Seated with Flowers

Photographer Unknown, (Seated with Flowers)

“I ran into pagodas, and was fixed for centuries at the summit or in secret rooms: I was the idol; I was the priest; I was worshipped; I was sacrificed. I fled from the wrath of Brama through all the forests of Asia: Vishnu hated me: Seeva laid wait for me. I came suddenly upon Isis and Osiris: I had done a deed, they said, which the ibis and the crocodile trembled at. I was buried for a thousand years in stone coffins, with mummies and sphinxes, in narrow chambers at the heart of eternal pyramids. I was kissed, with cancerous kisses, by crocodiles; and laid, confounded with all unutterable slimy things, amongst reeds and Nilotic mud.”

Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater

 

Ram Shergill, “Aaran Sly”

Ram Shergill, “Aaran Sly”, Photo Shoot Entitled ‘The Proust Ball’

British-born Indian fashion photographer Ram Shergill was severely visually impaired as a child. After having his eyesight corrected, he discovered the work of artists such as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, and Irving, whom he credits as important inspirations and whose influence can be seen in his works. Shergill often uses the iconic images of previous fashion photographers and Old Master painters as inspirational starting points for his images, transforming them to create new effects for his contemporary models and settings. 

During his studies, Shergill initially worked with Philip Treacy on a project and, as a result, starting to work with Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen, becoming a force within the fashion and art world himself. Shergill has became one of the key imagists of the avant-garde ‘Cool Britannia’ fashion scene and one of Britain’s leading fashion photographers and has since progressed into fine art photography.

Ram Shergill often designs his fashion and art photography toward the Indian Subcontinent, a region. often overlooked, with which he maintains a strong relationship. His works often show models exploring the culture and landscape of India’s culturally diverse provinces. A selection of his work of singer songwriter Amy Winehouse has been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery and are now part of the permanent Collection alongside artists such as David Hockney and Cecil Beaton.

Ram Sergill’s image above shows English model Aaran Sky in a setting with an atmospheric reminiscence of the Proust Ball. This gala occasion was considered socialite Marie-Helene de Rothschild’s greatest triumph, a 1971 ball thrown in honor of the 100th anniversary of Marcel Proust’s birth. Around 350 guests attended the extremely rich dinner at Château de Ferrières, her home outside of Paris, with 350 more guests arriving in time for a second, later dinner. Among the guests were Princess Grace of Monaco, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and French model and actress Marisa Berenson. The photographer for the event was the renowned Cecil Beaton.

Ram Sergill’s website is located at: https://www.ramshergill.com

Olivia de Havilland

Scotty Welbourne, “Olivia de Havilland”, 1935, Publicity Shoot, Silver Gelatin Print

Born in July of 1906 in Tokyo, Japan, Olivia de Havilland was an American motion-picture star remembered both for the lovely, gentle roles of her early career and the later, more substantial roles she secured. With a cinematic career spanning from 1935 to 1988, she appeared in forty-nine feature films, becoming one of the leading actresses of her time.

Olivia de Havilland moved, along with her mother and younger sister Joan Fontaine, to California in 1919, settling in the village of Saratoga. After graduating from high school in 1934, she attended Mills College in Oakland, hoping to pursue a career as a teacher. De Havilland was chosen from the cast of a community theater production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by director Max Reinhardt to be first the understudy, and then the star of his theater production of the play. 

Impressed by her performance, Reinhardt offered Olivia de Havilland the same role of Hermia in his upcoming Warner Brothers film version of the stage production. She signed a five-year contract with Warner Brothers in November of 1934, beginning her  professional acting career. De Havilland appeared in many costume adventure movies with then little-known actor Errol Flynn in the 1930s and 1940s. Their first film together was the 1935 “Captain Blood”, the success of which resulted in four Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture. 

De Havilland appeared in Mervyn LeRoy’s 1938 historical drama “Anthony Adverse” playing the role of peasant girl Angela opposite actor Fredric March. The film earned six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, giving de Havilland good exposure and a chance to renegotiate her contract with Warner Brothers for a seven year term with higher salary.

