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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

On Avatar, Beauty & Violence

After my friend Eric mused on FB about how beautiful Avatar was, I changed my mind and dragged the husband to a 3D showing of the movie.
I did this partially because I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about and partially because the end of year has brought a yearning for inspiration and beauty in me. As André Leon Talley would say: “It’s a famine of beauty, honey!!”.
Or at least in my mind there is a famine, my mind has been an creative desert.
Maybe things are just a bit to real for me these days.
And exactly for that reason I could have done without all the fighting scenes in Avatar.
I watch & read the news. I don't need to see additional violence. I am always shocked at how much violent imagery & storylines we are bombarded with from entertainment programs. I think it is totally out of control.
Much like chefs sometimes have to reset their pallets and not eat salt for a week, I think society could benefit from a resetting. Everyone should spend a couple of months without watching crime or action tv & movies.
I would have preferred to just spend some time in the forests of Pandora.
There is much to criticize about Avatar. The storyline is unsophisticated to the point of offensiveness.The dialogue is banal. BUT visually Avatar it is a masterpiece. The world of Avatar's Pandora is breathtakingly beautiful. And that is worth a lot.
There is no point to life without beauty and wonder.
Avatar's beauty just might have sparked the right neurons in my brain.
Kudos to James Cameron for holding on to his inner child. And thanks for those wonderful blue feline-esque creatures with long braids and the luminous world they inhabit.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Grey Gardens (The Hamptons)

Meacox Bay © Nina Buesing Corvallo

Last night I finally saw the Grey Gardens adaption with Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.
Both actresses are great in it and also with each other. Definitely worth watching. The story of Big and Little Edie makes one pause.
The third star of the movie - Grey Gardens itself- reminded me how much I like being out on the island or any where near water off-season. I love the cool air, the fog, the muted colors, the deserted beaches and sleepy towns.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Amayo of Antibals @ The Knitting Factory © Nina Buesing Corvallo

I hope you are having a good End of Year.
Just before the holidays we went to see Afrobeat Orchestra Antibalas at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. As expected they are a great live band and it was a treat to see them at such an intimate venue.
If you want to see Antibalas in New York, you can do so New Year's eve at the Knitting Factory. Rumor has it that Antibalas might extend their residency at the Knitting Factory through January. So if New Year's is too hectic (for you), you might just be able to catch them on a Thursday night at the Knitting Factory's BK local. But come prepared. When we went, Antibalas was scheduled for 11:30 PM. But they did not go on stage until 12:45 AM!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Holidays and work are keeping me busy. Put here is some beautifully crafted Mexican Tenango bedspreads to look at : www.lavivahome.com.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Future

How perfect is Camille's last name?! © Camille Seaman

I am a sucker for an Alice Hoffman novel. I have been under the weather, so I cuddled up with the cats and a copy of The Probable Future and read it in one stretch. And I am all better now.
Alice Hoffman's writing is so beautiful and detailed, but hard to translate visually.
Today's Nymphoto Conversation is with Camille Seaman. Like the prose of Alice Hoffman, Camille Seaman's portraits of icebergs are transfixing. The disappearing icebergs are at once magnificent and tragic - and for me Camille Seaman's work also falls into the genre of magical realism.
As I write this, I have a hint of beautiful crisp winter air come in through my window and it makes me wonder how quickly the earth will heat up. When I travelled in arctic circle earlier this year, the locals all spoke about how much milder the winters had become.
Please head over to the Nymphoto blog for my conversation with the inspirational Camille Seaman: www.nymphoto.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gifting & Giving

© Emily Shur

The winter months are here. I am not religious but having grown up in a Northern Country where sunlight is scarce during these months, I am fond of appropriated pagan rituals: good x-mas markets, mulled wine, lots of lights, decorations and even the gift-giving and receiving, -- it makes winter festive and cozy. Yeah, I am dreaming of a white x-mukah ;)
I think (big) gifts are totally unnecessary, however I am always thrilled if I get something homemade like jam or a knitted hat or a cool hand-me-down.
I like to give gifts made by me or the many talented artists & artisans out there. The web makes it easy to find unique stuff. Here is a quick guide to some my favorite online sources:

www.sandrajuto.bigcartel.com great prints , 'wrist worms' & more
www.camillaengman.com 2010 Calendars, the book & more
www.ohmycavalier.com great prints & original art works
www.linea-carta.com baby gifts, linens & more
www.ideapearle.com great prints & custom orders (even Gywneth Paltrow has discoverd Ida!)
www.manos.bircartel.com fabulous ceramics & more
www.collectdotgive.org find prints by my dear friend Emily Shur and the fabulous Susana Raab & others -- all profits go to charity. Both Emily & Susana chose causes close to their hearts.
www.featureshoot.myshopify.com find prints by my friend & Nymphoto cohort Rona Chang - 1o% profits go to Kiva.org

Or maybe simply give to a charity or micro-lender of your choosing!

