September 30, 2011

Horst P. Horst, Madonna

Today, as I was traveling back home by bus, a Madonna video called Vogue (1990) struck my visual imagination. I had never seen it before, and I am not (that) acquainted with Madonna, but one of the last scenes reminded me absolutely of Horst P. Horst (Mainbocher Corset, 1939)

Of course, any other person had known it in advance: this Vogue video is a sort of homage to Horst P. Horst (who got upset because she gave him no credits), and many others.

September 27, 2011

The Mexican Ruins


September 27, 1821:

Mexico declared itself an independent country.

Today, Mexico urgently needs international help to clean up the political class and the crime scene. Otherwise, corruption and deaths will spread.

After an earthquake in 1957, Manuel Álvarez Bravo shot the ruins of our Ángel de la Independencia, the Niké statue which commemorates the Independence from Spain.

September 26, 2011

"C'était un rendez-vous", by Claude Lelouch

A very touching short film by Claude Lelouch, filmed in 1976, using a Mercedes Benz, but edited with the sound of a Ferrari.

Enjoy driving through Paris... dans le vide!

September 17, 2011

What I have, what I (don't) want

M told me once: "Success is to get what you want; happiness is to love what you have".

This is my front door

These are my neighbors

These are shadows on my terrace

This is the view from my room

This is the studio I would like to have (Shoreham House),
but I won't sacrifice my happiness for it (indeed I prefer wood desks)

September 16, 2011

Working women

I was shocked when I first saw the picture below of a bunch of women, very well dressed, completely happy after their shift at work. They are workers at the Manhattan project, which would later kill thousands of Japanese civilians.

Their joyful dresses reminded me of the Lumière brothers' film.

By contrast, two terrible images in Mexico: an exhausted Indian trying to sell a few eggs in a town in Guanajuato, and some prostitutes, who try to look merry at Cartier-Bresson's camera in Mexico City's downtown.

Still frame of the Lumière brothers' film La sortie de l'usine à Lyon (1895)

Female workers of the "Manhattan" atomic bomb project leaving the plant Y-12 in Tennessee (1945)

 Enrique Segarra, Mi pecado fue nacer, San Miguel de Allende (1950)

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Calle Cuauhtemoczin (1964)

September 10, 2011

Matter of hue: Kimiko Yoshida, Yulia Gorodinski

Two of my favorite self-portrait artists are Kimiko Yoshida and Yulia Gorodinski. While you will rather rarely see Yulia's face, you will just see Kimiko's.

Kimiko is a master on monochromatic images. Name a color, remember the most fantastic hue you have dreamed of, and there she is, presenting herself as color. It reminds me of Malevich's black and Rauschenberg's white, of Yves Klein blue, of Rothko's textures.

She can be sweet dressed as a blossoming cherry tree, or ironic when she dresses up as a Chinese-communist frontier officer. Her apparent minimalism is her strength, the strength of pure color: silver, golden, green as tea, white as a nun. Kimiko is the joy of color as we hadn't seen since van Gogh.

Yulia reminds me of William Eggleston colors and his compositions. Her hues seem to be inspired by old polaroid and by the warm light of a Tel Aviv Thursday evening, when people are drowning in joy and life seems easier than never before.

She will always look for that bit of sun that will shape up her image, without sacrificing the composition. Being still, she tries to impress some slight movement on her picture, so that your eyes do not get bored or stuck at one point. But the focus is so precisely found, that your eyes will always come back to it, namely her bared breast, a tattoo, a splash, her legs...

September 1, 2011

The most beautiful Mexican girl

Diego Huerta is one of my favorite young photographers in Mexico. He did a great job last year, when hurrican Alex destroyed my hometown, Monterrey.

He now discovered the most beautiful girl in Mexico. She is a Zoque indian, from Chiapas. She posed for him -- a great challenge, since she is deaf and does not speak.

This is truly beauty. Forget about ultra-sexualised kids, such as Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, for God's sake!