Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hiroshi Watanabe: Kabuki Series



Hiroshi Watanabe, Natsuki Tukamoto, Matsuo Kabuki, 2003

Hiroshi Watanabe, Jun Masuda as Oyanagi, Matsuo Kabuki, 2004

Hiroshi Watanabe, Rikuto Tada, Matsuo Kabuki, 2003

Hiroshi Watanabe, Jun Masuda as Oyanagi, Matsuo Kabuki, 2004

Hiroshi Watanabe, Ryota Nakajima as Mannojo, Matsuo Kabuki, 2004

Hiroshi Watanabe, Mari Ito, Tono Kabuki, 2003

Hiroshi Watanabe, Yuka Onozawa and Ikki Tada, Matsuo Kabuki, 2004

Hiroshi Watanabe, Yuki Nonaka, Matsuo Kabuki, 2003

Hiroshi Watanabe, Maiko Takaku, Matsuo Kabuki, 2003

Hiroshi Watanabe, Sachiyo Oyama as Osome, Nakatsugawa Kabuki, 2004

Hiroshi Watanabe, Marina Ema and Kazusa Ito, Matsuo Kabuki, 2003

Those Kabuki players you see in my photographs are not with the mainstream Kabuki companies in Tokyo. They are with localized small groups located in various parts of Japan. They are not professional actors in a sense, as they don’t get paid for their plays. They actually spend quite a lot of their own money to be in the plays. Kabuki is known for lavish make-up, costumes, and stage set-ups. As such, those who want to be in the plays must be committed and prepared. They spend their time and money because of their love for being in the theater—attention they get, pride, prestige, and joy of being part of their tradition.

One such company is based in a town called Nakatsugawa. The town is cozily nested at the foot of Japan Alps Mountains. It was situated at the halfway point between Tokyo and Kyoto of the old main road called Nakasendo in Edo era, and because of this strategic location, it flourished as a trading post about three hundred years ago. The town became rich, but had no cultures as they are away from big cities. They had to wait for Kabuki Company to arrive, which comes only once a year. Being tired of waiting, they finally decided to do Kabuki by themselves. They built a theater and hired make-up artists, costumers, and stage craftsmen from Kyoto just for themselves, and they started to play their favorite stories. Thus it became their tradition.

I believe good portraits are the ones that show the characters and personality of the subjects--their human beings. I find it a difficult task, as people are so well educated about photographs nowadays. People know how to pose, how to make impressions, and how to look good, and hardly reveal what they really are.

Those Kabuki players are also hidden in heavy make-up and wardrobes in a made-up world. But when they sit in front of my camera between plays, they are so much saturated (and worried) in their roles, that they pay very little attention to my existence. They are struck with stage fright and they repeat their lines over and over as I photograph. Remember this is not what they do everyday. On the other hand, they are not afraid of me, or of anyone else, as their faces are shielded by the heavy make-ups. They can be themselves without worrying about other people, as if they were in the masquerade. They feel that no one knows who he or she really is, or at least people know that they were in a fictional world. At those moments, they are much closer to me.


-Hiroshi Watanabe




images and text found here


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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Let There Be Light

Oh, these lighting fixtures are all so ADORABLE! And after seeing them I want to re-do all of the generic and janky lighting in my home!


Marianne Brandt Touch table lamp Greta Magnjusson Grossman table lamp

Serge Mouille Flamme sconces, pair Serge Mouille l'Oeil sconce

Kurt Versen table lamp Pattyn Products table lamp

Jordan Mozer Eliza table lamp from the D'Alba Residence, Glencoe Kurt Versen, attribution, table lamps, pair

Angelo Lelli table lamp Elizabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti Aladdin table lamp

Angelo Lelli table lamps, pair Stilnovo ceiling lamp

Ressel Wright floor lamp Gilbert Rohde, attribution, table lamp

Donald Deskey floor lamps, pair Jordan Mozer Fiddlehead table lamp from the D'Alba Residence, Glencoe

George Nelson & Associates Sergeant Schultz table lamp Greta Magnusson Grossman table lamp

Greta Magnusson Grossman Table Lamp Greta Magnusson Grossman Grasshopper floor lamps, pair

Angelo Lelli table lamp Massimo Vignelli chandelier

All lights above (and many more fabulous things!) can be found at the Wright Modern Design Sale - March 29, 2012.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Edward Kienholz: Buried in Style

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Artist Edward Kienholz and his wife/collaborator Nancy Reddin Kienholz
TOTAL POWER COUPLE!  I love their look.  And their work. 

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Artist Edward Kienholz at work


Normally I don't give much thought to how I will be buried. If I can't have a pyramid erected in my honor (har), I think I would prefer to be disposed of on the cheap by being cremated or buried in a cardboard box.  Or maybe just be buried in a plain pine wood coffin -- like the ones they used after hanging criminals in the wild west. I was thinking about this the other day when I remembered how Edward Kienholz (one of my favorite artists EVER) was buried:

"His corpulent, embalmed body was wedged into the front seat of a brown 1940 Packard coupe," said Hughes. "There was a dollar and a deck of cards in his pocket, a bottle of 1931 Chianti beside him, and the ashes of his dog Smash in the trunk. He was set for the Afterlife. To the whine of bagpipes, the Packard, steered by his widow Nancy Reddin Kienholz, rolled like a funeral barge into the big hole: the most Egyptian funeral ever held in the American West, a fitting [exit] for this profuse, energetic, sometimes brilliant, and sometimes hopelessly vulgar artist."

description found here.


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If you ever get a chance to see Edward Kienholz's sculptures/assemblages in person, DO IT.  Here is a sampling of his works:




And if you want to read up on him, this book is excellent. 





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Friday, March 23, 2012

Fat Cat Art

GAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!!

Fat Cat Art, Svetlana Petrova, drollgirl

Artist Svetlana Petrova doesn't have to pay models to pose for her, instead she uses her ginger tabby Zarathustra. She recreates some of the world's finest paintings by Botticelli, Dali, or Monet, featuring her fine feline as willing subject.

To see more of this art, click here.

as seen here


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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hot or Not?

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Does anybody else have the hots for Norman Reedus?  Seeing him on The Walking Dead gets me giddy and brings out my inner hillbilly.  I like his face. I like it a lot. I like his swagger.  I even like his puffy eyes. (For some reason I seem to have a thing for guys with puffy/squinty eyes.) And he looks like a good lay kind of dirty, but in a good way.






 

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