Archive for August, 2007

Tokyo

August 30, 2007

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Thomas Struth, Shinju-ku (Skyscrapers), Tokyo 1986

I will be visiting Tokyo for the next 9 days as I am leaving tomorrow morning on an editorial assignment. It’s my first time traveling to Japan as well as any place in East Asia.

Needless to say I am getting very excited.

The above photograph by Thomas Struth is one of my favorites. Although most people tend to rave about his colorful (and overrated) Museum Photographs, I prefer his crisp black & white 8 x 10 photographs of empty urban environments shot in cities around the world. You can see more of those photographs here.

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Favicons

August 23, 2007

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I love seeing a cool and unique favicon on a website. I think every site should have one.

While writing the previous post I visited Bob Dylan’s website and noticed the favicon they were using. I think it’s really fantastic. It’s amazing to see how much information can be conveyed in such a tiny file and using so little space.

I'm Not There – Todd Haynes

August 23, 2007

Finally a trailer for the upcoming Bob Dylan biopic directed by the always interesting and fascinating filmmaker Todd Haynes. I always look forward to seeing a film by Todd Haynes, Safe and Dottie Gets Spanked are two of my favorites. Not to mention the unmentionable Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. Click here to watch that classic film.

Christine Collins

August 23, 2007

Leaves, 2005
Christine Collins, Leaves, 2005

Speaking of gorgeous color, I really love this photograph by Christine Collins. I’d love to see an actual print. It’s part of a series called Acreage which contains a few other poetic gems.

William Eggleston

August 21, 2007

William Eggleston, Untitled (field of yellow and purple flowers), 1978
William Eggleston, Untitled (field of yellow and purple flowers), 1978

I’ve been staring at this William Eggleston photograph on my desktop for a couple of days now. I found it originally at this site and can’t believe how gorgeous the colors are. Another reason I’ve been looking at it so much is because I’d like to find a similar location for a photograph I want to make (more on that project later).

Anybody have any idea where this could’ve been taken or where an equally wonderous field of flowers might be?

This Is England

August 19, 2007

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I skipped out on the free outdoor concert of The National at South Street Seaport this past Friday due to the rain and ended up seeing a film that wasn’t even remotely on my radar.

This Is England, written and directed by Shane Meadows is a coming of age story set during the early 1980’s in northern England. Thomas Turgoose, in an amazing and powerful performance, plays Shaun a 12 year old kid living alone with his mother. His father having died recently while fighting in the Falklands war.

During the course of the film he finds new friends and role models in a bunch of local skinheads. They take him in, dress him up, give him a buzzcut and in the process make him feel good about himself. Then an older racist skinhead returns to town after a stint in jail only to break up the gang with his racial prejudices and violent tendencies.

This was a great film in so many ways. It has a gritty realism and authenticity that really came alive on screen. And for someone who never really understood what the skinhead movement was all about, it was a real learning lesson.

The movie is in theaters now. Go out and see it.

Morton Bartlett: Dolls & Photographs

August 17, 2007

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I finally got around to seeing the Morton Bartlett exhibition at the Julie Saul Gallery in Chelsea. I first heard about Bartlett’s work from reading Roberta Smith’s glowing review in The New York Times last week. I was surprised that I had never heard of him before given the amount of press surrounding so many “outsider” artists today. I knew I had to see the work for myself.

The great thing about this show in particular is the inclusion of three actual dolls (out of a total 15 that he created during his lifetime). Not only did he give his dolls anatomically correct features but he also made the elegant outfits and shoes they wear. As objects, they really stand out for the sincere attention given to them.

The photographs are wonderful too. I’m particularly fond of the small and intimate black & white photos. The recently printed (and much larger) color photographs made from old Kodachrome slides are lovely as well. The colors are unbelievable and really pop off the page. I love how he sometimes sets the dolls into realistic backdrops and how the poses really feel of the moment. I also appreciate the range of emotions that he manages to express using the same doll with in a different setting.

Unfortunately the show closes today but I was really happy to see it.

Max Roach, 1924-2007

August 16, 2007

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Max Roach, one of the most important and innovative modern jazz drummers died today.

One of the first jazz records I ever listened to was Monkey Jungle with Duke Ellington on piano, Charles Mingus on the bass, and Max Roach on drums. It’s an unforgettable jazz album and probably one of the best ever.

Jens Lekman – Friday Night at the Drive In Bingo

August 14, 2007

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Jens Lekman has a new album coming out on October 9, 2007 and it’s called Night Falls Over Kortedala. I’ve only heard this one song so far but I can definitely tell you that I’m obsessed! It’s been on repeat all day. I love everything about it: his voice, the old school sounding beat, the sweet horn, and the witty lyrics.

I saw Jens perform last summer when he played Bowery Ballroom and I would highly recommend his live show as it really kicks ass.

He’ll be back in New York City at Webster Hall on October 27th. Don’t forget your dancing shoes.

Pre-order the album here.
Buy tickets for the show here.

Traffic

August 14, 2007

Rush Hour Traffic in NYC
Rush Hour Traffic in New York City

According to a New York Times report, the US Department of Transportation has allocated $354 million to help Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg finance traffic reduction and congestion pricing in Manhattan.

All I can say is, it’s about time something was done to repair the car situation in this city. I understand that it isn’t fair to everyone who lives here but we have to take the necessary steps to fix the problem. The buses and taxicabs are moving at a snails pace or don’t move at all, the air quality stinks, and people just don’t need to be driving into the city. If it was up to me I’d re-instate the post-September 11th traffic rules about entering Manhattan during morning rush hour: two people per car unless you drive a commercial vehicle. It was a great solution to our traffic problems at the time and should never have been abandoned. It gave the streets back to our public transportation system as well as to the people who live here.