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July 27, 2007
Cosmic Game Report
This is the first cosmic baseball game the Planets have played since Pluto was decommissioned. Rules were modified so that Pluto could remain on the team's roster. In this game, the Planets faced off against the twelve signs of the western Zodiac. Coincidentally the game was played on the day that the planet Venus went "retrograde" (nevertheless she had a good game, going three for five with a double. (But, alas, the retrograde effect was in play since Venus stumbled in the field and created an error in the first inning.
Arbus was born March 14, 1923 and died July 26, 1971.Today she is recognized as a vanguard 20th century photographer with works in a number of museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This interview took place in Paradise three hours after the Pisces played (and lost) to their league rival and nemesis, the Dharma Beats.
These are excerpts from the interview.
CBA We are aware of one of your photographs, taken in 1962, that has a specific and obvious baseball context, the word itself appears in the title. How did that picture get taken?
ARBUS "Teenager with a baseball bat, NYC" was taken in 1962 which is the same year I switched from using a Leica camera to a Rolleiflex. I believe that picture was taken with the Leica but I honestly do not recall from this vantage point.
CBA You probably have no idea if that teenager went on to play baseball in any serious manner, professionally, or not, right?
ARBUS Right, I have no idea.
CBA: Well, it is a classic example of your work. One reviewer calls the photograph "scary."
ARBUS: That was the art critic Holland Cotter writing in the New York Times years later; he was reviewing a photography show called "Adolescents".
CBA 1962 was a good year for New York baseball fans.
ARBUS I was doing a lot of photography and not paying much attention back then to baseball. As I said, that was the year I changed cameras. I was also doing magazine work.
CBA Esquire and Harper's Bazaar kept you busy in 1962.
ARBUS Yes, for Harper's I was doing fashion photography. In the fall of 1962 I took photographs of peace marchers in New Jersey for shortly after that I took the photographs for a portrait of James T. Farrell that Richard Schickel wrote for Esquire.
CBA Did you know that Farrell was a phenomenal baseball fan?
ARBUS Yes, I did know that. He was a very fine writer but I do not recall reading his Baseball Diary. In 1962 I was interested in Kafka and Rilke.
CBA How are the Pisces holding up this season?
ARBUS Today's loss to the Beats doesn't help, does it?
NOTE: The complete Arbus interview is being edited
and will be published at this website when it is completed.