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Current Reading: Cristóbal Balenciaga, Philippe Venet, Hubert de Givenchy : by Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery: Flammarion, 2011

A Cristobal Balenciaga wedding dress as seen in " Cristóbal Balenciaga, Philippe Venet, Hubert de Givenchy"A Cristobal Balenciaga wedding dress as seen in " Cristóbal Balenciaga, Philippe Venet, Hubert de Givenchy"

A trio of grand couturiers in the uncompromising French tradition, showcased in the family chateau of Minnie, Princess of Beauvou Craon? What a luscious proposition,

CURRENT READING: CAFE SOCIETY: SOCIALITES, PATRONS AND ARTISTS 1920-1970: THIERRY COUDERT: FLAMMARION

A chronicle of the privileged and the sybaritic  drifting beautifully into a  state of exquisite obsolescenceA chronicle of the privileged and the sybaritic drifting beautifully into a state of exquisite obsolescence

I was drifting through The Strand when I bumped into Thierry Coubert's "Cafe Society", graced by this very haughty portrait of Barbara Hutton on the cover. You might want to despise Ms Hutton's evocation of perfect arrogance in this image. The serious jewels, the angular plane of those cheekbones , that tight mouth, the bouffant coiled to look like a frozen froth, the careless hand gesture with the cigarette held at a distance from the body. The dog,…the fur shrug…the floral dress. Look at how it creates a visual melange of absolute self-indulgence. It is like the best Vogue Italia cover that never was.

EAGERLY ANTICIPATING: Daniel Sannwald: Pluto & Charon

Daniel Sannwald's Pluto & Charon rolling off the printing pressDaniel Sannwald's Pluto & Charon rolling off the printing press

The decade is still fairly new (uhmmm like several months ) but it is certainly looking quite promising when it comes to the rise of new photographic talent.

EAGERLY ANTICIPATING: Ugo Rondinone: The Night of Lead: Published by JRP|Ringier: D.A.P

outsized monster heads and contorted trees that could be modeled from illustrations to a children’s ghost storyoutsized monster heads and contorted trees that could be modeled from illustrations to a children’s ghost story

At nearly 400 pages, and with a wealth of color plates, this enormous new monograph from JRP|Ringier surveys all of these works and more, taking full stock of Rondinone’s prolific activity over the past dozen years.

TI IS MAD FOR: MODERNIST CUISINE : The Art And Science Of Cooking : In Six Volumes:

The mysteries behind this school of cooking should make this  tome a mega-buy come March 2011.The mysteries behind this school of cooking should make this tome a mega-buy come March 2011.

"The reason I call this cuisine modernist is that in the 19th century you had these seeds of modernism that revolutionized art, architecture, literature and philosophy. It was a reaction to the industrializing of the modern world. But it just didn't happen with food. Le Coubusier who was out there calling a house a machine that you live in, sat down to the same coq au vin as everybody else. The Bauhaus guys who said 'Architecture, let's change that! Typography, let's change that! Typography, let's change that!' did nothing to change schnitzel. This is finally the modernist revolution of food, just one hundred years late"

Nathan Myhrvold

CURRENT READING: LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: MARIPOL: DAMIANI

This book cover looks so much like the best album cover Madonna never did.This book cover looks so much like the best album cover Madonna never did.

"We grew up in a world where it was ok to exchange ideas with other people, and it wasn’t so rigid, and it's like what you said about the new wave and punk movement, it was much more raw and tougher and it was about a bunch of people who had something to say. It wasn't so boxed in and so pre-fabricated. It was something very organic and cool and very hard, you know, which is great."

Marc Jacobs in conversation with Maripol, excerpted from Little Red Riding Hood.

TI PREVIEW: STEVEN KLEIN: STAG FILM

It is ultimately about ways of seeing. What is the way in which you choose to see fashion as opposed to art as opposed to sex as opposed to advertising in contrast to life, real life ? What are the lines separating and distinguishing all these driving forces in our culture? Photography is only truly powerful when it can provoke a body of questions and the beauty of this film lies precisely in the questions it pulls up in its wake..

You can see "Stag Film" for its pure beauty, as a series of images rendering the horse's classical form as a sculptural black and white abstraction. As the initial press release this summer for the gallery exhibition of "Stag Film" explained " Is it that Stag Film is simply about motion and emulsion and how light at 250th of a second captures and renders life static?".

But you also have the option of being startled and shocked by "Stag Film": by its realness in documenting the urgency in which this stallion battles a "phantom" mare.

Or you could synthesize all these layers of reaction and see a shadow play of life and death and sex ... of the species fighting desperately to perpetuate itself, of an artist identifying poetry in that struggle.

For further information on purchasing the book edition of Stag Film, here are the full details

CURRENT READING: THE LITERATURE OF ANCIENT EGYPT: WILLIAM KELLY SIMPSON

scraps of  hymns to the gods, mythological and magical texts,  extensive collections of mortuary texts, wisdom texts, poems,scraps of hymns to the gods, mythological and magical texts, extensive collections of mortuary texts, wisdom texts, poems,

Having grown up with all those Greco-Roman legends deep drilled in our heads, don't you wonder sometimes what preceded that tradition of "antiquity" ?

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