All dressed up and nowhere to go? You’re not alone.
You’ve got the 4 models in the Victor Skrebneski produced fashion feature in the 27th anniversary issue of Today’s Chicago Woman to keep you company. Spread on the floor, each in a 2 page spread, in various stages of orgasmic exhibitionism which every couture clad professional gal surely finds herself now and again and again, the first model appears to be using her bejeweled bangled hand to pocket pool herself and, when she reappears at the end, she’s using her entire forearm to anally….WTF?
“Success stories don’t get much better than this” proclaims the cover. Really? Yes, the caption does, in all fairness, refer to the real estate agent on the cover but who cares about her and her success when Skrebneski locates the multiple listing service in your G spot?
In stark contrast, and as conceived by Maurizio Cattelan and photographed by Pierpaolo Ferrari, the cover of the November issue of W magazine is part of what the editors describe as a “politically and religiously charged portfolio” starring Linda Evangelista.
I can’t guarantee that what you’ll find inside the pages of the 4th annual “art issue” has any more or less artistic merit than what you find inside Today’s Chicago Woman, but I am sure that the cover photo has a politically charged urgency that taps into the global zeitgeist and that stops you dead in your tracks as it sets your mind racing.
Here’s the surreal juxtaposition of Linda”I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day” Evangelista, the most cinematic of the 80’s “greed is good” supermodels, a good deal more rotund than current standards allow but no less the superb “still actress” she always was, holding a cardboard sign that declares “IT MUST BE SOMEBODY’S FAULT.”
As obvious as the cardboard sign is to read (and agree with if it refers to the global economic meltdown), what it means depends on how you read it. For starters, where in that sentence is the correct inflection? (Fans of the masterful film writer and director John Sayles will recall the “I didn’t ask for the anal probe” scene from Passion Fish.)
And how does one read that sign given the rest of the images in the photo?
She’s is, after all, wearing an Oscar de la Renta dress and $1,699,000.00 in De Beer’s diamond jewelry including a double cross. She’s perfectly manicured, coiffed and made up but the expression on her face is alarmingly vacant. What, if anything, is really bothering, bewildering and bewitching her? An American flag can be seen clearly affixed to a building behind her. The gaze of the suited black male is ambiguously affixed to her? To us? To the studly white uniformed male intruding in the right foreground?
Who is she? Victim? Perpetrator? Prophet? Judge? Jury? Grand Inquisitor? Who are the men and who are they to her?
And what is IT? The spectacular fall of the supermodel? The divulsion of the unregulated derivative/Bernie Madoff ponzi economy? The inability of Miley Cyrus to, like, construct a proper sentence in, like, English ? The collapse of the luxury goods market? Is she sympathetic or pathetic?
Life imitated art Thursday night, making the timing of the politically and religiously charged portfolio even more prescient, at a town hall meeting in New Orleans where President Obama was asked by Tyren Scott, a 4th-grader, “Why do people hate you? And why, aren’t they supposed to love you, if God is love?”
The President came up with an unfortunately simplistic and patronizing answer, as if to prove that you can graduate from Harvard and teach at the University of Chicago, but you’re still not smarter than a 4th grader. When Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd have lost any semblance of faith in your competence, you’re just stroking your own oversize ego when you declare:
“First of all, I did get elected president, so not everybody hates me; I got a whole lot of votes. A lot of it is what’s called politics, where once one party wins, the other party feels like they’ve got to poke you a little bit to keep you on your toes. So you shouldn’t take it too seriously.”
Seriously, Tyren, IT MUST BE SOMEBODY’S FAULT. And after 9 months of on the job ineptitude on foreclosure reform, health care reform, banking reform, immigration reform. ‘don’t ask don’t tell” reform and evisceration of every campaign promise by special interest politics, the fault lies squarely with Barck Obama. Location, location, location.
Good art sometimes thrives on ambiguity and even derives its meaning from it. Political leadership does not.