Late afternoon light filtering through delicate lace, translucent like a glass winged butterfly casting veined sunspots across the room of a Victorian. In ancient Greek, butterflies were called psyche- soul, breath, and mind, in Latin, papilio/ onis, soul of the dead. The 1991 film Silence of the Lambs, influenced McQueen toward the image of butterflies or moths being encased in fabric for his collections. Nabokov's esoteric, obsessive hunt for the perfect papillon specimen; the black ones have always been my favorite.
This week: an overwhelming dichotomy of beauty and cruelty, light and loss present in the world and all the things we left unsaid; in the end the art we escape into is only a reflection of a deeper reality, a brutal elegance.
i. everything is amplified in this city. A rush of freedom and fascination, followed by inhibition, an electricity charged by contradiction and though these white flowers in a pool of black velvet could be flowers in any garden of any city, only they share the piercing thirst of a lost quixotic in the epicenter of a concrete circumference where loneliness too, is unimaginably alive. Petals, a fragile handful falling between cracks, unnoticed by a ceaseless city and in my own heightened awareness come alive at night, white beacons of enigma in a moonlight garden.
ii. "An effigy of a youth that is eternal" -Marcel Proust on collecting photos of muse Countess Greffulhe, for A la recherché de temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time), as seen in "Proust's Muse" at F.I.T
Un reverie ou un cauchemar? Lately: noticing all the inner worlds that exist in the concrete circumference of a late-night city square, two bright young things in an old-soul jazz bar on the top floor of a hidden hotel, syncopated echoes of snare that follow our cold bare legs, outline sadness with a glimmer of brass.
"Portraits of a Lady" by T.S. Eliot
And four wax candles in the darkened room
Four rings of light upon the ceiling overhead,
An atmosphere of Juliet's tomb
Prepared for all the things to be said, or left unsaid.
1. Slightly overwhelmed by all the magic in this photo: Adwoa Aboah and her green feather sandals, Hôtel de la Païva, petite red florals, and MIU MIU.
2. A visit to MoAD's bookstore after work (a block from SFMOMA, why it took me this long to visit is a wonder), where I found, devoured, and then very nearly purchased John Paul Goude's book. It's filled with his collage works, storyboards, illustrations, photographs and art direction, with icons like Grace Jones, and it's ravishing. And I can't stop thinking about it...
3. Which brings me to the Grace Jones and Dandy Lion exhibit at MoAD. I've visited twice in the last few days- once with Jack and once by myself. It's a small but really powerful two exhibits that between me and Jack, resulted in at least a hundred collective oh my gods, plus another few in my head alone the next day. All while scribbling down statements in our notebooks like "a dandy doesn't grow, he evolves." and "dandy- just returned from Venus" (!!) In the confidence Grace exudes, her androgyny and her fearless, boundary-pushing interpretation of music and style, she continues to be an icon- a trailblazer, inspiration, and reference point for countless others after her. These shots of Grace Jones by Andy Warhol are a few of my favorites from his book of polaroids (discovered on lunch break at my own museum store), a heavy collection of his factory days well worth the sore arms required to hold the book up.