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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
CAMERAWORK GALLERY, Berlin

November 10 2009 - January 2010
YOUNG GALLERY, Brussel

November 12 - December 24 2009
A.GALERIE, Paris

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