De Havilland worked again with Errol Flynn in the 1938 “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and the 1939 Technicolor western, her first, entitled “Dodge City”. In early 1939, De Havilland exerted her influence to get the role of Melanie Wilkes/Hamilton in the upcoming  David O’Selznick film “Gone with the Wind”, giving her the opportunity to play a substantial role she understood, and resulting in her first nomination for Best Supporting Actress. 

Winning a precedent-setting case in 1945 against Warner Brothers Studios, Olivia de Havillland was released for a six-month penalty obligation added onto her contract. The result of extending greater creative freedom to performers enabled her to take more challenging roles. She gave an Academy Award-winning performance as an unwed mother in the 1946 “To Each His Own”, played twin sisters in the 1946 psychological thriller “The Dark Mirror”, and won an Academy Award nomination for her role as a psychiatric ward patient in the 1948 “The Snake Pit”. 

Olivia de Havilland was the recipient of numerous honors: the American National Medal of Arts in 2008, an appointment as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 2010 in France, and was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2017, shorty before her 101st birthday. Olivia de Havilland passed away peacefully of natural causes on July 26, 2020, at her residence in Paris, France.

L’Horloge du Musée

Photographer Unknown, Gold-Framed Interior Clock, Atrium of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France

On the eve of the 1900 World Fair, the French government ceded land to the Orleans railroad company, who, disadvantaged by the remote location of the Gare d’Austerlitz, planned to build a more central terminus station on the site of the ruined Palais d’Orsay. In 1897, the company consulted three architects: Lucien Magne, Emile Bénard and Victor Laloux. The project was a challenging one due to the vicinity of the Louvre and the Palais de la Légion d’honneur: the new station needed to be perfectly integrated into its elegant surroundings. Victor Laloux, who had just completed the Hôtel de Ville in Tours, was chosen as winner of the competition in 1898.

The station and hotel, built within two years, were inaugurated for the World Fair on July 14th, 1900. Laloux chose to mask the modern metallic structures with the façade of the hotel, which, built in the academic style using finely cut stone from the regions of Charente and Poitou, successfully blended in with its noble neighbours. Inside, all the modern techniques were used: ramps and lifts for luggage, elevators for passengers, sixteen underground railtracks, reception services on the ground floor, and electric traction. The open porch and lobby continued into the great hall which was 32 metres high, 40 metres wide and 138 metres long.

From 1900 to 1939, the Gare d’Orsay was the head of the southwestern French railroad network. The hotel received numerous travellers in addition to welcoming associations and political parties for their banquets and meetings. However, after 1939, the station was to serve only the suburbs, as its platforms had become too short for the modern, longer trains that appeared with the progressive electrification of the railroads.

The Gare d’Orsay then successively served different purposes : it was used as a mailing centre for sending packages to prisoners of war during the Second World War, then those same prisoners were welcomed there on their returning home after the Liberation. It was then used as a set for several films, such as Kafka’s “The Trial” adapted by Orson Welles, and as a haven for the Renaud-Barrault Theatre Company and for auctioneers, while the Hôtel Drouot was being rebuilt.

The hotel closed its doors on January 1st, 1973, not without having played a historic role: the General de Gaulle held the press conference announcing his return to power in its ballroom (the Salle des Fêtes).

In 1975, the Direction des Musées de France already considered installing a new museum in the train station, in which all of the arts from the second half of the 19th century would be represented. The station, threatened with destruction and replacement by a large modern hotel complex, benefitted instead from the revival of interest in nineteenth-century architecture and was listed on the Supplementary Inventory of Historical Monuments on March 8, 1973. The official decision to build the Musée d’Orsay was taken during the interministerial council of October 20, 1977, on President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s initiative. The building was classified a Historical Monument in 1978 and a civil commission was created to oversee the construction and organisation of the museum. The President of the Republic, François Mitterrand, inaugurated the new museum on December 1st, 1986, and it opened to the public on December 9th.

Henry Jasper Redfern

Henry Jasper Redfern, Untitled, (British Athlete), Early 1900s, Silver Gelatin Print

Henry Jasper Redfern was a British optician, photographer, filmmaker, and an x-ray and radiographic pioneer. Born in Sheffield, England, in 1871, he operated a photographic studio and sold cameras and other optical goods such as opera glasses. Redfern also worked as an optician in Sheffield, offering photographic lessens as a side line. In 1898, he became an agent for Lumière’s Cinématographe in England, holding demonstration exhibitions for the Lumière company.

