Saturday, December 26, 2009
First of all, Merry belated Christmas, y'all---
I am a little embarrassed that it has taken me so long to express my sorrow for the loss of Larry Sultan. I'll try to redeem myself a little here,
He passed away from pancreatic cancer on December 14th. He was a tenure track professor at California College of the Arts where I went to school, and was an icon not only within the contemporary photography community, but the art world as a whole. He was, to me, truly one of the last among the great dirt-under-the-nails photographers that has practiced throughout the extremely diverse and quickly evolving span of the art itself.
In the projects class I took with him in my final year of school he was really inspiring to be around. He was totally the kind of guy that could deliver crushing criticism and smile at you like he was your awesome grandma... the effect being that the blow to the ego was softened... but certainly not deafened. He was sharp as hell, an effective communicator and very nurturing without letting you get away with any bullshit.
In the throws of the digital age it's difficult for me not to feel nostalgic pangs when I consider the way a great craft was once done before technology arrived and de-mystified (my cynical side might like to say cheapened) the process. I think Larry comprehend it through and through.
And even if he didn't, who cares? His great contributions have and do reverberate throughout our art world, and the rest of us are left in the dust and the pixels in this awe.
Rest in peace Larry. Thank you-
"...so go get to work, damnit"
(above photo is by his wife Kelly Sultan, I believe. His obituary in the Times can be read here)
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Here's the cool thing: it's called "Light Sensitive Material", and that is everything and all that is featured in the show. Totally analog. Yee-haw. RIDE THAT CHROMOGENIC WHIP!
Here's a selected image I like by Robin Bogert:
OPENING FIRST FRIDAY DECEMBER 4, 2009
Launch Pad Gallery at the Egg
534 SE Oak St
Free, all-ages and open to all
Featuring DJ's Cookiepuss and Shermstixx
click here for the Facebook event page
Sounda like a hip good ol' time. Bring your sx-70, no one wants to see your cell phone camera at this party, yo'.
See you there!
Friday, November 13, 2009
...one big fat gold star for Team Analog, yo'.
She's a CCA MFA Photography graduate. Her installation was really great and her CHROMOGENIC (bam.) prints and polaroids looked amazing. My crappy iPhone pictures don't really do either of them justice.
There are better images and a write-up on the Newspace gallery page.
If you're in the Portland area you should definitely swing by at some point and check them out, the show's up until the 29th.
Newspace Center for Photography, 1631 SE 10th Ave.
Portland is cold. And wet. I already caught a cold. I KNOW you all told me so... no need to remind me. In one of my more frustrated bed-ridden moments I made a greeting card in honor of the situation...
...but I am now up and active again and going to see basically the most amazing thing I have and will ever see tonight.
It's a Japanese monster movie from 1969 called Gamera vs. Guiron, which will be played on a big screen without sound, with dialogue and sound effects performed live by sound effect artists en scene.
LOOK! THE MONSTER HAS A FRIGGEN KNIFE FOR A HEAD!! I'm really stoked.
In all seriousness and illnesses aside, Portland has been really great. As I think I've already expressed there's just a TON of interesting things going on all the time, and *amazing* beer and food, and nice people... the only thing I would truly complain about is everyone's terrible, terrible driving. I saw a man driving the wrong way up a one-way street the other day and honest-to god, watched two cars in front of me just calmly move out of his way and wait for him to pass. Doo-dee-doo, ops-a-daisy, excuse me I didn't mean to get in the way of your dangerous and illegal Monday night cruise-control fest. ...don't even get me started. I've never voluntarily flipped off so many nice, well-meaning people in my life.
I hope somebody warned these people I was coming. Oh well. There goes the neighborhood.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Ivory 8-speed 50" Torker. A work of art indeed.
Thank you thank you thank you Manifesto Bicycles!! You guys are great.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I went to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park with a friend yesterday. It was a very beautiful and peaceful and perspiration-inducing experience...
apparently there are also buffalo, waterfalls, a 100-year-old carousel and a dude with weed truffles in the park too. I need to make the trip more often.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
I love suspension bridges.
These two in particular.
The one on the left is an obvious bridge for obvious reasons, and the one the the right is St. John's bridge in Portland, OR, where I'm officially moving to for about 2 months in November(!). Both were constructed at around the same time by two of the most prominent bridge engineers in the 1930's.
There is something very epic and strange about how these kind of bridges are constructed (or I guess at least if you went to art school with a very limited understanding of architecture or physics...).
I thought it was interesting that they each coincidentally resided in places that hold a lot of significance in my mind. A good sign?
Or you know. Maybe just a sign.
David Steinman, who engineered the St. John's Bridge also did this one:
which is beautiful too. The Mackinac Bridge. It's in Michigan I think.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
In the wake of late-night craigslist binges and begging art galleries and studios for what is essentially indentured servitude, I fear that I and my art have unconsciously drifted to the shallow-end of the conceptual pool. Even worse, I have to entertain the possibility that I've been here the whole time with little California College of the Arts water-wings kicking in circles- making fun of all the little children here with me who are clearly all peeing in said pool. EVEN worse, I was probably the one peeing the whole time.
And now I have all this spare time for deep thought and organizing old desks and trimming what's left of my potted plants- I am truly just another thing in the world. I have no one to answer to but old Uncle Sam. My obstacles are more or less self-generated from now until I can find a ball and get it rolling. Which leads me back to this 'shallow and of the pool' stuff. I need to figure out just where in the pool I'm treading in. And why I ever got into it in the first place. I am forced to think about what it is that motivates me to make art even when no one is looking. I made a little list...
#1- New shit. Seriously. Just like I am convinced getting a new $600 bicycle will truly motivate me to ride more, I am convinced if I get a Mamiya 7 II or a new wider-angle lens for my Wista 4x5, I will not only shoot more, but I will WANT to shoot more. I will be in love with my perfect thing and its perfect process and I will crave the satisfaction I get when I utilize its wonderful capabilities for years to come.
I know how petty and materialistic that may sound, but hang in there with me. I think this may not be a totally insincere endeavor in the name of art.
We all do it in one capacity or another; we have all fallen in love with a goldfish at the ping-pong cup tent at the fair, we have all bought those Etnies which we hope will bring us, if not better skating skills, some form of street cred. The problem with goldfish and huge shoes is that at the end of the day that's just about all we have to show for our investment. And what I am after are tools; my new bike will provide me with reliable and efficient transportation and exercise, my new Mamiya will cause me to generate images, artwork, ideas. And even if my undying love for my new shit well... dies, at the end of the day I still have something to show for my investment. Temporary flux of creativity is better than no flux at all.
#2- Neurotic-hyper-sentimentality; I have it. I now realize that is probably how I became a photographer in the first place. I love so many things! -I want to see them forever.
#3- I've recently come to the understanding that religion, science and art are all means to a similar end. A kind of endeavor towards personal relevance and universal truth.
Or you know. Whatever. Stuff.
I'm sure (I hope) there are more than three reasons I absolutely positively must be a photographer, but I can sense lethargy sneaking into your heads. I'm surprised you got this far- I should probably buy you a beer!
All this being said, I should say I don't actually believe I am insincere in my artistic endeavors. At worst perhaps I lack direction, especially now since I haven't got a syllabus to run my finger down anymore. If at any point I was, I think I can safely say I'm not peeing in the pool (...not on purpose); I'm not contributing meaningless or unfulfilling waste into the art world (though I guess that's entirely subjective. I still don't think so though). I am finding my sea-legs on the S.S. Recession! I am justifying myself to myself! I have shed academia altogether! At least till I decide I want an MFA! Or to work at a school! Or something!
I owe you all a beer.