Categories
Photography Vaudevisuals Bookshelf

Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “Extra WeeGee”

No photographer came close to capturing the sensations, scandals, and catastrophes of 1930s and ’40s New York like Weegee (Arthur Fellig – 1899–1968). His striking images—captured through his uncanny ability to be on the spot and ready to shoot when things happened—have become part of the visual vocabulary through which we understand the period. This book, however, offers something new: drawing on an NEA archive that was only discovered in 2012, it presents countless never-before-seen Weegee photos. We see new angles on many of his familiar subjects—from the hardened police officer to the loud-mouthed crook; the midnight boozer to the dancing jazz musician; a dramatic conflagration to the celebrations at the end of World War II—but we also get a glimpse of an unknown side of Weegee through surprising photographs of happy people enjoying themselves. The works are complemented by a fascinating account of the rediscovery of the archive, which had been missing for decades.

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Categories
American Circus Art History Sideshow

Sideshow Banner Paintings

SNAP WYATT – Banner Painter

Snap Wyatt was a prolific painter of huge circus banners primarily in the 1940’s and 50’s.  He was known for his bold, cartoon-like style. His banners were painted with quick caricatures, and only the essential details of the performer were outlined in black to make them stand out. He said he could finish one in a day for about $85. bucks. The bright and colorful banners drew in the crowd with the mystery of what was inside the tent. Wyatt is considered to be among the top in his field. His banners today sell for thousands.

Sideshow banner painter Snap Wyatt and a handful of others including Fred Johnson, Tattoo Jack Cripe and Jack Sigler (now all deceased), brought art to the carnival midways of the 30’s through 60’s with their 10′ x10′ banners that waved outside the circus and carnival sideshows drawing the crowd to come inside.

Originally intended as silent talkers, the huge canvases played to a carnival attendees curiosity and directed them to walk right into the sideshow tent.

The banners portrayed the acts inside the tent and were an interesting combination of the bizarre and human oddities – from Major Debert Tiniest Man to the 643 pound Sweet Marie, Huey The Pretzel Boy to the Alligator Girl, Hydrocephalus Baby to The Penguin Boy.

Few considered the canvasses of sideshow banner painter Snap Wyatt and the other banner painters an art form at the time they were painted, yet today the mega-paintings are being bought almost as fast as they’re hung on an art gallery’s wall.

Snap Wyatt’s banners sell today for thousands. Snap Wyatt (1905-1984)

Some of the original posters are now part of the Kohler Foundation.

For more information and other posters by Snap Wyatt go here.

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Categories
59E59 Theater Comedy Performing Arts Vaudevisuals Interview

Vaudevisuals interview with Jake Broder – “His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley”

I have always enjoyed the work of Lord Buckley and the people who have been inspired by him.

When I saw that Jake Broder was doing a show about Lord Buckley at 59e59 Theatres  (one of my favorite NY venues) I had to get an interview.

 

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North Coast Repertory Theatre presents

 HIS ROYAL HIPNESS LORD BUCKLEY

By JAKE BRODER
Directed by DAVID ELLENSTEIN
Starring JAKE BRODER
With MICHAEL LANAHAN
Musicians MARK HARTMAN, BRAD RUSSELL, DANIEL GLASS
Following sold-out runs in London and Los Angeles, Jake Broder returns to New York with his critically acclaimed salute to counter-culture icon Lord Buckley. The largely forgotten comedian of the 1940s and 50s, who was described by Frank Sinatra as “the most sensational comic of our time,” is cited as having inspired a myriad of entertainers including Robin Williams, Johnny Depp, Whoopi Goldberg, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and Bob Dylan, among others.
In His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley, Broder and his be-bop jazz trio will transport audiences back to an exciting reimagining of a Buckley performance in a swirling mix of comedy, be-bop, and cabaret.
“STUNNING! EXTRAORDINARY!”
-The Evening Standard

“IT WAS F*CKING AWESOME!”
-Kevin Spacey

“THE MESMERIZING JAKE BRODER INCARNATES THE 1950S CULT LOUNGE PERFORMER LORD BUCKLEY ON A HEADLONG RIDE THROUGH THE LATE BEAT PHILOSOPHER’S OEUVRE.”
-The New Yorker

“THE COOLEST, GROOVIEST, GRANDEST COMEDIAN WHO EVER FLAPPED HIS CHOPS ON THIS SWEET SWINGING SPHERE.”
-Washington Post

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Go HERE for more information/tickets

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Here is Lord Buckley performing one of his wonderful pieces ‘The Nazz” in 1960 at The Gate of Horn, Chicago.