Monday, December 28, 2009

Lin Zhipeng, here's his website (a little too much skin and sex for me, but the fews gems have really awesome energy and humor)

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Wherever and whatever I read, I have to have a pencil, not a pen—preferably a stub of a pencil so I can get close to the words, underline well-turned sentences, brilliant or stupid ideas, interesting words and bits of information, and write short or elaborate comments in the margins, put question marks, check marks and other private notations next to paragraphs that only I—and sometimes not even I—can later decipher. I would love to see an anthology of comments and underlined passages by readers of history books in public libraries, who despite the strict prohibition of such activity could not help themselves and had to register their complaints about the author of the book or the direction in which humanity has been heading for the last few thousand years.

Witold Gombrowicz says somewhere in his diaries that we write not in the name of some higher purpose, but to assert our very existence. This is true not only of poets and novelists, I think, but also of anyone who feels moved to deface pristine pages of books. With that in mind, for someone like me, the attraction some people have for the Kindle and other electronic reading devices is unfathomable. I prefer my Plato dog-eared, my Philip Roth with coffee stains, and can’t wait to get my hands on that new volume of poetry by Sharon Olds I saw in a bookstore window late last night" -- Charles Simic NYR blog

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the alter of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams. " -- Yann Martel author's note, "Life of Pi"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mike Pisciteli via his blog, you won't fit it here

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Big Surf Sun City Arizona, 1980 -- David Hurn via Today's Pictures

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My friend, Stani here is her :: website

"Is That The Place?"

Monday, November 30, 2009

I got to work on a shoot today with Mary Ellen Mark. I came home and just spent an hour or so looking through the collection of work on her website. I didn't realize she has photographed so many of the very smart and talented people of our time. Really made me wonder what it would be like to have met all of those people.

"Reality is always extraordinary"

Recent photos from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Montage of clips of Richard Avedon on Charlie Rose

Monday, November 16, 2009

"I suspect it is for one's self-interest that one looks at one's surroundings and one's self. This search is personally born and is indeed my reason and motive for making photographs. The camera is not merely a reflecting pool and the photographs are not exactly the mirror, mirror on the wall that speaks with a twisted tongue. Witness is borne and puzzles comes together at the photographic moment which is very simple and complete. The mind-finger presses the release on the silly machine and it stops time and holds what its jaws can encompass and what the light will stain" Lee Friedlander via
the pura vida gallery

one of my favorite portraits by r.avedon

"Our connection to animals today is often developed through assimilation and appropriation; they are absorbed in our lives, yet we no longer know of their origin. Most people are cut off from the steps involved in their processing or acquisition, shielded from witnessing their death or decay. I am interested in moving within these contradictions, always wondering if the notion of sacred will survive alongside our evolution."

Colleen Plumb

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Asger Carlsen, also repped by Marge Casey


More Dan Winters,

Dan Winters

Ohh Dan Winters, how I love your pictures. Ran into a lot of his work on Friday, and it reminded me how I always get that warm fuzzy feeling when I look at his photos. At work we had a visit from his rep, Marge Casey + Associates, and saw his newest book at the Aperture Slideshow Potluck. I look at what he has done and wish it were my own.

:: Here :: is his website for further exploration.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Shoes
Charles Simic

Shoe, secret face of my inner life:
Two gaping toothless mouths,
To partly decomposed animal skins
Smelling of mice-nests.

My brother and sister who died at birth
Continuing their existence in you,
Guiding my life
Toward their incomprehensible innocence

What use are books to me
When in you it is possible to read
The Gospel of my life on earth
And still beyond, of things to come?

I want to proclaim the religion
I have devised for your perfect humility
And the strange church I am building
With you as the alter.

Ascetic and maternal, you endure:
Kin to oxen, to Saints, to condemned men,
With your mute patience, forming
The only true likeness of myself.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ann Woo

nyc based photographer, Ann Woo -- in the mood for these on a morning free from work.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Land escapes

I barley ever read the Fader, but the photography in the oct/nov issue out right now is epic and super beautiful. See :: sweeping landscapes from across the US. I think these got to me because I'm craving for an escape out of nyc/reality.

Also. . .

Justin Venon interviewed in this issue about moving back to his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Growing up in the Midwest, I think there is a lot of truth in what he says --- people tell me I am too apologetic ::

F: The Scandianavian influence has a lot to do with what people might call the Midwestern sensibility, a pragmatism and reserve that juxtaposes weirdly with the expressiveness or even romance in your singing.

