At the International Car Forest of the Last Church in Goldfield, Nevada.
Or, at least that’s what his name should be. Monroe has always been a dream or something unreal to most people. Warhol and others often picture her in unreal ways. So be it.
The original, a beautifully lit and composed shot. I don’t know the photographer’s name but we can be glad she lived in a time of medium format film cameras that were exceptional.
My attempt at colorizing. This is an art form of which I only dabble in.
And then my usual posterizing. This one cut off too much of the horse’s left ear. I think.
Better? At least unusual. Sometimes good to break out of a border or frame. What’s going on here? I’m bringing a chaos of color into the images I work with. Harsh reds and yellows and greens. I’m sometimes subtle, usually not. The original photograph of Marilyn cannot be improved. No possible way. The only thing I can do is different. The original is a quiet photo, I make an image active. What do you prefer? I hope you like both.
Or start all over again? But hasn’t this poor woman suffered enough?
Right click on the image below to get the full size file from above. In case you want to experiment.
Here I am quickly constructing a work or idea board to show der prozess. People love before and after pictures. Does it cause them to buy anything? Of, course not. But I do this anyway.
Most of us can relate to Marilyn, someone who wanted to be happy but so many things got in the way. Self-inflicted wounds like drugs and alcohol played a part but mostly it was her fame and people selling her image. There was no way to be Norma Jean again when everyone wanted Marilyn.
Unless you can accept total social isolation and brutal poverty, there is no way to really be yourself. You have to fit in with others and accept the conditions of the crowd. The Japanese have always had it right, “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.”
Less so in America, perhaps, but displaying anything above the average intelligence or creativity level of ordinary people will get you questioned, ridiculed, and prosecuted. You need to settle down to their level. The maddening crowd bitterly resents anyone seeking more out of life than making payments on a sofa or a girl. Because that’s all they have and, in truth, that’s all that they want to have.
This is a one minute clip from a BBC Documentary entitled “The Secret World of Haute Couture.” You can watch it in its entirety in many places on the internet, including YouTube and Vimeo. Here, I’ve upscaled the video using Movavi’s A/I to better show off Karl’s drawing. You can see artifacts, however, when his hand is moving quickly. This may be the best we can do with current technology unless the BBC releases the original print for people to work with. They should. Watching Karl’s “quick sketch technique” is like watching the hand of God. And, just like God would do, Karl left 1.5 million dollars in his will to his cat.
The year is 1963 and the film is Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor. Over-the-top extravaganza. Playboy Magazine was around the back lot taking pictures of the extras. I liked the self-assured stance of this woman.
As usual, however, I didn’t know what to do with it and I still don’t, as far as an element of a larger design. So, I played around with colors and then went with some collages to see if that would lead anywhere. Still not sure that it does. I usually alter the appearance of people but not here. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. Leaving it uncorrected for now. And I could have color corrected and done better light adjustment but that goes toward the world of the photographer and not the graphic designer.
These were done with Photoshop Express on an iPad. The collage feature on Photoshop Express for the Mac desktop is so inexplicably limited and crippled that it needs crutches. Matter of fact, the collage feature on the iPad is far more creative than I am, these designs are very simple compared to what it can do. And I fed the program four different sizes of this same image, hoping to better accommodate the collage program.
Like myself, Arthur Kwon Lee is a politically conservative visual artist. This brings about an estrangement from most other artists, unless we silence ourselves and hide our true beliefs. This is far easier for me than Kwon Lee.
I personally have no inherent or driving interest to share my political or world views with other artists. But I respect his efforts, especially the art project he is working on now, an effort to show how redeeming and necessary masculine qualities are in the face of a society that ridicules, dishonors, and destroys men who act like men.
This is a reprint of his original post which is here: https://arthurkwonlee.substack.com/p/blood-and-fire-trigger-warning
BLOOD & FIRE *Trigger Warning*
Masculinity will save the world.
We’ve all heard and repeated the mantra ad nauseum, that “politics is downstream from culture.”
Its true, the Right fallaciously defined its investment solely based on the ROI [editor’s note, return on investment] in ones bank account through the lens of a one-dimensional capitalism. In turn leaving all creative industries abandoned where we find faith-based and conservative artists in the middle of the desert with no home. The radicals swarmed in with their patronage and now control the dreamscapes of your progeny through their aesthetic stranglehold of the arts and entertainment. In turn we have widespread liberalism and atheism brainwashing generations ahead of us in all creative spaces. Its time we start becoming active participants as either talent, collector or patron. Every art gallery you visit in New York City, much like every church in the city, has either a Black Lives Matter or LGBTQ rainbow flag for a reason – in other words, “If you ain’t with us, you’re against us.”
