anthony Lane's appreciation of The Americans. I particularly agree with his assertion that, while the book does not shy from criticizing America, it is not merely critical. It captures a vast array of life, even if its tone is elegiac.

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:49 am
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Robert Frank. Political Rally. Chicago. From The Americans. 1956.

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Several motifs recur throughout The Americans, objects that hold a peculiar fascination for Frank. Some of the prominent one include:

Cars. . . at drive-in movies, at funerals, on the open road
Crosses. . . on the roadside, in cemeteries, being sold in department stores
and above all
The American Flag. . . at political rallies, at parades, in dingy divebars

These last three images I'll share from The Americans feature the flag.

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Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:01 am
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Robert Frank. Fourth of July. Jay. New York. From The Americans. 1951.

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Some of Frank's Contact Sheets from The Americans

More excerpts from Kerouac's excellent introduction to The Americans:
Jack Kerouac wrote:
Long shot of night road arrowing forlorn into immensities and flat of impossible-to-believe America in New Mexico under the prisoner's moon.


Jack Kerouac wrote:
Anybody doesnt like these pitchers dont like potry, see? Anybody dont like potry go home see Television shots of big hatted cowboys being tolerated by kind horses.


Jack Kerouac wrote:
And I say: That little ole lonely elevator girl looking up sighing in an elevator full of blurred demons, what's her name & address?


That last quote, which concludes his introduction, refers to this picture.

Over fifty years later, that girl discovered her own photograph at an art exhibition in San Francisco and found out her image was included in a pivotal work of American art.

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:34 am
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Robert Frank. Parade. Hoboken, New Jersey. From The Americans. 1955.

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This is one of my all-time favorite photographs, and it embodies the essential spirit of The Americans, which juxtaposes the brazenness of American culture with the unease and quiet desperation of its institutions and citizens. I don't know of any other work of art that captures the breadth of America so well as The Americans. Its 83 pictures are somehow comprehensive: an astounding feat, given how unassuming they seem at first glance. Its title is a bold one, but it earns that title. As Kerouac says in his introduction, Robert Frank "sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film" and the book he created deserves to be ranked with those other masterpieces that have come to define American art, like Citizen Kane, Nighthawks, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:30 am
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John Cato. Double concerto #13. 1985-91.

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Australian fine art photographer who specialized in portraiture and landscapes. I find the title of this one particularly intriguing.

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:47 am
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Anni Leppälä. Still life. 2007.

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Her website: http://www.annileppala.fi/

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:16 am
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David Hurn. Arizona. Sun City Outdoor group fitness early in the morning in the retirement Sun City. 1980.

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A Magnum Photographer

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:06 am
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David Hurn. Wales. Brecon Beacons. Wild pony colt. Cold tourists in the rain in the background. 1974.

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:08 am
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David Hurn. Wales. Snowdon. The walk to the summit and down. 1978.

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Video interview with Hurn

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:21 am
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David Hurn. Wales. Old farmer with primitive sculpture he made for his garden near Aber Eiddy Mid Wales. 1974.

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Yet another obscured portrait.

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:53 am
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David Hurn. Arizona. A student photographer takes pictures of another student on one of Cole Weston's nude workshops in the Arizona desert. 1979.

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:46 am
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David Hurn. Wales. Cardiff. Christmas shopping central Cardiff. 2004.

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Modeling.

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:33 am
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Haha, love that one!

But that baby-head sculpture upthread is disturbing. :(

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Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:28 am
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David Hurn. Man with Teddy Bear at bus stop. Wales. 1973.

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There's something unexpectedly tender about this photograph, like an intimacy brought out into the open. He's probably bought the bear for his child, but it feels almost like a remnant of his own childhood.

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:04 am
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Images such as the one with the man and teddy bear always remind me that models in photographs are something else IRL. They are people with personalities, history, a projected future, dreams, and they have to eat and go to the bathroom just like the rest of us viewers do.

But the moment, having been trapped in electronic pixels or silver nitrate crystals, is frozen just as it is -- rendering the real life person as the Subject of a Photograph. And that is essentially different from eating and going to the bathroom in some ineffable way.

This man's child, spouse, family, friends would see him as the IRL person, and would find it difficult or impossible to view him as merely the Subject of a Photograph. He would be the reason for the photograph, but also the identifier of that photo, by name. Hollis with Miranda's teddy bear, for example. All that is fascinating to me for some reason.

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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


The Future Unreels


Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:48 am
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Shaul Schwarz. Funeral in Haiti. 2010.

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The azure blue of the sky suffuses almost everything in the picture, except for the chicken dancing atop the casket, which is as black as the shadows under the open lid.

Schwarz's website

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:30 am
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Josef Hoflehner. Lotus Pond. Zhejiang, China. 2008.

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His website

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Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:31 pm
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Dmitri Baltermants. Italy. 1960.

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A website dedicated to his work

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Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:33 am
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Another excellent example of a "natural framing" method.

