Monday, September 22, 2008



















A degree in Marxism. I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception. Risible and irresistible 70s tunic, medium-sized, and it's still available. I love the off-center placement of Groucho's iconic face, and the red stripes that invade the black and white landscape. The black collar keeps it crisp, mirroring the black border around the neck and sleeves.

Don't I sound like a docent of novelty prints? This is one for the Polyester Museum of Fine Arts.

This past summer I vowed that I would make all my dreams come true. Fortunately, I like to dream small. With only some minor exertion, look at me now:I'm a patroness of the arts. I'm a card-carrying member of MOMA. I can loll about the sculpture garden, hang out with some of my favorite paintings, and eavesdrop on European tourists enjoying the devalued dollar.

MOMA's recent exhibition of Salvador Dalí's film collaborations and set designs seemed to be in dialogue with my post on the Dalí scarf of a month ago. Truly. Just as if I called up and ordered it like a sandwich. Obviously someone else was thinking of this 4 years ago, or whatever the lead time is to put an exhibition like this together. (I used to be 2 years ahead of the curve. That is: my aesthetic wants and needs blossomed years before ready fulfillment hit store shelves, museum catalogs, movie theater screens and the like. This gap has been narrowing over the years until now, when I'm actually behind. Either I'm losing my touch, or my tinfoil hat stopped working.)

The exhibit had lots to enjoy and many surprises, especially a 49 minute 1975 film called "Impressions of Upper Mongolia", a deliriously self-indulgent microscopic view of a patina developed on the metal band of a ballpoint pen that Dalí cultivated with his own urine. The film is oddly beautiful and inspired me to make movies again. Salvador was way ahead of Warhol, Ofili, and Andres Serrano. His politics gross me out, but Dali was performance art before there was performance art.

I didn't know that Dalí had planned to make a film with the Marx Brothers. A rough draft and some sketches and paintings were on display. That's all that exists of "The Surrealist Woman", Dalí's film that was to star Harpo Marx. Dali struck up a lively friendship with Harpo by sending him a harp strung with barbed wire. Harpo responded by sending a photo of his hands wrapped in bandages.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Nancy said...

I also love Dali! His ostentatiousness and amazing art made him my mentor as a wee young teenager.

This is quite an amazing dress. You find such wonderful things. I read your blog, but I don't think I have commented before. There is a first time for everything! Very nice blog, about lovely things!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Pratishtha Durga said...

Dali and Marx! History held back so much from us...deprived us. Blah! Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. inside of a dog, it's too dark to read...

5:26 AM  
Blogger samsara said...

Hi there, Ms. Nancy, thanks so much for reading and commenting!

Ah, Ms. Pratishtha Durga, that is one of my favorite Groucho quotes as well. I am still looking for more elaborate and exquisite photo print dresses for your enjoyment. And Egyptian prints too.

3:02 PM  
Blogger tea said...

Although the entire entry is charming as usual, my favorite line is about the enjoyment of the devalued dollar. I keep thinking I should move to another country soon. I'd lose a lot at the start, but I'd make up for it in wages later down the road.

Anyway, I may have forgotten to mention a few entries ago, but my mom looked exactly like Barbara Streisand when she was at the age Babs was in that picture.

6:46 AM  
Blogger fuzzylizzie said...

I'd never considered the Marx Bros and Dali together, but somehow it just seems perfect. What a shame to film didn't materialize.

LOVE the dress. I can remember these from my (mis-spent)youth. Lizzie

6:35 AM  
Blogger samsara said...

Ms. FuzzyLizzie: thanks for your comment. I'd love to see some of your past polyester capers.

Ms. Tea: I too wish I lived in the Euro Zone. (Especially after this week.) And I just love that your mom had a vintage mod Babs look. My pop looks a lot like Frank Sinatra. when I was a kid I thought Ol' Blue Eyes was ripping off my dad's look.

8:57 AM  

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