Meryl Meisler

Meryl Meisler

It was the best of times; it as the worst of times. New York City in the 1970s was a world unto itself, a world that was both burdened by poverty and government neglect, and burgeoning with culture and art. For many who lived through this time, it was something more than that. It was a time before AIDS. A time before crack. And a time before the Internet.

New York City in the 1970s was a place that was so ripe, it was all but ready to burst. The city streets was derelict and desolate, yet never without heart. The city’s nightclubs like Studio 4 were a study in life lived according to the bon mot, après moi le deluge. Combined together, they revealed both a joie de vivre and quiet despair that only comes when you live on edge of existence in the present tense.

Photographer Meryl Meisler recently released A Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick (Bizarre Publishing), a deeply felt compendium of days and night in the city that never sleeps. Taken together, the juxtaposition of Meisler’s work reads as pure and unfettered delight. Despite the pain of poverty and the dissolution of that it may cause, Meisler’s Bushwick shows us the heroism of the human spirit and its undeniable resilience. Meisler speaks with The Click about her days and nights in New York, where the camera became her passport to documenting the city as it stood at that time.

Read the full story at THE CLICK.

Andi Potamkin and Steven Kasher, photograph by Jake Chessum

Andi Potamkin and Steven Kasher, photograph by Jake Chessum

Romantic. Seductive. Intimate. Kasher|Potamkin Gallery exquisitely embodies the spirit of our times with a profoundly personal approach to art. The gallery, which operates as a boutique with a cash-and-carry policy, has a flair that is rarely, if ever felt, in the traditional white box approach to exhibiting art. Like Alice stepping through the looking glass, we are transported into a wonderland of sensuous delights. The eye cast itself around the room while the fingers long to touch. “Curiouser and curiouser!” our inner Alice cries.

Two pieces by the Haas Brothers jump up off the floor, reminding me of nothing so much as four-legged versions of the trees from “The Lorax”. One black, one white, identified as the Grace Tall stool and the Dolph Tall stool from the Beast series; I long to stroke one of these darlings discreetly. But then my eye alights upon the Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman marble-looking chair titled “Louis XV goes to Sparta.” I surreptitiously approach it, trying not to stare. These pieces are very effective. I’m feeling coy, even flirty. But is it the art—or is it the gallery?

Located at 515 West 26 Street, NY, Kasher|Potamkin is adjacent to the newly relocated Steven Kasher Gallery, which specializes in fine art photography. The two galleries complement each other beautifully. Steven Kasher Gallery is beautifully austere, allowing the clean, flat open lines of the wide, open vistas to hold large-scale photography with a gentle ease. The simplicity of the space plays as the perfect backdrop to the quiet grandeur of the photographs sequenced along the wall. It is a tall drink of water, fresh and restorative, a way to be alone with the art. Whereas in Kasher|Potamkin, the art bustles brilliantly, a mélange of mercurial temperaments that make disengagement all but impossible.

Taken together, the galleries are in perfect harmony, a yin yang flow of energy that creates more than just balance. It creates conversation. For it is in the marriage of the two that a new space is born. A space of dialogue and discovery. A space of love manifest in art.

Kasher|Potamkin opened its doors in September 2014 to critical acclaim and commercial success with the two-art inaugural exhibition “Intangible Beauty.” Dedicated to the spirit of the divine feminine, the exhibition began with “Beautiful Women” and closes on November 1 with “The Endless Void.” The exhibition, which features a subtly-evolving installation of works of photography, sculpture, ceramics, furniture, jewelry, painting, and objects d’art, features work by over forty emerging, mid-career, and established artists, many of whom are female, including Marianna Rothen, Marie Hochhaus, Philip Treacy, Delphine Diallo, Lina Viktor, Daido Moriyama, and Beatrix Ost, among many more.

When one steps into Kasher|Potamkin, one feels a sense of style and beauty that compels one forth, a certain je ne sais quoi that makes the installation a work of art unto itself. There is a certain grace, a certain knowing. It is the eternal feminine that wafts through the air like eau du parfum. It is the essence that is revealed as Andi Potakmin rises from her custom-made desk and begins to speak.

Read the Full Story at THE CHIC.

