D&G’s Neorealism

Dolce & Gabbana SS 2013 Collection Ad Campaign

 
 

Movie Poster

 
 

Antonio Arcidiacono as ‘Ntoni

 
 

Stills from The Earth Trembles

 
 

Styling & Photography: Domenico Dolce Stefano Gabbana

 
 

Parodying the infamous Fascist slogan quoted in Visconti’s movie, we could say “Dolce and Gabbana are always right”.

 
 

While I was preparing the previous post and looked intently at the swimsuits worn by some of the characters depicted in Scène d’Été, by Frédéric Bazille I was reminded of the stripes from Dolce & Gabbanna’s Spring Summer Collection 2013-2014.
 
The Italian duo had a very specific inspiration for the whole concept; a neorealist movie, La Terra Trema / The Earth Trembles (Luchino Visconti, 1948). Is an adaption for the screen from I Malavoglia / The House by the Medlar Tree, originally written in 1881 by Giovanni Verga. This author was one of the precursors of verismo, a literary or painting movement and opera style which were in many ways the basis for neorealism.
 
The first neorealist film is generally thought to be Ossessione (Luchino Visconti, 1943). But in Toni (1935), Jean Renoir made a notable use of non-professional actors and location shooting, two of the main characteristics of the Italian neorealism. Visconti worked in that movie as a Jean Renoir’s assistant.
 
There was a strong reason to film outdoor. During the World War II the film studios had been damaged significantly. All this movement came about in the post-war right after Benito Mussolini’s government fell.
 
Although they were filmed with nonprofessional actors, in a number of cases, well known actors were cast in leading roles. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana followed those unorthodox rules.
 
“With Taormina (Sicily) as a setting and supported by “real” people, Bianca Balti, Monica Bellucci, and Bianca Brandolini D’Adda –genuine Italian Graces, portray many of the values upheld by Dolce & Gabbana. Pomp and ceremony are juxtaposed to quaint familiar portraits of everyday life. Jovial dancing and singing complement moments shared and families brought together by love and food. Characters busy at lace making, embroidering, cross-stitching display the crafts utilized to decorate the collection. The gold embroidery and floral tapestry stand out against the colorful majolica synonymous with Sicilian pottery”, it was said about the concept.

Swimming Toward Paradise

“…There is always somebody, when we come together, and the edges of meeting are still sharp, who refuses to be submerged; whose identity therefore one wishes to make crouch beneath one’s own…”

 

The Waves

Virginia Woolf

 
 

779px-Eakin's_art_studens_bathing_3Eakin’s Art Studens Bathing in Dove Lake,Philadelphia, 1883

 
 

Landscape sketch

 
 

Final sketch

 
 

The Swimming Hole (also known as Swimming and The Old Swimming Hole).

 
 

The young men float on their backs, their white bellies bulge to the sun, they do not ask who seizes fast to them,

They do not know who puffs and declines with pendant and bending arch,

They do not think whom they souse with spray.
 

Excerpt from Song of Myself

Walt Whitman

 
 

Before starting to paint The Swimming Hole (1884-85), Thomas Cowperthwaite Eakins took some photographs and made some studies, a very usual method for him. Eakins made the oil as a commission by Edward Hornor Coates, a Philadelphia businessman who chaired the Committee on Instruction at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where Eakins taught, but at the end of the day, he rejected to acquire the painting. As luck would have it, this is maybe his most famous piece of art, an American Arcadia.
 
In Swimming, Eakins depicts six male nude figures on and near an outcropping of rock at the edge of a remote lake, four of them on the rocky ledge itself, reminiscent of figures on a Greek pediment. Eakins is indeed shown swimming toward the outcropping to join the others–or, as New York magazine critic Mark Stevens‘s fanciful musing would have it, “swimming toward paradise from the darker edge.”
 