In 1894, Redfern, teaming with photographer and cinema projectionist Fred Holmes, presented film and x-ray demonstrations with a Kineopticon, a recently patented projector that was becoming popular. In 1898, Redfern secured an exclusive contract in England for the right to tour the groundbreaking, first feature film of the Corbett-Fitzsimmons boxing match of 1897. This, along with a number of high profile films of local sports events, marked a step towards the headline feature as an event in itself, and with a view towards securing return audiences week after week.

Frustrated by the limitations of the music hall circuit and having thoroughly exhausted many of the non-theatrical spaces in and around Sheffield, Redfern struck into new territory in 1904 by pitching his own theatre on a beach outside Southend. With deckchairs for stalls, and a tent to cover the rafters Redfern, with the assistance of Holmes, brought his own programme of film and variety performers to the seaside resort for the summer. The venture successfully addressed a niche in the still open market, yet the concerns of the local licensing authorities over the non-permanent structure ultimately made this a short-term venture and it ran for two seasons.

During the first World War Redfern was called to serve as a field radiologist  and eventually was assigned to the 2nd Western General Hospital in the clinical staff. In 1914, he enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps with the much needed skill as a radiographer, particularly during wartime. The small x-ray department at the hospital was called upon to use the new technology of x-rays for diagnostic and therapeutic studies. 

Jasper Redfern, a pioneer in the field, accepted the call to serve his fellow wounded soldiers. He became a martyr by performing radiographs and paid the price by losing all of his fingers from the radiation exposure. In 1928, Redfern died of cancer, probably due to his heroic efforts and prolonged exposure to radiation from x-rays.

Manuel Estheim

Photography by Manuel Estheim

Born in 1992, Manuel Estheim is figurative photographer currently based in Linz, located on the Danube in northern Austria. He received his BA in Graphic Design and Photography from the University of Art and Design in Linz in 2015. Three years later, Estheim earned his MA in Visual Communication from the same university.

In his work, Estheim deals with such topics as identity, intimacy, gender, the construction of sexuality, and the connection of the ‘self’ with nature. He treats the human body as a sculptural object in the expressive and personal medium of photography, placing his nude subjects in serene, natural settings or in rooms with soft, carefully positioned lighting. 

Going back to one’s roots is a prevailing concept in Estheim’s work, within which he draws a thin line between the concepts of man, animal, and even object. He presents the natural world as the real root of our existence, with all its inhabitants being of the same inherent qualities. Put in Estheim’s soft interiors and serene settings, his subjects seem to exist in a space of their own making, using their time to explore the personal relationship with body and ‘self’.

Manuel Estheim has exhibited his work at the 2017 Sony World Photography Exhibition at Somerset House in London, the 2016  Fotografie Trifft Architektur Exhibition in Linz, the Museum of Preception MUWA in Vienna in 2015 , and at the “Facades: Neo-Noir Portraits, Parallel Planets” exhibition in Singapore in 2015. His work also has appeared in both print and online publications.

Alan D. Rogers, “Zion Tobias”

Alan D. Rogers, “Zion Tobias”

New York-born Alan D Rogers is a fashion-style portrait photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia. His initial project with photography was the documentation of a concert series performed by singer and songwriter Janelle Monáe. Rogers’ work now includes portraits in the genres of stage and screen arts and music, modeling, and commercial print work. His website is https://www.alexdrogers.studio.

The image of Philadelphia musical artist Zion Tobias by Alan D Rogers was reblogged with thanks to https://thouartadeadthing.tumblr.com.

Zion Tobias’ Soundcloud site is https://soundcloud.com/ziontabias

Alan Spazzali

Photography by Alan Spazzali

Born in Trieste, Italy, Alan Spazzali is a photographer with Dutch citizenship. He graduated with a Bachelors Degree from the Ecole Nationale Superieur des Beaux-Arts and the Ecole des Arts Decoratief in Paris. Spazzali’s post-graduate work was done at the Rietveld Modern Art Academy located in Amsterdam.

