Posts Tagged ‘drexel’

We watched the movie “Bill Cunningham New York” Saturday, and a more modest protagonist would be hard to find.

A fashion photographer who focuses less on the runway than on what people are wearing on the street, he knows all the fashionistas but lives in a rent-control apartment with a shared bathroom and thousands of photographs in file cabinets and prefers to eat at McDonald’s. He wears a series of simple blue workman’s jackets because the camera bumping against his chest wears them out. He traverses New York on a bicycle and is on his 29th (the others got stolen). He is not a paparazzi. In one scene in the documentary, he shows no interest in filming Catherine Deneuve at a glitterati event because “she wasn’t wearing anything interesting.” He is immune to the allure of celebrity.

Not too many people are immune to celebrity. Consider Baudelaire.

ArtsJournal.com asks if the 19th Century French poet was the first modern casualty of celebrity and points us to this essay by Stefany Anne Golberg at Drexel University’s online publication The Smart Set.

“The problem was this: Baudelaire wanted to shield his private life. So he made himself into a public entity. Yet, as he did, Baudelaire became the public persona he created. As he surrounded himself with layers of artificiality, the ‘real’ Baudelaire became hidden even from Baudelaire.” Read more.

Probably not a good idea to buy into one’s own image making.


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