Archive for December, 2011

The Real Unknown – Justin James Reed

December 31, 2011

“I have always thought of that group of photographers (New Topographics) as turning the camera around, from nature itself, and pointing it toward development and human infrastructure at a critical time. Realising that I wanted to do something in the natural world, it struck me that it was a particularly poignant time to turn the camera around again, this time back toward the natural world, seeing what was left 40 years later. Perhaps most unexpected was how much this offered in terms of clarifying the change in perception toward nature itself and the sense of alienation mentioned earlier.”

-From an in-depth interview with Justin James Reed on The Great Leap Sideways.

Eva Zeisel, 1906-2011

December 31, 2011

Eva Zeisel by Mark Heithoff

I came late to the design of Eva Zeisel but I have been happily drinking tea out of one of her elegant teapots each morning for a few months now.

Zeisel was quite an inspiration, 105 years old and kept working until about the very end.

Read the full obituary here as well as an article from 2007 about her from New York Magazine.

Books – 2011

December 29, 2011

It has been an exciting year for books and I thought it would be fun to take a crack at putting a list together. I tried to incorporate some smaller publications that might not have been listed elsewhere.

Most Exciting Use Of A Risograph:

Vestiarium Scoticum by Nick Relph

Best Bootleg:

The Sun As Error by Shannon Ebner and Dexter Sinister

New Dictionary:

Marc Hundley’s Dictionary

Best Book About NYC:

A History of New York by Matt Keegan

Best Crime Books:

Redheaded Peckerwood by Christian Patterson

A Criminal Investigation by Yukichi Watabe

Best Book Published Last Year Which I Only Picked Up This Year:

La Carte d’après Nature by Thomas Demand

Best Book Of Painting:

Spine by R.H. Quaytman

Most Spontaneous Book Purchase At Le Bal:

Terezín by Daniel Blaufuks

Best New Google Image Zine:

L’ancien régime by Pierre Le Hors

Best New Bauhaus Zine:

Dessau by Bill Sullivan

Most Extreme Use of Appropriation:

Catcher In The Rye by Richard Prince

Best Book People Still Can’t Seem To Get A Hold Of Even Though It Was Officially Published And Released Last Year And Is Supposedly Coming In February:

Broken Manual by Alec Soth

Best Book That Is More Sculpture Than Photo Book:

Astronomical by Mishka Henner

Best Monograph Or Longterm Project:

The Crooked Path by Jeff Wall

Is This Place Great or What by Brian Ulrich

Dirk Braeckman by Dirk Braeckman

Jerzy Skolimowski's Deep End

December 22, 2011

If you have some spare time, stop in to BAM on Thursday night for the last screening of Deep End by Jerzy Skolimowski.

The film, originally released in 1970, is a strange, mysterious and uncomfortable exploration of a young man’s coming of age in London while working at a public bath. I caught a screening of the film tonight and was pleasantly surprised by its awkward whimsy.

Painted Lady

December 16, 2011

Actual Size:
3.5 x 4.5 inches

An Evening with Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel

December 14, 2011

I was at the first Diane Arbus Slide Show re-presented by Aperture a couple of months ago.

Judging by the long line out the door, it seemed like something that could be shown in a movie theater for a couple of weeks and sell out each night. Overall I enjoyed looking at Arbus’ photographs while listening to her speak about them. It really was just like she was in the room in many ways. She speaks honestly and brutally and with plenty of humor about what she sees in her photographs and possibly what attracted her to her subjects.

One major thought I had after leaving the theater was related to photographers (perhaps all artists) making work today and the expectations put on them to be able to explain their work in words. Listening to Arbus speak, I wondered if a photographer today could get away with speaking the way she did. She actually didn’t have that much to say specifically (then again the pictures say so much) and she certainly didn’t have a thesis all wrapped up in a pretty bow.

In either case, Aperture is re-staging the talk once again tonight and it is a worthwhile experience.

The documentary Who is Marvin Israel is equally engaging and enlightening as I didn’t realize what a huge figure he was in Arbus’ life as well as Avedon’s, not to mention his own artistic drive.

An Evening with Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel

Thursday, December 15, 2011
7:30 pm


School of Visual Arts Theatre
333 23rd Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
New York, New York

Fade To Black

December 7, 2011

“It’s not uncommon for great companies to be humbled by what the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter called the forces of “creative destruction.” Technology, especially digital technology, has been the most potent whirlwind sweeping away old markets and old strategies for many decades. Changing economics and global competition have reduced behemoths of the past, such as General Motors, into mice of the present.”

-from Kodak’s Long Fade to Black, an article in the LA Times by Michael Hiltik

Family Haircut

December 6, 2011

Actual Size:
4.5 x 2.75 inches

John Stezaker

December 4, 2011