ENLIVENING THE EVERYDAY—GREAT PHOTOS IN VINTAGE MAGAZINES (PART ONE)

There is a special mojo to be found in enjoying the upshot of effectively photographing workaday entities, a shimmer that is all the more powerful in remaining bound to materiality. Today we want to look at this phenomenon glowing from the pages of the Paris periodical, L’Art Vivant (Living Art).
Here to kick things off, we have the Chrysler Building under construction, part shelter, part shrine.
Instead of a titillation of the entertainment industry, this rendition gives us a true revelation.

This table setting is like a little pond, gradually revealing oceanic depths.

A Chateau of Playing Cards—a pretty phrase to introduce the high stakes that could be involved in middling diversion. Out on limbs of razor-thin, lightning-sharp chevrons, the little objects become ennobled as moves, as playthings of strangely dynamical clashes.

Here is an illustrated ad from the same 1930 publication. Its art deco timbre is markedly dissimilar to that of the other images here. Though gloriously evocative of a mysterious lightness, implying abysses, the powers of this work are felt—in this context of the photos—to be intimate at the expense of gusto, of playfully tagging along with a mundane world in some ways bound to disappoint.

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