Karen Kilimnik: Photographs, 2014

Walter Pfeiffer: Cherchez la femme!, 2007

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 7.33.33 AM

Karen Kilimnik: Photographs, 2014

Edition Patrick Frey was founded in 1986 in Zurich, Switzerland, as publisher/editor. The house provides young artists with a platform for a first publication, as well as engages in long-term collaborations with artists including Walter Pfeiffer, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, and Andreas Züst. Today, the house publishes 15-20 books a year (“Too many!!” as Frey says), with a staff of are two full time and three part-time collaborators.

Each book is wonderfully considered on its own terms, conceptualized and conceived as an objet d’art befitting its subject. Publisher Patrick Frey has graciously agreed to speak about book publishing today.

Miss Rosen: Please talk about the mission for Edition Patrick Frey (EPF). How do you approach visual book publishing as a medium to communicate and explore larger ideas about the culture in which we live? What themes and motifs occur in the list as examples of this vision, and in what way?

Patrick Frey; I guess the term mission is missing the point a little bit. It sounds almost religious, as if I had have a message as a publisher. In German, when asked your message, there is a nice answer: messages are for carrier pigeons. When I started in 1986, it was all about artist books, books with artistic content, beautiful books. First of all, books were a medium to translate an artist’s work in a very direct way. The book could be considered a condensed body of the artist’s artwork itself, autonomous, not to be modified and not to be mediated or even explained. These years left its marks on my attitude as a publisher. That is why, from the beginning, every single book of EPF looked totally different, specific. And why there were very few or no comments. It was a sort of the contrary of a branding strategy.

With the years, my vision or maybe perspective – because vision is another one of those suspicious-looking terms – got broader and the books more diverse. Now we publish all kind of non-fiction books, some of them even look like ordinary photo books or even coffee table books, and still – there is this unchanged urge to keep our concept of a book absolutely non-ordinary, to maintain a specific and highly artistic approach.

Miss Rosen: What I love most about your list is the energy each book holds, the way each title is an exploration into its own world, and in some way, each is like a visual poem that gives us a new way of perceiving the ways in which photography can be used to tell stories. I am particularly interested by the way in which photographs are used to create a narrative in book form. It is the photograph that one meditates upon after (or in lieu of) reading the word. As a publisher, what are your thoughts on how the photograph connects and imparts ideas, energies, experience? How do you think the book does something that other forms of photography (the print, the scan) can not?

Patrick Frey: A photograph can be a narrative by itself. But this narrative is entirely different from the narrative it takes in a book. It is non-sequential, non-directional. Looking at a single photography, one experiences more something like a narrative field, creating a multitude of associative possibilities, fragments of stories, narrative paths and crossroads. A print on the wall of an art space is a free-floating piece of art. There are some references, maybe a reference to the print next to it, to a certain body of work, to the history of photography, or to certain trends in contemporary art, but the contextual references are rather coincidental and mostly rather weak. A book is and always was by its nature a medium of storytelling and reflection. That is, if you put photographs in a book, you sort of force them into a strong contextual reference, and you expose them to a specific kind of reflection, for instance into the dialogical structure of the double page. And most of all, you force them into a totally different kind of storytelling.

In a book – if it’s not just a simple collection of pictures, a typical catalogue, so to speak – the narrative power of photography becomes directional. Somehow, a book tells a story always in one and the same direction: from a beginning on page one to the end on the last page. Books do not just tell stories sometimes, like a novel for instance. Books are embodiments of narrative, they are narrative blueprints, they lead you on a journey, or through a man’s life, or follow somebody’s trains of thought. Books will always be mementos of odysseys or Bibles or Madame Bovarys. That is the referential impact photography always will encounter if it is published in a book.

Miss Rosen: Where did your love for books begin? Do you recall some of your favorite illustrated books? What made them alluring to you in your earlier years? Do you see a connection between the influence of certain authors, art directors, or publishers on your work as a publisher today?

Patrick Frey: I grew up on the countryside, quite idyllic, and I think my first love in the kingdom of illustrated books was Beatrix Potter. I adored The Tale of Peter Rabbit or The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, and in my eyes everything was totally real and highly animated. I was really terrified each time I saw the Mr. McGregor, the evil gardener, coming round the greenhouse, knowing that Peter hadn’t seen him. I loved these kind of strong feelings, mostly the fear – or Angstlust, to use a German term, that were triggered entirely by the illustrations.

