Archive for November, 2009

Eggleston + Spoon =

November 30, 2009

SPOON_VINYL_MECHS_Nov3_neon.indd

The cover art for the new Spoon album Transference, features a photograph by William Eggleston, shot in Sumner, Mississippi and originally published in Eggleston’s Guide back in 1976.

I wonder how or if the photograph ties into the themes of the album. Either way I’m looking forward to hearing the new songs.

eggleston_sumnerWilliam Eggleston, Sumner, Mississippi, 1970

Transference will be released on January 26, 2010 in North America.

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Totally Missed This

November 29, 2009

I left the Paris Photo opening party just before it really got going and totally missed this crazy happening. Later that evening my friend showed me some of the photographs he took from the pile and I was quite impressed. One of them displayed an early view of The Statue of Liberty.

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Noah Baumbach – Greenberg

November 24, 2009

1928

November 22, 2009

1928

Morbid Business

November 22, 2009

“Something about the occasion makes me think I’m at my own wake. Sitting for a picture is morbid business. A portrait doesn’t begin to mean anything until the subject is dead. This is the whole point. We’re doing this to create a kind of sentimental past for people in the decades to come. It’s their past, their history we’re inventing here. And it’s not how I look now that matters. It’s how I’ll look in twenty-five years as clothing and faces change, as photographs change. The deeper I pass into death, the more powerful my picture becomes. Isn’t this why picture–taking is so ceremonial? It’s like a wake. And I’m the actor made up for the layout-out.”

-Bill Gray, from Don DeLillo’s Mao II.

Jeannine et Fritz

November 22, 2009

jeanine_et_fritz

A Second Look

November 20, 2009

My first impression of Paris Photo was probably a bit dark and depressing for whatever reason but this is after all supposedly the best of the photography fairs around the world.

One can sense that the selection committee is pretty tight with who they let in but one can get tired of seeing exactly the same thing over and over again from the same big names.

With that in mind I went back for a second look in the hopes of seeing more clearly. This time I found plenty to like but in truth rarely was anything completely new to me.

Here are some highlights in no particular order:

Taiji Matsue at Taro Nasu from Tokyo, Japan:

wyoming_2000_94Taiji Matsue, Wyoming 2000 #94

For 50 Euros, one can buy small, unique gelatin silver prints, hand-cut and selected by the artist himself from his Gazetteer series of landscapes originally made around and leading up to 2002. The landscapes were shot all over the world and are fairly abstract devoid of horizon lines and sky. They are absolutely jewel like in their presence.

Taiji_Matsue

Once I looked through the book of the same project I got a better sense of the series as a whole and realized that one photograph wouldn’t be enough. The book is completely composed of full bleed facing pages which don’t necessarily connect visually, conceptually or geographically.

The prints are quite a bargain and probably the best deal to be found in all of Paris Photo. After all, we are talking about real gelatin silver prints, beautifully realized and far from your everyday inkjet.

JH Engström at Galerie VU from Paris, France:

Engstrom

I have known about JH Engström’s various bodies of work for awhile now but I rarely get a chance to see them in person. His work seems to run in many different directions but overall there is a raw and somewhat carnal feeling to everything he does.

This new group of photographs from the series Wells caught my eye as they held the wall nicely and were beautifully printed.

Leigh Ledare at Guido Costa Projects:

ledare

Anyone walking by this wall of photographs couldn’t help but notice them in all their explicit and twisted glory. Most people can’t even talk to their mothers about sex, let alone bare witness to their mother’s sexual adventures. These photographs are totally deranged yet surprisingly compelling and captivating.

leighledare
Leigh Ledare, Mother in New Home, 2006

Other highlights included a big room filled with vintage Gustave LeGray albumen prints:

Gustave_LeGray

A memorial wall of Evelyn Hofer prints at Galerie M Bochum from Bochum, Germany which included some very choice dye transfer prints:

hoferEvelyn Hofer, Phoenix Park on a Sunday, Dublin, 1966

Lastly, at Michael Hoppen Gallery, I discovered the work of Bernard Voita, with just two small black and white prints on display. These date back to the 90’s and I wonder why I hadn’t heard of him before. The work is comprised of constructed images that play with one’s sense of space and realistic reading of the world.

bernard_voitaBernard Voita, Untitled, 1995

Voita makes some smart photographs which rival the very best of John Divola, Zeke Berman, Thomas Demand or even James Casabere. They are wonderful and confounding.

Paris Photo 2009: First Impressions

November 19, 2009

Brigitte-72dpiBrigitte by Maurizio Anzeri

I’m not sure what this says about my taste or about the bulk of work on display right now at Paris Photo, but the highlight of what I saw there was certainly Italian artist Maurizio Anzeri’s appropriated, hand-stitched and one of a kind vintage portraits.

The series, titled Second Hand Portrait, is far from just a traditional photograph and from what I can tell the artist isn’t even a photographer in any sense of the word. Looking at the work in the Photographer’s Gallery booth, I was reminded a bit of John Stezaker’s appropriated and collaged portraiture.

Anzeri70Priscilla, 1940–2008, by Maurizio Anzeri

Either way, and although the work is somewhat gimmicky, I still find something absolutely uncanny and delectable about this work. It seems that collectors agree as by 4pm on Wednesday, all six pieces on display were sold out.

Now this is not to say that there aren’t other great works to be seen around the fair but I think it’s an overall reflection in my mind of the bind that photography finds itself in right now. Obviously that’s a matter of opinion and something certainly worth arguing about.

See more of Anzeri’s Second Hand Portraits here and here.

J & L: Limited Editions

November 19, 2009

J & L has some lovely and unique Limited Editions on sale for very affordable prices, just in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

MYSTERY ENVELOPE from Michael Schmelling for $75:

schmell_envelope_2

See here for an idea of what could possibly be found inside.

MAMARONECK by David La Spina for $50:

A limited edition hand-made Xerox copy of the original book,
with tipped-in color photographs by La Spina.

mamar_3

HR by Darin Mickey for $75:

Set of three original c-prints from Mickey’s
series, Human Resources. Comes in a manilla
envelope, stamped on the front.

hr_2

There are also other affordable editions by Ed Panar, Rory Mulligan and Gregory Halpern.

Get them all while you can.

Shelia

November 13, 2009

I couldn’t possibly be more obsessed by Shelia, a ridiculously catchy and beautiful new song by Atlas Sound, the solo project of Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox.

It’s probably my favorite track off the new album Logos but the whole album is pretty wonderful all around.

It’s quite simple yet just amazing. I love the rudimentary yet moving, romantic and slightly morbid lyrics:

Shelia, Shelia
You’ll be my wife
Who’ll share my life
We will grow old
And when we die we’ll bury ourselves
Cause no one wants to die alone
Shelia, Shelia
We’ll die alone together
Die alone together