Tuesday, November 24, 2009
This photograph was inspired by a children's book called Mr. Semolina Semolinus. The pertinent parts go like this: There once was a princess who liked none of her suitors, so she decided to make her own. She mixed together almonds, sugar, and semolina, formed him, and then prayed over him for forty days. Mr. Semolina Semolinus comes to life. He is "five times beautiful and ten times kind". After some adventures the princess and Mr. Semolina Semolinus live together blissfully, but no better.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
The current Justine Kurland show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash takes its title from an old folk song.
This is an impressive show featuring western railroads and trains. Somehow Kurland has managed to sidestep making patronizing archetypes out of the people in her photographs, unlike many of the photographers that seems to be following a bit closely in her footsteps. The flat light that all the photographs share helps tie together images of different sizes that might otherwise seem random, including portraits of her own son, photos of drifters, and landscapes both formal and informal..
I loved seeing the van that Kurland was traveling with- and the bed in it that she and her son seem to share. There is a lovely photo of her sleeping child inside it that is absolutely gorgeous, without being sentimental. These more intimate images add a personal dimension to the story and make it all the more engaging, even while I felt the vulnerability of the mother and child all the more strongly for the indifferent surroundings.
One of my favorite images (above) is titled "Keddie Wye", a location in the Sierra Nevadas. Image courtesy Mitchell-Innes & Nash