Friday, May 28, 2010

Carl Corey ~ Wisconsin Tavern League ~ For Memorial Day Weekend

According to Wikipedia, serendipitous is a propensity for making fortuitous discoveries while looking for something unrelated.
I serendipitously came across the work of Carl Corey, who lives in Wisconsin and has done a masterful job of capturing the tavern culture in Wisconsin. He has totally "nailed" it in my opinion... and I have been to many. It really tickles me to share this work because I will be heading up there this weekend.


I have spent the last 35 years traveling up to Northern Wisconsin to get my nature fix, spending many happy hours there contemplating life and photographing with few distractions. Memorial Day weekend is usually my annual foray to the North Woods.

Kathy and Bernie Tworek, Hayward

Marty, Chippewa Club, Durand

Bob, Club 53, Amery

In his words...

"The Wisconsin Tavern League project portrays a unique and important segment of the Wisconsin community. Throughout history the local tavern or pub has served as a communal gathering place, offering conversation and interaction between neighbors and friends. Bars are also unique micro communities offering a sense of belonging to their patrons. Many of these bars are the only public gathering place in the rural communities they serve. These simple taverns offer the individual the valuable opportunity for face to face conversation and camaraderie, particularly as people become more physically isolated through the accelerated use of the internet’s social networking, mobile texting, facebook, linked in, gaming and the rapid fire of email.

It is doubtful that the Wisconsin Tavern can endure this cultural and electronic bombardment without going through transition. Evidence of this is already becoming visible, as there is an increasing amount of small tavern closures and the impersonal mega sports bar becomes more prevalent. This series attempts to document the Wisconsin Tavern as it is today."


Northwoods Bar, Tomahawk

More of his work can been seen, in person, at Wall Space Gallery in Seattle from May 27th - June 26th. What fun it will be to dip into the tavern scene this weekend and think of these images. Thank you Carl!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jennette Williams ~ The Bathers

In thinking about the movie still images in the last post, my mind traveled to the exquisite work of Jennette Williams, The Bathers.

Budapest, 2004

“What makes for beauty in women? How do we as a society perceive women as they age? I began with what were simple intentions. I wanted to photograph without sentiment or objectification women daring enough to stand, without embarrassment or excuse, before my camera and I wanted my photographs to be beautiful. . . . I drew upon classical gestures and poses of Baroque and Neoclassical painters and utilized the platinum printing process to assure a sense of timelessness, as if the older or ‘normal’ woman has always been a subject of the arts.”

—Jennette Williams

Budapest, 2002

Williams's work was selected from three hundred entries in the fourth biennial First Book Prize competition, Center for Documentary Studies / Honickman First Book Prize in Photography

“Jennette Williams’s photographs of women bathing portray the female form, but they transcend simple representation to speak powerfully about women’s own private sense of identity and beauty. It doesn’t matter that these bodies are not conventionally ideal — when these women are in front of Jennette’s camera, they are proud to reveal their full femininity. . . Jennette is both an excellent documentary photographer and a superb portraitist, a rare combination.

As in Ingres’s The Turkish Bath, Jennette’s lounging women not only revel in intimate feminine moments but in the camaraderie of women as well. They relax together, soaking in the steamy atmosphere. These hauntingly beautiful and iconic images of women are captured in extraordinary, magical spaces enhanced by wonderful light.”

—Mary Ellen Mark, from the foreword

Mary Ellen Mark also states:
"I asked Jennette about her process in taking these pictures—how she convinced these women to let her photograph them nude, how they came to trust her. First of all, of course, she was willing to be nude herself (though she often wore a vest or shorts with pockets to hold her film and light meter). Even so, many of the countries where she photographs are quite traditional, and it’s easy to imagine the difficulties she encountered in gaining these women’s confidence so that she could photograph among them freely. Jennette told me that she would shoot in the baths and then go back to her hotel room each night to process the film so that she could read the negatives. She would make prints back home and return to the baths with boxes of photographs to show and give to the women. When the women saw the photographs, they allowed her to continue to photograph them. I’m sure it was the beauty and dignity of her images as well as her approach that put them completely at ease in front of her camera."

Totally inspirational.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Women without Men/Film by Shirin Neshat

My friend, Laura, suggested I see the movie, Women without Men, before it closed in Chicago. I did, and have been haunted ever since. It is Shirn Neshat's first feature film...she is better known in the art world. Every scene in the film is beautifully lit and constructed. It has won many awards and well worth the effort to find out where it is playing in your area.

