"IT’S GRATE - BUT IS IT ART?" by HERB SLODOUNIK

I first saw this photo on sfmoma's blog about a year ago, without information about the photographer or when it was taken. Today, after re-spotting it - again without credits - I thought I check the web if I can find any reliable information about this photograph, and voilà, here it is:

It was taken by Herb Slodounik, who worked as staff photographer for The Montana Standard where the photo was published in April 28, 1968. For everyone with a newspapers.com account: you can check it here.

The Montana Standard caption:

"GRATE," BUT IS IT ART? is an example of candid humor where the photographer does not intrude or control the situation. This picture was taken several years ago by staff photographer Herb Slodounik in the San Francisco Museum of Art Shot with a Rolleiflex 2. (+)

 
A few years earlier the photo was published on the famous ‘Miscellany’ back page of Life Magazine / Issue July 26, 1963 (I guess it was taken around that time).

In 1988 it was republished in the book LIFE SMILES BACK by Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., together with 231 more ‘Miscellany’ photos.

LIFE SMILES BACK caption:

"At the San Francisco Museum of Art, an abstract gets close scrutiny.” (+)

 
Herb Slodounik died in 2008 after suffering from cancer. You can find more information about his life here.

KURT COBAIN & NIRVANA BY STEPHEN SWEET

Kurt Cobain died 20 years ago, on April 5, 1994. It’s crazy how time flies - it doesn’t feel like long ago that I first listened to Nirvana as a teenager, buying albums, singles, videotapes (e.g. Sonic Youth’s 1991: The Year Punk Broke) and bootlegs with my pocket money that was intended for lunch snacks at school. May his soul rest in peace.

Here’s a short excerpt of the 1994 obituary from the New York Times archive:

"Kurt Cobain, the ragged-voiced product of a Pacific Northwest timber town who helped to create the grunge rock sound that has dominated popular music for the last four years, was found dead today at his home here. The police said they believed that Mr. Cobain, the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the influential band Nirvana, killed himself with a single shotgun blast to the head." (read more)

Find an impressive collection of Nirvana photographs and bootlegs here. More photos of Kurt & Nirvana on my blog here.

» find more photos of famous people here «

EXHIBITION: EXPERIENCING NIRVANA
at Proud Camden, London, UK

This exhibition, by photographers Charles Peterson and Steve Double, reveals a rare and intriguing insight into one of the most influential and important rock bands of the modern era, marking the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s untimely death.

Both Peterson and Double began photographing Nirvana at around the same time, in 1989 when the band had just signed to the Sub Pop label and released their first album ‘Bleach’. They are considered the foremost grunge photographers capturing the birth of the scene and the spirit of Nirvana.

Peterson said that the grunge aesthetic was "…a supercharged lifestyle of expression, a familial community made up of ‘stray dogs from every village’ who all had the same aching need for something to do, preferably loud and diverting”.

After Kurt Cobain’s tragic death in 1994, many people felt that the grunge scene had died. These photographs captured the essence of this generation and features iconic genre-defining live images of Nirvana playing onstage alongside never before seen images of the notoriously private band off-stage. (+)

Exhibition dates:
Mar. 27 - May 11, 2014

» find more exhibitions here «  |  » more photos of famous people «

© Wanda Wulz, 1932, Io + Gatto (Self-portrait)

Her self-portrait ‘Io + Gatto’ (Me + Cat), where she superimposes a photo of her cat Pippo on top of an image of herself, is one of the most famous double exposures in art history.

Self-Portrait, 1932 / The Cat without Me, 1932

In 1932, Wulz presented the photograph in the ‘Mostra Fotografica Futurista’ in Trieste, where it was hailed as the highlight of the exhibition. Photographs of Wanda Wulz are extremely rare, as in the late 1930s she turned to portrait painting. (+)

Thanks to chagalov for the photos and information!

» find more photomontage art here «

© Eve Arnold, 1952, Marlene Dietrich, New York

"Marlene Dietrich at the recording studios of Columbia Records, who were releasing most of her songs she had performed for the troops during World War II. She was 51 years old and starting a come-back in show business. It was a wet and cold November night and work could only begin at midnight, at the advise of Marlene’s astrologer."

» find more of Magnum Photos here «

© Jeff Mermelstein, ca. 1993-1997, New York City

This picture was featured in Everybody Street, a new documentary chronicling the life and work of 13 of New York’s most renowned street photographers. Watch the trailer here and find more ‘Everybody Street’ photos here and here.

EXHIBITION: HERMANN LANDSHOFF - A RETROSPECTIVE
at Münchner Stadtmuseum, Munich, Germany

Landshoff grew up in Munich-Solln as the son of a well-to-do Jewish family that was very much involved in the city’s art, literature and music scenes. After training at Munich’s Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts), he became a member of the circle of well-known typographer and book illustrator Fritz Helmuth Ehmcke. It was here that Landshoff met the Nuremberg illustrator Richard Lindner alongside whom he would subsequently work as part of the creative team at the Knorr & Hirth publishing house.

When the Nazis seized power in 1933, Landshoff was forced to emigrate, initially settling in Paris where he worked as a fashion photographer. Between 1936 and 1939, his images were published in the popular ‘Femina’ magazine and in the French edition of ‘Vogue’. He was then forced to flee France and, after an eventful journey spanning 1940 and 1941, he eventually pitched up in New York.

Landshoff soon became one of the most fascinating fashion photographers to collaborate with legendary art director Alexey Brodovitch for fashion magazines such as ‘Harper’s Bazaar’, ‘Junior Bazaar’ and latterly also ‘Mademoiselle’. He developed his own style as a fashion photographer, portraying the models in life-like everyday situations. American fashion photographer Richard Avedon considered himself to have been profoundly inspired by Landshoff, even being moved to claim that ‘I owe everything to Landshoff’.

There is little doubt that Hermann Landshoff is one of the last great unsung heroes in (the history of) 20th century photography.

The exhibition will show a selection of more than 250 of Landshoff’s fascinating photographs for the first time, with subjects drawn from across the entire spectrum of his work, from fashion to portraits and architecture. (read more)

Exhibition dates:
Nov. 29, 2013 - Apr. 21, 2014

» find more exhibitions here «

Unknown photographer, ca. 1929, Portrait of Hermann Hesse

"Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness."

― Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

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