Artist spotlight: Hu Yang

image by Hu Yang

When viewing ICP's most recent exhibition, Dress Codes, I was not blown away. There is, of course, amazing artists represented within the show- Martha Rosler, Hank Willis Thomas, Lorna Simpson and many more. The curation, overall, felt a bit didactic and did not push too many new ideas out into the world. Maybe too many curators were involved and it felt a little modge-podgey? Or, fashion might just not be my thing...

But, I did discover a gem. Hu Yang is someone I have been exposed to once or twice but I really got a sense of his work in this show and I am impressed and excited.

Very nice multi-media piece made by the New York Times can be viewed here.

In early 2004, photographer Hu Yang began documenting the lives of ordinary Shanghai residents. He originally planned to include 100 households in his survey, but over the course of the year 500 families allowed him to interview and photograph them in their homes. Unlike the New York Times' Faces of Shanghai slideshow, which focused on the middle class consumer culture, this project covers Shanghai residents from a surprisingly wide range of backgrounds. From poor migrant workers to expats to billionaires, nearly all of Shanghai is represented.

While Hu Yang says he hoped to demonstrate some of Shanghai's social problems, such as the gap between the rich and the poor, he presents his work without editorializing. Every photo could stand alone as a candid family portrait.


Happy Holidays

my recent acquisition, thanks to 20x200. Oh, the Starn Twins. You two are so cool. and now you are mine...he he he he....

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE! Off to see family for a few days...and hopefully get a little R&R, but will report back to the blog soon! Have a wonderful time doing whatever it is you do!

Love & Light.

starting to lose it, need to relax.

nice images, eh? wish i had the book they came from....

The Circus: 1870-1950

...would help with my current insanity.


exhibitions i want to see while in nyc...

Tanya Marcuse
Corset with Silk ribbon, 1880s, from the series Undergarments and Armor, 2002–2004
© Tanya Marcuse
Courtesy the artist and Julie Saul Gallery, New York
can be seen in
Dress Codes.

Dress Codes: The Third Triennial of Photo and Video at ICP. Tanya Marcuse is one of the many amazing artists represented. I had the opportunity to work with her this summer on a workshop and she was brilliant. Love her work. Always inspired by the triennials. Ecotopia (the last one) was o.k. but I still think Strangers (first one) was incredible! I am hoping Dress Codes is even better.

Roni Horn aka Roni Horn at the Whitney.

Looking in: Robert Frank's The Americans at the Met. Marking 50 years since this was published. Wow.

Robert Frank (American, b. Switzerland, 1924)
Funeral—St. Helena, South Carolina, 1955
Gelatin silver print; 15 5/8 x 22 7/8 in. (39.7 x 58.1 cm)
Susan and Peter MacGill

Barbara Crane and Michael Wolf at Aperture Gallery.

Paolo Ventura Winter Stories at HASTED HUNT KRAEUTLER.

so many more but this is a nice start. anyone have other suggestions for me?

Photograph © Robert Frank, from The Americans


NYFA MARK10 and website

I am so happy to announce that I have been accepted into the New York Foundation for the Arts MARK program.

A brief description from their website:
MARK is the New York Foundation for the Arts'(NYFA) new statewide six-month program for visual artists who want a unique opportunity for individualized focus on the professional side of their creative practice. MARK is designed to address the concerns of artists living outside of New York City while providing them with a new network statewide. Participating artists can expect MARK to spark goals and help to define concrete steps while providing individual and group feedback on how to better present yourself.

What this means for me is that I get a time, place and platform to learn how to self promote, better articulate my ideas, and discover who the audience is for my work and try to tap into it. Mostly, I look forward to meeting the other artists who have been selected and hearing their feedback, seeing their work and developing new friendships, and connections with my beautiful Hudson Valley community. This definitely feels like a step in the right direction for me.

On this note, I have been working on my website and am ready to share it. It is far from completed (lots of work has not been posted yet and the design is still questionable) but I am ok with it being seen as an unfinished project. So, please, if you have any feedback or suggestions they would be greatly appreciated. You can check it out here.


Gifts Ideas for photo-geeks

Giving gifts to photo-geeks can be challenging. We can be very picky and we are so opinionated! Here are a few suggestions that might help.

-The Contacts DVD series: The world's greatest photographers reveal the secrets behind their images in this collection of short personal films.
sold at ICP gift shop here.

