Oy. Harry. Would you please lighten up? Harry Houdini goes for a dip.

Theater · Visual arts
European financial system on the brink … Steve Jobs dead at 56 …. distraction and dissolution everywhere. It all feels so dire. Not sure whether this photo of major meshuggenah, Harry Houdini, will lighten your mood or not. Something in this shot of Mr. Ball-and-Chain spoke to me. Seems to suit the zeitgeist. World, could’ja ...

What art looks like 1

Dance · Visual arts
The snapshot at left captures a moment that is precious, ephemeral, and intimate. Three artists, each immersed in private thought, prepare to perform. [Click for detailed view.] It’s a backstage photo of Ballet Alicia Alonso, now the Cuban National Ballet, dating  from the 1948-49 season. Then, a spirited young American ballerina, Edith Brozak McMann, danced ...

Why art matters: Eiko & Koma and photographer Johan Elbers on lower Manhattan sand dune in 1980 2

Dance · Ideas & Opinion · Visual arts
Photo featured in Eiko & Koma: Time is not Even, Space is Not Empty Photo credit: (c)Johan Elbers (1980)   Like this? Read more: Eiko & Koma’s “Event Fission” at the landfill created for the World Trade Center, 1980

Dance photog Christopher Duggan shoots Lar Lubovitch Dance Company 1

Dance · Visual arts
New York-based dance photographer Christopher Duggan snapped these amazing rehearsal photos of Lar Lubovitch Dance Company performing this weekend at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Lar Luvovitch Dance Company first performed at the Pillow in 1971, and since then five more times, including the troupe’s fortieth anniversary celebration in the Ted Shawn Theater. photo credit: Christopher ...

Mick Jagger’s ‘Exile,’ says fellow traveler John Van Hamersveld, named in downtown Los Angeles 1

Music · Visual arts
Who knew? When we were high school kids in suburban Pittsburgh in 1972, devouring the images on the cover of The Rolling Stones’s unspeakably great double album, “Exile on Main Street,” who knew that 39 years later, in a Los Angeles art gallery, I’d have a nice chat with the graphic artist who created the ...

Hoppé’s impromptu Nijinsky photo session 1

Dance · Visual arts
This dapper fellow is E.O. Hoppé, Great Britain’s German-born society-and-arts photographer (1878-1972) whose current show at London’s National Portrait Gallery has spawned very positive reviews. [Click on E.O.’s photo for better view] And it all has a Los Angeles connection. arts·meme friend, Graham Howe, who divides his time between Sydney and Pasadena, is a distinguished photography ...

L’Enfer: Clouzot’s movie project from hell 1

Film · Visual arts
Film director Henri-Georges Clouzot nearly lost his mind, as well as his career and even his life, obsessing over the Austrian-born multilingual actress Romy Schneider. In 1963, Clouzot, then one of France’s most acclaimed filmmakers, began work on “L’Enfer,” a tale of male jealousy and madness. A blank check from Columbia Pictures burning in his ...

Beato photography reveals beauty & brutality of the East-West encounter

Visual arts
Photographs by Felice Beato (1832–1909), an Italian-born rolling stone who roamed Asia in the latter half of the 19th century, are on view in a worthwhile exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Using his cumbersome camera and his good eye, Beato delivered to the West some of the first photo images of Asia’s exotic ...

William Eggleston straddles Wilshire Boulevard

Visual arts
Artist Ed Ruscha called him “a blessed rascal.” He influenced filmmakers David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch, and Sofia Coppola. But more than that, he totally changed the medium of photography, according to William Eggleston expert Carole Thompson in a gallery talk  at Edward Cella Art + Architecture, right across Wilshire Boulevard from LACMA. Cella, relatively new to ...

Philippe Petit, wired, even when not on wire 2

Dance · Ideas & Opinion · Visual arts
Co-published on Huffington Post arts page “Falling is not my specialty,” quipped Philippe Petit in verbal jousting with “extreme” choreographer Elizabeth Streb during “Hammer Conversations” at the museum’s Billy Wilder Theater last week. Streb was describing how dance “must be extreme or no one will notice it as action.” In amazingly fluent English, Petit rejoined, ...