Monday, December 27, 2010

Rainy Christmas in California

Our flight to back New York on the 26th was cancelled yesterday, and the next available flight wasn't until the 29th. So Ollie and I are missing the storm, and calling on friends to clear the sidewalk in front of our house back in Brooklyn. It is warm and sunny now at my mom's place in Santa Barbara, and I'm finding it hard to get upset about the cancellation. I am getting antsy for my studio, my notebooks, and the rest of my life. I don't even have a camera with me.
I went running everyday with my brother, even on the first five days of our visit when it rained non-stop. Each day, we'd look out at the colorless sky and churning brown ocean from the cliff. Each day, my brother's response after looking at the cold and forbidding water was that he wanted to go surfing. And surf he did. Here is a photo of my dad and my brother after another rainy session.

The Heart Trade

I had a dream this week that I think was influenced somehow by looking at Adrain Chesser's work. Two men who were deeply and dramatically in love decided to trade their hearts, surgically. Each would take the other's heart and give their own in exchange. One of the men died during the operation, and the man who survived had to have his own heart re-attached.

Monday, December 20, 2010

All Tied Up

I shot this over last weekend when Carolyn was visiting, and a willing model. My new giant backdrop is a lot of fun, and this is one of the scenes I shot with it. I'm really happy with this one, but I'm aware that it will live or die based on how the black on black looks in the print. I want just a suggestion of the figure and hand..

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adrain Chesser at the CPW Review

As one of the most startling and intriguing bodies of work I've seen in a long time, the work of artist/photographer Adrain Chesser defies definition. Some of Chesser's photographs come from a collaborative process. Chesser and his partner, Timothy White Eagle and friends decide on a concept like "the sacred hunt." They research the idea, then they have a "camp" where they perform ceremonial rituals around this idea. The resulting photograph is not an artifact or document of the performance-based work, but instead it is thought of as a spell to be sent out into the world. The above is titled "AIDS Boy Takes One for the Team" from a series called The Hunting Party. I was very drawn to the vitality of the work, the process and the idea that the images themselves could be thought of as spells.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Center for Photography at Woodstock Portfolio Review

At a portfolio review last Friday for the Center for Photography at Woodstock, I saw two remarkable portfolios. One belonged to Abigail Feldman, a photographer based in Vermont. Some of the freshest photography I've seen of children, period. Feldman avoids cliche and sentimentality, and any over-wrought self-consciousness, but still managing to make compelling photographs. Above are two of hers from her on-going series: The Savage Maddoxes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rope Charming

Trying to figure out how to animate this rope. I locked myself into my studio over Thanksgiving, and sent Ollie off with his dad. I wasn't happy with anything I did--there were no final shots that emerged from the round of shooting. However, I'm not too discouraged about it because I did seem to start scratching the surface of some new ideas (the above is an example). I bought a 10x12' muslim backdrop and spent a lot of time moving furniture around, experimenting with it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Becoming Chinese" – A photography exhibit by Carolyn Drake

I'll be asking Carolyn some questions about her work at this event at the Half King--hope to see you there! "Becoming Chinese" – A photography exhibit by Carolyn Drake.
Artist reception and slideshow: December 7, 2010, 7:30 p.m.

Drake is the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, the Lange Taylor Documentary Prize, and a Guggenheim fellowship, as well as awards from the POYi and World Press Photo competitions. Her work is published in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, National Geographic, The New York Times, and Newsweek. Recent exhibitions include solos shows at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, UK and The Third Floor Gallery in Cardiff, Wales.