15.000 x 20.000 inches
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The Great Houdini
Steven Paul Carlson
Drawing - Graphite
Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz; March 24, 1874 - October 31, 1926) was a Hungarian-American magician and escapologist, stunt performer, actor and film producer. He was also a skeptic who set out to expose frauds purporting to be supernatural phenomena.
The center portrait was created from Houdini's favorite publicity photo.
On the left Houdini is performing his "challenge handcuff" act; it was in escapes, not magic, that Houdini would find his great success.
On the right is Houdini's most famous escape, the Chinese Water Torture Cell. Houdini affectionately referred to it as The Up Side Down. Contrary to common belief Houdini did not die performing this act.
In the center are the Famous Mirror handcuffs, a custom set of cuffs made as a special challenge for Houdini by the London Daily Mirror in 1904. It was reported that 4000 people and more than 100 journalists turned out for the much-hyped event at London's Hippodrome theater. The escape attempt dragged on for over three hours. When Houdini finally emerged free he broke down and wept when he was paraded on the shoulders of the cheering crowd. Houdini later said it was the most difficult escape of his career.
Unknown to many Harry Houdini was also a pioneer aviator. On March 18, 1910 Harry Houdini became the very first man to fly in Australia. It was at Diggers Rest, north of Melbourne. He flew a French Voisin biplane.
15" X 20" Graphite on board
September 29th, 2010
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