December 7, 2013
December 6, 2013
the photos on the roll never seen before
and me i am sitting with eyes agape as a sigh escapes
and it is and she is and she was forever and always
keep capture store restore
the soul to the place
from whence we came
and where we go
it is flow it is a loop a spiral a curl
as we spin round this time this turn
this twirl this never ending blur
that comes into focus
with the click
the flash of the shutter the sharp instant
the moment the fraction of time
of light emanating from within and shining
stardust from the Planet Aaliyah
captured on negative
and a print
Photographs by Eric Johnson
this her Wikipedia pic.
December 5, 2013
I was walking up Seventh Avenue
somewhere around Fifteenth Street
when I saw him for the first time
and I knew it was him
but how could this be?
I couldn’t see a thing.
He was dressed in all black:
black baggy jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt and the hood was up
and his hands were in his pockets
and he moved through the streets like a ghost.
He left no tracks and he left no prints
and I was entranced and pulled to by a force I could not speak
and in my mind I knew the words,
only I did not know what this meant.
And as I passed him on the street,
he saw me and said thickly under his breath,
“You are beautiful”
and that is when I saw his face.
He. Was. Flaw. Less.
Masculine and hard yet soft and sweet like a candy,
the kind that will break your teeth.
Like sugar melted into rocks and rocks
that snap your jaw and they are
So raw your teeth start to ache
but you suck and chomp and chew
and maybe even spit
but you won’t let go
cause this candy is all that is left.
Left after right and right after left
and my feet kept moving and my legs led me forth and
I went ahead but he kept up and he was at my side
and I felt a pull, a tug, a wave, a splash, damp, hot, cool, cold, October day
and he walked alongside me and asked me
what I was doing and where I was going and who I was and who I be
and I said, “I am having a drink with you”
and he looked shocked, then happy, then broke and me.
He showed me his hand, his knuckles were swollen,
huge like a mitt and raw like a steak,
and I’m looking at the back of this hand
like I’ve never seen it in my life.
December 4, 2013
On my wall, a collage grows. It is a living entity, an amorphous thing, that takes new shapes and holds all forms. Of two-dimensions in a three-dimensional world, the collage subverts the linear logic of our visual frame, and forces us into a conscious, dreamlike state. I love this, this way in which, the image converses with itself in a language all its own.
Dennis Busch is a master of the form. I first met him when asked to profile him in 2009. From this, a connection was born and so it was with great pleasure that I had learned Busch would be publishing The Age of Collage with Gestalten this Fall. A survey of contemporary work that is a rich as it is inviting, every turn of the page a surprise that redefines reality as something that is as once foreign as it is familiar.
I am pleased to share here a conversation with Dennis Busch. Give it up y’all ~
The book smells so good. I’m addicted to the sting of inks, the touch of the page, the thick luscious paper, the design, the art, the words, all of it. It’s a tremendous undertaking putting together a survey on this scale. What was the impetus to begin a project about the contemporary collage in modern art ?
Dennis Busch: As we are now living in a total “Collage-Culture“ it was kind of a logical consequence to push things forward with this book. The collage technique has such a great tradition in art making since back from the days (DADA, surrealism, punk, etc.) so i felt this cool technique has come to a point of renewal. The technique of cutting and pasting has come to a point of eye level to other contemporary techniques. So my impetus was to show a wide range of diversity in style and technique.
What is it about the collage that holds us in its grasp? I am infinitely spellbound by the space between the mechanical and the hand. It is the space where the mind takes us into another reality, one that seems more like the dreamscapes of the unconscious mind than the world in which we live. Please talk about your understanding of the nature of collage and the way it manifests unconventional energies.
The Collage technique is the perfect tool for an artist to push things right through the walls of time and create magical loopholes. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow can be mixed up to one strange brew. With the collage technique you are able to create a decomposition of time and space and step right into a dimension of transformation and everlasting changes.