Untitled (Zarin Series), 2005 C-print; 59 x 74" from Gladstone Gallery

Women Without Men (Untitled #1), 2004 C-print; 40 1/2 x 65"/102.9 x 165.1 cm from Gladstone Gallery

"WOMEN WITHOUT MEN, an adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur’s magic realist novel of the same name, is Iranian artist Shirin Neshat’s first feature length film. The story chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953; a cataclysmic moment in Iranian history when an American led, British backed coup d’├ętat brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, and reinstalled the Shah to power. Over the course of several days four disparate women from Iranian society are brought together against the backdrop of political and social turmoil. Fakhri, a middle aged woman trapped in a loveless marriage must contend with her feelings for an old flame who has just returned from America and walked back into her life. Zarin, a young prostitute, tries to escape the devastating realization that she can no longer see the faces of men. Munis, a politically awakened young woman, must resist the seclusion imposed on her by her religiously traditional brother, while her friend Faezeh remains oblivious to the turmoil in the streets and longs only to marry Munis’ domineering brother. As the political turmoil swells in the streets of Tehran, each woman seeks to be liberated from her predicament. Munis becomes an active part of the political struggle by following a young communist who she believes can restore her faith in the world. Fakhri frees herself from the chains of her stagnant marriage by leaving her husband and purchasing a mystical orchard in the outskirts of the city. Faezeh is taken to the orchard by Munis to face her own awakened self after her innocence is stolen, while Zarin attempts to find solace in her newfound communion with the land. But it is only a matter of time before the world outside the walls of the orchard seep into the lives of these four women as their country’s
history takes a tragic turn."

For screenings in your area click HERE and a wonderful interview at the Walker Art Center on You Tube is HERE.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Parting Shots of the Ragdale House

In all of her imperfections, the Ragdale House never looked more beautiful than it did last night in the closing party, prior to the much needed renovation. There was music wafting thru out the house as guests sipped their wine, conversing about the importance of supporting Ragdale, an incredible artist retreat that nourishes our collective heart and soul.

Susan Tillett , Executive Director and Jack Danch, Director of Property

I had been asked to show my Burn portfolio in Alice's suite and talk to the guests about Ragdale, an easy assignment as I am passionate about the place. It was particurlarly poignant for me as the Burn series began at Ragdale and many of the photographs had been taken in the prairie that was visible from Alice's bedroom window.

It was wonderful to get feedback on the work. I had just had Burn No. 49 printed 30" x 30" for an upcoming show at the Cordon Potts Gallery. I was especially pleased when one viewer said, "I can smell it and hear it."

Ragdale is an extraordianry place that supports the creation of our collective culture. It is the 4th largest residency in the US and draws writers, musicans, playwriters and visual artists from all over. I met a few residents who had just arrived for their 2-4 week stint last night. I was so excited for them and can only imagine the transformations that will take place with their work there.

Ragmuffins from my first residency

It is a magical place where anything can and does happen.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Transformative Power of Art ~ Rick Bayless at the White House

Just in case you didn't know, Rick Bayless is cooking for a state dinner tonight at the White House. What does this have to do with me? Well, he has been an important person in my life in the last 14 years. I have had the privilege of traveling to different regions in Mexico each summer as he infuses his staff with his enthuasium and knowledge. (earlier blog)

© Jane Fulton Alt, The Pour

Rick is incredibly intelligent, charismatic, creative, kind hearted and hard working. I have learned much from him and am in awe of the impact he has had on my life and the lives of so many others. The country is peppered with chefs who have worked under him, as he mentors many.

Which brings me to the transformative power of art. There is nothing more wonderful that being deeply moved by a work of art, literature, music or a gourmet meal. Having been the happy recipient of many wonderful dinners prepared by Rick, I wish I could be a fly on the wall tonight, and watch as the White House guests are transformed into a state of bliss. What I imagine is a scene out of Babette's Feast or Like Water for Chocolate. If you haven't seen those movies, please do. They are memorable.

