April 1, 2008
I'm a fan of Thierry Girard's work and of the way he presents it. I especially love the small maps he presents at the beginning of each portfolio which give a bit of context to the work. I've been toying with of doing something similar for a while, but was making the problem much more complicated than it needed to be.
April 6, 2008
April 6, 2008
Liz Kuball the photographer and blogger interviewed me the other day. The results are up on her site. Being interviewed reminded me that I need to get some new photography scanned and online. I have many projects waiting in the wings. Stay tuned...
April 6, 2008
Tomorrow marks the first Brooklyn Flea, which will be the largest flea market in New York.
And if you make it out to Ft. Geene say hello to my wife who will premiering some of the clothes she's created for her new venture 'Two Blue Cars: Shirts for Boys'. She'll feature shirts with diggers, cement mixers, garbage trucks, go carts and the like. The kinds of things little boys obsess over... so say hello.
If going for the flea market isn't your thing, go for the food, many of the regular Red Hook taco trucks (the best in town) will be feeding hungry flea folk.
April 6, 2008
The phrase that came to mind while looking through Christopher Talbot's portfolio titled Transformational Light was "backwoods, Crewdson light". Sounds horrible, but it sort of works, at least for me. Reminds me of East Texas.
April 10, 2008
I read something about Raul Corrales the great Cuban photographer and thought it might be fun to do a post about photographers named Raul. But then right away I found the site of a French photographer named Raoul Gatepin who lives in Los Angeles and felt he deserved his own post. His pictures make me miss LA and making photographs there.
April 14, 2008
Alexy Titarenko is best known for his long exposures of Russian commuters like the one above. The grim loveliness of that project speaks to both photography's early history and to more recent Soviet reality. ( You can here Titarenko speak about this series on the lens culture website).
Titarenko has a new show at the Nailya Alexander Gallery titled simply Venice. The photos are a nostalgic look at Venice. The images are as pretty as all of his photography is, but I found them to be misleading in the way tourist board postcards are misleading. They hide the ugly overcrowded overtouristed reality of the city today. This seems to be a missed opportunity as Titarenko's technique would have lended itself well to both showing Venice's teeming tourist masses and commenting on the nature of the city itself, instead we get images that evoke an empty romantic Venice that exists primarily as fantasy. This comes off as fluff.
April 14, 2008
I got to know Gail Albert Halaban's work while hanging around Gabe Greenberg's print studio and came to be a big fan of her highly stylized slightly offkilter peeks into the world of upper crusty New Yorkers.
For her new project titled Out My Window NYC she invites New Yorkers who see their neighbors only through the window and have an interest in connecting with them, to contact her. She states, "I would like to photograph you looking into their place and them looking back at you."
She's posted a few early images from the project and the results are promising. Be sure to click on the images to get a nice large version of the image.
April 17, 2008
I was lucky to see Raimond Wouda's show School last year at FOAM in Amsterdam, but didn't had a hard time finding the photographer's images online. Happily that has changed and Wouda now has created an eponymous website featuring School and several other projects. The image above is from one titled On Scale. Scale is an important aspect of Wouda's work. He shoots hyper detailed large format images and displays them at wall size. His revamped website only hints at the impact these prints have in person. (The prints are immersive without being monumental and self important.) I hope some smart New York gallerist hooks him up with a show. I'd love to have a chance to commune with the prints again.
April 17, 2008
"The week before, when I'd arrived in Shanghai, my first impression of China had been that it was one of the most advanced places I'd ever seen. The scale of Shanghai, which from the sky had presented a dead-flat vista of tens of thousands of neatly arrayed oblong houses—each of which, a closer look revealed, was in fact a large apartment block—and then, on the ground, the brutally new skyscrapers and the pedestrian-hostile streets and the artificial dusk of the smoke-filled winter sky: it was all thrilling. It was as if the gods of world history had asked, 'Does somebody want to get into some really unprecedentedly deep shit?' and this place had raised its hands and said 'Yeah!'"-Jonathan Franzen in the April 21, 2008 New Yorker
More on Franzen's trip to China here (audio link).
April 18, 2008
I love taking pictures of people asleep. In sleeping children we see their futures. In adults we see their childhoods. We relax. Our waking masks lowered, we become truer versions of ourselves.
The image above is from the site Square America which collects vernacular photography and has posted a wonderful collection of vintage photos of people sleeping. Check them out.
