vintage, nostalgia and memories

September 25, 2017

14 Distorted Portraits of Celebrities As You've Never Seen Them

Photographs for "Distortions" series, a project that resulted in experimental portraits of celebrities and political figures.

As legend tells it, Arthur Fellig earned the nickname “Weegee” during his early career as a freelance press photographer in New York City. His apparent sixth sense for crime often led him to a scene well ahead of the police. Observers likened this sense, actually derived from tuning his radio to the police frequency, to the Ouija board, the popular fortune-telling game. Spelling it phonetically, Fellig took Weegee as his professional name.

In the late 1940s, Weegee began experimenting with photographic manipulation. His subjects were often film stars, world leaders both past and present, and figures of the art world. He even turned the camera upon himself.

He used several methods to create these “distortions.” The results are jarring caricatures of well-known faces that make us examine the notion of celebrity in a whole new way.

Although street photography remains his legacy, Weegee considered these experimental photographs his true art.

Marilyn Monroe, ca. 1960

J. Edgar Hoover, 1960s

Brigitte Bardot, 1958

Andy Warhol, 1960s

Queen Elizabeth II, 1950s

Old Hollywood Plastic Surgery Secrets: Here Are 4 Weird Ways Classic Starlets Changed Their Faces

In Hollywood, plastic surgery is as commonplace as The Paleo Diet. There are a million different ways to tweak, chisel, or reconfigure one's visage as desired thanks to a laundry list of procedures.

The possibilities are so limitless these days, it's got us reminiscing about the golden age of celebrity. Even though they didn't live under the high-definition magnifying glass of today, Old Hollywood starlets were no less vain and thus had to get way more creative in the nip-and-tuck department.

From the up-and-coming ingénue looking to kick-start her career to the lauded actress hoping to freeze her face in time, here are a couple of ways classic Hollywood glamazons altered their famous faces.

1. The Hairline Electrolysis

Back in the heyday of Old Hollywood, hairlines had a lot of sway. In fact, Rita Hayworth, born Margarita Carmen Cansino, was of Spanish descent and decided to dye her hair red and get rid of her characteristically-Latina lower hairline.

To reshape it, Hayworth underwent a year's worth of electrolysis, which consisted of using a thin metal probe to "shock" the follicle and permanently remove the hair. In the end, her hairline was an inch higher and her new look, for better or for worse, helped launch her career.

Marilyn Monroe was also notorious for undergoing electrolysis, removing her widow's peak to change her face shape.

2. The Sans-Molars Cheekbone Trick

Marlene Dietrich was famous for her cheekbones that could cut glass, but rumor has it they weren't part of her born-with-it bone structure. According to folklore, the German-American beauty had her molars removed to emphasize the hollows of her cheeks. And you thought fillers sounded unpleasant...

3. The Croydon Facelift

In case you had your doubts, Dietrich had a very high threshold pain. In addition to her dentistry tactics, she was also a fan of the Croydon Facelift method, using both surgical tape and strategically-twisted piece of hair to pull the skin up around her face.

4. The Did-She-or-Didn't-She Nose Job

Unlike today, where every star and their mother has had a nose job (we're partially kidding), it was a less popular, and more risky procedure amongst the Old Hollywood crowd. This said, rhinoplasty did happen. And it's hard to say who definitely had work done, but X-rays of Monroe's skull (weird, we know) indicated she had some type of procedure to alter the cartilage around the tip of her nose.

(This original article was published on Marie Claire)

Vintage Photographs Document the Defiant Street Styles of Swiss Rebel Youth From the Late 1950s Through the '60s

Karlheinz Weinberger (1921-2006). Living in Zurich, Switzerland, Weinberger was a self-taught “amateur” photographer whose day job working in a factory warehouse allowed him to pursue photography seriously in his free time. In the late 1940s Weinberger began to publish his pictures for a gay magazine using the pseudonym of Jim, and later was a freelance photographer for a Swiss sports magazine. Working in relative obscurity, Weinberger produced all the prints featured in this exhibition in his home darkroom, and these have remained inaccessible until recent years.

According to The Selvedge Yard, in 1958, Karlheinz Weinberger met a member of a small band of teenagers and began photographing them both at his home studio as well as at the public parks and carnivals where they gathered. In post war Switzerland, these self-named “rebels” were comprised of working class boys and girls dissatisfied with the conservative and conforming culture of the day. Inventing their own code of behavior and dress they affected a powerful gang identity expressed by an affinity for like-minded American imports such as James Dean, Elvis, blue jeans and motorbikes.

Later, in the mid-60s, the rebels dissipated both physically and in spirit, while others carried on their youthful resistance to the status quo, forming clubs of “rockers” and “bikers” that Weinberger followed with his camera on their outings into the Swiss countryside. Their retreat from the urban setting to a self-imposed isolation in nature embodied a more inward revolt, one of self-destructiveness and self-mutilation.

September 24, 2017

47 Incredible Colorized Photos That Show Everyday Life of Japan in the Late 19 Century

In 1881, after working for many years with the European photographers Felice Beato and Baron Raimund von Stillfried as a photographic colourist and assistant, the Japanese photographer Kusakabe Kimbei (1841-1934) finally opened his own workshop in the Benten-dōri quarter of Yokohama, and soon established himself as one of the most respected and successful Japanese photographers of his generation.

Kimbei opened another studio in Yokohama's Honmachi quarter in 1889, and also a branch in the Ginza quarter of Tokyo. The selection here is from the collection held by The Getty in Los Angeles, focusing mostly on work from the early part of Kimbei's career.

These hand-colored photographs of Kusakabe Kimbei that show everyday life of Japan in the late 19th century.

Kago travelling chair

Kioto dancing girl

Maker and repairer of Samisens

Mother and child

Peony garden

Vintage Photos of a Giant Pyramid of Captured German Helmets From WWI in New York, ca. 1918

Pyramid of German helmets near Grand Central Terminal : black-and-white photoprint, ca. 1918.

Closeup of Pyramid

Though kind of macabre, to celebrate the end of World War I in 1918, this massive pyramid was constructed near Grand Central Terminal using the helmets of captured and killed German soldiers. The label on the back of the original photograph says:
"View of the employees of the New York Central / Railroad, assembled in Victory Way, showing the pyramid of captured / German helmets, with Grand Central Terminal in / the background." Two cannons are shown at the left and right.
There must be over a thousand pointed helmets in that stack, and despite all that the Germans did, celebrating the death of that many people just seems wrong.

(via Viewing NYC)

14 Beautiful Black and White Photos of Kim Basinger in 1977

An over shy young girl, Kim Basinger studied dance and entered beauty pageants as a teenager, confronting the eyes of a public. She was rapidly offered a contract with Ford Agency and became a successful model in New York before moving to Los Angeles in 1976 and focusing on acting.

She landed a number of small parts at first, making guest appearances on such shows as Charlie's Angels. In 1978, Basinger starred in the TV movie Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold. She portrayed Lorene Rogers in the miniseries From Here to Eternity in 1979 and its short-lived spin-off series the following year.

Basinger made her film debut in the 1981 western drama Hard Country with Jan-Michael Vincent. Two years later, her career started to skyrocket with Never Say Never Again starring Sean Connery. Basinger became the latest actress to play a "Bond girl," a love interest for super spy James Bond. More major film projects soon followed, including 9 1/2 Weeks with Mickey Rourke and Batman with Michael Keaton.


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