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Jackie Nickerson

Woman with floweres and dinosaurs III, 2020Photography by Jackie Nickerson

Photography by Jackie Nickerson

… as i look at the images i try to decide between gimmick and serious art work… i like the images, like the concept, but am i being seduced by something which really only has surface attraction?… she is described as a “world-class” photographer… she has earned her reputation in the fashion industry… interesting that these art/fashion photographs are about identity through, essentially, hats…

… the photography is from Salvage, her latest photobook… it explores the relationship between people and consumption in formal portraits… but what exactly does it say about that?… that we throw away some beautiful things that make cool face and head props in a photo project?…

… i look at the images… first take, cool… second take, what’s the message?… should we be forced to wear the wages of our sins?…

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.1

… as i think the words “wages of our sin” onto the computer screen, i look up the reference… a bible passage… and so, my thoughts about the photographs move to the objects plastered onto the heads of the models as some kind of cancerous growth… but not grotesque… somewhat disturbing but also beautiful… cleaned up, sanitized, cancerous growth…

… the pictures are compelling… would be easy to hang on the wall of ones living room… but… is the message lost in the glamour of the photography and art direction?…

Ann Barngrover, Taking Flight

… the author discusses the work of another author… Helen Macdonald, Vesper Flights… i have, but have not yet read, H is for Hawk… Vesper Flights is a collection of essays… as i read the descriptions of the books, i am thinking they would make good Christmas gifts for my sister…

… i learn about the German concept of wunderkammer, “cabinet of wonders.”…

Originally depicting rooms rather than pieces of furniture, wunderkammers were most popular in Victorian times as enclosed spaces that held collections of rare or unexpected finds. Instead of functioning as museums, “It was expected that people should pick up and handle the objects in these cases; feel their textures, their weights, their particular strangenesses.” You could touch and hold mollusk shells and chinaware, pressed feathers and butterfly wings, beaded stones and the fragile candelabras of fish bones, things both natural and forged. “Nothing was kept behind glass,” Macdonald notes.2

… as i read about the concept of wunderkammer… i think, i have a wunderkammer… my studio is a wonderkammer in a way… i have lots of natural objects i have collected… a bag of such objects from Block Island, sitting on my bed right now… a windowsill full of them… i think, this could be an art project… a photo project…

… the author moves on to talk about a college course on Star Wars that she and her colleague designed and gave… she talks about the feminism in Star Wars… she talks about the male know-it-alls who claim exclusive dominion over Star Wars interpretation…

Indeed, wondering comes at a price. As Macdonald reminds us, “Increasingly, knowing your surroundings, recognising the species of animals and plants around you, means opening yourself to constant grief.” This is the sobering reversal of slowing down and rejoicing in complexity and nuance, beauty and depth. The more you slow down, the more you will find. The more you find, the more you will connect. The more you connect, the more you will love. The more you love, the more you will lose—maybe not today, but one day, one day soon.3

… a good essay… worth reading…

Reese Herrington, “Girl Talk”

Girl Talk, Photography by Reese Herrington

Girl Talk, Photography by Reese Herrington

… a young woman photographer photographs the women around her in appreciative, sensual and sexual ways… in the bedroom, the bathroom, the boudoir… if its women photographing women, is it objectification?… their Instagram site is more balanced…


  1. Bible, Romans 6:23, New International Version [return]
  2. Barngrover, Ann, Taking Flight: https://www.guernicamag.com/taking-flight/ [return]
  3. Ibid [return]

An Article on Frédéric Malle, Perfume Industrialist

… perfume and the perfume industry catches my attention this morning… it is one of the first few articles i come across in my Feedbin aggregator… part of my effort to leave Google behind…

… Mr. Malle is being rendered as the renegade from within the industry… one wonders if there can ever be a renegade from within an industrial complex… i suspect it has more to do with building an image…

… there is conversation about the difficulties of international distribution, countries with different objections to different ingredients… how does one make something satisfying in and of itself but legal in all the potential markets?…

… Synthetic Jungle, a new fragrance, is described this way:

A vibrant green juice brimming with leafy basil and the off-kilter metallic green tang of styrallyl acetate, its freshness is imperceptibly undercut by white flowers – “that horse shit type of smell” – via hyacinth and lily of the valley accords, Egyptian jasmine oil and ylang ylang, a synthetic blackcurrant brings a touch of kitsch, while resinous galbanum and smoky patchouli oil earth the scent, rooting it to the skin. All at once “stylized, hyper-real and fantastical”, as the accompanying mini brochure reads, it is also a wry middle-finger to traditional conceptions of perfumery. Malle is by all accounts an iconoclast.1

… i look up iconoclast… i know the word but not the meaning… an attacker of cherished beliefs and institutions; a destroyer of religious artifacts… i wonder if 45 fits the definition of an iconoclast… in some regards, though something even more pernicious there…

