The Getty Department of Photographs is the Mecca of Photography

The J. Paul Getty Museum’s collection of over one hundred thousand images is among the most comprehensive holdings of rare and important photographs in the world. It ranges from daguerreotypes to work by contemporary photographers.

For conservation purposes and, may I add, due to their sheer number, photographs cannot be kept on permanent display, but go on view during rotating exhibitions. The images below are from ”Now Then: Chris Killip and the Making of In Flagrante” , ‘‘the most important photobook to document the devastating impact of deindustrialization on working-class communities in northern England in the 1970s and 1980s”.

Paired here with an image from the Cactus Garden and a detail from one of the exterior walls showcasing just a few of the 1.2 million square feet of travertine stone used to cover many surfaces of the Getty Center.

2/
Bever Skinningrove (1987) by Chris Killip
Gelatin silver print

The Getty Center

July 18th, 2017

Blue Note

1/
Carrington (Portrait of a Girl in a Blue Jersey), 1912 by Mark Gertler (1891-1939)
Oil and tempera on canvas

Though begun in tempera, this portrait was finished in oils, a more forgiving medium. The switch may have been made from necessity: Gertler often admonished his sitter, fellow art student and object of his unrequited love, Dora Carrington, for her habit of rarely sitting still.

2/
Bathers (Bath Houses), 1950 by George Tooker (1920-2011)
Egg tempera on gessoed board

Tooker used egg tempera, a medium popular among Renaissance painters which underwent a revival in the 1930s and 1940s, to capture exacting details.

3/
The Long Leg, ca. 1930 by Edward Hopper (1882-1967)
Oil on canvas

The Long Leg depicts a sailboat near the Long Point Light at Provincetown, Massachusetts, at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The boat sails in a zigzag series of short )and long tacks, or legs. Although the painting portrays a scene of leisure, no people are  visible on the boat or the landscape. Despite (or, perhaps, because of) this absence, this is my all time favourite of all of Hopper’s brilliant works.

The Huntington

July 16th, 2017

The [k]night is dark

The Animated Series (1992) opening storyboards, drawn by Bruce Timm and coloured by Eric Radomski.

For me, The Animated Series (1992-1995) is the definitive Batman. And the opening title sequence encapsulates the essence of Batman in way that has yet to be surpassed.

*Watch*

#current_mood
#two_days_to_Halloween
#my_batman
#it’s_my_birthday_and_I’ll_try_if_I_want_to

Warner Bros Studio Tour

July 14th, 2017

Paradise Lost | The Art of the Sublime

I was browsing through some gorgeous prints yesterday evening, courtesy of The New York Satellite Print Fair, where seventeen dealers present their fine prints and drawings during print week. From Old Masters to contemporary artists, there are some remarkable works of art to be found here and that’s only an annex to the main event – the Fine Art Print Fair – at the Javits Center in Manhattan West. Photography is completely out of place in this environment but the prints reminded me of these sublime works by William Blake, on view at the Huntington in Los Angeles.

Satan watching the endearments of Adam and Eve, 1807
Pen and watercolour


Raphael Warns Adam and Eve, 1807
Pen and watercolour


Rout of the Rebel Angels, 1807
Pen and watercolour


The Creation of Eve, 1807
Pen and watercolour


The Temptation and Fall of Eve, 1807
Pen and watercolour


The Judgement of Adam and Eve; So Judged He Man, 1807
Pen and watercolour


For William Blake, the Bible was the greatest work of poetry ever written. Only Milton’s 17th century epic poem, Paradise Lost, rivaled its importance to his art. Blake produced three separate sets of illustrations for Paradise Lost, the first a series of twelve drawings commissioned by Joseph Thomas in 1807. Henry E. Huntington purchased all of the watercolours in this original series between 1911 and 1914. 

#current_mood
#four_days_to_Halloween
#art_of_the_sublime

The Huntington

July 16th, 2017

An Acromantula glamouring his lunch

#current_mood
#the_tastiest_meals_come_in_tiny_packages
#five_days_to_Halloween

“An Acromantula is a species of giant spider, native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, particularly Borneo where it inhabits dense jungles. Acromantulas are believed to be a wizard-bred species, designed to guard dwellings or treasure hoards, and were first created before the Ban on Experimental Breeding in 1965. These giant spiders with a taste for human flesh were first spotted in 1794.” {source}

Acromantula
Film: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Although this spider bears a striking resemblance to Aragog, it is, in fact, much smaller. Spiders like this one were created to fill the background of the Forbidden Forest scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets or were attached to Ron’s car as he sped away out of the forest.

Warner Bros Studio Tour

July 14th, 2017

Bat-winged dragons and ugly tiny faces

#current_mood
#six_days_to_Halloween

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. {source}

Getting into the spirit, starting today with this ordinary-looking, almost boring column. But look closer…  Coade-Stone Torchère, 1809
Manufactured by Coade and Sealy, Lambeth, England, probably after a design by Thomas Hopper (1776-1856) 

This candelabrum relates to a set of ten originally made for the Gothic conservatory that Thomas Hopper designed for Carlton House, the London residence of the Prince Regent, later George IV. They are examples of the Regency taste for the fantastic, with bat-winged dragons, medieval figures peeping out between their wings, owls in flight and tiny faces with differing features and expressions encircling the column. The torchères are made from ”Coade-stone”, an artificial stone developed by Eleanor Coade in the 1760s and very popular for use in architectural ornament. 

The Huntington

July 16th, 2017

The Huntington | Art Collections | Red buttons

Reginald Marsh
Girls (Red Buttons), 1936
Egg tempera on board

Marsh first pursued a career as an illustrator, working for the New York Daily News and The New Yorker, and only later began taking painting classes at the Art Students League. Many of his best images are about seeing and being seen in New York City’s public spaces. In Girls (Red Buttons), one of the women looks at the viewer while the other glances to the right, outside the painting, her dominant red buttons supplying the painting’s title. 


George Luks
The Breaker Boys, ca. 1925
Oil on canvas

Breaker Boys is a bleak picture of unremitting toil. ”Breaker boys” were children who removed debris and sorted chunks of coal according to size and grade. They were poorly paid for their dangerous labour and suffered injuries or even death from falling down coal chutes. The painting’s large size (50 by 60 in. – 127 by 152.4 cm) speaks to the gravity of Luks’ message, which he reinforced with slashing diagonals and thickly applied paint that allude to the noise, chaos and mess of the boys’ working conditions. (In 1938, Federal regulation of child labour was achieved in the ”Fair Labor Standards Act”, which imposed minimum ages of employment and hours of work for children.)


Reginald Marsh
The Locomotive, 1935
Tempera on concrete plaster

Marsh made ”The Locomotive” as a study for a commission he received from the Treasury Department to design and execute two murals for the Post Office Building in Washington, D.C. Although the building’s architect suggested that Marsh complete his paintings on canvases that would later be affixed to the walls, Marsh sought permission to execute the murals in fresco, a technique of applying pigment on freshly laid plaster largely associated with Renaissance masters.

The Huntington

July 16th, 2017