Happy End-of-Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Upper Case Books: Camilla Engman

courtesy/copyright Camilla Engman/Uppercase

My husband is always wondering where the next "it" place is. I keep telling him it's the Internet.
Downtown New York used to be an "it" place, exploding with new thinking and creativity. It made a lot of people come to New York and they also traveled to places Goa or Kathmandu for adventure and information exchange. The Internet of course cannot replace the experience of physically being in another place, but it sure is an incredible space for information exchange.

The Internet is not always beneficial or benign, but overall it has been good for art.
I discovered the art (and world) of Camilla Engman via her blog. I am a big fan of Camilla's and was so delighted to receive my copy of Upper Case Books Camilla Engman monograph the other day. A must have for any Camilla Engman and/or Morran aficionado. It is beautifully edited, lovingly put together and gives you some wonderful information about Camilla's process.

You can order the book via: www.uppercasegallery.ca or if you are receiving your copy in Europe it might get faster to you if you order a copy directly from Camilla: www.camillaengman.com.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009 & The Movies

2009 was not a great year for film.
I saw Up in the Air last night and liked it. There was some good dialogue, concepts to contemplate, things to identify with, messages to reject and George Clooney is fantastic in it. Even though his suits looked too expensive for his character and he is almost too charismatic compared to the rest of the cast, but maybe that was the point?
Bottom line: It is a very good film.
I heard that Up in the Air is already considered a front runner for best movie of the year (that would be Fantastic Mr. Fox in my opinion) and maybe it is. However in a year with stiffer competition I don't think we would hear this talk. Like I said, it's been a slow year for the movies.
There is not much I wanted or still want to see. I will see Tom Ford's directorial debut A Single Man. Because I know at the very least it will be visually satisfying. You can catch the trailer at IMDB: www.imdb.com.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mary Cameron Goodyear: New Paintings

I am excited for this one! I have been a fan of Cameron's work since I first saw it.
Cameron participated in the first Nymphoto show and generously donated work for the Vote with You Art fundraiser at OK Harris that I helped organize in 2004.
Go check out her new work!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday This & That (free events)

If you are in Philadelphia you can attend a lecture by one of my personal heroes: artist, curator & scholar Deborah Willis.

Deborah Willis
Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present
Philadelphia Free Library
Central Library
1901 Vine Street, 19103
Tuesday, December 8 at 7:30 pm

And if you are in Downtown New York there is a book signing with fashion photography legend Patrick Demarchelier at Clic Gallery tonight. Find more info at: www.clicgallery.com.

Two large format masters will hold events at the Strand this week :

Joel Meyerowitz will be signing books tomorrow December 9th.
Followed by a Robert Polodori book signing Thursday December 10, 2009. For more information visit the Stand calendar: www.strandbooks.com.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Marriage Equality (..New York I love you but you are bringing me down)

Haven't had much time for anything but work right now. But I just wanted to say how greatly disappointed I am that the New York State Senate rejected the Gay Marriage Bill. I am not certain about much in life, but I know that prohibiting same sex marriage is discriminatory.

Marriage is a contract. If you are an adult, non-related, heterosexual, married couple your union is pretty much universally recognized.
In the US married people can transfer real property between one another without paying tax, they can leave their wealth to one another upon death - also tax free. Married people cannot be forced to testify against each other, married people get immigration rights, married people get kinship rights in medical situation and married people share health & social security benefits with their spouses -- the list goes on and on.
If you are in a same sex couple and live in a state such as Massachusetts you can legally marry - however your marriage will still not be recognized by federal law, which means that many of the aforementioned rights will not extend to gay marriages. You can be a legally married same-sex couple in Massachusetts and file your state taxes jointly, but you will still have to separately file your federal tax returns.
You will still be unable to take advantage of the limitless marital deductions afforded to heterosexual marriages. If you are a foreigner residing legally in the US, you can extend your immigration status to your spouse. A gay person - foreign or American- cannot do the same for their partner same-sex spouse or partner.

My husband and I were committed to one another for well over a decade before we married. Many of our friends had children first and then married. But we all did get married. Because it does matter.

I am deliberately not speaking about my gay friends and how wonderful and loving they are. Because I have come to realize that that is ridiculous (in the context of this argument). It is insulting. It does not matter whether one is nice or nasty or how much they love or do not love their partner. These are people. And this is about equality.
Just get with it. It the 21st Century. Lead by example.

