Vivian Maier never displayed publicly any of her pictures while she was alive but left behind a very impressive collection of photographs. She was never published and many of her negatives were never even printed while she was alive. Impressive in quantity for sure, but also in terms of quality. Vivian Maier’s photos have this ethereal but also very human quality to it, a sense of tragedy, a sense of humanity, an eye for the details, the framing and a perfect timing, all this coupled with a dark and bizarre edge.
An American of French and Austro-Hungarian extraction, Vivian bounced between Europe and the United States before coming back to New York City in 1951. Having picked up photography just two years earlier, she would comb the streets of the Big Apple refining her artistic craft. By 1956 Vivian left the East Coast for Chicago, where she’d spend most of the rest of her life working as a caregiver. In her leisure Vivian would shoot photos that she zealously hid from the eyes of others. Taking snapshots into the late 1990′s, Maier would leave behind a body of work comprising over 100,000 negatives. Additionally Vivian’s passion for documenting extended to a series of homemade documentary films and audio recordings.
Vivian Maier was a very secretive, mysterious person and if John Maloofwouldn’t have gambled 400$ at an auction, buying a full box of negatives without even looking at them first, nobody would have gotten the chance to see the amazing pictures that gained this unconditional sympathy Vivian seems to be getting from a constantly growing number of admirers. Trusting his gut instinct about this woman who had now passed away, leaving behind her a huge trail of clues (she was a pack rat!) that would be very helpful for anyone who would try to know as much as you can possibly know about a person who is now deceased, Maloof proceeded to not only connect the dots about her life but also, and maybe more importantly, to have her works revealed to the public. With the help of a few people, he started to devote his life to this arduous and challenging task: put the name Vivian Maier in history books. This article is my way of helping him to do exactly that because I truly think that’s where her name belongs. I want her to have the posthumous love and recognition she never had during her life.
Now there is a documentary about her written and directed by
John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, books and numerous exhibitions and eventsoccuring all around the world as we speakbut much of the art world establishment still hasn’t accepted Vivian Maier’ work. She didn’t defend herself as an artist, she just did the work and it’s so good that it’s winning over people who were dismissive of it previously and fortunately people aren’t waiting for that kind of validation anyway. They don’t care and they are already claiming Vivian’s work for themselves and her work can now be seen around the world.
‘Nuf said, here are a few pictures I chose, a very small part of the very legacy Vivian Maier left behind for us. You can also watch for free the documentary called ”Finding Vivian Maier” that reveals the incredible story of this mysterious nanny, who loved taking pictures. But let’s have a look at the pictures first.
Few midcentury cultural figures would at first seem to have as little in common as Andy Warhol and Alfred Hitchcock. Sure, they both made films, but how straight a line can even the farthest-reaching cinema theorists draw between, say, Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) and Warhol’s Vinyl (1965)?Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) and Warhol’s Empire(1964)? Yet not only did both of them direct many motion pictures, each began as a visual artist: “Warhol had started his career working as a commercial illustrator, Hitchcock had started out creating illustrations for title cards in silent movies,” saysFilmmaker IQ’s post on their encounter in the September 1974 issue of Warhol’s Interview magazine. Yet in the brief conversation printed, they discuss not drawing, and not filmmaking, but murder:
Andy Warhol: Since you know all these cases, did you ever figure out why people really murder? It’s always bothered me. Why.
Alfred Hitchcock: Well I’ll tell you. Years ago, it was economic, really. Especially in England. First of all, divorce was very hard to get, and it cost a lot of money.
[ … ]
Andy Warhol: But what about a mass murderer.
Alfred Hitchcock: Well, they are psychotics, you see. They’re absolutely psychotic. They’re very often impotent. As I showed in “Frenzy.” The man was completely impotent until he murdered and that’s how he got his kicks. But today of course, with the Age of the Revolver, as one might call it, I think there is more use of guns in the home than there is in the streets. You know? And men lose their heads?
Andy Warhol: Well I was shot by a gun, and it just seems like a movie. I can’t see it as being anything real. The whole thing is still like a movie to me. It happened to me, but it’s like watching TV. If you’re watching TV, it’s the same thing as having it done to yourself.