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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


The Future Unreels


Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:09 pm
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Image

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Dmitri Baltermants. Grief, Kerch, Crimea. Spring, 1942.

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A brief biography, which includes a tidbit about this photograph:

Quote:
Baltermants considered himself an expert in staged photography, he enjoyed ‘playing with negatives,’ adding details to photographs from other stills (e.g. Grief, in which threatening, black clouds in the background were superimposed from another negative).


Quote:
The photo depicts a 1942 Nazi massacre in the Crimean village of Kerch [now part of an independent Ukraine]. Village women searched for the bodies of their loved ones. The contrast between the oversaturated sky above and the bodies haphazardly strewn in the foreground underlines the poignancy of the moment, but for the same reason, the photo was censored in the Soviet Union where authorities only published the photos that could help boost morale; ‘Grief’ reflected nothing but harsh tragedies of war, and it wasn’t seen by the general public until the 1960s.

From Iconic Photos


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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:24 am
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Dmitri Baltermants. Travelling down the Siberian Ob River Series. Pipes for the gas pipeline. 1971.

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Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:41 pm
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Mark Neville. Carnival Queens Go Bowling.

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My Best Shot

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:38 am
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Reem Al Faisal. Jeddah.

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Saudi Arabian journalist and photographer.

Her Website

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:21 am
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Lola Dupre. Robert Oppenheimer.

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A collage artist who often works with photographic portraits. This might be her best piece: the perfect unity of subject and form.

Her Website

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:52 am
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Olivia Arthur. Georgia. Tbilisi. A woman lies on the table in the dinning room of the women's prison. 2006.

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A Magnum Photographer

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Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:11 am
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Olivia Arthur. Iran. Tehran. 11-year-old Fatima says her midday prayers at home. 2007.

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Her Website

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Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:22 am
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Olivia Arthur. Iran. Tehran. Students during a break at an art college in Tehran. 2007.

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A brief interview with Arthur

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:46 am
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Macrology wrote:
Love her. And that whole "Middle Distance" album is just !!!!

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Women in Love ▪ Creepy ▪ Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) ▪ Hocus Pocus ▪ Night of the Comet ▪ Nadja ▪ Deathdream ▪ Bad Timing ▪ Tremors ▪ Dishonored ▪ Flamingo Road

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:41 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Love her. And that whole "Middle Distance" album is just !!!!


Several of my pictures are taken from that series, including a few more that I've yet to post.

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Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:25 am
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Olivia Arthur. Georgia. Mejvreskevi. Katie is a design student in Tbilisi and comes home to her family in the village on weekend. 2006.

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An interview with Vice

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:00 am
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Olivia Arthur. Azerbaijan. Sumquait. Women mourn at a funeral gathering. 2006.

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Her Twitter

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Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:55 am
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Olivia Arthur. Riyadh. Saudi Arabia. 2009.

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Peekaboo.

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:30 am
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Olivia Arthur. Uganda. St John Catholic Church mid-way through construction. The services took place in a thatched building nearby, but the priest held confession in the semi-constructed church. 2008.

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Olivia Arthur - On Making Mistakes

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:24 am
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Hiroshi Watanabe. El Arbolito Park. Quito, Ecuador. 2002.

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His Website

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:43 am
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Rudo Prekop. The Drinker. 1988-90.

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Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:37 am
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That reminds me of Les Amants de Pont-Neuf.

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Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:40 am
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Still need to see that one!

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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:06 am
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Camille Silvy. Studies on Light - Twilight. 1859.

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A long forgotten master of early photography, Silvy has since been rediscovered as an expert at rendering light and a precursor to the Impressionists.

This article touches upon his biography, influence, and working methods.

Quote:
In the London street scene Twilight, for example, he exposed four negatives to show a working-class boy and man under a gas lamp on a wet, foggy night – a third, sinister figure that seems to be walking toward them in the background has been deliberately blurred for artistic effect.


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Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:07 am
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Pierre Louÿs. Untitled Nude.

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Pierre Louÿs, a early French writer of erotica, was successful during his life, but only a fragment of his erotic output reached his public. The vast majority of his writing was only discovered posthumously (most of it auctioned off, some later published, some still lost). He also took erotic photographs as a personal pursuit.

His book Pybrac is a series of quatrains describing in detail perversions he ostensibly "does not like to see." I'll post excerpts of these lewd and often funny poems to accompany the pictures.

Pierre Louÿs wrote:
I do not like to see the dark Andalusian
On her knees spread her ass, all hairy and soppy,
Bearing on each buttock a feathered protrustion
Framing an anus as stretched-out as a poppy.


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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:18 am
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Image

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Pierre Louÿs. Untitled Nude.

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More from Pybrac:

Pierre Louÿs wrote:
I do not like to see at the Saint-Sulpice church
An ardent young virgin with her senses humming
Confess her dreadful deeds, jerk off under her skirt,
Murmuring: “forgive me. . . my Father. . . I’m coming.”


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n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:24 am
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