© Jane Fulton Alt, Mexico City Crosses

Better yet, just go have dinner at one of his restaurants here, in Chicago!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spirit Outlet

One of the many lovely things that happened to me when I was in Santa Fe last weekend was receiving a book titled, Blood and Thunder, The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by Hampton Sides. I started reading it on the plane on the way home and came across a passage that I would like to share…

In describing the Navajo Indians, Sides writes

“…And they were never finished. Navajos hated to complete anything - whether it was a basket, a blanket, a song, or a story. They never wanted their artifacts to be too perfect, or too closed-ended, for a definitive ending cramped the spirit of the creator and sapped the life from the art. So they left little gaps and imperfections, deliberate lacunae that kept things alive for another day. To them, comprehensiveness was tantamount to suffocation. Aesthetically and literally, Navajos always left themselves an out.
Even today, Navajo blankets often have a faint imperfection designed to let the creation breathe - a thin line that originates from the center and extends all the way to the edge, sometimes with a single thread dangling from its border; tellingly, the Navajos call this intentional flaw the “spirit outlet.”

© 2004 Jane Fulton Alt; Winged

Photography Hijacked

This film screens on ABC TV @ 10:00pm Tuesday night May 18th. Looks like it could be very interesting!

Photography Hijacked from jack pam on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

the works of kamil vojnar

I am sitting in the airport in Kansas City awaiting my return flight home from Santa Fe. The two days spent there seem like a dream. It was wonderful to attend the openings and a privilege to meet new friends at the Verve Gallery. I am so pleased to be associated with the gallery and the other artists that they represent.

I had an opportunity to spend time with Kamil Vojnar which was especially delightful because I really love his work. I had to return home, however, before I heard his gallery talk. He was kind enough to send me the text of what he thought he might present this afternoon....

So, without further ado, here are some more of his images and writings.

Excerpt from Kamil's writings...



OK boys and girls, I have done it.
I have opened petite hole in the wall kind of space, in Marais, in Paris.
I call it GALERIE/ATELIER. I sit upstairs and commit the crime of making my pictures the way I feel it, and double the indiscretion downstairs, by hanging them up on the wall and hoping someone will come in and buy it.
Ever wanted to be an artist in Paris?
Well, listen up kids, this may teach you thing or two!

I was told before, Paris doesn't care for it's artists.
... Unless they are horizontal, safely at Pere-Lachaise.
I was told, artist in Paris does not sell his (or her’s) own work.
There is a "system," I was told, and you do not go against the "system"!
I was told I will break my head against the wall.
.... Not joking here, I was really told this.
By whom, you may ask.
By influential figure in Paris photo-art community.
"The name," ... I hear you scream, ..."name the bastard!"
Well, … not yet, maybe later.
Meanwhile, I will try to prove them wrong!

You may ask, but who are you and what on earth has led you to do something so foolish,
as opening own gallery?
I confess, guilty as charged! I am nobody!
But I thought, you people may care?
I have no recognizable name, no resume (CV, for you frenchies out there) to support it.
No list of published works, exhibitions or at least of being part of group shows.
Just few short years of doing virtually the same thing, in small town, in south France.
And dare I say, I do get visitors there, in my "hole in the wall," in the middle of Provence.
And they do fell in love with my images and sometimes ... buy them.
Enough for my ego to outgrow it's fragile shell and propel me to the center of universe, to Paris.
Hahaha, I hear laughing those of you, who know better, ... well, OK then, cross out the "center of universe." I just though I throw free token of graciousness to my current hosting country.
Because I am Czech, if you must know it.
Well, not really Czech anymore, since I sport sailor's blue American passport.
But really, really, if you must know, I consider myself New Yorker.
... Since you asked.

All right then, what the fuck am I doing in country of sanctified "liberte," "egalite" and ... what was the third one?
The place that educated Lenin, Mao, Pol-Pot, and gave us Monet, Cezanne or Croque Monsieur?
None of your business!
It just felt right at certain stage of my life.
It felt necessary to go to place, where I would have no clue about anything.
About who is who, about it's language, achievements or problems.
I could be like deaf and blind, nothing would get me off my road, broke off concentration.
Not to be pissed about politics, influenced by anything too foreign to my own skin and blood.
Dreamstate of blissful ignorance.
I had to do it. I may get to details at some point later, if interested.

And so here I am. At the epicenter of the center, in Marais.
And hell, where are the people?
Ever been in New York or London? Or Barcelona, for the more timid?
It's crowded! Everywhere!
By comparison Paris is empty!
OK, there are some people out there, in department stores, on boulevard bla bla, the one with that grotesque arch, standing in the middle of the traffic. Around St. Germain, and yes, I am not forgetting Eiffel Tower stick. But here, here, where the galleries are, it's virtually empty. July in Paris, I am told.
It was only marginally better in May or June, I must say.

