{en vedette dimanche} Knox Bronson ~ Jesus Is Lord of Coalinga

I used to only give myself a {daily pic} on my birthday, November 10, but Pixels wasn’t up last year, so I couldn’t do it then. As mentioned, I’m not doing the {daily pic} any more, rather now sporadic {en vedette} postings as explained here.

I used to do the {sunday daily pic} wherein I would try to post images/texts/music of more spiritual inclination … meditative, solemn, cosmic, and so on … and, so, now I am continuing the tradition with {en vedette dimanche} posts. Dimanche being French for Sunday, of course.

Yesterday, I found the perfect video for an {en vedette dimanche} post: American pop music icon Pat Boone covering Alice Cooper’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” Pat Boone was a squeaky clean pop star in the fifties and sixties doing vanilla covers of songs written by black musicians, all the while projecting a public persona that was about as edgy as a strawberry milkshake.

Late in his career, he decided to pull out all the stops and record an album of heavy metal music, including “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” On the album cover, he traded in his saddle shoes and seersucker suit for a black leather vest, possibly rending a tear in the very fabric of the space-time continuum.

You are probably asking, “Knox, why is this video perfect for an {en vedette dimanche} post? It is neither meditative nor solemn nor spiritual.”

Yes, you are correct, but it is cosmic.

All this to say … I needed a picture to go with the video. Nothing really appropriate with which to pair it had come in in the past few days and then I remembered this picture of my own.

I spent fourteen months in Coalinga, a little town in the middle of nowhere halfway between Oakland and Los Angeles off Highway 5 in the Central Valley. I was coming into town late one afternoon, talking on the phone with a friend, when I passed the sign and saw the ominous and glowing red and pink clouds in the sunset behind it. I drove for another quarter mile before it occurred to me that I would never get an opportunity for that picture again. I made a quick U-turn and zipped back up the two-lane highway and got the shot, all the while talking on the camera.

Pixels has been back up for three weeks, now. I can’t express how good it feels when someone from the old days suddenly shows up and posts some pictures. Or how nice it is to see some new names appearing. Welcome!

I could go on for a while about strange journey that has been Pixels, and why I am using Pixels again, instead of P1XELS, for the most part, but it’s late and I’m at the tail-end of a bad cold and I have pharyngitis – with shows (singing) coming next Saturday & the Saturday after.

Suffice it to say that the first day I worked on the Pixels website in November of 2009, I made a vow to myself to only do it if I was having fun. At some point, I forgot that vow and I was trying to make things happen and it was, as Iggy Pop sang, no fun, anymore.

That’s not going to happen again.

Happy Sunday!

{en vedette} Ivo Coric ~ Sin and Purity IV

Ivo Coric ~ Sin and Purity IV
Ivo Coric ~ Sin and Purity IV

Originally published February 27, 2013

There so many things I love about this picture. The birds: guardians or just watchers? The stacked books. The second nude in the picture frame. The bright white light slashing across her thighs. The look on her face. Her red lips, open, revealing sliver of white teeth. Surprise and surrender.

If every picture tells a story, this one is a novella.

And I don’t think I could have found a better song to go with this picture than this one:

The Electrician by The Walker Bros.

{en vedette} Paul Toussaint ~ Untitled

Anybody Seen My Baby? by the Rolling Stones.

She confessed her love to me
Then she vanished on the breeze
Trying to hold on to that was just impossible
She was more than beautiful
Closer to etherial
With a kind of down to earth flavor
Close my eyes
It’s three in the afternoon
Then I realize
That she’s really gone for good
Anybody seen my baby
Anybody seen her around
Love has gone and made me blind
I’ve looked but I just can’t find
She has gotten lost in the crowd
I was flippin’ magazines
In that place on Mercer Street
When I thought I spotted her
Getting on a motor bike
Looking rather lady like
Didn’t she just give me a wave?
Salty tears
It’s three in the afternoon
Has she disappeared
Is she really gone for good
Anybody seen my baby
Anybody seen her around
If I just close my eyes
I reach out and touch the prize
Anybody seen her around
Anybody seen my baby
Anybody seen her around
If I just close my eyes
I reach out and touch the prize
Anybody seen her around
Lost, lost and never found
I must have called her a thousand times
Sometimes I think she’s just in my imagination
Lost in the crowd

Susan Rennie ~ Nighthawking with Hopper

Welcome, Susan! For those of you who don’t Susan’s work, she uses her iPhone for self-portraits which she inserts into famous paintings. I have always loved the whimsical and intelligent nature of the series.

{video} William Mortensen — 20th Century Visionary

I’ve written about William Mortensen before. He was blacklisted by Ansel Adams and his crew from the history of 20th century photography. Adams called Mortensen “the anti-Christ.” A recent graduate from a photography school of my acquaintance had never heard of Mortensen. This is a shame.

I’ll take Mortensen over Adams any day.

Mortensen was a Pictorialist. Pictorialism was a photographic movement pretty much created by and championed by Alfred Stieglitz in the early twentieth century.

In 2010, Alexis Madrigal wrote in The Atlantic:

The iPhone artists are executing a nearly identical operation to the pictorialists. To make people understand something as art, you make it look like the art they already know, right? Everyone knows the pictorialists made art photos, so now you make your iPhone shots look like their gum bichromate prints. You say over and over, iPhone photos can be art. And you push your work into the cultural institutions that define the edges of the art world.
There’s an exhibition of iPhone art touring the country right now. It debuted in San Francisco last month, and will hit Chicago and New York in the next two weeks. “Pixels at an Exhibition” features art produced solely with the iPhone — and some of it is gorgeous. I rest my case with Maia Panos’ “Morning Glow,” a fine example of the iPhone pictorialist genre.

Maia Panos ~ Morning Glow

There’s a great book about Mortensen, American Grotesque. Highly recommended.

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