Update On Previous Post: Karen Margolis' Show Extended

Good news: Karen Margolis's exhibit at Slate Gallery has been extended through December 2010. For more information and hours operation contact the gallery at (718) 387-3921. Slate Gallery is located 136 Wythe Avenue in Brooklyn just a couple of blocks from the Bedford L stop.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Deer Swims Across Hudson

Head over to Amy Stein's blog to find out more and see footage of the deer that swam across the Hudson. Clearly this incident is a deep well for NY/NJ jokes, but if you really contemplate what happened you realize that this is at once amazing and awful.

Amy's Domesticated series is constructed around incidents like this one. Domesticated examines the paradox of modern live. You can see this extraordinary series at www.amysteinphoto.com.

Struggle from the series Domesticated © Amy Stein

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Marty & Elizabeth (Street)

The Old Hood (Elizabeth Street) © Nina Buesing Corvallo

Martin Scorsese is (one of) my favorite director(s). And The Age of Innocence is one of my favorite movies. The film sucked me into the New York of Edith Wharton-- so much so that I felt the need to read every single thing written by Edith Wharton in one stretch.
Of course much credit goes to Edith Wharton in regard to The Age of Innocence, but Martin Scorsese really has the gift for storytelling.
The Age of Innocence
was Martin Scorsese's first period movie and I remember people being surprised and even disappointed to see this film made by the director of Goodfellas, Mean Streets & Taxi Driver. However The Age of Innocence is really simply another New York story depicting a societal enclave and its rules and attitudes; a contrasting meditation between the individual and their environment - just like its predecessors.
Roger Ebert said about The Age of Innocence that "The story told here is brutal and bloody, the story of a man's passion crushed, his heart defeated." He could have said the same about Goodfellas. (Yes, I know it is odd & repulsive to think of organized crime as a passion but that is what it is for the character of Henry).

Martin Scorsese grew up two blocks from where I used to live on Elizabeth Street. We moved there about a minute before gentrification and our home in Nolita was the crappiest place I ever lived. But it was also the most New York place I ever lived. We had an outrageous landlord (who examines a possibly leaky gas pipe while holding a lit knock-off Zippo two inches from their face?!), an even more offensive upstairs neighbor and sometimes no heat. We also had floods.
And we spent eight weeks and quite a bit of money to even just make the tiny apartment habitable (tx Pete, Melanie, Mom & Dad, Emily, Chris, Jon & Rita -we could not have done it without you). We threw out a whole broiler tray of cockroaches and some ammunition we found in the drop ceiling.
But we also learned much about old skool (New York) city living, because while we lived there, we lived in a true neighborhood. There were always 'eyes on the street' and you actually talked to your neighbors and got involved in the community.We forged bonds and formed unbeatable memories that will last & inspire for a lifetime.
The old neighborhood really came back to me the other day while reading a 1998 New York Times article by Rick Lyman titled IN LITTE ITALY WITH: Martin Scorsese: Scene One: A Fire Escape in which Mr. Scorsese talks about growing up in Little Italy. This fascinating article further endeared this amazing director to me. There is so much tenderness and love (for the city) in his account and it reminds me of another native Downtowner of Italian descent: My husband.
I began this post by saying that Marin Scorsese is (one of) my favorite director(s). Any movie he makes I am willing to see. I don't love every movie he made but that doesn't matter. He simply is a Master and shows no signs of slowing down (The Departed was excellent). As a kid I loved many of Alfred Hitchcock's movies (North By Northwest, Notorious, To Catch A Thief, Rear Window, etc), but there is less emotion in the Hitchcock oeuvre that I can connect too. The only other director that I am otherwise an unabashed fan of is Wes Anderson. Wes can do no wrong.
Martin Scorsese apparently said that Wes Anderson is the next Martin Scorsese. And there you go.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Dude

The (New York) Landmark Sunshine's midnight movie for this holiday weekend is The Big Lebowski. Can't beat that.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Karen Margolis

By accident I came across the watercolor-gouache-graphite-map-fragments-on-abaca-paper works of Karen Margolis this afternoon and I am so glad I did.
Unfortunately today was the last day of her exhibit at Slate Gallery in Brooklyn, but you can take a glimpse at her work online at: www.slategallery.com and www.dieudonne.org.

Update: The show has been extended through the end of the year!

