Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Carolyn Drake arrived from Turkey this weekend, and we had some fun- running to the park and then having brunch with some writers she's worked with. I also did some time in the studio. But I found that things weren't flowing easily. I'm still thinking about the Houdini exhibit I saw last Friday at the Jewish Museum. Trying to figure out what I loved the most: The vintage handcuffs? The trunk? The straight jacket? The footage of Houdini hog-tied, hanging upside down over Times Square in a straight jacket is worth the trip alone. It is suggested that this feat may have symbolized the desires of immigrants-- to escape the bonds of the old world, or to escape the war..
I think the symbolism goes even deeper than that, and I think that the inversion of the figure is an important part of the meaning, but I'm not sure how. In art school I made a tarot deck that included the Hanging Man-- a very game friend let me hang him by his feet from a tree in Dolores Park in San Francisco.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
This past Friday's art tour was a month's worth of noteworthy shows crammed into one day. A giant plate of fries and an egg sandwich from a greek diner helped Randi and I get through it all. The above is from the current show at Michael Mazzeo Gallery, "A Shameless Longing." The provocative photographs feature subjects from Josh's personal life and strangers found on social networking sites.
The photo above is of Josh himself and his wife reflected in a cabinet of knick-knacks. This is one of my favorites from the show--of course I like the humor. I also enjoyed seeing a photo depicting female sexual pleasure that offers the naked man up to the eye first, for a change. Also the push and pull of this image--is there anything less erotic than a clutter of curios and kitchen curtains that look like they were picked out by Grandma? I admire the bravery of this work, it can't be easy to hang a giant photo featuring your own bare ass in your first solo show.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This is a test image I made over the weekend during the brief time I was able to steal away to my studio. It is based on a propaganda poster I found doing some photo research. Occasionally I come across real gems that way, another perk of my job. I like the total shift in the compositional frame-- there is no horizon. This is another place where using a flash might make things a lot more interesting.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Somehow I missed this show even though it got a lot of press. These are my favorites from the exhibit--I like these ultra stripped down images the best. The more colorful images feel non-essential to me. I've been getting very little studio time, and spending a fair amount of time on homework for some classes I'm taking. This weekend will find me in the studio with the door closed, come hell or high water, trying to make a ghost out of talcum powder.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Photography Hero Abelardo Morrell is having two shows in NYC right now, one at Bonni Benrubi uptown and one at Bryce Wolkowitz in Chelsea. I found the transcendental moment I was looking for standing in front of the huge print of the image posted here, at the Wolkowitz Gallery last Friday. There is something church-like about this work, in this gallery, for me. In a good way.
The images are like windows--stained glass, only better. Lot of white space in between the images lets them hum. They are vibrating with possibility--is the world more interesting than it appears? Can you be in two places at once? How much of the outside can come inside without rupture? Are time and space a continuum?