-There are so many amazing photo books out there that it is impossible to list just a few. If that is what you are seeking, a great place to go is Aperture. Their books are incredible and you cannot go wrong. Check out Sally Mann's new book "Proud Flesh" or "Winter Stories" by Paolo Ventura.

-Nikon just released the first camera that has a projector built into it. The coolpix s1000pj is pretty impressive- it will project the image up to 40". No clue how good this camera actually is quality wise but I am really interested. No way a photo nerd would not love it- about a $400 price tag.

-For photographers looking for something a bit different out of their images- the Lens Baby is awesome! This is a tool you attach on to the front of the camera to add a tilt and shift capability. Instead of having to carry around a large format camera, this is a nice alternative to achieve a similar effect. (though, large formats rock!)

-If you know someone really into digital printing, then Digital Art Supplies is great. Their coated Japanese papers are amazing and beautiful. They have a sample pack that any printer would enjoy. For the more "hands-on" printers, try any of the products from ink-AID. These allow you to coat your own surface so it can be printed on through an ink-jet. Great product, highly recommended!

-Membership or a gift certificate to one of the wonderful not-for-profit photo organizations is a fantastic gift. The place I work and love, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, is one of the many places you can support during the holidays and in exchange offer a photo lover a connection to a community of other photo lovers. Some organizations offer publications, classes, workshops, art, books and other photo related material. International Center for Photography in NYC, The Photographic Resource Center in Boston, EnFoco in NYC, Light Work in Syracuse- are just a few to choose from in the general area.

-Possibly the best gift of all...take your photo-lover and spend the day with them seeing art. If you live in NYC, Chelsea is a great place to walk around and see photography. If you are outside the city there are also so many places to go! Just check out your chamber of commerce site and they should have an "arts" listing which will have all your local galleries and art organizations.

Hope this helps! Happy Holidays!


Blog highlight: Missed Connections

I am so happy to find this blog by illustrator Sophie Blackall called Missed Connections. This really made my day. On top of that, a wonderful local photographer David Cunningham just stopped by with two camera for me to play with. Both of which I have never tried- a rangefinder and a Rolleicord. Yippeee!

Back to this wondrous Sophie. For this particular project, she has been reading personal ads and illustrating them into these amazing pictures. Her statement is: Messages in bottles, smoke signals, letters written in the sand; the modern equivalents are the funny, sad, beautiful, hopeful, hopeless, poetic posts on Missed Connections websites. Every day hundreds of strangers reach out to other strangers on the strength of a glance, a smile or a blue hat. Their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly. I'm trying to pin a few of them down.

illustration by Sophie Blackall
Saturday, September 5, 2009
- m4m - 29 (astoria)
we were both swimming around 5-6 in astoria pool. we ended up walking the same direction in the park for a while but didn't talk. i wish i had said hi...so i figured i would on here.
worth a shot.

She is a special one. You can view her website here.


local exhibition alert

From October 1-31 you can see Richard Edelman's exhibition at Donskoj & Co (93 Broadway in Kingston). This body of work "Infra-Structure" is an examination of landscapes that are unremarkable and quite ordinary. Yet, Richard brings these places to life with his remarkably composed images and extraordinary printing abilities.

You can see more by Richard and his fine art printing company Woodstock Graphic Studio here.


sally mann's proud gaze

Sally Mann's new exhibition at Gagosian Gallery on 980 Madison in NYC is called "Proud Flesh". Sally mentions in her statement that she has had trouble finding work by female artists with their male partners as the subject. How can this be so rare? Looking at the history of photography we see many men exploring their female partner's bodies in thier images but when seeking out the opposite we hit a dead end.

We know women are staring at the male body. We know that their gaze is seeing the light hit their flesh, their bones, their muscle.

I think I have photographed every partner I have ever had. I remember dragging one guy, who I barely knew, into this tiny, miniscule bathroom in a studio apartment I rented- all because the speckles of light were going to look perfect on his back. he did it without complaint and the images were lovely.

Mann's visual language is so strong that these exhibited images actually ooze with emotion,sensuality, mortality and grace. they are loving but they are real.

Aperture has book out a book in conjunction with the show. Also, Gagosian has launched a store next to the gallery. all very exciting.


blog highlight: walmart as visual phenomenon

I have been intrigued by the photographic possibilities of the Walmart franchise for years. These super stores offer a visual landscape unlike any other. It is what America is all about, isnt it? Peel back the layers and welcome in metaphors that could keep us psychologically busy for years. The human condition is alive and well under that warehouse of americana. and...you gotta luv the eye candy too.