Like in Struwwelpeter, a famous German educational book, a collection of quite sadistic stories about misbehaving children that are severely punished. Like Konrad, the thumbsucker. He is warned by his mum: Stop sucking your thumb, otherwise the evil tailor will come and cut your thumb. But Konrad continues sucking his thumb. And then comes the evil tailor and cuts Konrad’s thumb off and you see the blood dripping on the floor. Over and over, I checked the thumb falling to the floor and the dripping blood. Or the history of the Suppenkaspar who is not eating his soup and gets thinner and thinner from picture to picture, until he is drawn like a matchstick man and then you just see the soup bowl sitting on the grave of most probably the first anorexic (a boy!) in literary history.

I don’t know if there are any connections between the book experiences of my early childhood and my preferences today. I know that I still love and that I am still looking for very powerful emotions, triggered by images, be it photographic or otherwise. It may seem a bit of a naïve concept, but it is not because it is always combined with an intensive need or even desire for qualities like complexity and referential ambiguity or extreme precision. Because it is telling me a lot about the relationship between the author and his / her object or subject of desire – for me one of the most important issues in photography at all.

Like for instance in Mom/Dad by Terry Richardson, published by Mörel Books, one of those books I would have died to publish myself, a highly unsentimental and hilariously funny book on the author’s parents that reports on this relationship in such extreme, brutal and tender intensity that it makes you cry.

Miss Rosen: As technology takes hold, we are relating to image and text in new ways. How do you think digital media informs our experience of print? How does this impact the publishing industry? What aspects of digital culture have made work in books more exciting?

Patrick Frey: As digital publishing has almost completely conquered the news and information market, the analogue book is shifting from an informational medium towards a more artistic medium. There is a growing consciousness for the book as a physical object, for the book as a work of craft or art, a feeling for the book as a fetish. Among artists, there is definitely a growing desire to publish a printed artist book. Our concept and our experience of printed matter will become more aesthetical. Even if you look at average hardcover books nowadays, you will already find an intensified sensitivity for aesthetic values. Many ordinary catalogues or fictional books look like artist books now. There is even a growing consciousness for the experience of reading a real printed book, for the smell, the touch, the paper, the binding. Printed books are pimped and pushed towards physical fetish-like objects with added value, collectors items. What has been already true for artist books like ours for quite a while, will become a general rule: Printed books will increasingly be bought by book collectors. Or by people who are looking for a gift.

On the other hand, digitalization created growing sensitivity for the waste of paper. Not only if I look at a book proposal, if I look at any printed book, the first question now is: Does this REALLY need to be printed? Because the problem is: To print a book doesn’t MEAN that much anymore, everybody can make his own totally okay looking artist book online or create an evenly nice looking 800 pages non-fiction book with Wikipedia texts in less than 15 minutes and get it printed in ten days for about 30 bucks each. Digitalization means speeding up analogue processes, digitalization means self-publishing, and both naturally is a blessing and a curse. Ten years ago, book proposals looked like book proposals, bundles of copied material, stapled or glued together by hand. Now book proposals look like state-of-the-art printed books. I call them phantom books because they look like books but they aren’t really, they are just first ideas from which the editing and publishing work starts. Editing is the key word here. One could say that digitalization caused a radical shift in perception: I think in the near future publishing a book means you have to deal much more with editing skills and coaching processes.

Maybe I have to correct on sentence from above: Among artists there is definitely a growing desire to publish a printed artist book with a publisher. Some of those authors are only hunting for distribution (they don’t really know that distribution in the tiny niche market for artist books is a disaster anyway!) but some others are looking for an upgrading of their editing process, for an intensive professional dialogue between author and publisher, who is not so much a distributor, rather than a curator – or even a midwife ! – in order to assist in creating and customizing this cultural high-end object named printed book.

Miss Rosen: There are a great many projects out there, and so many stories to be told. With the wealth of content made available today, how do you select books for publication? What kinds of stories appeal to you as a publisher? This is a big, broad sweeping question, but what do you think makes a book timeless?

