Monday, June 22, 2009

Cornelia Hediger

I'm picturing a dinner party where Cornelia Hediger, Anthony Goicolea, Francesca Woodman, and Guy Bourdin are the only guests. I'm afraid things don't go well, and food is thrown. In my vision, Cornelia is the one left standing at the end, and she and Anthony go out for a drink and laugh over the events of the evening.

I was lucky to meet the Swiss-born Cornelia Hediger many years ago when we were both studying at Rutgers University. Cornelia is the hardest working artist I know, with awe-inspiring drive and determination. I am posting three images here, two from her earlier work, and one from the latest, the Doppelgänger series. With this latest series, the images start with a sketch that is conceived as a narrative between the main character and her double. She plays all parts herself and doesn't use any digital manipulation to insert herself into the image panels. She shoots each panel separately as a single photo, and then digitally puts them together in the grid as one composition. An average of 120 images are shot for a six panel image. The difficulty of this exacting process of producing work gives us some insight- Ms. Hediger is a perfectionist.

I think of the work as a series of blatantly psychological portraits. In these photos Cornelia unflinching toys with our expectations while exploring this often dark territory, inciting both laughter and sadness. While many of the images focus on experiences specific to women, the work is accessible to all in its forays into the universal themes of madness, lust, loss, fear, innocence and despair.

You can see her work on her website: or on her New York gallery's site:

The first two photos here is from the older series The Future is Canceled, and the panel image is from her most recent body of work, Doppelgänger.

If The Shoe Fits

I had a studio visit with my friend the artist/photographer Cornelia Hediger this past week where we looked at each other's most recent work.
I realized after doing the above shot that I was channeling her muse. I know this is not a shot she would have taken- it's much too sloppy. However, seeing her work encouraged me to make it. Lately I've wanted to do something different, and this is. I haven't included myself in one of my photos for many years. Anyways, it was fun. I hope the photo doesn't need an explanation!
More on Cornelia in the next post.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


These NASA photos show the material "Aerogel." Aerogel is used on the Stardust spacecraft to capture cosmic dust. Specifically, comet particles from Comet Wild 2. Really. Descriptions of Aerogel on the NASA website assure us that even though Aerogel looks like hologram, it is solid and feels like hard styrofoam. Seems more like something dreamed up by a poet, rather than created by science. I would love to have some of this stuff in my studio! I adore these images. I wish they were mine- I wish I had taken these in my studio. Coming upon photos like these is one of the rewards of slogging through the exasperating tangle of NASA websites.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This past weekend in the studio I fought with feeling paralyzed by my evil internal editor who kept telling me nothing was worth shooting. I've been struggling with the desire to do and see things differently. I want a new approach. But I know I have to let the work lead me there. I have to be patient.
I managed to get a few things shot, nonetheless. One of the most promising images is the above, of a leaky plastic bag. Will reshoot in the same location- try dropping in backdrop and exchange the water for milk.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Even though I've known Sean since I was in high school, and we are good friends, it was not easy to try and photograph him this past weekend. He was tense and I lacked the skills to put him at ease. I enjoyed trying, but making portraits does not come easily to me. This is one reason I am impressed by strong portrait photographers. I think good portraits are rare, and that making excellent portaits takes a special talent. I've made a promise to myself to try and photograph family and friends- but I've had trouble following through. Even photographing my own son is an effort that I have to force myself to make.
Next weekend I'll be shooting tabletop objects again- or other things I can move around at will.