As an undergraduate student, I visited several Walmarts with my manual 35mm Pentax camera (hidden in my purse, lens popping out through a hole in the bag) as part of a documentary project i was working on about people who shopped there. It was called "Every 2 Days" because that was how often a new store was launched. Those facts might be different today, but at that time (roughly 2000/01) it was truly that consistant. My goal was to observe people shopping- in the Walmart zone. I roamed the stores, and found people so engaged in their shopping fantasies that they looked almost like they were in a trance. it was strange. so i snapped some shots, but needed more. I then started taking portraits outside the stores of people before they went in. I could not get Walker Evans out of my head at this time. Therefore, most of the portraits were in front of the walmart signature brick wall (thinking of the textured barn walls of the 1930's in Evan's work). I asked these people what they were there to buy and asked them to see me when they were done shopping. When they found me an hour, two, sometimes 5 hours later I asked them what they ended up purchasing and without a doubt every single person bought more than they intended. Interesting info that I collected but it did not translate in my pictures. This was a project i always wanted to revisit and see what else I could do with.

In the mean time, my wonderful friend Megan sent me a link to this blog which fulfills so many of my visual walmart needs but also goes a little too far for me. People of Walmart has potential but I think it crosses the line by humiliating shoppers to some extent. That was never my intent and I do not think it is constructive or interesting to do that. This blog, which consists of snapshots taken by Walmart shoppers, does give a nice overview of the cultural presence at these stores but at the same time posts images that just simply make fun of people. we are americans, therefore we have the right to be mean, don't we?

in any case. this blog is worth checking out.


zen and art making....

A few quotes shared by Doug Beasley in "Zen and the Art of Photography":

"To see is to forget the name of what one is seeing"

"Listening with the eyes you can name nothing" -George Wolf

"To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong" -Joseph Chilton Price

"A camera is an extension of ourselves, an appendage to bring us closer to the universe. This is Zen in the Art of Photography. In discovering the universe, we discover ourselves." -Robert Leverant

image taken at the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Trempor, NY


let the spiegel begin

Spiegeltent at Bard College is absolutely worth visiting. I will not miss it.
Located across from the Fisher Center, the 100-year-old Spiegeltent (“Mirror Tent”) is a glittering pavilion with an eye-filling interior of carved wood surfaces, beveled mirrors, stained-glass windows, and sumptuous velvet canopies.

From July 10 through August 23, the Spiegeltent hosts performances by singers, bands, magicians, contortionists, and impressionists (to name but a few!) on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, and rollicking kid-oriented shows on weekend afternoons. Later in the evening, the disco ball turns as SummerScape audiences gather to dance to DJ-spun tunes.

Food is available, indoors and out -- lunch is served on weekends; dinner is available Thursdays through Sundays; and wine, beer, and snacks are available during performances.
Info taken from website.

Get schedule and more info here.


she is finally coming to woodstock!!!

Elinor Carucci is going to be lecturing at CPW Saturday June 27th at 8pm. This is not to be missed. All my NYC friends- come up for this!!! You can stay at mi casa!!!

Carucci's poetic voice shines through these intimate yet relatable images of herself and her family. I look at her photographs and get wrapped up in their emotionally charged visuals. Following the undeniably intense expressions and postures which fill the frame I find myself in a trance. The images permeate through me and unleash my own memories, dramas and histories. I can look at these as if they were traces of my own experiences, relatives, friends, moments....

...ahhhh. Can you tell i am excited that she will be in Woodstock?

see you there.


Ahoy mateey!

The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild kicks off a season-long series of events celebrating the 400th anniversary of the exploration of the Hudson River with an opening reception for “Ahoy! Where Lies Henry Hudson?” a major outdoor exhibition of Henry Hudson memorials designed by area architects, on Saturday, June 13, 4-7 pm at The Villetta Inn, 3 Upper Byrdcliffe Way. Curated by Linda Weintraub, the exhibition is an original and thought-provoking contribution to the state-wide Quadricentennial of Hudson’s explorations of the river that bears his name. The site-specific memorials have been installed outdoors on the grounds of the historic Byrdcliffe Arts Colony in Woodstock, NY and will be on view from June 13 – October 12, 2009.

The exhibition continues through October 12, during which time, the WBG will feature a monthly events to commemorate the Quadricentennial.