Patrick Frey: No idea, I rarely think about publishing a “timeless“ book. Books are fashion victims like all other artifacts. Attitudes and styles come and go in waves, even content does. The best you can do, is try to be as radical and true to the cause as possible. And to be contemporary at least, or, as Rimbaud puts it, one must be absolutely modern. Which means you have to keep a sharp eye on everything that is out of fashion, fallen out of time. And then time will tell. As I said, no mission, no vision, just wide-open eyes and this everlasting love for intensity and for the eccentric. Try to learn from the authors. And what selection concerns: no method and no recipe. Even in times where the so-called “freedom of choice“ seems to become overwhelming.

For more information, please visit
Edition Patrick Frey

Roswitha Hecke: Irene, 2011

Roswitha Hecke: Irene, 2011

Patrick Frey, photograph © Daniel Ammann

Patrick Frey, photograph © Daniel Ammann

a window open

October 19, 2014

 The Archimedes’ Principle ~ Rene Magritte

The Archimedes’ Principle ~ Rene Magritte

Trying to speak about the ultimate reality is like sending a kiss through a messenger.
~ Rumi

Cartier-Bresson. Photograph by Jane Brown

Cartier-Bresson. Photograph by Jane Bown

Every year, the photography community comes together to honor those whose life’s work has blazed a path, like a candle lighting the dark, at the annual Lucie Awards, an annual gala ceremony honoring the masters of the medium. The 2014 Lucie Awards will be held on November 2 at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York. This years honorees include Carrie Mae Weems (Fine Art), Martin Parr (Documentary), Jane Brown (Lifetime Achievement), Nick Ut (Photojournalism), Nan Goldin (Portraiture), and Pedro Meyer (Visionary Award).

Awards will also be given to individuals and organizations who are nominated and selected by the Photography Advisory Board honoring the best of 2014 for support categories including: Print Advertising Campaign, Magazine Fashion Layout, Exhibition/Curator, Book Publisher, Picture Editor, and Photography Magazine of the Year.

Additionally, the Lucie Awards will present the International Photography Awards (IPA), an annual, juried competition that is open to all photographers, professional and non-professional. Through the competition, top honors are provided, one of which is Discovery of the Year, an award for non-professional emerging talent that is awarded a $5,000 cash prize and a statue. Additional categories awarded at the Lucies include of International Photographer, Deeper Perspective Photographer, and Moving Image Photographer.

Highlights from the International Photography Awards will be featured in the 2014 Best of Show gallery exhibition. Best of Show will premier in New York on November 1. The exhibition opening will be hosted by the Splashlight Studios from 7-10pm and will launch a week of celebrations and photography-filled events preceding the Lucie Awards Gala taking place November 2.

Each year, a distinguished person within the photography community is invited to be a Guest Curator for the annual IPA Best of Show Exhibition. This year, David Clarke, Head of Photography Emeritus of Tate Modern, will be assuming the 2014 honorary position in continuation of this prestigious curatorial legacy.

Following its New York debut, the Best of Show exhibition will then begin its world-wide tour which will include openings in Italy, Bangkok, Paris, North Carolina, and Los Angeles where it will take place as a part of month-long festival of photography celebration, Month of Photography Los Angeles, a program of the Lucie Foundation.

Lucie Awards Founder and Chair Hossein Farmani and Executive Director Cat Jimenez sat down to speak with The Click, sharing with us their commitment to honoring the greatest achievements in photography.

Read the full story at THE CLICK.

the soul of the universe

October 16, 2014

A boat on the Sumida River in moonlight, Arai Yoshimune. (1873 - 1945)

A boat on the Sumida River in moonlight, Arai Yoshimune. (1873 – 1945)

Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.
~Lao Tzu

Pati Hansen 1979 ink on paper  102x63 inches

Before digital there was analog.
Before inkjet printing there was Anton Perich.
Before reality TV, there was Anton Perich.

No, Wade Guyton did not “invent a new paint brush,” Anton Perich did in 1978, when Guyton was six. Inspired by the image-making processes of video technology in which he’d immersed himself as a pioneering producer of underground television in New York, Perich developed a colossal “electric painting machine,” a painterly precursor to the inkjet printers of today.

