Don’t Go Up Those Stairs…

Girl On The Red Steps David Driben

Like watching a scene in countless thrillers and horror films: ‘Don’t go up those stairs’, we’re thinking. ‘Don’t go up in the attic, don’t go down in the basement, don’t open that door.’  But we know the heroine (soon to be a victim) inevitably will, and nothing good can possibly come of it.

Girl On The Red Stairs, by fine arts and commercial photographer David Driben.

Arseniy’s Toying With Me…

Arseniy Semyonov

Consider it a story prompt: This photo by Arseniy Semyonov could spark at least a dozen different tales, each scenario deliciously dark and probably deadly.

A private eye’s just been handed that photo by his secretary? Or a meeting with a classic femme fatale of a client has just wrapped up, the gumshoe assigned to hunt for her (most likely dead) lover? Heck, that fellow could be a pulp scribe holed up in a grungy motel room to complete his hard-boiled masterpiece, the silhouette of a curvy vision in the doorway no more than a figment of his liquor and cigarette fueled imagination.

Damn, I love/hate when pictures set me off like this…

Dial M For Murder…Again.

Vanity Fair annie leibovitz 2008

A preceding post showcased Terry Gates’ photos of Ming Xi for Vogue China from 2012 in a suite titled “Hitchcock Beauty”, noting that Hitchcock homages seem to attract fashion creatives. Case in point: Annie Leibowitz for Vanity Fair in 2008, here with actress Charlize Theron recreating the same scene from Dial M For Murder.

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“Hitchcock Beauty”

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Hardly the only time it’s been done, and fashion mag creatives will no doubt do it again…but why not?

Terry Gates shot model Ming Xi for Vogue China in 2012, styled by fashion editor Yi Guo to recall memorable scenes from Alfred Hitchcock films. Okay, a couple scenes elude me, and the black cat is really throwing me (why am I thinking Kim Novak in 1958’s Bell, Book And Candle instead of Hitchcock?).

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More From Richard Blunt

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More work from UK painter Richard Blunt. See a prior post for additional paintings from this modern realist juxtaposing retro imagery with modern themes while exploring his primary interest: the depiction of dramatic light.

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Richard Blunt

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UK artist Richard Blunt hails from West Midlands, studied 3D design, then found himself homeless during his 20’s, gigging with various bands before rediscovering his visually creative side and taking up painting in earnest. His particular interest: the depiction of dramatic light in realistic images, so it’s no surprise that he’d name artists like Michelangelo Caravaggio (almost synonymous with chiaroscuro to many) as an inspiration. Some will see echoes of Scottish painter Jack Vettriano in Blunt’s work, but then some see Vettriano’s influence every time they see a painting of a vaguely retro fellow in a white shirt, suspenders and a brimmed hat.

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Myself, I’m seeing Hamish Blakely, Rachel Bess and Fabian Perez as just a few of the diverse crop of contemporary painters currently juxtaposing retro iconography taken from Golden Age Hollywood films and even postwar vintage illustration with edgier or ironic modern themes and treatments. The result? Often not unlike Neo-Noir in film and literature.

But as always, I’ll leave all that stuff to the professors and art critics and just enjoy the work. More of Richard Blunt’s paintings follow in a subsequent post.

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Femmes Fatales, Globally.

Nikola Borissov 1

Photographer Nikola Borissov hails from Bulgaria but spends more time in Bangkok, Shanghai, Thailand or his home base in Milan, Italy (while wintering in Cape Town South Africa, apparently). Not sure if he cultivated a flair for the darkly decadent in Sofia’s studios, the shores of the Black Sea, the Indian or Pacific Oceans, but Borissov does seem to have a keen eye for framing femmes fatales as seen in these images and those in a prior post, No Honor Among Thieves.

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No Honor Among Thieves.

Nikola Borissov 1

It should be so simple: Here are the gems. Now, where’s my money? Greed gets you nowhere except dead on a lonely rooftop in nowheresville, like this foolhardy fence, who obviously didn’t know just who he was tangling with…

By Bulgarian photographer Nikola Borissov.

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