Byron Bell and Les Walker, "The Magnificent Adventure of Henry Hudson"

Exhibition curator, Linda Weintraub is a writer, curator, educator and artist. She is the author of a series of college textbooks entitled: Avant-Guardians: Textlets in Art and Ecology. She has curated over fifty-five exhibitions nationally and internationally. She received her Masters of Fine Arts degree from Rutgers University. Weintraub comments that the project is unique, imaginative and local, “…never before have regional architects been featured in a major exhibition. The installations take their inspiration from the site and the historic occasion. The results utilize unusual materials, original designs, and unconventional construction methods. As residents of the Hudson Valley, the participants are responding to this historic occasion in manners that are personal as well as accomplished and informed.”

Henry Hudson is celebrated as a hero, but his life ended in failure. His crew mutinied and set him adrift to die in the icy waters of Hudson Bay. As a result, he never received a formal burial. The memorials in this exhibition are designed and constructed by distinguished regional architects. They interpret the significance of Hudson’s historic journey within the context of 400 years of European occupation.

Matt Bua, "The Henry Hudson Mutiny Memorial Drive–thru Kiosk"

Woodstock Guild Director: Carla Smith. Architectural coordinator: Alan Baer.

Text taken from press release.


First workshop completed.

I have been slacking on the blog entries. I need to be more disciplined!

So...we opened the workshop season with The Art & Craft of Portraiture taught by Platon. This workshop was taught in 2007, during my first few months with CPW, so it was really nice to see it through a second time around (second for me that is, not for Platon or CPW).

Great start to the season. Platon is energetic, intelligent and incredibly passionate for what he does...which is infectious. He carefully nursed every workshop participant through somewhat grueling exercises in "relating and connecting to your subject"--- which in the end brought every single person to a place of better understanding of who they are as artists. It was extremely enjoyable to watch from my end. People really came out of their shells and did an amazing job.

I have blogged about portraiture before and discussed the complicated discussions that exist around it. how much of a portrait is made with genuine "connection" and how much is a projection that we impose onto it? how telling can a photographic portrait really be on its own without other representation? what level of responsibility do we have as artists to properly represent a person? what is the definition of representation!? How does the gaze of the viewer change over time alter the portrait?

lots of questions...lots of different viewpoints...all interesting for another time...

And...the fabulous interns!!! They did a great job and I can tell that they will blossom from the experiences of the next 4 months. I am relieved...I now am confident that my summer will go smoothly.

Linda Connor lecture this Saturday. not to be missed people.


my local artist ramble: Paul McMahon

image by Paul McMahon

Paul McMahon strolled into CPW this week to use our digital facilities to prepare a presentation he will be giving at the Metropolitan Museum today. He is one of the artists in the exhibition The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984 at the museum and his live musical slide show is a special event in conjunction with it. I showed him the little bits and pieces I know about Microsoft Powerpoint so he could construct his orgy of images which would synchronize with a live performance of guitar playing and vocals.

In the two years I have lived here I can honestly say that all Woodstockians are immensly unique characters. Paul is no different, and may even rise above the norm. He was so much fun to be around and was very inspiring to say the least. After all the hard work was over, he sang through his performance for Megan and I. It was seriously wonderful. We were laughing hysterically. makes me wonder why i take art so seriously all the time...

The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984 is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art till August 2nd.
Read the Art in America review here.

A few sentences from Douglas Eklund's essay which gives some valuable background info:

"...The famous last line of Barthes' essay, that "the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author," was a call to arms for the loosely knit group of artists working in photography, film, video, and performance that would become known as the "Pictures" generation, named for an important exhibition of their work held at Artist's Space in New York in 1977.

The show featured 45-rpm records and projected short films by the California artist Jack Goldstein, who sampled and looped canned sound effects or film snippets that triggered Pavlovian responses of fear and dread in the imagination of the viewer. Slightly later, Richard Prince zoomed in on what he termed "social science fiction," the hyperreal space depicted in countless advertisements featuring gleaming luxury goods and robotic models. Cindy Sherman and Laurie Simmons worked at the intersection of personal and collective memory, rummaging through the throwaway products of their youth—from B-movies to dollhouses that served as training manuals for who and how to be—in search of moments that both never existed yet were indelibly stamped in the mind.

The image-scavengering of these artists was not restricted to the child's play of popular culture: Louise Lawler stalked the corridors of power in search of hidden treasure, while Sherrie Levine shot over the shoulders of photography's founding fathers not as a dry Duchampian gesture, but in order to create something akin to musical overtones—a buzzing in the space between their "original" and her "copy" that effaced the distance between objective document and subjective desire."


