Obsessions: November 16th, 2009

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Tan the Man is an intriguing piece from Janine Rewell, an illustrator living and working in Helsinki. She’s tanned a friend with her work. It’s a compelling take on tanning, an activity we usually write off as something Paris Hilton does. We forget that only a century ago, tanning, for the wealthy, was a scandalous statement. It meant lily-white ladies dared to go outside among the commoners and show their hides to the world.

There’s also a fascinating undercurrent of nautical tattooing in these pieces. Tattooing also only become popular with the mainstream in relatively recent times—in previous centuries, it was something only done by sailors and criminals.


Gratuitous Mad Men linkage: The Atlantic has pretty much the same gripes about Mad Men that I do, except that they completely discount Betty Draper as a character and as a performance. I disagree. I see her as a profoundly trapped, angry woman lacking her own definition. (Not that I feel sorry for her—I spend most of her screen time yelling at the TV.) NPR’s Monkey See feels she got the shaft at The Atlantic, too.

Chris Jordan's portrait of a deceased albatross chick.

Photographer Chris Jordan has created a heartbreaking series of photographs documenting albatross chicks starving to death as their parents struggle to feed them among oceans of human garbage. These images are graphic.


How does dance survive? This article at The New York Times discusses saving Merce Cunningham’s work for future generations, and goes on to discuss the lack of written language tools for dance preservation.