May 29, 2013

Fans: 1966, today

Fans using mirrors to catch a glimpse of the Queen
James P. Blair, National Geographic (1966)

Australian fans using cell phones and cameras to catch a glimpse of One Direction

May 27, 2013

Inspection: Slave, Forain, Helmut Newton, Valentino

How does a terrible health inspection realized on slaves became fashion? This is how.

Inspection and sale of a negro

 Jean-Louis Forian, Sur le plateau (1912)

Helmut Newton

Valentino ad

Google against Forain

There is a relatively known French impressionist painter called Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931). He was sort of obsessed with the inspection and abuse of ballerinas at the backstage of the Parisian Opéra. I bet his pieces work as a complaint, since he was a very well known caricaturist.

Forain, Sur le plateau (1912)

Last night I spent a good amount of hours searching for the authenticity of this image, which has been wrongly labeled on Google. Somebody attended an exhibition and recalled wrongly its author. It has been hard to correct it, because the painting is rather unknown and belongs to a private collector. 

Since then, it has been falsely attributed to Toulouse-Lautrec, instead of Forain. This image was –I guess– scanned from the catalog because the original one stumbling on Google has white uneven margins on the left and lower sides – which I removed.

It is interesting to observe the mechanism of the internet: one mistake keeps repeating. Is it possible to retrieve it? All people keep reposting this image as "Toulouse-Lautrec's Dancer". Maybe people posting it should rename the file.

Just one person post it correctly: Forain, Sur le plateau (1912). Another blogger wrote a correct description of the painting: "Sur le plateau (daté de 1912, coll. particulière) montre un bourgeois « maquignonnant » avec assurance une danseuse comme pour en évaluer le prix." 

Although it is not absolutely clear on this image, the signature on the right lower corner does not correspond to Toulouse-Lautrec's. It looks rather like a Forain signature (specially as the third sample here).

This video about a retrospective hold in Paris two years ago excludes any doubt (see 2:12).

Forain liked the theme: a man inspecting women, as if they were objects, products or stuff.

Update (May 29):

I just talked to the woman who wrongly attributed the Forain painting to Toulouse-Lautrec. She was so kind to check it up in the catalog of the Portland exhibition where she saw the painting. I do not have a copy of the catalog but she assured me that the credit is given to Toulouse Lautrec, The Dancer. Now their post has been taken down.

The investigation needs to go deeper... I will contact the staff at the museum.

May 26, 2013

Shit: Toulouse-Lautrec, Manzoni, McCarthy

Maurice Joyant, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec takes a shit (1898)

Piero Manzoni, Merda d'artista (1961)

Paul McCarthy, Complex shit (2008)

May 25, 2013

S: Brassaï, Rulfo

George Brassaï, Le Rouseeau serpente (1932)

Juan Rulfo, Barda de adobe en Guadalajara (ca. 1948)

May 23, 2013


Stolpersteine are rocks set on the sidewalk to stumble upon while strolling in a German city. Gunter Demnig, an artist, developed the idea as both a way to intervene public space and a personalized memorial for victims of the Nazi politics.

At the project's website you can see a map of the 33,000 Stolpersteine Demnig has installed so far. An amazing register, but far too little for the millions killed. "Here lived"... and the data regarding the persons killed, either Judes, Sinti-Roma, gays, handicapped or whoever.

This kind of projects should be more successful than the emptiness proposed by, say, Damian Hirst. But so is the market...

May 22, 2013

London in colors

If you like London, you'll love this old movie from 1927 – perhaps the oldest movie shot in color. I mean: "colour". It might be the oldest one of its kind.

May 20, 2013

Don Quijote

This is a sample of the first page of Don Quijote's editio princeps. You can read it online, play with it, zoom in, zoom out, listen to the music composed about it, check an interesting map of Don Quijote's adventures, and more.

May 18, 2013

Videla :: Página 12

Videla is dead. Long live Argentina.

And this is an absolute masterpiece. Cover of the year!

May 17, 2013

"Love after love", by Derek Walcott

Yulia Gorodinski


The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life. 

Do you tsundoku?

Tsundoku is a Japanese term:

"The act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up together with such other unread books".

May 15, 2013

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Scholars call it self-fullfilling prophecy. It is set off by fear, and it is impossible to go back.

First it was Woman. It has happened: am afraid you are going to end this relationship. So, in order to avoid such a humiliation, I will end it first.

But wait! I did not want to end anything. 

Too late. It's over.

Then it was Neocons. It has also happened: am afraid you are going to invade us. So, in order to avoid such a humiliation, we are launching a preventive strike.

But wait! There is diplomacy or whatever.

Too late.

Now it is about Angelina Jolie. It will happen: she is afraid of getting cancer. So, in order to avoid such a real possibility, she is undergoing a mastectomy.

But wait! Your body is not your enemy...

Am afraid it is going to be too late...

May 13, 2013

May 6, 2013

Ready to die!

I have made the more important decisions regarding my death: organ donations, if possible, basics for the funeral, the epitaph, and Rachmaninoff for the music.

So, I'm ready to die: let's rock! Carpe diem!

May 3, 2013


Ick liebe dir, ick liebe dich,
Wie’t richtig is, dit weeß ick nich’
Un’ is mich ooch Pomade.
Ick lieb’ dir nich im dritten Fall,
Ick lieb’ dir nich im vierten Fall,
Ick liebe dir uff jeden Fall.

                                         Langenscheidt Lilliput Berlinerisch (2008)

On eroticism for kids

Roy Lichtenstein, Nudes with Beach Ball (1994)

Look at this childish work by Roy Lichtenstein. It shows happiness, summer, the girl with the ball has also a cape as if she was a super hero.  She looks delighted, her friends rather worried, the one on the foreground amazed or curious. Lichtenstein did not painted many naked bodies, this is a great one. Looks so natural, that you cannot think of it as eroticism at all.

In his Autobiography, Helmut Newton recalls the first time he saw a naked woman and how he stole a porn magazine from his older brother's table when he was seven.

I had to think about my own experience... Gigi!

Gigi is a Japanese animated cartoon. For me, as I was five, six or seven years old, this was my first encounter with an image of a naked girl. I remember learning by heart the transmission schedule just to be able to check her. It was really erotic: as the small girl metamorphosed in a naked adult, a cloud was covering her, inviting you to imagine the rest and you just wanted that damn cloud to disappear... and when it did she was already wearing clothes. Still, there was a generous glance of her back, her round butt and perfect boob. She danced as a ballerina and knew how to look back over her shoulder. Exquisite feminine!

Then she was wearing some sexy outfit...

I learned that there was a specific number of transformations by chapter (perhaps just one?, don't really remember), so the rest of the time I was chasing something else, just waiting for the next one to happen.