J: Yeah, I think it's what gives Midwestern art its vibe. I think it's impossible for people from around here to express themselves dishonestly. That also mean they might not jump at the chance to express themselves everyday day to everyone they meet because they might not feel like burdening someone with really honest shit. That's where the reservation comes from I think. But it's rooted in kindness. My brother says sorry a lot. We're at McDonald's and he's saying sorry to everyone. I just notice it and Im' like, Why are you saying sorry? You didn't do anything wrong. But I think ti's about not leaving a mark or trying not to leave a mar. Trying not to take up too much of someone's time or space. It's inspiring. It's about loving each other and togetherness. At the end of the day, a little bit of it is about not sharing your own troubles. I guess that's why people drink beer here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It seems silly for me to include such a long quotation on my own blog -- but I found this inspiring and very interesting. Copied from Joerg Colberg's blog :: conscientiousness

"I keep coming back to the question what it actually is that I'm looking for in photography (and art), in part because people ask me - and usually, as the other day in a conversation with Anne-Celine Jaeger, I don't have a good (which here means snappy and simple) answer. Well, until I figured it out: What I really love is transformative photography (in part I owe this insight to Chris Anderson, with whom I had an email discussion). Transformative photography is photography that changes you as a person, that asks questions (instead of answering them). You're not the same person any longer after you've looked at it - and given the nature of this experience, it usually cannot be depleted (even though it might become weaker with time).

So this is the simple, short answer to the question what I'm looking for in photography. Of course, this doesn't mean that I only look for such photography - I like the occasional visual tickle just like everybody else.

There is an interesting consequence, which in part explains some of the things I said on this blog. For example, when I'm talking about how I prefer the message over the medium (and not the other way around), that's why. There is no transformative power in the medium itself (even though the visual impression created by some photographic processes - think daguerreotypes - can be stunning). Or when I complained about a lot of photojournalism I was complaining about photography that was confirming what everybody expects to see anyway (compare this similar criticism).

What might be most important about all of this is, I think, that looking for transformative work leaves me with an openness: I'm not looking to have what I like confirmed, but rather to discover something new (and that "discovering something new" must not be confused with the search for something new out of boredom or out of a desire to consume).

The experience of coming across a new body of transformative photography is exhilarating and indescribable."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cannot remember the photographer. Please let me know if this is yours.

Marco Vernaschi

Photojournalist Marco Vernaschi documents how Western consumer-driven drug trafficking has affected and ruined the once thriving Guinea-Bissau, a small country in Western African. Below is an excerpt from Vernaschi's interview with Lens Culture about the photos from his piece "West Africa's new Achiles' Heel" ... please check out his website for a better view of the photographs and more of his brave work.

Our concept of the world of drug trafficking is often based on cultural influences like movies... it's not something that most of us normally experience in day to day life. When I set out to research and document this story, I wanted my pictures to be both unexpected and real, straight and metaphoric. This photo essay is built up on fragments of nightmares where blood, murder, sex and drug addiction violently reveal real human misery. I think that the explicit and cinematic approach used for most of these images helps to open the back door of our mind — our imagination — where our fears meet the truth...."

"I also believe that if you want to tell about the madness and tragedy that surround the drug world you must in some way get your hands dirty: there is no way to dig into the mud and stay clean. So it was clear since the beginning that I needed to establish a strong connection with my characters. Developing this story meant that I had to live inside a real nightmare. The fear and tension stay with me, but I believe this is an important story to share with the world."

"Howl" Allen Ginsberg

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Eileen Myles

I am a serial reader. I'm always reading like five books at a time -- and, unfortunately, I eventually only finish two or three of them. Anyway, right now I'm working on this book by Eileen Myles called "The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art". The title is a little misleading -- most of it is not really about Iceland at all but more about living and working as a lyric poet. A lot of it is also art criticism. I am nerdy in the way I love the challenge of reading an essay on something very visual before I can look at it -- I love to see how well I am able to make sense of what is being described in my imagination alone. A lot of the book is also about gender politics/feminism and ideology -- so be forewarned if you have no interest in these subjects.

It's hard to give a general overview of the book, because it's really a mix of essays, speeches, poems, and just generally interesting ideas Eileen has to share -- there is an excerpt from an interview with Daniel Day Lewis (which is awesome) and words from a commencement speech she made in 1998 titled "Universal Cycle" .... which is just beautiful ...

