Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fishy Christmas

Well, Christmas is over and the last of the relatives have filed back home. I found myself with the holiday blues this year, despite throwing a big party and eating a lot of good food. I hope I'm not having an existential crisis, but it felt a little empty for me.

What rituals are left for the non-believer? It takes more work if you don't go with all the ready-made meaning and ritual provided by a belief system. And I didn't have the energy to re-invent meaning for myself this year. It could also be partly that I dearly missed being in California, and running on the beach as in Christmas's past.

Bracing for a look at my new year's resolutions traded with Sean last year at this time. I have his and he has mine..we are going to crack them open this weekend and see how we did in 2011.

Above by Paul Klee. Expect to see my own interpretation of this still life at some point in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sharon Core Blows Up

Alex and I went to see the Sharon Core show at Yancy Richardson on Tuesday. It was so fantastic I almost drooled on myself. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed something this much in a gallery. Why not just look at Dutch still life, you ask? Well, because this is better.

There much subtle and delicate play going on with the sets--luscious paint and real life all mixed up so it is hard to see where one ends and the other begins. I felt I was falling into the pictoral space as I peered and peered into them as they gave up more and more secrets. The compositions and colors are stunning. I am fairly sure that Sharon grew all these plants, because that is her process, as with the vegetables in the Early American series, and the baking she did with the Thiebaud series..

This kind of insane attention to detail and level of obsession can be off-putting, but not here. We are invited in, and the perfection seduces, and winks at us. This may be her best yet. Show is over at the end of the week. Hurry if you haven't already seen it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Take Me Back, Blogger?

Well, I was hasty. As usual. I am not sure I can live with Tumblr. It is pretty useless with text. You can't even make a live link in text the High Res template I selected. And there's no menu! As Carolyn pointed out, that is super-lame. I'm really not finding the perfect photo-blog solution anywhere.. Thinking I'll do what Timothy Archibald suggested, and continue to use this blog for process stuff, but post the finished images on Tumblr. I can actually do that, and without too much procrastinating. Yes! Expect links to finished work on Tumblr sometime early in the new year.

In other words: I'm back. More soon. Sorry for the confusion.

Above photo shot last weekend, part of an experiment coloring in the shadows..Last time I tried black, this time yellow..

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Goodbye Blogger. I'm in Love with Tumblr.

Blogger, it's been fun, but I've had to move on. I've really had about all I can take of your limited format. I've gone batty over the teensy images, and tried everything I could think of to remedy it, or to ignore it. But it's just sad to have a photo blog with tiny images when better options exist.

Henceforth, I've officially migrated the blog to Tumblr.

Please visit Rebecca Horne Photography blog in it's new home. Rebecca Horne Photography/Blogger will remain here as an archive for now.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Black Old Sun

This started as one thing and ended up as another, as often happens! I experimented with a hand mirror reflecting direct sunlight--I was amazed to see that the sun seems to actually burn into the film and shows up black in a reversal.

I had a giant scan made of a polaroid image recently, because it was selected to be on the cover of a forthcoming book. More on that later. Turns out it makes a pretty good big image, after all. I've been wondering how to incorporate some of these polaroids that I love and that can never seem to be repeated in a film version, no matter how hard I try. But now I see, I can just let them be. I'll just make big scans of them, clean off the dust, and have them printed, eventually..

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Recent Favorite Pari Dukovic

I went to Atlanta last weekend overnight to be on a panel speaking to students at a small school called Portfolio Center. The panel featured three of the PDN 30 from this year; Justine Reyes (who I've blogged about here before), Pari Dukovic and Matthew Kristall. It was so refreshing to be at a school where people are making things just for the hell of it. The students were great, and it was a pleasure to see the work of these young photographers more in-depth. Pari Dukovic's work struck me as bold, emotional and raw in a way I really liked...He mentioned welcoming mistakes, and going against what he was taught. When he was told to develop the film for seven minutes, he developed it for 20 minutes...
Hope to work with him in the future.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Barfing Salt, again

I worked on this barfing salt shot again this weekend. It was hard to see what I was doing. However, now that I have the contacts in hand, I see that I need to shoot this with a flash, or more light for a faster shutter speed. The only thing really moving in the shot should be the salt. The figure is too soft..

