Stieglitz, Steichen & Strand at the Met

In the spirit of trying to not be so crabby, I toddled over hill & dale to the Met this afternoon and lo—a post-Christmas miracle—the Stieglitz, Steichen, and Strand exhibit was mostly bereft of Turistas. Wherefore all the Japanese? Up in Arms and Armor? Bowling with the Cypriots? Forty blocks down at POTO? It's a mystery.

The photographs of Georgia O'Keeffe by Stieglitz were amazing. I'm curious what a night on the town was like with these two, if they played overly literal charades with their cohorts or fought about who left the toaster plugged in when they went on vacation. Where would they go on vacation? Des Moines? I'll bet they would have been at the forefront of any number of cyber-skirmishes in the world of today, very into EFF. Anyway, I will spare your delicate sensibilities & corporate censors THE NUDE, but you should definitely check it out. The angle, the bones, the pure tactile meat of the flesh, it's otherworldly. Those breasts are like Mount Rushmore on the face of the moon. I mean, look at her hands! Or would you call them his hands? It's tough to tell who owned what here, what was real and what was conjured. I love how with black and white your eye is drawn right to the wrinkles, the veins, the shine on the buttons, a lucky bounce of light. They sure knew how to nip a distraction in the bud, these fellas. No flies on them, etc.

Alfred Stieglitz - Georgia O'Keeffe—Hands

4 Edward Steichen - Richard Strauss. Is this not **exactly** what you'd expect the composer of Elektra to look like? Part Nosferatu, part Michael Jeter, full-on Tell-Tale Heart after the suffocation and burial. You should see it up close: those eyes did not have pupils. I really do think he was dead when this was taken.

Paul Strand - Conversation. Currently my favorite Strand is down at the Whitney with Edward Hopper, but I'm equally wild about grizzled old coots. Their beards remind me of my own.

6 Alfred Stieglitz - Mrs. Selma Schubart. This one should also be seen up close: what's on display is a copy of an autochrome, which is highly sensitive to light and therefore not viewable by just any old body at any old time. But even the copy pops with all these krazy day-glo colors and the buckle on her shoe jumps out like a 3D jack-in-the-box, just WHAMMO right betwixt the earlobes, and it's hard to believe anything that alive is over 100 years old.