Acclaimed photographer Christer Strömholm (1918-2002), though little known outside of Europe and his native Sweden, is considered one of the great photographers of the 20th century. His most renowned series of photographs are now on display at the International Center of Photography, marking the first presentation of Strömholm's work in an American museum.
The exhibit Les Amies de Place Blanche, originally published in 1983, is a journey deep into the red light district of Paris in the late 1950's - 1960's and focuses on young transgendered "ladies of night" who worked the streets of the Place Blanche district in hope of raising money to complete their gender transformation. The portraits both glamourous and gritty capture a sleazy yet stylish Paris long gone and recall the photography of Brassai with subjects in lush night scenes; lounging in hotel rooms, bars, and working the streets of Paris.
As Strömholm wrote in 1983: “These are images of people whose lives I shared and whom I think I understood. These are images of women—biologically born as men—that we call ‘transsexuals.’ As for me, I call them ‘my friends of Place Blanche.’ It was then—and still is—about obtaining the freedom to choose one’s own life and identity.”
Les Amies de Place Blanche is on view till September 2nd at ICP The Book, now a cult classic, has also been reissued in English and French.
Famed French botanist Patrick Blanc, renowned for his lush gravity defying gardens, has made his way to the New York Botanical Garden this Spring to design a series of horticultural walls that showcase an array of brilliant tropical orchids.
Accompanying thousands of these exotic and enchanting flowers, Blanc incorporates a lush assemblage of exotic ferns and other tropical plants to transform the Enid Haupt Conservatory, the largest Victorian style glasshouse in the country, into a gorgeous display of vivid tropical colors and sensual scents.
Industry expert Nader Bolour has teamed up with Brooklyn based artist Shanan Campanaro to unveil a collaboration of truly eclectic never before seen custom rugs tomorrow night at Doris Leslie Blau.
With inspiration culled from Eskayel - Campanaro's design firm known for it's unique collections of wallpaper and fabric - the two have chosen nine wallpaper patterns to transform into a line of contemporary rugs made with the finest of materials the world has to offer. With a focus on higher knit counts and the highest quality of weaving these rugs transcend the systemic limitation of hand weaving and bring Campanaro's imagery to life in a way that has never been seen in contemporary rug production.
Bolour is always hard at work to bridge the gap between art and design and this collaboration with Eskayel is sure to be a perfect demonstration of just that.
Join the Doris Leslie Blau team and Eskayel for the official unveiling tomorrow night with cocktails, cupcakes, and musical accompaniment by Nick Chacona.
Encapsulating all the dark glamour, divine decadence and hedonistic joy of the roaring Twenties, Gareth Pugh's A/W 2010 collection is a stylised, silver and black Art Deco fantasy projected at breakneck speed into the twenty-first century.
JOIE DE VIVRE PERFORMANCE / RAQUEL ZIMMERMANN DIRECTION / RUTH HOGBEN
Those bad enough to walk on the wild side should have already
put in the request.. but will she accept? We couldn't bare to see another
reappropriation a la sweet dreams.And Raquel Zimmermann?
Wow. She's the one to beat right now.
MEXICAN DRUG CARTEL PREFERS THEIR WEAPONS
GOLD ENCRUSTED WITH DIAMONDS
And I mean really– how can you blame them? Mexican police raided the cartel hideout on Monday and found 38 guns – 31 received the bling treatment– think diamonds, gold and silver. You can check out the other decadent weapons over at– where else– GAWKER. Allegedly the Milenio Cartel is living out their rapper fantasties driving around in an Escalade with 200 grams of pot and various jewelry the Attorney General didn't care to describe. The visual we're getting is AMANDA LEPORE revisited– I don't care much about jail cause my guns look fierce. Or something along those lines. It's official– we need more Lepore in our lives!
CRYSTAL RENN PHOTOGRAPHY / STEVEN KLEIN VOGUE PARIS / MAY 2010 RÉALISATION / CARINE ROITFELD
Carine may or may not have started the voluptuous is beautiful shift,
but she, along with Steven and Crystal– take it to another level for Vogue Paris.
Don't think this is the last you'll see of hair, or dare we say it– the merkin.
Is the new– red lips, curves and hair. Sultry and glamorous.
HOW CAN A WOMAN BE SO UTTERLY DEDICATED AND NOT OWN A FEW CHARLIE LE MINDU'S?
If you haven't yet indulged and you're in the mood for some good old tabloidesque fun, read up on this GEMINI extension obsessed (to the tune of $47,000) hair fanatic at NYPOST. If you're not familiar with the fabulous Le Mindu educate yourself HERE.
