October 22, 2012

Chuck Close & Gallery Night

Thursday night's gallery crawl started out at Graham Nash's opening at ACA gallery. Collages, pastels and photographs taken of David Crosby, Joni Mitchell, Phil Collins and others. A few self-portraits. Mr. Nash was there. Sadly, the work didn't knock my socks off. They served Vodka and cranberry, which is rare. I drank two on an empty stomach...not good. 

Second show was at the Pace gallery of artist Chuck Close's latest work. A lot of interesting people. Chuck was there, cruising around in his wheelchair, happy and engaging. Then again, he should be, he just sold a few million dollars worth of art.

I struck up a conversation with Paul Simon, no fan talk, we both play the same model guitar. He told me about a certain way he tunes his guitar called Nashville tuning. Nice conversation, up until a tall blonde started babbling about what a "huge fan" she was. Seems like a nice man. 

Crazy girl walking around showing off her naked painted body, seen here in front of the Paul Simon portrait. Though as much as she tried, hardly anyone noticed her. 

October 16, 2012

A Parasite, a Sunset and Jesus

Today as I walked south on Greene Street in Soho, a black Escalade suddenly stopped next to me in front of the lingerie store Kiki de Montparnasse. The actor Javier Bardem hopped out and bolted into the store. An employee quickly shut and locked the door and pulled the curtains. Within a minute a paparazzi photographer pulled up, jumped out of his car and stood next to the idling SUV, camera at the ready. Curious, I watched from across the street. A few minutes later the door opened and in a split second I heard the shutter clicking as Bardem bolted into the back of the Escalade.  Personally I think paparazzi photographers are the lowest form of life on the planet. Parasites feeding off the famous, hoping to get the million dollar shot. Making their living purely from invading people's privacy. I couldn't help but wonder how this "photo-stalker" knew where Bardem was so quickly and who must have tipped this guy off.

Jesus #1

Jesus #2

Jesus#3 (Is somebody trying to tell me something?)

Last bit of light, Upper West Side

Very, very last light

October 14, 2012

Bridal, I've Seen the Light!!

Usually if I hear the word "bridal," the hair on the back of my neck stands on end and I start to get a little nauseated. Especially when "photography" is used in the same sentence. BUT, today I was sent to shoot "bridal fashion" by my friends at Conde Nast. There's a HUGE bridal wear show going on throughout the city this week. After a few presentations earlier in the day, my last shoot was a fashion show in the Chelsea art district. I was assigned to shoot backstage beauty, arriving an hour before the show started and photograph the models getting their makeup, hair and nails done. Let me tell you, there are worse ways to spend a day. First things first, grab some hummus and veggies or some mozzarella and tomato salad. Follow that with a soft, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie and a piping hot cup of coffee.... Now, walk around and aim your camera at any one of 15 beautiful models. I'd do this gig for free. I've seen the light, I'm reformed--I LOVE shooting bridal. It's the best thing EVER!

The tough life of a model, pampered to death.

Hummus, mozzarella and tomato or macaroni salad anyone? A smoked turkey sandwich? A selection of various cheeses? A white chocolate and macadamia nut cookie?  A soft oatmeal raisin cookie? Why yes, I think I will...thanks.

And now for the "buzz-kill." I get on a packed train coming home and this worthless piece of skin is taking up 5 seats. Unfortunately, I got a seat directly across from him. I tried to close my eyes but couldn't stop watching his bloated belly swell with each breath....lovely.

October 12, 2012


Interesting reflection on Pace Gallery, which happens to be showing the work of Richard Tuttle. I found this show to be absolutely horrendous and the biggest joke of the season. Pure nonsense. Please go see it and if you disagree, please attempt to enlighten me.

Everywhere I look, everyone is on their phone. Either walking and bumping into others or pausing  while tweeting, texting, Facebooking, emailing or surfing the web. That's why I still have a "dumb" flip phone. Though tempted for work purposes and GPS, I don't want to become "one of them."

Two happy birds. One with his head in a hole he burrowed into a loaf of bread, the other standing by reaping the benefits of his labor (crumbs).

A very large and disturbing store display in Soho. Looked like real taxidermy to me.

You see the damnedest things in thrift stores. I don't even know what to make of this. A candle holder? A candy dish?

October 7, 2012

End of Season

Even though the weather forecast was grim, my friend Eileen and I ventured out to Coney Island for probably the last time this season. Expecting rain, I brought my umbrella and poncho. We were heavily armed with two medium format FILM cameras, three 35mm film cameras and one digital camera (for this blog post). When we arrived the wind was gusting and the skies were threatening.  Eventually the clouds cleared and the temperature dropped drastically.  I should have packed a hoodie.