DVD highlight: PBS Craft in America

I started watching a wonderful mini-series PBS made called Craft in America. It is organized like Art21 in that the craft artists are categorized by inspirational topic (ie. Memory, Landscape etc.) The footage is beautiful and the commentary offers a historic overview of the particular craft and the way it has been transformed and modernized by the contemporary craft artists using them.

The handmade revolution is in full swing.
Check out the website here.


is that the ocean in the hudson valley?

The sun is shining, warm weather is on the horizon and I could not be more excited to go to Storm King Sculpture Park this coming May to see the new work by Maya Lin. I have been waiting all winter for this!

Storm King Wavefield, is the largest site-specific earthwork created to date by acclaimed artist and environmentalist Maya Lin. Occupying an eleven-acre site that was a gravel pit until Ms. Lin
reclaimed it for the work, the ambitious Storm King Wavefield comprises seven rows—each over 300 feet long—of carefully scaled, undulating hills that give the appearance of ocean waves. The four acre work culminates a series of three wavefields by Ms. Lin. It is the newest addition to the
sculpture park’s distinguished permanent collection.

From Storm King's website:
The opening of Storm King Wavefield is accompanied by a special exhibition, Maya Lin: Bodies of Water, on view in Storm King’s museum building May 9 through November 15, 2009. The exhibition features several works that reflect the artist’s interest in water in its various states. The works include installation, sculpture, photographs, models, and drawings, among them examples related to the development of Storm King Wavefield. Several works also draw attention to the plight of sites around the world that suffer from human encroachment and industrial pollution.

Highlights of the works on view include a new piece, fabricated in recycled wood, that evokes a single wave; a work titled Pin River, comprising tens of thousands of straight pins set into the gallery wall, creating the illusion of a shadow image of the Hudson River system; and Dew Point, a series of cast-glass drops of water.

The exhibition also includes a video and photographs of Ms. Lin at work.

You may recognize Maya Lin's name as the designer of Washington D.C.'s Vietnam Veterans Memorial. While still a student at Yale University, Maya Lin's design was chosen for this project which launched her career. Since then she has taken on one ambitious project after another- welding together the lines between design, architecture & sculpture. Amazing woman!

You can also visit Maya Lin's website for more info on her.


my literary ramble

my literary ramble today highlights an old favorite of mine, mr. dylan thomas. thomas' work is a brilliantly choreographed montage of the english language. ochestrated so deliciously it resembles a verbal dessert. an apple pie a la mode for your nerve endings. i have included my "all time drop to my knees and worship these words" favorite poem. it was first read to me by a professor in college and it stuck and never let go.

Light breaks where no sun shines; Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart Push in their tides; And, broken ghosts with glow-worms in their heads, The things of light File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones. A candle in the thighs Warms youth and seed and burns the seeds of age; Where no seed stirs, The fruit of man unwrinkles in the stars, Bright as a fig; Where no wax is, the candle shows its hairs. Dawn breaks behind the eyes; From poles of skull and toe the windy blood Slides like a sea; Nor fenced, nor staked, the gushers of the sky Spout to the rod Divining in a smile the oil of tears. Night in the sockets rounds, Like some pitch moon, the limit of the globes; Day lights the bone; Where no cold is, the skinning gales unpin The winter's robes; The film of spring is hanging from the lids. Light breaks on secret lots, On tips of thought where thoughts smell in the rain; When logics dies, The secret of the soil grows through the eye, And blood jumps in the sun; Above the waste allotments the dawn halts.


2009 workshops are announced

It has arrived! The Center for Photography at Woodstock's 2009 workshop schedule is posted on the website for all to see. this is a stellar year for our program...we expanded on our offerings and introduced new instructors and class topics.

Today I am at New York Press and Graphics in Albany where the catalog is being printed...which means it will be in your hands next week (fingers crossed).