“Warhol openly proclaimed that he was nervous upon meeting the legendary director,” adds Filmmaker IQ, “and posed with Hitchcock by kneeling at his feet,” resulting in the photo you see at the top of the post. They also include three portraits Warhol made of Hitchcock, the best known of which Christie’s Auction House describes as “a variation on the doubled self-image that Hitchcock played with in his title sequence, layering his own expressive line-drawing over the director’s silhouette, suggesting the mischievous defacement of graffiti as much as the canonization of a hero through the timelessness of the inscribed profile.” These images and the brief interview excerpt leave us wondering: can one call a work — on film, in a frame, in a magazine — both Hitchcockian and Warholian? A question, perhaps, best left to the theorists.
Micheal Alig was one of those people who spent a very unhappy childhood in South Bend, Indiana because he couldn’t fit in. He was bullied, humiliated, laughed at beaten and so forth.Back then you either went to LA or New York. He went to the latter just that he could be his real-self. Problem is it must have probably work too well, too fast because Alig became totally unhinged and it all ended in a ”Disco Bloodbath” for Angel, the ”Spiritual-Super-Drug-Hero-Dealer” who’s body was sent floating on the Hudson by Alig and Robert “Freeze” Riggs, dismembered so that he could fit in a cardboard box. The river’s current usually sends everything to the ocean but a climate change had reversed the process and that’s how the body washed up on Staten Island instead. He was lucky to be found at all.
Alig could be described as a devilishly appealing guy from the Midwest who took the ’80s/’90s NYC clubs by storm with his subversive energy. Michael Alig always talked quickly, injecting a cackle between phrases, as he cooked up all sorts of mayhem and provocation. With aggression, smarts, and an anything-goes sense of creating fun, he quickly rose up the ranks of nightlife, becoming the darling of major domos like Rudolf Pieper and Peter Gatien, who later found that Alig was also a demon who could whip up tons of trouble as easily as he could dream up an open-bar party or a nutty performance art review.
He managed to create a scene that was totally surreal, crazy, glamorous yet not at all the same time. This was VERY profitable and it just kept on getting better and better. Alig’s notorious “Outlaw Parties”, which were thrown in various unconventional places including a Burger King, a Dunkin’ Donuts, abandoned houses and a subway, helped to revitalize the downtown New York City club scene which Village Voice columnist Michael Musto declared had atrophied after artist Andy Warhol died in 1987. Alig’s parties also became notorious due in part to his own “bad behavior”. Alig would throw $100 bills on crowded dance floors just to watch people scramble for them. In other instances, he would urinate on clubgoers or urinate in their drinks and stage falls wherein he knocked others to the ground.
As Alig’s popularity in the club scene grew, so did his drug use. He was arrested several times for drug offenses and entered rehab, but continued to use drugs. In 1995, Alig’s boss Peter Gatien sent Alig to rehab once again. Alig later claimed that after he completed his stint and was released, Gatien fired him.
Some of Alig’s behavior could be explained by a personality disorder; he was diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder. He stated that “The doctor said I was the most extreme case he’d ever seen. Everything has to be completely over the top and exaggerated. It worked well for my job – I was a promoter.At first Alig was totally against drugs and thought that anyone who was using was an absolute loser. Well that surely changed radically and soon Micheal Alig became a very heavy user of every drug you can possibly imagine, sinking low into depravity but always managing to have brilliant ideas and promoting what would become a way of life in itself: The Club Kids were born.
Now of course Micheal Alig had realised than drugs were bringing a lot more money than the admission entrance and the alcohol so he thought it would be stupid to let anyone else than him benefit from the profits generated by his parties so he created some sort of super hero figure that would be a guardian angel, offering you the boost you need to feel on top of the world again!! So he created Angel, a guy all dressed in white or silver wearing giant angel wings, able to offer you whatever drug you need whenever you need it. Of course in exchange of making Angel the official drug dealer of what was the hippest ”clientele” of the New York Scene, Alig could ask for almost whatever he wanted up front and largely benefitted from this arrangement, until the debt became a too high a problem….
