Arne Svenson Mrs. Ballard's Parrots

ISBN 13: 9780810958869

Mrs. Ballard's Parrots

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9780810958869: Mrs. Ballard's Parrots
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A humorous collection of parrot photography by the author and photographer whose wife's feathered friends have appeared in numerous films and on talk shows features parrots in elaborate costumes or reenacting scenes from famous movies. By the author of Prisoners and Sock Monkeys. 25,000 first printing.

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It's difficult to determine what makes these snapshots of elaborately costumed parrots so weird. Is it that Long Island housewife Alba Ballard (1928-1994) felt compelled to spend years dressing up her feathered friends, or that the images are so curiously captivating? With the help of her husband, Marvin, Ballard designed costumes of celebrities and historical figures to place on her docile parrots, posing them at miniature tables and against painted backdrops. Some might find this disturbing, while others-like David Letterman, who had her on his show multiple times, and Woody Allen, who gave her a bit part in Broadway Danny Rose-will be heartily amused. When Ballard died, all that remained of her unusual hobby was a box full of photos discovered amid old fan mail addressed to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Through Taylor's daughter, Liza, the photos eventually found their way to New York photographer Svenson, a collector of "unique and odd" images. Readers who share Svenson's thirst for the bizarre will find these eccentric tableaus amusing. The photos, which are accompanied by headers hand-written by Ballard, feature parrots posing as wounded soldiers, impersonating Batman and Robin, and filling the famed shoes of Dean Martin (appropriately, a bevy of gorgeous Barbie dolls loiter in the background). Dressed and posed mannequin-like, the parrots seem to take their roles as models seriously, and their passive, expressionless countenances are the key to the absurdity of these pictures.
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