The Accomplish’d Sofa

“Necessity invented stools, Convenience next suggested elbow-chairs, And Luxury the accomplish’d Sofa last.”

William Cowper
The Task (1875)

 
 

Lisa Fonssagrives seated on Lips sofa (designed by Salvador Dali, and inspired by Mae West’s lips) photo by George Platt Lynes, 1937

Advertisements

I Saw It First

“That guy merely makes it easy for me. Now I don’t have to draw ’em any blueprints…We are both in the same business…Except I saw it first.”

Mae West
An Open Letter to Dr. Kinsey from Mae West
Cosmopolitan, March 1949

 
 

Nightclub Singer Julie Wilson reading the Kinsey Report at the Mocambo Club (Hollywood, California). November, 1948. Photo by Peter Stackpole

Crumbs Off a Master’s Table

The Genealogy of Style

Robert Crumb’s Self-portrait


Walt Kelly


Popeye, The Sailor(1933)


Uncle Scrooge


Harvey Kurtzman’s comic


Sometimes it’s hard to believe that Robert Crumb, being as irreverent as he is, made his first sketches imitating the candid contours taken from animated characters created by E. C. Seglar (Popeye), Walt Kelly (Pogo), Carl Barks (Donald Duck) and many more artists from the same batch. What better source for a young boy, whose only amusement and motivation relies on comic books and nothing else?


Crumb brothers


This delight was fomented by Robert Crumb’s older brother, Charles. But it was Robert, who, on a most uncommon occasion, asserted his authority on Charles and pressed him to point toward a new direction. Eventually, Robert, Charles and Maxon (the younger brother who is also a talented illustrator) drew scenes from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. The Crumb brothers’…

View original post 1,378 more words

The Male Nudes

“The depth and commitment he had in photographing the male nude, from the start of his career to the end, was astonishing. There was absolutely no commercial impulse involved — he couldn’t exhibit it, he couldn’t publish it.”

Allen Ellenzweig, art and photography critic who wrote the introduction to George Platt Lynes: The Male Nudes, published in 2011 by Rizzoli.

 
 

7d11e1d6a86

 
 

During his lifetime, George Platt Lynes amassed a substantial body of work involving nude and homoerotic photography. In the 1930s, he began taking nudes of friends, performers and models, including a young Yul Brynner, and author Tennessee Williams although these remained private, unknown and unpublished for years. Over the following two decades, Lynes continued his work in this area passionately, albeit privately. In the late 1940s, Lynes became acquainted with Dr. Alfred Kinsey and his Institute in Bloomington, Indiana. Kinsey took an interest in Lynes work, as he was researching homosexuality in America at the time.

By May 1955, when Lynes had been diagnosed terminally ill with lung cancer, he closed his studio and destroyed much of his print and negative archives, particularly his male nudes. However, it is now known that he had transferred many of these works to the Kinsey Institute. “He clearly was concerned that this work, which he considered his greatest achievement as a photographer, should not be dispersed or destroyed…We have to remember the time period we’re talking about—America during the post-war Red Scare…” The body of work residing at the Kinsey Institute remained largely unknown until it was made public and published in 2011. The Kinsey collection represents one of the largest single collections of Lynes’s work.

Display of Brilliant Friends

Self-portraits

 
 

George Platt Lynes was an American fashion and commercial photographer. Born in East Orange, New Jersey to Adelaide (Sparkman) and Joseph Russell Lynes he spent his childhood in New Jersey but attended the Berkshire School in Massachusetts. He was sent to Paris in 1925 with the idea of better preparing him for college. His life was forever changed by the circle of friends that he would meet there. Gertrude Stein, Glenway Wescott, Monroe Wheeler and those that he met through them opened an entirely new world to the young artist.

He returned to the United States with the idea of a literary career and he even opened a bookstore in Englewood, New Jersey in 1927. He first became interested in photography not with the idea of a career, but to take photographs of his friends and display them in his bookstore.

Returning to France the next year in the company of Wescott and Wheeler, he traveled around Europe for the next several years, always with his camera at hand. He developed close friendships within a larger circle of artists including Jean Cocteau and Julien Levy, the art dealer and critic. Levy would exhibit his photographs in his gallery in New York City in 1932 and Lynes would open his studio there that same year.

By 1946, he grew disillusioned with New York and left for Hollywood, where he became chief photographer for the Vogue studios. He photographed Katharine Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, Gloria Swanson and Orson Welles, from the film industry, as well as others in the arts among them Aldous Huxley, Igor Stravinsky, and Thomas Mann. While a success artistically, it was a financial failure.

By May of 1955 he had been diagnosed terminally ill with lung cancer. He closed his studio. He destroyed much of his print and negative archives particularly his male nudes. After a final trip to Europe, Lynes returned to New York City where he died in December 1955. He was just 48.

 
 

Dorothy Parker

 
 

Jean Cocteau

 
 

Gloria Swanson

 
 

Christopher Isherwood

 
 

Yul Brynner

 
 

Tennessee Williams

 
 

Paul Cadmus

 
 

Henri Cartier-Bresson

 
 

Alfred Kinsey

 
 

Salvador Dalí

Man Against Man

 
 

Mann gegen Mann (Man against Man) is a song from the German band Rammstein. This song was released in March of 2006, and was the third and final single from Rammstein’s album, Rosenrot. The song portrays a man with strong, repressed homosexual desires, and it is the first Rammstein music video to have nudity since the music video for their cover of Depeche Mode‘s Stripped, and it is the second track on Rosenrot. Mecano‘s Mujer contra mujer (Woman against woman) was a source of inspiration for Rammstein.

 
 

Destiny smiled on me
and gave me a present
Threw me on a warm star [1]
So close to the skin, so far from the eye
I take my destiny in my own hands
My desire is manned

Where the fresh water dies
because it taints itself in salt
I keep the Little Prince in mind
A king without a queen
When a woman is mistaken about me
then the bright world is confused

Man against man
My skin belongs to the gentlemen
Man against man
Birds of a feather flock together
Man against man
I am the servant of two masters
Man against man
Birds of a feather flock together

I am the corner of all rooms
I am the shadow of all trees
No link is missing in my chain [2]
when lust pulls from behind
My family calls me a traitor [3]
I am the nightmare of all fathers

Man against man
My skin belongs to the gentlemen
Man against man
Birds of a feather flock together

Man against man
But my heart freezes on some days
Man against man
Cold tongues that beat there

Gay-ah [4]

I’m not interested in balance
The sun shines in my face
But my heart freezes on some days
Cold tongues that beat there

Gay-ah
Man gayfor man [5]

 
 

[1] “Warm” means the same as the English word “warm”, but also is slang for “homosexual”. Thus, the star is either warm or gay, or both.

[2] “Glied” can mean both “link” (of a chain) and “member” – that is, “penis”.

[3] “Geschlecht” can mean many things: “sex”, “gender”, “family”, “house”, “generation”, etc. It can also be short for “Geschlechtsteil” which means “genitals”.

[4] The screaming (“Ah”) has been combined with “Schwuler” to make “Schwulah”. That, or it’s similar to “playa” as opposed to “player”, just changing the ending to sound “hip”.

[5] Gegen and “gay gen” sound the same. The former means “against”, the latter “gay for”.

 
 

To watch the music video, please take a gander at The Genealogy of Style’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Genealogy-of-Style/597542157001228?ref=hl