Inspired by the work of surrealist artist Max Ernst and the minimalist style of Joan Mirö, Spazzail, a private person by inclination,  constructs his work using various mediums to present a personal and symbolic narrative to his images. His work has been exhibited at the Biennale of Modern Art in Buenos Aires, the Biennale Lorenzo in Florence, and the Biennale Sao Paulo in Brazil. 

Ramón Novarro: 1925 Ben-Hur

Photographers Unknown, “Ramón Novarro”,  Vintage Photographic Cards, 1925 “Ben-Hur”, Ross Verlag Company

Ramón Novarro was Ben-Hur to moviegoers long before Charlton Heston appeared in the role. The 1925 film of author Lew Wallace’s epic novel made Novarro one of Hollywood’s most beloved silent film idols. His impressive and varied career spanned silent films, the ‘talkies’, the concert stage, theater, and television.. 

Ross Verlag was first known as the ‘Ross Bromsilber Vertriebs’ company , a seller and distributor of photographic postcards located in Berlin. The company later became the publisher as well. The familiar ‘Ross Verlag’ logo first appeared in the early 1920s. On the front of the cards were the words ‘Verlag “Ross” Berlin SW 68’. (Verlag: publishing company; “Ross”: company name; Berlin SW 68: southwest Berlin with the area code). 

Usually a set of cards of one or more actors would be from the same film or photographer. Some of the film-scene sets would contain twenty cards; but generally most series would have fewer. In 1941 there was a name change by the company to “Film-Foto-Verlag”, which remained until the cessation of its card publishing in 1944.

The Mystery Comes Through

Photographer Unknown, (The Mystery Comes Through), Photo Shoot

“Myth basically serves four functions. The first is the mystical function,… realizing what a wonder the universe is, and what a wonder you are, and experiencing awe before this mystery….The second is a cosmological dimension, the dimension with which science is concerned – showing you what shape the universe is, but showing it in such a way that the mystery again comes through…. The third function is the sociological one – supporting and validating a certain social order…. It is the sociological function of myth that has taken over in our world – and it is out of date…. But there is a fourth function of myth, and this is the one that I think everyone must try today to relate to – and that is the pedagogical function, of how to live a human lifetime under any circumstances.”

—Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

Domenico Cinnamon

Domenico Cennamo, “Ragazzo in Rosso”, 2019, Giclée Print, Edition of 12, 65 x 43.5 cm

Domenico Cennamo is a fashion and portrait photographer.

The artist’s website is ;   http://www.domenicocennamo.com

A great site for purchasing queer and gay photographic art images, including those of Domenico Cennamo, can be found at : https://boysboysboys.org

Image reblogged with many thanks to: https://doctordee.tumblr.com

Andreas Feininger

Andreas Feininger, “Dragon Fly Wing”, 1937, Photogram

Andreas Feininger, born in 1906, is the oldest son of famous painter Lyonel Feininger, and belongs to a generation of artists who, following the First World War, discovered photography anew and developed novel photographic approaches. Andreas Feininger’s lifework has been defined by two main thematic areas: cityscapes and nature studies. The architecture and life in his adopted hometown, New York, have captured imaginations for decades. And again and again, Feininger captured the poetry of the Manhattan skyline, its urban canyons, its skyscrapers, its bridges and elevated trains in images rich with atmosphere. With equal enthusiasm he also dedicated himself to nature photography. His images, which capture in minute detail insects, flowers, mussels, wood, and stone, bestow an almost sculptural character upon natural forms.

Andreas Feininger died on February 18th, 1999 at the age of 92 in New York. He lived for photography and is remembered as one of the most significant artists in the history of photography.

Note: A photogram is a photographic image made without a camera by placing objects directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material such as photographic paper and then exposing it to light. The usual result is a negative shadow image that shows variations in tone that depends upon the transparency of the objects used. Areas of the paper that have received no light appear white; those exposed for a shorter time or through transparent or semi-transparent objects appear grey, while fully-exposed areas are black in the final print.