But for now, check out the schedule and workshop details here. registration begins next week.


wanted: inspiration

image by Andrea Modica from series Treadwell, NY

i wish i can put an ad on craigs list that goes something like this:

wanted: artist seeking a jolt of inspirational fire. find me. zap me. and let me be.

what is my problem? have i gone numb to the psychotropic effects of art? i am in a work environment where we pray to the creative gods and yet i find myself in a rut of some kind. not only am i not really making any, but i am not loving any either. maybe this over saturation has weighed me down.

i believe it might be time to simply start making and seize all this thinking. keep it simple. more than one person in my life in the last few months has recommended this approach to me. keep it simple. focus on what i love and not what i think i need to do (or am expected to do).

image by Andrea Modica from series Treadwell, NY

as i search for this mind-bending fire I find that i come one step closer to a total zen-like state when viewing work by Andrea Modica. her photographs stop me in my tracks in the most profound way. they illuminate such a warmth that i cannot help but to gravitate toward them and ponder, imagine, relate, focus & feel all in one gasp. she is so in touch with every inch of the photographic frame- and transforms it into a poetic masterpiece. i respond. i respond again. i keep responding because it is deep and alive. ahhh.... that wonderful feeling.

guess what is even more amazing about andrea modica? she is coming to CPW this summer for our workshop program. keep an eye on our website for more info. all workshops will be posted by tomorrow. you think i am excited?

Check out more of her work here.


dreaming of ebony...

I have been day dreaming about the Ebony large format cameras for a very very long time. Every now and then I get really determined and almost charge one to my credit card (though I think there is a bit of a waitlist for certain models and I am not even sure I have that much credit anyway). Then I talk myself off the ledge because they are so out of my price range (my range, at this moment, is close to $0).

The time is coming that I have to make this investment and if it is not an Ebony it will be some other kind because I need a 4x5 in my life. Everything of value that I have learned about picture making comes from this format. Other tools are equally wonderful as well, but the reason I fell in love with photography was because of the lessons I learned from the 4x5" view camera. For someone like myself who is often moving fast and furiously through life it is a tool like this that literally forces me to slow down and patiently observe. sounds so idealistic, doesn't it?

are there any cameras you can suggest I look at? are there any tools missing from your artistic arsenal that you are thinking about acquiring?


pick a state to rest your head on

I love my new pillow from Bananasaurusrex's etsy shop- check it out here. It will be perfect on my couch (once I actually have one).

She uses vintage hankies mixed with contemporary fabrics to create these fabulous pillows. I am waiting for a few more states...New York & Massachusetts specifically.

Lovin the craft world lately. Very motivated to pull out my sewing machine and go stitchin madd.

Thanks again Bananasaurusrex!


book suggestion: outside lies magic

a modern day explorer. professor at harvard university. writer. philosopher. oh curious one....John R. Stilgoe and his book Outside Lies Magic is worth recommending to you all. artists, writers, historians, doctors, housewives, cynics, peacekeepers, salesman etc. etc.- i suspect that you will all get something out of this insightful investigation into our surroundings- because all of us should be looking more carefully.

You may already be familiar with his other work- one in particular being Landscape & Images, 2005. That is a collection of essays which discuss and observe our constructed landscapes. very good one too.

do you have any book suggestions? would love to hear them!

Thanks to David Hilliard for suggesting this book to his class when he visited Woodstock in 2008.


my literary ramble

Image by Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Migration, 2007-2008, Archival print on dibond with acrylics, 40 x 40 inches. They are represented by Jack Shainman Gallery.

My Literary Ramble is a chance for me to post poetry and prose by writers that I admire and/or have recently discovered. Though I have been inspired by many great beat generation iconoclasts, Philip Lamantia is new to my world. I am glad to have unearthed his work and will now dive into his surrealist words with great enthusiasm.

Romantic Movement

to Nancy

The boat tilts on your image on the waves between a fire of foam and the flower of moon rays, these the flags of your dreaming lips. I'm watching Venus on the ogre sky and a continent in cocoons.

Soon all the butterflies of desire shall manifest o prescience of life becoming poetic... and poetry the incense of the dream. A street and a forest interchange their clothing, that tree of telephones, this television of nuts and berries - the air edible music.

King Analogue

Queen Image

Prince Liberty...

... Garden of imperious images, life is a poem someday to be lived: the feast of our hearts on fire, the nerves supplying spice, blood coursing a glow of insects, our eyes the dahlias of torrential ignition.

The whisper of the inter-voice to wrap you in the mantle of marvelous power, with the secret protection of the forest that falls asleep in fire whose ores become transmined only for love - all your steps will lead to the inner sanctum none but you behold, your shadow putting on the body of metaphoric light.

