March 30, 2013

Steps & Shadows

People are curious when they see me aiming at the ground. They don't feel intruded upon like they do if you're shooting at eye level. They wonder...A foot fetish perhaps? No, more of a shadow/reflection fetish.  

 I found a nice surprise when these people all had one foot slightly off the ground at the same moment.

March 26, 2013

No Shit!

In a small alley off Crosby Street they apparently have a problem with people using the alley as a toilet.

On the 2nd floor of 214 Sullivan (no relation) the bathroom has two toilets side by side without a barrier. Who thought this was a good idea? Have  two people ever sat next to each other while simultaneously relieving themselves in this particular bathroom? I doubt it.

Street "artiste" doing a combination of martial arts, sculpture and performance piece. On 26th Street, a parked Mercedes provides lighting and a radio blaring narrative of his actions. Mixed media at its finest.

Looking down the tracks after hopping off the #1 train in my 'hood.

March 24, 2013

Me, Duane & Bad Art

Many years ago I went to seminar given by the great photographer Duane Michals. At the time I was taking an advanced printing class and I went to see him talk about his work, but found that most of the seminar he spoke about his fascination with time. Thursday night I went to see his latest work where he took appropriated photos (found/bought) and painted on them. A new direction from his past work that's for sure. A very interesting and creative man. Still very sharp and witty at 81.

Oddly, when I asked to have my photo taken with him, he growled and acted like he going to bite me... I took a second shot and he growled again like a crazy badger....

After seeing the Michals exhibit I wandered into a gallery showing the work of B. Wurtz. Should have been called "Wurtz-less." I have a problem with "artists" (using that term loosely) showing work that has about as much creative thought as a 15-year-old student at art camp. Total bullshit. How people like this get shows in large galleries is one of the huge mysteries of life, up there with how the pyramids were made and Stonehenge.

Cups, wood, wire, bullshit.

B.Wurtz (above) painting any 7-year-old could do. Saying it was shitty would be a compliment.

I moved on being subject to more crap art at C24 Gallery. Paint a board red and nail some brass studs in it--Deeeep! I think the culprit on this shit-show was Mark Dutcher. Somebody pleeease take away this clown's paintbrush.  I walked in the door, looked around and said out loud, "REALLY?"

March 19, 2013

Let It Snow (hopefully for the last time)

Early this evening as I made my way up through Soho it began to snow. By the time I reached Washington Square Park it was beginning to cover the grass and benches. The park was almost empty and reminded me of old photos from the early 1900s. I flipped my little Lumix to B&W and snapped some photos. Leaving the park from the northwest corner, 3 drug dealers offered me their wares, asking if I'd like "an evening pick-me-up." I declined. My "Courier & Ives" moment was tarnished a bit.

March 18, 2013

Will Work for Free

Funny thing about photography. It's probably the only job in the world where people have no problem in asking you to do it for free. You'd never call a friend who was a dentist and ask him to fill a tooth or do a root canal for free. You'd never ask your accountant to do your taxes for free. But for some strange reason no one has a problem asking photographers to shoot for free. People frequently ask me to shoot their kids, their jewelry designs, their pets, their promotional packages, modeling photos, weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc., etc. Like it's a privilege to "let" me take such photos. Do I really need another photo of some 35-year-old "wannabe/has been" model whose best modeling days were 18 years ago in my portfolio? Do they think it's thrilling for me? Do they think I get some great pleasure in dragging 50+ lbs of equipment to their home to take a photo of them? Not to mention the 3 hours of editing, retouching and burning DVDs I usually do afterwards? And, to make it even more ridiculous, when I DO agree to shoot and they "kindly" offer to buy me dinner or coffee after we're done. A photoshoot for $12...seriously? 
It's a strange phenomenon in the world of jobs. 

My friend Katherine found this post from a photographer in Atlanta that sums it up pretty well. 

March 13, 2013

BSB (backstage beauty) & Me

I just opened a flash card with images from backstage during Fashion Week. Though dark and hard to focus at times, I love the freedom to walk around and shoot pre-show beauty in the making.

At the Bitforms gallery at 529 West 20th Street they have the work of Daniel Rozin. His works are interactive. Standing in front of lcd screens and large sculptural contraptions that change shape and form as you move in front of them. Hard to explain what's happening from these quick snaps but that's me fragmented on a large LCD screen. Very cool show.

March 11, 2013

Babies R (not) Us

A friend of a friend recently wanted some photos taken of her while pregnant. Everyone has seen the Demi Moore cover of Vanity Fair and I had no interest in duplicating that. I wanted to go down a slightly darker path. A bit more like Joel-Peter Witkin or Ralph Eugene Meatyard, both of whom I admire greatly. Negotiations ran into weeks before we agreed on a compromise. I'll shoot "pretty" photos for half of the time, the other half will be spent "trying" my ideas, like using the "sheet mask" I made recently. As usual the shoot didn't turn out as planned (never does) but she was a good sport and I think she'll like the "pretty" photos I took of her. These however are not the nice ones.... I'm fairly certain she won't be posting these on Facebook. And, unfortunately, I doubt I'll be hearing from Vanity Fair to shoot the next famous pregnant celebrity.

March 8, 2013

Miserable Art Night (they can't all be good)

They said it would snow, but it rained more than it snowed. It was cold, rainy, windy, sleety, snowy and miserable. But, I persevered. I hit the galleries hard tonight. There were 29 openings. Most were crap.

First gallery I walked into. Furry ape-like beings sitting in front of a faux campfire roasting marshmallows. Stupid. The night went downhill from there.

Oh, this was a showstopper. Drying dishes. I have a similar piece in my place about an hour after dinner every night. 

I think this piece was made out of clay.  Some raised eyebrows, a few giggles. Whispers of "Looks like you honey" were overheard. 

I see this guy almost every week. Strange old bird. He was obviously as underwhelmed as I was to fall asleep in the middle of a crowded gallery. Then again, nobody checked his pulse. Either way, it sums up my night of art.

March 5, 2013

Three Hands, a Tree and a Penis

 Walking down the street the other day, I glanced down to see a small hand.

The hand was printed on a small tile or cover. I tried to pull it up but I couldn't. Such an odd sight.

A short time later I spied more hands on the ground.

A leafless tree in Central Park

You've gotta love Chinatown. "I'll have the ox penis soup...hold the meatballs please."

March 4, 2013

Coffee, Shadows and Desired Living

Thai iced coffee (tea?) during lunch with a friend.

Shadow steps on 6th Ave.

I recently saw this loft advertised for sale. I instantly sprang into action. I tried meditating, The Secret, Norman Vincent Peale's "Imagining" and even prayed to dead friends and relatives asking for help acquiring this perfect abode. Apparently I'm not doing something right because I'm still in Inwood.

So the cosmos doesn't want me to have the loft. How about this simple mountain cabin? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

March 3, 2013

Simple Sights

Window Drip

Advertisement on subway. Rare that a five-word ad can make you ponder your life. 

Last sliver of light, Upper West Side. 

33 Crosby St. (I think).

Subway stop at 168th, transfer to the uptown A train.