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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Italiani: Ghirro, Castagnoli

courtesy Sasha Wolf Gallery/© Guido Castagnoli

Ahh, I might be a bit partials to Italians -- for familial reasons. Or perhaps I am just having a Dolce Vita moment, what I can tell you for sure is that I am seriously excited about the upcoming show at Sasha Wolf Gallery.
It will showcase the work of Guido Castagnoli. Take a sneak peak at: www.sashawolf.com.
The exhibit will open September11 and run through November 1, 2008.
Also the work of the late Luigi Ghirri has been on my mind. A good post about his work can be found over at The Year in Pictures and on ye rin mok/blog.
Both Signori Castagnoli & Ghirri have (had) an extraordinary sense of color and strong sense of composition but their work is not just great on a formal level there is just an exquisite appreciation & observation for life and culture in their imagery.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Also Tonight: Jane Tam Opening

from Can I Come Home with You?©Jane Tam

Jane Tam @
Hun Gallery: The Circular Exhibition: Term I
12 West 32nd street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001
Aug. 22. 2008- Aug. 28. 2008
Opening Reception- Aug. 22. 2008 (6pm-8pm)

Opening of Momma's Man

Aza Red NYC ©Nina Buesing

Aza's movie Momma's Man opens wide today!
Go get tickets!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tema Stauffer Conversation

White Horse,Palmair,Car Skeleton & Flag © Tema Stauffer

Art is a funny thing.
I find what it is hard to put into words. However I know it when I feel it.
A photograph can mean the world to me and while I am not unique, I do think that I am lucky that an image can give me so much solace.
One's photographer's work (& writing) in particular has brought me great comfort & inspiration. It is the work of Tema Stauffer. As I mentioned before I am interested in American stories because of the current political climate. And Tema tells great stories about her home country.
But what is most meaningful about her work to me, is the compassion she puts forward. It seems she never judges with her camera and she is full of empathy & hope for her subjects.
I guess in a way that is very American, the hope for redemption, for second chances. And despite it all, I do believe that second chances are given here more than anywhere else and that is something to love.
Head over to the Nymphoto blog to check out this week's Nymphoto Conversation with Tema Stauffer - conducted by yours truly ;).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ida's Book is Out!

Litte Underwater World ©Ida Pearle

A Child's Day , Ida Pearle's first book with Harcourt is now published! Really exciting. Go Ida!
But don't forget to also head over to Ida's site: www.idapearle.com. She has great prints and of course her Alphabet Cards for sale.

The Beach ©Ida Pearle

Christina Applegate

Kudos to Christina Applegate for being so frank about her recent breast cancer diagnosis & her choice of treatment: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7570211.stm.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

California Dreamin': A Conversation with Patrick Romero

The girls & I have a great string of Conversations over at the Nymphoto Blog. But I love the boys too, so I grabbed the chance to have a conversation with Patrick Romero for my blog.
I was introduced to Patrick's work via Amy Stein's blog and then got in touch with him to get his first self-published collection of images: 28 Famous Views of Los Angeles.
I grew up on dubbed American television in Europe and this had a visual impact. While the plots were often stupid, there was some really iconic imagery being created in American film & television and it made an impression on me.
I spent the last few years of high school in New York. Which is not so different from living in urban centers in Europe. California, on the other hand, is something else.
Rockford Files, Hart to Hart, Malibu Barbie, swimming pools, Joshua Tree, Laurel Canyon & the Chateau is what California is all about for me. (I apologize here to any Californian that I am offending).
Again it's not about the stories or values behind those things, but about a certain vibe. Unlike many New Yorkers, I love LA. I like the light, the mild humid winters, the tropical fauna, the color palette and I marvel at its' decadence (pools in the desert?!).
Anyway. There is something about LA and I think that something Los Angeles native Patrick Romero captures beautifully.
He has an amazing eye and he really creates/captures vibe.His sense of color, moment and detail is fantastic. Oh and he is great with words too.

American West © Patrick Romero

N: Tell us a little about yourself?

PR: I was born, raised and currently reside in Los Angeles. I work in the film industry as a motion picture camera assistant, mostly in episodic television. I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UCLA. I never went to art school.

Boho Chic & Fauna © Patrick Romero

N: How did you discover photography?