The stone I have tossed into the air of chance shall come to you one great day and exfoliate the original scarab, the carbuncle of delights, the pomegranate inviolate, the sonorous handkerchief of the Comte de Saint-Germaine, all the reinvented perfumes of ancient Egypt, the map of the earth in the Age of Libra when the air shall distribute our foods, the sempiternal spectrum of sundown at Segovia (the stork carrying the golden egg from the Templar's tower) Chief Seattle's lost medicine pouch, our simultaneous presence in all the capitals of Europe while traveling Asia and listening to the million-throated choir of tropical birds, your lost candlewax empire, a madrone forest to live inside of, which we can wrap in a set of "secret bags" and open on our wanderlust, the turbulent cry beneath the oceans, the extinct bird calls in a magic vessel Christian Rosenkreutz dropped on his way out of the Damcar, beads of coral dissolving the last motors, the redolent eyes of the first born seers, the key to the bank of sanity, the ship of honey at the height of storms through which we sail to new islands rising from the sunken continents and the bridge between sleep and waking we will traverse in constant possession of "the great secret" become transparent as a tear drop - with no other work but the genius of present life.


see you at the Chili Bowl!

this is the first bowl I got from the Women's Studio Workshop Annual Chili Bowl at least 8 years ago.
it is, by far, my favorite.

This Saturday February 28th Women's Studio Workshop is hosting their 12th annual Chili Bowl Fundraiser in Rosendale, New York. This event is a blast. Enjoy a delicious helping of chili made by local restaurants and chefs in your very own Women’s Studio Workshop handmade bowl. All of my favorite bowls have come from this event plus I love this organization and want to support them anyway I can. I hope to see you there.

Get more info here.


what the world eats- in pictures!

Photographer Peter Menzel and author-journalist Faith D'Alusio have gone all over the globe to create this pictoral study of what families are eating on a weekly basis. As someone who is very food-centered, I seriously appreciate the value of this type of documenation. Hungry Planet: What the World Eats was published in 2005 by Ten Speed Press.

A review by Arthur Boehm:
Among the families, we meet the Mellanders, a German household of five who enjoy cinnamon rolls, chocolate croissants, and beef roulades, and whose weekly food expenses amount to $500. We also encounter the Natomos of Mali, a family of one husband, his two wives, and their nine children, whose corn and millet-based diet costs $26.39 weekly.

We soon learn that diet is determined by largely uncontrollable forces like poverty, conflict and globalization, which can bring change with startling speed. Thus cultures can move--sometimes in a single jump--from traditional diets to the vexed plenty of global-food production. People have more to eat and, too often, eat more of nutritionally questionable food. Their health suffers.

Because the book makes many of its points through the eye, we see--and feel--more than we might otherwise. Issues that influence how the families are nourished (or not) are made more immediate. Quietly, the book reveals the intersection of nutrition and politics, of the particular and universal.

view article by NPR here.
view artist website here.
check out Time Magazine Photo Essay here.


knitting circle

woke up this morning to this amazing light in my livingroom. i was inspired. everything was in place from our knitting circle last night and thanks to the girls I have finally figured that craft out (well, sort of). At least now I can do it on my own and practice.

Found out about the The Revolutionary Knitting Circle recently. They are are awesome.

Check out their manifesto:

The Revolutionary Knitting Circle Proclamation of Constructive Revolution

We hold that all communities should have the means necessary to meet every essential need of their own people.

To that end, the Revolutionary Knitting Circle calls upon people everywhere to take up the struggle through the tools of local production. We shall bring forth not only our voices raised for global justice, but we shall rise together, with the tools to liberate local communities from the shackles of global corporatism.

By sharing in the skills and resources of our communities, we shall become free to cast off dependencies on global trade for our subsistence. In so doing, we shall all be able to enter fairly into meaningful and equitable trade of not only goods, but also those cultural intangibles that are necessary if we are to bring about understanding, justice and peace to truly enrich our individual lives and our communities.

By returning production of the essentials of life to the community, we can eradicate the dependence imposed by the elites - giving communities the freedom to guide their own destinies.

We call upon all people who would see their communities freed from corporate slavery to come forth to share in action dedicated to removing the production of essential goods from the hands of multi-national corporations and returning that production to the people.

This is a daily struggle.

We shall put this struggle in the faces of the elites by engaging in knit-ins at their places of power throughout the world.

We shall conduct workshops and skill-sharing at their major meetings, on the steps of government edifices, and - perhaps most significantly - in the banks, malls and even those 'hallowed' office towers of the richest of the rich.

We will remind ourselves - and those who would have us believe there is no alternative to the corporate doctrine - that we can have the ability to produce what we need without the destructive hand of the investment banker and his ilk at our throats.

So whether you want to knit, quilt, grow food, build homes, teach, heal or any of the other skills that can provide for a community, we call on you to come forward in solidarity to create production and learning outside of the dominant 'corporate economics'.