I'm hope all the blog format changing has not been disorienting for readers of this blog. I reverted back to the simple Blogger template as the new "dynamic" templates from Blogger do not allow any kind of homepage information, and I need my disclaimer and note about what the blog is.. One result of trying the new templates was that it encouraged me to post more widely on other topics.. and I think I will keep doing that.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scissor Hands

Daniel Murphy is one of the nicest people I've met at The Wall Street Journal. Danny also freelances as a prop stylist, artist and general creative smarty-pants. He makes things out of paper- two examples shown here. Yes, out of paper! Kind of makes my paper props look like work by a three year old. He came in very handy on a recent shoot-- when, once again, I had a photo shoot set in a kitchen. (For some reason there have been a lot of kitchens that have needed photographing lately..) He built some stunning props for the kitchen portrait shoot that added pops of color and interesting shapes to the shoot. It's great to know someone like Danny when you are running low on ideas and need something a little extra. Photos by Daniel Murphy.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mail Chute? Roller coaster? Art Installation? You decide.

I got into this crazy contraption on this past Tuesday, Oct 25th at the New Museum's press preview. I didn't really WANT to get into this 102 foot slide that runs from the 4th floor to the 2nd. It was something I did only because I felt it would be extremely lame not to do. Yes, it was scary, but I didn't regret it.

It had a lingering effect on me all week-- I kept wishing that instead of getting into the elevator I could simply hop into a slide that would take me directly into the lobby, or even drop me out on 6th Avenue. It does have a sneaky, subversive feeling, this traveling through buildings by giant slippery slide. You can see see more photographs from Carsten Höller's survey exhibit "Experience" by clicking here. Photograph by Benoit Pailley

Monday, October 24, 2011

California Scrapbook

Aly and Glen having coffee in the morning, Highland Park, Los Angeles.

Helping Jimmy zip into his wetsuit for a night surfing session in Rincon.

Sean Gilleran at home in treehouse, Mount Washington, Los Angeles.

Sunset from Mount Washington, Los Angeles.

Newly-weds Nathan and Gloria, beloved cousins Esther and Eric Delmas, Santa Barbara.

There sure are a lot of cars here.

Welcome home. Brooklyn.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


The week before last, I watched my brother getting married for a second time in front of friends and relatives in California. He is seen here with palms at Lotusland in Santa Barbara.

Smoking Shoes

Started the day with a run with Carolyn, then immediately got to work trying to shoot something. It has been weeks since I've been in the studio, and it was beginning to really bum me out. I've been traveling and concentrating on another project that is monumental and somewhat terrifying. This all has been keeping me away from my camera. Feels good to be back, even if I am not sure about the results yet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Liminal Life

I'm in sunny Los Angeles this week, after driving down here from a great weekend in Santa Barbara. Last night I forced myself to sit down and count the years I've been in NYC. I've been living on the East Coast for between 16-17 years! I can't believe it.

The landscape here in Southern California is both familiar and strange to me. I can see that I have become an in-between person. While never able to give up on my California identity, or even my California driver's license, I've become used to lush summers, rainstorms and lightning, brick buildings, snow, cramped cities..the subway. And even more that is much harder to get used to.

And still I've always thought of myself as a Californian. But here I am, and I feel like a rabbit in an open field under the burning sun. So much space, provisional architecture, suburban lawns, freeways that go on forever....

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Look

I've impulsively given my blog a new look-- the old one was getting tired. It was really lame how limited the image sizes were on Blogger! Just when I was thinking I would have to migrate the blog to Tumblr...Blogger comes up with some nice new templates. If you click on the photos, they come up larger.

Apologies for not posting more. I've been on a little bit of a hiatus--working hard but not in the studio. Have a lot going on at the moment, but I have some ideas simmering that I think are good. I'll be flying to Santa Barbara on a private plane this week-- that should be interesting. I can't wait-- I will be in California for long vacation week. I plan on seeing lots of friends, parties, swimming, running and the rest. Will be leaving Ollie behind this time, and I know I will hardly recognize him when I get back. He is growing now at a pace where I see almost daily changes. Going to miss him terribly.