Like Stevens, Sanford Schwartz, a professor of English at Penn State, makes much–too much– of the naked male bodies in Swimming, calling the painting “a love song to male beauty” in which Eakins conveys “an ardent heroizing desire yet with no trace of lasciviousness.” The painting, in his view, “presents a sense of physical adoration” in which “an older man [Eakins] is seen swimming toward the men on or near the rocks,” giving it a “sexual and narrative tension.” “Being appreciated, at a particular instant, by a singular older man, these beautiful young swimmers become individuals themselves,” he asserts. The painting, Schwartz continues, does not “necessarily reveal that Eakins . . . harbored homosexual longings he couldn’t otherwise express,” and, in any case, “the painter’s actual sexual orientation . . . isn’t the issue.”

 
 

Ancestor:
 

Scene d’Été / Les Baigneurs (Summer Scene /Bathers). Frédéric Bazille, 1869.

It is not unlikely that Eakins saw the painting at the Salon while studying in Paris, and would have been sympathetic to its depiction of male bathers in a modern setting.

 
 

Successor:
 

Forty-two Kids. George Bellows, 1907

Mirror Stage Identity

Not to be Reproduced (La reproduction interdite), a portrait of Edward James by René Magritte, 1937

Note: The book on the mantel is a well-worn copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (written here in French as Les aventures d’Arthur Gordon Pym).

 
 

“Therefore I hate looking- glasses which show me my real face.
Alone, I often fall down into nothingness. I must push my foot stealthily lest I should fall off the edge of the world into nothingness…”

Virginia Woolf
The Waves

 
 

Dr. Heisenberg Magic Mirror, Duane Michals, 1998

 
 

“At any rate, the looking glass shame has lasted all my life, long after the tomboy phase was over. I cannot now powder my nose in public. Everything to do with dress- to be fitted, to come into a room wearing a new dress- still frightens me; at least it makes me feel shy, self-conscious, uncomfortable”

V.W. Diaries

 
 

(The source of that shame lied on the fact she was abused for her half-brother Gerald in front of a mirror)

 
 

“Let me add a dream; for it may refer to the incident of the looking-glass. I dreamt that I was looking in a glass when a horrible face –the face of an animal- suddenly showed over my shoulder. I cannot be sure if this was a dream, or if it happened. Was I looking in the glass one day when something in the background moved; and seemed to me alive? I cannot be sure. But I have always remembered the other face in the glass, whether it was a dream or a fact, and it frightened me.”

A Sketch of the Past
Virginia Woolf
(p. 69)

 
 

Bibliography:

The Unknown Virginia Woolf
Roger Poole

Where The Things Have No Name

Portrait of Pablo Neruda by Luis Xeiroto

 
 

“Before I loved you, Love, nothing was my own:

I wavered through the streets, among objects:

nothing mattered or had a name:

the world was made of air, which waited.”
 
SONNET XXV
Pablo Neruda

 
 

Illustration by John Tenniel

 
 

“This must be the wood,’ she said thoughtfully to herself, ‘where
things have no names. I wonder what’ll become of MY name when I go in?
I shouldn’t like to lose it at all–because they’d have to give me
another, and it would be almost certain to be an ugly one. But then
the fun would be trying to find the creature that had got my old
name! That’s just like the advertisements, you know, when people lose
dogs…”
 
Lewis Carroll. Through the Looking-Glass
CHAPTER III
Looking-Glass Insects

 
 

Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

 
 

“-I don’t know what to call you.

-I don’t have a name.

– Do you want to know mine?

– No, no! I don’t. I don’t want to know your name. You don’t have a name and I don’t have a name either. No one name.

-You’re crazy!

-Maybe I am, but I don’t want to know anything about you. I don’t wanna know where you live or where you come from. I wanna know nothing.

– You scare me.

– Nothing. You and I are gonna meet here without knowing anything that goes on outside here. OK?

-But why?

-Because… Because we don’t need names here. Don’t you see? We’re gonna forget… everything that we knew. Every… All the people,… all that we do,… wherever we live.

-We’re going to forget that, everything, everything.”
 