Stuffed with his knifes, scalpels and his magical glue the modern collage artists are like astronauts on a never ending journey into an innerstellar “Reich“ made out of boundless fantasies where even “the blind man is able to see“. The modern collage artist can create a dreamlike universe in a state of enmeshment-like existence. It’s about the intuition of a real „becoming“ and the amorphic state of an universal „being“. It’s the digging for time, space, truth and beauty within a deep darkness.
What was the process for selecting work for this book ? It is daunting to bring together such a wide array of artists with such distinctive styles and still have the book hold together as a cohesive volume, yet The Age of Collage does this beautifully. What was the most challenging aspect of editing this book ?
It was a delight to select the artists for the book. I thought the time was alright for such a project. There are so many very good collage artists out there, i only had to shake the kaleidoscope a little to get such a nice constellation of people. It was important for me to show a wide range of distinctive styles, to show as much different positions as possible to keep the machine running. I wanted to focus a whole scene in all its different depth, complexity and beauty.
As an artist, as well as an editor, what do you enjoy most about the process of sharing your work with a larger audience ? What has been the most dynamic part of creating a book and an exhibition ?
I think it was an important way to bring this stuff to a larger audience. Now is the time with so many talented collage-artists doing such great stuff that there was no other way to turn. Collage making nowadays becomes such a hype so it was important to drop a compendium that is going in that nonspecific but crystal-clear direction.
December 3, 2013
The door is open wide, open to the world,
and through this opening it breathes
and draws the cool crisp air into my blood
and reminds me I am alive.
And I live, and I am without thought,
but fully present to the words
that pour from my pen in thick black ink,
as though they were written before.
And me, I trace the outlines of words that do not yet exist,
not until I put pen to paper and call them into being,
although they have always been and never were.
My eyes flicker in the early morning light
as it shines through the Roman pines and cypress trees
and everywhere it is a painting, a fresco, al fresco, a scene I have seen
but only in two dimensions until I stand as I stand now, standing at the door,
and I stand upon a precipice I cannot see as the air caresses my form.
And it draws to me as I to it
as I see what cannot be seen and I say what cannot be said.
December 2, 2013
I always wished I could be a painter or a filmmaker,
anything but a fucking photographer.
I certainly didn’t want to be in a photography gallery.
The work all comes from a psychological need.
See the images that I make… It’s really a psychological need.
I’m just jerked around by it. I’m pulled by it.
[Eugene Smith] was always writing these diatribes about truth,
and how he wanted to tell the truth, the truth, the truth.
It was a real rebel position.
It was kind of like a teenager’s position:
why can’t things be like they should be? Why can’t I do what I want?
I latched on to that philosophy.
One day I snapped, hey, you know,
I know a story that no one’s ever told, never seen, and I’ve lived it.
It’s my own story and my friends’ story.
I just happened to have my camera and be photographing my friends.
It was totally innocent; there was no purpose to the photographs.
There was a purity to them that wasn’t planned; it was realism.
At the end of the day, what I show is real life.
I tell the truth. And the truth can be shocking.
Photographs by Alessandro Simonetti
Quotes by Larry Clark
December 2, 2013
I am pleased to announce that I shall be guest blogging at Hatje Cantz this month, writing about art, photography, books… all that good stuff. Please give a round of applause for the delightful work of San Francisco photographer Ruby Ray, whose first monograph kicks off my column…
And so it had finally come, From the Edge of the World by Ruby Ray (Superior Viaduct), because this is where it is. This, yes, California Punk. 1977, 78, 79, right on through 81. Brave New World like Aldous Huxley said—but out in San Francisco, the Man of Letters was William S. Burroughs. Ruby Ray was with him, right on the edge. She caught him with a gun through her camera lens. She captured so many of these moths to the flame, burning with a passion and desire that true punk could claim: Darby Crash. Hellinn Killer and Sid Vicious. Poison Ivy. Kids on stage. Kids off stage. All this raw gorgeous energy. Black and white. Color shots. A sweet little photo album, remembrance of things past like Proust said.
