the story of m
vogue italia october 2014
model: malgosia bela (next)
photographer: craig mcdean (artandcommerce)
art: pascal dangin
Tim Walker’s Pastel Cats
"A lot of people get confused when they see this image. They think it was done by computer, but we actually took pigment powder, mixed it with talc to get the right ice-cream pastel colours, and brushed it into the cats.
The owners were two proud members of the Persian cat club. I can’t remember how I found them, but they turned up in a van, covered in cat fur, and stood breathing down my neck as I took the picture. We were worried about putting all that powder into the animals’ fur, but they said, ‘Oh no, they absolutely love it.’ The cats were such vain creatures - they adored being touched and pampered.
We didn’t really think about which cats, or how many, should be done in which colours. We just did each one, and then they had to go back into their cat beds in the owners’ van. I think I lost count of how many were pink and how many were blue, but when we were finished they all came out and looked great together. There wasn’t enough light to do the picture indoors - but, by a fluke, all the cats seemed to gravitate to this clematis at the bottom of some steps. I didn’t arrange them. This is just what the cats did, and they all pretty much stayed where they were throughout. So it’s actually quite a naturalistic portrait - apart from the colour.
At the time, in May 1998, I had no idea how the picture would resonate with people. But it has been the image I’ve been asked about the most. For some reason, people are just fascinated with it - more than any model, house or celebrity I’ve ever shot. Everyone wants to know about the pastel cats.” -Tim Walker
Interview by Leo Benedictus
What I do at work on Fridays.
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin (via feellng)
When #IfTheyGunnedMeDown Happens in Print:
Section from the Rolling Stone profile of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of two brothers who committed the Boston Marathon bombings vs section from the New York Times profile of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.
At 19, I read a sentence that re-terraformed my head: “The level of matter in the universe has been constant since the Big Bang.”
In all the aeons we have lost nothing, we have gained nothing - not a speck, not a grain, not a breath. The universe is simply a sealed, twisting kaleidoscope that has reordered itself a trillion trillion trillion times over.
Each baby, then, is a unique collision - a cocktail, a remix - of all that has come before: made from molecules of Napoleon and stardust and comets and whale tooth; colloidal mercury and Cleopatra’s breath: and with the same darkness that is between the stars between, and inside, our own atoms.
When you know this, you suddenly see the crowded top deck of the bus, in the rain, as a miracle: this collection of people is by way of a starburst constellation. Families are bright, irregular-shaped nebulae. Finding a person you love is like galaxies colliding. We are all peculiar, unrepeatable, perambulating micro-universes - we have never been before and we will never be again. Oh God, the sheer exuberant, unlikely face of our existences. The honour of being alive. They will never be able to make you again. Don’t you dare waste a second of it thinking something better will happen when it ends. Don’t you dare.
Caitlin Moran (via scatteredandshining)