Dialogue between Paul (Marlon Brando) and Jeanne (Maria Schneider)

 
 

One Hundred Years of Solitude book cover by Ben Rothery- Penguin Design Awards 2011

 
 

“When Jose Arcadio Buendia realized that the plague had invaded the town, he gathered together the heads of families to explain to them what he knew about the sickness of insomnia, and they agreed on methods to prevent the scourge from spreading to other towns in the swamp. That was why they took the bells off the goats, bells that the Arabs had swapped them for macaws, and put them at the entrance to town at the disposal of those who would not listen to the advice and entreaties of the sentinels and insisted on visiting the town. All strangers who passed, through the streets of Macondo at that time had to ring their bells so that the sick people would know that they were healthy. They were not allowed to eat or drink anything during their stay, for there was no doubt but that the illness was transmitted by mouth, and all food and drink had been contaminated by insomnia. In that way they kept the plague restricted to the perimeter of the town. So effective was the quarantine that the day came when the emergency situation was accepted as a natural thing and life was organized in such a way that work picked up its rhythm again and no one worried any more about the useless habit of sleeping.

 
 

Illustration by Rodrigo Avilés

 
 

It was Aureliano who conceived the formula that was to protect them against loss of memory for several months. He discovered it by chance. An expert insomniac, having been one of the first, he had learned the art of silver work to perfection. One day he was looking for the small anvil that he used for laminating metals and he could not remember its name. His father told him: “Stake.” Aureliano wrote the name on a piece of paper that he pasted to the base of the small anvil: stake. In that way he was sure of not forgetting it in the future. It did not occur to him that this was the first manifestation of a loss of memory, because the object had a difficult name to remember. But a few days later he discovered that he had trouble remembering almost every object in the laboratory. Then he marked them with their respective names so that all he had to do was read the inscription in order to identify them. When his father told him about his alarm at having forgotten even the most impressive happenings of his childhood, Aureliano explained his method to him, and Jose Arcadio Buendia put it into practice all through the house and later on imposed it on the whole village. With an inked brush he marked everything with its name: table, chair; clock, door; wall, bed, pan. He went to the corral and marked the animals and plants: cow, goat, pig, hen, cassava, caladium, banana. Little by little, studying the infinite possibilities of a loss of memory, he realized that the day might come when things would be recognized by their inscriptions but that no one would remember their use. Then he was more explicit. The sign that he hung on the neck of the cow was an exemplary proof of the way in which the inhabitants of Macondo were prepared to fight against loss of memory: This is the cow. She must be milked every morning so that she will produce milk, and the milk must be boiled in order to be mixed with coffee to make coffee and milk. Thus they went on living in a reality that was slipping away, momentarily captured by words, but which would escape irremediably when they forgot the values of the written letters.”
 
Fragment taken from One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez

 
 

 

Love Lasts Forever

Love Lasts Forever, Maurizio Cattelan (1999)

 
 

cattelan1b cattelan1aThe first, they said, should be sweet like love; the second bitter, like life; and the third soft, like death, Maurizio Cattelan, 1998

 
 

Real love is everlasting. Or it should be. I think that’s the moral of Brothers Grimm fairy tales, even in Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten (Town Musicians of Bremen), which, according to Aarne Thompson’s classification is a folktale of type 130: “outcast animals find a new home”

Four farm animals; a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster realize that their respective masters are mistreating them because their days of usefulness at their farms are over. They each decide to leave their homes and begin an odyssey. They plan to travel to Bremen, a city known for its freedom of spirit, and start a brand new life as musicians.

They are not afraid of leaving home. “Something better than death we can find anywhere”. With that motto in mind the journey begins and as the story goes the friendship bonds between the animals become stronger and keep them tied forever and ever. They never make it to Bremen, actually, but as Aesop (by all accounts) remarked in his fable The Four Oxen and the Lion, they learned that “United we stand, divided we fall.”

