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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

As is evident from this photo, among the pics in the S Meisel editorial in W mentioned before, in addition to the male "homoerotic" theme, several female mods -some displaying their breasts- are also featured.
Here is another example (the pics appear in the W magazine website)

It would be interesting to know what the idiotic US Vogue editor who criticized Jessica Miller for "losing her clothes too often" -because she showed some of the same body parts in a W mag editorial (yep, the same mag, allegedly known for its hip imagery) has to say about this...

Maybe poor Jessica's nudity wasn't Meisel-endorsed?

Perhaps certain Conde Nast characters see nothing wrong in "homoerotic" or otherwise "alternative" nudity but object to any nudity involving sensual women that may appeal to (straight) men...

Not to mention that the usual assholes who object to "excess nudity" (of the "conventional" kind, of course) will probably find nothing to complain about this time around...


For the more recent Blog visitors - here is what M. Gross says about Meisel in his book:

"..."Meisel and a pack of powerful fashion friends were trying to resurrect the cult of the fashion photographer of the sixties...In the beginning, he was imitating his idol, Avedon, whom he worshipped since grade school...he copies anything from Horst to Bourdin and poses his models as actresses and mannequins of earlier times..."

Gross also mentions an interview Meisel once gave to gay mag "Advocate", in which he said that he always liked to photograph "...more effeminate-looking men, more masculine-looking women, and drag queens in hopes of teaching that there is a wide variety of people...there's absolutely a queer sensibility to my work...but there's also a sense of humor...a sarcasm and a fuck you attitude as well as a serious beauty"

21 Comments:

At 9/15/2004 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all discussions of theme aside, as a photographer i really like that second picture. great lighting, background, etc. -dk

 
At 9/15/2004 6:49 PM, Blogger FV said...

We are not discussing the photography here !!!

 
At 9/15/2004 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, mr. policeman! ;)

 
At 9/15/2004 7:07 PM, Blogger FV said...

...everyone knows Meisel is fanatic about details, correcting every shadow etc

So what if the pic is "perfect"?

A technical person can program a computer to shoot "technically perfect" pictures
- the question is whether there is any innovation here (none, coz the guy is just copying others as a principle - and he is not hiding it)

If I copied the Mona Lisa, I bet the painting would look good too - for a good reason !!!

 
At 9/15/2004 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, but if you think beauty is scientifically "objective" or genetically-hardwired into our brains, and there is in fact a standard of beauty we all unconsciously agree on, then couldn't the same apply to a photograph or a painting?

if beauty is objective, then there can be no orginality in a face or a photograph. only a new story, which in this case is a lesbian, crack-smoking, in a junkyard behind the brooklyn bridge theme... -dk

 
At 9/15/2004 7:24 PM, Blogger FV said...

beauty is much more scientific than people may think, it is not an accident that models with 90/60/90 cm dimensions (or similar, when the waist numbers change) are more pleasing to the eye

it's something called the "golden rule"...

of course that applies to people with "conventional" or "eurocentric" educations...


there is much more in "alternative beauty" than some people imagine - I used to think that nordic blonde bombshells of the Playboy variety were the female beauty, before I visited the ex-USSR and other places

And I am obviously not one of those people who think of punkette crackheads or "quirky" faces as "alternatives" to beauty -
there is "conventional" beauty, anti-beauty (and anti-models) and lots of "alternative" space in between...

 
At 9/15/2004 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

call me eurocentric: 1.6180339887498949

you subscribe to a scientific standard; how do you reconcile this with the quest for "innovation" ? every snowflake is beautiful yet perfectly unique. a model connection????

when you talk about s.meisel and AW, it sounds more like politics! -dk

 
At 9/15/2004 8:27 PM, Blogger FV said...

fashion geopolitics - how fascinating !!!!

Later...

 
At 9/15/2004 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok FV, if you want to talk science, here're some excerpts from "Psychology" (5th ed) by Gleitman, Fridlund and Reisberg.
regarding the face: "According to one study , American college men judge photographs of women (white, black, and Asian) as more attractive if their faces have certain features that tend to be found in children, such as relatively large, round, and widely separated eyes, a short nose, and a small chin." "The trouble is that there are a number of other features judged to be attractive that are associated with maturity rather than immaturity, for example, wide cheeckbones and narrow cheeks." "...symmetric faces perceived as somewhat more attractive." "Signs of ill health and deformity (and of advancing age) are considered unattractive in all cultures."(p502-3)

from "Social Psychology" (5th ed) by Brehm, Kassin, Fein regarding the body: "...men tend to be drown to the "hourglass" figure seen in women of average weight whose waists are a third narrower than their hips", "...found that heavy women are judged more attractive than slender women in places where food is frequently in short supply", "...white students saw the heavy women as the least attractive, but the black students did not similarly discriminate [probably because people] prefer a body type that is more typical to their group." "STANDARDS OF BEAUTY CHANGE OVER TIME, FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT" (p308-10)

so here you go, the above pretty much shows that even though there're standards of beauty they're rather abstract and that beauty is as objective as it is subjective...

