Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Both sets of photographs were taken with a grouping display in mind. The above black and white shots were taken at Red Bug Gallery in Berkeley, Calif. in the early 1970s. The owners of this pottery-candles-and-macrame boutique inherited a carousel, and in their quest to restore and identify the carved wooden horses, eventually evolved into the premiere dealers of carousel art in the U.S.A. Although it's a close-up, my shot with the dark grey background in fact shows an incredibly rare 1895 specimen, one of four known Dentzel hippocampuses (hippocampi? plural of mythological sea horse) in existence. And there it was back in the day, next to the potteries...

Below left, my photo in the confined gallery space;

 right, fair use of illustration of the entire animal as seen in
the 1983 book The Carousel Animal.

The above color grouping depicts a costuming class project for someone's UCLA film class. The hoop skirted dress's model, Nancy, sewed the yellow seersucker dress by hand, then required suitable themed photography. Her boyfriend "borrowed" a few items and accessories from the school's wardrobe dept. and I posed them in front of a sufficiently huge Beverly Hills estate on Sunset Boulevard to convey the proper English country manor house look. 

Yes we trespassed, but I worked quickly and the models didn't trample any petunias. The invisible irony to me was the model, normally a feisty, bell-bottom jeans-wearing, anti-Vietnam war-protesting street theatre extrovert melting so completely into this ultra-girly, demure period role.

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