Karsh of Ottawa (Yousuf Karsh, 1908-2002; https://karsh.org) studied stage lighting at the Ottawa Little Theatre, and dramatic lighting was one of the hallmarks of his portraits. In his iconic image of Humphrey Bogart, for instance, a dedicated spotlight delineated the smoky detail of Bogart’s cigarette.
Toward the end of his life, Karsh moved all the way south to Boston, where he died. But half of Canada spends the winter in Hawaii, and you see that Karsh’s successor enterprise now lives southerly on in deeper winter quarters.
reveals an idea latent in the idea of the seen. An optic anti-form, shadow shapes unseenness into a law of shadow’s nature and imposes its code moment by moment upon the territories that it has separated from light. The new regime is named dark, and within its boundaries hands can no longer be seen in front of faces. Under dark’s restrictive new law, the clock and its own hands and face have been replaced by an unseen, unthought metaphor.
Seen and thought, then: beakshadow and capacious birdbrain.
It lasted only two model years, 1955 and 1956. It came in pink the first year and either pink or lavender the second, but the guys in Corporate hadn’t thought through the sexual economics of the one-car household: a woman can drive a man’s car, but a man can’t drive a woman’s.
But real glamor is never inhibited by fashions in gender. Feminine or unfeminine, it travels the light and air of the world raincoatless, showing us on the fly what it means to be nude through and through, forever.