Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year

Here are some posts from 2011...

Mayetta, Kansas David Plowden... Mayetta, Kansas (1991). From Works by David Plowden at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. "...For five decades, the photographer David Plowden of Winnetka, Illinois, has documented America’s vanishing landscapes and artifacts, his stunning black and white photographs forming an image of life in 20th-century urban and rural America.
Since 1952, when he began to photograph steam locomotives, David Plowden has studied, documented, and commented upon the transformation of America. He has described himself as 'an archeologist with a camera' who has spent his life 'one step ahead of the wrecking ball.'
'I have been beset,' Plowden says, 'with a sense of urgency to record those parts of our heritage which seem to be receding as quickly as the view from the rear of a speeding train. I fear that we are eradicating the evidence of our past accomplishments so quickly that in time we may well lose the sense of who we are.'"

Lori Nix: The City at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, Il. "...Working in her home/studio, Nix combines cardboard, foam, glue and paint to construct small dioramas which she then photographs with an 8 x 10” camera. Often taking up to seven months to complete, these large scale photographs of everyday places – a laundromat, bar, library, aquarium – fall victim to decay, referencing the effects of man. Using humor as her anchor, Nix’s work challenges our perceptions of reality, as she reminds us of our responsibilities."

The Real Weegee (1993) at UbuWeb Film & Video. "...This video documents the career of Arthur Fellig, whose sensationalistic photographs helped to define tabloid and legitimate news photography. By the late '30s, Fellig was freelancing as a news photographer. Specializing in the overnight shift, he quickly earned a reputation for always being one of the first to arrive at a grisly news scene, first to snap a stark flash photo of what newsroom slang labeled 'roasts' (fire victims), 'dry divers' (people jumping off buildings), or 'bottom feeders' (victims of drowning). Going by the nickname of 'Weegee,' he became famous enough that Life magazine ran a profile on him in 1937. Fellig branched out, photographing New York nightlife and its entertainments. He gained notoriety with his experiments in manipulating photographs, creating, for example, a series of distorted heads of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Picasso, and John F. Kennedy. Over his long career, Fellig immortalized on film dozens of politicians, gangsters, and movie stars."

Billy Monk... The Balalaika, December 1969 (Silver gelatin print on fibre paper). From the exhibition Billy Monk: Nightclub Photographs at Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town. "...The unusual narrative of his life and work has often been related and embellished upon, and has become entwined with our perceptions of the images. In essence, he was born in 1937, and worked as a nightclub bouncer for Les Catacombs Club in Cape Town in the late 1960s when he was around 30 years of age. He later moved to the West Coast and lived in Port Nolloth periodically until his death in 1982.
Using a Pentax camera with 35mm focal-length lens, Billy Monk photographed the nightclub revellers and sold the prints to his subjects. His close and long friendships with many of the people in the images allowed him to photograph them with extraordinary intimacy in all their states of joy and sadness. His images of nightlife seem carefree and far away from the scars and segregation of apartheid that fractured this society in the daylight."

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood... Some Velvet Morning (1967, Reprise 0651 .mp3 audio 03:37).

Lens Culture... Wastelands - photographs by Dan Dubowitz. "...Dan Dubowitz loves to travel the world in search of abandoned, decaying buildings, which are usually gasping their last breath before being demolished to make way for something new — or merely rotting away. He finds beauty in many of these spaces, and he documents them lovingly with his medium-format camera." More... Works by Dan Dubowitz at his personal site.

Ralph Eugene Meatyard... Untitled (c. 1960, Vintage gelatin silver print). From an exhibition of Photographs by Ralph Eugene Meatyard at Gitterman Gallery in New York, NY. "...The core of this Ralph Eugene Meatyard exhibition comes from a private collection that represents the breadth and soul of Meatyard’s work. One part of the exhibition focuses on the figurative, while the other showcases the ways in which Meatyard explored beyond the traditional photographic perspective. A voracious reader, Meatyard was exceptionally curious about a range of subjects and created diverse bodies of work that he would return to throughout his life. Spirituality underlies his often haunting and complex imagery. His experience as an optician gave him knowledge about lenses and vision that informed his work as a photographer, as did his interest in philosophy, especially Zen. This exhibition includes work from several of his bodies of work, including Motion-Sound, Zen Twigs, Light on Water and Romances."

Revolutionary Film Posters: Aesthetic Experiments of Russian Constructivism, 1920-33 at Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York. "...Culled from the world’s largest collection of Russian Film Posters from the great era of Constructivism, the 95 examples of the medium on view represent a unique opportunity to survey how one of the most significant movements in the early 20th Century avant-garde informed a radical graphic style that has had a dramatic influence on the development of fine art and design over many subsequent generations. Most of the work shown, though originally produced in the hundreds, constitutes the only surviving examples, and few have ever been publicly exhibited before."

Jill Freedman: Street Cops 1978-1981 at Higher Pictures. "...Jill Freedman was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1939. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows and has had her work published in most of the leading newspapers and magazines. Freedman's work is in over fifteen major collections including The Museum of Modern Art, George Eastman House, International Center of Photography, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston."

Light of Modernity in Buenos Aries, 1929-1954 at Nailya Alexander Gallery in New York. "...Modern photography emerged in Argentina between the 1930s and the early 1950s with the arrival of European artists. After emigrating from Berlin in 1926, Annemarie Heinrich initially worked as an assistant photographer, and in 1930, opened her own studio in Buenos Aires. Her world was theater, entertainment, cinema, and culture. Honing a version of glamour portraiture, Heinrich experimented with fragmentation and multiple exposures (Caprices Anita Grim, 1938) as well as the metaphors and optical games of surrealist inheritance (Self-portrait with Children, 1947)."

The Bedwells... Karate b/w Karate Again (1963, Del-Fi 4230 .mp3 audio 02:23 and 02:20). From Probe is Turning-on the People!

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