Andre “Angel” Melendez was regular on the New York City club scene and worked at The Limelight. He also sold drugs on the premises. After the bar was closed by federal agents when an investigation found that Peter Gatien was allowing drugs to be sold there, Melendez was fired. Shortly thereafter, he moved into Alig’s apartment. On the night of March 17, 1996, Alig and his friend Robert “Freeze” Riggs murdered Melendez after an argument in Alig’s apartment over many things including a long-standing drug debt. Alig has claimed many times that he was so high on drugs that his memory of the events is unclear.
After Melendez’s death, Alig and Riggs did not know what to do with the body. They initially left it in the bathtub, which they filled with ice. After a few days, the body began to decompose and became odorous. After discussing what to do with Melendez’s body and who should do it, Riggs went to Macy’s to buy knives and a box. In exchange for ten bags of heroin, Alig agreed to dismember Melendez’s body. He cut the legs off, put them in a garbage bag and stuffed the rest into a box. Afterwards, he and Riggs threw the box into the Hudson River.
In the weeks following Melendez’s disappearance, Alig allegedly told “anyone who would listen” that he and Riggs had killed him. Most people did not believe Alig and thought his “confession” was a ploy to get attention.
I told you the main lines of the story but I just wanted to make sure that if you were caught up in the story that you would watch ”Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Micheal Alig”, a recent very well made documentary on the subject.
In 1999 a memoir written by James St.James ”Disco Bloodbath: A Fabulous but True Tale of Murder in Clubland” was released and Disco Bloodbath has since gone out of print but was re-printed in 2003 under the title ”Party Monster – The Fabulous but True Tale of Murder in Clubland”. It was also made into a movie that you can also watch for free here:
We must not forget the fact that this man killed and dismembered a human being and if it come across as a side note in this story, I am deeply sorry but it is not that I do not care about the horrible torture and death that Angel suffered. I just wanted to let people decide for themselves by watching the documentary, the shockumentary, the movie or reading the novel. Micheal Alig is out since May 5th, 2014. Will he be able to reinvent himself and create something new and funny and healthy and cool and…. or not?
”FEED MY MORBID CURIOSITY. LIFE IS A BLOOD BATH, ADD SOME GLITTER & PLAY IN THAT SHIT”
Punk, disco, hip hop, the blackout, Son of Sam, Tony Manero, CBGB, Studio 54, Max’s Kansas City, Show World, Paradise Garage, cocaine, polyester and leather—1977 in New York City was exhilarating, a nightmare, fun, dangerous and never boring. It was the year I arrived in downtown Manhattan with a beautiful woman, no money and a rock and roll band. I hit the streets running and never looked back…unless it was to watch my back.
I was living in the decaying Hotel Earle in the West Village when NYC went black. The power failure of July 13, 1977 knocked the city to its knees. I was sitting on the window sill of my room keeping cool or as cool as one could keep during a sweltering summer night in the city. I was drinking a nice cold beer and listening to the music of the streets when at around 9:30 p.m. everything suddenly went completely dark…and I mean dark, dark as Aleister Crowley’s asshole. It was the strangest fucking thing you could imagine. One moment the city was there, then next it was gone. The only illumination came from automobile headlights lacerating the night like ghostly Ginsu knives. My girlfriend and I clutched hands and felt our way down the stairs and out onto the sidewalk. We walked to Bleecker street in spooky darkness. We weren’t alone. The avenues were teeming with the dazed and confused. Not that unusual for the Village, but the confusion was different. Was the world coming to an end?
By midnight the streets where mobbed with people who had figured out that civilization wasn’t ending, it was on vacation. There was a festive vibe in the air. It was like Mardi Gras for the blind. The bars and pubs that stayed open were candlelit and booze was flowing for free. Refrigerators weren’t working and there was no way to keep perishables from spoiling so instead of facing the prospect of throwing food away some joints were feeding people for free. A few cabbies got into the spirit of things and maneuvered their taxis in such a way as to shine their headlights into the cafes providing diners with surreal mood lighting. It was a prison break theme park. And this wild night was bringing out the best in New Yorkers. But it didn’t last. As the blackout continued through the next day and night, things started to change. The novelty of the crisis wore off and it got ugly. What had started out as a party turned into looting and violence. An unexpected payday for the poor and desperate.