PR: About 5 years ago out of boredom and on a whim I bought a twin-lens Rolleiflex from an old man in the Hollywood hills. I think I saw one at a friend's house and decided I wanted one. Prior to that I was very much a dabbler. I always had an interest in the visual arts and occasionally shot with an old Canon AE-1 I received as a birthday gift. But since I spent my early twenties getting loaded and being a jackass it never really went very deep. But when I bought the Rollei I had been working in the film industry a few years and had acquired a working knowledge of the technical aspects of shooting. The set was my classroom and the Rollei my lab. Learning to orient the image in the viewfinder with what was in front of me, learning to compose in a square...it gave me a kind of pleasure and satisfaction that no other endeavor did. So I started shooting friends, girlfriends, street scenes, etc.I shot in this kind of desultory manner not really knowing where to go with it. Then I saw Alec Soth speak at Photo LA in January 2007.
I had just become familiar with his work. Before that I had a pretty basic knowledge of the photographic world. I was familiar with the legends..Frank, Arbus, etc. But Soth's work revealed a whole style and genre of photography that was somewhat unfamiliar but had a visual language I felt an instant kinship with. His talk inspired me to make the kind of pictures I'd wanted to make..it sounds corny but it's true. I love shooting..isn't there some line about sex being good even when it's bad That's how i feel about taking pictures..though there's plenty of agony to go along with that sometimes...

Portraiture © Patrick Romero

N: Where do you find inspiration??

PR: It's everywhere..a random phrase, something I see on the drive to work..I'm a bit of a space cadet and a daydreamer. I've always got some scenario or image running through my head.
Also, painting. I love John Singer Sargent, Gerhard Richter, Hockney, who I wasn't a big fan of
until I went to his retrospective at LACMA and saw his incredible pencil sketches..Edward Ruscha and the artists around the Ferus Gallery..Kienholz, Berman, etc.. Los Angeles is also an inspiration to me obviously.
Also meeting and communicating with other photographers whose work I admire has been a big inspiration and motivation to me. At the end of last year I met Amy Stein. She was the first one to respond to my sad little e-mails and give me some encouragement. When she came to LA she met with me and looked at my work which was huge to me. Anyone who knows her will vouch for her awesomeness and she'll always be welcome at my table.. if I ever get one. But really inspiration comes from all directions. One of the more hauntingly beautiful images I've ever seen has been on a car commercial the last few months.

Cali Vista © Patrick Romero

N: How do your projects come about?

PR: This is kind of hard to answer because they are all still evolving except for my "Lifestyles in the Golden Land" project that I've been working on for over a year now. I get an idea, a thought, an image. A kind of laundry list. Start shooting until I see a pattern or point of view emerging. Then I step back, assess and dive back in with a more focused approach. I wish I could do that whole art school thing of saying "well I'm going to do a project about the effects of gentrification" or some such thing and then go out and shoot it. But I accepted early on that that's not my way of working.

N: What's next?

PR: The way things are going probably the county asylum or the poorhouse!! Seriously, just working on my projects..shooting, scheming and dreaming. I'm doing some assisting for my friend Amanda Milius, a fashion/editorial photographer. I'm looking to pursue some of that kind of work soon myself so working with her is an opportunity to learn about some of that. Mainly I need to get a website up. Then I want to self-publish another book. I have plenty of things up my sleeve but they involve money and LA isn't a cheap place to live. I need a wealthy benefactor or a rich girlfriend. (Just kidding..about the rich girlfriend that is.)

N: Thank you!

To see more of Patrick's photography go visit his blog: This Space Available for Filming

Monday, August 18, 2008

Documenting the Face of America

Dorothea Lang at work & Dust Storm by Arthur Rothstein
courtesy the Library of Congress Prints and Photos Division

Read Felicia R. Lee's article for The New York Times, titled Recalling Mission to Capture Era's Misery to find out more about the PBS documentary Documenting the Face of America: Roy Stryker and the FSA/OWI airing this week.

Florence Thompson and Children by Dorothea Lange.
courtesy the Library of Congress Prints and Photos Division

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rory Stewart

Andrew Hetherington's blogpost about his friend The Walking Fool, made me think again of Rory Stewart (who I briefly mentioned before on the blog). Rory also walked great distances - in his case through Pakistan, Iran, India, Nepal and in 2002 Afghanistan. Rory recounts that experience in his New York Times bestseller The Places In Between and it is a great read. After a stint in Iraq (which he also wrote about), Rory returned to Afghanistan where he established and currently runs the Turquoise Mountain Foundation.
To find out more about Rory & the foundation watch the Charlie Rose Tomorrow segment below. And if you ever have the chance to see Rory speak, grab it, he is a gifted orator.

courtesy Charlie Rose Tomorrow