… i learn that Halston Z14, Original Denim, L’air du Temps and Light Blue are all important perfumes in the history of perfumes…

… i reminisce about a period of time when i experimented with scents… when i was married to M…

… i reminisce about P, a friend of ours… troubled person… traumatized, somewhat agoraphobic… they told us they worked for a long time in the French perfume industry… very creative person, very sad person… they died a number of years ago… we think they took their own life, but there was never official confirmation of that…

… a discussion of the impact of corporate consolidation of the perfume industry and selling to mass markets…

Even (the aromatic, woody perfume) French Lover has a lot of naturals in it, although I never say it because I don’t want to comfort people and make them think that natural is best. It’s one of the biggest fake news stories in our industry and it sort of feeds into this new paganism where nature is best and we have to save nature, hence everything that was man-made is to be trashed.2

… by the end, i realize the whole piece is an advert for Synthetic Jungle, Malle’s newest fragrance…

Vivienne Westwood

… i am far from being a fashionista, except on rare occasions, like my niece’s wedding this past September at which i was declared, by my nephew’s girlfriend, the best dressed person at the wedding after the bride… but I just love this fashion collection of which this may be the most fun example:

Charley is wearing GARETH WRIGHTON, ATSUKO KUDO and ANDREAS KRONTHALER FOR VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

Photography by Casper Sejersen, Styling by Ellie Grace Cumming

… on the other hand, a t-shirt featuring the command to “buy less,” seems a bit disingenuous for high end fashion… reminds me of Melania Trump’s fashion statement while visiting an immigrant camp at the border:

Sakeema is wearing VIVIENNE WESTWOOD WORLDS END, ALINA ISPAS and ANDREAS KRONTHALER FOR VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

Photography by Casper Sejersen, Styling by Ellie Grace Cumming

… overall, the collection is wonderful fun and amazingly wacky… one more example:

Charley is wearing SINÉAD O’DWYER and CHOPOVA LOWENA

Vivienne Westwood for AnOther Magazine Autumn/Winter 2021

03 Juergen Teller and Skateboard Fashion

An article on a new skateboard fashion line incorporating the images of Juergen Teller

… an interesting character, fashion and art photography that often (always?) pushes the boundaries of good taste (many would say steps well over it) in presenting male and female bodies…

… i have one of his photo books…

Cover of Unterwegs Mit Juergen Teller

Spread from Unterwegs Mit Juergen Teller

… it’s a collection of photographs taken during his career with brief stories accompanying each… it is frank and largely heterosexual, even if it incorporates gay and trans personalities… it, like the fashion industry, very sexually oriented… there is a picture of Nobuyoshi Araki with a beer bottle sprouting erect-penis-like from his crotch (a frat boy cliche if you ask me, but then, it’s Araki)…

… he seems to be an equal opportunity boundary pusher, young nude women, old nude women, nude men (mostly his middle aged self), men’s genitals, women’s genitals, men’s sphincters, women’s sphincters, trans women, black men, black women, most of them celebrities of one kind or another…

… from where i sit it seems a wild life… my libido is interested and perhaps a little envious, but the poetry of Basho is more my style…

04 Tarra St. Hill

… an article about TSH in AnOther Magazine… i am initially interested because the lead photograph is of TSH from the waist up, naked… yes, the sex hook worked as it usually does…

… AnOther Mag is largely a fashion focused publication, but includes some good spreads on art of the moment, especially photographic art… in the past i have not been much interested in fashion, but a niece in the fashion industry and my interest in how women are presented photographically have converged to inspire me to pay more attention…

… TSH was apparently a muse to Corrine Day who was a fashion photographer, documentary photographer, model and author of Diary, in which she wrote about the experiences of herself and the constellation of people around her… Diary, published in 2000, sounds as though it has been generationally important… and when i look the book up i discover it is out of print and collectible, selling for north of $300 for a hardcover copy… it’s available as an ebook through a membership gated portal… i will investigate that later…

… as i read the article on the new TSH zine… it strikes me as largely a PR piece meant to enhance the notoriety of TSH… that the article leads with a partially nude portrait is to draw people (especially men?) in… TSH reminds me of the Blade Runner character Priss in the selection of photos offered from the magazine… i imagine that is intentional…

03 Manglien S. Gangte

a fashion spread that looks more like a high concept photo book, grainy pictures here, blown out lighting photos there, few images allow the close inspection of the craftsmanship of garments, meant mostly to evoke a feeling of the ancestors in the present day…

Did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?

Photography and styling by Manglien Ganté

02 Peter Lindbergh

… this photograph of Tina turner and Azzedine Alaia in 1989…

Azzedine Alaïa & Tina Turner, Paris, 1989. © Peter Lindbergh (courtesy Peter Lindbergh Foundation, Paris)

… wow!…