Today I had the good fortune to spend some time with Dijon Bowden, Bay Area storyteller and creator of the street photography project Souls of Society. Dijon took my photo on Divisadero Street in 2011 when the project was in its nascent stage and going by the name Souls of San Francisco. I was on my way to read Tarot for an event and was dressed up in steampunk clothing complete with top hat and cloak. Dijon’s photograph remains a loving snapshot from another time, capturing a vulnerability and presence that still surprises and impresses me.
San Francisco is the birthplace of so many amazingly creative endeavors and last month I was fortunate to participate in one called The Identity Project. It has been a while since I had had my portrait taken by a professional and I was extremely pleased with the results by Portraits to the People photographer Sarah Deragon. In regards to this particular undertaking, Deragon’s website states, ” This photography project seeks to explore the labels we choose to identify with when defining our gender and sexuality.” In her interview with The Bold Italic, Deragon says:
This book got my attention in October of last year, and I only shared one image. I was looking through my Flickr set today and found the rest of the photographs that made me feel like a young boy again. I think you will like them as well, dear reader. Enjoy! Above, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) gives Princess Leia (Carrie Fischer) a lift.
I am an avid fan of models, dolls and those in between. In this new feature (which will appear every now and then as the Muse strikes) I take a look at models in whom I find inspiration. I have always had a special place in my heart for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as the two of them are simply amazing actors and I love to keep up with their work on and off the movie screen. In July of 2005, W magazine and photographer Steven Klein featured Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in a portfolio entitled, “Domestic Bliss.” Though they are from a few years ago, the results are quite amazing and I thought they deserved another look. Allow me to share my favorite three images from that shoot with you, dear reader.
As shop manager of Swankety Swank, I do my best to stay informed about the work of artists in San Francisco. I came across the photography of Marco Walker while reading a copy of inGEN magazine and was blown away. His website has some beautiful work, but here’s two of my favorites!
This image has a captivating story to it with the anguished boy and the fire behind him. I love how the foggy atmosphere adds an ethereal quality to the narrative.
This young woman reminds me of the myths of Persephone, Gaia and Demeter as she appears to be rising from the hay field. Her makeup is minimal but still striking and I like the minimal color palette in this photograph. There’s many more gorgeous photos awaiting you at Marco Walker’s site!
I think it might have been Lost in Translation that made me fall in love with Scarlett Johansson. She was gorgeous, yes, but she had a range of emotions as well as a lyrical grace. She knew the power of nuance. She reminded me of the Goddess Pelé, a volcanic being whose calm exterior belies her smoking interior. She’s lava in lipstick.
And she’s going to be Black Widow in Iron Man II! I am so happy! Especially after Entertainment Weekly featured her on the cover (and inside the issue)! I think her costume is well designed, but then it’s hard to get a black bodysuit wrong. The wrist bracelets are a tad small, but designed well. We can’t see her belt to judge whether she has the Black Widow hourglass symbol yet, but here’s hoping! As for the girl curls, at first I was a bit taken aback, because I think they add a youthful (almost teenager) dimension to the look which is hard to reconcile with my idea of Natasha (I think curls would be too much maintenance for her), but it’s still pretty. At least they didn’t recreate the short cut she sometimes sports in the comics. That would have been too severe a look for my taste.
Scarlett is also featured in the new issue of fashion magazine W in a Dolce & Gabanna ad that is very Marilyn Monroe inspired (not that you needed to be told that). The picture above is almost like the one in the magazine, but Scarlett is looking more at the viewer instead of to the side and the background is a leopard print instead of white silk. I actually prefer the print version quite a bit more. I came across the one above while looking for a copy of the print ad online and did not find it. This one is lovely as well. There’s more pictures from this promotional shoot at Fashion Week Daily. And you might want to peruse some of Steven Klein’s photography while on W magazine’s site. There’s some gorgeous work there and one shoot actually features the designers Dolce & Gabbana that is simply stunning.