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The Guerrilla Girls strike again! (See the post below and read the whole thing to find out what.
I was waiting for my father-in-law to have his Doctor’s visit at Lutheran Hospital in Sunset Park Brooklyn. So as usual I walked around the neighborhood. The sky had been threatening all day and now clouds of enormous proportions came together. I walked out on the Sanitation Department’s pier on a public street but past many no trespassing signs and got out to the chain link fence closing off the pier. Only had my iPhone — forgot to bring a real camera. Note to self — iPhone is great but sometimes you need a real one. I stuck to lens of the phone between the links and got a few decent shots. The sky deserved a better photographer and camera but I am happy with my results — considering.
I think my online friends Vladimir Brezina and Johna Till Johnson were out in the water heading from Manhattan to Coney Island the same day. They recorded some really great images from their kayaks — posted here in their wonderful blog — Wind Against Current.
Later that day there was a double rainbow back at my in-laws home in Gravesend —
It was a great day for photography and I’m glad I didn’t miss it entirely. Next time I hope to have both my iPhone and a real camera. Or at least an iPhone 4s upgrade!
To see these images in my online gallery please go here and look in the Brooklyn gallery.
I love to take photos in art museums (almost as much as I love to eat lunch in them!). The atmosphere, architecture, people, and of course the art provide a splendid background for photography.
Sometimes I find the art lovers augment to works of art in a thrilling way. They posture, gesture and stare in ways that is often subconsciously consistent and/or complimentary with the art. They extend it or comment silently on it or create a new piece simply by being there.
Here are some examples of my art museum photos (I’ll post more after a while):
The image above is simply a shot of the lobby in the Brooklyn Museum. It makes a great architectural image because it is a beautiful space.
This is one of my favorites from museums. I call it Phoning Motherwell — that’s Robert Motherwell’s Elegy to The Spanish Republic # 108 the art lovers are studying. In their intensity and body language they have created another work for my camera to collect.
The one above is less striking but the person has almost become another sculpture, a taller, more slender person in black would have worked as well or better. (If anyone knows the identity of the sculpture please let me know)
This has architectural elements but also attempts to capture some of the atmosphere — the spirit of the New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Did I succeed?
Lee Lozano was discovered by me at the MOMA last week. I was there with my daughter Maria and we wanted to see the huge de Kooning exhibit — which we did and enjoyed muchly.
And I was intrigued by this Lee Lozano piece — musings about form and content. Mathematical and Escher/Godel like it causes the brain to light up a bit. In case you can’t read it, here is what it says:
“I can’t be interested in form for form’s sake. Form is like mathematics: a model which might be applied to various sets of data. Form is seductive: form can be perfect.
But there’s no justification for form (in the experiments and investigations) unless its used to expose content which has meaning. The result of an experiment is the meaningful content.
Information is content. Content is fictional. Content is messy, like the universe its unfinished and furthermore it becomes obsolete so quickly when multiplied by time.
Form is reduplicable, content is not reduplicable.
Fiction has meaning but only in a given instant of time.”
Is form then the structure that we live in? We create messy, impermanent content information and it is fiction. Perhaps because it is impermanent? Fiction/content has meaning but briefly. Form is perhaps eternal.
Powerful, useful thoughts distilled into an 8 by 10 inch sheet of paper and hung in MOMA — I’m glad I saw it there on my visit with Maria.
I’ve been going through old magazines — Aperture, Doubletake, Leica Fotografie, and Provincetown Arts. I need to get rid of all but a few in a collection that spans over 20 years. Some of these magazines I hadn’t read until now others are more dog eared. But almost all are in great shape because I tend not to read but to skim them.
This morning I came across a time capsule of a gem of a magazine — Provincetown Arts 1990. This is an annual magazine founded and edited by Christopher Busa — he is still at it today according to the new web site. http://provincetownarts.org/beta/
One of my photographic heros is on the cover, Joel Meyerowitz. Joel is still very active and his career and work just seem to continue to grow. The interview and photos in the magazine are magic. The issue is not as slick as the more recent ones. The paper is more pulpy and I must admit I like it. It has more heft. More weight. Mostly in black and white, making the color page pop & surprise.
Joel looks so happy on the cover. Now he seems more intense — might just be the moment, pose or photographer, of course. Then again it might be that he has matured — see his advice at the end of this post — maybe he took it. I met Joel a little later than 1990 at the DNA gallery in Provncetown. He was showing some work there and we bought a very large piece that he had scanned from street work he did in the 1970’s then processed it in Photoshop — this was around 1995 — and tiled it printing the tiles to create and print something like 3 feet by 4 feet. He told me he had taken the time to master Photoshop — ahead of 90% of the photography world I believe.
The entire issue of Provincetown Arts is like a time capsule. Its great to read articles by John Grillo and Tony Vevers and to see ads for shows of their work back then. They are still active and John is in his later 80’s now I believe. We always go to see his work at the Cove Gallery in Wellfleet when we are on the Cape. Once we move there (we are planning to do that this year now that we are both retired) we will be able to go to openings at times when we are not on ‘vacation.’
See what I mean. Its nice and pulpy.
The back cover is an ad for the Cherry Stone Gallery. It closed except by appointment a few years ago. Sall Nerber was the owner and what a great person she is. Her gallery had local artists showing for the first time as well as – well – Robert Motherwell. In the 2006 issue of the magazine there is a tribute to Sally and the Cherry Stone and I think it was the next year that it closed.
Finally here is a quote from the interview with Joel. His advice is good:
After he says that taking a photo is easy —
‘you press a button’ — Joel is asked if that’s what he teaches his students. His answer:
“I tell them that if they learn to pay attention carefully enough and to be mindful of their own instincts, they might reveal something necessary to their own growth, and to their understanding if what the world’s signals are, for the world is full of signs. Photography is a demanding and difficult form, yet worthy and profound. It takes the endurance of a tough personality to stick with it. It takes time to see the evolution of one’s work. That is done through the discipline of doing it over long periods of time and believing that the work will teach you something about the medium., about yourself, and about life.”
Joel has lived up to his own words for the last 20 years and for at least 20 before that. He is a modern master and we are lucky to have still working hard and paying attention. And I am very glad to not have thrown this magazine out. Its a keeper!