The design is a copy of his friend Jared French’s painting Elemental Play (1946).
A closer look at the intricate handiwork:
As well as the original version of Elemental Play:
Platt Lynes recreated the overall composition of French’s painting almost exactly, but along with some alteration in the color scheme, there are several fascinating minor divergences as well. Consider, for example, that Platt Lynes added genitals to the male figure on the left—perhaps not surprising considering how closely associated the photographer has become with his erotic art.
In his tripartite biography Intimate Companions David Leddick records that Platt Lynes took up needlepoint during the six year period (1937 – 1943) he lived with Glenway Wescott and Monroe Wheeler in an unconventional ménage à trois arrangement. Leddick also includes a photo of another example of Platt Lynes’s needlepoint, also designed by French (perhaps the subject of a future post.)
A lesser known but nonetheless fascinating expression of the great photographer’s extensive creative oeuvre.
The cushion is currently for sale; price unknown.
George Platt Lynes (from a design by Jared French)
Needlepoint in wool
Source: Kylix Collection
Jared French, c. 1946
Source: The Red List
Leddick, David. Intimate Companions: A Triography of George Platt Lynes, Paul Cadmus, Lincoln Kirstein, and Their Circle. New York: St. Martin’s, 2000.