Louis Natterton, Passaic, New Jersey, 1948

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“Yes, I know I look like him. No, I’m not related. No, I’m not a gangster. I used to be an insurance salesman but now I’m an accountant.”
Pencil sketch.
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My Confession: Grigory Ivanov, 1938

“‘Yoshowtrialu say I betrayed the Party? I did worse than that: I betrayed the Revolution. I betrayed the Revolution when I embraced the bureaucratism of the General Secretary and helped build a whole new ruling class to oppress the workers and peasants. I betrayed the Revolution when I accepted the General Secretary’s anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist formulation of socialism in one country. I betrayed the Revolution when I stayed silent as the General Secretary purged the Party of those who made the Revolution. I betrayed the Revolution when I signed denunciations I knew to be untrue. I betrayed the Revolution in every moment of my service to this reactionary, counter-revolutionary faction of sycophants, self-seekers and traitors to the People. I have been a willing part of the General Secretary’s faction and I am justly condemned for all its crimes – though not for the ludicrous charges in your indictment. So do your worst, and I will see you all, every one of you, including you, Dzhugashvili, in hell.’ Closing statement of Grigory Ivanov, former Commissar of Light Industry, at his show trial in Moscow, 24 December 1938.” Pencil sketch.

 

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Stars of the silent screen: Darla Deveraux

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“Darla Deveraux (Debbie Nozinski). Although she started out in bit parts as a ‘leggy blonde’ in comedies by Fatty Arbuckle and others, Deveraux was soon discovered by the great Swedish director, Victor Sjöström, after his arrival in Hollywood. He encouraged her to work in Europe, where she had notable success in films by Ernst Lubitsch, F.W. Murnau, Robert Weine and others. In one extraordinary interlude, she traveled to the Soviet Union where she appeared in ‘By the Law’ (По закону) by the director-theorist Lev Kuleshov, one of the creators of montage. Her return to Hollywood in the 1930s after the advent of the ‘talkies’ met with limited success; however, she later drew on her experiences with Kuleshov to become a noted film theorist, with a number of academic publications to her credit. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by UCLA in 1965.” Pencil sketch, digital paint.

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Priscilla Weymouth

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Priscilla Weymouth, London, 1966.

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Stars of the silent screen: Fiona Hampton

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“Fiona Hampton (Fannie Kreutzer), famed for her roles in historical photoplays, including ‘The Doomed Queen’ (Anne Boleyn), ‘Stage of Tragedy’ (Mary Todd Lincoln) and ‘Christina the Conquerer,’ a forerunner to Greta Garbo’s later portrayal of the 17th century Swedish queen. As with so many of her contemporaries, Hampton’s career did not survive the rise of the talkies, although she did have a striking comeback role as an aged fence (‘Connie the Crone’) hawking stolen goods in a Bowery saloon in the 1952 B movie, ‘Dark and Deadly Love,’ now considered a film noir classic. Her last screen appearance was a brief cameo in a 1978 episode of ‘The Love Boat,’ which had been scripted by her grandson, Henry Kreutzer. She died in 1980 at the age of 83.” Pencil sketch, digital paint.

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The Flamenco Player

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Harry Brzezinski at St Mary’s Church, Witney, Oxfordshire, December 2018. Pencil sketch, digital paint.

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Film noir moments: “Body Blow,” 1953

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“‘Did I kill him? I could have. I wanted him dead. What he’s done to me deserves no mercy. If the gun had been in my hand, I would’ve pulled the trigger. But it wasn’t. So I didn’t. Sorry, cop. I may be going to hell, but not for this.’ From ‘Body Blow,’ 1953.” Pencil sketch.

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