Above is a scan from a recent shoot- more with the paper people-- this is close to what I wanted from the photo.. but not quite. I like the scale shift with the figure, but there needs to be more of a sense of movement, a more animated feeling..

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DUMBO Open Studios

One of my favorites from the open studios in Dumbo this weekend was The Dumpster Project. Besides giving you the feeling you were "inside a Joseph Cornell box" as my friend Cadence put it--the dumpster had a prime location, smack under the archway. And you could touch everything!

This is a profoundly pleasing installation, which is indeed inside a 'dumpster'. It contains objects both storied and mundane, historical and elliptical. The objects are bolted securely in place, creating the feeling of a kind of loony dashboard, or a control panel of personal history. Artist Mac Premo has mounted an impressive PR campaign about his project. You can take an electronic tour of the dumpster on your mobile device.

Friday, September 23, 2011

This image from Cornelia's doppelgänger II series ran with my artist profile on her a few weeks ago in the newsprint edition The Wall Street Journal. The article is only accessible to subscribers on the WSJ, so I thought I should post the text here. I link to more photos from the show, currently up at the Klompching gallery.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Into the Storm

Had a great hurricane weekend here in Brooklyn, despite the disappointment of not seeing even a stick of furniture blowing by. Went running both days, caught up with friends and worked in my studio. I had most of the day to work today, and pushed hard on some new stuff. This work I'm making right now is pretty hard work emotionally. It feels still very autobiographical and raw. I burned some things and it felt dark and vaguely like voodoo. I just hope this means the work will be cathartic, and going forward it won't be as intense.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Before Irene

Went for a run this morning with Carolyn who was visiting for a few days. The streets are eerily empty and quiet, few people, few cars. No trains or busses really seem to be running. The air is freakishly still. I now understand the phrase "calm before the storm" in a more literal way.

Carolyn just left for Maine, and I'm now getting ready to weather the hurricane at home. My house is in the white zone--well outside of flooding or evacuation zones. My brother went out to the end of Long Island and asked me to come, but I don't want to be on the roads. I think I'd better stay in case something happens to my house that needs attention. We cancelled Oliver's flight home from Oregon for today and rescheduled for after the storm. Which means I'll have more time this weekend, and during the storm, to catch up on stuff. Looking forward to that. Hopefully I'll get something done in the studio.

This is my first hurricane, but not my first tropical storm. I'm a little nervous, but I'll be disappointed if there isn't some drama in the weather when this is all done. At a loss for what photo to post for today so here's another Montauk vacation photo, when I was so relaxed and happy..

Monday, August 22, 2011

History's Shadow

David Maisel has a breathtaking brand new book called History's Shadow coming out. I'll be creating posts and an extended gallery about it on the WSJ blogs very soon, but couldn't resist showing one here! I hope to be interviewing the curator in the Getty antiquities department about the objects, and what kinds of histories are revealed by the X-rays.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Montauk Sunset

Having a great time in Montauk this week. Trying hard to take a lot of snapshots. Even allowed myself to take a photo of the sun setting. Paddle-boarding, swimming, running, story-reading..

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kyoko Hamada

I've admired Kyoko Hamada's work for years, but only recently had the chance to work with her directly on some shoots for the WSJ.

Kyoko's work employs humor and intimacy with a determined and consistent delicacy. She has a light but unwavering touch. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Flies and bows is from a series, work in progress titled Pineapple Under the Bed, and The pink bed is a photograph of Kyoko's bed in a former apartment. About her own process, Kyoko writes:

"Sometimes I photograph what I find, but more often I photograph by reconstructing images based on from memories, thoughts and observations. This process ( or some kind of a habit ) of observing helped me to understand my new surroundings when at age fifteen my family moved from Japan to a small town in West Virginia. Without having any knowledge of English, I spent my time looking and privately digesting what was happening around me through my own internal dialogue."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Talk to Me, Sputniko!

