“Link”

October 7, 2018

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In the Flatiron Plaza, by Jorge Palacios.  Bigger image here.

The Noguchi Museum in Queens is featuring Palacios’ work right now.  The “Red Cube,” one of Noguchi’s most famous public sculptures is not, of course, a cube.

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Microsurfing

October 6, 2018

Maybe you can tell what these are, some of them anyway.  They were taken with my Celestron digital microscope.  Click on the thumbnails to see an enlarged image.

 


The Miracle Continues: Day 3

September 6, 2018

In case you are wondering, the fibers are from the medical gauze that I use to bandage the cut.


Split Me

September 2, 2018

Split_Me

This is my first attempt at making a split-exposure image with one of my pinhole cameras.  Of course, I made several major blunders!

I created the effect with one of my rectangular foam board pinhole cameras by taping a piece of black card over about half of the photo paper in the target area.  I posed in the light and stood still for about two minutes – the camera was set to do a vertical (portrait) oriented image.  I left my sandals in place, unhooked the camera from the tripod, ran into my darkroom, moved the card to cover the other half of the photo paper, and then ran out to renew the photo session.  By leaving my sandals and the tripod in place, I was able to maintain continuity between sessions, pretty much.

For the second session, I jogged in place.  The intended effect was a sharp image of my upper body with a blurred exposure of my legs below.  A colleague at work had shown me some interesting pictures of this type a few years ago that he had made with a digital SLR and a very clever shutter device he had fashioned.  Mine was to be much more crude, of course.

Well, for some reason I imagined that the split in the image, clearly visible in the positive above, would be at waist height.  This despite the fact that I had set up the camera so that the pinhole was nearly at eye level!  Bigger mistake:  I forgot that the image on the exposed paper is inverted.  Thus, the first exposure session, which was supposed to capture my immobile upper torso actually imaged my immobile lower body.  In the second session, when the blocking card was shifted, instead of capturing my moving legs that were jogging up and down, it captured my upper body which moved less vigorously, but still very noticeably.

Hmmm…still sort of interesting, but I think I will try again, the RIGHT way, tomorrow.


Saint Sebastian

June 18, 2018

Mantegna-049-St.Sebastian-1480-1485The unfortunate Saint Sebastian – I guess the saints are all unfortunate, since they all meet grisly deaths, but then, that’s their good fortune from the Christian point of view… -is a familiar figure to lovers of art history.  Also familiar to male lovers of men, since his image is popular as a gay icon in wildly different forms, many in the realm of kitsch, or camp, as it were.  I get that he’s a young, strapping fellow (patron saint of athletes for some reason), and the voyeuristic, masochistic, erotic aura that hangs, or can be projected about him.  (Did Oscar Wilde really say that in this image he looked a bit like a “mournful pin cushion,” or is that just something my girlfriend told me in high school?)  Once he was released from his martyrdom in Reading Gaol, Oscar Wilde did adopt the pseudonym, Sebastian Melmoth, the first part for the saint? and the second a reference to the long-suffering protaganist of Maturin’s early 19th century gothic tale Melmoth the Wonderer.

This image by Mantegna is just one of the most famous showing the saint’s martyrdom by archery at the order of Diocletian, or is it?  Yes, those two fellows in the right foreground have done their duty, and tied and shot up Sebastian, a former member of the emperor’s Praetorian Guard who kept his Christianity secret so that he could give help to the persecuted Christians.  He was found out, and Diocletian ordered him killed…but is he dead?  He appears alive to me!

I know that saints are the subjects and producers of miracles all the time, but if their sainted martyrdom is based on being murdered for their faith, shouldn’t they…er…be dead?  This set me off on a little art historical research regarding the saint, and I quickly found that he did not die from the fusillade of arrows, although you can hardly accuse the archers of negligence in carrying out orders.  He did survive, miraculously, and was fetched and tended by Saint Irene.  During the middle ages, because he had survived his execution by arrows, he was invoked for help against diseases, especially the bubonic plague.

Since he was undeterred by fear of death, and since his cover was quite obviously blown, his next move after recovering from his wounds was to go to the emperor’s palace, hide in an alcove or stairwell, and furiously upbraid Diocletian for his sins when he finally happened by.  Naturally, the emperor was furious:  not only was the man not dead as he had ordered, but he returns and insults him directly!  Diocletian ordered his men to club Sebastian to death – perhaps considered a more certain technique – and then to throw his body into the sewer, sometimes noted as the cloaca maxima.  Eventually, his body was retrieved, but the scenes of his actual death, and subsequent disposal and retrieval are vastly less common in art history than the picturesque and unsuccessful first try.

Here we have the saint being pitched into the sewer, as painted by Lodovico Carraci.  His suspension in the air just as he is beginning to fall in seems awkward to me.

1200px-Lodovico_Carracci_(Italian_-_St._Sebastian_Thrown_into_the_Cloaca_Maxima_-_Google_Art_Project

The work below, by Altdorfer, shows the saint’s body being retrieved from the sewer, or at least from out of the muck, by friends who will bury him in the catacombs near the resting places of the apostles.  His body seems little the worse for his immersion in the sewer.

recover-the-body-of-st-sebastian-1516 (1)

Scenes of Sebastian’s actual execution by clubbing are a bit more plentiful:  here is one by Veronese.

1200px-Martyrdom_of_St_Sebastian,_glaven_korab

Josse Lieferinxe did a set of paintings of the saint for altarpiece dedicated to him, and this image shows him being beaten to death:  in the background the executioners dump his body into the sewer.

1493+-Josse Lieferinxe (Fr)-St Sebastian clubbed-- copy

Another beating, but I have not identified the painter.

057_SebastianBeaten

The three images below are from a tiny chapel dedicated to St. Sebastian in Venanson in southern France.  The chapel is not well documented on the internet, but the painter of these frescoes is identified as Giovanni Baleison.

 

If you need a reason to take a trip to Provence, this site, and the even less documented one in Roubion should be reason enough.  The only photos of individual panels of the frescoes I could find online are licensed, and have a copyright logo watermark.  The two below show the saint being dumped into and retrieved from the sewer.

HYH0E3

CBGMMH

This image of the chapel frescoes shows the panel of the saint’s dumping in situ.

Roubion_-_Chapelle_Saint-Sébastien_-_Peintures_murales_-1

Finally, to bring us back nearer to the present, we have an image of a studio session with Muhammad Ali posing as Saint Sebastian, part of series of famous men standing in for the saint.

Ali_No._20

Sebastian’s head, or “skull cap” is preserved here, supposedly.

Relic_of_St._Sebastian_01


Fibonacci in Action…

June 12, 2018

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…or so I’ve heard.


Back to the Pin Hole

June 8, 2018

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That’s a coelacanth, and some fruit.  The barcodes got blown out, despite the shady day.

42AFAFE2-3C67-4BD7-92AB-E0B48D22B3FD