Monday, December 31, 2007

What makes a Photograph

Kurt and I together make an almost perfect photographer. He is interested in subject and content. I am interested in the way things look or are arranged within the finite space of the frame. Case in point, two of my favorite photographs from our recent trip west.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

From the People who bought you ...

The inappropriate sign such as the one above taken outside of Las Vegas in open desert can be amusing simply by situation. But our folks in government, working diligently, presumably at the behest of those we elected, are working in an art form that seems to be on the rise. As the people of the world come closer together in communication, the geographical distances that had heretofore prevented clash of language and culture have become meaningless. This has never been a problem for the graphic artist but it seems that the bureaucrats are having a little trouble "getting" it.

The image at left was spied at the Hoover Dam. Lest you may think that this arcane imagery is an isolated situation, I offer instructions by the US Postal Service on correct package addressing.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hazmat Holiday

Looks like the Starbuck blend of the day got a little too bold as NYPD closed down one of the busiest corners of town in the height of the holiday season. There was an "Unidentified Spill" according to our roving reporter. Nothing is taken lightly and it was fodder for hundreds of cellphones. In the holiday spirit my guess is an overflow of eggnog latte

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Essence of Things

The holidays always bring to mind thoughts about the essence of things. What moments last year were a distillation of experience. What captures the best memories of the season. In my new photographs I've been trying to capture essence both as distillation and as abstraction. How does one remove information and detail while retaining flavor? See what you think of this busy city intersection.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Waiting for the Paint to Dry

Well, there was a big step taken towards the opening of Susan's studio today. Room was made for the canvas storage and they came up from downstairs to claim their new home. A lot more needs to be done but even the casual observer would deduce that an artists studio is in the making here. While moving the network around to make way, I thought of where the creative juices have been going for her while the studio has been in limbo. Culinary creations and music. Now these arts are very shareable and that's what she does. A sample of her work here (and a Bunny's Bakery cake called Susan's Decadent Chocolate Ganache.) I must admit this is not one of my strong points although I was an enthusiastic helper. Obviously I contributed the coffee.

Susan has now joined a band and is at practise as I write this. I feel inspired enough to look at my guitar every other sentence as I recall the other evening listening to them jam and got a shot off in someone else's flash glare They are quite enjoyable and excellent to dance to. I can't say I've accompished much myself but I have been in a state of inspiration at least and there is the knowledge that I've been pretty good with the mundane. I'm hoping for some success next week when we go out west for more material.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Accidental Favor

Yesterday I went to race in Central Park. Racewalkers must be crazy since it was alternately snowing, sleeting, hailing (not the taxi kind) and raining. As I was doing the second half of the race, I saw a wondrous event. One of the Peregrines took a pigeon off the ground and tried to fly away with it. It was too unwieldy a package so it flew down in the snow to stop for a moment. I ceased racing and tried to get closer. The falcon startled and flew up into a tree, shrieking and rasping, "Get away, get away." The pigeon didn't move. I thought it was dead. Suddenly it shook and flew off, newly elected "the accidental favor."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Why you have to love New York

No matter how grey, black or white it seems. There's always some surprising thing. Here's today's.

Migrating to the Bronx

Well it finally happened, 111 paintings to the Bronx. And even then we accidentally left some behind. Good thing though, one was requested for a show in January (details to follow) so I don't have to make the trip. Typical New York someone requested a print as we were moving so it never left Manhattan--sounds like some New Yorkers we know.

I loved seeing my images in this context. Here are the snaps.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Renovation to Reinvention?

If indeed some of the synonyms for renovation are betterment, civilization, cultivation, development, elevation, enhancement, enrichment, furtherance, gain, growth, increase, preferment, progress, progression, promotion, rally, recovery, rectification, reformation, regeneration, revision, rise, upbeat, upgrade and upswing, why does it seem like a painful process? Does one close one's eyes and imagine the best outcome?

Perhaps it is a question of scale? A small renovation, new hairstyle, new bath mat, new restaurant all seem easily manageable. But changing a personal environment--an earthquake in the making. I guess it helps to have perspective. In today's photos, the one on the left encompasses many times the space of the one on the right and in that one, well, you can see just how big I am. All is in perspective.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

In, Out and Prep

One often overlooked aspect of art, as we plan it, is the preparation. That is, for the commercial artist there must be, in addition to the care and thoughts provided to the creation, care and thought as to how to get the project started and finished. Last we spoke of Susan finally getting space to store the paintings in limbo. Well, that move is coming upon us soon but there is the other matter of preparing the space to continue working amidst this shakeup.

I was musing on this as I prepared a submission of photographs. Between the gathering, editing, agonizing over choice (the worst wretch of them all) and then postprocessing I have spent an amount of time of a magnitude so much greater than the actual creation that I couldn't tell you with a straight face. And all this work goes into a vacuum of influence; there is no way of knowing how it will be received until a) too late or b) happily accepted.

Compared to the Graffiti artist who creates on the fly with no care of space or storage (albeit with a care of guard dogs and barbed wire) one could hardly be blamed for wondering why do it. Well ... we must, it's that simple. It is embarrassing, though, to have spent these last few weeks with no creation to speak of, nor any on the horizon. We are like our own mothers chiding ourselves to finish the last project (mundane included) before we can start another as if it were vegetables before dessert. And that's as close as I can to describe the feeling. Isn't that a light I see at the end of the tunnel .. ?? Incoming ..