Read the Full Story at
HATJE CANTZ FOTOBLOG
December 1, 2013
Art & Text by Rio Yañez
(First Published: February 28, 2009) ::
This past weekend Mariela and I met up at Good Vibrations for a night that changed our lives. We were attending a party to celebrate the recent releases and collaborations from artists and sex-positive super heroes April Flores and Carlos Batts. I’ve been following April Flores work and writings for about a year now and her public persona is fascinating to me, she’s a sex-positive, politically active Latina that approaches her work as art. Latinas can have such a strong cultural stigma of shame when it comes to sexual pleasure and I think the work and activism of April Flores is revolutionary. In order to show my appreciation for April Flores’ work as an artist I created the portrait above to portray her as the prolific hero she is. I started and finished it during the hours of 3:00AM and 6:30AM after getting home late from a long day at work. Despite those short crazy hours, I’m really happy with the end results.
When April approached Mariela and I at Good Vibrations and chatted with us, I presented her with a framed print of it. To my dorking-out fanboy delight she loved it. She even showed it to the crowd that gathered for her Q&A session later on in the party. Hearing April and Carlos talk about working together and the story of how they met and fell in love was inspiring. Apparently they met over ten years ago while Carlos was shooting images for his book Wild Skin. The book’s editor selected April for the cover without knowing that she had just started dating Carlos. Hearing them relate their story, and seeing some parallels in my own relationship, I couldn’t resist plunking down the $75.00 it took to buy the book.
The rest of the night was filled with great music, hanging out with Carlos & April, and people coming up to me and talking about the print. It was a night of inspiration and accomplishment for me that I won’t ever forget.
December 1, 2013
I am writing poems in my dreams and I awake
with verse flowing through me
yet I refuse to take pen to paper because
I don’t want to remember these things.
The ether gives and the ether receives.
Words are not the things themselves.
Speak it and set it free.
All else, ahh tis a dream.
Ohh but wait! I do remember this.
After I stopped writing, I lay back down in bed.
And as I lay dying, I heard the words in my ear.
Art or Artistry.
I can’t believe I remember. Nothing ever sticks.
But, yes, this one is for me.
It’s my litmus test.
November 29, 2013
Love is cure,
Love is power,
Love is the magic of changes.
Love is the mirror of divine beauty.
November 26, 2013
November 26, 2013
I’ve started writing without words
so that by the time I come to the page it flows like water.
Ohh lawd it feels like Yemaya cause thas where it all began.
To the water it is the water, it is and will always return.
But. Words. Wow wait what have you done to me.
Words or you or me doesn’t really matter
because I didn’t really sleep in the best possible way.
I think I had a hangover.
I mean from not sleeping or from the sun
or from Nile Rogers last night smiling at me the whole time
cause thas me next to the stage.
Arms in the air and he wrote everythann
and I know this is a blessing cause everyone is wearing white
and it’s like Bahia and Yemaya and me I’m surfinn so nice.
And he is smilinn and his singers are smilinn and thas we why do this riigh.
To be on stage to be the stage all the world is a stage
and me I’m whpshh whpshh whpshh.
Photographs by Ernest Haas
November 25, 2013
Sometimes, but not all times, I transport. Not through vibes but through words. Words, blessings & curses, my only master. Kinda sorta maybe umm yeaa. I must admit, but I do not wish to do so. It is useless to resist us; I believe that is Information Society. Reminds me of that trip so long ago, my only trips being shrooms or acid or ecstasy. Fuckin provincial fuckin New Yorker, I am woman hear me moan.
Yea that trip, thas a good story. I’m kinda nowhere today so I’ma just type away. What was it. Sheeit. 90s was a blurr. I’m thinkinn 97 mmmaybe. Don’t matter anyhow. Let’s say it was 97. It was Palladium. Mighta been the last time I was there before they turned my house into a dorm. Yea so it was a tea party, damn, tea party. Thas me. I’m not up for three days, I just wanna dance on Sunday afternoons. So yea, it was Junior and it was classics and my boy hookt up the shrooms and it had been so long since I had done em that I wasn’t even thinking clearly.
