Earthly Mission

Variations for Woman in a Bubble Around Paris and New York

What do you do when you are a Paris policeman and you spot a woman flying by in a bubble? Or an ordinary New Yorker looking up on the sky wondering what that model wearing a floating orange dress is doing up there? Melvin Sokolsky was a popular fashion photographer in the early 1960s who sought answers to those kinds of questions.

Inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and its transparent globes resembling a Faberge egg, Sokolsky created the Bubble series for the Harper’s Bazaar 1963 Spring Collection. The Bubble itself was produced in ten days’ time, of Plexiglass and aircraft aluminum for the hinged rings, so Sokolsky could soon embark the model Simone d’Aillencourt in his spatial-like engine.

Sokolsky was strongly inspired by Surrealist artists and pioneered various techniques such as the computer controlled lens Francis Ford Coppola used in The Godfather. He once met Salvador Dali who asked him to make him fly, a request the American photographer approved at the condition of embarking a whole amphitheater of celebrities for a parabolic flight. Astonished, Salvador Dali ‘signed himself and screamed « El Diablo ! » But later, Dali painted the portrait of Ali MacGraw [the photographer’s assistant] by mixing his sperm to the painting. Who was the most diabolical of the two?’.

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via The Red List



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