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Sarah Lucas, Eating a Banana, 1990. Iris print, 21 1/4 in. x 23 1/2 in (540 mm x 598 mm). Photographs © Sarah Lucas. Courtesy National Portrait Gallery, London.

London’s National Portrait Gallery is displaying a set of twelve self-portraits by the ever lovely Sarah Lucas from the ’90s. She was kind enough to answer six questions about these portraits and what she’s working on now. Enjoy the interview.

Romaine Brooks, Self-Portrait, 1923. Oil on canvas, 46 1/4 x 26 7/8". Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.

Finally went to see the Hide/Seek show and had so many thoughts, especially about digital reproductions of fine art works.

from Hedi Slimane's diary, 2010-10-13

From Hedi Slimane's Diary, 2010-08-16

Ellen DeGeneres by Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz, Ellen DeGeneres, Kauai, Hawaii, 1997. Gelatin silver print, 20 x 16". Collection of the artist. © Annie Leibovitz 2010.

Read my interview with the co-curators of Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, which is currently on view at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

Albert Watson. Left: Hitchcock with Goose, Los Angeles, 1973. Platinum print, 30 x 22". Right: Christy Turlington, New York City, 1990. Platinum print, 30 x 22".

Albert Watson. Left: Monkey with Gun, New York City, 1992. Platinum print, 30 x 22". Right: Alina with Billiard Ball, New York City, 2010, Platinum print 30 x 22".

Albert Watson. Right: Gabrielle Reece, Vivienne Westwood, 1989. Platinum print, 30 x 22". Left: 18th-Century Pruning Shears on Camel-Bone Chest, New York City, 2010. Platinum print, 30 x 22".

Iris Kyle, 2003; Bonny Priest, 2004. Images courtesy of Martin Schoeller/Hasted Hunt Kraeutler.

Iris Kyle, 2003; Bonny Priest, 2004. Images courtesy of Martin Schoeller/Hasted Hunt Kraeutler.

Schoeller states that for him, female bodybuilders “challenge the boundaries of not only the shifting, maddening, and ruthless standards of the female beauty industry, but of what constitutes (un)natural.”

Confident enough to enjoy it?  Then read my review of Martin Schoeller’s show, published on Velvet Park Media.

Annie Leibovitz

Portrait of Annie Leibovitz taken by me in New York City, 2008.

Tilda Swinton by Nan Goldin

Tilda Swinton by Nan Goldin

Tilda Swinton by Hugo Glendinning

Tilda Swinton by Hugo Glendinning

Tilda Swinton can transform into malleable intensities on screen, and even more so in photographs. Without video’s pacing and courting every micro-expression of her craft, the camera captures one spontaneous movement at a time. On screen, Swinton’s character development shows through in economized gesture. In photographs, her gestures are magnified. The economical becomes summary. Interestingly enough, in the films of Derek Jarman, Tilda has that magnification of gesture that precedes inconography, the same quality I see in her photographs, regardless of photographer.  But perhaps that is unfair to compare her performances on screen with Jarman with Tilda’s other films: Jarman––unpredictable; Swinton––unimitable.

Photograph of Victoria Beckham by Bryan Adams. Equally interesting is the Bryan Adams’ Stern Portfolio.

Yves Saint Laurent


Today I went to the Morgan Library on Madison Avenue, specifically for “Close Encounters, Irving Penn, Portraits of Artists and Writers”. Sixty seven photographs from 1944 to 2006, all owned by the Morgan Library, most of these photographs were created on assignment for Vogue magazine. When I look at these prints, I marvel at the print quality. The attentiveness of to the craft of balancing every shade between black and white to produce a finished work. Devoid of clichés, these photographs demonstrate Penn’s ability to psychologically engage those he photographed in a way that magnified quiet revellations in each sitter.

This is a must-see show, especially in conjunction with Penn’s must-have book: Irving Penn: Platinum Prints. Studying Penn’s contact sheets is always a treat. His creative process at work reveals a profound sensory awareness for the gestural inherently present in Form. Really, it’s a treat.