My boy goes into the shower.
Chomp Chomp Chomp.
Chomp Chomp. I should leave him somethinn.
He comes out steaminn. “Bitch you ate everything.”
“Nooo I left you some.”
“Bitch, when that hits don’t come to me for nothinn.”
La di da di, we like to party. Walk across Fourteenth and it’s not even five in the afternoon. I wish I could remember what I was wearing. I like that. Let’s say yellow stretch Versace jeans and, damn, were those DKNY sneakers? Maybe. Shit, 90s. Like I was taking fashion tips from Total, maybe. I think I was wearinn that really cute Blumarine shirt silkscreened with a photo of the beach cause I never went. Check it out, 90s was my label decade. I don’t drop names today cause who tha fuck checkinn for Forever 21?
So yeaa. We on the dancefloor and I remember it so clearly. I was lookinn at the, what did we call girls back in the day? Breeders. Shit. We was mean. Mean girls but I was the only girl. Right. So I was lookinn at the breeders and I remember this thought. “I swear to God I hope I don’t become that girl who grows up talking about ‘back in the days.’” Mmm. Jokes on me, but moving onn.
I remember thinking this cause I was turning up my nose at some girls I didn’t know who would one day be married and put their kids photos on FB or some such youu knoww. And me, I knew I was neva gonn be that girl. I already knew. I was gonna stay dancinn and somehow…
Well, yeaa, we on the floor and thas when Junior set it off. Helicopter started to lift and ohhhhh mahhhhh fuuuuhkinnnnn shhhhhhit.
It came on. Just. Like. That. Real fuckinn heavy. Like can’t dance, can’t stand but can’t think either. Just. Ummm. Shit. I followed my boy over to the bar. Remember the bar? Why was that ceiling so low. It looks real low in my mind’s eye. Felt it closing in on me. And I stood there as my boy talked to that guy and that guy said hello and out my mouth came that. That. That damn girl.
“I’m sooooo fuckt up right now,” I said feeling like I was going to slide through the carpet. I was kinda embarrassed for me, right. I mean. I was a cokehead in stilettos. Way more chic. This shroomy ass hippie in sneakers was soo 2012.
Well, anyway. I remember we were over by the sofas and I could not take it. I heard something I never forgot and it went like this:
BZZZ BBZZZ BBZZZZZ
It was ghastly. It spooked the hell outta me. Talk is so fuckinn fuckinn cheap.
I remember I made it down to the bathrooms. Remember the bathrooms? And the tile floors? And no one was there and I slid into a stall. And I remember being like, how the fuck did I get my panties twisted up. But I didn’t realize this til I was back on the dancefloor and then umm, how do I get em out.
That occupied me for a good long while. Cause the walls were melting. We’re walking around the dancefloor and I saw the columns dripping. And I saw these muscle boys, you know the ones that can’t reach they heads. And I saw their skeleton underneath the muscle and flesh and I saw their skulls grinninn. Ohhhhh. Man. I was the only one who saw them dead. They were carryinn on. And me, I was leaning against the column, holding it up for dear life, thinking it’s very possible I will slide through the carpet this time.
Remember the carpet? I hope you don’t. You only met it on nights like this one. Lawdamercy on all our souls.
Then. Then what. After that Go Ask Alice moment where my atheist ass was callinn out to God, Just please don’t let me go out like this, we went upstairs and my boy deposited me on one of those nice stools and I sat there watching the air. Cause I swear. Neva happened to me before but synethesia is real. Grab and eighth and see what I’m talkinn bout. Fa reaaaal.
Every song had a pattern and every pattern had a rhythm and I remember just a few of them but Square Biz is neon on black. Pink neon lips and blue neon cars and red neon hearts and everything is flashinn on and off. And Running is silver, black, plum, and grey and it’s cartoon industrial and I remember the African patterns and the Japanese prints dancing but I don’t remember the songs.
