Neruda on Modotti

Detail from British Vogue, December 1982.

Detail from British Vogue, December 1982. Photograph from the Norton Museum of Art exhibition.

There are dozens of beautiful faces in the Norton Museum of Art’s current exhibition Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast. Yet, there was something about the couple in the Bruce Weber photograph featured above that stopped in my tracks. And as I leaned over the vitrine I realized the poetic excerpt floating next to the haunting woman was by Pablo Neruda on the occasion of Tina Modotti’s passing. Suddenly I wasn’t in an art museum but a wonderful netherworld that had collapsed time and space to bring together great personages of the twentieth century. Continue reading

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Art as a Backdrop

In the past 48 hours I have had the uncanny luck of catchy two random summons of art history. It’s a cheap shot, but the first encounter was pretty lame. I won’t get into the chain of events that led to When in Rome (2010) appearing on my DVR, but it was there and I watched it. I actually find Kristen Bell kind of endearing. That is until this scene.

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No Color Needed

I’m probably the last person to listen to “Born to Die,” but I finally did. I think Lana Del Rey’s lips were putting me off. For many reasons, today was the right day to listen to the album on repeat all afternoon.

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Angry Grrrl

The deluge of press in the aftermath of the MTV Video Music Awards has somehow managed to ignore perhaps the most obvious fault with this show: the videos. We’ve become pretty naive if we find the awards show shocking. Frankly, in this age of publicists and media trainers I’m shocked we can find anything shocking. Putting the spectacle aside and getting to the heart of the matter, how is it possible to dedicate a show to videos that most people are probably only seeing for the first time during the nominee montage? Continue reading