find your way home

August 7, 2014

 Porto 2013 © Gloria Rodríguez

Porto 2013 © Gloria Rodríguez

Talent hits a target no one else can hit.
Genius hits a target no one else can see.
~Arthur Schopenhauer.

Photograph by Douglas Kirkland

Photograph by Douglas Kirkland

Marilyn Monroe is a star cast to earth, a spirit in the flesh, and on camera, that’s ethereal. Eternal. Forever a star glowing bright in the sky and we watch as it burns, burns everything in its wake until one day, it’ vanishes. Explosions of sorts, and things leading in that direction, and stories and legends and myths. And Marilyn was the greatest star of them all.

August 5 marks the 52 anniversary of her death, a death that has become as iconic as the legend herself. Less than one year before she died, Monroe posed for Douglas Kirkland, who was then a young photographer on assignment for the 25 anniversary of Look magazine.

The date was November 17 and as Kirkland recounts in his book, With Marilyn, An Evening/1961 (Glitterati Incorporated), “My greatest difficulty during that meeting was telling Marilyn exactly how I wanted to photographer her. As I’d looked into her eyes, which seemed especially warm and virginal to me that evening, I felt as though my two older colleagues were sitting there in judgment, like two ancient schoolmasters, as I tried to gently seduce her into doing the picture I had envisioned, I felt conflicted: one part, the masculine, photographer side, just wanted to say, ‘You’ll get into this bed we’ll have, with nothing on, and we’ll figure it out from there. Period!’

“However, the Sunday School-side of my background wouldn’t let the words come out. Marilyn, with her sweet intuitiveness, made it easy. She simply said, ‘Okay I know exactly what we need. We need a bed with white silk sheets and nothing else, and it will work. But,’ she added, ‘the sheets must be silk.’ She had done the biggest part of my job for me: understood my ideas and articulated them better than I had been able to—bless her.”

In Kirkland’s photographs from this historic sitting, there is an energy, a spirit flowing through the ether, captured forever in these images, a force that floats through our fingers as we page through the book, which is page after page of Marilyn wearing nothing but Chanel No. 5 in bed. It is quite literally exquisite.

Read the full story at THE CLICK.

every heart is my temple

August 4, 2014

Purple tulips, white flowering prunus, narcissus and pink chrysanthemum" 19th Century (detail). Pancrace Bessa (1772 – after 1836)

Purple tulips, white flowering prunus, narcissus and pink chrysanthemum” 19th Century (detail). Pancrace Bessa (1772 – after 1836)

Catwoman by Gilles Vranckx

Catwoman by Gilles Vranckx

Homesickness, 1940 ~ Rene Magritte

Homesickness, 1940 ~ Rene Magritte

The real beloved is your beginning and your end.
When you find that one,
you’ll no longer expect anything else.
~Rumi

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On this, the 25th anniversary of photograph magazine (originally Photography In New York), The Click sat down with publisher Bill Mindlin to speak about the little magazine that could — and did — become a national treasure, the only publication of its ilk. The magazine, which features columns by Lyle Rexer, Vince Aletti, Jean Dykstra, Elisabeth Biondi, and Sarah Schmerler, among others, has become a mainstay among photography aficionados.

Says columnist Vince Aletti, “Bill is at once easy-going and focused, with a strong vision for photograph that he’s honed and grown successfully over the years. I’m glad to have been one of the early contributors and happy to still be there among a larger group of writers and a substantially beefed-up section of reviews and features. What began as essentially a listings magazine has turned into something much more essential and lively. I’m always impressed by the design and efficiency of the magazine and happy to be associated with it.”

Mindlin’s path to publisher is as eclectic as his magazine. A native of San Francisco circa the summer of love, he grew up in a working class neighborhood, went to UC Berkeley during the people’s park years and then to Colombia for grad school in industrial social welfare. “After working at one of New York’s unions for ten years, it was time for a change. So I went to Europe and ended up in Israel where I enrolled in a photography program in Jerusalem.” Quickly realizing that he has the interest, but not the talent, Mr. Mindlin began exploring the medium more in depth, studying the lives and work of photographers and learning the history of photography.

