June 30, 2012

Bad Art Night

My good friend Iris and I hit Chelsea Thursday night aiming to attend at least ten openings in a few hours. We were prepared, we had the list, we were determined. Both of us realize that art openings are a true crap shoot. Finding "good art" is like finding a needle in a haystack. Tonight we found no needle. Just a bunch of crap. I wrote "seriously?" til my hand cramped. From an art standpoint the night was total bust. You win some, you lose some. We had fun anyway... Lots of snickering, eye rolling and a few good chuckles. 

Wow...a piece of twisted metal nailed to the wall....Deep.

Three painted sheets tacked to the wall.... Deep.

Trained dog at show called "Dogma". Lying there on a rug, occasionally looking up at his owner/trainer for a treat for his artistic posing... The dog was the art. Total bullshit.

At least this "piece" was humorous. Cactus with erection.

Another piece of pottery that looks like it was made by a retarded 4 year old. Bullshit.

Vase, plastic branches, meat for leaves. Perhaps it was salmon? Prosciutto? Whatever it was, it was stupid.

June 28, 2012

The Minds of Some...

I think it's fascinating how some minds work. Who would think to take something as simple as a wet paint sign, switch the words and toss out the "P"? Brilliant.

Odd sculpture on Lafayette Street. Complete with tiny clear drips of water and fine individual hairs. Such extraordinary detail. 

Each time I walk into a gallery and see something so shitty on the walls I think to myself one of two words: "Really?" or "Seriously?"  Now I just write them on the guest notepad... So f*#king stupid.

June 26, 2012

Bronx Sunset

Tonight a thunderstorm passed over Inwood and I had a hunch the light was going to be nice so I hopped on the #1 train headed up to the Bronx. As I looked out the window I could see the clouds starting to glow. I hopped off at 235th Street and waited, snapping these images from the platform. No exaggerated Photoshop colors, only 1 stop under exposure. People who stepped off the following trains saw me aiming towards the sky, glanced up and were suddenly amazed at what was going on above them. 

I turned around to see the last of the sun on the buildings in the far Bronx. 

June 25, 2012

Facebook, Truly Amazing

Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t ask me if I have a Facebook account. I always roll my eyes and tell them that I don’t want 200 people from high school contacting me. But, the other day, out of curiosity, I got on FB through a friend's account and typed the name of someone who was very popular from my high school. Wow, the guy was obviously still popular, with almost 700 friends. Many of the names I remembered. So, I sat there for about 2 hours clicking through these friends, trying to put a memory to each face. I found it interesting to note (and numbingly boring to look at) that most people my age post photos of their kids graduating, their spouses, cruise ship vacations and stupid random remarks much like tweets saying, "I just bought some lawn chairs on sale at Costco." A good friend’s wife is addicted to FB, which she checks constantly, which he finds incredibly annoying. The stupid shit she finds interesting and humorous is baffling.

What I find MOST wonderful about FB is the ability to see what might easily have become your future. Had you taken a certain girl to the prom, she may have ended up being your wife. And, you can see all the girls (now women) whom you adored and lusted for but who never reciprocated those feelings. Frankly, what is most wonderful is that nearly all of them have gotten fat and unattractive. Those hot little nubile cheerleaders haven't been able to squeeze into their old uniforms in the past 25 years. What sweet revenge. Those smooth, beautiful, angelic faces are now bloated and tired with bags under their eyes as big as potato sacks. I found most of these "girls" unrecognizable. "Holy shit, that’s who? That can't be, no way." Evidently life in the suburbs, marriage and having kids has not been very kind to their physical appearance.

I had the biggest crush on a certain popular girl whom I truly adored. When I got my driver's license my friends and I would drive to a hill near her house, slow down to a crawl and watch her sunbathing on the roof in her little bikini (relax, we were 16). I would circle the block, over and over....She wouldn't give me the time of day. I wasn't that popular, or good looking enough and I didn't play sports. And now, voila'--She looks like Sally Struthers. I love that.

The guys are almost as bad. Most of the popular athletes are equally unrecognizable. Does living in the 'burbs, having a few kids and having a 9-to-5 job automatically mean you will turn into a fat, lazy slob, posting photos of you and your friends sitting in a fishing boat, sun burnt, wearing funny looking hats and holding a Corona? Evidently so, that's pretty much the extent of their photo libraries. The star football players who made me feel inferior as they strutted down the halls arm and arm with the hottest girls in the school are now all fat, bald, divorced, and nearly all share photos that include some type of beer in them. It’s incredible. FB is the greatest Internet thing I’ve ever discovered. These are the same guys who were lifeguards during the summer and would gloat about how much they could bench press. The “over 100 club”? Now most of them are in a different “over 100 club”. As in, a hundred lbs. over their target weight. Time, the great equalizer. Those fat bastards!

Two hours on FB is better than any TV show, any movie or any concert (a bit of an exaggeration but close!). I LOVE FACEBOOK!

Finally, I still won't be joining FB anytime soon. BUT, if I ever decide to, I'll drive out to the suburbs and "stage" a fishing trip. Rent or borrow a few kids and a fat middle-aged woman, hire someone with a bass boat and take them all out to a lake. Then I'll snap lots of photos with a crappy phone camera and post them on my new account.

Otherwise, just like in high school, I wouldn’t fit in with the popular crowd.

Thank you Facebook!!