A visit to MOMA today to see the Talk To Me show was well worth it. A favorite from Talk To Me was Sputniko!, an artist born in Tokyo in 1985. Above is an image showing her "Menstruation Machine."

Sputniko!: "What does Menstruation mean, biologically, culturally and historically, to humans? Who might choose to have it, and how might they have it? The Menstruation Machine – fitted with a blood dispensing mechanism and electrodes simulating the lower abdomen – simulates the pain and bleeding of a 5 day menstruation process. The machine was developed with research support from Professor Jan Brosens at the Department of Medicine, Imperial College London."

Also saw Boris Mikhailov's exhibition of photographs of homeless people in the Ukraine on the way out, which gives an entirely new meaning to the word "gritty."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Accidental Portrait

This is a scan from a contact sheet. Shot this of Cornelia when she was helping me out with some modeling and shooting..
I like it as a kind of casual portrait. Took a few photos today, working on something involving a "doorway" to another world. Have to give the Small Man a rest. I feel I have to step away from that work for a while until I figure out what I want from it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sleeping with the Little Man

This was one of the images from the last little man shoot that Cornelia helped me with. This particular image has given me another idea for a little "animated" sequence. Also shot some low resolution video for fun. Hope to post that soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More Little Men

Shot some more with this concept and some others over the weekend. I even shot some video. Really need help with this and the other shots- they require close-ups which are so impossible to do by yourself, of yourself. I've got a bunch more cooking but not sure about how much of it I'm ready to show yet. Tried many different silhouettes, but the guy in the upper left is the one I like best. My favorite direction for this shot is also the upper left, holding the figure as he looks like he is standing in space, with the fingers holding the head.

Had dinner with Cornelia tonight, and she is going to help me by modeling and shooting this coming weekend in between shooting her own projects. Serendipitiously, it turns out we are both doing work involving cut-outs at the moment.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Small Man

Great day in the studio today. Got quite a bit of time in between breaking up fights, making lunch and buying transformers for Ollie and his buddy. More to come.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lydia Panas, Santa Fe Review Find

Lydia's giant prints made a lasting impression on me at Review Santa Fe, and I'll be blogging for the WSJ about the upcoming US publication of her new book. What I liked the most about the work was her canny way of getting at the tension and connections between people. This is a hard thing to do in still pictures, and devilishly subjective. Lydia Panas on the above photo:

"There is something lyrical, a bit like a dance, and also a kind of strength, about this image for me. They had come to my house for dinner one night and we did the shoot. I watched them arrange themselves, like I always do, and then added a little direction. I noticed that the mother had a very strong influence, so when I saw her arranging her husband's hair slightly, I asked her to keep her hand there. The photo presents them in two groupings, the girls boldly in front, fierce and independent, supported by a strong parental bond.  The mother lends a directing hand behind the scenes."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hand Grabs Water

Great day shooting--the above is a test from something I worked on today. This morning I made coffee and went straight to the studio and started working. Ollie was over at his Dad's, so I got an early start for a change. It really felt good to be back in the studio. I'm afraid I recently came close to becoming one of those people that just makes a lot of convincing excuses about why they aren't doing the things they should be doing. Damn it all. I won't let that happen to me.

Last night I went to a Tom Stoppard play called Arcadia that was surprisingly good. The play alternated between modern times and the early 1800's. The set was spare and sketch-like in it's simplicity--with a long table at the center of the room. Carefully chosen props worked for scenes from both time periods. One unforgettable scene has the characters from both time periods occupying the same space. Two actors read the same book, side by side, in two different time periods, with the same pacing, in a ballet of page turning. This moment was more than just story telling. It was a taste of what I'm after.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Impress my Soul

Psychologist and philosopher Nick Humphrey has some interesting ideas about the source and function of consciousness. He suggests, among other things, that consciousness is needed to impress the soul. Being enchanted with the magic of experience may provide a reason to live in itself. I can sympathize with this idea.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chiara Tocci and Life After Zog

Chiara Tocci is one of the more intriguing photographers I met over the weekend in Santa Fe, NM at the Center portfolio review. Her photo essay "Life After Zog" tenderly combines reportage, elements of a personal story and hints of folklore to create a lush and mysterious photo essay on High Albania.

