Monday, October 27, 2008

Trompe l'oeil skirt. Unsold, but not on ebay at the moment. This one was both too small and too rich for me. But this print is truly swoon-worthy. The faux bois background is very convincing, almost as if the skirt were cobbled together out of cupboard doors. The gold locks and keys are sumptuous and mirrored in the brass of the trumpet horn (or is that a coronet? I never know), the sheet music and the bright grain of the violin. The bow appears suspended. The cracked book spines are also expertly rendered.

Sadly, I do not own a trompe l'oeil anything. Not so much as a novelty rain poncho with realistic drops on it.

If you could have any trompe l'oeil item imaginable, what would it be?

I tracked down the original painting that inspired this print. It was easy in this case, only about 5 minutes of searching pulled up this painting called "Old Models" by 19th Century, Irish-American painter William Michael Harnett:

The green chipped wood really gives a sharper line to all the objects shown here, while on the skirt there is the danger of everything sinking into the woody pulp. Mr. Harnett was among a passel of American artists working the trompe l'oeil circut. Their work was more likely to hang in an industrialist's billard room than a museum. Mr. Harnett's work was the more abstract of his set, prefiguring the assemblages of Robert Rauschenberg. One piece, "The Golden Horsehoe" showed only the horseshoe of the title nailed to a wall. Trompe l'oeil painters often included greenbacks in their tableaux, which brought Uncle Sam and the Treasury Department to their studios. The Treasury Department doesn't like it when you make a copy of paper money, not even in a painting. Trompe l' oeil artist John Haberle's visit from Secret Service about a hundred years before money artist JSG Boggs was charged with counterfeiting.

Although I usually spurn the novelty t-shirt (since they are usually smeared with vulgarity and to paraphrase Blanche Dubois: I cannot bear a naked light bulb or a vulgar novelty print), I couldn't resist showing this Paul Frank trompe l'oeil shirt here. You can't help but smile at this men's novelty t-shirt. And at the wearer's impish grin.

I saw this over a year ago, but I remembered this t shirt with an African-American baby. I could have sworn that on the Paul Frank site there were babies of every ethnicity to choose from. But afer exhaustive searches (truly, I found the source painting for the shirt much more easily), I couldn't find the other babies anywhere. I fear it might have just been wishful thinking on my part.

Yes, this photo is from The Sartorialist. Mr. Sartorialist seems like a super sweet guy, and though I think his men's wear ideas and photos are perfect, fun and even ground-breaking, I don't like his women's wear choices, pas de tout. The ladies, though undeniably beautiful and beautifully photographed, are mostly model types, making safe clothing choices and wearing very ouchy-looking high heels. I mean, a girl's gotta walk in this town. Now and again he posts a photo of a gorgeous older woman, and those I relish.


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12:30 AM  

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