The blackout put the whole gamut of what makes New York marvelous and miserable on display: the “I got your back, brother” slamming into the “fuck you!”
These were times when the city was an unseemly beast, a scabrous, moulting fat rat that was exciting to look at but terrifying. Part of the excitement came from the ever-present sense that things could go haywire at any minute. I lived intensely in the moment, acutely aware of everything around me, jacked up in a state of heightened consciousness that was both Zen and manic. Being in the here and now of New York City in 1977 wasn’t a hippie thing, it was survival. And when I got inside the safety zone of Max’s or CBGB, among my tribe, I was ready to get fucked up, to get high, to dance and celebrate.
In the city of night, we went to bed at dawn and rose at dusk. We were vampirebefore vampires became hip.
In the 1970’s, while American hippies were busy inking themselves with peace signs and psychedelic rainbows,Danzig Baldayev, a guard at St. Petersburg’s notorious Kresty Prison, began documenting the far less Woodstockian body art of Russia’s most infamous criminals.
For 33 years, Baldayev used his exclusive access to and rapport with the prisoners to hand-illustrate and capture in artful photographs more than 3,600 inmate tattoos — as admirable a feat artistically as it was sociologically.
In 2003, when he was in his late 70’s, Baldayev began releasing his magnificent archive as a series of books revealing a rich and eerie intersection of art and violence.
Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volumes I, IIandIII offer not only a visceral record of this intersection, but also Baldayev’s aambitious effort to, through text and illustrations, parse the meaning of these tattoos and place them in the context of this fiercely self-contained subculture. (Or, as it were, institution-contained as well.)
Perhaps even more striking than the body art itself is how Baldayev was able to talk some of Russia’s most dangerous convicts into posing for such intimate and often vulnerable portraits, an intimacy also seen in the work of Canadian photographerDonald Weber:
For a related glimpse of this darkly enigmatic world, the excellent Oscar-nominated 2007 filmEastern Promisesabout the Russian mob in London, starring Naomi Watts and Viggo Mortensen, offers an intriguing look at tattoos as storytelling, a narrative through which prisoners told their life stories and conveyed their credos.
Each of the volumes is an absolute masterpiece and a fascinating slice of subcultural anthropology. It’s the kind of thing that adds instant conversation potential to any home library or coffee table, and guaranteed you’re-cooler-than-my-other-friends gifting recognition.
It’s Voting Time in America Again, Let’s Ask Manson…
It is purely an American phenomenon, that almost every United States President, since 1969, starting with President Nixon has had either something infinitesimal or infinite to do with the convicted criminal Charles Manson in one way or the other.
The answer will never be as fascinating as the question itself as to try to find out why… Why, during every election year since 1969 does the public and press always have such a strong urge to know . . . What Would Charlie Do?
How is it that a convicted conspiracy to commit murder guy is the go-to-guy in America to ask who to vote for??
Could it be that he’s become an icon in popular culture and that what he thinks has an influence?Could it be that his thoughts an ideas actually make sense??
Charlie and the Presidents
Let’s start with President 37,Richard Nixon who deliberately declared Mansonguilty during the Tate/La Bianca murder trial and by doing so could/should have freed Charles Manson-not by an act of executive clemency, but by one of errant stupidity. He was refused a mistrial. Nixon later on became the most disgraced 66DRUG WAR99 President in all of U.S. History, shaming himself and the whole country by being implicated in theWatergate scandal.
Moving on to President 38, Gerald Ford who almost got shot by one of Manson’s favorite wives, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, dressed in a red robe, armed with a semi-automatic pistol loaded with four rounds. No cartridge in the chamber.
Trust me when I say that if Squeaky would REALLY have wanted to kill Ford, he’d be dead. Right then and there.
President number 39; This is what Jimmy Carter‘s brother Billy said about his stay with Charles Manson in the nut-house: “I really like him . . . Charlie Manson is my friend. A lot of Christian people write me and say I should have salvation and that Jesus will cleanse me of my sins. As far as I’m concerned the person who talks to me, that helps me get rid of my guilt, the only person that’s ever talked to me about that and given me any understanding is Charlie.”
