Friday, December 30, 2011

Your Move Pussy

The fur very nice and greasy here--though in one of those oddities of chromolithography, the cat seems to be in black and white and everything else in color.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Don't Forget Me

Okay, I won't.

A Few More Drag Kings

Some more images on the theme addressed in my last post. . . .

Christmas, in case you wondered: a chocolate egg, orange-flavored.

Click any image to enlarge

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Us Again

A tiny, so-called 'gem' tintype. Feminist art history types will perhaps be familiar with the late 19th-century American photo-grapher Alice Austen: she left a number of amusing amateur portraits of herself and various female friends in drag. Most of the photos were taken on Staten Island, where she lived and worked; Austen's house is now a historic landmark.

If my own experience collecting anonymous photographs is anything to go by, however, such gender-bent portraits were not as rare as one might have thought. I have at least twenty photos and tintypes of male impersonators--butches galore, in fact. One is tempted to declare the Victorian drag-king photo a topos or commonplace in late 19th-century vernacular photography. Euphoria optional.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Forties Snow

Deaccessioned from a Chicago newspaper archive. Slow burn, colored sleet--by me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Yet Another Eye Patch

Wotan--or just a jolly stage brigand? This slightly faded vintage photograph has an embossed label at the bottom reading "J. Souhrada." Photographer? studio?

And what an odd object the man holds in his leather-gloved hands. The girls, bye the bye, look ready for pretty much anything. Traviata, Girl of the Golden West.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tatiana Troyanis (1938-1993)

One of the cavalcade of great female singers who died brutally young: Maria Malibran, Conchita Supervia, Kathleen Ferrier, Lucia Popp, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson... Even Callas too, in a way.

I saw Troyanis in one of her final performances at the San Francisco Opera: as the Countess in Strauss's Capriccio. She wore the most gorgeous dress: diaphanous, flowing, rainbow-tinted, rococo. The costume designer was Gianni Versace--likewise very soon to die. I don't know the name, unfortunately, of the photographer who took this extraordinary publicity photograph.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Tiki Hut Theme

...for today. I'm still on Oahu, in that strange place known as Resortland. An extraordinarily arduous hike today culminating in a steep and wildly slippery descent into the Waimea Bay South Valley. A man in our party was unable to stay on his feet, and so went down more or less through the jungle muck on his rump. White shorts gone the color of the Hawaiian red dirt, the sort used to make the famous tee shirts. Luckily, we didn't have to do this challenging trek on ice skates.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Brave USN Boys

Unplanned coincidence: awoke this morning in Honolulu. The 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor; somber flyovers; the dipping flags from passing ships; speeches by Japanese dignitaries; ancient men slowly rising to salute. Thoughts of my dear late stepfather Turk: teenage submariner in the last months of the Pacific war. He was here a lot ('Pearl') during his 30-year career as a Navy chief. Remembering his funeral, the 7-gun salute, the folded flag and spent bullet casings.

Monday, December 5, 2011

People In Threes

Sailor suits and Chekhov on the prairies; bow tie sprung loose and now I'm finally relaxed; playtime ukelele and cigarettes and a stretchy 40s sweater-top.