30 Rock

I love that show. It's so New York and Alec Baldwin is better than ever.
You can catch 30 Rock on www.hulu.com.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Camilla Engman @ Galleri 1

click on the image to make larger © Camilla Engman

If you are or will be in Göteborg, Sweden, I recommend visiting Galleri 1 to see Camilla Engman's latest exhibit!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jeanne-Claude & Christo

Downtown has lost another icon. Sadly artist Jeanne-Claude passed away yesterday.
I loved her wild red hair and her epic love story with Christo (read more about that at Wikipedia). I can only imagine how incredibly difficult it must be for Christo, to have lost the love of his life & his collaborator of 51 years.
You can see documentation of their work at: www.christojeanneclaude.net; and find The Los Angeles' times obituary written by Dennis McLellan by clicking here.
Zoe Strauss posted a beautiful photograph of Jeanne-Claude & Christo taken by Bryan Obrien on her blog: www.zoestrauss.blogspot.com.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tonight: Kambui Olujimi

Art Production Fund and Saatchi & Saatchi present:
Kambui Olujimi
The Clouds Are After Me
@ Saatchi & Saatchi
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 19th from 6-8pm

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Sweet, salty and mini pastries - yum! ©Nina Corvallo

If you find yourself in Williamsburg in the need for a little break, step into Nina Brondmo's Bakeri at 150 Wythe Avenue (@ N8). Serene atmosphere, delicious pastry, breads & hot beverages. It feels like my godmother's Marlis old kitchen and I could sit there for hours.
Bakeri is taking orders for Thanksgiving pies. You can order one by stopping in or by phone: 718.388.8037 --orders must be in by November 22.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Anna Collette, Steven B. Smith @ Sasha Wolf

from the series Dark Landscapes © Anna Collette /courtesy Sasha Wolf Gallery

Anna Colette Dark Landscapes
Steven B. Smith
The Weather and a Place to Live
Sasha Wolf Gallery
8 Leonard Street
New York, NY
-through January 9, 2010

Anna Collette's prints are gorgeous and sensual, while Steven B. Smith's work is cerebral and meticulous.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Animal Thursday

© Colleen Plumb

(Predictably) I am currently reading Jonathan Saffran Foer's Eating Animals. I never know if these kind of works change anyone's mind. Or if these books are only read & purchased by those who think/act along the same lines -- like a Christian might read the bible and donate to his or her church or a doctor might take a refresher class about a procedure and gives to her or his Alma Mater.
Jonathan Saffran will be discussing Eating Animals at the Union Square Barnes & Noble November 16 at 7 pm.

© Colleen Plumb

Today's Nymphoto Conversation is with Colleen Plumb (find it at www.nymphoto.blogspot.com). Her series Animals Are Outside Today also looks at our relationship with animals & death. Colleen's work looks at the world we have created and that she lives in with her family, not turning away her gaze from what might make some uncomfortable.
You can see more of Colleen's work at: www.colleenplumb.com.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

All You Need Is One

A Young Wes Anderson © Emily Shur

So last night I attended the Wes Anderson/Noah Baumbach Convo at the NYPL library (tx again Mz. L.). Both directors/writers put on a good show and had great chemistry. I walked away thinking that Wes Anderson loves what he does and that he is able to execute his vision. There is so much compromise in the creative field and business encroaches so much, that more often than not I encounter artists for whom there is little joy left in what they do. Yes, I know that sounds sad and it is. I read somewhere (prob. in the recent New Yorker profile) that Wes Anderson is grace under pressure and last night's appearance seemed to confirm that. Sure he has to deal with his share of crises and pressures, but he is able to laugh about it. And it probably be processed in one of his scripts somewhere.
Wes Anderson shared an anecdote about Bottle Rocket: He spoke about how confident he was while making that film - "Just wait until they see this!" and how insecure he felt just before the first screening. And perhaps rightfully so, because that test audience apparently hated the movie-- except for one girl. Wes Anderson is no drama queen, but he made clear how much the response of that girl meant. It meant there was an audience for his movie(s), someone who got it.
All it takes is ONE.
I guess that is what I took away from the evening. Life is a binary event. It is or it is not. All it takes is one. One person to buy your house when you want to sell it, one person to want to love you, one person to want to see your movie, one person to believe in you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Berliner Mauer

photo by SSGT F. LEE CORKRAN US Air Force

Today is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall (in German: "Berliner Mauer" or simply "Die Mauer"). I lived in Paris then, but went to a German school. Germans for obvious reasons are pretty low key about national identity or displaying any love of country.
But I do remember the days following this historic day and even standing up in class for the national anthem. While for American kids this might not be a big deal, it was a pretty extraordinary moment for us kids at the expat school.
Obviously November 9 was not just a moment in German history. People from everywhere came to Berlin to witness this moment in history (even Dick Avedon!).
My sister and brother-in-law travelled from the US to Berlin to witness the tearing down of the wall. I did not make it to Berlin until a couple of years later. Once I went with a group of German & American friends , and when we were standing in Friedrichshain in front of what remained of the wall we had run out of film. Classic.
As a small child I lived about 50 km from the East German border but I might as well have lived 5000 km away.
I never travelled to East Germany and we did not have family in the East. My dad sometimes had to go for work and he would tell me frightening stories about crossing the border. On the news sometimes you would hear about someone who died while trying to make it to the west. But for me as a child this seemed far away or unreal - like a scary fairytale.
Maybe even for a child the absurdity of it all was clear.