“When I came back to the U.S. in 1986, I starting working at the Marcuse Pfeifer Gallery in Soho. Cusie was a pioneer contemporary photography dealer in the 1970s and 80s — way ahead of the times. I also briefly worked at A Photographer’s Place, a wonderful bookstore that specialized in photography.”

Mindlin got the idea for a guide while working at the gallery. “Visitors would always ask me where are the other photography shows, so I created a mimeographed list of suggested shows that I passed out. That was the genesis.”

Read the full story at THE CLICK.

Gitta Seiler

Gitta Seiler

On the cover of Gitta Seiler’s About Girls (Kehrer Verlag) is a beautiful teenager carefully applying mascara to her lashes as she gazes in a compact. Her skin glows with the porcelain finish that youth possesses in droves, and she reclines comfortably as she makes herself beautiful. This image, one of pure repose, is soon revealed in a chapter headed by a single word: Aborted.

It is in this chapter that Seiler visits an abortion clinic for underage women, taking casually composed photographs that belie the pathos of the moment. There is something horrific about these images in that they are understated glimpses into a moment the turning point in many a girl’s life. We may debate the idea that pregnancy is ever unplanned, we may consider that every boy and girl knows the consequences for their actions and are tempting Fate for reasons we cannot understand, but we can consider this: once conception occurs, all preconceived notions are meaningless in the face of this decision. Life or death is controlled for the first time by women, very young women.

Seiler writes, “…I wait with mothers at bed who comfort, and concerned father. I wait for girlfriends who accompany their girlfriends. I wait for a very small ray of happiness. And there: The only boy on the bench serves the hopes of all. There are still people like this, if you’re lucky, people who stay, people who come with you, people who are there. I am stuck in the girl’s soul and I weep. I wipe away my tears and look in them mirror. Like the laughing girl in the mirror who says: it’s over, it’s better than yesterday, things will go on, things will happen. It is a passing misfortune.”

But is it?

Seiler’s photographs are distinctly unsentimental, quiet yet emotionally charged challenges to our assumptions about and understanding of girls. This challenge is issued to both men and women, for in looking at her photographs I find myself reconsidering everything.

Jailed is the single word of another chapter. Seiler takes what has become a fetish and shows us the dirty underbelly; reform school girls are not sexy. Skin is littered with self-inflicted cuts, with self-made tattoos, ad aged by stress. Does it matter what they did to get here, or should we consider who failed them first and led them to act out crimes as a way to release their pain?

There is something taboo about females committing crimes, if only because most shut down and quietly punish themselves. But here we see the girls whose aggression is so extreme, they decided to punish society instead. Like the girls in the abortion clinic, we can never know what lurks deep within their heart, what remorse they may feel (if any) for betraying themselves in this way.

Prison is a lonely place, a place where one is not just locked away from the world, but locked within themselves, forced to deal with or avoid the real issue. That recidivism is high is understandable; nothing about this space creates a feeling of trust, respect, or human potential.

Unwanted is a terror, a living nightmare. It is the story of some girls who did not have the abortion. It begs the question that we can never know; is it better to take a life or to bring it into this world under these conditions? I would hazard to say, there is no answer to this question, for no matter how you try to slice it, abortion is a horrific act. But so to is bringing a child into this world that you deeply resent.

And yet it is all too common for people to just this, not stopping to consider that not one person on this earth ever asked to be born. How it has come to pass that sex has become a thing that we so easily disrespect, so much so that lives can be destroyed by one of Nature’s greatest gifts is evidenced in Seiler’s photographs. There is no love; there is resentment and disgust, there is despair and despondency, there is a much bigger problem waiting to grow up and act out these emotions, emotions passed from by a dark spirit across generations.

Lastly, there is Ran Away, the first chapter of the book. Maybe these girls were unwanted, unloved once. Like all of Seiler’s photographs, it is impossible to know what has brought these girls to this point, what it takes to break them down into nothing but crumbs. About Girls is one of the most powerful and provocative portrait of girls that I have ever seen, taking on some of the darkest aspects of humanity without offering reprieve. But more than that it offers no answers at all but it offers a question mark, a call to rethink what we know.