I’ve been a admirer of Nick Knight’s technique and approach since I first saw his photographs in the early 90’s. Knight’s work still amazes me, especially in these. They’re clean, strong and powerful and make a statement on the perseverance of the human spirit.

Stunning. In every way.

I know this is a literal reference, but I do also think of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster series. Not just because Aimee Mullins’ crystal prosthetics are a prominent character in themselves in the Cremaster, but because of the infinite possibilities that discipline brings to the human form, and subsequently: the spirit. Dazed and Confused featured super athlete Aimee Mullins on its cover in the September 1998 issue, in this very photograph (above, right) photographed by Nick Knight. (Mr Hack, we need more publishers like you.) A decade later, the image is still fresh and resonant.

Kiki Smith by Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin’s portrait of Kiki Smith.


Photography by Michael Mundy Photography by Michael Mundy Photography by Michael Mundy Photography by Michael Mundy

picture-8.jpg Photography by Michael Mundy Photography by Michael Mundy picture-14.jpg

Photographer Michael Mundy’s amazing photo of New York’s dynamic duo – I will never forget the day I met Isabel and Ruben, at a party. They’re so nice, so refreshing, and Michael Mundy did a phenomenal job with these photographs!

interviewer: With Vivienne Westwood, what are you trying to say with her looking off into the distance? That she’s a visionary?

Richard Burbridge: Dignified, regal. I’m paying homage to her. I’m very respectful of who she is and wanted her to enjoy that picture as well.

interviewer: Did she?
Richard Burbridge: Yes.

Regal indeed. A modern queen of individuality…

Tilda Swinton by Paolo Roversi in 1995 and John Galliano also by Roversi in 2006.  Now, these two images created a decade apart are more consistent than most multi-page editorials photographed at the same time and in the same place. So many confuse consistency with repetition. But not these. These are so beyond mediocrity.

I finally watched Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. Annie Leibowitz’s cover of Vogue reminded me that I’ve been meaning to see the film. That, and I just picked up Marie Antoinette, Life and Death of the last Great Queen of France Catalina de Habsburgo-Lorena at Bertrand this past December, which I’m still reading.

This last shot is Leibowitz at her directive best.

Lauren Hutton 2006 Mario Sorrenti

Matthew Barney by Mark Selinger
This is the cover of Seliger’s book In My Stairwell, which was printed from platinum palladium prints! GORGEOUS.

Josephine Baker by George Hoyningen-Huene

David Byrne by Karen Kuehn. Karen’s work is now on my radar. This photograph is from 1991, but it could have been taken in the 80s and later into the 90s. Until we know the date, we don’t have a sense of time about this photograph (well, that, and the fact that David Byrne has aged incredibly well). That’s how we know a photographer captures the truest, most playful essence of someone: as the person grows and develops, the photograph remains relevant.

It is nearly impossible to study contemporary portraiture and contemporary fashion without seeing Kate Moss. Mario Sorrenti’s intimage portraits of Kate Moss launched his career. Corinne Day captured Kate as the demure trendsetter who was not afraid to ham it up (their beach shoot for The Face in ’96? Can’t pull that off without a sense of humour.) Everyone seems so anti-Kate right these days, saying she should stop modeling because she’s “too old” to model. Well, I hope she changes that. I hope she changes the maxim of being “too old” to model.

Catherine Deneuve (1967), and Mick Jagger (1964), both by David Bailey. The image of Catherine Deneuve is an unpublished image from Vogue, August 1, 1967.

Supplemental Impulses

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whimsy and adventurism, grouped thematically

Whose Blog is This?

I'm Patricia and this blog is part inspiration wall, part pop culture project, with some links to my writing. I'm a conceptual artist, photo editor, creative director living and working in New York City. My opinions are my own and certainly not paid for. If you want to support this site, click on amazon links peppered throughout this blog. Thank you for reading!

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