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

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ty & Dobbs

The other day Joerg Colberg posted a link to an article by Ariel Leve titled "Tyler Ziegler and Renee: one year on" written for the Times Online. Tyler Ziegler is a young Iraq war veteran who sustained massive injuries during his second round of duty. The story is about what life is like forMr. Ziegler a year after he was married.
To accompany the link Joerg posted Tyler & Renee's wedding portrait taken by Nina Berman. The portrait conveying more than a 1000 words.

I was reading Joerg's post in the afternoon, looking once again at the pictures Nina Berman took of Tyler & Renee, while alternately looking onto the street -- seeing the hustle and bustle of a summer day in New York(lots of shopping, in particular of counterfeit items --but that is a whole other complex post for another day). The view outside my window in stark contrast to the article and a reminder how easy it is to push away what is happening elsewhere to others.
While reading the article I was overcome by all the predictable responses -- empathy, gratefulness for my own life, etc.
But what was unexpected,was reading about Mr. Ziegler and his dog. It was just a couple of sentences about Tyler Ziegler and his relationship with his dog Dobbs. In essence just another story about the bond of a person and his dog. But Tyler Ziegler's circumstance makes jarringly clear what an animal can offer to an individual and what makes so many people cherish (their) (domesticated) animals. Because truly for Dobbs, the dog, Ty is just Ty.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ed Kashi: Nigeria

Work from Ed Kashi's Nigeria project is being shown at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY through September 1, 2008.
The show is titled "Curse of the Black Gold - 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta".
My dad used to spend a lot of time in Nigeria for work and my friend Emma is there for business right now -- so I have a heightened interest in Nigeria.
From his trips my dad used to bring back mangoes & wood carvings for me and live lobster for my mom (yes, times were different then).

Ed Kashi takes a look at Nigeria, a country that receives little attention in the US press and many here associate mostly with email scams. Nigeria is immensely rich in natural resources and has great biodiversity, yet it also deals with serious environmental & economical issues.
I first saw a picture in PDN from Ed Kashi's exhibit, showing a woman in a pinkish dress with a colorful umbrella stepping over overgrown pipelines and the image just completely captured my thoughts.
If you cannot make it to Rochester, visit Ed Kashi's website: www.edkashi.com to see his work from Nigeria and many other places.
National Geographic has an interview with Ed Kashi on their site and in it he talks about what it was like working in Nigeria (including being detained by military forces) -- and there is also a great slide show of the Nigeria photographs. Take a look here.

NOTE: via Marketing Photos with Mary Virginia Swanson I found that NPR also has some great coverage/presentation Ed Kashi's work in Nigeria; and more information about the situation in the Niger Delta.

If you are in D.C. tonight...

Swing by the Randall Scott Gallery for the opening reception of 8.
A series of exhibitions showing a total of eight artists, 8 will show four two-week shows featuring two artists in each show. It's a great line-up of artists and the showcase starts out with one of my favorites: Tema Stauffer.
So if you are in D.C. head on over to Randall Scott's, and take in the work of Tema Stauffer and the also very talented Kyoko Hamada.

Gas Station © Tema Stauffer

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Heart the Strand

I heart books © Nina Corvallo

I love books. I am old fashion that way. I like to read from a book. And I like to look at art in books.
I used to live right next to the Strand and that further encouraged my love for books.
Yesterday I spent a leisurely hour on the second floor of the Strand browsing through art books. Signed copies of Todd Hido's House Hunting, the re-edition of Alec Soth's Sleeping by the Mississippi, a new monogram on Helen Levitt and so many more.
I walked away with a copy of Taryn Simon's An American Index of Hidden and Unfamiliar, an extensive (& well priced!) George Stubbs catalog and some other books. And today I think I will return to get Malick Sidibe's Chemises.
The Strand employees all love books too and are usually all helpful and friendly and even patient.
While looking for a specific George Stubbs catalog I talked to one very young Strand employee, describing to him the catalog, telling him it had a horse on the cover and he deadpan and sweetly replied: "Don't they all have horses on it?" And yes of course they do. And yes that might sound like a lame story, but to me it was a heartwarming exchange. It was a glimpse of the New York I grew up in where not every store was a nail parlor, real estate office or mega chain store. I know everyone complains about how things change, but it is undeniable that New York has changed. Especially Times Square and downtown.
The Strand is a bastillion of the old guard. If you have never been and you come to New York spend some time there. I think they now have air conditioning but still no cappuccino bar, but you wont' miss it.

The Gotham Apple ©Nina Buesing (plainpicture)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Emily Shur Convo @ Nymphoto

Head over to the Nymphoto Blog to read my interview with dear friend and photographer Emily Shur.

Outkast (Polaroid) © Emily Shur

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Mistress, the Spider, the Tangerine & the Radio (or being 90 is no reason to slow down)

"Art is the gurantee of sanity" Louise Bourgeois

Over the long weekend I finally had the opportunity to see the Louise Bourgeois documentary at Film Forum.
The New York Times has a good review of the film written by Nathan Lee and titled "Portrait of a Haunted Artist Who Befriended Giant Spiders".
I always liked Ms. Bourgeois' art (the spiders, the phalli, the hands, the rooms), but Ms. Bourgeois is also a major attraction herself. One could say she is a art herself.

Also over the weekend I heard an interview with Daniel Schorr on The Leonard Lopate Show.
Mr. Shorr like Ms. Bourgeois is in his nineties. Something I did not know until last week.
Seeing& hearing both of these people who had seen and lived so much and who continue to be so productive was inspiring. It also made me reflect on our youth obsessed culture. And how little deference the elders receive today. I understand not every ninety year old is sharp as a tack like Daniel Schorr or driven like Ms. Bourgeois and that age could be an issue in certain jobs (like the presidency). But experience is irreplaceable and not appreciated enough.
A sense of purpose is what seems to be very fundamental to a person's happiness. And while the examples of Mr. Schorr and Ms. Bourgeois show that an individual responsibility is key, I also think that today not enough value & opportunities are given to the elder.

You can listen to the Daniel Schorr interview here:


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Beatrice Jansen

Via Mrs.Deane I came across the work of newcomer Beatrice Jansen. Take a look at her work via her lovely site: www.beatricejansen.com. My favorite is the "Momentarily" series. Very "The Ice Storm". I also like the "Nature Illusions" series.