President Kennedy at the Berlin Wall, 26 June 1963 --photo:Robert Knudsen, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nick Brandt

While I was at Staley Wise the other day looking at Lillian Bassman's latest show, I also saw some of Nick Brandt's prints and was just blown away. Clearly his work is up my alley anyway, but I didn't know how beautiful his prints are.
If you have only seen his work on the web or in books, you haven't really seen it.
If you are in New York you can always see his work at Staley Wise Gallery. And if you are in Europe you can see his work here:

November 6 2009 - January 2010

November 10 2009 - January 2010

November 12 - December 24 2009

But if you can't see it in person, take a look at www.nickbrandt.com and the books are beautiful.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fur Coat & Pants

The Most Amazing Larry
© Jeff Cate

Looking to socialize or train your dog? Or maybe you simply need doggy daycare?
If you are in downtown Manhattan give www.furcoatandpants.com a try.
This service was started by my friend Terry who turned his personal experience & love for pets into a caring and professional company - (licensed, insured and bonded!).
Terry's dog Larry (he did not name him, it's a coincidence!) is one of the sweetest and well adjusted pets I have ever encountered, and I think all the credit goes to Terry.
Before we found our cat sitter, travelling was always complicated. It meant imposing on friends (I'm still so grateful to y'all) and sometimes having five different friends stop by to cover our entire absence. With work and family & friends all over the globe we cannot escape travel. The luxury of being able to hire someone trustworthy, competent & loving to take care of our furballs changed our life and the way we travel.
I can only imagine having a dog is even more complicated.
Fur Coats & Pants may be able to help. You can reach Fur Coats & Pants at 212.929.4828 or visit their website: www.furcoatandpants.com.
PS: It's all in the family: Nymphoto's Melanie Oswald (Melanie among other things posts our Saturday Go-Go Gadgets feature) did the Fur Coats & Pants website & my friend Jeff did all the photography, pretty neat huh? See more of Jeff's work at www.jeffcate.com.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Notes from The Gym (It's Like A Wes Anderson Film)

This year I joined and learned to love the gym. I don't like when people tell me what to do and I am not a follower. Thus classes never worked well for me and I found it hard to stay committed. Now I work out by myself (or with the husband) and I really enjoy it. I get into a zone and it can be incredibly meditative and most importantly I feel great.
My gym is mellow and I am entertained by all the different characters (the Walkman is not obsolete technology in my gym universe). I wish I was a better writer, so that with great wit I could capture the many regular protagonist found at my gym: The leggy blond with the beautiful long hair who brings all the fans she can find and positions them around her before she starts running or the guy who will always loudly grunt and then yell to himself at the top of his lungs: "Come on" and "You can do this", motivating everyone to run that extra mile-- and my all time favorite (and the one that kinda grosses me out): the girl that eats on the treadmill. Yesterday she reached a new height: She had split pea soup on the treadmill - with croutons. Seriously.
Maybe she is under the impression that if she eats at the gym the food has no calories. I don't know.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday NYC Love Letter

Manhattan in the 80's ©Nina Buesing Corvallo

I heart New York, I really do.
My friend S. recently said, how she thought London was having a moment but that New York would have a moment again too.
I moved to New York during the peak of the crack & crime wave. I went to school at the edge of midtown and I hung out downtown. Fortunately nothing bad ever happend to me in New York. When I first moved here someone stole my backpack. I learned quickly and to this day you won't be catching me not holding or maintaining contact with my bag while out. There are other behaviors you adopt when you live in a big city (you'll also never catch me in high heels walking home alone late at night) and they probably helped me stay safe. Sheer luck of course is the other reason.

The City & I © Buesing

I have always felt comfortable in New York. It's like a good marriage, even during the bad times, you know that you will get through it.
Anyway, I started this post wanting to write about a few things happening in New York (so much to do & see!), but I guess it turned (yet again) into another mini-New York love letter.
Oh well.
Our friend Ben, a 'native', just finished working on one of his love letters to the city. I can't wait to see Downtown Calling. Take a sneak peek at the film : www.downtowncalling.com.
PS: Don't forget to vote today!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Late Night Snack: Piccola Cucina Focacceria

Take me back to Genova © Nina Buesing /Getty

In case you find yourself searching for food in the Central Village after much Halloween fun tonight, give Piccola Cucina Focacceria on McDougal (near W 3rd) a try.
I just ate a delicious Focaccia di Recco with fresh arugula and tomato there.
Best part: They are open until 3 AM! (Jason, I can hear you sigh)

