Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another Family

Lens Culture... Another Family - photographs and text by Irina Popova. "...They were living in a darkness, mixing day and night, behind the thick curtains, descending to the street only to ask for some money for the cheap alcohol (they already couldn’t buy any drugs). Their daughter was with them all the time and she was looking at all this with wide-open eyes, tried to touch and to taste everything. They fed her with expensive artificial milk, dragged her away from dangerous things, changed her diapers and said, 'Anfisa, stop. Anfisa, go to sleep!'" More... Works by Irina Popova at her personal site.

Crazy Horse

From Zipporah Films... Crazy Horse by Frederick Wiseman. "...Inside Paris’s Crazy Horse cabaret – the most famous nude dance show in the world. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman explores one of the most mythic and colorful places dedicated to women, the Crazy Horse – a legendary Parisian cabaret club, founded in 1951 by Alain Bernardin. Over the years it has become the Parisian nightlife ‘must’ for visitors, ranking alongside the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre." Also... Crazy Horse aka Désir at Film Forum in New York.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

China Blue

Lost Art... China Blue.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Joseph Sterling: 30 Years of Photographs

Joseph Sterling: 30 Years of Photographs at Charles A. Hartman Fine Art. "...This exhibition of more than 25 images reveals the artist's range and embraces both the famed series, The Age of Adolescence - a documentary masterwork exposing the life and milieu of the pre-Vietnam War era American teenager - and a variety of other imagery, including important photographs from the Pictus Twistus and Bird’s Eye View series."

The Boxer

Terayama Shuji... The Boxer (1977) at UbuWeb Film & Video. "...In mid-career, while he is on a winning streak, and in the middle of a fight he is winning, a young boxer is revolted by the violence of the game. He allows himself to be beaten up and quits the match and the sport. He also leaves his wife and child and lives alone with his moth-eaten old dog, all the while losing his sight. Years later, he is hunted down by a young man who is ambitious to become a prize-winning boxer. Persistence pays off, and he eventually persuades the ex-boxer to be his manager and trainer. The boy begins his rise to success, though he has a stormy relationship with his manager."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Weegee: Naked City

Weegee Weegee... Girl Wearing Hat Laughing in Movie Theater (ca. 1945, vintage gelatin silver print). From the exhibition Weegee: Naked City at Steven Kasher Gallery. "...The exhibition takes its cues from the title of Weegee's first book, Naked City, which became a bestseller, made Weegee famous, and transformed him from a journalist into an artist. It was a title with many implications. The city and its citizens exposed. The bare truth. A city that fills you with hungers, lusts, passions. A city ready to frolic. A city that makes you think bad thoughts." Also... Weegee: Murder Is My Business at the ICP and Naked Hollywood: Weegee In Los Angeles at MOCA.

Soto: Paris and Beyond, 1950–1970

Soto: Paris and Beyond, 1950–1970 at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University. "...A key figure of the Paris avant-garde in the 1950s and ’60s, Jesús Soto (1923–2005) is widely recognized for his groundbreaking innovations in color theory, serial composition, and movement in art. Less well-known is the wide range of styles and mediums that he explored early on. Drawing inspiration from optics and serial music, Soto employed repeating geometric forms and superimposed surfaces to convey a sense of physical displacement. In deconstructing the notion of stability, Soto radically transformed the relation between object and audience. Encouraging viewers to interact physically with his work, Soto engages them as active participants in the process of perception."

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Diane Arbus & August Sander

Diane Arbus & August Sander at Edwynn Houk Gallery. "...Exhibiting Diane Arbus’ photographs for the first time since 1982, Edwynn Houk Gallery premiers her work in Zurich by pairing a selection of rare, vintage prints of her oeuvre with the artist she credits as her greatest influence, August Sander. Arbus first encountered Sander’s work in the Swiss magazine DU in 1960. Although both photographers achieved widespread recognition only after their deaths, they are by now firmly positioned as seminal and canonical artists within the history of photography."

Steve McCurry: Watching and Waiting

Steve McCurry: Watching and Waiting at Soulcatcher Studio. "...'Most of my images are grounded in people. I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person's face. I try to convey what it is like to be that person, a person caught in a broader landscape, that you could call the human condition.'"

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Sun Ra: Brother from Another Planet

Sun Ra: Brother from Another Planet (2005) at UbuWeb Film & Video. Essential viewing. "...Punk film legend Don Letts presents the Sun Ra story in all its glory, combining powerful footage of Ra and his legendary Arkestra, interviews with band members shot at their famous group house in Philadelphia, and testimony from Archie Shepp, Amiri Baraka, John Sinclair and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore."

Kenosha's Lost Industries: Photographs and Corporate Materials, 1850s-1990s

Kenosha's Lost Industries: Photographs and Corporate Materials, 1850s-1990s. "...From the 1850s to the 1970s abundant water, a lake port, and railroad corridors crossing Kenosha and Kenosha County, Wisconsin impacted the growth of industry. Kenosha’s development was essentially connected to its strategic location on the western shore of Lake Michigan and in the urban corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago. Kenosha manufacturers gained access to cheap midwestern natural resources of iron, copper, wood, coal and water. These simple facts were the primary cause of Kenosha County’s industrialization. Larger markets were created as products reached more remote places."

Abandoned Yugoslavian Monuments

Abandoned Yugoslavian Monuments by Jan Kempenaers at The Coolist. "...While Yugoslavia has long since dissolved, abandoned monuments remain that recall the nation’s glory in the second world war. Photographer Jan Kempenaers has traveled throughout the Balkans to photograph these wild, strange structures that have lost much of their cultural relevance. In various states of disrepair, these monuments (some buildings, other sculptures) represent an era of modern and brutalist architecture that defined this time period in the socialist East. Today, they appear alien, odd and empty, stark reminders of a struggle long since forgotten by a nation that no longer exists."

Barbara Lynn - What'd I Say

Barbara Lynn - What'd I Say (Live, 1966, Flash Video 03:32). Whoa! Our new favorite old performer. Also... Barbara Lynn: Girl With Guitar at Cha Cha Charming Magazine. "...Self-accompanied on electric guitar, she possesses a style that is unique - raw, yet polished; emotional, yet calm; organic, yet sophisticated. As a live performer she is tireless, but her lifelong fear of flying has prevented her from accepting all but one offer to gig in Britain. At her sole live show in the UK, I was there to see Barbara Lynn."

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New Photographers

New Photographers at Danziger Projects. "...New Photographers presents five artists exhibiting in New York for the first time. The artists are not linked thematically or stylistically, but what they have in common is their distinctive approach to photography and the originality of their images. In this show, each body of work creates its own context.

In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945–1980

In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945–1980 at the Getty Center. "...This exhibition features photographs—made between 1945 and 1980—from the Museum's collection that represent diverse responses to the city of Los Angeles as a subject and to photography as a medium for documentary and creative expression. It is loosely grouped around the themes of experimental photography, vernacular architecture, car culture, and fantasy and the film industry."

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!