There was also a little story between Charlie and Jimmy’s wayward nephew, Willie.
Next, President 40, Ronald Reagan and first son Ronald Reagan Jr. who, both have something infinite to do with Charles Manson as well. I think we see some patterns here? While Nixon, was the 1st dominant President of Television; Reagan was the 1st Hollywood Actor to become a United States President. And, it has been said that the so-called ‘Manson Family’ actually did have – Ronald Reagan Senior’s gun in possession – while those ‘in the know’, all know; that Junior, did one, if not the best, of all mass- money minded -medias- reporter’s interviews, ever with the Manson.
Manson’s Letter to President Ronald Reagan About the “War On Drugs” Bill
Ronald W. Reagan
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The government didn’t beat the moonshine still and whiskey has power just as coffee and tobacco do. Uncle Jess from Kentucky said, when I was a child, that the government would end up with whiskey in stores and would run the stills because people in government were the big crooks. I tell you what he said and I say this: You’re not going to beat drugs. I was in prison before people came to prison for drugs, I saw the government make the problem. From your foundation you can’t help the people who don’t want help. You’ve got to go with the will of the people or lose heart within your own government. Your going to rip it apart and waste a lot of money.
Your war should be against pollution and for putting trees back before you lose the air, water and wildlife. Take over the drugs and use their power to move people to work on CCC projects. put the trees back fast before the pollution destroys all life. I saw it dying in Death Valley. That’s why Krishna Venta blew himself up in 1949 at the Fountain of the World in Box Canyon, California, when the Feather River Project cut off his fountains of water off.
Plants and herbs that you call drugs have more power than you understand. All the distorted thoughts and rules make problems worse. Here is a story: Two men are in a cell. One said he wanted to die and was going to kill himself. The other said he wouldn’t let him. So the first guy killed the other one and then himself. If people want to eat shit you can’t stop them without going with them.
No one even knew what drugs were until Mr. Anslinger told everyone what not to take. Cops teaching kids what not to do only shows them what they can do if they want to go against someone. And you put a bunch of fools who only know what the books say… No new game, honor or purpose. Some of the meanest fighting men in history got high before they went into battle. Remember why the .45 caliber gun was put into service?
You can take a pile of rocks and use them to build a house, or you can take the same pile and start a war. Tell children not to throw rocks, make rules against picking up rocks, and then make them mad. Keep projecting what not to do and you can make the thought in their brains of what can and will be done.
Before the U.S. had a government, the monks sat on top of the grapes, the wine, Buddhists and other monks had the poppies and flowers of power under control. Control must be in order and order must be in truth. And when in truth you can face the problem as it is, not through distorted judgements. Roots and herbs are part of life, things not known but by a few. One day all you space cases will face the Earth dying under your feet. We saw the water out of balance with the land at the Fountain of the World, and the old man in Death Valley told me the same after I got out from 17 years of service to the truth in government hallways. I’m the last guy in line but I’ve got all the thoughts for the balance of order and peace with a one world government if we all are to survive.
I want a telephone and the charge to call anyone … or simply a courtroom with the rights I was denied 17 years ago.
Bugliosi believed President Bush should have been charged with the murders of more than 4,000 American soldiers who died in Iraq since Bush, according to Bugliosi, launched the Iraq invasion “under false pretenses.”
It was one of Bugliosi’s four books that were made into films. The 2012 documentary film The Prosecution of an American President was based on Bugliosi’s Bush book. In June 2015, Bugliosi died at the age of 80.
And, so, now, last but not least, the current African American President, number 44, Barack Hussein Obama, for all of the next few days of this year of our Lord 2016 November 5th until election November 8th (but not technically) wonders. “What Would Charlie Do?” This is where it all gets even trickier. Pay attention. There is really nothing easy to find that says Obama didn’t, doesn’t or, don’t, like Manson while there is plenty to find that says Manson don’t like Obama, or any of them for all of the above for that matter. Ignoring all of that, and considering this, there is still at this late date a document on the table of President Obama’s White Houses tables, asking for the release, pardon or retrial of Charles Manson.