First Published 28 October 2011
Le Journal de la Photographie

Gitta Seiler

Gitta Seiler

Townhouse: Faux Real

July 30, 2014

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On a quiet little street in Clinton Hill sits Guild Greene, located in the original 1890s headquarters and laboratory for Bristol Myers. This century, the building has been reimagined as a gallery, tucked gently into the local scenery, the kind of gem you casually come across in Brooklyn more often than not. This summer Guild Greene hosts “Faux Real,” a salon exhibition of art, objects, and furniture from the mid-twentieth century, up now through September 6.

The collection includes works by Jud Nelson, Kamilla Talbot Piaget Studios, Kathy Urbina, Le Corbusier, Knoll, Milo Baughman, Pierre Jeanneret, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Aldo Tura, Fornascetti, Edward Wormley. “Faux Real” is curated by Townhouse, a local business that supplies furniture and decorative art to architects, interior designers, and collectors.

Design team Marla Dekker and Kevork Babian are the proprietors of Townhouse. They could be called “mid-century moderns”: born in the 1950s, they were educated by modernist masters during the 1970s. They spoke with me about their vision of art in the modern age.

Please talk about the idea of “Faux Real”. How does this illustrate mid century ideals of art, décor, and home design ? How do you think this aesthetic speaks to us today?

We decided on calling the exhibit “Faux Real” after realizing how many pieces from the 1950’s through the 1980s have a surreal design. The mid century artists featured in Faux Real use faux bamboo or faux bois surfaces to not only mimic nature, but even everyday objects.

Jud Nelson represents the epitome of faux real. Jud Nelson is a contemporary of artist and friend of Chuck Close. Nelson’s work looks at everyday objects and elevates them to the level of portraiture with his hyper-realist sculpture. His “Portaits” are life-size sculptures carved from stone. Nelson challenges the viewer to examine everyday objects. His cool, minimalist presentation, exquisite attention to detail, and deadpan humor has art critics simultaneously comparing Nelson to Chuck Close, Michelangelo and Sol Lewitt.

The Block Buster Series (Bear), 1980, is from Nelson’s later exploration of colossal blow-ups of animal crackers. Conceived as a project for the UN’s Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza with Linda Macklowe, the curator of the sculpture garden, a number of animal crackers were sculpted as maquettes for full-size sand-cast bronzes.

In addition to Nelson’s sculptures, townhouse.bz and Nelson have collaborated to offer Portrait of Wonder Bread 1, 2 and 3. Limited edition prints of photographs of Nelson’s Carrara statuario marble sculptures HOLOS/Series 7, 1977.  Coolly elegant and minimalist with deep, matte blacks and greys on premium, matte paper, the prints feature the breathtaking detail of Nelson’s sculptures. The Portrait of Wonder Bread series is a juxtaposition of the dispassionate study of bread with the imprint of the artist’s hand on each piece of bread.

We believe that although mid century designers were aiming for a streamlined form follows function aestethic, they were also looking to create for eye catching designs that not only incorporate functional design but also start a conversation.

Mid century designers such as Edward Wormley used Regency influences in the design of console tables that use a giant wood clam shell as a support. Others like Grandjean-Jourdan used trompe l’oeil surface decoration the make everyday objects such as ceramic pitchers appear like wood. Another designer, Bernhard Rhone acid etched brass panels on the sides of a large coffee table that create the look of a science fiction inspired landscape.

I love the list of artists featured in the collection. Le Corbusier ! Get out of town. This is too good. How did you select the artists and the pieces for the salon?

Most of the pieces in “Faux Real” fall within the theme of faux real, vintage and with a secondary nod to summer. The majority of the pieces are mid-century modern with references to classicism. And of course, our sense of aesthetics is paramount in the selection of all pieces.

Our interests are in the historical periods, provenance and visual relationships/juxtapositions and conversations that are inspired by our eclectic salon collection.

Please talk about the larger collection from which these pieces spring. Who is Townhouse and what does it offer?

Townhouse.bz offers exceptional art and mid-century modern furniture and objects. Our clients are designers, architects and astute collectors. We collaborate with artists to offer unique collections.