"I hope you all find yourself sleeping with someone you love, maybe not all of the time, but a lot of the time. The touch of a foot in the night is sincere. I hope you like your work, I hope there’s mystery and poetry in your life—not even poems, but patterns. I hope you can see them. Often these patterns will wake you up, and you will know that you are alive, again and again."

I am a hopeless heterosexual -- I love men -- but reading the above and this book makes me appreciate the universality/simplicity of love and the shared poetry of our human experiences.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

2:30+ is really beautiful on a nice autumn evening.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More Goldblatt ... i am so into this photo. saw it at the MoMA about a month ago; saw it again tonight. just something about it ...

Very glad that I got over to see David Goldblatt's pictures at The New Museum in New York. I am still trying to work through them -- the photos are hard to understand unless you know a lot about the historical and cultural framework -- I will write a longer post later with more comments after I do more reading and thinking. But here's a little intro to his work ...

"In Goldblatt’s images we can see a universal sense of people’s aspirations, making do with their abnormal situation in as normal a way as possible. People go about their daily lives, trying to preserve a sense of decency amid terrible hardship. Goldblatt points out a connection between people (including himself) and the environment, and how the environment reflects the ideologies that built it. His photographs convey a sense of vulnerability as well as dignity."
--Joseph Gergel, Curatorial Fellow

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Human Stain

These are from photographer Will Steacy's project "The Human Stain" -- they are captures of found photos transformed by the flood waters in New Orleans. You can't really say Steacy is the author of these images, but instead, he is more of the collector. See the whole project on his website :: here ::

What interests me most about the project is how many people try to emulate this kind of warn aesthetic in post -- in the darkroom or with layering in photoshop -- but here, the manipulative process is natural, without any human hands interfering. It's so serendipitous and wonderful.

I found out about Steacy in this book from 2008 :: 25 Under 25: Up-and-coming American Photographers ::

Weegee and Love -- I Love Weegee

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Willy Ronis

French photographer Willy Ronis died yesterday. I did not know much about him, but I just checked out some archives. Here is a taste below. He definitely follows in the tradition of the old french masters but with a more contemporary humor. I like his work.

The French culture minister made a statement saying, "this immense narrator gave us a gift that will last forever"

He also has this cool series on skiing ... see them all :: here

Saturday, September 12, 2009

London 2007

Opening the high school photo vault

In high school, I had a semi-awkward obsession with taking pictures of my home city of Cleveland, Ohio. Those were the glory days when I spent my lunch breaks in the darkroom. One my friends was telling me recently how she thinks she learns about herself through photography, and I think that's what I was going through at that time all day long.

Anyway, I am actually impressed by these photos -- they really capture the dirty but also heroic tone that I love so much about the city.


Found this on my desktop. Sort of beautiful picture I had forgotten I took. Clothing designed by my dear friend, Jenny Bae.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

[[ "Ansel Adams talked often about pre-visualizing everything down to the last level of gray, when he was looking out and making all his calculations before he made the exposure. That has not been my experience. You do try to get as much as you can right there on the spot when you make the exposure, but there are a lot of surprises in photography. If you’re not interested in surprises you shouldn’t be a photographer. It’s one of the great enlivening blessings of the medium." ]] Robert Adams

thanks to the la pura vida gallery on tumbler

wish this was my life

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Anders Petersen

Swedish photographer, Anders Petersen, has been shooting nightlife, outcasts, and European counter-culture since the 1960s. In this incredible interview, Petersen talks about how he cannot separate photography from his daily life.

Petersen has a very complex and beautiful outlook on photography. He is complicated, smart, and internalizes the world to such an overwhelming intensity. Please take a few minutes to listen to this interview.

Here is a :: link :: to the audio interview on lensculture. Also, here is a :: link :: to his official website.

Andrej Balco

Andrej Balco lives and works in Pezinok, Slovakia, but shoots throughout Western Europe and the rest of the world. I first heard about him on lensculture in their press on awards he won for a series on domestic servants in Brazil.

His portfolio is very diverse. Some of his early work is multi-layered, rough and organic, in a Friedlander-esque style. Others, like the ones below, align more closely with a more polished up-to-date art-photography esthetic. I love this portrait series of illegal Ukranian migrant workers in Slovakia. The pixilation reminds me of TV stills... You can't see the images well on this page, so visit his website where you can view the whole series.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Peter Funch

Multi-layered panoramas by Peter Funch -- He also has a really nice website. Check it out :: here ::

Photo I took four or five months ago at greenlakes park outside of syracuse, ny.
did not used to be that into it. but looking at it again, it's kinda mysterious...

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