Postmasters announces the first large-scale exhibition of Anton Perich’s electric paintings, which includes a full range of early and recent work, both abstract and figurative. The exhibition will also include screenings of a selection of Perich’s art world ur-reality TV series, which aired on Manhattan’s public access cable

Anton Perich arrived on the New York art scene in 1970, as a photographer and pioneering
videographer. “I got a still camera and went shooting every night,” he said, and his images—including those he published in Night, the magazine he founded in 1978–captured the personalities and happenings of this wild moment in the city’s history. Seeking to collapse the gap between this tumultuous, creative reality and the sanitized world presented on the mainstream television of the day, Perich started shooting with a Sony Portapak video recorder. He transformed the craze and excess, the low-res soap operatic dramas of real people, into what we now recognize as reality TV.

Through his immersion in the scene, and his proximity to Andy Warhol, Perich developed an interest in painting and its relationship to his more technological forms of image-making. Video cameras and television tubes encoded and decoded images line by line, like a text. Perich set out to embody this modern transformation of visual information to electronic signal in paint. The result was the electric painting machine, which painted canvases up to 12 feet using airbrushes controlled by a photovoltaic scanning mechanism. The unexpectedly expressive aesthetics of this technological mediation continue to occupy a central place in Perich’s painting practice.

Executing paintings line by line, in a process that would become familiar with the advent of inkjet printers, the electric painting machine enabled Perich to find his “own brushstroke,” even as it ostensibly removed the artist’s hand from production. Warhol recorded in his diary: “They said Anton was home with his painting machine and I was so jealous. My dream. To have a machine that could paint while you are away. But they said he had to be there while it painted because (laughs) it clogs up. Isn’t that funny?”

Perich’s experimentation led him to create large-scale paintings, some that “reproduced” his iconic photographic images and some that were abstractions, electric noise, painting fields of color and lines fed by him into the machine. While his portraits reveal the ghost of an image, his uncropped abstract canvasses shift the focus of attention from the rich finished surfaces to the edges of the painting where the picture-writing process is laid bare. Machines are made to be perfect. In mechanically or electronically created contemporary artworks glitch/mistake/imperfection is often re-introduced into the outcome as if to humanize the tool. Perich calibrates his machine paintings, though, to be just precise and perfect enough to capture the essence of the image and the process.

The early paintings were made on raw canvas with acrylic or oil paint. In some places the paint gently permeates the canvas; in others the layers of paint have built up to a rich, voluptuous, and intense surface.

Recent paintings are often painted on fully or partially gessoed canvas, which keeps the paint on the surface. Sometimes coalescing into low-res images, sometimes dissolving into abstraction, Perich’s surfaces always revel in their own materiality, as layers of paints of differing consistencies variously build up, drip and run. A sophisticated colorist when called for, Perich also references the visual intensity of his photography by narrowing his palette to the greyscale spectrum.

Perich is not afraid of scale, his “Blow Up”-like monumental canvases are in open conversation with the large-scale experiments of his peers. What emerges from his body of work is a consistent, fearless, investigative artist, always true to his time, then and now. An artist parsing out the visual cacophony of his videos, navigating the sirens of mediation, and creating minimalist expression in his evanescent, nearly abstract paintings. The missing link between late Warhol and early digital art.

ANTON PERICH: ELECTRIC PAINTINGS
OCTOBER 18-NOVEMBER 22, 2014
Postmasters Gallery
54 Franklin Street in Tribeca
Tuesday through Saturday 11 – 6
with Thursday hours extended to 8pm

Mannequin 1978 oil on canvas

Pedro Paricio. The Golden Player. Serie Diary of an artist, 2012. Acrylic on linen, 130x97 cm. Courtesy Halcyon Gallery, London

Pedro Paricio. The Golden Player. Serie Diary of an artist, 2012. Acrylic on linen, 130×97 cm. Courtesy Halcyon Gallery, London

Closed off in a studio, removed from the world, Pedro Paricio wears a black hat as he channels the spirits of the earth through the tip of his brush. In his studio he paints for twelve hours a day, day after day, taking a day off maybe once a week, but never more. Being away from the studio makes him hunger for it more.