Robert Flynt

Photography by Robert Flynt

Beginning in the mid-1980s, New York–based artist and photographer Robert Flynt shot clothed and nude figures, primarily male, underwater. By employing a variety of specialized (then analog) printing techniques, including multiple exposure, his nudes summon feelings of loss or the rapturous movement of sexual encounter. Flynt’s work reconsiders traditional notions of beauty by entering unfamiliar depths that foster sensual immersion in the viewer. His poetic images provide a new context for viewing the human form in relation to other bodies, space, and history. 

“We look to (and at) images to find information: practical, aesthetic, erotic, and points between or overlapping. We are often seduced; we believe the photograph’s illusory diorama of a point in time, the diagram or chart’s authoritative organization of fact. My primary concern is to re-imagine the human body – in relation to its own assumed/perceived structure, as well as to “others” (other bodies, spaces, systems). In my montage based work, each image is the intersection of two layers: one a figure photographed with limited control (underwater or in a pitch dark studio), the other a found photograph or textbook illustration. In combining two often contradictory vocabularies, I aim to subvert their ostensible subject while harnessing their respective power(s).”

 -Robert Flynt

Dimosthenis Gallis

Dimosthenis Gallis, “To the Lascivious Impulses of My Blood”, Giclée Print on Watercolor Paper, 40 x 27 cm

A self=taught artist Dimosthenis Gallis was born in Athens, Greece, in 1967. He has been studying and exploring the techniques of photography since 1990. Gallis’ love of the Renaissance and the Romantic art movement of the 1800s greatly influences his painterly style of photography. His specialty is staged photography with narrative digital compositions.

Gallis’ photography are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Greek Folk Art, the American College of Greece, the Corfu Heritage Foundation, the Athens Municipal Gallery, as well as in private collections. His work has shown in solo exhibitions at the Eos Gallery and the Aggelon Vima, both in Athens. Gallis has also participated in multiple group exhibitions, including the 2010 “Conversations in Black and White and Color” at Ochrophaio in Athens, and the 2001 International Art Biennale in Mgarr, Malta. 

The artist’s site:  https://www.dimosthenisgallis.com

Note: Dimosthenis Gallis’ photograph “To the Lascivious Impulses of My Blood” was inspired by Egyptian-Greek poet Constantine Cavafy’s 1983 poem “Dangerous Thoughts”. 

Said Myrtias (a Syrian student
in Alexandria during the reign
of the Emperor Konstans and the Emperor Konstantios;
in part a heathen, in part christianized):
‘Strengthened by meditation and study,
I won’t fear my passions like a coward;
I’ll give my body to sensual pleasures,
to enjoyments I’ve dreamed of,
to the most audacious erotic desires,
to the lascivious impulses of my blood,
without being at all afraid, because when I wish-
and I’ll have the will-power, strengthened
as I shall be by meditation and study-
when I wish, at critical moments I’ll recover
my ascetic spirit as it was before.

 

Lionel Wendt

Lionel Wendt, Photographs of Ceylon

Lionel George Henricus Wendt was born of  Dutch Burgher background in Colombo, Ceylon, on December 3, 1900. His father was a judge of the Supreme Court and his mother, the daughter of the District Judge of Kandy, the last capital of the ancient kings of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). At the age of five, Lionel was admitted to the Government Training College English School and later entered St. Thomas’ College in Mutuwal. After the death of his father in 1911 and, later, his mother in 1918, Lionel Wendt met George Keyt, who would later become one of  Sri Lanka’s greatest modern painters and a strong influence in Wendt’s life. 

After completing his studies at St. Thomas College, Wendt traveled to London, and joined the Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court whose membership is necessary to study law and become a barrister. Music, also being an early enthusiasm in his life, prompted his to join the Royal Academy of Music where he studied  piano under technical pianist Oscar Beringer and Mark Hambourg., the Russian-British concert pianist. Wendt returned to Ceylon as a Barrister with a degree in Law from the Inner Temple.

Although he practiced law for a short time in Colombo, Lionel Wendt’s passion for the arts usurped all other interests, leading him ultimately to pursue a career in photography in the 1930s. Wendt, along with his life-long friend George Keyt, founded the Colombo ’43 Group, This was an association of Ceylon’s artists whose interest in European modernist trends constituted a historical break from Sri Lankan and South Asian traditions,  with its use of Ceylonese subject matter in styles appropriated from the contemporary West.