It was filed by an International Attorney, Giovanni Di Stefano, who happened to have been clearly justified in representing Saddam Hussein yet, is now incarcerated basically by Tony Blair of Great Britain AND HAS BEEN. And appealing a conviction for basically not being a real attorney.
But now and then, things are always way more complicated than just the basics, now aren’t they?
So, what is this strange proclivity and magnetic like attraction of attentions that are religiously, habitually, perpetually, playing out before the worlds eyes, concerning half a century of United States Presidents with one single lowly convict? And, why does every single, Tom, Dick and Harry reporter and or underground citizen of the United States care what Charlie thinks? Well the answer is in the question itself.
Let me put forward a little theory here. The race to Presidency has now become a show. Not just a parody of a show, not even a parody of politics, a real partly scripted reality show in which whoever does something striking, shocking or provoking is good.
We are now experiencing with horror the prophecy made around 40 years ago by some guy who is now forgotten or remembered, not as an artist but as a publicist, yes I’m talking about Andy Warhol who said that ‘‘there is no bad publicity”. In terms of shocking, what has been attributed to Charlie is quite hard to beat so of course, any which way you can be related to good old Charlie is publicity and, remember, there is no such thing as bad publicity so…
As you saw, I never answered the question because it doesn’t matter in the end, as long as he mentions your name or that your name is associated to him, one way or another, it’s fine! It’s perfect!! We have become victims of our own repressed inhibitions our boredom and our vicarious depravity/anger as a society and as individuals.
The Jester is no longer a Fool and about to be King. I am just curious to see how far it will go. Seems to me that I will not have to wait very long…
AIR, TREES, WATER & ANIMALS ®
“A revolution against pollution is the only solution.” –See’Em?
“Hi, it’s Deb. You know, when I woke up this morning I had a realization about myself. I was always Blondie. People always called me Blondie, ever since I was a little kid. What I realized is that at some point I became Dirty Harry. I couldn’t be Blondie anymore, so I became Dirty Harry.”
New Jersey’s own Debbie Harry is an icon and sex symbol (those dead eyes and daft lips…) of the 1970s Punk/ New Wave/Art scene. She originally hailed from Hawthorne and went on to graduate from Centenary College in Hackettstown — all just a long stones’ throw from the killer stomping grounds. Eesh. Her career nearly ended before it began when she jumped into the back of a car driven by a serial killer.
”It was the early Seventies, maybe .72. I was trying to get across town to a party. It was two or three o’clock in the morning and I was staggering around on huge platform shoes. This car kept circling around and some guy was offering me a ride. I kept refusing, but finally I took the ride because I couldn’t get a cab.
I got in the car and the windows were are rolled up, except for a tiny crack. This driver had an incredibly bad smell to him. I looked down and there were no door handles and no cranks. I started scanning the inside of the car and there was absolutely nothing. The inside of the car was stripped. The hairs on the back of my neck just stood up.
I wiggled my arm out of the window and pulled the door handle from the outside. I don’t know how I did it, but I got out. He tried to stop me by spinning the car but it sort of helped me fling myself out. I fell out and nearly got run over by a cab.
Afterwards I saw him on the news: It was Ted Bundy.
Originally filmed in 1922, this version was updated in the mid 1960’s to include english narration by William S Burroughs while he was in London. The writer and director Benjamin Christensen discloses a historical view of the witches through the seven parts of this silent movie. First, there is a slide-show alternating inter-titles with drawings and paintings to illustrate the behavior of pagan cultures in the Middle Ages regarding their vision of demons and witches. Then there is a dramatization of the situation of the witches in the Middle Ages, with the witchcraft and the witch-hunts. Finally Benjamin Christensen compares the behavior of hysteria of the modern women of 1921 with the behavior of the witches in the Middle Ages, concluding that they are very similar.
Most of the pictures in the archive have little backstory, and the captions have been reprinted verbatim. One constant in many of these pictures is the police tripod that gets the overhead shots. Don’t you just miss the days when most people seemed to get murdered in bed? If this is all too much for you, check out these old photos of places people used to eat at—if you haven’t spoiled your appetite.