--a blog about: art, photography, design, new york, food, books, humor, travel and more.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Yola Monakhov @ Sasha Wolf

Tonight, from 6- 8 PM is the opening reception for the exhibit of the work of photojournalist YolaMonakhov -- at one of my favorite venues Sasha Wolf Gallery.
Ms. Monakhov's images from Russia are the most compelling in this series.

Yola Monakhov
Once Out Of Nature
@ Sasha Wolf
10 Leonard Street
Tribecaa, NY
May 1- June 21, 2008

Hyeres Photography Festival 2008 & More

First prize at Hyeres 2008 went to Audrey Corregan, whose backside portraits of birds I find mesmerizing. The second prize went to Amira Fritz , who has an amazing palette and subtlety to her work. I love the light at dusk and dawn and she captures the magic of those hours and that light beautifully.Her work reminded me of a series of fashion photographs taken in the woods by Catherine Servel. Read more about Ms Fritz and Ms. Corregan on Conscientious.

Also a finalist at Hyeres was the work of Diana Scherer, which I found disturbing - not just the imagery of the dead animals as you would probably expect of me - but much of the macabre atmosphere in her work tugged at me.
I don't know how she went about creating her images depicting dead animals, but I would like to know. I will not just dismiss work because a dead animal is pictured and I am well aware of the complexity of the issue. I furthermore think that Ms. Scherer's photographs work well aesthetically, I am just wondering if they work for my personal ethics too. I like the work of Polly Morgan (who works with donations of animal bodies), but because of recent events Ms. Scherer's work, kept bringing my mind back to the 'starving dog art piece' which turned out to be a hoax much like the Yale student's recent hoax - or is it a hoax (artistically speaking) when it provokes this much discussion?

Joerg Colberg and Tema Stauffer both wrote about the (hoax) incident(s) as they were reported and unfolded. Mr. Colberg wrote a log entry titled "So what is art? (cont'ed)" after it became evident that the Yale student performance art piece was a stunt and Tema reflected on the internet & the information that we obtain via it, after discovering that the South American artist in fact did not starve a dog to death.
When I earlier posted about the report of the man that regrew part of his finger, my gut was a bit uncertain of its authenticity for a second because of the recent 'hoaxes', but my brain decided that the combination of the subject matter and the source should be enough to accept this as truth. At least I hope it is really true, because this is pretty amazing (well, except for the pig bladder part, but I guess growing those in a petri dish sans pig is close at hand -no pun intended).

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Pixie Dust" or Extra Cellular Matrix - Bananas!

Can't always blog about art & design. Once in a while something else blows your socks off (in a good way), like this item I saw on the BBC news titled: "The Man who grew a finger" by Matthew Price, BBC News, Ohio.
Read the article or watch the video - which is graphic in depicting the finger after the accident but also amazing to see post "Pixie dust".
Dude. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Jill Freedman - The Other Side of The Coin?

Also on view currently in New York is the work of reemerging photographer Jill Freedman. A must for any lover of New York City, this retrospective at the Higher Pictures Gallery shows Ms.Freedman's Gotham documentary work from the 60s, 70s & 80's -- a time when the city was much less safe but arguably much more interesting.
The New York Times yesterday published an article about Ms. Freedman, titled "Through Weeggee's Lens" (by Niko Koppel) and in it examines not only the work but also the life of Jill Freedman.
Avid photoblogger Amy Stein also commented in her post "Don't Call It a Comeback" on the fragility of a career in the arts and how even talent cannot secure one recognition.
Ms. Freedman never married or had children and also does not have much other family. She became ill with cancer and because she did not have health insurance (or family or wealth to lean on) had to subsequently struggle with real financial hardship. In many ways her story is an archetype of that of the suffering artist and her work certainly reflects the passion she had for her work.
Jill Freedman is of interest to me because I love New York, but furthermore I was affected by her life story. Particularly because I heard about Ms. Freedman's story on the same day that I heard about Jill Griffiths Belt's (see yesterday's post) life story. Both women share a passion for life and photography, were pioneers in their own right, yet their experiences could not be more different.
On the heel of my birthday week and the reflections that come with yet another year lived, it was poignant to hear about the contrasting lives of these two photographers. Clearly luck has much to do with how ones life turns out, but I keep wondering to which extend choices also affected the outcome.
And as I always like to say: you really don't know what kind of life you had or were dealt until the the moment it really is over ;)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Annie Griffiths Belt: A Camera, Two Kids and A Camel

This morning NPR featured a piece about National Geographic Photographer Annie Griffiths Belt. The segment was titled "Photographers Peripatetic Life Is a Family Affair" and you can listen to it here.
Ms. Griffiths Belt is a gifted observer and a photographer in the classic definition of the craft. She is accomplished and respected, but what made her stand out for me even more was to hear that she took her two kids with her on the road whenever she could. Career and family (regardless of what family is to you) is hard to balance for anyone, and thus I listened with great interest to her recounting how she traveled with her children on assignment.
Ms. Griffith Belt will be presenting her work and speaking about her experiences in Minnesota and Seattle next month. Find out more about that here.
Ms. Griffiths Belt is a charismatic raconteur and you can here her narrate a slide show of her work via the National Graphic site.
If you are interested in purchasing her most recent book, a retrospective of her work, titled A Camera, two Kids and a Camel, you can do it also via NPR and if you do your purchase will support NPR programming. Or you can use www.booksense.com to find a local store near you that carries her book.
(Fi --this one is for you)

Cremant de Bourgogne & Truffes au Chocolat Bio

I heart champagne, but sometimes I don't like the price tag so much, especially when I am hosting a party with lots of guests. The other day at Astor Wine I came across Michel Frères' Cremant de Bourgogne 2004 -which properly chilled is very nice for the price: $15.99. Technically not Champagne, as this white sparkling is produced in Burgundy and not in the Champagne region, it however doesn't fall far behind in flavor.
Strawberries are nice with sparkling white and so are chocolate truffles. In Germany they make some really over the top tasty chocolate truffles and also in New York you can get delicious truffles. However truffles also can really blow out your budget, but Gourmet Garage sells Trufees au chocolat Bio (organic chocolate truffles) by Truffettes de France and they are a fantastic value at $6.99 for 250 grams of truffles.