Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rico Lebrun's Costume Art

 I knew the artist Rico Lebrun (1900-1961) as a student at UCLA.  Articulate, he learned English by reading and re-reading Moby Dick, and Melville's urgency and grandeur was in Rico's talk and imagery.   To my surprise I find currently on Ebay a drawing of the costumes he designed for Camelita Maracci's ballet Circo di Espagna, New York 1951.   Clearly form does not follow function, for these drawing do nothing to let the body convey suppressed feeling or achieve meaningful shapes.   There is no music here.  Instead, the fashions of the pretty senoritas have taken on the raw emotions of the bull-ring: fear; anger; the need for protection; defiance of vulnerability with decorative patterns; doom, for in the bull-ring there must be a death.

Women for Bull Ring Scene

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