 Lionel Wendt’s contribution to modern painting in Sri Lanka was very influential. He made prints of contemporary European artists, along with books from England, available to aspiring artists. He bought paintings by young artists, held exhibitions, and defended them publicly in the newspapers against their critics. Over a period of twenty-five years, the Colombo ’43 Group held  many public exhibitions, providing a climate for young painters and atmosphere for an appreciative audience to grow. 

Lionel Wendt experimented with solarized prints in photography as early as 1935, one of the earliest uses anywhere of the solarization effect for pictorial ends. Wendt would often enter international photographic exhibitions with two different styles under two different names. He assisted on the production, lending his advice and  his voice to the narrative, of the 1935 documentary film “Song of Ceylon”, which won first prize at the Brussels International Film Festival of 1935. He also had in 1935 a one-man exhibition in London of his work, arranged by Messers Ernst Leitz, manufacturers of Leica photography equipment. 

Lionel Wendt died unexpectedly of a cardiac asthma heart failure on December 19,  1944, shortly after his birthday. A portrait of Lionel Wendt, wearing a dressing gown seated at a piano, was painted by artist and friend  W J G Beling and hangs in the Lionel Wendt Memorial Theater of  Colombo, Sri Lanka.

HardCiderNY, “Luis Coppini”

HardCiderNY, “Luis Coppini”, Photo Shoot for Yup Magazine

HardCiderNY is a fashion and fine art photography studio located in New York City. It is dedicated to natural-light male physique work. The studio works regularly with Wilhelmina, Ford, DNA, Soul Artist and the Red Modeling Agency. The site is located at: :https://www.facebook.com/hardciderny/

Luis Coppini is a Brazilian model working with the agency Q Management located in New York and Los Angeles. He has previously done photo shoots with photographers Ronaldo Gutierrez, Karl Simone, Thiago Martini, and Glauber Bassi.

Yup Magazine is a men’s fashion digital magazine based in NYC : https://yup-mag.com

Vaslav Nijinsky

N. Rimsky-Korsakov, “Vaslav Nijinsky in the Ballet Scheherazade”, 1910, Private Collection

Born Waclaw Niżyński on March 12, 1889, in Kiev to Polish parents, both touring dancers, Vaslav Nijinsky was a ballet dancer and choreographer, considered the greatest male dancer of the early 1900s. Praised for his virtuosity and intensity of the characters he portrayed, Nijinsky possessed the ability to dance ‘en pointe’, on his toes with feet fully extended, a rarity among male dancers at the time. 

In 1909, Nijinsky joined the Ballets Russes, a new ballet company started by ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev, who concentrated on promoting Russian arts abroad, particularly in Paris. Diaghilev became deeply involved in directing and managing Nijinsky’s career, eventually becoming Nijinsky’s lover for a time. Despite complications in both reworking existing ballets and financial issues, the 1909 Paris season of colorful Russian operas and ballets was a success, with Nijinsky displaying his unique talents and the performances setting new trends in dance, music and fashion.

Breaking against tradition, Nijinsky began choreographing in 1912 original ballets with new trends in music and dance, sometimes causing riotous reactions at the Théâtre de Champs-Élysées. His “Afternoon of the Faun”, set to music by Debussy, is onsidered one of the first modern ballets; though, the ballet’s sexually suggestive final scene caused controversy among its Parisian viewers. His ballet “Rite of Spring”, set to music by Stravinsky, which exceeded the limits of traditional ballet, music scores, and propriety, resulted in violence among the audience at the premier.

In September of 1913, while on tour with the Ballets Russes in South America, Nijinsky married Hungarian aristocrat and actress Romola de Pulszky, despite warnings to both parties by friends. They toured together with the troupe for the season, living in seperate rooms. Nijinsky realized he had made a mistake with the marriage; but the marriage was never legally ended. After the tour was ended, Nijinsky and troupe traveled back to Paris.

