Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Lee Miller

A special helmet designed to lift up so she could use a camera. 

Lee Miller was an amazing person. A strong woman in a time when weemen needed to know their place in a very man's world. All your life you've never seen a woman, taken by the wind. 

Born in New York in 1907 she became a successful model appearing on the cover of Vogue but after appearing in a Kotex ad for menstrual pads in 1928 her modeling career um dried up. It was a scandal. A model being connected to menstruation, disgraceful! 

It was a different world back then, now we have tampons and pads being seen as our (weemen's) friends. They can help you ride a horse and roller skate being pulled along by a pack of dogs .... even if you've never done it before. 
You can be a nagging angry trollup 365 days a year without having to stop just because it's yer Pon Farr. Now people post blood stained pics on social media .... what the fuck?

Yer being sexist Old Knudsen, don't judge weemen because they feel the need to fight you to the death every once and a while because of their hormones ..... it must be hormones cos we men never ever do anything to piss weemen off.   

One door closes and another opens .... luckily in this case the door got her to get her tits out. She became the muse, lover, friend and co-worker of American Surrealist painter and photographer Ray Man who was living in Paris. 
She became a fine art photographer and was an active figure in the Surrealist movement with friends like Picasso and Cocteau.  

In 1934 she married some Egyptian businessman bloke in Cairo but once you go Surrealist painter you never go back and in 1937 she shacked up with painter Roland Penrose back in her beloved Paris. 

They were living in London at the outbreak of WWII. Miller covered the London blitz for Vogue then later became a US war correspondent in 1942 after America finally decided that Nazis were bad and joined the war. 
Today the US is still unsure as to whether or not Nazis are bad and lets people with that mindset to run for the White House. Freedom is one thing but now it's getting rather silly. 

She was there for the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau. Her camera saw some bad shit. 

 German soldier in a river.

She had a good eye and could capture moments that others didn't notice. People tend to snap pics to record events while people like Miller are recording not just the event but the story surrounding it. The grotesque fascination we have with death and water. 

Almost Ophelia like.

   SS guard's suicide.  

I don't know how much she staged. Did she arrange their arms and put in a picture of Hitler? Probably. Her pictures made it to Life magazine and were world famous. 
While in Munich she and some soldiers found Hitler's apartment. A picture of Hitler and her muddy boots on his clean rug. Sort of marking her territory for the US. Photo taken by David E. Scherman.
She returned the favour. Is he smiling because she is standing there naked taking a photo? I know that when I take a bath (Christmas usually) I always have a framed picture of meself to gaze upon in case I can't knock one out to the naked statue. 

This big fuck you goes out to Hitler. 

After the war she returned to England, married Penrose and had a son. She suffered from depression and PTSD. She had put the photography on hold a little and became a successful gourmet cook. Her marriage had some difficulties and throughout the 40's and 50's, MI-5 kept an eye on her thinking that she had connections to a Soviet spy ring. 

 Lee taken by Penrose in 1942.

Man Ray continued to be her friend and even became a close friend to her husband right up to his death in 1976. Lee never did much to promote her photos and her son Antony Penrose a photographer himself has been the one to show them to the world. 60,000 negatives which became the Lee Miller Archives. He has also written books and plays about his parents and their friends, many of whom he himself has photgraphed. 

An amazing woman living during and amazing time, she died of cancer aged 70 July 21 in 1977. She seems to be one of those people that could have done anything had they wanted to. Would you stay if she promised you Heaven? Will you ever win?  


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