{gallery} Public Domain Nude Art Collection

The Public Domain Review website is, as their website states, “dedicated to the exploration of curious and compelling works from the history of art, literature, and ideas – focusing on works now fallen into the public domain, the vast commons of out-of-copyright material that everyone is free to enjoy, share, and build upon without restrictions.” None were shot on iPhones, but they displayed as pixels on exhibition.

I love the site. They recently posted a couple hundred public domain vintage nude photographs, drawings, and sculptures. Here are some of my favorites.

You can peruse the whole gallery here. Used under Creative Commons 0 license.

{memoir} The Now by Luc Sante

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PHOTO: JIM PICKERELL. PUBLIC DOMAIN, VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

By Luc Sante September 21, 2020

ARTS & CULTURE

When I was a teenager I was, like most teenagers, preoccupied with the idea that somewhere on the horizon there was a Now. The present moment came to a peak out there; it achieved a continuous apotheosis of nowness, a wave endlessly breaking on an invisible shore. I wasn’t quite sure what specific form this climax took, but it had to involve some concatenation of records, poems, pictures, parties, and behavior. Out there all of those items would be somehow made manifest: the pictures walking along in the middle of the street, the right song broadcast in the air every minute, the parties behaving like the poems and vice versa. Since it was 1967 when I became a teenager, I suspected that the Now would stir together rock ’n’ roll bands and mod girls and cigarettes and bearded poets and sunglasses and Italian movie stars and pointy shoes and spies. But there had to be much more than that, things I could barely guess. The present would be occurring in New York and Paris and London and California while I lay in my narrow bed in New Jersey, which was a swamplike clot of the dead recent past.

At the time I had been in the United States less than half my life and much about it was still strange. I constantly found myself making basic errors about social practices and taboos. My parents certainly couldn’t help me—they understood even less. There wasn’t really anyone I could ask who would answer my questions and not make fun of me. Through force of necessity I had become adept at amateur anthropology, deducing the ways and habits of the Americans from the semiotic clues they threw off in their relentless charge through the twentieth century. I read every piece of paper I could get my hands on. I became a big fan of mimeographed bulletins, local advertising circulars, political campaign literature, obsolete reference books, collections of antediluvian Broadway wit, hobbyist newsletters, charity solicitations, boys’ activity books from the thirties, travel magazines entirely cooked up in three-room office suites on Park Avenue South, and the Legion of Decency ratings in the weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of Newark. 

Every month I devoured Reader’s Digest, paying particular attention to the rubrics devoted to humorous anecdotes submitted by readers, because I was intent on figuring out how humor worked. I also pricked up my ears every time I heard Americans laughing, because it meant I might be able to glean a story that would earn me five bucks. (I never did, which in itself taught me an enormous amount about humor.) While I hated Catholic school, I treasured the reading matter the nuns threw at us: Dick and Jane books, missionary propaganda, gruesome martyrologies, slim collections of poetry edited and published by the Sisters of Charity. They were gold mines of data. Some of our textbooks were thirty or forty years old, with pictures that showed boys wearing plus fours and girls with oversize bows in their hair, and they were interestingly territorial. I particularly relished the story of Johnny, who had Protestant friends who goaded him constantly about his faith and were determined to get him to eat a meat sandwich on a Friday. Johnny finally succumbed, and on the way home he was run over by a streetcar.

Gradually I built up my store of knowledge. I was beginning to get a feel for the way people used language as a tool to pound nails with, and I dimly began to comprehend power relations and kinship patterns and the yawning gaps between ideal and actuality in the American project. 

Read the whole piece at the Paris Review.

{video} Knox Bronson ~ Young Girl Blues

This wonderful song is from Donovan’s album, “Mellow Yellow,” 1967. Such a strange and moody and romantic piece. It blew my 16-yr. old mind like few other songs ever have. The title for my latest album, “One Man’s Opinion Of Moonlight,” is from a line in this song. Thank you, Mr. Donovan Leitch.

The main movie is excerpted from Extase (Ecstacy), starring Hedy Lamarr, 1933. Pretty racy for those times. I simply love how the footage compliments Donovan’s lyrics. Or vice versa.

Song licensed from Peer International Corp.

It’s Saturday night
It feels like a Sunday in some ways
If you had any sense
You’d maybe go ‘way for a few days
Be that as it may
You can only say you were lonely
You are but a young girl
Working your way through the phonies

Coffee on, milk gone
Such a sad light unfading
Yourself you touch
But not too much
You hear it’s degrading

The flowers on your stockings
Wilting away in the midnight
The book you are reading
Is one man’s opinion of moonlight
Your skin is so white
You’d like maybe to go to bed soon
Just closing your eyes
If you’re to rise up before noon

High heels, car wheels
All the losers are grooving
Your dream, strange scene
Images are moving

our friends they are making
A pop star or two every evening
You know that scene backwards
They can’t see the patterns they’re weaving
Your friends they’re all models
But you soon got over that one
You sit in your one room
A little brought down in London

Cafe on, milk gone
Such a sad light unfading
Yourself you touch
But not too much
You’ve heard it’s degrading

A Saturday night
It feels like a Sunday in some ways
If you had any sense
You’d maybe go away for a few days
Be that as it may
You can only say you were lonely
You are but a young girl
And you’re working your way through the phonies

{sunday} Leon Williams ~ Bit stormy out

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Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters he.

No rays from the holy heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently-
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free-
Up domes- up spires- up kingly halls-
Up fanes- up Babylon-like walls-
Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-
Up many and many a marvellous shrine
Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
The viol, the violet, and the vine.
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol’s diamond eye-
Not the gaily-jewelled dead
Tempt the waters from their bed;
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass-
No swellings tell that winds may be
Upon some far-off happier sea-
No heavings hint that winds have been
On seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave- there is a movement there!
As if the towers had thrust aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide-
As if their tops had feebly given
A void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow-
The hours are breathing faint and low-
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.

The City In The Sea by Edgar Allan Poe

Happy Sunday.

Moby ~ God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters.

The Art of the iPhone

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