Recco is near Genova -- one of my favorite places in the world. In fact that whole region is fabulous. And next time I am there I will be sure to checkout Recco.
Read more about Recco in Michael Frank's article Hidden Beauty in Northern Italy (Travel Leisure, September 2009), which you'll find by clicking here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lillian Bassman, Staley Wise & New York Spaces

© Lilian Bassman

Today I stopped by Staley Wise to see Lillian Bassman's Women exhibit (there is also a book of the same title). It is always nice to see those gorgeous prints of hers and to step into Staley Wise Gallery.
You cannot find a a bad photograph in this old skool gallery that is filled with prints and books and friendly staff.
New York + functional space + wood floors + white walls +photographs + art books = comfort -- at least for me.
Such spaces remind me of my days spent totally at peace in the darkroom or of working at a studio. Life is messier now and peace harder to come by. But I am not complaining.

Anyway go see the work:

Lillian Bassman
Staley Wise Gallery
560 Broadway
NYC 10012
- through November 28, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ellen Rennard

This week's Nymphoto Conversation is with Ellen Rennard!
Ellen's work is beautifully observant, soothing and timeless.
Head over to www.nymphoto.blogspot.com to see and read more.

I love these faces © Ellen Rennard

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seen & Read

A couple of nights ago I saw The September Issue. And as you might have heard Grace Coddington is the true star of the movie (and Anna Wintour is really not all that scary). If you are in NYC this Thursday evening you can catch Ms. Coddington in person at her book signing for The Catwalk Cat at one of my favorite places: Clic Gallery.
I also saw Coco avant Chanel - and liked it very much. Can't agree with The New Yorker Review here. Beautiful movie- the visual from the orphanage scenes are the most memorable & beautiful I have seen since the George Clooney/Horse scene in Michael Clayton.
And I thought Audrey Tautou eloquently captured the spirit of Coco Chanel.

This week's New Yorker has a profile about filmaker Wes Anderson. If you are a Wes Anderson follower the article doesn't cover any new ground, but it is still a nice read and a good introduction if you are new to the universe of Mr. Anderson.
Mr. Anderson reportedly now primarily resides in Paris and has spent more time abroad. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Limited were not as well received as The Royal Tenenbaums or Rushmore. Both Life Aquatic and Darjeeling Limited are set outside the US and I wonder if that is what alienated some from those movies or maybe (re)viewers just wanted more of exactly the same.
Life Aquatic is probably my favorite Wes Anderson movie so far (agreeing with The New Yorker on this one). I felt Wes Anderson was really delving into his creativity and the story reflected an evolution. Wes Anderson is a couple of years older than me. I am not where I was ten years ago in life and neither it seems is Wes Anderson or his movies - and that's a relief.
See you at Fantastic Mr Fox :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tim Burton @ MOMA

I am really looking forward to the Tim Burton retrospective at MoMA (ahh..living in NYC can be so good), which opens this November.
Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite films and I think it is time to see it again.
Find out more about the Tim Burton exhibit by visiting: www.moma.org.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Two Shows: Alexander Gorlizki

Vanishing Point, Pigment & Gold on Paper© Alexander Gorlinzki

Alexander Gorlizki
Appointments & Disappointments
Kudlek Van Der Grinten Galerie
Schaafenstrasse 25
50676 Köln - Germany
Oct. 30-Dec. 19, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday October 30, 2009


Alexander Gorlizki
Soft Succulent Sublime
Daniel Weinberg Gallery
6148 Wilshire blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Oct.31-Dec.19, 2009
Opening reception: Saturday, 21 November, 6-8 pm

Friday, October 23, 2009

Checking in On Julianna Swaney & More

I love how Julianna has introduced blue into her palette © Julianna Swaney

My husband and I are both interested in history and particularly in the history of New York. We talk and read a lot about past decades in the city, sometimes being nostalgic for a New York that mostly does not exist anymore.
My husband wonders which will be the next "place to be".
I think the "place to be" right this minute is the net. It allows for so much exchange and discovery.
I first came across the work(& world) of Julianna Swaney's work on the net - along with lots of other artists. And the great thing is, that the net allows one to keep track of artists and what they are up to.

Anyway, Julianna is incredibly productive and diligent about posting on her blogs - www.rareredbird.blogspot.com & www.ohmycavalier.blogspot.com , allowing her audience to follow her process.

