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Friday, June 19, 2015

Manipulating the Traditional

The current Getty exhibition Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography explores artist experimentation with the basic components of photography.  I know that I may come across as a strong traditionalist, but I thoroughly enjoy alternative  processes using traditional materials.  It's really the whole digital thing that puts me off.  I just can't help it.  I am set in my ways.  If I were in California, I would be here.  Let's face it.  I don't really think there is a day where I would not be at the Getty if I could.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dandy Lion

Sorry for the radio silence.  I recently went to see   Dandy Lion: (Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity    at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.  I had not been to this museum in many years.  In fact, I believe it was at another address.  It is now three floors.  I have read reviews by people complaining that it is a very small museum, but that is the beauty of it.  It encourages an intimate viewing of the artwork.  You can't just blow by.  You should embrace the opportunity to slow down and observe.

The works included in this exhibition utilize both modern and traditional techniques.  There were digital prints as well as silver gelatin.  Though beautiful, I have to admit that the actual digital prints do not really hold my interest.  Show me some beautiful grain and tonal range and I am yours.  Some of the pieces that I found especially interesting were contemporary wet collodion prints.  They beckoned you closer to observe their beauty.  You have to appreciate the level of difficulty there is when working in this particular medium.  It takes incredible skill and patience.

 It is interesting to observe the many black sartorial experience from various countries around the globe.

This exhibition is up for another month so there is plenty of time to view it or plan on seeing it if you are planning a visit to Chicago.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

How this is going to work

   Although this blog has not been in existence for very long I have already discovered that it is really just a look at photography through my own personal filter.  For the most part there is no serious research being done, no theories being proven.  I am putting stuff out there that interests me in the hopes that it might interest someone else.    Therefor, I think it best to more often link to other articles and exhibitions rather than compose my own information.  Someone else has already made the effort to do all of the heavy lifting and probably has more to say about the subject than I would.  So, very often I may just link information that might be of interest to others.  I do all of the gathering of information so the reader has an easier time of it.
   I recently posted about an exhibition of the work of Duane Michals.  I know I mentioned that he is one of my favorite photographers.  I wanted to offer more reading about him and his work in case somebody was interested.  There is this article from the New Yorker.  Another from American Photo.  Lastly, the Wall Street Journal.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Getty

Let's face it.  If I could fly anywhere and explore a photographic collection for a day it would be the Getty Museum.   It houses the photographic collection of Sam Wagstaff.  If you do not know who Sam Wagstaff was, you need to read up about him.  I'll give you the wikipedia on him, but it would behoove you to do your own research on him.

"was an American art curator and collector as well as the artistic mentor and benefactor of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (who was also his lifetime companion) and poet-punk rocker Patti Smith. Wagstaff is known in part for his support of MinimalismPop ArtConceptual Art and Earthworks, but his aesthetic acceptance and support of photography presaged the acceptance of the medium as a fine art."

After spending hours appreciating the Wagstaff collection I would like to check out two of the exhibitions currently on view at the museum:

In Focus: Play

Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful

If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Los Angeles take advantage of this great opportunity.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lone Star

This is going to be one of those posts based solely on my own interests.  This may be of interest to those of you in Texas.  Since I have never been to Texas and do not foresee a visit in the near future, I am making this suggestion in hope that it will inspire somebody in the Austin area to go out and view this exhibition.  It is Wildly Strange: The Photographs of Ralph Eugene Meatyard at the Blanton Museum of Art.  Ralph Eugene Meatyard has always been among my favorite photographers.  I am pretty sure that it has nothing to do with the fact he comes from Normal, Illinois.  I just remember feeling a connection to his work from the first time I viewed it.  That would have been way back in high school.  Something about the children in combination with the masks in those surroundings.  If you are not familiar with his work you should go and check it out.
     As an aside, there is also a contemporaneous exhibition about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland there.  I only mention this because few people realize that Lewis Carroll was a well known photographer.  I am assuming that they will exhibit some of the many portraits Carroll took of the real Alice who was his neighbor.  I am hope they will share some of his other photographic works as well..

Monday, February 23, 2015

Through a Lens Darkly

Through a Lens Darkly

I do not usually post full length films to my blog, but I found this to be very interesting and I can still fit it into Black History Month as well!  In case I did not embed the video correctly, you can also watch it here.

Monday, February 16, 2015

To Celebrate the Year of the Goat

Chinese New Year will arrive on February 19.  The year of the goat.  For those of you lucky enough to be in Manhattan, you can indulge in some dim sum, char siu, lo mein, watch a little lion dance and then add a little photography into the mix.  Head uptown a bit and atop in at Aperture to view "The Chinese Photobook".  I wish I could join you.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Love is in the air

Robert Doisneau

In honor of Valentine's Day, some iconic photographs of love.

Alfred Eisenstaedt

Annie Leibovitz

Although this is the image that will be remembered from the shoot, I like the one below as well.

Is there a noticeable difference when a photographer trains their lens on the one they love?

Georgia O'Keefe by Alfred Steiglitz

Charis Wilson by Edward Weston

Eleanor by Harry Callahan

Wife and first born child by Elliot Erwitt

Monday, February 9, 2015

Black History Month

February is Black History Month, but it is also the shortest month of the year.  That being the case I thought I had better post about this as soon as possible before time runs out.  I have listed below a very short list of some influential African-American photographers for your exploration.  If I was unable to find a current exhibition to suggest, I simply added a link to information about the photographer.

I decided to cast a wider net.  Why limit the list to American history?   I have a few global options for you to explore as well.

Staying Power : Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s - 1990s

Human Rights Human Wrongs

Alice Seeley Harris  Brutal Exposure: The Congo  

Black Chronicles II  - this traveling exhibition just finished up in Uruguay, but there is no indication                                       if it will be traveling to a new location next.  Hopefully, it will.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Something to see

     I will do my best to post about interesting photography exhibitions around the world.  I admit that the sole criteria for these choices will be that they will be shows that I would go and see if I could travel anywhere in the world.  This way I will not limit the options to my own geographic location.  To kick this off I am suggesting that everyone that lives in the Philly area jump at the chance to go to the Carnegie Museum of Art to see the various Duane Michals exhibitions  - "Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals" and "Duane Michals: Collector" .  I have long been a fan of his work.  I enjoy his use of a sequence of photographs as filmic storytelling.   I only wish I had a tiny hint of his ability to successfully marry image and text.  I have a wish list of photographs I want to add to my personal collection and a particular piece by him has always been at the top.  If I were able to go there I would also check out the exhibition "Teenie Harris Photographs: Civil Rights Perspectives"

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Beginning

Welcome.  This marks the beginning of a new venture for me.  I wanted to start a space that was dedicated to analog photography.  At this point I do not have everything organized and ready to go, but if I waited for that this blog would never happen.  It has already been a long time coming.  I have decided to just begin and let it develop from here, as it were.  This blog will be all old school.  I know nothing about digital photography so why post about it? 

My hope is to suggest interesting exhibitions to view, give some history of photography and if all goes well, some interviews with regular everyday old school photographers.  I hope it will become a place to visit for suggestions about things to see and learn, people to meet and items to revisit from the past.  I am sure that the majority of the content selected will be chosen solely due to my tastes and interests so please take that into consideration before complaining. If there are things you would like to see posted here just let me know.
It has been a long enough wait.  So, let's begin.