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

Posted in surrealism | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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.

Continue reading

Posted in surrealism | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

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

Posted in surrealism | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in surrealism | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in #inaug09, 1930s, Art, Flaneur's Gallery, memoir, politics, surrealism | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Salman Rushdie On Italo Calvino

Rushdie On Calvino’s Absurd, Charming Masterpiece : NPR: “In 1965, the great Italian writer Italo Calvino — in a light, fantastic collection of 12 short stories, titled Cosmicomics — took on nothing less than the creation of the universe. “I … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, books, surrealism | Tagged | Comments Off

Surrealist Manifesto Sells for Real Money

“All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name.” “Had this yearning been for money, rather than revolutionary art,” says the Guardian, André Breton would today have seen his dream realised, on learning that a selection … Continue reading

Posted in 1920s, Art, French history, Paris, poetry, surrealism | Tagged | 3 Comments

Manifesto of Surrealism by André Breton (1924)

The original manuscript is a priceless fetish object now, but you don’t have to be a zillionaire to read the Manifesto of Surrealism. You can experience a little psychic automatism , and it’s free. Thanks to for publishing this … Continue reading

Posted in 1920s, Art, free culture, Paris, poetry, surrealism | Tagged , | Comments Off

Lee Miller: Picasso’s Cubist Portrait

Pablo Picasso. Portrait of Lee Miller as L’Arlesienne. 1937. Musée Picasso, Paris. Exhibition note for Lee Miller. Picasso in Private at Museu Picasso in Barcelona: Lee Miller … took over a thousand photographs of Picasso during the thirty-six years of … Continue reading

Posted in surrealism | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lee Miller: Wartime Surrealist

Lee Miller photographed women in fire masks in wartime London in 1944. [Source: Telegraph/Lee Miller Archives] See Lee Miller: Flapper Fashionista, Lee Miller: Surrealist Muse and Lee Miller: War Photographer.

Posted in fashionista, Lee Miller, London, photographers, surrealism | Tagged , , | Comments Off