Art | October 08, 2013
Darkroom Alchemy: The Photographic Art of Studio Manassé
In 1934, an entire edition of Muskete, a humorous magazine known for its caricature and pictorial jokes, was confiscated by Austrian censors because the Wlassics, a husband-and-wife team of photographers who operated Studio Manassé in Vienna, had failed to remove in the darkroom all traces of pubic hair on their nude cover photo. The image was one of their “photographic jokes,” a genre of work popularized by picture postcards of the early twentieth century that employed trick photography to depict whimsical images such as pretty girls growing on trees, the cherubic face of a loved one appearing in a wreath of pipe smoke or a lithe young woman hanging seductively from a businessman’s necktie.
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