Paricio’s most recent show “Shaman” opened earlier this year at Halcyon Gallery, London, and published in a catalog of the same name. The paintings collected here are portals into another world, distinctly alluring rabbit holes to a starburst wonderland. As tour guide to an altered state, Paricio’s work is at once rich yet stark, the deepest blacks centering our eye on to his path. Complementing this series is “The Spirit of Paining,” a series of 37 works on paper that refer to specific works of art from the Spanish Baroque and Italian Renaissance, remade in Paricio’s vision of the infinite space that the canvas as portal creates.

Born in Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Paricio chose to engage with art because he was in search of life, a life that would take him from the island of his childhood and bring him to Salamanca, Spain. “The Canary Paradise,” his first solo show, was held in 2007 at Ikara Skate Shop & Gallery, in Barcelona. He supported himself as an artist by taking a wide range of jobs, everything from editing magazines to being a clown at children’s parties. He was committed, as only a true believer can, to the understanding that painting is his destiny.

As Paricio recalls, “My first show was called ‘The Canary Paradise.’ The Canary Islands is something to live. It is a place you need to feel in yourself. We live in a worldwide culture, where big cities are close to one another with similar shops, books, fashions, and styles. The Canary Islands has an old soul. Our people follow traditions. We do many things in the same way as our fathers and grandfathers, still a lot of islanders from the countryside areas fishing and growing food in our gardens.

“The light in the Canary Islands is very important. The weather is good all year round. It is a paradise. Tenerife, my island, has the highest mountain in Spain. We have different weather systems. It is a micro-world. The people are very relaxed here. No one is running here. You walk. You don’t run. You stop in a shop and talk to the people. There is no stress on this island. People are happy.”

Read the Full Story THE CHIC.

Boza Ivanovic

Boza Ivanovic

It is the photograph that has introduced the world to art in the age of reproduction, the copy becoming the way in which we understand the original. And so it is that the photograph is the means to literally objectify our world. We gaze upon photographs as a means to travel beyond our limited scope and we take in what lies inside the frame and unconsciously disregard all else. And while we understand intellectually the need to question what we are told, seeing is believing in the sighted world.

It is for this reason that many become photographers; they need to tell their stories without words. Words are creation of the left brain, the way in which we translate experience into a complex coding that creates reality through the abstraction of language. But the photograph operates in the right brain; it speaks all languages simultaneously. Anyone looking at a photograph can read it, although various interpretations of the same photograph are certainly possible and likely.   And so it is that in the photographs of Boza Ivanovic collected in Out of the Wild: Zoo Portraits (Glitterati Incorporated) that we are given layers of meaning in each image, each layer to be slowly peeled back and considered on its own merit.

“I did not focus on photographing animals until after I was recuperating from a motorcycle accident. The picture that rekindled my love for animal photography was taken at the San Diego zoo in Southern California when I was there for the sole purpose of taking my then six-year-old son. It was a photograph of a tiger. The beast, as I saw it, was in a perfect, mysterious combination of darkness and light. Since then on, I have focused all my energy to develop the kind of animal photography that would portrait the beauty, traits and characteristics of these caged animals. I have come to know and develop great admiration and respect for all the animals I have photographed since it requires quite a large amount of time and patience to have all the necessary elements to come together to take just one photograph.”

At first glance at Ivanovic’s photographs, we are struck by a high contrast graphics that draw us in, for darkness is never so radiant when light shines through its untenable depths. Set against these vast and impenetrable fields of black are animals, exotic and foreign to our normal lives. These are not the creatures we observe in the course of our day, not our domesticated pets or the livestock that provides us with food, apparel, or accessories. The animals of Ivanovic’s photographs are not creatures of comfort or creatures of use. They are creatures of curiosity, creatures of grandeur, creatures of dreams and nightmares, creatures of a world not our own, for each lives within a confined area, in a zoo.

Read the Full Story at THE CLICK.

quiet as kept

October 8, 2014

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Henri Matisse - The Window, 1916

Henri Matisse – The Window, 1916

The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.
~Marcus Aurelius

Mister Finch

Mister Finch

Insectum. Avialae. Fungi. Mammalia. Mister Finch moves across the animal kingdom with the precision of a surgeon, creating creatures of the land and the air out of recycled textiles that are nothing short of delicious with their intricate and intimate details that make them a pleasure to both have and to hold. They recall nothing so much as the dreams of fairytales from a time and a place long ago.