You can revisit my conversation with Julianna, by clicking here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Silly but fun: www.deanjackson.dj/nameanagram/. (tx Emma)
Yours truly,
Vanilla Croon AKA Nina Corvallo

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nymphoto Blog

Go-Go Gadget: Rainbow-ified Darth (mini)Nina ©Melanie Oswald

Nymphoto had a great year. And for the rest of the year we are just tweaking operations to be prepped for what next year might bring.
Melanie recently started a new 'tech & geek' segment on the Nymphoto blog called Go-Go Gadget that publishes Saturdays- because girls do like tech.
We of course are continuing with the Nymphoto Conversations series. We had some really nice ones lately and more great ones to come. Ellen Rennard will be featured soon (a horsewoman just like me!) and soon we will also publish a re-interview with Emily Shur.
Also coming soon will be our Picture of The Week segment. And we'd like to expand on Nymphoto Op-Ed, so if you have an opinion piece relevant to Women in the Arts/Photography send it to submissions(at)nymphoto.com for review.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

The Precious (sold already!), The Comandant & The Widower (love the titles of the works) ©Ryan McLennan

I have lots of work right now, but Saturday I took a break to see Ryan McLennan's show, which was - as expected- great. Go see it at Joshua Liner Gallery in Chelsea.

On Sunday night my friend Andrea taught me how to cook a new delicious wintry vegge dish using a recipe by Peter Berley.
We made balsamic roasted seitan with Cipollini onions with sides of mashed potatoes & baked kale. It's a great winter dish and quick to make. The recipe for the seitan dish can be found in Peter Berley's easy-to-follow cookbook Fresh Food Fast. The mashed potatoes we made with Ronnybrook dairy and the baked kale is simply washed and sprinkled with olive oil & salt, then baked until crisp on the edges. Easy as pie. Bon Appétit! as Julia would say.

Hail Seitan ;) -- Seitan Stew a la Peter Berley © Nina Corvallo

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Reminder: Ryan McLennan Opening Reception Tonight

©Ryan McLennan

Ryan McLennan
The Strain of Inheritance
Joshua Liner Gallery
548 West 28th Street
3rd Floor, Gallery II
Chelsea, NY
October 17-November 14, 2009
Reception: Saturday October 17, 6-9 PM

©Ryan McLennan

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Or Stop To Smell The (Homegrown) Catnip

It is important to stop and take the time to smell the roses, eat pie or try the freshly harvested catnip © Nina Corvallo

Stop And Eat Your Apple Pie

Sometimes it is all about the little things.
I love Apple Pie. If you don't want to make one from scratch, but are in the mood for a good apple pie, I recommend getting a (refined) sugar free one from Windy Maples Farm at the Union Square Green Market.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Hectic around here, so it will be a bit slow on the blog this week.
Hope your week is going well!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thursday: Melanie Schiff @ Horton & Liu

Water Birth 2007 Digital C-print courtesy Horton & Liu/©Melanie Schiff

Melanie Schiff
Mirror & Mastodon
Horton & Liu
504 W 22nd Street
New York, NY
October 15 – November 14, 2009
Opening Reception October 15

Saturday, October 10, 2009

This One Is For You, Rona

from The Hold © Rona Chang

My friend and Nymphoto cohort Rona explores and interprets the world by recording the nexus between people and environment. Her series The Hold is one of my favorites, you can find it by visiting: www.ronachang.com.
The New York Times today is featuring new work by artist Mitch Epstein, that explores similar themes to Rona's work, you can find a slide show of Mitch Epstein's work, by clicking here; And find the accompanying article written by Randy Kennedy and titled Capturing a Nation’s Thirst for Energy, by clicking here.
Mitch Epstein always produces interesting work and his 1996 monograph Vietnam: A Book Of Changes is one I routinely look at.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Irving Penn 1917-2009

Irving Penn. What can I say? His work means so much to me and is so extraordinary.
I think no other photographer was as able. The other great, Richard Avedon - in my opinion- captured more powerful portraits and perhaps had the bigger outer personality.
But Mr. Penn was Mr. Avedon's equal & biggest rival in photographing fashion and in my mind the best still life photographer -- ever.
Most photographers pick one genre or are only talented in one area of photography.
But Irving Penn excelled in all he photographed and left an exquisite and unsurpassed body of work.
I still shoot film. In part because my aesthetic was formed by the incredible work of Irving Penn.
Eternal elegance, a confident sense of composition and a contemplative view of beauty guided his work. His prints are unbelievable. The richness of those works cannot (yet?) be duplicated by digital process. The subtle beauty and amazing command of tonal range is something I could geek out about for a very long time.
The original prints are so amazing that even reproductions can blow you away, Irving Penn's monograph Passage is a perfect example. It must be one of the most beautiful mass produced art books ever published.
For more about the life and work of Mr. Penn, head over to the NY Times to read Andy Grundberg Irving Penn obituary, you can find it by clicking here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things to Look Forward To

Emily's new work:

Four Eyed Fantasy teaser from Isacto on Vimeo. Courtesy Isacto/Emily Shur

AND the 2010 calendar by Camilla Engman! Find out more about this via Camilla's blog: www.camillaengman.blogspot.com.

