We were finally able to enjoy some culture this weekend with the viewing of Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, 1923-1937 on view at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale. As someone who did not know much about Steichen’s career beyond recognizing a few photographs it was interesting to find out more about his life and work.
The layout of the exhibit starts in the early 1920’s, where many of the portraits have a sepia and faded palette to the prints, from there it chronologically follows his career through the 1930s. His photographs of the 20s seem (at least to me) to be more straightforward and less dynamic than his later works. As the 20s gave way to the 30s Steichen’s photos have more depth, both in the blacks of the grayscale and the human interest displayed within the frame. His film noir treatment of light and the Art Nuevo, and especially Art Deco styling of his backgrounds, subject mater, and overall aesthetic really began to take shape as his career progressed.
Though probably known best for his female subjects, the way he shot his male figures are both epic and timeless. The photo of Gary Cooper in the late 20s reminds me of the Don Draper character from the AMC show Mad Men (see images above). My favorite photo out of the entire exhibit was probably the smallest on display. It was of a movie director or producer taken in 1930. The man (who I really wish I could remember who it was) is seated in a director’s chair with lighting and grip equipment serving as the background. The camera is positioned lower that the subject and the lighting is of an intense key light with mild fill …exceptionally powerful and stunning.
After viewing the exhibit you see how Steichen was able to influence fashion photography from that point on. The texture and shape he could create through the natural curves of his models coupled with the lines of the fabrics they wore were both dynamic and simplistic. Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, 1923-1937 was on display at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale from February 28 through April 11th, 2010. From Fort Lauderdale it makes it’s last scheduled stop at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO from May 15 – July 25, 2010.
This weekend we had the pleasure of seeing “Naked Women Fully Clothed” presented by The Women’s Theatre Project. The play is “A titillating, provocative and humorous collection of one act and short plays that reveal and lay bare an array of secrets and revelations.” …In plain English, it was just funny!
The format was much like Saturday Night Live, providing monologues and group skits. The cast of six women transformed a modest stage into an array of environments through basic props and some imagination. Some of my favorite sketches were, “How to Be an Actress,” “I am Pastrami,” and “Warning! Women’s Body Parts Move” – where a “Nutty Professor”-type character explains that her body parts have been disappearing, only to discover that her thighs are now on Cindy Crawford. The play was so funny that my face hurt from laughing by the time intermission came around.
“Naked Women Fully Clothed” was the final performance of the 2009 Season, but fear not, the 2010 Season kicks off with “The Year Magical Thinking” from February 18 – March 14, followed by “Going To See The Elephant” April 22 – May 11, and Wicked Sisters August 5 – 29.
For more information about upcoming events, or how to sponsor the Women’s Theatre Project check out their website, or call them at: 866-811-4111.
Today was a special day. Not a birthday, holiday, or anniversary type of special day, but the kind of day when one is allowed to right a great wrong which was done to them. You see, back in July I went to get my haircut, a simple endeavor enjoyed by thousands of people every day, however, this day was different. I asked that my hair not be cut too short, suggesting not more than ¾” be taken off the top, so as not to excite my cowlick. The over-zealous person holding the sheers must have misheard me, fore I came out looking as though I was on the losing end of a fight with a weed whacker. Sporting a new Flock of Seagulls type of do (see above), with one side of my head nearly shaved and the other not much shorter than whence I began, I was faced with two choices – shave it, or try some spiked attempt at fixing it, both required a second trip back to the land of scary hair. As you can imagine I was not so inclined to revisit any of the many establishments within the chain that shall remain anonymous …but rhymes with Care Huttery.
After four months of allowing my hair to regain it’s strength and fullness it was time to turn a true professional loose upon my mane. So, for the first time I visited ManKind™ Grooming & Services in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. The establishment has the feel of an old-time barbershop, one you could see Capone hanging out it if were still alive. There are three beers on tap and wine available at the counter, a billiard table, and even a Harley-Davidson motorcycle suspended from the ceiling. The services provided on the “menu” range from the basic haircut and hot shave with a straight razor to massages, shoe shines, dry cleaning and even tailoring!
I have to say that I think I found my new barbershop, and a special thanks to Diego for bringing my hair back to the world of a professional man.
Is it just me or does Christmas keep getting earlier every year? No, not the actual day, – that’s hasn’t changed much in roughly 1500 years – but the commercialization of Christmas starts earlier every year. Yesterday I noticed a JCPenny decked from mall entrance to parking entrance in winter holiday décor, and a Target that already had their Christmas salutations flying – THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN!
Remember when Christmas would not even be thought of until the day after Thanksgiving? Now it’s like our fine pilgrim friends never existed. No more turkey decorations, or pilgrim hats. No cornucopias filled with a bounty of veggies and gourds that no one really eats. For the first time a Hallmark Holiday has actually trumped a Hallmark Holiday. What will we see next year, kids dressed as Santa, elves, and Chanukah Harry for Halloween?
Today I actually saw a tent selling Christmas trees. For those of you in states where the temperature drops below 50˚ F for more than two days a year it might not be that uncommon, but for us in South Florida where at 11 pm in early November it’s still nearly 80˚ with 70%+ humidity. I don’t care if you call them evergreens, those trees aren’t gonna last 2 months.
I miss the days when Christmas was just fun. Now it’s more burden than anything else. I understand that businesses are trying to promote early savings on gift buying in this new economy, but c’mon, with every passing year the holiday season becomes less fun and more like a chore. Marketers, advertisers, and promoters of holiday cheer; I implore you, please give the holiday season its soul back.