ah, dovima

Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba (1927-1990), later known as Dorothy Horan, best known as Dovima*, was one of the supermodels of the 1950s.

Born in New York City, Dovima was discovered by an editor at Vogue on the sidewalks of New York; the following day, she had a photo shoot with Irving Penn. She worked closely with Richard Avedon, whose photograph of her in a floor-length black evening gown with circus elephants—Dovima with Elephants (bien sûr)—taken at the Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, in August 1955, has become an icon. The dress was the first evening dress designed for Christian Dior by his new assistant, Yves Saint-Laurent.

A supermodel before the term became widely known, Dovima was reputed to be the highest-paid model of her time. She had a cameo role as an empty-headed fashion model with a Jackson Heights whine in Paramount's Funny Face (1957).

After her death, Richard Avedon said, "She was the last of the great elegant, aristocratic beauties...the most remarkable and unconventional beauty of her time."

*As a child, Dovima contracted rheumatic fever. The standard treatment was a year in bed, but her overprotective mother kept her home for the next seven years. It was a lonely time for her. She took up painting and had an imaginary friend, whom she called Dovima—using the first two letters of each of her given names.

:fraenkel gallery


Good weekend, everyone. Wherever you may be.

:fabian geyrhalter


gustave depp

Think of it. When Johnny Depp is cast as Gustave Courbet in Courbet: Seductive Rebel, Social Realist in the Lives of the Artists series, he won't need any makeup. None. At all.

By the bye, the Met's Courbet retrospective is oh-so fine.

:gustave courbet, the desperate man (1844-45); met museum


holi: spring arrives in india

The Inimitable Persephone of What Possessed Me and Sarah the Intrepid of Passementerie are two of my most favoritest, most fantacularly well-traveled blogging comrades.

Sarah is journeying through India right now - having recently overcome a combination of formidable in-country lodging and weather and physiological challenges. Follow her here. The other day, Sarah got me thinking more about Holi, India's festival of color, when she left this comment on another post:

...we arrived here in Varanasi on Holi which is the celebration of springtime (as far as I can gather) and the city is still liberally daubed in pink, blue and green dye, even some of the goats are brightly coloured!

Holi is the Hindu festival which celebrates the time when Krishna paid amorous attention to young women tending cows by spraying colored water over them. (Interesting.) Holi occurs each year, the day after the full moon in early March. Holi and Divali (the Festival of Light which occurs in October or November) are India’s most celebrated holidays.

I've just noticed that P very recently posted some remembrances of travels past, here. She trekked to a friend's wedding in Mumbai earlier this year - go here for a sample of some sublime visual treats. You can also screen P's slideshows from the expedition to India as well as her solo backpacking tour of northern and eastern Ethiopia here. Wondrous gorgeousness.

The images on this post serve as double homage: to those who literally fulfill the promise of Oh, The Places You'll Go! (and who possess the skill and desire to share their stories with the rest of us) - as well as to the intriguing, exuberant traditions of a beautiful land.

This painting (above) depicts the Indian deity, Krishna, celebrating Holi with Radha and the Gopis (great name for a Hindi jazz-rock fusion band, don't you think?).



it might as well be spring

Indoors, at least. We'll keep these beauties in a protective environment until the local (outdoor) temperature starts to cooperate.



run away! run...awaaay!!

Easter morning musings on chocolate bunny thoughts.



Good weekend (and Good Friday), everyone. Wherever you may be.

:national geographic


chihuly part II: because more is more...

...sometimes. Well, often. Feng shu-i. Phoo-i. That's what I say. And since any foray into the extravagant, overblown (pun acknowledged) world of Chihuly is an exercise in hyperindulgence, why not just do another post and heap it on? Besides, how could I not include images from his New York installation? Answer: I couldn't (NOT include, that is). So, here we have pics from Chihuly's Glass and Gardens series which sprouted and adorned and materialized in The New York Botanical Garden during the summer and fall of 2006. And there's more (much more) here. But tomorrow (okay, I'm not even fooling myself) - whenever I next put up a post that consists of more than one photo, I will observe some restraint. We're in for a virtual cleansing of the palate - and the palette. Yes we are. Yes we can. Woooowooohooo.

So, while you can, enjoy the bacchanal.

And this for the lovely Kate of Girl Meets Glamour who comment-queried:

Is this the artist whose work is in the Bellagio?

Well, yes it is. Yes we can. Woohoooohooooo. Here's an up-close of the Chihuly ceiling in the Bellagio lobby. (And while we're at it, who has actually been there, if you don't mind the admission?)



Good weekend, everyone. Wherever you may be.

:fabian geyrhalter


dianamuse feature: dale chihuly

Nemo meets Louis XV meets Alien.

Dale Chihuly, the internationally celebrated Seattle artist, is a byword for all that is spectacular and exciting in contemporary glass. Chihuly's fantastic creations are in the grand and historic tradition of Venetian glass; rich colors and extravagant shapes complement organic subtlety and visual and textural refinement.

