October 8, 2009

Irving Penn has died, age 92.

A slide-show of his work.

***

In other photography news, finally, we'll get to see Levi Johnston naked. And oh, the humiliation for Sarah Palin!

ADDED: Deafening Silence spotted a fascinating homage to Penn.

54 comments:

Jason (the commenter) said...

To get ready for his close-up, Johnston is training three hours a day, six nights a week at an Anchorage gym with a local body builder...

I hope he doesn't get too ripped, it would ruin his charm.

And oh, the humiliation for Sarah Palin!

This entire incident has reflected poorly on her diplomatic skills.

Bissage said...

Take heed, young Mr. Johnson. You can't unring that bell.

wv = zedocrin. Ask your doctor if zedocrin is right for you.

Henry said...

Dear sperm bank,

Get a job.

Love, Sarah.

* * *

Dear harpie,

Working on it.

Love, Levi

traditionalguy said...

That Levi in Playgirl nude idea shows to go you how popular Sarah Palin is right now. And Levi was used for his accusations that it is his knocked up girl friend's mother who just wants to make money from publications. Real life is so much more interesting than fantasy stories. That is one reason Obama's popularity is plunging: he is is nothing but a long series of fantasy stories first written by Bill Ayers.

MadisonMan said...

Will Sarah Palin look at the pictures?

Jason, your last line cracked me up.

Fred4Pres said...

Andrew Sullivan really wants to see Levi naked...and a whole lot more.

Maguro said...

I'm just surprised to hear that a 70's relic like Playgirl magazine is still around. It's like finding out that are still stores specializing in leisure suits out there.

Leather Daddy said...

Welcome to gay porn, young Levi. First, Playgirl. Then, some solo work for Sean Cody. Then, maybe a peck on a cheek for some low key action pics. Then, you maybe get a bj on Sean Cody - but it's cool. Because you're straight and just "gay for pay". Then you take it up the poop chute (but, he's hot, and it's only for the money. Really.). Then, you're face down on Jake Cruise's bed getting boned by an old man. And (this is where I come in) finally, you're up in the sling for the revamped Honcho Online.

Again, welcome to gay porn, young Levi. I'll be waiting on the other end of the sling.

Yours,
Leather Daddy

MadisonMan said...

Maguro: Try this link.

Note that it is NSFW: Not Safe For Wearing.

Henry said...

Althouse! What did Irving Penn do to deserve this pairing?

Joseph said...

Levi is making the most of the situation he's found himself in. I think he deserves some credit for being deferential to the Palins and playing the good boy up through the election, but I don't think the Palins can reasonably expect anything more from him. They exploited him for their needs during the election and now he is exploiting the notoriety that they foisted on him for his own benefit. I don't see one as particularly more or less noble than the other.

t-man said...

Henry -

Maybe its a snide comparison with Penn's "New Guinea Mud Men" shots.

t-man said...

Joseph -

If you think that posing nude for publicity is "making the most of the situation he found himself in," you must not think much of marriage, fatherhood, or the normal life of unsung work.

traditionalguy said...

I give up. Who was Irving Penn? Was Penn Station named after him? They both were gone before my time.

Shanna said...

Heh, oh Levi. So young. So stupid.

TexMex said...

You know what would be more fun than seeing Jon Gosslin getting is brown ripped by Nancy Grace....come on, do I have to finish this sentence?

Leather Daddy said...

I agree with you, Joseph. It's only exploitation we're talking about. And the sooner the better for young Levi. We can't wait to see him pucker up. On both ends.

Fred4Pres said...

Irving Penn did great work. RIP.

traditionalguy said...

Is Levi too old for Mitterand? If not he could be sold and passed around in France. A slaves life can be interesting. A worker who keeps the rewards from his own labor is called a free man in a country that allows free men to work where they chose and be paid for their true value. Levi so far has just attached himself to a powerful women's family and enjoyed their strength, but he has not yet decided to become a free man.

former law student said...

Irving Penn's younger brother Arthur directed Bonnie and Clyde, The Miracle Worker, etc.

I don't see how Levi's posing naked would reflect on Sarah Palin at all -- she did not raise him, she did not select him to be her son-in-law. Now if her husband Todd were to strip off for a magazine, that would be different.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Ticket sir,last stop palookaville,watch your step getting off.

Bob said...

The funny thing is that Levi's 15 minutes of fame won't run out until Sarah Palin is no longer newsworthy, so we'll see him get a reality show, do a sex tape, become a drug addict, do rehab, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

MadisonMan said...