PS the pix are totally cool, especially the first one.

 
At 9/15/2004 9:48 PM, Blogger FV said...

Like these "American men" and anyone else who has been brainwashed by Hollywood subculture (that means trash culture, not something else) I too was glued to the same stereotypes until the mid-90s

No more - and men have changed in the past decade, in a Maxim poll the majority of their readers actually said they liked brunettes better

Even Playboy and the like have moved away from Pam Anderson types and into more "exotic" beauty

Only high fashion types stick to models who look like they jumped out of a 1970 C movie or work for Orange Julius in your local mall, along with teeny Angie Lindvalls

 
At 9/16/2004 5:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

huh? what does hair color have to do with what i wrote above?

 
At 9/16/2004 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the enormously wide range of 'tastes' seen in porn mags shows that what men find intriguing or sexually attractive in women cannot be grasped by any scientific study... though what I want to see in a fashion mag is inspiring beauty, not something Meisel thought up to stop himself from being bored.

 
At 9/16/2004 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey anonymous, i think one has to draw a distinction between what's seen in "porn mags" and the type of face infants are drawn to with respect to ideals of "beauty." while there is certainly a large amount of "beautiful" porn, i think the reason behind all the variation in porn is that it becomes more about a fetish for a particular situation.

if all someone wants to see is a woman getting humiliated in a particular way, it doesn't really matter what she looks like. a lot of porn is not looked at for the beauty of the image, but more for the sordidness of the storyline.

i'm still firmly of the position that beauty is mathematical. i also think in this case meisel has done a nice balancing act between those two extremes. i have no axe to grind with vogue or meisel... no reason to yet anyway. -dk

 
At 9/16/2004 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>A technical person can program a computer to shoot "technically perfect" pictures

Not exactly, because to take a perfect picture you'll need to be able to do something that a robot can't yet do, and that's to evoke at least some emotion. This is done mainly by light and subject. Meisel generally seems to have a bit of an idea of how to put together a story line, and at least can somewhat make an impact on his viewers. A machine can't do that.

ALSO, the amount of skill it takes to take a picture, technically, amounts to much more artistically. It's like saying, "Oh, well we can get a robot to carve us that very complicated motif into the wooden table!". Well, before robots, Artisans would spend hours doing such things, and they were respected for that. There is a lot of respect towards the technical side of things, especially in Photography. Because without the technical, there really isn't much left.

SXSW

 
At 9/16/2004 6:51 PM, Blogger FV said...

A Meisel model showing emotion?

If you followed the recent model news stories, you probably noticed that the Vogue position is that models should be "low profile" so that they don't distract attention from the clothes - as the NY Times hack said, the mods look very "submissive and unchallenging" on the Sept Vogue cover.

Unless that's the emotion you are after...


I usually pay zero attention to high fashion photography (Meisel is an exception, but not for his photography) so I didn't bother mentioning this - but a NY Times article explained the principles behing the technique of Mert and Marcus and Nick Night for campaigns like Vuitton

The common theme is how the mods look emotionless !!!!

 
At 9/17/2004 1:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that 2nd pic of Stam and Adina (?) kissing is HOT.

-Carola

 
At 9/17/2004 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I saw that pic of the models kissing, my reaction was 'oh God, fashion's current worst cliche used again'... I get very tired of seeing that sort of pseudo-lesbianism in high fashion, used over and over and over again. I actually yearn for them to use real men in the 'storylines' so it says something to me. I end up having to buy the 'gay' mags like Arena Hommes+ just for the sight of decent-looking men alongside top female models in fashion photography. Fabien Baron used to do that...

- Cathy

 
At 9/18/2004 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FUNNYFAN:

Why doesn't someone in fashion do the really unheard of and have a high fashion shoot where the models actually display emotion? That, more than the man-women kissing scenario, really would shock me...

 
At 9/19/2004 12:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you wanna see a model displaying emotion? Look at any editorial featuring Natasha Vojnovic. I swear she must be the only model who truly loves her work. Huh, Meisel never used her much.. I wonder if there's a connection.

-Carola

 
At 9/19/2004 10:28 AM, Blogger FV said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9/19/2004 10:33 AM, Blogger FV said...

I've seen Natasa on tape, from the 1996 Model Look final (that was before I was into models) - back then she was saying "I want to be an actress - that's what I wanted all my life". She is very expressive and so is Ujjwala and Olga Otrokhova and Petra Nemcova and most of these girls who were finalists in the major model contests -- they were all beautiful, tall, had great bodies, so the jury (in 1996 it was Lindbergh, B Weber, H Newton, the Fr PHOTO guy, etc) looked for more than the usual talents

It is no accident that some of these mods are miles ahead of the rest - it was the heyday of the "supermodel" era and the competition was tough, I remember Diane Heidkrueger saying she was feeling depressed coz she wasn't as tall and pretty as the rest !!!

Next to these girls, the hip models of today look like a joke in comparison

It's good that Natasa remains popular, although she doesn't do much catwalk lately

 

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