AND Ryan McLennan first New York Solo Show at Joshua Liner Gallery. The opening reception is next Thursday. OOOPS! CORRECTION -- SATURDAY, NOT THURSDAY! tx, Ryan!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Opening Tonight @ Clic

in Soho at Clic Gallery

Vincent Fournier
Space Project
Clic Gallery
424 Broome Street
New York, NY
October 6-November 1, 2009
Opening Reception: October 7, 6-9 PM

Check out the work of this imaginative Burkinafaso native. The artist will be signing copies of his monograph during the opening reception.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Video Killed The Radio Star

Today another friend lost their job. While some news outlets declare the worst is over, many of my friends are still loosing their jobs. Partly this is because I have many friends who work(ed) in a dying industry.
The recession seems to have accelerated the death of the magazine and whether it is for editorial photographer or designers, things are rough.
Much has been said about the decline of this industry. Some critiques have blamed the industry itself for not maintaining a high standard of creativity.
I think the Internet simply killed magazines -- for the most part. It is true however that many publications had not churned out interesting content and were unadventurous visually for the past decade.
I am still very loyal to the New Yorker and Travel & Leisure Magazine. And I would not enjoy either as much if it were only available online.
I like to read a magazine or book in the bathtub, in bed or when I am out of town.
And I don't want to be 'plugged in' all the time. At heart I am a 20th Century girl.

Speaking of books: I went to the Strand's 3rd floor rare book section today-- what a magical place! I hope it is here to stay.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

London (Re) Calling

London Calling © Nina Buesing

One of the pleasures of travelling is that the places I travel to stay with me. Especially right after a trip where I went and what I saw occupies my mind. I am reading some books about England and as I am scanning images from my London trip, I have All Creatures Great and Small playing in the background via Netflix .
This time we only spent time in London, but I hope next time we can see the English country side.
Jason wrote about visiting New Forest in his post Dog & Pony Show and it sounds like a place I should experience.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Post Script: Stable Market Find

Photograph produced by Sansosanya Photo Studio F.35 Zaria - owned by Corvallo

Actually I did buy something while in London. The above photograph taken in Zaria, Nigeria by a local photographer. Not quite like a Seydou Keïta or Malick Sidibé, but interesting nonetheless. Jason came up with a great title for this photograph. Want to share your suggestions for a title?

Friday, October 2, 2009

London Markets

At Camden Markets © Nina Buesing

Commerce is intrinsic to urban living. And one thing I liked very much about London were the markets. From food to antiques, there is a market for everything and everyone.
The small shop seemed alive and well in London too.

Indian Throws & Hungarian Linen Sacks @ The Cloth Shop © Nina Buesing

London is expensive, and I did not shop. But if I did I would have picked up a Tartan blanket at The High Land Store, some fabrics and another Kantha throw at The Cloth Shop - both in Notting Hill. If I had wanted to really splurge I would have checked out The Portobello Print & Map Show . For little trinkets Chloe Alberry is great (the actual store has more stuff than their site shows) - both of those stores are also on Portobello Road in Notting Hill.

One of Many Horse Sculptures @ Stables Market © Nina Buesing

My husband of course insisted that we went to the 'birth place' of the Clash: Camden Town. And thus our illustrious hosts Chad & Jason took us to browse the Stables Markets -which a part of the Camden Markets. Like St.Marx place in NYC, many stalls in Camden have lots of tchotchkes to offer, but you can also find some great stands with plenty of exquisite goodies and some cool stores with robot toys and more (Glitter gun anyone?!). One mother-daughter team had great stuff from East Africa and I actually regret not picking up an intricately beaded African necklace reminiscent of a Kirdi apron that they were selling.
The Stables Market used to be stables and a horse hospital -- which is commemorated by recently added large bronze Horse sculptures throughout the market. As Chad remarked, it is great that such artistic commissions are still awarded and for me these sculptures are a beautiful example of public art.

'The Fromagier' & Fresh English Strawberries @ Borough Market © Nina Buesing

I love to go on about how great our Farmer's Market is, but I (also) gotta give respect (as a certain Staines native would say) to the Borough (Food) Market. Chad & Jason took us there on our first morning in London and we had an exquisite picnic with our bounty from the market.
The produce was amazing (especially the cheese!) and the sellers are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I highly recommend checking the market out -- in fact the whole area is pretty cool and I think somewhat underrated. London Bridge is close by, as is London Towers and I love the architecture of nearby Butler's Wharf. North-West London is more fashionable, but there is plenty good stuff to find South-East as well. Sometimes as an outsider you get a better view.

The View from Near Butler's Wharf © Nina Buesing