June 24, 2012

Mermaids and Lunatics at Coney Island

Today was the annual Mermaid Day Parade at Coney Island. This is the first time I've gone in the past few years and today was perfect: high 80s, blue sky and chock full of lunatics. It was packed. I was there from 2:30pm until about 10:00pm. I walked a few miles, took a bunch of pictures, ate the best tacos I've ever had, drank a big cup of Killian's Red (my favorite) and enjoyed the freaks. A great day....

Happy, chunky hula-hooper...hoopist.

Grab 3 friends, pay 25 bucks each, get wrapped in a flimsy sack attached to a giant rubber band and slingshot youreselves into the air 80 feet over the crowd. No thanks.

Shark bait as seen from the pier.

Long shadow.

In the amusement area they have the same fortune teller as seen in the movie "Big". Momentarily tempted, I wanted to ask Zoltar to make me young again. Then I thought, wait, I feel young. I do young things and hang out with young people. I am young. So, if Zoltar granted my wish, my life wouldn't change all that much. 

Zoltar didn't get my dollar. 

June 23, 2012

Quaint and Desolate

A friend and I took the Ikea ferry out to check out Red Hook as a possible place to live. I've heard it's an "artsy" community but I had never made the trek out there. After stopping at Ikea and having really dry salmon for lunch, we headed out searching for the center of Red Hook. What we found was nothing, lots of nothing. It was like going to a tiny town in Maine. Sort of a nautical theme going on, buoys and nets, a crab house. A few bars, some old row houses, a number of warehouses, both abandoned and in use. Not much else. I spoke with a few of the locals who said they really enjoyed the solitude but one should really own a car. There's one bus, the B61, that has a semi-reliable schedule but other than that, no cabs, no subways. Though interesting, I won't be looking in Red Hook for a new apartment. I satisfied my curiosity. Quaint yes, but it's a barren wasteland, "artsy" or not. 

Commuters at the pier waiting for various ferries out of Manhattan.

Ancient warehouses?

One of Red Hook's artists in a very precarious position. As I watched him paint this big "red hook" on his garage door, I envisioned one of those flimsy ladders slipping out from under him, him falling on his ass, resulting  in a broken back or pelvis. Maybe a fractured hip. I couldn't watch...I had to walk away.

A beautiful sunset from the most desolate place in New York City, Red Hook.

June 22, 2012

The Heat Is On!

Today when the temperature hit around 95 degrees I decided to take a walk around my neighborhood assuming that at least a few fire hydrants would be uncapped. Inwood is notorious for this. It didn't take me long to find at least 5 hydrants blowing geysers into the street. manned by some kid with a juice can as a nozzle.

Trucks full of men working for the water and sewer department drove from hydrant to hydrant shutting them off. Within 10 minutes they were back on, dumping 1000 gallons a minute into the street (so claims the FDNY...seems like a lot).

Each time I would walk up and start shooting, a large group of kids would all quickly group together and ask to be photographed, thinking they would be in the paper or on the news.

Another group, another block.

Walking home a youngish Hispanic woman sitting in a lawn chair on the sidewalk noticed my cameras and asked me if I was a photographer. I told her that yes, I was indeed a photographer.  In broken English she told me that she had been taking classes at a nearby "modeling academy" located just up the street and would soon be getting her "modeling certificate". This certificate would allow her to work as a model according to her instructors. These classes teach you how to pose, how to walk the runway and cost $40 per course. She attends each Saturday from 5:30 to 7:30pm. I asked her how old and how tall she was. She replied.."I'm 25 and I'm 5 feet 5 inches tall". I smiled and said.."You know, most models are 5'9 or 5'10?". She didn't seem to care. She was sure that very soon she would be shooting music videos and doing magazine spreads. Again, as promised by the teachers from her "academy".  She was very friendly, flirtatious  and suggested we do a full on photo shoot.....at the beach no less. Then suddenly she jumped up and struck a pose, showing off what she's learned in school.  So confident and sure of herself.    Who could resist shooting America's next top Hispanic model?  I took 5 frames.

June 21, 2012

20/20 Shoot Outtakes

Outtakes from a recent 20/20 shoot I did.  A version of the above was the cover. I love shooting eye wear.

 Eerie feeling shooting this model... Like shooting my own twin. Looks just like me...amazing.

All photos shot in a pitch black basement pool hall. Thank God for powerful strobes, gels, a good assistant and extension cords. Very few outlets.

June 20, 2012

Sights Around Town

 In big block letters was written "POST NO BILLS". Staples left from "bills" that had disobeyed.

 Scowl in Soho.

"Cry for me  I don't care".  Feel the chill.

"Delivery driver wanted. Education unimportant."

Contemplating a leap. Soho

June 17, 2012

Met Roof

Friday night I went to the rooftop of the Met to meet friends for drinks. Sounded fun and interesting. The weather was perfect. Icy cold beer, great view, friends... It was very nice.

Giant sculpture by Thomas Saraceno on the roof that you could go inside and climb around in. Oddly, even though there's a written warning, many women go up in it wearing short skirts. It's glass, people look up. People giggle and point.

 My lovely friend Tatiana showed up a little after I did--a nice surprise.

 We left around 9:00 to have dinner.... A beautiful sunset over Central Park.

June 13, 2012

Look, Up in the Sky!

Giant photo of fingers meant to be viewed from the High Line. However, I was standing on the corner of 10th Ave. with a dolly full of equipment when I took this.

I was glancing up at these buildings and snapped a photo just as this jet was passing. Interesting timing. I still have this curiosity each time I see a plane in the sky wondering where it's going or where it's come from.

Odd flare in the sky the other day.