High Albania is a mountainous territory that has been described as "The land of the living past", and is still one of the most isolated areas of Europe. Zog I, Skanderbeg III of the Albanians, was King of the Albanians from 1928 to 1939.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Here's a portrait I made a month or so ago of myself and a guy who is capable of driving me to distraction. I also took some photos of him while he was sleeping, but they didn't come out quite the way I wanted.

This week my brother is getting married and I turn forty years old, and I'm going out of the country over this coming holiday weekend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Haruki Murakami on Writing

The problem with talent, though, is that in most cases the person involved can't control its amount or quality. You might find the amount isn't enough and you want to increase it, or you might try to be frugal to make it last longer, but in neither case do things work out that easily. Talent has a mind of its own and wells up when it wants to, and once it dries up, that's it.

From What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Monday, May 2, 2011

How Great is This Kid?

Answer: REALLY, REALLY GREAT. A few weeks ago Oliver was helping me out in the studio-- for the first time ever I had him actually helping me with a shoot. I was struggling for space and places to put things as per usual, and probably swearing in a mostly child-approved way. Oliver then suggested that I take his room for my studio, and give him my studio for his bedroom.

I was blown away by his generosity. This suggestion of his was totally unprompted or hinted at. In fact I was reluctant to consider it at first. As it turns out, this weekend I primed and painted my studio to make it a nice clean space for Ollie's new bedroom. I'm going to have a much, much bigger studio now, with more light, in Ollie's old bedroom. And he's going to get a new bunk bed in the bargain, which seems only fair.

Photograph of Oliver Beck-Horne at his grandparents house in Winston-Salem, NC taken by his sister and talented SVA photo student Chloe Beck.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Moon Doctor

Entered the studio gingerly this weekend. I had lots of ideas, but felt really distant from them. I have a little book all about the moon in my studio--and I read part of one chapter about a "Moon Doctor" from the 1780's. He treated patients at night by having them hold their afflicted body part out of the window, towards the moon. His wife worked with him-- she used the south-facing window and he used the north-facing one. This I loved, and thought of various ways I might mine this scenario for my own purposes..

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Caleb Charland Show at Michael Mazzeo

The show opening May 5th at Michael Mazzeo Gallery is Charland's first solo show, and it's about time! I'm a big fan of his work-- I was able have him shoot some very creative stuff for me when I was at Discover (some of those images will be in this upcoming show), a couple of times, which was exciting. I especially love the above of palms with ink spots. Michael Mazzeo gallery represents some of the most interesting contemporary photographers working today-- and I have to hand it to Michael for his risk-taking with new photography and curating. Mazzeo's gallery was a regular stop for me on my monthly gallery tours, and I've really missed it since starting at the Journal.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Barfing Salt

Here is a rough test. Working on refining this one. Need to get another backdrop- a black paper one. The fabric one I have keeps needing to be ironed, and it is 12x10 feet. I can't stand it when I end up doing tasks that are like housework for my artwork. It makes me crazy! SO. One black seamless coming up.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hand in Glove

Working away at finding the best expression of this glove image I'm still struggling with. This one I like, but I don't think it is the most interesting of them so far. Need a female hand model for this weekend's shoot.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Hedcut

Have begun blogging again in the big media-sphere, this time as a contributor on the Ideas Market blog for The Wall Street Journal. I'll be covering some of the same kinds of topics I covered with Visual Science, so I hope you'll follow my posts if you are interested. This week I wrote about the multimedia artist Aaron Koblin whose work I've been following with interest. It is amazing how much better I feel about life when I can do some writing. I just need it to keep things interesting.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Wrote You a Letter

More from the studio. More to come. Worked on the vomit photo a bit more today, and it seems to have some real possibility. Used a handsome neighbor today for a model- will see how this shot works differently with a man modeling it. Was unable to stop myself from taking a few plain portraits in addition to the other more deliberate images I had in mind. All this while roasting a chicken and more or less supervising Oliver and a pal having a play date..