Tag: vintage art
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Richie Fahey and His Photography
New York City photographer Richie Fahey paints his pictures in a cold water flat, surrounded by his inspiration: a huge collection of paperbacks in 1930-1960s, mold and pulp detective. With the help of a manual fan of post-war oil Coloring Pictures for fun and profit, he learned to transform photos into black and white to glorious color by bubbling with pigments on snapshots of the 40s .
Technicolor-style lobby cards as Fahey mentioned in the houses of old movies, novels and covers portraits dimestore star fan magazines such as screen and Photoplay. In defining his style, Fahey was inspired by pictures in magazine posed detective, director of photography for the 1940’s-50 as John Alton, portrait photographers like George Hurrell, and as painters and illustrators and James Leeteg Avanti.
In creating his images, Fahey plays with the stereotype of black beautiful women that has gone wrong and the men who love them. He is meticulous stylistic detail. Convincing the artistic direction, combined with lighting techniques and hand coloring vintage combine to create attractive, ambiguous works. The inability of the viewer to identify the exact time when a photograph has been taken Fahey, lends a certain timelessness to work from the artist.
Fahey has created book covers for Penguin, Scribner, Warner Books, Vintage, ST. Martin’s Press, Knopf and Simon & Schuster. Other commercial clients include Sony Records, Adobe Theatre Co. and Design Spot. His clients have included Sports Illustrated editorial, GOTHAM, bust, atomic physics and magazines Flatiron. Fahey produced and co-designed the cover for James Bond novels reissued.
Fahey was presented in juxtaposing art review, camera art, Yellow Rat Bastard and GARAGE. His work has been presented to the Robin Rice Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village and posters of his work are available for purchase online at VintageArte.com. His 2004 calendar pinup, women in crime watch, beautiful women caught secretly commit various crimes fun.
Fahey studied painting at the University of South Caroline and photography at the Rochester Institute Technology.
Chanel’s collaboration with the Parisian artistic avant garde had been much more successful. As early as 1922 she worked with Jean Codeau, Picasso and the composer Arthur Honegger on a production of the classical Greek play Antigone; and from 1923 to 1927 she worked with Sergei Diaghilev and Codeau on ballet designs.
For the first of their joint works, Le Train Bleu, a fantasy about the Riviera, the dancers were costumed in bathing suits, pullovers and tennis or golf shoes, and the leading female role was a tennis player. So fashion, sport and the artistic avant-garde united to celebrate the modernity of modem life, and Chanel’s little black dress (American Vogue called it the “Ford of fashion”) became the epitome of modernist style.
The modernist movement in art transcended both national boundaries and those of artistic form, influencing all the arts from architecture to the novel. Visually, it was the embodiment of the ideal of speed, science and the machine. It was a love affair with a rationalist, utopian future, and in architecture and design this led to an ascetic functionalism that considered houses and flats as machines for living, fumiture and household artefacts as items for use, not ornament, and even human beings as machines.
More than almost any other aspect of mass culture, high fashion acted as a conduit for this esthetic, translating it into a popular language of pared-down design and understated chic. In architecture, the Bauhaus movement created buildings that used glass to reveal the inner workings of the design. They stripped away the superfluous ornament that had cluttered 19th-century architecture with what was now regarded as the sentimental idealization of a past recreated in pastiche.
In dress, too, the watchword was now functionalism; clothing was simply an envelope for the body, which it impeded as little as possible. If there was to be adornment of any kind, it was to be of the art deco variety. Art deco was so called after the Exhibition des Arts Decoratifs, held in Paris in 1925. This exhibition had in a sense inaugurated the idea of a lifestyle, though the expression was not then used. It included a Pavilion of Elegance, in which the fashion designs of Chanel and Poiret, among others, were displayed. They complemented the furniture, ceramics and architecture – throughout, the few ornamental motifs and bright colors permitted were definite, clean-cut and jazzy.
In literature and painting, part of the modernism of modem art had been that the work of art interrogated its own intentions and questioned its own form. Perhaps what Cecil Beaton was to describe as the “nihilism” of the Chanel look was modernist too: it not only mocked the vulgarity of conspicuous consumption but, in inventing a look that was universal, international and reduced to the minimum, it almost sought to abolish fashion itself, creating instead a classic look that defied the one essential of fashion – change. At the same time the geometric, angular design of women’s clothing imitated the clean, spare lines of modern abstract art and design. Woman was no longer treated as a voluptuous animal; she had become a futurist machine.
Fashion thus disseminated the new esthetic of the modernist avant garde across two continents, and radically altered the way in which erotic beauty was conceived. Fashion became, superfiicially at least, classIess, and the great thing for a woman was no longer to look grand, but simply to look modem.
For the first time the New World and the Old engaged in a mutual cultural exchange of style and imagery. Although Paris stillled the way, the vamps and innocents of Hollywood – Theda Bara, Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford, Louise Brooks constructed new tastes in beauty, while the “lost generation” of American expatriates settled in Paris and the south of France. Some of these hoped to create a new art and a literature that would reflect the often excessive and even tragic pleasure-seeking of the postwar generation.
Emest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald and many others tried to be as well as to describe a modern breed of sexually free beings, women and men whose minds, hearts and bodies were as untrammeled by traditional nations of morality as their bodies were by constricting clothes. Fitzgerald’s characters “discovered” the Riviera in summer until then it had been only a winter resort – and the suntan became another sign of working-class toil to migrate up the social scale.
It became the status symbol of the globetrotter, who need never work and whose wealth permitted this inversion of established tastes. Society ladies took care to become brown as navvies, and Fitzgerald’ s heroine wore only pearls and a low-backed white bathing suit to set off her iodine-colored skin as she lay on the Mediterranean sands.
At the earlly of 1920’s Chanel’ s designs were for the leisured rich, the new international set who traveled Europe and the United States in a restless search for seasonal diversions; and the irony of her fashions was that she gave the richest women in the world a look that was indistinguishable from that of a shop girl or office worker.
Dressed in this ultra-chic “poor look” – in a sirnple black dress either with a demure white Peter Pan collar, or, more likely, completely unadomed – the society women who affected it paid everything for a fashion that looked like nothing and reduced women’ s dress to a minimalist uniform of understatement. Chanel even designed necklaces of uncut diamonds and emeralds that looked as though they were made of common glass.
This, then, was an inversion of values in the so-called democratic century. Dress was no longer a matter of direct display; instead, fashion adopted the language of the streets and of the common man (man, not woman, for both sexes). Chanel flung a trenchcoat around her shoulders and it became the latest thing; jersey, corduroy and tweed, once used to make only workmen’s or country clothes, were transformed into high fashion. The concept of casual wear was born.
By this time high fashion was an international movement. Paul Poiret had already toured the United States, where he had been horrified to find his exclusive designs pirated everywhere. By 1930 Seventh Avenue (the New York City garment district) was adapting Chanel’s designs for the mass market – and their sirnpIicity meant that they were highly suitable for mass production.
In the following year Chanel was invited to Hollywood by Sam Goldwyn. The “poor girI” look that Chanel had made her own was similar to that popularized by Louise Brooks on the screen, where she played ordinary city girls, “good sorts” and tomboys. Goldwyn invited Chanel to dress his stars because she was the most prestigious of all dress designers, but as it turned out her designs were too understated for Hollywood. After designing Gloria Swanson’ s wardrobe for Tonight or Neuer (1931) she retumed to Paris, unenthralled by the celluloid capital, which in tum had no use for her Iittle-or-nothing clothes.
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