Category Archives: surrealism

All Together Now: “Spill, Baby, Spill!”

This happens whenever I doze while listening to Morning Edition. I had this crazy dream. All those patriotic delegates at the Republican National Convention – the smiling mob who roared at Sarah Palin’s self-congratulation about pit bulls and lipstick – every one of them flew to Louisiana on their own dime. BP and the Chamber of Commerce didn’t pay a penny. And they were mucking around in the swamps with baggies and soda straws, prepared to siphon oil off sick birds. And Rudy Giuliani was cheering them on: “Spill, baby, spill.” Continue reading

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Shed A Tear For The Subversion of Images… and Hackneyed Colonialism

I admit it. When I compared Man Ray’s “Emak-Bakia” to Avatar the other day, I was listening to the crasser angels of search engine optimization. You know, the ones that tell you to forget everything you ever learned about writing clever magazine headlines. Just pack every Google ad word you can into the blog title. So I threw in Avatar and nothing happened.

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Was Man Ray’s “Emak-Bakia” the “Avatar” of the 1920s?

When Man Ray’s short film “Emak-Bakia” debuted in Paris in 1926, critical opinion was mixed. One angry viewer shouted that it gave him a headache and hurt his eyes, to which another retorted, “Shut up!” A brawl ensued, which spread through the audience and spilled into the street. Then the police arrived to quell the riot. Continue reading

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Who Spied On Lee Miller?

Lots of people lined up to peek through the keyhole for a glimpse of Lee Miller, whose meteoric career arced from Vogue fashion model to Surrealist muse to intrepid war photographer. The voyeurs included Condé Nast, Man Ray, Jean Cocteau, … Continue reading

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Flaneur’s Gallery: Parson Weems’ Fable

Grant Wood. Parson Weems’ Fable. 1939. Amon Carter Museum, Forth Worth. When I was five years old, before I learned to read, I laid claim to a book in the family library called Pictorial History of American Presidents. It covered … Continue reading

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