Relations, both work and personal, between Diaghilev and Nijinsky had been deteriorating for some time. Upon his return from the South American tour, Nijinsky was notified by an assistant to Diaghilev that he would no longer be employed by the Ballets Russes and also learned that none of his original ballets would be performed by the group. This was particularly devastating as the Ballets Russes was the pre-eminent ballet company and the only innovative modern-thinking one. An attempt was made by Nijinsky to form his own dance company, but he did not succeed.

Classified a Russian citizen and no longer with a military exemption from service, Nijinsky was interned in Budapest during World War I, under house arrest until his release was arranged in 1916. The complex arrangements for this included the agreement that Nijinsky would dance and choreograph for the North and South America tour of the Ballets Russes. The tour proved very stressful to Nijinsky, already in an unsteady position, resulting in anxiety and bouts of rage and frustration. His last performance was in Montevideo, Uruguay, for the Red Cross on September 30, 1917 at age twenty-eight. It was at this time that signs of Nijinsky’s existing schizophrenia became apparent to members of the company. 

In 1919 in Zurich, Nijinsky was diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to Burghölzli, the leading psychiatric hospital in Switzerland. For the next 30 years, Nijinsky was in and out of hospitals and asylums, maintaining long periods of silence during his years of illness. From 1947 Nijinsky lived in Surrey, England, with his wife Romola who tended to his care. He died from kidney failure at a London clinic on April 8, 1950, and was buried in London, his body later being moved in 1953 to Montmartre Cemetery in Paris.

Nijinsky wrote his “Diary”, reflecting the decline of his household into chaos, during the six weeks in 1919 he spent in Switzerland before being committed to the asylum to Zurich. Discovering years later the three notebooks of the diary plus another with letters to a variety of people, his wife Romola published a bowdlerized version of the diary in 1936, translated into English by Jennifer Mattingly. She deleted about forty per cent of the diary, especially references to bodily functions, sex, and homosexuality, recasting Nijinsky as an “involuntary homosexual.” Romola also removed some of his more unflattering references to her and others close to their household. The first unexpurgated edition of “The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky” was published in 1995, edited by New Yorker dance critic Joan Acocella and translated by Kyril Fitz Lyon. 

Nijinsky is immortalized in numerous still photographs, many of them by British portrait photogaper E. O. Hoppe, who photographed the Ballets Russes seasons in London extensively between 1909 and 1921. No film exists of Nijinsky dancing; Diaghilev never allowed the Ballets Russes to be filmed because he felt that the quality of film at the time could never capture the artistry of his dancers.

There Be Dragons

Photographer Unknown, (There Be Dragons)

“Power, true power, comes from the belief in true things, and the willingness to stand behind that belief, even if the universe itself conspires to thwart your plans. Chaos may settle; flames may die; worlds may rise and fall. But true things will remain so, and will never fail to guide you to your goals.”
James A. Owen, Here, There Be Dragons

Bruce Weber, “Andy Minsker”

Bruce Weber, “Andy Minsker”, Cover Photo for Per Lui Magazine, Issue Number 29, July/August, 1985

Andrew Claude Minsker was born on March 20, 1962, in Portland, Oregon. He was named National Golden Gloves Champion in 1983 and National United States Amateur Champion by the American Boxing Federation in 1983. During his career, he tried out for the US Olympic Boxing Team, becoming the United States Olympic Trials Champion in 1984.

Minsker was a very disciplined boxer, training five days a week, every week, for the fifteen years of his career. By the time he retired from boxing, he had fought 344 matches, had never been knocked off his feet, and had won first-round knockouts against both the Yugoslav and British Commonwealth champions. In 1981 he smashed his right hand on an opponent’s head, causing major damage to his hand which was only partially repaired. Minsker continued fighting bouts, covering up his weakness, for an additional ten years, until his retirement in 1991.

Andrew Minsker was the subject of a documentary by photographer Bruce Weber entitled “Portrait of a Boxer”, a black and white film interspersed with color shots and mixed with jazz songs.The film focuses on Minsker as a coach training a group of kids in his boxing club.

Andrew Minsker is now coporate president of Andrew Minsker, Ltd, Inc, and has been with Postive Impact Unlimited in Milwaukee since 1988. Minsker continues to runs his boxing club in Oregon.

Image reblogged with many thanks to a great visual site: https://doctordee.tumblr.com