Back to the book collection for a while; how very analogue of me!
Art and erotic representation have been bedfellows (sorry…) for as long as humans have represented themselves in paint and stone, and this survey moves from the Willendorf Venus (c.22,000BC) through to contemporary figures such as Jeff Koons and David Hockney. Leaving aside photography, which would require a very large book of its own, the author roams far and wide in his examination of how the erotic has been communicated across cultures and centuries by a dazzling array of visual artists.
Generally when we think of Hollywood we think of glamour studios such as Warner Brothers, Universal and MGM, but there was a shadow system lurking in the darker alleys of Los Angeles churning out low-budget genre pictures, often with big name stars fallen on hard times. Tom Weaver has spent many years documenting these fabulous byways, and this classic volume investigates in remarkable detail some of the most notable (!) horror movies from these down-at-heel backlots; I mean, Erich von Stroheim in The Lady and the Monster?! Lights, camera, action……
What more can I say? If you’re not aware that Napoleon is in town then you’re probably not going to be interested in this beautiful catalogue to the current exhibition at The National Gallery of Victoria. The rest of us can marvel at the treasures on offer!
With the Opera Australia production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle due in Melbourne in 2013, this new book by Australian author and opera enthusiast Peter Bassett focuses on those two titans of 19th century opera, Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Both were born in 1813 ( a remarkable year!), and both were massively influenced by the social and political upheavals that would shape the landscape of 19th century Europe.
A bit of vintage operatic posing from the Picture Collection:
(If that isn’t Lohengrin I’ll eat my swan hat!)