This broken traffic sign was a marker for some mental cloudiness about a decision I have to make. My method of dealing with my lack of clarity it is to walk, taking photographs and letting my subconscious attack the problem. Last night my conscious brain was thinking Andy Warhol and his daily Tri-X diary. He shot at least a roll of Tri-X a day, not surprising since his work has a photographic base, but interesting in that what he shot was truly a visual diary. There were celebrity pix, interesting objects, ideas for paintings, people having sex and more. You can see the descendants of these ideas in the work of Nan Goldin, or David Hockney. I enjoy the freedom and randomness of the shots I take and the diaristic freedom that attaches no particular individual value to the imaging stream. I enjoy the jokes too, e.g. the limited palette abstract of the crumpled wrapper that states "quarter pounder no cheese." Perhaps a visual diary adds clarity in retrospect. I sincerely hope it does.
Personas is a new software experiment on MIT's site. What it does is look for references to your name on the internet and then builds a color profile/persona of who you are based on those references. There were 29 Susan Shaws. I am the first two here. My doppelgangers run the gamut from writer to scientist, from republican to beauty queen, from CEO to social worker. Maybe I should re-write Felix Krull... Maybe we should put on a show...
I am becoming almost paranoid about Shepard Fairey. His art is interlaced throughout our culture and my life.
Four recent examples: 1. Andre the Giant seen on an abandoned building in the new art district in Miami. 2. A spoof (of Fairey and Obama) on the cover of The Advocate. 3. A recent holiday gift to me, the Shepard Fairey Acme Obey Card Case for business cards. Let's hope the clients get the message... 4. An actual Shepard Fairey recent Obama critical poster.
Photographers like to work in series. It creates a depth of investigation. Saul Robbins gave a very good talk about his work recently at B&H Photo. His series Initial Intake is a series of photographs of psychotherapists' chairs seen from their clients' perspective. It was written up in The New York Times and is a very New York idea. His other series are very interesting as well, my personal favorite is "Where's my Happy Ending?," oblique views of domestic life.
Kurt and I like to work in serials as well, for example we've been documenting the Mermaid Parade for several years, and continue to go to Louisiana to document the wildlife. And, of course, right now the Metropolitan Museum's recent showing of Robert Frank's The Americans which can still be seen online.
While we're on the subject of architecture, there is a wonderful Scottish Gothic building (gargoyles and all) up the street from my studio. The McIntyre building at Broadway and 18th Street was designed in 1892 by Robert H. Robertson for Ewen McIntyre. It is very ornate and decorative, all recently revealed through restoration. The amount and style of details boggles the mind, including a prominent cross at the top. I have even heard the building described as "unspeakable eclectic."
This is a Japanese view, like the moon hidden by the clouds or a few blades of grass held to the night. Stripped of its detail, the shadow building still has a distinct and pious fingerprint and is no less beautiful.
These are snaps of a a large scale sculptural installation, "afterparty." It was created by the architectural firm MOS, architects Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample. I saw it at P.S. 1 last year, and I keep thinking about it. It is part of the Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centers joint Young Architects Program (YAP), an annual series of competitions that gives emerging architects the opportunity to build projects conceived for P.S.1’s facility in Long Island City, Queens.
The objective of the project is to provide visitors with an outdoor recreational area for the summer—a much-needed refuge in an urban environment—making the best use of the pre-existing space and available materials. The architects follow a program with a tight budget, and are involved in every aspect of the design, development, and construction of the project.
I experienced it as a large furry tent city. Love is a funny thing...
The big bad wolf won't blow this down. This amazing brick sculpture at Pike Street between Division Street and East Broadway, was built by a pig robot. Developed by Swiss architects Gramazio & Kohler, Architecture and Digital Fabrication, ETH Zurich , in conjunction with NYC Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program, Storefront for Art and Architecture has created the first architecture project to be digitally fabricated on site, brick by brick, at 1:1 scale. Once the Truck sized robot departed, it left a beautiful undulating sculpture, composed of thousands of bricks. On one of the days I passed it by, Kurt just had to photograph it with his new LEGO Digital Camera. Brick to brick, a siren call?
Yesterday I started the process of hot casting the glass for a piece I'm doing in March. I had the sublime help of Kevin Scanlan at his studio in Brooklyn and beautiful documentation by Kurt. Here is the evidence. And oh...I'm now the blond.
Susan Shaw is an internationally exhibited painter and photographer. Private and public collections include the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Shaw is the recipient of two New York State Artist’s Fellowships and 2007/2009 residency fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center.
Kurt Hoss is a freelance photographer capturing the exuberance of
New York City for 35 years. A favorite project has been documenting life in south western Louisiana, culminating in two recent books, Going to Lafayette and Bosco Swamp.
Shaw and Hoss recently received an AVA gold award for video production, as producers of The Mermaid Parade.