 
 

Town Musicians of Bremen has been illustrated by George Cruikshank (1823), Walter Crane (1886), Paul Meyerheim (1889), Otto Ubbelohde (1907).

Real Love

For my dear π

Other music videos directed by Kevin Godley:

Don’t look back (Fine Young Canibals, 1989)
Can’t stop this thing we started, All I want is you, Thought I’d died and gone to heaven (Bryan Adams, 1991)
Even better than the real thing (U2, 1991)
I’ve got you under my skin (Frank Sinatra and Bono, 1993)
Numb (U2, 1993)
Fields of Gold (Sting, 1993)
Hold me, thrill me, kiss me… (U2, 1995)
My father’s eyes (Eric Clapton, 1998)
The sweetest thing (U2, 1998)
Run back into your arms (Rod Stewart, 2000)
Is it any wonder (Keane, 2006)

A Short Diversion

Photos: Astrid Kirchherr

 
 


A SHORT DIVERSION ON THE DUBIOUS ORIGINS OF BEATLES

(Translated From The John Lennon)

Mersey Beat, July 6th, 1961. Page 2 of issue No. 1.

Once upon a time there were three little boys called John, George and Paul, by name christened. They decided to get together because they were getting together type. When there were together they wondered what for after all, what for? So all of a sudden they grew guitars and fashioned noise. Funnily enough, no one was interested, least of all the three little men. So-o-o-o on discovering a fourth little even little man called Stuart Sutcliffe running about them they said, quite “Sonny get a bass guitar and you will be alright” and he did – but he wasn’t alright because he couldn’t play it. So they sat on him with comfort ‘til he could play. Still there was no beat, and a kindly old man said, quote “Thou hast not drums!” We had no drums! they coffed. So a series of drums came and went and came.

Suddenly, in Scotland, touring with Johnny Gentle, the group (called the Beatles called) discovered they had not a very nice sound – because they had no amplifiers. They got some.

Many people ask what are Beatles? Why Beatles? Ugh, Beatles, how did the name arrive? So we will tell you. It came in a vision – a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them “From this day on you are Beatles with an “A”. Thank you, mister man, they said, thanking him.

And then a man with a beard cut off said – will you go to Germany (Hamburg) and play mighty rock for peasants for money? And we said we would play mighty anything for money.

But before we could go we had to grow a drummer, so we grew one in West Derby in a club called Some Casbah and his trouble was Pete Best. We called “Hello Pete, come off to Germany” “Yes!” Zooooom. After a few months, Pete and Paul (who is called McArtrey, son of Jim McArtrey, his father) lit a Kino (cinema) and the German police said “Bad Beatles”, you must go home and light your English cinemas”. Zooooom, half a group. But before even this, the Gestapo had taken my friend little George Harrison (of Speke) away because he was only twelve and too young to vote in Germany; but after two months in England he grew eighteen and the Gestapoes said “you can come”. So suddenly all back in Liverpool Village were many groups playing in grey suits and Jim said “Why have you no grey suits?” “We don’t like them, Jim” we said, speaking to Jim.

After playing in the clubs a bit, everyone said “Go to Germany. So we are. Zooooom Stuart gone. Zooooom John (of Wolton) George (of Speke) Peter and Paul zoom zoom. All of them gone. Thank you club members from John and George (what are friends).

Come Together

The Beatles crossing Abbey Road from another angle

 
 

Fragment of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover. Although Let it Be was released afterwards, Abbey Road was actually the last album recorded by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

 
 

abbeyroad_mix1

The Fab Four taking a break. The album opener Come Together was a Lennon contribution. The chorus was inspired by a song Lennon originally wrote for Timothy Leary’s campaign for governor of California titled Let’s Get It Together.

 
 

English tailor Tommy Nutter designed the suits worn by John, Ringo and Paul.