April 18, 2008
A child's foot doesn't know it's a foot yet
And it wants to be a butterfly or an apple
But then the rocks and pieces of glass,
the streets, the stairways
and the roads of hard earth
keep teaching the foot that it can't fly,
that it can't be a round fruit on a branch.
Then the child's foot
was defeated, it fell
it was a prisoner,
condemned to life in a shoe.
Little by little without light
it got acquainted with the world in its own way
without knowing the other imprisoned foot
exploring life like a blind man.
Those smooth toe nails
of quartz in a bunch,
got harder, they changed into
an opaque substance, into hard horn
and the child's little petals
were crushed, lost their balance,
took the form of a reptile without eyes,
with triangular heads like a worm's.
And they had callused over,
they were covered
with tiny lava fields of death,
a hardening unasked for.
But this blind thing kept going
without surrender, without stopping
hour after hour.
One foot after another,
now as a man,
or a woman,
through the fields, the mines,
the stores, the government bureaus,
this foot worked with its shoes,
it hardly had time
to be naked in love or in sleep
one foot walked, both feet walked
until the whole man stopped.
And then it went down
into the earth and didn't know anything
because there everything was dark,
it didn't know it was no longer a foot
or if they buried it so it could fly
or so it could
be an apple.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
(the original after the jump)
AL PIE DESDE SU NIÑO
EL pie del niño aún no sabe que es pie,
y quiere ser mariposa o manzana.
Pero luego los vidrios y las piedras,
las calles, las escaleras,
y los caminos de la tierra dura
van enseñando al pie que no puede volar,
que no puede ser fruto redondo en una rama.
El pie del niño entonces
fue derrotado, cayó
en la batalla,
condenado a vivir en un zapato.
Poco a poco sin luz
fue conociendo el mundo a su manera,
sin conocer el otro pie, encerrado,
explorando la vida como un ciego.
Aquellas suaves uñas
de cuarzo, de racimo,
se endurecieron, se mudaron
en opaca substancia, en cuerno duro,
y los pequeños pétalos del niño
se aplastaron, se desequilibraron,
tomaron formas de reptil sin ojos,
cabezas triangulares de gusano.
Y luego encallecieron,
con mínimos volcanes de la muerte,
Pero este ciego anduvo
sin tregua, sin parar
hora tras hora,
el pie y el otro pie,
ahora de hombre
o de mujer,
por los campos, las minas,
los almacenes y los ministerios,
este pie trabajó con su zapato,
apenas tuvo tiempo
de estar desnudo en el amor o el sueño,
hasta que el hombre entero se detuvo.
Y entonces a la tierra
bajó y no supo nada,
porque allí todo y todo estaba oscuro,
no supo que había dejado de ser pie,
si lo enterraban para que volara
o para que pudiera
April 24, 2008
William is a semi-neighbor of mine and I often see him puttering around the neighborhood doing normal everyday things which is odd after seeing his work because you imagine him going home to a room full of black balloons and guns or an all white lab full of trampolines and people in white hazmat suits. Don't know what I'm talking about? Time to click over to his site.
April 29, 2008
Sometimes, on days like today, I will walk out past the creek along the rabbit trails, through the deep forest where the trees grow in a thick, to the clearing. I alone know the way to the single large rock that sits in the sun. It is as if the trees have stepped back to pay their respects. Climbing up top I close my eyes and and wander. I imagine the people who must have stopped and rested here through the ages. I imagine pre-cambrian oceans and I imagine the luminescent monsters that still hide in the depths. I imagine a couple touching fingers for the first time. I imagine births and deaths and all the things in-between. And when the world seems so full it will burst, almost always I will notice that I am not alone on my rock.
If I am quiet the clearing will come alive again full of buzzing things, hungry rabbits and the occasional snake. Deer munch on the blackberries that grow in the brambles on the forest’s edge and if I stay long enough fireflies appear telling me it is time to go home. While lure of seeing stars over the black silhouette of the forest against the fading blue of the sky is strong, I know if I stay too long, if it gets too dark I will be hopelessly lost and it would be better to sleep on that rock than it would be to venture into the maze of the forest in the blackness, so I run. I run from the cold of the night, from the unknown things in the dark, from everything, until I see the light of home. Then, when I am safe in bed, I will close my eyes and go back to my clearing revisiting the places I am already forgetting.