Or is it that I have not done my homework? Didn't check out the place well ahead?
Didn't do much of any meaningful promotion?
Yeah, you are right. Somehow I thought the pictures will promote themselves.
Silly me, I thought that nobody over 15 and bellow 90, if they have heart at it's place and brain to process incoming information, cannot pass by my window without looking in.
After all I serve my damn soul out there.

But you know what, that is not enough.
Who cares for the soul, if there is free white served two doors down.
What is it about the openings in Paris, they serve white only?
Feels more intellectual?
And what is it about the parisians attending them, they go just there, they do not look left or right. They go exactly only just where they were invited. Amazingly uncurious! Never have seen this before.
Then, once there, they barely give obligatory glimpse at what's shown, and then with cigarette, in one hand and vine and cell phone in the other, talk whole evening with other attendees (whom they know, presumably, everybody knows everybody else, kind of village square dynamics), or to the phone, on the street in front. Given my poor French and distance, I cannot put my finger down on the subject. But for sure it is not the art on the wall or Neda, lying in pool of own blood, on Teheran's sidewalk.

... To be continued! ...Maybe!


OK girls and boys!
You have already wasted perfectly good few minutes reading my rant.
But all of you people broadcasting pointless messages of vain existence, incoherent blabber, information's about things nobody wanted to know about, pictures of your cats and dogs, via Facebook, mySpace, Twitter or whatever, you have wasted time more senselessly before.
So I do not feel guilty exactly, ... not yet.

Enough bitching now, though. Let's get to serious business. I have to make this thing work!

Let's see, why did I do it in the first place. Why?
Not as a public service, that's for sure!
I didn't set out to make you to see the light, make you feel, make you think.
Not at all!
But also, I didn't really think I will come to some serious money this way.
It's just, shit, I cannot do anything else!
I make pictures, because there is nothing else I can do.
I cannot hold serious job, I cannot even fix my son's bicycle.
But also,… I feel, I have something to say ... something, without wanting to sound stupid, "important" something to say. Something, I do not see anybody else saying.
Yes, I swear, I do look around. Every time I land in Paris, I peak into every gallery on my street, on my block, in whole neighborhood. And I see "artists" yelling and screaming full throat. It's blinking, it's bright, it's big. But it's got nothing to say! It's empty!
Most is just holly crapp, some is earnest, but still vacuous, just vaguely interesting for it's debatable decorativeness. But where is the fucking soul?

All right now, I am not a moron. I recognize the right of everybody to exist.
In fact it is me who is looking up, searching for the guidance. Searching for others out there.
For god's sake, I do not know what I am doing. I am just flying blind!
I want to see, that others are going for it. That others are searching. And finding!
It's so fucking lonely out here.

OK, why I am doing it, why then?
Because, ...when I see Neda lying on her back in her own blood, her big brown eyes wide open in absolute incomprehension, I am crushed.
Because when I saw Bosnian men and boys taken in small groups into the forest and machine gunned down into the ditch, my heart froze, stopped, and didn't restart until my little son was born.
Because I worry, that it was for nothing, that it's all only about what we eat and shit.
That there is nothing else.

In fact, what I do is not for you, really.
It's a message for those who will come, ...after.
Message about what we were.
Because I worry, that we will be viewed under the wrong light. Under one-sided circumstances.
Look at the wars we fight, inequalities, hunger, sicknesses and heating up planet.
Look at cigarette burning at our lips. Look at Damien Hirst's halved and formaldehyde cow.
How much more idiotic can it get?

OK, I am not a preacher, I just make little pictures. Small honest messages about the state of my soul.
Makes no sense, why should you care anyway?
Every-time you turn the page, there is a picture.
Every time you turn on your Facebook, there are tones of images.
New pictures, old pictures, new pictures, just like old pictures.
Fresh, cool, hot, dated, contemporary, antiquated.
Seas of colors and shapes.
Feels like pissing into an ocean.
Feels like drowning.
Please, have a mercy!