 
 

In one of the firsts outtakes they were walking in the opposite side of the street

 
 

That August 8th 1969 only six shots were taken for the cover of the album

 
 

The front cover design, a photograph of the group traversing a zebra crossing, was based on sketched ideas by McCartney and taken outside EMI Studios on Abbey Road. At around 11:30 that morning, photographer Iain Macmillan was given only ten minutes to take the photo whilst he stood on a step-ladder and a policeman held up the traffic

 
 

McMillan revisited the scene for the front cover of Paul is Live (1993)

 
 

(1988)

 
 

Still from Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996)

 
 

Drawing by Al Hirshfeld

 
 

The Simpsons

 
 

Antwerp Six. From left: Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Walter Van Beirendonck y Dirk Bikkembergs.

 
 

Halston with his collaborators. New York, August 22, 1968. From left: Halston,Frances Stein, Joel Schumacher and Joanne Creveling. Photo: Sal Traina.

 
 

Still from Imagine Dragons’ On Top of the World music video (Matt Eastin and Corey Fox, 2013).

Freewheelin’ Romance

Bob Dylan & Suze Rotolo in a color image from the iconic photo session for Bob’s second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

 
 

Album cover artwork. This iconic image shows Bob & his girlfriend Suze Rotolo walking down a cold and slushy Greenwich Village street. This groundbreaking album – his second – released in May 1963, includes such Dylan penned classics as Blowin’ in the Wind, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Girl from the North Country, Masters of War, and Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.

 
 

Black and white version

 
 

In this rare outtake from the photo sessions for the cover of “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” Don Hunstein uses the banisters on the stoop of Dylan’s then-apartment on Greenwich Village’s West 4th Street to visually frame the singer and his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, during a winter’s twilight stroll in February 1963.

 
 

Bob Dylan & Suze Rotolo sharing a cold & funny moment during The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan February photo shoot, NYC, 1963

 
 

Bob Dylan & Suze Rotolo at their West 4th Street Greenwich Village home. After six months of living with Dylan, Rotolo agreed to her mother’s proposal that she travel to Italy to study art. Dylan missed her and wrote long letters to her conveying his hope that she would return soon to New York. She postponed her return several times, finally coming back in January 1963. Critics have connected the intense love songs expressing longing and loss on Freewheelin’ to Dylan’s fraught relationship with Rotolo.

 

Photos courtesy of Hotel Morrison Gallery

Peter Gabriel: From Genesis to Revelation

I’m posting various photo portraits, out of chronological order, depicting Peter Gabriel’s trajectory during and after his collaboration with Genesis. Whether wearing “civilian clothes,” costumes and make-up drawn from nature (wolf, flower, bat), comics (The Hulk) or those which came from an intergalactic fantasy, professionally Peter Gabriel was born this way.

 
 

In the beginning

 
 

Photo-shoot by Mick Rock, 1973

 
 

First appearance of Gabriel ‘in costume’. It was the dress-wearing, fox-headed entity immortalized on the cover of Foxtrot. The performance was a success, and it encouraged Gabriel to continue wearing creative costumes while singing

 
 

Watcher of the Skies is the first track on Genesis’ 1972 album Foxtrot. The title is borrowed from John Keats’ 1817 poem On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer. During performances, Peter Gabriel wore bat wings on the side of his head, glowing UV make-up around his eyes, and a multicolored cape.

 
 

Costume Britannia for The Moonlit Knight (1974) a song from the album Selling England by the Pound.

 
 

Like a flower

 
 

Magog, worn for Supper’s Ready, from the album Foxtrot

 
 

The Old Man

 
 

The Slipperman

 
 

Rael, the protagonist of the album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

 
 

Still of Shock the Monkey (Dean Karr, 1982) music video

 
 

In company of Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Cindy Lauper, and Rosanna Arquette

 
 

Storm Thorgerson designing Peter Gabriel’s third solo album, commonly known as Melt

 
 

So (1986). Sleeve design by Peter Saville

 
 

Soundtrack album of The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988)

 
 

Us (1992)

 
 

Ovo (2000)

 
 

Scratch my back (2010).

 
 

New Blood (2011)