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Posts Tagged ‘marionette

“I’m Your Puppet”*…

 

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What have you been doing during the COVID-19 Lockdown?

Binging on boxsets? Drinking too much? Self-medicating? Finding all your good clothes have shrunk from lack of wear?

All of the above?

George Miller spent his time lockdown making a set of beautiful marionettes featuring some of the biggest stars of rock ‘n’ roll, country, and R&B.

Miller is a Glasgow-based artist, singer, musician and iconic pop figure who’s better known as the front man to the legendary Kaisers and more recently the New Piccadillys…

Over the past few months, he would post a photograph of his latest marionette in progress. Sculpting heads of rock stars like Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly or country greats like Johnny Cash. They were beautiful, fabulous models, which were then dressed by Ursula Cleary and placed in boxes designed by Chris Taylor…

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From the ever-illuminating Dangerous Minds, “Your favorite rock ‘n’ roll, country and R&B legends as marionettes.”

* song written by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham; most famously recorded by James & Bobby Purify

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As we pull the string, we might recall that it was on this date in 1933 that the first singing telegram was delivered.  On that day, a fan sent Hollywood singing star Rudy Vallee a birthday greeting by telegram.  George P. Oslin, the Western Union public relations director, decided this would be a good opportunity to make telegrams, which had been associated with deaths and other tragic news, into something more popular.  He asked a Western Union operator, Lucille Lipps, to sing the message over the telephone… et viola!

The initial response within the company was not-so-positive; Oslin recalled that he “was angrily informed I was making a laughingstock of the company.”  But the service caught on.  As relatively few telegram recipients had telephones in the 1930s, most telegrams, including singing telegrams, were first delivered in person.  As the phone caught on, delivery shifted there– but demand for telegrams began to drop.  Western Union suspended the service in 1974, though it survives as a novelty provided by independent companies.

TelephoneOperators2 source

 

A puppet on a string…

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The latest performance by Royal de Luxe— the French mechanical marionette street theater company– took place last month in Guadalajara, Mexico as part of the Celebrando el Centenario de la Revolución Mexicana, and featured The Mexican Giant, the dog Xolo and the Little Indian Girl (more photos and video here).  Extraordinaire!

Via the wonderful Laughing Squid.

As look carefully around us for the strings, we might recall that it was on this date in 1962 that Pravda excoriated Western art as degenerate and bourgeois.  Days before, at an exhibiton at the Manege in Moscow, Premier Nikita Khrushchev had attacked the Modernist paintings of Pavel Kuznetsov and Robert Falk, pronouncing them “dog sh*t.” Khrushchev was so revolted by an Ernst Neizvestny sculpture– an Expressionist female nude– that he called the artist a “fag” to his face, then added, “We give ten years for that.”  Undaunted, Neizvetny insisted that the gallery bring him a girl so he could set the dictator straight.

Eliott Erwitt’s famous photo of Nixon “correcting” Khrushchev’s views on Pollack (source)

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