Please talk about Guild Greene Gallery. What is it like to have a street level event after all these years in the neighborhood?

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to present Faux Real in Guild Greene’s space. It is wonderful to go past the confines of a web site and to show in an actual space.

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Debra Shriver, a 12th generation Southerner, Francophile, passionate preservationist and jazz devotee, is the author of two books on New Orleans: Stealing Magnolias: Tales from a New Orleans Courtyard (Glitterati Incorporated) and In the Spirit of New Orleans (Assouline). Although she is an inveterate New Yorker, living and working as a media executive here in the city, her heart belongs to New Orleans.

Shriver recalls, “Creating both books was a labor of love. Each was written in less than a year. I’d been collecting clips, photography, and books on New Orleans for years. I have always been a student of the city. Both volumes are a great mix of old and new, of vintage, historical, and contemporary street scenes, portraits, landscapes and still lifes.

The first book, Stealing Magnolias, was a very personal book. “There were many intimate vignettes taken throughout the house, like a café au lait served in the morning or a beautiful banana truffle adapted from a recipe I remembered as a child.

“New Orleans feeds all the senses,” Shriver said. “For me, ‘chic’ is another word for beauty. It could be the scent of a perfume, or a bottle of wine just poured, or the color of flowers on the table, or a person walking down the street with a bigger-than-life attitude.

“I opened Stealing Magnolias with a beautiful quote by Roald Dahl: ‘And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’’

Read the full story at THE CHIC.

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It’s not about the words.
It’s about the memories lost inside the words.
~Virginia Woolf

Photograph: REVS / Photo © Jaime Rojo/BrooklynStreetArt.com

Photograph: REVS / Photo © Jaime Rojo/BrooklynStreetArt.com

Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo are Brooklyn Street Art (BSA), one of the most successful and influential websites dedicated to the underground ART scene that has taken the world by storm. Since 2008, BSA has been documenting the creative energies that take root and flourish in the street, like an insistent flower spouting through slabs of concrete.

Street Art is public art, usually unsanctioned work, which is executed outside of traditional art venues. Because much of it is posted illegally, it exists as a conversation between artist and audience independent of traditional realms for making, selling, and displaying art. With Street Art, there is no product. There is simply the idea made visual and expressed in physical form for all the world to observe.

Today, artists who choose the streets as their gallery are sharing their work in every corner of the globe, which makes BSA one of the most important hubs in the publishing world. BSA documents the trends in Street Art, covering the new hybrids, new techniques, and new mediums as they continue to expand our understanding of public art, speaking at length with The Click about the way in which photography and publishing preserve what is amongst the most ephemeral of all the arts.

Mr. Harrington and Mr. Rojo recall, “BSA started as an abbreviation for our first book Brooklyn Street Art (Prestel/Random House) and a way for people to quickly refer to us. The site initially was a simply page to give people an online location to learn more about the book with additional information about the scene on the street. We didn’t have any idea that it would grow into a clearinghouse for a global scene—in fact our first month we got 53 visits.”

Read the Full Story at THE CLICK.

let me fly with youu

July 24, 2014

#881 黃鴝蝶幻 (by John&Fish)

#881 黃鴝蝶幻 (by John&Fish)

The Souls are dancing,
overcome with Ecstasy.
~Rumi

Claw Money

Claw Money

Cey adams

Cey adams

Morning Breath

Morning Breath

JESTER

JESTER

Props to Juliet Silva Lee for the Pop-Up Art Event Artist Salon Series latest throwdown:
Janette Beckman Hip Hop Mash Up 2014
featuring some of the flyest cats on the scene including:

Alice Mizachi | Beastie Boys
Cey Adams | Keith Haring
CHINO BYI | Stetsasonic
Claw Money | Salt & Pepa
Eric Adams | Flava Flav
FAUST | Afrika Bambaataa
JESTER | EPMD
Morning Breath | Slick Rick
DR. REVOLT | Ultramagnetic MCs
SHARP | GrandMixer DST & Donald D
SP.ONE | Big Daddy Kane
T KID | Fab 5 Freddy
TRIKE1 | Dr. Dre

~*~

 

Photograph by Guzman

Photograph by Guzman

“We thrive on confusion, on not being pinned down. You should not have to be the same person you were five minutes ago,” Connie Hanson says, sharing of a point of view that has endowed Guzman with a wit and a joie de vivre. Guzman itself embodies the Dada charm of the absurd, as the husband/wife team of Russell Peacock and Ms. Hanson let it be known that Guzman had a back story. He was a fifty-five year old Czech man with a grey Mercedes. Guzman had also lived in various hotels throughout Paris. And perhaps this is because Guzman is a spirit that inhabits the space between the photographer, the subject, and the stage.