Trust me now, I never wanted to have a gallery.
I am just like you.
I don't want to hear anybody's bad opinion about my kids.
And I want something warm for dinner.
Just like you, I am.
I want to sit in my studio, make things not connected to anything.
Have a vernissage, nurse my white, spike my hair and wear smart jacket.
Utter things like ... well, what I wanted to show is the strange paladin of the post-minimalist generation, othodox and deliberate in it's taciturn style, oddly chaste frenzy of transcendece, while imposing obscure sense of pungent responsibility on the viewer.... some shit like that. To a well breaded lady with long cigar and silicon smile.
But they didn't want me, the gallerists.
I came clutching my book.
No, we do not want to see what you do, they said
Not want to see? What the fuck else do you do?
Oh yes, I know now what you do.
Working the phone bright red. Then big car arrives, people you do not normally see downtown step quickly out, you serve champagne and when they leave, dot appears next to that thing on your wall. Sold.
Great. So this is "the system."
I love it.
It doesn't love me back though.
Not yet!

... To be continued! ...Maybe!

Part #3

Another few days servicing my Paris's "gallery."
It's September now.
Having cafe in my favorite bistro on rue de Bretagne.
Decent jazz lazies the Saturday morning.
This cute blonde is tending shiny, huge expresso machine.
Like every time.
And this little old guy, Peppe, the client, is chastising her for sagging sad face.
Just like every morning.
I know now where Sempe draws his characters from.
He tells her, that life without passion is not worth having. And if she is missing a passion, he knows all about it and will teach her, if she marries him. He almost seems serious.
And she says yes to him, ...right tomorrow, Peppe, if you have at least million on your account.
He doesn't get it for a moment.
Maybe he didn't get it at all.
I wish he didn't.

It's bright, sunny day and streets are filling with people.
Many will pass my place without at least a fleeting glance.
Only few will come in.
I work, nursing my images to life.
But spend day talking to no one.
Like many days before.
I have few pieces of sushi and the smallest size of beer available, for dinner.
Watching evening crowds passing.
This amazingly gorgeous girl is walking briskly by.
I am thinking, I have never seen something so beautiful.
Then another passes, ...another, ... and yet another.
Third one, fifth one, tenth one....
And it occurs to me, just like many times before, what if it's all for just that passing moment?
For all those passing moments?
No long term striving, goals in the future, carefully constructed roads leading to them?
What, if there is no light at the end of tunnel, because there is no tunnel, because life is just this mosaic of moments, out of which we can just take more or less?

Because every picture is like a tunnel.
I sense the feeling it should have, when done, but in the darkens cannot form the right shapes and colors. I am itching forward with my hands outstretched, trying to find my way and at the same time prevent myself from bumping my head...At times overwhelmed by sensed enormity of what is possible and flipped out by fear, I will never make it. I am crawling through that tunnel crying.
Crying loud from happiness and dread.

It's a sentence, making pictures. No hope for early release for good behavior.
No chance, that one day I will be all done, set free.
And then, then you pass, without one fucking look.
... Or some of you will come in and say things like, ... "it's so bizarre, why is it so sad, so suicidal."
You look at me, ... "you are the artist"?
I know already that faint flair of disappointment.
Where is the spiked hair, the smart jacket, eccentricity, introvertness, scent of some inhaled shit in the breath?
I am ashamed, radiating such normality.
How could this be art then!

OK, all right now, it's not a litany, I am writing. And I am not some sour, morose, creepy fuck.
I am actually quite a happy guy.
Many have MY picture on their wall. Even more have it and don't even know they have it.
My image on the cover of some book on their shelves. On many books. Tons of CD's.
It's going peachy!
Don't need to smoke some junk to get high.
Just look at that sunset, dumbheads, see how orange lighten corners of your creamy colored streets?
See those transparent yellows and pink hues? ...And blue and violet, changing into pitch black, just above the roofs of the evening's sky over Paris?
How can you ever beat that with any art?

I enter my hotel.
Always nice, older woman in the reception hands me my keys, like every time, ... and asks me, what is it that I am doing, coming to Paris every week, like this. What kind of job?
I am tired, ... take a guess, I say, what do you think I am doing?
She says, without flinching, ..."accountant?"

Oh yeah?
Grumpy, old bag, ... you should see my accountant.
Both of them!

... To be continued!"

More of his work can be viewed and bought at The Verve Gallery of Photography...just click HERE

Kamil, I do hope your presentation went well. I am sure it did.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Opening at Verve Gallery

I am pleased to be included in the upcoming show at the Verve Gallery of Photography in Santa Fe. I am one of their "emerging" artists and I love the work of the artists they represent. This upcoming exhibition features Jane Martin, Jennifer Schlesinger and Kamil Vojnar.