Mister Finch has been crafting a world of pleasure that is to be found in the art of the hand, of the ability for one man to transform reality into fantasy and back again. His creations are devilish delights, works that at once be still our eye while tempt our fingertips. Endlessly delectable, Mister Finch’s menagerie of woodland beasts, birds, insects, and mushrooms returns us to a time when the world was innocent, and anything was possible.

Mister Finch: Living in a Fairy Tale World (Glitterati Incorporated) debuts this Fall, with back-to-back New York events. On Wednesday, October 8, from 6-8pm, Lord & Taylor will host a book signing and reception. On Thursday, October 9, from 6-8pm, Mister Finch heads to Chelsea for a book signing and reception at Kasher | Portwood Gallery, where original works will be on display. Please RSVP to media@glitteratiincorporated.com with “Mister Finch” in the subject line.

On the cusp of his New York debut, Mister Finch has arranged to speak with The Chic, offering us a rare glimpse into his world where hares find themselves mounted proudly on the wall, while toadstools float like helium balloons and butterflies flutter from day to night, each creature more alluringly inviting us into a magical world where creatures come alive the moment the eyes are put into place.

The artist introduces himself: “My name is Finch—it’s actually my surname…everyone call me it and I like it. I’ve called my business Mister Finch so it’s clear from the start that I’m a man and one that sews. I live in Leeds in Yorkshire, not too far from the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

“It’s been my home now for almost 18 years and it’s been very good to me. It’s a vibrant place to live and being so close to the city is great…but also not too far from the country. You really have the best of both worlds. I live in a corner house at the end of a quiet street next to a graveyard. From the top window, you can see the city lights glittering and its brilliant. As much as I love the countryside, I also need a bit of lights and action and love the contrast. I need the busy markets and bookshops.”

Read the Full Story at THE CHIC.

Robert Burley (Canadian, b. 1957). Art Photo Studio: Closed Due to Retirement, Toronto, Canada, 2005. Inkjet print. © Robert Burley. Courtesy of the Ryerson Image Centre

Robert Burley (Canadian, b. 1957). Art Photo Studio: Closed Due to Retirement, Toronto, Canada, 2005. Inkjet print. © Robert Burley. Courtesy of the Ryerson Image Centre

We alive today are witness to the transformation of the world, from a place of physicality to a more conceptual space, a space that is as infinite as it is vast. With the promulgation of digital culture, the photograph has been liberated from the page. No longer is it an object held to is physicality. Now it exists in its ability to exist immediately and simultaneously everywhere at once. Art in the age of digital reproduction has virtually destroyed an industry, and forever altered the form. It is now that the days of film, paper, and processing  have been rendered obsolete, though they retain their charms so much so that the ubiquity of photography now allows us to reconsider our assumptions of the art. So much so that it becomes a subject worthy of contemplation and veneration itself. Stand witness to the death knell of an industry and record its last days for posterity.

Robert Burley traveled the world with a 4×5 field camera to document the factories that were shutting down en masse. The Disappearance of Darkness: Photography at the End of the Analog Era (Princeton Architectural Press) presents seventy-one of Burley’s large format photographs inside and on the grounds of the plants that were closing down. Alongside the photographs are brief texts that set a tone for the story of worlds going, gone, slipping forevermore into oblivion, and we feel a sense of the complete vastness of this loss in the large scale buildings, estate planning, and the detail of design itself. From the buildings we see the very life of business itself.

The people. They are gone. There is nothing more to be done. Befitting it is, then, that Hurley should include George Eastman’s suicide note, found on his bedside table that read, “To my friends my work is done why wait?” And then we turn the page, and we see a double page spread of crowds standing outside of Buildings 65 and 69 at Kodak Park, in Rochester New York. In the second frame, the buildings are imploded. It was October 6, 2007. Through Burley’s camera we witness the detail of the debris and notice the bulldozer nestled into the back corner, ready to get to work. Though the buildings are gone, the land is good, and the show must go on.

As Burley notes, “By 2012 a number of smaller companies had begun to establish themselves in the Park, namely those started by former Kodak employees who had taken early retirement or been laid off as the company downsized. Soon this cluster of modest businesses, with operations ranging from manufacturing solar cells to making spaghetti sauce, employed about 6,500 people, a figure outnumbering Kodak’s remaining Rochester workforce.”