We look on with delight in our hearts to this action that will shine as we produce so much for our communities while providing no offerings to the elite's loathsome 'bottom-line'.

Let us join together in action to create a globalization of justice so that freedom can be made to ring out for all people.

This is our constructive revolution.


the rockies via Liz

back to the daily grind. a week of vacation goes very quickly.

these were taken on a day trip to the Rockies. The mountains are moody, majestic, romantic and humbling (I felt very, very small). I miss them already.


westward bound

image from the poudre canyon

I am spending the week in the Fort Collins, Colorado area. It is beautiful here and I am enjoying some needed R&R. Aside from playing in this spectacular landscape, I plan on checking out the Center for Fine Art Photography while I am here which has been on my radar for years.
I will keep you posted throughout the week.


I am a slacker...

I have gone so long without posting. I am a slacker. a tired slacker. I will post pics from the reception for Site Seeing this week- and i will get back into my routine again....posts about artists, art, life in woodstock etc.

For now, here are a couple of images of the installation by the Starn Twins at the Staten Island Ferry. For those of you who do not know this, I grew up in Staten Island and feel some serious excitement about this piece. There could not be a place more in need of some splash of contemporary art.


artist highlight series continued: stephen chalmers

This work, among the other artists I have been blogging about, are featured in CPW's Site Seeing: Explorations of Landscape with is co-curated by myself and our Executive Director Ariel Shanberg.

DUMPSITES by Stephen Chalmers
These are images of locations in the west where serial killers have disposed of the bodies of their victims, located through Freedom of Information Act searches, police reports, true-crime novels, and other sources..

Allen, Caroll, Gerald, Gunnar, Jacobson, Cosner, Peranteau,
Stapley, Bond, Bond Jr., O'Connor, Dubs

Jane Doe (Torso only)

This project reminds me of Joel Sternfeld's On This Site- in which he revisited and photographed locations that made the newspaper headlines when he was growing up. For example, Sternfeld photographed the motel where MLK was killed, the spot on the Ohio State campus where the students were gunned down during the anti-war protest etc... They were all shot dead-pan and included a brief statement about the incident that made that particular location significant to him.

Though these recordings of the tragically memorialized landscapes by Chalmers are documents to an extent, the use of a shallow depth of field adds an emoitional quality that prevents them from being categorized, like Sternfields, as dead pan. The ironic nature is that Sternfeld personally memorialized those locations (even if it was through a memory created by the media)- while Chalmers is living out a cultural history that is not directly his own.

Read more about Chalmers and the exhitiion here.


literary ramble: hafiz

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe Me."

Look what happens
with a love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.

From: The Gift

image by Alfredo de Stefano, who is featured in CPW's Site Seeing (opening Jan. 24, at 5-7pm)


artist highlight: sze tsung leong

Another day...another artist from CPW's exhibition Site Seeing to highlight on my blog. Sze Tsung Leong's History Images are truly caught in between all aspects of time- the past, present and future. And they are so lovely...

from his artist statement:
The photographs in History Images are of histories, in the form of cities in China, either being destroyed or created at this juncture in time. They are of past histories, in the form of traditional buildings and neighborhoods, urban fabrics, and natural landscapes, in the process of being erased. They are of the absence of histories, in the form of construction sites, built upon an erasure of the past so complete that one would never know a past had ever existed. And they are of the anticipation of future histories, yet to unfold, in the form of newly built cities.

Sze Tsung Leong is represented by Yossi Milo Gallery. You can view his website here.


artist highlight: matt siber

Another artist in CPW's exhibition Site Seeing is Matt Siber. The work featured in the show is from his series Floating Logos.

from matt's statement:
Inspired by the proliferation of very tall signs in the American Mid-West, Floating Logos seeks to draw attention to this often overlooked form of advertising. Perched atop very tall poles or stanchions, these corporate beacons emit their message by looming over us in their glowing, plastic perfection. Elimination of the support structure in the photographs allows the signs to literally float above the earth. In some cases the ground is purposefully left out of the image to further emphasize the disconnect between the corporate symbols and terra firma.

Making the signs appear to float not only draws attention to this type of signage but also gives them, and the companies that put them there, an otherworldly quality. References can be drawn to religious iconography, the supernatural, popular notions of extraterrestrials, or science fiction films such as Blade Runner. Each of these references refers to something that can profoundly affect our lives yet is just beyond our control and comprehension.