I think the black/white Vogue cover of Penn's that is at the link is an amazing image.

But before his obit? Never heard of him.

ricpic said...

Only Penn was competition for Avedon. Now it's Avedon alone.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Levi Johnston is working his way up to the Tanya Harding / Danny Bonaduce level of celebrity.

Leather Daddy said...

former law student - we will accept Todd in lieu of young Levi.

victoria said...

Can't believe that you have Irving Penn and Levi Johnston in the same posting. Irving Penn, a monstrous talent, will be missed.

Levi, not even. Trash

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't see how Levi's posing naked would reflect on Sarah Palin at all she did not raise him, she did not select him to be her son-in-law.

Well if you do the seven degrees of Kevin Bacon logic, it reflects on Sarah because if she was really a good mom, Bristol would have been raised properly enough not to have dated, much less shagged and gotten knocked up by such as him.

Because in the real world, we are all judged by who our kids end up dating.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Irving Penn, a monstrous talent...

Odd word to use in heaping praise on someone.

You might think about a thesaurus.

EDH said...

As they used to say on The Hollywood Squares, I'll take Gisele to block.

Kensington said...

According to Wikipedia, about 50% of Playgirl's audience is male and gay.

Somehow I doubt it's that low, and I wonder if Levi has any idea that most of the people who will be "enjoying" his pictures are caterwauling gay male lefties.

MeJerry said...

Ironic that a mention of Penn and Levi are together. C'mon, Ann, where is your sensibility?

Triangle Man said...

Take heed, young Mr. Johnson. You can't unring that bell.

And Bissage should know!

m00se said...

I think someone needs to do the requisite Family Guy joke here regarding Sully putting the picture of Levi on the back of his husband's head.

Doh - I just did it!

MadisonMan said...

It's unfortunate, that young Mr. Johnston can't find economic opportunities in his hometown. If only a former Mayor had worked harder at Economic Development. Now he is forced to move elsewhere and flaunt it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't see how Levi's posing naked would reflect on Sarah Palin at all she did not raise him, she did not select him to be her son-in-law

I sort of agree with you, fls. However, Hoosier has a good point too. If she raised her daughter better she might not have dated this loser. Of course, there is no denying teenage hormones either. I don't know about you guys but I sure made some boneheaded decisions as a teenager.


I just think that the Palins have had a close escape in not actually bringing Levi and the rest of his family into their family circle by marriage. Better to be a single mom than to be married to such trash.

Chip Ahoy said...

What impressed me about the photos in the series at the Irving Penn link is almost all the photographs have the same or similar studio background. Web image search confirms most all are precisely that.

I understand Penn's importance to photography, and I'm not trying to diminish it, but honestly, the photographs as a group do not seem all that interesting to me. Contrived, actually, for example, the Hell's Angel on his motorcycle positioned in front of the familiar backdrop seems completely out of place in a photographer's studio. I understand the "crammed into a corner" technique was his own device and at the time that was probably avant garde. Was it really all that difficult to get a great black and white photographs that when you did manage its was considered art?

Digital has overturned the photographers world. I know film holdouts, but they're a rapidly diminishing group, and I dare say, they most likely do not understand fully what they're snubbing. Now the processing occurs inside the camera and when color post-processing is done it is by the photographers themselves on their computers. The ubiquity of excellent digital cameras has put many professional photographers right out of business entirely. Imagine the dismay of the wedding photographers finding themselves suddenly confronted with half a dozen amateur photographers showing up at every event with cameras nearly as advanced or equally as advanced as their own and with artistic eyes and opportunity for shots equally as great.

"OK, put your hand over his hand on this here bible and make sure the diamond in your ring shows." *click*

"OK, now stand in front of that stained glass window and spread out the bottom of your dress." *click*

Pffft.

Who needs a school photographer when nearly every family has their own exceedingly good digital camera with the ability to pull off images spontaneously and candidly better than those ridiculously contrived standardized head shots? Huh? Nobody, that's who.

I'm curious about Irving Penn, but not about his books. I suppose he set a standard for his day and by the equipment of his time, but I did not see anything in that series of famous photographs that would compel me to buy one of his books on photography.

From another site:

Penn varied his equipment, materials, and methods in line with the assignment and his interpretation of it. Thus, he will turn to the Leica or Nikon and a selection of lenses. Or he will go to the 4X5 or 8X10 Deardorff view cameras, or the Rolleiflex or Hasselblad. Penn supervised all the black-and-white processing in his studio, but sent his color work to an outside laboratory.