And upon deeper introspection… All of this chaos: from the welfare state breaking down the nuclear in-tact family, to the grotesque assaults and property damages displayed during these so-called protests or to the shameless identity oriented hatred of white Americans in a country that is literally 75% Caucasian. All of this is only possible only because masculinity has been silenced in conjunction to the perilous state of the American church. Just think about the last time you’ve seen an unapologetic masculine figure in the dominant narrative who’s taken the culture by storm.
The 45th President Donald Trump, cancelled.
Alex Jones, cancelled.
And even Andrew Tate, cancelled.
I’m not saying I agree with all of these men in a single wholesale write off, that would be flippant, I am however stating that these men are a phenomena in the first place because the West is starving for an honorable and traditional masculinity.
In its absence we have overcompensating and stereotypical bullies or fragile little snowflakes afraid of confrontation.
The matriarchy, or matrix, can only succeed when strong men are quiet.
As Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote in Esquire on November 1, 1958 – what we have here is The Crisis of American Masculinity. Even as far back as three generations we reveal the vilification of men embracing their maleness as more of a problem than a natural God given right. While they do not use disparaging terminology we hear today like “toxic masculinity” or the patriarchy, the language of the article exhibits a generation of men who feel self conscious about their own conception of masculinity.
For example I’ve stated on stages across the country a dozen times that the very phenomena of Hip-Hop’s appeal is rooted in the egregious single motherhood rate especially in the black community, the freedom to be hyper-masculine in the absence of a balanced example at home is the allure young men have to the thick gold chains, prostitutes and face tattoos.
Competitive video games, Donald Trump and gangster rap all share the desire to swing the pendulum as far as possible in the other direction in a culture that penalizes any semblance of masculinity is the public square.
Growing up watching Rocky, The Godfather, Indiana Jones, Braveheart and Shawshank Redemption with my father in the evenings were both entertaining and educational. You were being shown that Good ultimately triumphs over evil with bravery and discipline, you were shown that effeminacy in men predisposed their destiny to weakness and failure. Fast forward today where every sitcom dad is depicted as a blathering idiot who consistently trips on his own shoe laces only to be graciously corrected by his all-seeing and compassionate wife.
Look at Homer Simpson or Phil Dunphy, look at our movie titles – She-Hulk, The Woman King and Suffragette. And outside of film we have normalized terminology such as toxic masculinity and the patriarchy on college campuses. The reason Matt Walsh’s documentary “What is a Woman?” went viral in the first place is due to masculinity being shoved so far into the corner and a collective recognition that there is a strategic effort to debase and target all the trappings of classical masculinity here in the West.
What we need, is some masculine art.
THE BLOOD & FIRE PROJECT
The Blood & Fire Project is a mission-oriented art series devoted to spreading the aesthetic appreciation of masculinity. An ongoing painting series depicting the rise and fall of men throughout history rendered in fiery tones to promote awareness on the sacrifice that undergirds the very culture we take advantage of. Masculinity needs to be revitalized both in and out of the arts, with its rise means a stronger church and country. And it starts in your home. The objective of this painting series is to get men all over the country installing an original 11 x 14” art work that represents a wholesome and benevolent representation of masculinity.
The Blood & Fire Project is a reminder to endure all things in the light of God, to protect your values by never being silenced in your masculinity. We have martyrs, chruch fathers, warriors, philosophers and iconic men of the West reminding you that your masculinity is not meant to be hidden, its not mansplaining or “manspreading”.
It is self mastery and the overcoming of adversity, it is catharsis and it is liberation.
Get yourself armed, be an example, collect some art, be masculine.
“Civilizations are built by men, their blood and their fire.”
New For 1963 & 1964
New for 1963 and 1964. Part of a larger project targeting the Corvette market. This is an original poster design that I made from old book photos (all half-tone screened, of course,) and internet scraps. Still, it works. Yes, Billy Mitchell was wearing an entirely red suit, probably at an event to promote this vehicle of his which became known through the singer Prince as “the little red Corvette”. 24″ X 36″ (60.96 cm x 91.44cm) on heavy bond paper. Lo-res version image below, click to enlarge:
Fewer than you think. Although they have to be the right lines.
Picasso was famous for simple line drawings of animals.
