Dreams of Desire 51 (Erwin Blumenfeld)

erwin-blumenfeld-nude-1939-via-invaluable1
Erwin Blumenfeld-Nude 1939
Erwin Blumenfeld was one of the most celebrated fashion photographers of the 20th Century, renowned for his vivid and innovative colour photography  that graced the cover of Vogue more times than any other photographer before or since. He was also a member of the German avant-garde, a close friend of the savage Berlin Dadaist Georg Grosz (see Eclipse of the Sun) whose techniques of photo-montage and collage he used throughout his career. His discovery of Man Ray shaped his earlier black and white nude photography leading Blumenfeld to experiment with solarisation and double exposure.

With Hitler’s rise to power, Blumenfeld, a Jew, moved to Paris in 1936 where he was discovered by Cecil Beaton who got him a job at French Vogue, however he was soon on the move again with the Nazi invasion of France, this time to America. In the United States he continued his connection with Vogue which allowed him to pursue his lifelong obsession with photographing beautiful women away from the genocidal horror of a war-torn Europe. It has been remarked that Blumenfeld found shame thrilling and he certainly instilled that sense of illicit eroticism into his images.

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105 thoughts on “Dreams of Desire 51 (Erwin Blumenfeld)

      1. That look like an hourglass? I stopped on that one too. Really lovely. You could say that normally breasts are a double image. But of course there are differences.

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      1. Yeah but you wear the spandex under the proper suit and then when someone needs a dose of the occult you whip it off and you’re Mystic Cake!! 🍰☯️

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      1. Digesting is an interesting word: when we delve into the sub-conscious / unconscious and its workings, as we do with the Surrealists, we enter a totally new world. I have read (I hesitate to say ‘understood!’) selections of Freud, Jung, Adler (among others). Applying Jung to Surrealism, or viewing Surrealism through Jungian eyes, is a totally different adventure. I also think it is an individual one. To read one author in depth is a lifetime’s study, as is the production of a literary career portfolio: it takes a life to study a life. How many lives, then, can we study in our own life? This would be an excellent topic for a doctoral thesis!

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      2. Brains, no brawn. But I could outrun most. Add a cowardly streak, and that made me even faster. I couldn’t play rugby now, not under the new dinosaur structure of the survival of the biggest. Scotland vs France: Scotland had two serious injuries (Laidlaw and Strauss) AND four concussions … talk to me about tactical bench strength when you have six serious, game ending injuries. I wouldn’t want to coach in today’s game.

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      3. It is a real shame for Scotland as they are so improved but I don’t fancy there chances with those injuries, especially Laidlaw who is integral, you could see the difference when he went off the field against Ireland and then came back on.

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      4. I think Laidlaw has a good chance at the Lions captaincy. It will be interesting. I hope he recovers, and recovers well. I think the Lions are outmoded, mind. They only go to New Zealand to strengthen the ABs before the World Cup. Wales /Scotland will be a tough game and Ireland/France will be brutal. I’ll watch it in French on the Quebec channel. That’s always so exciting. Allez les Bleus: love it. France were in white and Scotland in blue: allez les bleus!

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      1. No well it would be a long piece, as it would involve the futurists, d’anniuzio, julius evola, Ernst Junger, yukio mishima, Rene guernon, the traditionalist movement, Steve bannon, with name checks for Ezra pound and t. s Eliot. Oh and not forgetting the Decadents. You know how I like to cast a wide net.

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      2. Well I don’t really go that deep down, at least the writers I mentioned had the virtue of being good writers regardless of their questionable politics. I just thought that most of the artists and writers mentioned on the site are solidly left wing, however there were avant garde members who went the other way. And as for the occultists… the connection is evola who was a Dadaist, an occultist and a fascist.

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  1. Well you taught me something as I was unfamiliar with this photographer. Needless to say (I’m not mad and I do have red blood) they’re gorgeous, I have three thoughts in this order; 1. Damn I wish my boobs looked that good! 2. Should I take a cold shower now or wait? 3. Reminded why I love photography. I really do. I’m not over gifted at it but i so appreciate it. These are gorgeous I would paper my walls with them. Shows the beauty of a woman without overt pornography the perfect balance.

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      1. Trump’s election makes for a lot of entertaining news. Since I am an independent and not Left Wing on borders, I am not in a state of hysteria. I’m pro environment though so that doesn’t look so good.

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      2. Yes, it is really bizarre. Sometimes I think of Churchill because you know he was such a war hawk and he turned people off before they finally resorted to him when the Chamberlain administration fell apart. But there is mainly resemblance in their outspokenness and their imperviousness to criticism from others.

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      3. Plus Churchill was a bit of an intellectual which nobody has ever accursed Trump of. Plus Churchill wasn’t a populist either. Times have changed though, Trump is a product of his age.

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      4. By the way I have written an awful lot since I last saw you plus I have expanded the range of art included, plus more poems and other stuff, though still lots of nude photography as you can see.

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      5. I will have to take a look at the writing you’ve done. Are you thinking of a short story collection like les contes fantastiques ? That would really suit you. I still want you to rewrite and expand that story of the couple who gets stuck in their car in the freezing woods.

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      6. You are dead right on the rewrite and expansion of Distant Light, pretty much all the comments are the same, alas I haven’t got round to it yet. I have written a few short stories, some fantasy and some erotica. I have been working on the expansion of the gambling story, it has been rewritten, editing and expanded. I will send you the links.

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      7. Interesting. Yes the gambling story is excellent and truly a good example of a revival of Les Contes Fanastiques. I def. think you should publish a collection when you have them different enough (can’t end all the same way in the bathtub, you know what I mean)…with a great cover…

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      8. Murky, very, very murky, definitely, decidedly so—how else could I describe my motives for not fucking Margot? Before getting in the car I stared …
        Unmade Again
        crebillon fils,erotic,betrayal,lust,valentine hugo,adultery,desire,crush,les egarements du coeur et de l’esprit,loyalty,short stories
        https://cakeordeathsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/unmade-again/
        And this is an erotic story… not sure if this is your cup of tea, if you like there is another one in the same vein.

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      9. Thank you. She holds onto hope. I sent her a Hamsa necklace (Hebrew the evil eye although this was just the hand)…told her to go to the Catholic church even though she has mostly been a protestant. I told her Catholicism or Buddhism would be better for her. Catholicism at least you have personal interaction with the priest and you can say the rosary and have specific prayers and things to do. I never ever liked Protestantism, which is why I converted to Judaism. If I had been raised Catholic (my mom was Catholic for a time in her childhood), I might have stayed with that. It’s important to have faith in something at a time like that but also important to have a sense of community and not just a remote/virtual one.

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