Eh. All photographers did that. I would have expected more interesting environments. What am I missing?

edutcher said...

EDH said...

As they used to say on The Hollywood Squares, I'll take Gisele to block.

You mean Rose Marie.

Or was it Paul Lynde?

prairie wind said...

"I don't think the Palins can reasonably expect anything more from him."

I dunno. Maybe Sarah wants her grandson to have a dad he can be proud of.

Andrea said...

I agree with former law student: how does Levi Johnston's actions mean humiliation for Sarah Palin? If anyone should be humiliated, it should be Bristol, for deciding to let this loser boink her. The whole scenario should be used as a lesson to high school girls to keep their legs closed, because that sweet-talking cute boy often turns out to be an asshole once he gets what he wants from you.

And where were the Palins "exploiting" Levi? It seems to me they were making the best of a bad situation: "Well, if he's the young man Bristol wants, and he is the father of our grandchild..." If anyone was and is exploiting anyone, it's Levi Johnston and the entertainment media (which now includes the news, which feeds on stuff like this). He should put his clothes back on, tell his handlers to get bend, and get an honest job, but he obviously has neither the honor nor the willpower to do so. But by all means lets continue to give him publicity and then blame Sarah Palin!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

While I really appreciate the beautiful color compositions that Althouse presents, there is something so striking about Penn's black and white photography as compared to the same photo in a color format.

The same photos would lose their power in color, I think.

Somehow the black and white format draws me deeper into the composition and makes me think more about the subjects and the settings.

Andrea said...

Argh. "How do Levi's actions..." "...tell his handlers to get bent..." I obviously need more coffee.

Beth said...

I don't see why Palin should be humiliated. But this was inevitable, wasn't it? It's so wonderfully American; there's always a sideshow figure emerging from our stories. Kato Kaelin. Billy Carter. Jon Gosselin. Tammy Faye Baker (God bless her.) Donna Rice.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Kensington: I wonder if Levi has any idea that most of the people who will be "enjoying" his pictures are caterwauling gay male lefties.

He's said in interviews that he's aware.

Beth said...

Wait. Is this a theme day? I just saw that "lower quality females prefer lower quality males" story.

Jason (the commenter) said...

former law student: I don't see how Levi's posing naked would reflect on Sarah Palin at all -- she did not raise him, she did not select him to be her son-in-law.

I think people are interpreting her inability to part ways on friendly terms with him as a failing.

If you can't handle assholes how good of a politician can you be?

rocketeer67 said...

If you can't handle assholes how good of a politician can you be?

Joseph, honestly, that's just goofy. What the heck does that even mean, "handle"? Birds fly, fish swim, cows moo, assholes are assholes. It has nothing to do with how good you are as a politican. Unless by "handle," you mean "control," and I prefer my politicians be lacking in that ability, thankyewverymuch.

michael farris said...

Many years ago I worked the night shift at a convenience store for a few months.
Playgirl sold pretty well and I don't think any women ever actually bought it.
A lot of guys did make 'for my girlfriend' or 'my wife wanted me to get this for her' excuses while buying it.

Bissage said...

Triangle Man, let’s just say I did some things I’m not proud of.

traditionalguy said...

Jason the commenter...What The Palins did was tell Levi to man up and set him free in a place with jobs available like Todd Palin works diligently doing. That was a normal way to raise men 50 years ago. She did not make him into part of her Crew, whatever that means when one wealthy person surrounds themselves with dependents who don't want to do real work. I guess she could have made him the Birth Control Czar in her campaign, and that would have been more diplomatic.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Bissage said...

...let’s just say I did some things I’m not proud of.

Bissage - I got that issue ( uh...for my girlfriend ) and I think you have every reason to be proud of it!

EDH said...

edutcher said...

EDH said...
As they used to say on The Hollywood Squares, I'll take Gisele to block.


You mean Rose Marie.

Or was it Paul Lynde?
..........................

No, either Rose Marie or Paul Lynde would be a total cock block.

alan markus said...

It's like Levi has the "magic wiener" - two times he takes it out and makes some $$$.

jr565 said...

Jason wrote:
If you can't handle assholes how good of a politician can you be?


How do you expect Palin to have "handled" Johnston? Off him? Get some goons to beat up on him? Funny if the Palins did "handle" Johnston, I'm sure we'd then be hearing how Palin abused the power of her office to silence critics.