It went on like this and this it went on and eventually I found my way back to the dancefloor. And that’s when it happened. When the Universe unfolded, and it let me ask questions and it gave me the answers to the meaning of life. And with each question, the secret unfolded before my dilated eyes and don’t you know the only fuckinn question I remember is the last one and it went like this:
Why can’t it always be this way?
Because nothing would ever get done.
November 24, 2013
Home to three illustrated book imprints plus handling domestic and foreign distribution for over sixty art book publishers, Antique Collectors’ Club has established itself as home to a wide array of beautifully crafted tomes. Though diverse in the breadth of their subject matter as they span the globe with stories from all corners of the world, the books all share a deep reverence for the art of the printed page. Whether showcasing the striking portraiture of Terry O’Neill or a tongue-in-chic look at the best-dressed dogs of New York City, the books featured in every Antique Collectors’ Club catalogue share a joie de vivre that speaks all languages.
First established in 1966, Antique Collectors’ Club began with a print magazine, Antique Collecting, and as the demand for information grew, ACC published its first book, The Price Guide to Antique Furniture, in 1968. The book has since been completely revised three times, and remains in print to this day, serving a dedicated audience. With the success of the book and the magazine, ACC expanded into distribution and book publishing to provide its audience with the content they craved.
As a distributor, ACC handles an international list that represents every continent except Antarctica. With a wealth of content as diverse as humanity itself, ACC brings it all together under one roof. From jewelry and textiles to food and wine, from gardening and landscapes to interior design, from hotels and cars to masterpieces of indigenous art, for over 45 years, ACC has delivered high quality subjects in beautiful tomes. More recently ACC has launched tow imprints: ACC Editions, which is home to more modern titles that focus on fashion and photography; and Garden Art Press, which was created to house the ever-growing wealth of garden and plant focused books.
As John Brancati, Vice President of ACC Distribution North America, reveals, “Sales have increased every year since the recession began in 2009. We are continuing to grow and find new customers but getting to them is different. There aren’t bookstores any longer. We have to find them in different ways, through special markets such as garden centers in Westchester and the Hamptons. They take books on not just gardening, but on things like Tibetan art and interior design. Price is no object for these customers. What has changed is that merchants have realized they need to keep shoppers in the story. The books appeal to husbands as they wives shop the store, and they get to peruse books on subjects like Aston Martin and polo horses.”
It is just this ability to adapt to the changes in the marketplace that allow ACC to flourish at a time when the global economy is struggling to adjust to the massive shifts taking place. Knowing their market is essential to this, for it is in the ability to partner with likeminded companies that keeps ACC in the forefront of the public eye. This August, ACC Editions released Polo: Equine Warriors, a collection of portraits by Bob Tabor, which will be unveiled at the grand re-opening of the Ralph Lauren Polo store at Macy’s Herald Square, New York. Tabor will also publish a second book with ACC Editions this fall titled Horse Whisperings, which meet the subject on their terms and allow their souls to be transposed on to the photograph, which we may then contemplate in silence and privacy as we consider the photograph.
It is this meditative quality that marks the photography book as an objet d’art, whose value is only further enhanced by the digital divide. As people acclimate to the disposability of digital culture, the photography book stands taller and prouder as a lasting piece of the larger culture. As Brancati observes, “Digital capability is not there in an economic way for publishers or consumers. Apps works for things like cookbooks and kids books, but not for art and photography books. There are no double page spreads in a Nook. The people who want information may be happy with a reader, but for art books are for people looking for inspiration or to convey the status of the object. There are people who buy books to decorate according to size and color, while there are others who collect simply for the pleasure of it. The book is an object that says something about the people who live in the house.”
Indeed, it is the book in all its glory, a source of knowledge, of spirit and style, a place for quiet repose, which has allowed ACC to grow and flourish over the past five decades. It is now, at a time when so many move away from the printed page that ACC holds it place, a repository for the wide array of art, beauty, and culture that makes life worth celebrating.
November 22, 2013
Photographs by Jamil Smith
Quotes by Melvin Van Peebles