Friday, May 29, 2009

What a Drag

Last year Polaroid announced that they would stop making their instant film. A recent article in the New York Times describes the efforts of a group of Dutch scientists and an Austrian businessman to revive Polaroid instant film “to last for at least another decade." Lets hope so. Its a drag to think of all the great Polaroid pictures that will never be made. Below are just a few Polaroids, from the many of thousands, made by Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol, Self Portraits, 1980

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Brunswick

A few more from the city of New Brunswick, NJ.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hyatt, You'll Like It.

A few more pictures from my Memorial Day Weekend visit to New Brunswick, NJ.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"New Jersey and Me, Perfect Together"

This weekend I chose to memorialize the way my weekends used to be. Before my son got mixed up with little league baseball. His team was entered in a tournament and so off we went to mark summer's arrival with a visit to the land locked city of New Brunswick, New Jersey. No gardening, barbeques on the porch, or bat gazing. The weather was lovely though and while it may not have been what I would have imagined as an ideal introduction to summer everyone had fun. More tomorrow.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, May 25, 2009

Electronic Finger Painting

A cool video that shows, in time lapse animation, how the recent cover for the New Yorker was made using the Brushes application on an iPhone.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

From the Wiki: "Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action."

Frances Frith, Rajpoots, East Indian Soldiers, 1870

Gustave Le Gray, Soldier and Camel, 1866

Anonymous, French, Soldier, 1880-90

Civil War, Soldiers Reading a Letter

British Soldiers Dressing Wounds of a Colleague, World War One

Weegee, Soldiers Farewell, 1942

Robert Capa, Wounded Soldier Walking to Hospital, 1938

Anonymous, American Soldier and Gravestone, 1849 and 1865

From Google Earth, a small snippet from above of Arlington National Cemetery, 2009

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Helen Levitt Gives It To the Met

Helen Levitt, New york, 1972

Good news, for a change, from Media Bistro. "The Met recently established an endowment fund and promised gift of artwork in memory of Levitt, the great American street photographer who died on March 29 at the age of 95. The fund, created through a planned gift of the artist's sister-in-law, will support the Met's acquisition of photographs by Levitt and other mid-20th-century American photographers working in her tradition. Twelve of Levitt's photographs have also been promised as a gift to the museum, which already has 43 in its collection"

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The New York Times Launches "Lens"

Photograph by Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

There's been considerable chatter the last few days about the launch of the New York Time's new photography blog, titled....drum roll.... "Lens". Lens? Lame name. Really. The Gray Lady is spending considerable time and energy as of late to be more bloggy. They know where some of their lost eyes and dollars have migrated to and are trying to get further in the game. To this end they have also recently added a micro neighborhood blog focusing on two small communities in Brooklyn and New Jersey. The "Lens" blog delivers much of what you would expect from the NY Times. There are a great many repurposed "pretty" pictures of the poor and destitute mixed in with generic snaps of the Oval Office. Very "Family of Mannish" It's not that the work isn't good or that the photographers are unskilled. The site feels very traditional, dated, unsurprising, and for obvious reasons, weighted toward photojournalism. The pictures are okay in the hit or miss manner that many have come to expect from the New York Times. The blog strikes me as more of a failure of imagination than anything else.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Few Questions for Stephen Shore

I had a recent short chat with Stephen Shore. Like his photographs, his responses to my questions were sharp, direct and concise.
It's become the stuff of photography world legend that, at the age of 14, Shore presented and sold 3 of his photographs to Edward Steichen, then curator of the Department of Photography, at the Museum of Modern Art. At 17 Shore worked his way into Andy Warhols "Factory" and documented the people and goings on there. In 1971, at 24, Shore was the second living photographer to have a one person exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
He is widely regarded as one of the first photographers, along with William Eggleston and Joel Meyerowitz, to produce photographs in color that were highly regarded and exhibited by the art world establishment. His 1982 book, 'Uncommon Places', is considered a seminal work that built upon the foundation and focus of previous photographers, like Walker Evans and Minor White, while also exploring avenues of technique and subject matter that pointed towards a new direction forward.
Since 1982 Stephen has been the director of the photography department at Bard College. In addition to the work he is best known for he has, lately, spent considerable time and energy working in the commercial and editorial arena. You can see more of Stephen Shore's work at 303 Gallery and much of his "commercial" work at Bill Charles.

Stephen Shore, Self Portrait, New York, NY, 1976

ME: Was there one photograph or photographer who was instrumental in exciting/inciting you to start to make pictures?

Stephen Shore: "No. My interest began when I was six through doing darkroom work. Then I began taking pictures, but hadn't really looked at anyone's work. When I was 10, I received a copy of Evans' "American Photographs".

Walker Evans, Storefront, Greensboro, Alabama, 1936

Stephen Shore, U.S. Route 10, Post Falls, Idaho, 1974

Walker Evans, Cherokee Parts Store, Atlanta, Georgia, 1936

Stephen Shore, Church and 2nd Streets, Easton, Pennsylvania, 1974

ME: What contemporary photographers are you most interested in these days?

Stephen Shore: "Walid Raad"

Walid Raad, From the series We decided to let them say, "we are convinced," twice, 2002

Walid Raad, From the series We decided to let them say, "we are convinced," twice, 2002

ME: Who do you think is one of the most under examined or underrated photographers? Someone whose work should be seen more often and in more places?

Stephen Shore: "Michael Schmidt"

Michael Schmidt, Irgendwo, 2001-2004

ME: If photography ceased to exist and you had to choose a medium in which to express your self which medium would you choose?

Stephen Shore: "Garden design"

Stephen Shore, International Motel, Sacramento, Ca., 1973

Stephen Shore, Monet's Garden at Giverny, 1977

ME: Photography, in all it's genres, is more popular than ever. For decades it fought to be valued as highly as all the other creative mediums. More schools are offering it as a subject of study. More galleries and museums are exhibiting photographs and more individuals are pursuing photography as a vocation. Do you have any concern that photography is perhaps becoming a victim of its own success? That the stunning volume of pictures being produced and consumed in all contexts has somehow demeaned the value of the medium and individual images?

Stephen Shore: "No"

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monsters vs Aliens

We took the bus to go see Monsters vs Aliens this weekend. In 3D! The movie wasn't very good but the glasses and the 3D effects were impressive.



Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, May 15, 2009

Eggleston Speaks

A nice, short video of William Eggleston, and others, talking briefly about his work. I especially like the first bit that shows Eggleston making photographs. It well illustrates how ordinary and undramatic the act of making pictures really is. Particularly in comparison to the clips below of Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso who toss and stab paint about like demons hopped up on Red Bull. If you ran across Eggleston working away in a parking lot you would probably mistake him for a well dressed Insurance Claims Adjuster, quietly and dispassionately completing his mundane duties.

Jackson Pollock

Pablo Picasso

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Floptical Delusions

I'm sure, like me, you've received hundreds of pesty e-mails with these trippy optical illusions attached for your viewing pleasure. I won't go into detail about the characteristics of each illusion but prepare to have your mind expanded, your stomach nauseated and your time wasted!

Stumble Upon Toolbar