Monday, February 11, 2013


Guadalcanal, girl
24" x 12"
oil on luan, 2013
Photographers in the earlier and mid twentieth century had a blast photographing exotic women. Under the guise of anthropology they took license to shoot cute bare-breasted girls and women from around the world. They published them as postcards and it was a good business. Now, of course, you can't do that anymore. Even the photographers of National Geographic shy away from nudity. It is politically incorrect to objectify, but also—even in the most remote and secluded areas—the women have covered up. I have followed suit and stay (mostly) away from exploitative images (I used to search out precisely such images to illustrate the often anonymous recordings of the female voice in remote areas that I love so much). I make an exception here partly because the only timely image result for keyword search "Guadalcanal and girl" was the vintage postcard I painted this from. Sometimes those postcards are fake. Commercial photo studios, especially in Paris, dragged cute exotic looking girls into their ateliers and put them in front of a decor with palm trees or thatched huts, had them put on a bamboo skirt or even less, and sold the results as authentic photos taken in the colonies. I don't know if this particular photo I used is authentic or not but I do know that the scenery in the painting is located in Fort Myers, Florida, it's my back yard: guilty. The reason for my image search was a song on the record Iles Salomon: Musique de Guadalcanal, Ocora/Radio France, 1970, recorded by Hugo Zemp in the Solomon Islands for which I didn't have an image available. The song is Koleo: Chant Funèbre de Femmes that I used it on my compilation of funerary laments.

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