The Soul of Theda

August 4th, 2009

D20 0201 The Soul of Theda

Some of you who read this blog regularly may recall a rant I wrote a while back about a model’s complaint that photographers were trying to capture her soul in their photos…and she felt this was in intrusion on her. To sum up my rant, I said that was just the photographers trying to do their job…and she was complaining about being asked to actually do the job she had been hired to do.

Well, one of my favorite models, Theda, let me know that she disagreed with me and informed me that no one could ever photograph the soul of Theda. “And besides,” she said, “I traded my soul for a mix tape about 10 years ago. But I still have the mix tape if you want to photograph that.”

Sounded like a challenge I couldn’t resist. So, on this trip to NYC I set up a shoot with Theda and I brought along a prop…the character of death…to complete the photo I had in mind, based on a classic portrait of Faust. Death travelled to NYC in my checked bag, but, unfortunately, TSA failed to open my bag for inspection this time.

On Sunday I humped my photo gear and a backpack full of Death over to Theda’s place through a downpour of rain, which I understand has been the standard weather here in New York for most of the summer. Theda had the mix tape ready. You see the result above. “Theda Trading Her Soul for a Mix Tape”

We did some other things too…some with Death and some without. You’ll no doubt be seeing some of those over the next few weeks.

I’m still in NYC. Soon I’ll be heading out to meet Claudia, the delightful muse and blogger of Museworthy. And this evening I’ll meet my good friend Diana Diriwaechter for dinner and conversation. Then tomorrow morning I’ll catch a flight back home to Ohio.

Of course, I owe this whole trip to a great friend and host, Dave Rudin, who invited me to come and join him for a lecture by Mary Ellen Mark. Dave did all the driving to get us up to Woodstock for the lecture on Saturday…and it was a very, very long drive…more than twice the normal time because of construction and traffic tie ups. It took us more than 2 hours just to get out of the city…Woodstock is normally about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Dave’s place in Brooklyn.

Yesterday Dave and I went to MoMA, one of the few museums and galleries that is open on Mondays. We were disappointed to find the entire photography gallery closed for installation of a new exhibit, but enjoyed spending some time with the rest of the permanent collection. The few photographs that were on display outside the photography gallery once again left me with the feeling that whoever is choosing photographs to add to the MoMA collection and to display there must have a very deep-seated hatred of the medium. But there are other places to exhibit photographs that actually possess some beauty and content. And perhaps this fad of hatred will pass from MoMA one day.

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About this Blog

Photos and comments by Dave Levingston. This is the place to see my most recent work which may include nudes, dance, landscape, nature and whatever other kinds of photos I feel like taking.

Since it does contain nude photos, this blog is not intended for viewing by anyone under the age of 18.

All photographs and written comments on this blog are protected by the copyright laws of the United States.

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