WE ARE ALL BERLINERS
REFLECTIONS ON THE FALL
BY / MATTHEW R. PRICE
There is a scene in the lesser known German film “Meyer” in which the East German character Meyer is trying to get some food in an East German restaurant, something that apparently could have been classified as an oxymoron over twenty years ago. Meyer searches the menu and begins a torturous process with the question “Do you have…?” After several attempts, to which the waiter’s answer each time is “No, we don’t”, the waiter finally jumps in and says: “Look young man, don’t ask us what we have, just tell me what you want!” Meyer responds, “Well then, I really want to have some schnitzel.” The waiter’s response is, of course, “We don’t have any!”
It is easy to parody life in the Eastern bloc, and it is equally easy for us to forget what it must have been like. In the mid-1990’s, already several years after the reunification of Germany, I saw nearly empty store shelves in Görlitz, a former East German town on the Polish border. It was a small and telling sign of how different life must have been there, in a region which was less-than-affectionately called the Valley of the Clueless, since no Western TV signals reached it, let alone the things we take for granted in Manhattan – from bananas and organic Mexican shade-grown coffee, to mangos and dark chocolate with 85% cocoa, to Hugo Boss.
If one thing is true about the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the implications it still has for the world twenty years later, it is the essential power of change and the senselessness of resisting it when its form is progress. Yes, it was one of the truly visible and palpable historical moments in the lives of those old enough to remember, even if only by watching TV news at the time. But it was also something which affected lives in ways great and small, and which still reverberates in ways we may or may not follow. Take the Russian community in Brighton Beach as an example: it would not be what it is without Berlin in 1989. It is a chain of events. And we should recall that the change in East Germany was generated by people and their willpower, not by some external force.
BY / MATTHEW PRICE
Donald to the rescue! The illustrious New Yorker, Donald Trump, seems to have his next career track already laid out: diplomacy. Renowned for his self-effacing demeanor, his intellectually astute entertainment programming, his fidelity to both marital partners and financial creditors, and his protection of the feminist movement, Mr. Trump has hit the news as a patriot. His name is now being floated in diplomatic circles as a possible special envoy.
The reason? He graciously made arrangements to take in an estranged foreigner, an act seen as a strong statement on America’s newly rediscovered openness to the world. The foreigner, Col. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, was allowed to – literally – pitch his tent on property owned by Mr. Trump in suburban New York City. After Gaddafi’s plea to build his tent in New Jersey and in Manhattan’s Central Park were rejected by authorities, and his requests for room reservations at the Helmsely and Pierre Hotels were turned down, Trump and his Middle Eastern clients who lease his land came up with a solution. Authorities in Westchester County, however, have suspended the erection of the temporary housing device (or THD).
Trump is known as a real estate developer and bankruptor, as well as a steak, vodka and airline enthusiast. He is also known, however, for questionable interpretations of standard legal practices. His attempt to trademark the phrase “You’re Fired!” was said to threaten companies across America with unintended financial liabilities in their use of standard employment termination practices. Similarly, his religious views have many detractors. They highlight the inappropriate nature of his claim to be exempt from repayment to Deutsche Bank of a $40 million loan, because the current financial crisis was an Act of God which nullified his contract.
BY / MATTHEW PRICE
Those who remained on our island during the recent dog days of August can begin to gasp a sigh of relief as we emerge from what seemed like life inside a hot, wet plastic bag. It’s been a quiet yet dramatic time. We slowed our pace to reduce profuse sweating, and muttered curses and heaped aspersions on the MTA for the oppressive heat within the decaying subway system. But much happened during this month.
On the island, Central Park was quickly ravaged by a flash storm of which relatively few people took note. It left trees from the Olmstead-era upturned and exposed. One can see a six-foot-wide trunk laying horizontally near W. 90th St. The tree was plucked out of the ground and overturned by the winds, which seized the park’s canopy. Eventually sawed off by park workers, the trunk now juts out as if in a museum cross-section. Roots and dirt hang in the air, still hewing to the trunk. The whole display is probably fifteen feet across, and appears larger than the rock outcropping behind it. Nearby is the mangled fencing around the 96th St. tennis courts, which looks like a truck drove through (several times, drunkenly). While it’s true that any natural space suffers death and enjoys rebirth, it’s fair to say Central Park has been a proxy for nature, and thus the fact that true nature could damage it so suddenly came as a shock to New Yorkers who witnessed it.
The metaphor is powerful, too. The upward calm in equity markets during the summer brought the sense that we may finally have emerged from the tornado, which whipped through the world’s financial infrastructure, and then there’s this reminder of our fragility. Did we really need another type of “uprooting” of an existing institution? Haven’t we had enough? Is nothing sacred!?
Beyond the island, the sacred surely gave way to the profane as our countrymen appeared – through the various lookout lenses available to us – to turn into an angry, violent mob. The world became enraged in August.