Standing out on the pier, I watched this sailboat fighting the wind to stay afloat. At times it seemed completely sideways and ready to capsize. The white sails were beautiful against the dark skies. I wondered if the captain of this boat found these conditions invigorating and thrilling or terrifying.

A giant pink pig kite suddenly appeared and curious onlookers quickly gathered around beneath it. Like moths to a flame.

Later in the afternoon the pig kite was neatly packed away and the same "kite pilot" launched Pegasus. This time no one gathered. It flew barely noticed.

I counted at least six empty Budweiser cans and one Coors can in that bag. Comfortably numb. 

Jet stream

The End

October 6, 2012

Attention Shoppers

ATTENTION KMART SHOPPERS. I felt it was time for a career change. This whole photography gig was getting old. Come on down to Astor Place Kmart for some bargains. I'll try to get you my 30% employee discount. They say I might make assistant manager by Christmas.

Lunch today with a friend at my favorite hole in the wall in the Bronx. One bowl of lentil soup, four authentic Mexican tacos, 2 sodas $15. Can't beat it.

I stopped buying t-shirts with anything written on them but this one was definitely made for me. I'm constantly distracted.

Unlucky bike owner. I've experienced this scenario... twice.

Stuffed animal at bus stop.

Is it me or have the mannequins changed over the past few years? Or, maybe it's a Bronx/Inwood thing.

October 3, 2012

Local Oddities

Recent gallery installation called "Concordia." A HUGE undertaking (50+ feet). The artist basically recreated a room from the now-famous cruise ship Costa Concordia, listing off the coast of Italy. Chairs, life preservers, dishes and furniture all piled up in a giant heap. Complete with ornate painted ceiling. I thought it was stupid, sidekick Iris thought it was brilliant. Hey, whatever floats your boat.... (Ha, I kill me.)

One of the most honest things I've seen in Chelsea gallery district--90% of what I see should be in a trash heap. I'm surprised some greedy gallery owner hasn't pulled this mess from the garbage and hung it on a gallery wall asking $5K. And, if he did, some dope would probably buy it.

Homeless guy on roller blades napping in the Meat Packing District. An efficient way to collect bottles and cans.

The view from Fort Tryon Park. High above my little hamlet of Inwood.

View looking north towards the Bronx. A lovely stretch of real estate. Would make a wonderful nuclear testing zone.

Here's an odd sight to stumble upon, even in NYC. A door smeared with bloody hand prints.

October 1, 2012

Medieval Nerd-fest

Today I went to the Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park, not far my apartment. I've been curious about these things but have never attended one. I have no problem with people doing whatever floats their boats but I can't help but wonder about people who are involved with "fantasy lives," dressing up in costumes and "pretending" to live in another era. Civil War reenactors, Star Trek geeks and medieval enthusiasts all seem similar. They walk around chewing on huge turkey legs, speaking in English accents, dancing to period music (played on iPods however), jousting on horseback and competing in brutal battles wearing steel armor, using period correct weaponry. Who in their right mind does that? Some go the full-blown route, with period correct facial hair, shoes, jewelry and undergarments. Like Halloween, however, most do a half-assed job, with a helmet, hat, blouse, sword and Adidas pants and tennis shoes. But, frighteningly, some of these people obviously aren't comfortable living in the 21st century and probably (secretly) live this life more than just on the weekends. Grown men and women dressed up like Robin Hood, monks, kings, queens, Vikings and peasants... crazy.

Evidently the whole medieval thing is HUGE in Europe, where as many as 3600 participants gather annually just to reenact the Battle of Hastings. 

This was one very bizarre event. Medieval nerds...who knew?

Queen of all nerds.

Three nerds dressed as monks.. When I told them I was "press," they had a brief discussion as to whether or not to wear their glasses while being photographed, to be more authentic. Detail-oriented nerds.

Two "warrior" nerds beating the shit out of each other with clubs. The winner to be crowned champion nerd. The nerd in the blue got poked in the neck and gave up. The green nerd, "Antonius," won.

An African-American nerd. Did they even have medieval people who were of African decent? Would they have been considered African-Roman?

Umm...the guitar wasn't even invented until around the 1600s and then only a variation of a tanbur, setar or sitar. Not anything like a modern guitar. The whole medieval timeline is about from 400-1500AD. This nerd should be playing a lute for authenticity's sake. (And, I'm obviously a nerd for looking it up.)

Crazy drunk Viking nerd.

Just a nerd.

A beautiful sunset as the day came to an end.