Tuesday, November 09, 2010

klaw at 100

alex gildzen writes me today and tells me today is irving klaw's 100th birthday and will i be celebrating. well, i didn't know. klaw is mostly regarded as making popular thru his fetish photography and films a pin-up girl known as bettie page. klaw was something special too and tho i think most of his work might be regarded as rather tame by today's standard recall that when he and his sister began their work in the late 1940s the klaws were on the cutting edge and later found themselves in some legal entanglements. nowadays you can find his films at youtube.com. we've come a long way baby. or have we. seems society tends to open up and become more tolerant every once in a while pushing back and denying itself the possibilities of openness and pleasure. perhaps we as a species shun those very things we greatly desire. i think of something thom gunn wrote that i've quoted here a couple of times regarding holidays and pleasure. that perhaps the human being has within a homeostatic device that shuts out the very things we want, and perhaps need. irving klaw was, in the phrase of shakespeare, a man. not a tragic figure in the least but a business man and an artist who knew what beats in the hearts of at least some of us creatures who inhabit this planet and gave us the embodiment of these heart beats in the form of short films and photographic stills of uncompromising vision.


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