In 1946, the great Hans Bellmer worked on illustrations for the famous Histoire de l'Oeil from Georges Bataille, one of the most subversive texts of the XXth century (and a must for all blasphemy lovers). Here a selection in rather good quality of this series. No comments necessary for such a prestigious creative duo. Just remember that we are in 1946 and imagine how these men were precursors and still talk to us when most of their reknown contempories only deserve oblivion.
It's a long time I was expecting to find images from this series in quality good enough to be presented on this blog. I finally found it. And I'm glad cos' for me it's one of the best series of the last decade. Rather than writing in an approximate English why I find this series so extraordinary, I prefer pasting the statement of this great photographer living it Tel-Aviv but gathering clichés from all over the world and, in this series, more specifically from Ukraine. "It's quite long but it deserves to be read in its entirety since it summarizes perfectly what I appreciate in this work. "The images in this series are an attempt to capture human stories in everyday life, those that exist in the space between the odd and the ordinary. My images are almost always of people and they usually take the form of portraits. Most of the people I photograph have something in common; they are not the mainstream, and many of them are small town performers (For example, they could be dwarfs in a theatre play, ball room dancers or young contortionists).I try to photograph my subjects dislocated from their performing environment and set in casual settings, off stage: at home, on the street or in a park. Some of them with their costumes and others wear everyday cloths. I try to create a seemingly private moment, one where they are not performing or on stage. The main themes in my work are not social or topical, but private and mythical; I search for people who have a legendary quality in them; a mix between odd and ordinary. My images are vehicles to address universal themes: family issues, ideas of normality, puberty with its all incumbent pains and distractions, the desire for fame. An example of this is the adolescent girls I photograph, many of them are on the verge of sexual consciousness. They are in this difficult age, torn between innocence and experience. While their bodies might be still that of a child, their gaze sometimes imply differently. I try to create an informal scene, in which they directly confront the viewer. I feel they and their stories represent with most clarity the theme that interests me the most and which is the twilight zone between reality and fantasy.My aim is to record a scene where there is a mixture of direct information and enigmas and in which there are visual contrasts between young and old, large and small, normal and abnormal. My playground lies between the private and the public, between fiction and documentary. For me, the image is just the tip of the iceberg; it's the gate to a story waiting to be told and which I try to depict in an appealing yet troubling way. This story is about a life full of contradictions on the battle ground between fantasy and reality. Many viewers tell me that the world discovered in my images is strange. If they find it strange, it is only because the world is indeed a strange place. I just try to show that". A site here.
Sorry, you'll say I got a tropism for eastern photo-art but here again a Russian photographer, who seems to manage a photography school and to create images for more than 2 decades. In some series, his style is rather influenced by Jan Saudek but here, in this selection, it's not really relevant cos' we got this special talent to make reality appears in pictures, real people, real humans, real characters, although it's in no way realism or documentary. Never the underlying symbol covers the models. Ans sometimes there seems to have no symbo at all, just the fascination of the flesh. Actually, this selection, mainly consisting of his "I Need You" series, reminds me of Leslie Krims. An American it's true, but one of the less occidentalized artist. I'll post more by Victor Ivanovski later. Here his site.
The previous post was about someone who, 80 years ago, had tried to subvert the eye and the representation through collages with a hard and explicit sexual visions, and this post is about someone who finally tries the same without using sexual parts or pornographic visuals but who push the boundaries outside the usual tolerance. Done over the last 15 years, here is a subjective (and subversive) selection of my faves. Born in 1959 (he's about my age) in Macedonia, living in Italy, he's one of these artists who escape the dead-end conceptualism which is devoring this corporation. In each of these images above, there is a question asked about our own capacity to face some realities. A site here to see more (in very different styles, I don't appreciate everything but I respect the approach for sure).
"Czech Surrealist painter, poet, editor, photographer, and graphic artist" says wikipedia. Born in 1899, died in 1942 (what a sinister period to leave the world, what a last image you take with you when you fade away). Here, it's for an incredibly strong, subversive and audacious series that I post about him, a series called Emilie comes to me in a dream, and conceived and exposed in 1933 (imagine what a strange year to show what would be considered as the summum of degenerated art by nazis). Collages, he was not the only one and there will be many others later on, but the crude way he show his visions of Emilie, these open female sexes he dreams of, is a great way not to make hypocrite euphemism about the reality if these thoughts all males have when they think about the one they desire. It is said that he thought pornography was the destabilizing medium that could be used to subvert established social and artistic norms. He was only a little early and would certainly be surprised of the vast pornographic imagery available everywhere. Not sure that most of it is not only a way to stabilize things as they are but porno-art should be tried to subvert things I believe it. Anywhere, this is one of the most enduring work from the first half of the XXth century.