Source unknown – Title unknown (201X)

Fascinating maneuver from a godawful angle.

I spent a couple of hours on trying to source this and the first posting of it appears to have been to a now deleted twitter account. The tattoos should be a give away but beyond the fact that the seem similar to Kiara Winters, it’s appears to be someone who is ripping off her style. The stud is–I’m pretty sure–this creepy actor White Ghetto studios uses a lot.

Beyond that I have no clue. Google’s image search is less and less usable with each passing day.

Does anyone perchance know the source–you know for research
purposes (I’d be interested in expanding on this towards a different end,
actually)?

(Please & thank you so much.)

Robert MapplethorpeCock (1985)

Ever since the Venus of Willendorf or Lascaux paintings–or, as I refer to it, tongue-in-cheekily: prehistoric Instagram–visual art, as such, has been preoccupied with ontology of representation.

There has been–and as far as I’m concerned, continues to be–resistance to photography/image making as capital A Art. Although I am decidedly on the photography can absolutely be Art side of things, it does occur to me that there is a fundamental conceptual rift between other forms of visual art and photography; namely: painting, sculpture and architecture are arguably not primarily but intrinsically decorative, too.

Painting, sculpture and architecture proclaim look at this here in this specific place, i.e. the location of the canvas, the relationship of a sculptural object to its surroundings, architecture as the physical manifestion of space as decoration.

Photography/image making starts from the same impetus–the hey, look at this! exclamation. However, it does not have the same relationship with location in place, space and time. (Thus, I think, the fixation in fine art photography on conceptualization and installation–whether that be in a physical/virtual gallery or increasingly in the making of artists’ books.)

In a sense–presentation becomes part of what activates the photo/image as Art.

(I don’t have time to tease out the implications in this forum, but I do think it would make an excellent interrogation to expand this notion using Benjamin’s rt in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction viewed through the prism of @knitphilia‘s thesis on the deeply misogynistic history of distinguishing (and through distinction, diminishing) forms of creative expression normally associated with femme creators as ‘craft’–as opposed to ‘art’.)

Strangely, it was this thought that led me to a ‘discovery’ (of sorts) in the above photo It seems this was never something Mapplethorpe printed during his life. A print was made in 2010 and gifted by The Robert Mapplethorpe foundation to LACMA .

The digital print was clearly made by someone intimately familiar with Mapplethorpe’s work–the balance and interpenetration between highlights, mid-tones and shadows with the sort of atmospheric haze (sfumato) despite the razer sharp focus, couldn’t be more Mapplethorpe if it bore his signature.

Yet, knowing all that about the work there is still something about it that makes it Art–I think–even before it becomes physically instantiated: yes, the work (just like all visual art) says hey, look at this! and like all photography/imagery it (implicitly) states this is how I see this thing! Mapplethorpe takes things a step further and says: by looking at this it will be clear to you why I think this is beautiful should be appreciated.

Source unknown – Title unknown (201X)

My thought with this was originally merely to add one of those diagrams of what areas of the tongue register what kinds tastes. However, as it turns out, that notion has been thoroughly debunked.

First off, there’s no longer just bitter, salty, sour and sweet. There’s umami–which refers to something that is savory (I always think of it as the craving you get for a veggie burger cooked exactly to your preference.

Also, apparently these days they are thinking that fat may actually be a sixth factor contributing to taste.

Interestingly, it’s theorized that receptors designed to register sweetness are binary–they only register whether something is sweet or not? Whereas something that is bitterness has a vast spectrum of distinct variations.

Diane ArbusCouple in Bed Under a Paper Lantern, NYC (1966)

I’ve maintained for years that reading something on a screen vs on a page effects how you process the information. (My recall for printed materials is generally better-than-average; via digital interface noticeably less astute.)

As far as Arbus goes, I’m not a fan. Yes: Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park is one of the all-time best street photography portraits. (And one of the reasons it’s so brilliant is because it was made as things started to escalate in Vietnam–intuitively connecting wars overseas with their psychic impact closer to home.)

I never knew what I didn’t like about her work–and here it’ll become clear why I started with memories formed reading something off a page vs on a screen–I remember reading something on the Internet, a criticism of Arbus that associated her well-known quote: I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.” with her interest in social outliers and the stigmatized.

I look at so many of her pictures and there is this circus side show feeling to them–an I’m going to show you what you don’t want to see. That’s maybe okay: spectacle sells, after all. (But also: maybe don’t rely on solely that?)

Her images always leave me with this feeling that she was far more interested in what made someone a freak than how such social castigation impacted a person’s humanity.

So while I’ve seen this image a dozen or so times before it wasn’t until I saw it in the context of Tumblr porn reblogs that I realized what it depicts–a couple making out while a vigorous handjob is administered.

There’s something more disarmingly honest about it for it’s focus on the familiar–Arbus being ostensibly white (Jewish), cisgendered and heterosexual.

Further–and again, now that I need it I can’t find it–there is a similar post-coital image of Sally Mann with her husband Larry that actually is almost certainly influenced by this Arbus’ image.