It is all rather grim, for those who remember , who enjoyed the countless options that working in film and papers could once afford. From some angles it appears we fixed something that was not broken, but the end result was the same. People voted with their wallets, and the time and expense of film dug its own grave. Yet at the same time, they continue, now in a new and unexpected way. The 4×5 camera is alive and well, standing tall before buildings no longer needed to serve the world. Now it is not a matter of industry, but of the individual, or the artists and the authors and the publisher, all of whom have a story to tell.

The Disappearance of Darkness is a light at the end of the tunnel. It is a photography book. It exists only in print. In inks on paper at a time when people declaim, “Print is dead!” and yet, the medium lives on. It speaks now, more than ever, to people who understand the importance of the tangible. Of that which is to have and to hold, which exists in real time and space, and is non-transferable. Of the very idea that the mechanical reproduction holds a value we did not previously esteem. Of an understanding of the edition, printing of photograph in book form, of the ways in which the very act of turning the page teaches us how to look at the world.

Originally published 28 February 2014
L’Oeil de la Photographie

“Robert Burley: The Disappearance of Darkness”
is on view at the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY,
now through January 4, 2015.

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Requiem for Mike Brown

October 5, 2014

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Artists are here to disturb the peace.
~ James Baldwin

~*~

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The Great Pyramid of Giza by Kermit Roosevelt, 191

Russian textiles

Tony Ray-Jones, New York, 1963

Tony Ray-Jones, New York, 1963

Love is nothing other than finding the truth.
~ Rumi

Photograph: Bronx, New York City, New York / July 20, 1972 Members of the New York street gang Savage Skulls strike a pose reminiscent of West Side Story. The trademark of the primarily Puerto Rican gang was a sleeveless denim jacket with a skull and crossbones design on the back.  Based in the South Bronx neighborhood of Hunts Point, the gang declared war on the drug dealers that operated in the area as well as running battles with rival gangs. By Jean-Pierre Laffont.

Photograph: Bronx, New York City, New York / July 20, 1972
Members of the New York street gang Savage Skulls strike a pose reminiscent of West Side Story. The trademark of the primarily Puerto Rican gang was a sleeveless denim jacket with a skull and crossbones design on the back. Based in the South Bronx neighborhood of Hunts Point, the gang declared war on the drug dealers that operated in the area as well as running battles with rival gangs. By Jean-Pierre Laffont.

In the tradition of Alexis de Tocqueville comes Photographer’s Paradise: Turbulent America 1960-1990 (Glitterati Incorporated), the first book by French photographer Jean-Pierre Laffont.

Weighing in at 392 pages with 359 four-color and black-and-white photographs, two gatefolds, and an introduction by Sir Harold Evans, Photographer’s Paradise is nothing short of a publishing tour de force that is equal parts news and art. The book launches on Thursday, October 9 from 6-8pm at Clic Gallery, New York. Hosted by David Elliot Cohen, Mr. Laffont will be making remarks at 6:30pm to speak about his life in photography, and its culmination in this incredible volume of work. Please RSVP to media@glitteratiincorporated.com with “Photographer’s Paradise” in the subject line.

Christiane Celle, the founder and owner of Clic Gallery, states, “I’ve known the wonderful Jean-Pierre Laffont for many years as a result of my friendship with his daughter, Stephanie. I’ve always had great respect for him and his work, but I was fascinated to see his extensive catalog of images representing American life. Photographer’s Paradise has given me a much broader representation of Jean-Pierre’s skill to create an emotionally-moving photographic history. His portraits are both educating and inspiring. I’m pleased and excited to bring his book launch to Clic Gallery on October 9.”

Photographer’s Paradise is a testament to the power of photojournalism to shape the course of human events. As the media rose in power during the second half of the twentieth-century, it was a call to action for many to bare witness to history firsthand. Mr. Laffont found himself on the front lines, something he did with a presence of mind few can lay claim to bare.

Mr. Laffont’s wife and business partner Eliane Laffont has worked with him throughout his career, first as his agent, and then again as his editor. The Laffonts’ shared professional history gave them the knowledge and depth necessary to edit through hundreds of thousands of images that Mr. Laffont had amassed as he traveled all over America.

Read the Full Story at THE CLICK.

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