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Ode to Baudelaire

Dressed in reclaimed jet black leather, I am a miniature, wearable journal for your thoughts.

 

Unravel my wee black leather wrap around tie, and you’ll find I begin & end with beautiful hand marbled paper sporting blue swirly hues. In between, I’m filled with 36 sheets (72 pages) of blue-toned & tea-stained paper to write your Baudelaire-inspired prose. Hand torn, my pages have been lovingly stitched with archival linen thread, and are dressed up with sky blue & white striped headbands.

 

Along with a rustic circular copper disc measuring 25mm wide, I am coupled with an 18mm wide magnifying cabochon in a vintage brass lace setting, featuring a reprinted, resized self-portrait of Charles Baudelaire, which is famously titled ‘Self Portrait under the Influence of Hashish’.

 

Mr. Baudelaire (1821-67) was a French poet best known for his work ‘Les Fleurs du mal’ (The Flowers of Evil). Also greatly known as the father of modern art criticism, he famously denounced the invention of photography at the Salon of 1859. As the new wondrous invention began to walk in its new shoes, he stepped out in his to speak scathingly of the photographic industry, stating it was,

 

“...the refuge of all the painters who couldn’t make it, either because they had no talent or because they were too lazy to finish their studies. Hence this universal infatuation was not only characterized by blindness and stupidity, but also by vindictiveness.” - Charles Baudelaire - 1859, [cited in: “Camera Austria” 14/84, Annie Le Brun “The Feeling of Nature at the Close of the Twentieth Century”, p. 20]

 

I wonder what he would make of photography today...

 

Measuring 1 x 1 ¼ inches, I hang from a fine bronze chain which secures with a lobster clasp. My entire length of 16 inches (32 inches when undone) allows me to be read, worn, written in & admired all at once.

 

I’d make a fabulous accessory for the art critic, poet, artist, photographer, writer, reader and everyone in between.

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Taken on January 11, 2012