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Wanda Ewing is an artist from Omaha who I met this past summer, at a lecture about her work. This month, I interviewed Wanda. We talked about race, body image, feminism, art history, and end with an inquiry into the fundamentalist politics of gender: the conservative outrage behind David Wojnarowicz’s Fire in My Belly being pulled from a museum show, would it be the same if it were a video of the Virgin Mary’s body covered in ants?
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I like interpretations of this painting.
Particularly memorable: A stunning large drawing had just been returned to Michael’s studio from a gallery—a drawing so big it had to be done in parts. A drawing so big it could only fit on the floor. To enter into Michael’s studio, he had to lay out some heavy cardboard (over the drawing) for us to step on. But we managed nicely!
Great concept for an pictorial of exquisitely fashionable earrings.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
–– Charles R. Swindoll
Is this really enough of an equation to encapsulate an improved approach to the events, big and small, in our lives? This 10/90 rule focuses on reaction; 90% reaction to a 10% action.
But what happens between action and reaction?
That’s the important part. There’s no room in this analogy for that which converts the perception of those 10% into 90% reaction. The equation needs to include this critical stage, the conversion process. So now we have: Life is 10% what happens in the world, x% of how you perceive it and x% of how you react to it. However, now that we have an action and a perception of this action, we’re no longer merely reacting. We’re building an intelligent response to the initial action. That’s much more valuable than reacting. So, my final equation is:
“Life is 10% what happens in the world, 50% of how you perceive it and 40% proactive effort.”
There. Isn’t that better? Doesn’t that make more sense? It does to me! And yes, you can quote me on that. (Should I be so lucky…)
Can’t believe it’s closing – they had the best selection of large-format art books out of all their locations. Nestled between three major art schools, this location was definitely their best one. Wonder what will pop up there next…there’s already an Olive Garden a few blocks away, and a Home Depot. Whole Foods Chelsea?
“The space that used to be the punk bar CBGB, at 315 Bowery, will soon become a John Varvatos boutique. Next door, the former CB’s Gallery at 313 Bowery is also getting a high-end makeover: the Morrison Hotel Gallery, which sells fine-art prints of classic rock photographs, will open a location in that space on March 27, with a plan to preserve some of the original, grungy GBGB décor, including bathroom graffiti and fliers that had been buried in an inner wall. The work of Steve Joester, who chronicled 1970s British punks, will be the first exhibition. In April the gallery will open a show devoted to Bob Gruen, the New York photographer who captured much of the first generation at CBGB. June will bring “The Art of Motorcycles.” Morrison Hotel, founded in 2001, will maintain its gallery in SoHo as well as locations in Los Angeles and La Jolla, Calif.“
Is this surprising?
Besides Iggy Pop, Slash, Ryan Adams and Alice Cooper have all appeared in J Varvatos adverts. Converse also carries a line of sneakers designed by J Varvatos.
“It is very tricky now to really, honestly call yourself a photographer because a lot of what I do doesn’t adhere to the rules of photography. For example, with the introduction of digital technology and the more frequent use of that in the creation of the image, you are really not following the rules of photography any more. A lot of what I do doesn’t always pass through a camera. I am certainly not upset about that. I find that photography seems to be going pretty much nowhere. I’m quite happy to see it’s demise – not out of any nastiness but out of a sense that the medium that’s arising from it, that’s becoming the new medium, is much more exciting than photography. I think photography has been wrestling with a burden of telling the truth, which I don’t think it was ever particularly good at.”
– Nick Knight
Mr. Knight, I actually believe that the truth is not a burden, and that some photographers have rendered their truths an honesty and courage that have brought lucidity into the lives of others on a personal and/or collective level. I believe too much in the power of documentary voices to agree that truth is a burden in Photography. Truth is truth, as experienced by individuals on a global (humanity) or local (self) level.
What I think Photography has wrestled with is the myriad of expectations surrounding the medium. The ubiquity of the medium makes it increasingly difficult to take the medium at face-value, without expectations based on what has been termed perfection, proper, or truth. Optically, the eye sees and the mind fills in the blanks. Perceptions and the obstacles planted by expectation are the burdens of any medium.
Truth is like nature. Nature is not something that happens outside, glowing in the sunshine or glossed with rain. Nature is a part of us as humanity, inside.
We are nature, although we each have our very own nature.
We are truth, and we each have our very own truths to tell.
To say that Truth is a burden to Photography, is like saying Nature is a burden to Humanity.
There are no burdens. Only perceptions.
La Fragola (muddled strawberries, prosecco, gin, mint)
The veil of surrealism (aka:jetlag) was lifted when I almost paid for my dry cleaning in NY (by thinking numerically) with yuan and patacas…
My trip to Macau, and subsequently Guangzhou and Hong Kong, was fantastic! I met amazing people, extremely talented artists. I shot as much film in 10 days in Macau & HK than I did in the 3 weeks I spent in Lisbon last December.
The inimitable Howie Solo at the closing party of Ken Hiratsuka sculpture gallery on 11th Street.
Incredible Triplets of Belleville flashback!
I think I’ve identified them all! Special thanks to B. Lautz!
Two favourite scandalous combinations: Both the Courbet and Manet caused a stir with their styles, both influenced by Photography. While the Courbet was a specific commission for the private male gaze, the Manet was a defiant public declaration. Not suprisingly, Kate Moss in a suit, surrounded by two naked models would probably cause a bit of a stir, even today. A woman, in a dominant (well, assertive, really!) role with two nude male nymphs? Outdoors, at a picnic? Both the original painting and Sorrenti’s photograph present relevant interpretations of social taboo.
In Mario Sorrenti’s homage to Courbet, the female embrace of the effeminate probably passes unnoticed, but I believe it is there. I could go on, indefinitely…
Photographs by Michael Sanders, for The Face magazine in 1997, styled by Paul Frecker. This is a fantastic editorial featuring one image directly referencing Leonardo Da Vinci’s Lady with Ermine (left), and another image of Madonna and Child (below, right). The title of this editorial was “Kick the Habit”, as in the monastic garment. Very innovative for its time.
Catarina de Bragança, in a 1662-1672 miniature by Samuel Cooper, and painting by Dirck Stoop, from around the same time frame: the monarch after which the borough of Queens is thought to be named after, in New York City. Not all agree on this matter, but one fact is clear: she was the wife of Charles II, who in 1683 was the legal owner Brooklyn and Queens. According to wikipedia, “her large dowry brought the port cities of Tangier and Bombay to British control.” She is also believed to have introduced the custom of tea-drinking to England, a custom Portugal adopted from contacts with Asia in the previous century.