Since the early 1980s, all of Chihuly's work has been marked by intense, vibrant color and subtle linear decoration. At first, he achieved patterns by fusing "drawings" composed of prearranged glass threads into the surface of his vessels; he then had his forms blown in optic molds, which created ribbed motifs. He also explored bold, colorful lip wraps that contrasted sharply with the brilliant colors of his vessels. Finally, beginning with the Venetians of the early 1990s, elongated, linear blown forms - a product of the glassblowing process - have become part of his vocabulary, resulting in highly baroque, writhing elements.

Chihuly’s work on paper is a fascinating study of variety. Many of his drawings are drenched in thick, bold layers of color. Others are more elusive—just a hint of form sketched with a fistful of pencils or a confidently manipulated charcoal. Over the years, his style has evolved, becoming more abstract and more elaborate, and his drawings, in some cases, have become much larger. But there are no rules; a technique that Chihuly favored a decade before may resurface again. The excitement of Chihuly’s work on paper is in its unpredictability. In two dimensions, Chihuly is free to let his grandest schemes come to fruition.

You can more directly sense my energy in my drawings than perhaps any other way.
—Dale Chihuly

:chihuly at the v&a, 2001; chihuly website


leonard cohen: you're our man

This evening, Leonard Cohen will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. My reaction? It's about time.

Few artists in the realm of popular music can truly be called poets, in the classical, arts-and-letters sense of the word. Among them are Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell and Phil Ochs. Leonard Cohen heads this elite class. In fact, Cohen was already an established poet and novelist before he turned his attention to songwriting. His academic training in poetry and literature, and his pursuit of them as livelihood for much of the 50s and 60s, gave him an extraordinary advantage over his pop peers when it came to setting language to music. Along with other folk-steeped musical literati, Cohen raised the songwriting bar. (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum)

I love this line from Cohen's Anthem. It just may be my favorite lyric. Ever.

There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

I recently discovered a remark that Cohen made about this bit of his poetry: That’s the closest thing I could describe to a credo. That idea is one of the fundamental positions behind a lot of the songs.

And regarding his work and method:

You know, you scribble away for one reason or another. You’re touched by something that you read. You want to number yourself among these illustrious spirits for one advantage or another, some social, some spiritual. It’s just ambition that tricks you into the enterprise, and then you discover whether you have any actual aptitude for it or not. So I’ve always thought that I, you know, do my job OK.

It thrills me to know I'm sharing an area code with Mr. Cohen - at least for the evening. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air live from the Waldorf-Astoria on VH1 Classic tonight at 8:30 p.m. EST. BTW, Lou Reed will present Mr. Cohen.

O Canada. You must be so proud of this Native Son.

K.D. Lang performs Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Juno Awards, Winnipeg, 2005. (Of the 10,983,477 listens to the guskillion covers of Hallelujah on YouTube, I claim 795,517. K.D. gets into it here, for sure.) Word has it that Damien Rice will perform Hallelujah at the induction ceremony this evening.

Rufus Wainwright performs Everybody Knows. This is a clip from the Cohen-tribute film I'm Your Man. Rufus talks about meeting Cohen for the first time. Cohen says a word or two. The song begins at 1:51.

Martha Wainwright performs Leonard Cohen's Tower of Song. Late Night with Dave.

Our Man himself, performing Hallelujah. (Love the set. Looks to be borrowed from The Muppets, c. 1985.)

:photo © sony bmg; quotes via the vancouver sun; the rock and roll hall of fame + museum


Good weekend, everyone. Wherever you may be.

:vincent leroux


sumptuousness at the cooper-hewitt

When it was coined in the early 19th century, Rococo was a pejorative, meaning, in effect, “old-fashioned.” The exuberantly decorative style emerged in Paris about 1730, spread throughout Europe and reached the colonies of North and South America before the sobering correction of Neo-Classicism kicked in around the mid-1760s.

Rococo: The Continuing Curve is a groundbreaking exhibition that fully explores Rococo style and its continuing revivals up to the present day in multiple fields, including furniture, decorative arts, textiles, prints and drawings. The show is on view at the Cooper-Hewitt, March 7-July 6.

(image above) An exquisitely made candelabrum of gilt bronze designed by Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain around 1750. About the base of a realistically rendered tree trunk in which two life-size birds perch, little putti cavort on curving miniature balustrades, and decorative scrolls play like waves of water. Candleholders are mounted on flower blossoms at the ends of sweeping stems.

A gourd vase by Emile Gallé of France (circa 1900)

:images cooper-hewitt museum


lori nix's tabletop photography

Artist Lori Nix builds incredibly detailed tabletop worlds and photographs them, from visions of disaster to glimpses of insect life. Her most recent collection, The City, depicts hyperreal decay and abandonment in an urban setting. The piece shown here, titled Library is from that series. Lori's next show will be at the NAB Gallery, Chicago, in May.

:lori nix


Good weekend, everyone. Wherever you may be.

:klea mckenna