© Kamil Vojnar, Flying blind, as always

© Kamil Vojnar, Balancing Act

© Jennifer Schlesinger, Object Diaspora #1, 2009

© Jennifer Schlesinger, Object Diaspora #3, 2009

© Jane Martin, Breath and Desire #1

© Jane Martin, Undulate I

If you happen to live in Santa Fe, please stop by to say hello. If you are interested in these works, check out the Verve Gallery webpage.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Market Fresh Books ~ deli style

I was walking in downtown Evanston today and noticing all the vacant store fronts. Then I came upon a new business that looked intriguing....a used book store, called Market Fresh Books ~ deli style. It is run by 2 local Evanstonians and not only is the selection phenomenal, but the price is right. You pay by the pound! I had been debating about buying new books or checking them out of the library. They weighed less than 2 bill under $8.00! ( $3.99 / lb). The titles are all books you would want to read...

© Laurie Rubin, Stacked Books (2007)

Check it out! (they also ship)

602 Davis Street, Evanston
Monday through Thursday
10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Friday and Saturday
10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Movement is Underway ~ Pop Up Art

With the economy in shambles there are many vacant storefronts. This may sound dismal but the up side is that "pop up" galleries are establishing themselves and offering a visual feast. There is actually an organization in Chicago, Pop - Up Art Loop, that outlines their open call for artists and curators. Check it out!

Evanston has been a forerunner in this with their Art Under Glass program. It has been wonderful to see the city promoting local artists and enhancing the community.

One gallery opening this month (independently) is Perspective Group and Gallery, founded by a group of photographers from Evanston and Chicago. The Gallery is a cooperative and community-based organization. Their hope is to involve the community in fine art photography through group exhibitions, individual shows, workshops, youth programs, and juried invitational shows. The roster of artists includes Bill Bridges, Anthony Iacuzzi, Suzanne Metzel, Chris Schneberger, Jeff Chirchirillo, Paul Clark, Marie DeLean, Laura Friedlander, Howard Hart, Hass Adamji, Katsy Johnson, Mark Kaufman, Peter Nussbaum, David Schachman, Donna Spencer, Bob Tanner and Faigie Tanner.

Perspective Gallery's grand opening reception is this Saturday, May 15 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
1310-1/2 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
Telephone: 1-224-200-1155.
Gallery hours:

Thursday 12:00-6:00 p.m.
Friday 12:00-8:00 p.m.
Saturday 12:00-6:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00-5:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

a time when everything seems possible

One winter afternoon
(at the magical hour
when is becomes if)
a bespangled clown
standing on eighth street
handed me a flower.
Nobody,it’s safe
to say,observed him but
myself;and why?because
without any doubt he was
whatever(first and last)
mostpeople fear most:
a mystery for which i’ve
no word except alive
—that is,completely alert
and miraculously whole;
with not merely a mind and a heart
but unquestionably a soul-
by no means funereally hilarious
(or otherwise democratic)
but essentially poetic
or etherally serious:
a fine not a coarse clown
(no mob, but a person)
and while never saying a word
who was anything but dumb;
since the silence of him
self sang like a bird.
Most people have been heard
screaming for international
measures that render hell rational
—i thank heaven somebody’s crazy
enough to give me a daisy
--- ee cummings

Friday, May 07, 2010

For Mother's Day ~ Work of Aline Smithson

When I was in Boston last month, I had the opportunity to attend an opening for LA photographer, Aline Smithson who is an amazing photographer and blogger. Her portfolios are varied and all very strong. Her blog, Lenscratch, is always very informative and she is an incredible advocate for other photographers.

Her portfolio, Arrangement in Green and Black; Portrait of the Photographer's Mother series, seems particularly fitting to feature for Mother's Day. Aline has a wonderful sense of humor and a very accommodating mother!

Happy Mother's Day!

In her words...

"This series had serendipitous beginnings. I found a small print of Whistler’s painting, "Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter’s Mother", at a neighborhood garage sale. The same weekend, I found a leopard coat and hat, a 1950’s cat painting, and what looked like the exact chair from Whistler’s painting. That started me thinking about the idea of portraiture, the strong compositional relationships going on within Whistler’s painting, and the evocative nature of unassuming details.

The series incorporates traditional photography techniques, yet becomes richer with the treatment of hand painting. It is my intent to have the viewer see the work in a historical context with the addition of color, and at the same time, experience Whistler’s simple, yet brilliant formula for the composition.

My patient 85 year-old mother posed in over 20 ensembles, but unfortunately passed away before seeing the finished series. I am grateful for her sense of humor and the time this series allowed us to be together."