Tuesday, January 24, 2012

PALE BLUE EYES


This post deals with my three weeks in bed. Leaving out the obvious pain, they were three weeks of weakness, routine and tremendous boredom.
Fortunately I have good friends who came for visits every now and then. Fortunately the press abounds with fashion magazines!
After a while I realized I didn’t have to worry about my headache too much, cos what I mainly needed to look at was the overflowing quantity of photos and pictures. I didn’t need to concentrate my brain too much or squint my eyes in order to enjoy the colourful and often glittering page.
In the Italian language we have an expression that more or less sounds like “not all the bad things come for harming you” (the English translation should be “every cloud has a silver lining”). I would stoically love to agree with it.
I don’t wanna try to pretend I usually don’t read this kind of press, which some people could call frivolous. I sometimes buy magazines like Elle, Marie Claire but not so regularly. These three weeks made me a great expert though, now I can even recognize each journal from its graphic character.
I’m glad I spent my time like this, because I wouldn’t otherwise have met the great art of Tim Walker. I honestly never bumped into his works before and it was with pleasure that I kind of closed a circle. 
During these days I developed a particular attention to ads. I got most fascinated by a Chanel’s perfume publicity and, last but not least, the Moet & Chandon beautiful one with a stunning Scarlet Johansson, smiling on a stairs and surrounded by heaps and heaps of champagne glasses.
All these brought me back to Tim Walker, their surrealistic author, who loves to snoops around magical realities.
His enchanted worlds have lots in common with Alice in Wonderland, where places don’t follow a rational logic of proportion or pre-established hierarchies.

The London based artist was one of Richard Avedon assistants for years in New York. But much more British are Walker’s influences. Cecil Beaton’s style is in fact a superb form of inspiration for the artist. They both express a meticulous cure on details, which have to be a bit dandy and a bit unique. Either the daisy in Marilyn’s hand (by Beaton) or Scarlet Johansson’s red lips are irreplaceable.
The circle is closed, cos again Walker is the author of the photo-short story “Like a doll”, diamond point of Italian Vogue's January 2012 edition.
A blonde, pale blue eyes lolita, in between being spoiled and tremendously sad and lonely, spends her days with a giant moving doll. Probably three times bigger than the girl, the Shirley Temple-like doll seems to dictate to her dominated friend. The latter cleans up the house, makes cups of tea, which are constantly broken by the doll’s (willy-nilly) clumsiness. The crying Lolita also reads her fairy tales before going to sleep.
What surprises the most is the girl’s inescapable sadness, even when the doll is not around. Their relationship has to be ambiguous. Take the last two photos for instance, both of them great examples of a sublime aesthetic composition. In the first one, it’s futile for Lolita to try to hide her self. If what she looks for is salvation, she won’t be able to reach it, always followed or preceded by the doll’s eyes and body. But in the last photo, the girl wants some comfort from her companion, she picks up the end of the doll’s dress and uses it to dry her tears. Love and hate, fear and trust.
As to remind how things and situations can be deeply understood only by a clear opposition.
This ambiguous couple has got something very cinematographic, I think about Hitchcock for example. There is literature as well, for which my mind goes to Hoffman and his Sandman. And there's a music masterpiece too, born from Lou Reed's melancholia.


Tim Walker creates a magical circle of empathy, where the viewer can’t help but experiences repulsion and attraction all in once.

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