But drawing a human face is more complicated, correct? Ever tried? I have never gotten proportions right, a murderously difficult job.
This detail is from from Starwatcher II, a 1985 work of Möebius, Jean Giraud. It’s a beautiful face, in fact, Möebius said it was “wonderfully evocative” and he could “see how someone could fall in love with that face.” But why?
Giraud didn’t say if this was a man or a woman. Those arms belong to a major league football or rugby player. He admits the legs aren’t right, either. And despite the complexity of Star Gazer’s outfit, there’s an amazing economy of line to the face.
The eyes don’t seem right, however, upon close inspection. The pupils seem pointed in different directions. Yet, that doesn’t seem to matter from the viewing distance normally taken.
This reminds me of Bardot, who had faint lines to her face. No strongly developed aquiline nose or prominent cheekbones. Stargazer doesn’t have either. Maybe those are more Aryan preferences and not universal. Is there something to this?
Hmm. Picasso, Giraud, Bardot. All French. More later.
“But to live outside the law, you must be honest.” Bob Dylan
United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart struggled in 1964 to define pornography in the landmark case of Jacobellis v. Ohio. In his concurring opinion, Stewart wrote, essentially, that he couldn’t describe hard core pornography but he knew it when he saw it.
What do you see? And is it right? Or wrong? Or merely questionable? Tricky.
To describe what pornography is and what is socially acceptable has always been mixed up with money as money controls the world.
A new Sotheby’s promotion said a muse for the Italian photographer Paolo Roversi would be among those discussing the great photographer in this video.
Turns out his muse is Natalia Vodianova, of whom Roversi has photographed many times. Too many times. See the photo below.
“Soul of a Woman: A Journey through Art and Fashion.” So says Sothebys.
Capturing the soul of a woman? I don’t see much soul but I do see a lot of underage skin. Pretty, young, naked girls. A website, however, puts it, “Paolo Roversi is a photographer best known for his striking, intimate portraiture and classical visual language.”
Indeed. teeth Intimate portraiture. Are you kidding me?
Reminds me how Leonard Nimoy, Spock to most of us, developed a new profession in his later life as an “artistic nude photographer.” I bet his wife was thrilled. And, no, Spock, you’re not fooling anyone. Especially your wife.
The Sotheby’s video is a mutual admiration society with each person congratulating each other on their genius. They ignore the fact that his photographs look remarkably like what Jeffery Epstein had on his bedroom wall.
Now, I am sure Roversi’s models, and his muse, were all of age. Or, they had their parent’s permission. Nice parents.
Money determines acceptability. We exhalt the photographer with rich clients as an artist and slam the poorer photographer as a pornographer. One produces art and the other produces smut.
Playboy once had some beautiful covers but no one ever credited Hef with making art, despite having photographers like Richard Avedon contributing now and then. Playboy decided in the late 1960s to compete with Bob Guccione of Penthouse who in turn competed with Hustler’s Larry Flynt. Hef never went back to producing covers like this one from 1964.
Is it wrong to be a pornographer? That’s a moral judgement. Appealing to prurient interests in a free society is allowed. I think it’s only wrong if you lie about what you do. Is Roversi a pornographer? I don’t know. I don’t move in his circles. I think a better judge would have been Epstein.
Here’s a photo that blurs the line. This is a movie poster for Behind the Green Door. The movie was produced by the Mitchell brothers who were notorious pornographers. Yet, to me, this individual photo borders on art. I have it hanging on my wall. Why? It appeals to my purient interests. And indeed a thing of beauty is a joy forever. (As long as she is over 18.)
Let’s be honest. Let’s not have pornographers disguise themselves as artists. Not in The Era of Epstein. As to what pornography is, I know it when I see it.
We’ve all seen photos of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. Sandro Botticelli, circa mid -480s.
What we don’t see is scale.
I was remarking to a former art instructor how very different Van Gogh’s paintings look like in person compared to photographs. He agreed and said scale is also missing in photos.
Monet’s Water Lilies’ series is near billboard size in width. No way to capture that on a tiny phone screen or even in a large coffee table size art book.
Back to The Birth of Venus.
A workman below carries a 4′ by 8′ sheet of drywall. Not easily, mind you, as these sheets are very heavy and bulky.
Botticelli’s masterwork is 5′ 8″ x 9′ 2″. I’ve outlined a 4′ x 8′ rectangle on his painting below.
And here is how these boards normally go up on walls. It’s all a matter of scale.