barbara bloom

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Lolita Stamps.BloomContinuing our Lolita book cover theme I am grateful to Barbara Bloom for providing this image of her 1998 work Lolita Stamps (you can find her design among them) as well as this quote by Susan Tallman from the retrospective catalogue The Collections of Barbara Bloom:

“BB was drawn to the relentless precision of Nabokov’s prose, and also to the manner in which that relentlessness resulted, not in difficult avant-gardism, but in flat out beauty. (The terrifying thing about Lolita is that it is simultaneously so repugnant and so beautiful.) Like the obsessive lover who seeks to re-dress the object of his desire in the clothes he wants to see her in, BB set about designing her own covers for most (not all) of Nabokov’s novels, quite often by gracing them with prior work of her own: Glory (1932) bears the image of BB’s Pride on its cover, and a chain of Nabokov’s beloved butterfly wings from Never Odd or Even: Corner on the back; Invitation to a Beheading (1938) is adorned with two of BB’s museum photographs: the Greek horse head from the British Museum and another of a bit of Classical statuary truncated by the intrusion of a large red hat. The simplest and most straightforward is Despair, with its black-and-white documentation of BB’s broken porcelain KPM Arkadia dinner plate. Most remarkable, however, is the absurdly apropos silhouette BB found for the cover of Lolita: the pompous (and paunchy) Nabokovean male at the lectern, the saucy stance of the little girl (the word minx seems almost unavoidable) who thrusts her hip at his tendentious fingers. One does wonder what other purpose the image could ever have served.”

 I am hopeful that in the not too distant future I will be able to ask her a few questions about her art, her interest in Nabokov, her collection of books from his personal library and, of course, what Humbert is doing with those scissors!

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