Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fashion Photography: Mommy Dearest

As you all know I find much photographic inspiration in the sick and twisted themes found in B-movies or vintage tabloids. For some examples of this you can go back and view inspiration pulled from Grey Gardens and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?.

Here we see how a tell-all book penned by the disgruntled adopted child of a classic screen star, filtered through the campy film lens of the seventies, produced a cult classic so iconic I sometimes get mixed up and think photos of Fay Dunaway as Joan Crawford in the film "Mommy Dearest" are actually Crawford. 

Shortly after its release, even the studio realized the over-the top drama was so ridiculous it was playing like a comedy. They quickly changed its ad campaign to "Meet the biggest MOTHER of them all!". Of Dunaway's performance, Variety said "Dunaway does not chew scenery. Dunaway starts neatly at each corner of the set in every scene and swallows it whole, costars and all."

In her autobiography Dunaway states that she wished director Frank Perry* had had enough experience to see when actors needed to rein in their performances. In a bizarre coincidence Crawford once said of Dunaway that she had "what it takes" to be a star.

(*Useless trivia: Frank Perry was Katy Perry's uncle.) Also: "No wire hangers, ever!" ranked #72 on AFI's list of 100 Movie Quotes.

Anyway, here are some twisted photographers also inspired as I am...  


The Photography of Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello:



The Photography of Malina Corpadean:

Evoking the Muse

Ok, so...that wasn't easy. And when I say "wasn't easy" I mean "why the f**ck was that so f**king hard, dude?".
In the process of trying desperately to stay alive and breathing (and keep my kids alive, and breathing, and to school on time and in the right shoes on the right feet) while finding a place to live with NO job, finding a job, making a home out of the type of place one can get with NO job, getting a job (with a 3 to 4 hour commute each day), doing that job AND making sure food appears at appropriate times for two nearly tween-aged boys (not to mention the laundry...why the hell is there SO MUCH LAUNDRY and yet there is still a sock crisis EVERY morning at 7:05 am as we're rushing out to the bus!!!!?) I lost my muse
Yes, she must have gotten fed up with of all of the boring obsessions having only to do with putting one foot in front of the other, and found someone with a few more thoughts in their head.
Until yesterday my musings had been boiled down to the few but urgently persistent: 
"What time is it?"
 "What/ when am I feeding those Monkeys?"
"What am I going to listen to on Pandora on the bus?" and 
"What is the deal with that damned cat box smell!!??*".
 (*Previously my cats were house trained, but our current situation requires a cat box, and, although it has its OWN BEDROOM, I still can't believe this is a thing that people use in their house. I've upgraded to an enormous igloo thing, and obsess every weekend over new litter with varying and scintillating promises on their boxes... Oy, this line of ranting isn't going to entice my muse back to work, so let's just get over it.)

But today - TODAY - I'm on vacation! And I have time, and I have thoughts and the cat box doesn't smell right now.

After months of survival-specific tunnel vision, today I lifted up my head and looked around and exhaled that breath I'd taken just before the leap (into the abyss) and saw that I had DONE it. I am here, and we are fine and it was hard (and will continue to be for a while) but it will only get easier as each kink is ironed out...and it is something I made happen just from an idea in my head.

By the way, if you're wondering why I did it, what the idea was, and was it worth is where I live now (Sonoma County, California):

Here's what I see every morning:
 And every night:
She can't stay away from all of this for long...