Category Archives: books

Color me impressed

posted by:  Sam

I’ve been a fan of David LaChapelle‘s work for quite some time now, and I finally broke down and purchased his book Hotel LaChapelle yesterday.  What was I waiting for?  The book is gorgeous, humorous and over the top… much like the way I choose to describe myself.  Take a look:

See?  Amazing, right?!  Well, there’s more.  While still in the photography section of the bookstore, another book jumped off the shelf and begged me to take it home.  After thumbing through just a handful of pages, I had no other choice.

Pierre et Gilles are both artistic and romantic partners who began creating their striking erotic/religious/controversial works in the 1970’s.  I spent a good portion of the evening last night with this book, and realized I have seen quite a few of their photographs over the years, I just had no clue whom the artists were.  I learned the duo were solely responsible for building their sets, all photography and all retouching.  Color me impressed.

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Ward 81

posted by:  Sam

A friend of mine recently loaned me an incredible book called, Ward 81.  The way she described the book to me gave me goosebumps, and actually seeing it left me breathless.  The photography is a little unnerving at times, and a little voyeuristic… but unbelievably beautiful.  Thank you, Marcia!

In 1976 two women spent thirty-six days inside Ward 81 at the Oregon State Hospital.  The same mental institution where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed.  Mary Ellen Mark was initially at the hospital on assignment to write a magazine article on the making of the film.   During her time there, she met some of the women of Ward 81.   This inspired her to return with social scientist/writer friend Karen Folger Jacobs and live in the secured ward.  A very brave move, considering the ward was the only locked ladies unit in the facility and the women inside were considered dangerous.  Not only to themselves, but to others as well.

Thank God they survived; had they not, we may have never had the opportunity to reward our eyes with these gorgeous shots.

Since I am completely obsessed with YouTube… I have to share this music video from garage rockers The Fuzztones; appropriately titled… wait for it…

Ward 81.

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Filed under books, photo