Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Joe Sokolowski

Dale Wittig 
Mansfield Center & Willimantic CT 
September & April 2016

 Mansfield Center


Joe died today, nearly six months after his beloved daughter, Grace. He was kind enough to let me photograph him numerous times over the last year. I knew him for close to forty years and will miss him for all his remarkable contradictions.  Because he was a master cabinet maker, I'm happy to say that the last time I saw him he had a hammer in hand. I was helping him put away his tools because a storm was coming.

José Garcia photographed by David Hurles

Old Reliable 
Los Angeles CA 
circa 1985


He also went by the name of Gabriel Garcia when working for Sid Roth's Rollo Productions, but with most of the many photographers and filmmakers for whom he posed and performed he employed the professional moniker of José. He boxed professionally and exhibited those skills in many of the films he made for Old Reliable and AMG, as well as his more amateur talent in wrestling.  He displayed the body of an athlete and the sexual predilections of an ardent bottom without ever diminishing his genial masculinity.  I hope he’s still around somewhere.  I like to think of him settling in the San Fernando Valley or the Inland Empire.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Poets & Patrons

Dale Wittig 
gesso, pencil & acrylic on card
Beverly Hills FL 
November 2016

Thomas Wyatt

Philip Sidney

Mary Sidney Herbert

Christopher Marlowe

Elizabeth Tudor

 John Donne

Innocentia Veritas Viat Fides Circumdederunt me inimici mei

by Sir Thomas Wyatt

Who list his wealth and ease retain,
Himself let him unknown contain.
Press not too fast in at that gate
Where the return stands by disdain,
For sure, circa Regna tonat.

The high mountains are blasted oft
When the low valley is mild and soft.
Fortune with Health stands at debate.
The fall is grievous from aloft.
And sure, circa Regna tonat.

These bloody days have broken my heart.
My lust, my youth did them depart,
And blind desire of estate.
Who hastes to climb seeks to revert.
Of truth, circa Regna tonat.

The bell tower showed me such sight
That in my head sticks day and night.
There did I learn out of a grate,
For all favour, glory, or might,
That yet circa Regna tonat.

By proof, I say, there did I learn:
Wit helpeth not defence too yerne,
Of innocency to plead or prate.
Bear low, therefore, give God the stern,
For sure, circa Regna tonat.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Boycott Dr Phil!

Shelley Duvall, from Making the Shining
Vivian Kubrick, Elstree Studios,
Borehamwood, Hertfordshire 1980

Film maker Vivian Kubrick denounces snake oil salesman Dr Phil’s exploitation of Duvall.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Butch Wallace photographed by Mel Roberts

Los Angeles CA 1967

Mel Roberts said in an interview, a few years before he died, that he gave Butch his porn name as insult to anti integrationist George Wallace, Governor of Alabama at the time (by which I was able to date the pictures.)  Butch was an unapologetically gay university student recommended to him by a common friend.  Roberts paid models $25 an hour for the shoots.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Turner Watercolors of Palatial Interiors

Jacob Mallord William Turner (1775 - 1851)
Watercolor and Chalk on Paper
Petworth, West Sussex

As I was watching Mike Leigh's great film about Turner last week, I recalled that I had some images stored that I wanted to post here regarding the interiors he recorded in watercolor while staying with his patron, George Wyndham, Earl of Egremont.  A scene in the film suggests the possibility of a long past love affair between Turner and a close female relative of the Earl; perhaps some youthful fling between the cockney artist and some fine young lady that has left the woman extremely melancholy.  One may see how some of these charming drawings fueled the imaginations of the writer and director, Leigh, and the actor, Timothy Spall.