Let’s face it: the coffee table book is not just a book; it’s an item designed to indicate the relative level of sophistication of its owner. It’s a fetish object which ideally turns the sophistication dial up to “high.” Displaying coffee table books is, thus, essentially an invitation to people to judge you. A lot of people go wrong there, in my opinion. So here are 50 books that should be populating your coffee table instead of the latest collection of Vanity Fair‘s photo… Read More
From the dawn of photography, we have tried to capture the nude, to commit his or her physical details and beauty to paper, and later, to pixel. See a humble collection of just a few contemporary photographers whose oeuvre is charged with an artist-specific erotic energy. For the most part, those selected focus on nude portraiture. Most are quite well-known. Some are on the way. None are safe for work. Feel free to add, rant about excessive raunchiness, or complain that we didn’t include Ryan McGinley in the comments. “Sexy” is a subjective… Read More
LA gallerist Perry Rubenstein was working as a fashion model in Europe during the early 1980s when photographer provocateur Helmut Newton was rising to fame for his erotically charged portraits of women, admirable technical prowess, and fashion savvy spreads. Later in life, Newton migrated to Los Angeles and spent time at the sumptuous, elegant Chateau Marmont, which became one of several California locations where he continued his work until his death in 2004.
Rubenstein, who just moved his art house from New York, will be celebrating the photographer’s work with an inaugural exhibition featuring 40 of Newton’s large-scale Sex portraits and unreal landscapes — a show originally conceived by the artist himself.
The exhibition — with guidance from wife and longtime collaborator June Newton — aims to contextualize Los Angeles within Newton’s global art practice, sharing “a particularly striking juxtaposition of images, which collectively represent the tremendous influence Newton has had on art and fashion alike.”
Perry Rubenstein gallery was kind enough to share a preview of the impressive exhibition with us. Visit some of Newton’s iconic nudes and notable landscapes in our gallery past the break. Head to the gallery website for more information about Sex and Landscapes, which opens in Hollywood on June 26, running until August 25.
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Let’s be honest. It’s hard to take a dignified self-portrait in the mirror — to arrange your face casually, to half-pose without feeling contrived, to push the button without feeling a bit silly… for us, that is. These are professionals. They spend their days behind the camera, so it’s quite exciting to peek into this intimate moment in their private space, to soak in the details — from the dimples in their face to the patterns of their wallpaper to their camera gear. A demure Diane Arbus in the ’40s, a surreal Weegee in the ’50s, a sexy Helmut Newton in the ’70s — we’re fascinated by these pre-Internet, pre-cliché images from the masters. Here are a few known art photographers and noted photojournalists shooting themselves. OK, now your turn.
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Any project with both Aaron Sorkin and John Krasinski behind it has our attention. But we were especially intrigued to learn last week that the pair are working with HBO on a miniseries about Hollywood’s most famous (and perhaps its most notorious) hotel, the Chateau Marmont. With its lavish bungalows and soundproof rooms, it’s long been a haven for celebrities behaving badly. Built in 1929 as an apartment complex and transformed into a hotel in 1931, the Chateau’s racy reputation was set by 1939, when Columbia Pictures honcho advised his talent,”If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont.” In anticipation of Sorkin and Krasinski’s miniseries, we’ve put together a brief cultural history of the hotel, from funny stories to tragic deaths.
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Back in March the Vienna-based WestLicht Museum of Photography purchased the International Polaroid Collection from the Swiss Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, saving it from being sold off piecemeal with the rest of the bankrupt company’s holdings. Made up of 4,400 photos by 800 international artists, including such well-known names as Ansel Adams, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Andy Warhol, this massive body of work was shot primarily in the ’70s and ’80s using special custom made cameras and film that was not available on the market — all provided by Polaroid’s founder, Edwin Herbert Land. Beginning today, 350 of the images will go up on display in Austria; click through to view a selection of highlights from the collection, including our absolute favorite — ANDY SNEEZING.
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TEFAF, the European Fine Art Fair that takes place every spring in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht, touts itself as “the world’s leading art and antiques fair.” In spite of the hype, there is glory coincident to the fair’s claims. This year, 260 exhibitors from 16 countries are offering fine antiques, rare books and manuscripts, maps, jewelry, Old Master paintings and sculptures, modern and contemporary art, photography, exceptional crafts, and design objects. Works on view range from Oceanic fetish figures carved in wood to decorative brooches made from hundreds of diamonds and museum-quality paintings that sell for millions.
Our top ten picks from the fair, which runs through the weekend, include one of Edvard Munch’s rare lithographic prints of a seductive Madonna; a sleek, bronze statue of pacing lion from the 1600s; Rembrandt’s masterful portrait of a pirate, which has a $47 asking price; a pair of Napoleonic folding chairs that look completely contemporary; a Helmut Newton photo of an androgynous fashion model sharing a smoke with a nude on a darkened Paris street; and a silhouetted portrait of artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster defined by a heap of cast hands and penises. Click through the images below to view our fair favorites.
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Phillip de Pury & Company’s SEX auction of erotic artwork in London netted more than $2 million last Friday. Ironically, there was a 69 percent sell-through rate by lot; but in auction terms, that rate is considered modest at best. While some experts referred to the achieved prices as flaccid, the sale did… Read More