When One Name Is Enough
Much as I adore women with a single, dramatic name, I must admit it's been a downward spiral from Nazimova to the horror that is Fergie over the past nine or ten decades. But this morning I was lucky to see some of the best ones of the previous century when I joined Bryce Digdug and went to the Richard Avedon exhibit at SFMOMA. (There was also one for Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keefe, but I don't go to museums to see postcards.)
At first I was sort of luke warm about going. And the exhibit started with his most recent works that were interesting in their own way, including the political portraits that often looked like mugshots with expressions of deers caught in the headlights. Only in San Francisco would a father point to a portrait of Henry Kissinger and tell his four-year-old daughter, "That man was one of the most horrible war criminals of the 20th Century, and he is still at large!"
Things kept getting better as we made our way to the increasingly older portraits until we arrived at his 1950s fashion portraits. There were Dovima, Verushka, Twiggy -- those great women of single titular identities.
There was also Suzy Parker whom I first fell in love with in The Best of Everything where she played a boy named Gregg. In case you've never heard it, here is the Beatles (who looked great in 1967 Avedon portraits) tribute to her.