Fact or Fiction? — Startling Discovery At a Buenos Aires Museum
This piece is my response to the Medium furor over When I’m Gone in which the author did not reveal to Medium readers that it was all pure fiction.
I have been writing a daily blog since January 2006. Until the bottom fell out in journalism and the gigs for paid writing and magazine photographer disappeared I had an eventful and satisfying career. In my blog I get to be my own editor, publisher, photographer, art director and fact checker. My blog gives me the freedom to do as I please. Since the blog is my own I don’t always have to tell the truth. The blog is mostly autobiographical. Memories from a long ago past can be murky. I try my best. Sometimes, for sheer fun I like to write essays in which not all is true. The blog is personal so I am not restricted by any standard journalistic standards. The blog below has a lot of truth. It is amazing how many people, including my Argentine friends believed it all! The trick, of course is to insert known facts and give the appearance of thorough research. The photograph here is one I took of Seattle cellist Juliana Soltis. It is a scanned Fuji FP-100C Instant Film which I used my Mamiya RB-67 Pro-SD. I added an antique border with Corel XII.
“I paint what cannot be photographed, that which comes from the imagination or from dreams, or from an unconscious drive. I photograph the things that I do not wish to paint, the things which already have an existence.”
One of the most famous photographs of the 20th century is Man Ray’s Le Violon d’Ingres. It is a nude of his model friend (and mistress) Kiki of Montparnasse. Few who see the photograph know that the f-holes (that is what they are called) were painted on the photographic print on Kiki’s back after the fact.
Fewer know that at the time there was a rivalry between Kiki and Man Ray’s assistant (and photographer) Lee Miller. There must have been some jealousy as Miller insisted that Man Ray take this early picture of her while holding a cello. It is not known if the f-holes were painted later on or on Miller’s back.
This image was found recently in the basement files of the Museo de Artes Plásticas Eduardo Sívori. Only a few years ago a long (and original) version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was located in Buenos Aires. With Argentina being the bread basket of Europe after WWI and WWII lots of art gravitated to that country. It was a rich country.
I wonder what early methods Man Ray may have used to get colour in this photograph and I wonder why so little is known of the existence of this picture.
Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.