Shoots will have unlikely things, like bouquets of bok choy. Or they will unfold as happenings, a way of art and life that was of a place and a time that defined New York as a bohemia and into this personalities appear. It is just this ability to create alternate universes that makes a Guzman photograph a complete affair. Whether constructing suits of various checked patterns to be born alongside Louis Vuitton accessories (because the brand did not yet have apparel lines), Guzman came along with a complete vision of how Vuitton appears in our lives. It is in this same way that they fully inhabit fashion as a way of life that Geoffrey Beene collaborated with Guzman throughout his career.

The quintessential outsider, Mr. Beene had his own way of doing things. He created Summer/Winter, just because he could. He broke every rule and created another in its place, and in his indomitable way, he was decades ahead of the curve. It was this vision of design that Mr. Beene brought to Guzman, and together they created a series of images that blur the boundaries, as we see not only a dress and a design, but the very idea of the way in which fashion can make us feel. It appears as architecture for the body. It lays between us and the world itself, and it is this which appears as the metaphor dancing across the photograph. It is both object and idea at the same time, and in this space Guzman plays with dark and light, with a blur of boundaries and the transformation of space, as the garment slips from three dimensions into two, and what remains is a beautifully selected collection of images that take us back into time to the glamorous life that New Yorkers do so well.

Guzman shares stories of Geoffrey Beene with THE CHIC.

time gives good advice

July 21, 2014

Henri Roussea), Une rue du village, 1909-1910

Henri Roussea), Une rue du village, 1909-1910

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Nobuyoshi Araki, Flowers, 1997

Nobuyoshi Araki, Flowers, 1997

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Make me Sweet again,
Fragrant and fresh and wild,
and Thankful for any small event.
~Rumi

the color of purity

July 19, 2014

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The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes,
but in liking what one does.
~J.M. Barrie

Juergen Teller: The Face, 1989

Juergen Teller: The Face, 1989

For the past three decades, Ziggi Golding has set the bar for a standard of originality and creativity in the fine art and commercial photography worlds. She is devoted to cultivating talent and style within her roster of artists. As she notes, “I’m an enabler. I like to help people develop and realize their dreams.”

Since first becoming an agent in 1983, Ms. Golding has developed the careers of many of the top talents in the art, photographic, fashion, film, and music industries today. She sits down with The Click to discuss a life in photography.

Ms. Golding remembers, “Growing up in Jamaica, my mom always had a Roliflex. It was the one you looked down in. It was unusual then. It’s interesting that photography wasn’t my love. It was painting and drawing, art in its trues form. But I got interested in photography when I fell int modelling at the end of the 70s.

“As a job, I didn’t find modeling that interesting. I was more into the process of photography itself. After about six years in the industry, I started my own agency, the Z Agency. I wanted to protect models, as they were young and put in compromising positions. I also thought modeling was what you do when you didn’t know what to do with your life.

“I chose interesting people with a good look, amazingly talented people, and I started representing photographers early on like Andrew McPherson, and Geoff Stern, who had made the film, ‘Underground.’ It was part of my role to make things happen on a bigger level. For the ‘Underground’ I helped make a deal with Palace Pictures and Collin Callender, who went on to be the President of HBO Films. I made an early point of generating original work, in addition to booking people.

“With i-D and The Face, all through the 80s, two thirds of the content was connected with Z Agency, whether it was the photographers, models, stylists, make-up or hair. However I was not fulfilled by the modeling side of the industry. I was more interested in being the master of the project.”

Read the full story at THE CLICK.

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