About: Erin Garcia

I'm former assistant curator in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and currently an independent curator in San Francisco. I'm the author of Man Ray in Paris(2011) and Photography as Fiction, both from Getty Publications.

Posts by Erin

Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video, Publications

Becoming Man Ray: Art, Life, and Paris

Untitled (Self Portrait with Pipe, Paris), Man Ray, 1921. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 97.XM.54.1

The mythology of artistic greatness tends to privilege the spark of creative genius over hard work, sacrifice, and experimentation. Traditionally, the biographies of famous artists have described naïve talents who achieved notoriety only after being fortuitously discovered. By contrast, Man… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: You Look Like Hell

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      Escaping the in-laws or medieval Sea World? It’s actually an extreme punishment for a dress code violation. 

      Here’s the full story:

      The Christian tale of Saint Josaphat is roughly based on the life of the Buddha in a kind of medieval game of telephone, in which the sources for the text passed through Christian circles in the Middle East in the 8th century before appearing in European versions in the 11th century. 

      Here an unsuitably dressed guest—we can see that his tattered clothing and scruffy facial hair have no place at the well-dressed gathering—is cast into the dark, open mouth of a terrifying animal. 

      To make matters worse, the story is a parable in which Barlaam, Josaphat’s Christian teacher, describes the sinful who do not make the cut at the Last Judgment.

      Holiday Lesson: Always check the dress code.

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.


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