Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pierson Installation

So many people asked for installation shots of the new Jack Pierson show at Borotolami that I hightailed it over as soon as they opened today. I also should mention that the prints were made by David Adamson of Adamson Editions in Washington D.C.. Apart from being a good friend of mine, David happens to be considered the master printer of the digital age. The photographers he has printed for read like a Who's Who of the photo/contemporary art world (just click on the link above). And he's great at finding a solution so that everyone's prints look distinct. So much so that the prestigious Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris recently did a show based only on work Adamson had printed for different artists.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Picture of the Day!

Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times

The Gay Pride Parade in New York is obviously quite a photogenic affair, but kudos to The New York Times for publishing this picture of Marlo Fisken, 27, showing off her pole dancing skills! And kudos to Redlinski for getting such a great shot. Other papers published pictures of Fisken but none from this angle and certainly none with quite the same snap!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

More Pierson

Eden Roc, 2010. 83 x 62 inches.

Here as promised are more Jack Pierson images from his new show. I thought I would explain why I liked these pictures so much.

Again, as with much contemporary art, or indeed any "new" art today - it's often the idea and the execution rather than the degree of technical skill that make the work interesting. Pierson's pictures are indeed nicely composed and colored, but in their large scale (up to 50 x 80 inches) and in their form as folded pigment prints the images are transformed. In the gallery, these are not just pictures to examine, they are experiences to get lost in. Photographs as sculpture. Photographs as pigment. Photographs as at once enduring and ephemeral.

It's like the Gursky "Oceans". You look at the work (and this is where seeing things online only can be limiting) and you think "I could have done that!". But the point is you didn't. It took someone with Pierson's eye, and experience, and background, and willingness to take a risk and do it.

Gold, 2010. 83 x 62 inches.

Torse d'athlete en marble. 2010. 83 x 62 inches.

Bird in Flight. 2010. 63 x 63 inches.

God is Love. 2010. 57 x 42.5 inches.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Weekend Video - World Cup edition.

Watching Landon Donovan’s game winning goal on Wednesday Purdue University senior Robby Denoho and decided it merited an instant tribute which he posted to YouTube. Within hours, the video had gone viral, and as the American players headed to bed on Friday night ahead of their round-of-16 match against Ghana in Rustenburg, more than 350,000 viewers had tuned in.

It also didn’t take long for the video to get to Donovan himself. For all of the plaudits the American soccer star received after his moment of glory, it was seeing the reaction his goal provoked that touched him the most. "Not sure if you guys saw this but it brings tears to my eyes every time,” Donovan wrote on his Facebook account.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jack Pierson

Just came from the opening of Jack Pierson's new show at Bortolami Gallery on 25th Street where the ever-inventive artist has experimented with a new form - very large folded prints made on lightweight digital paper. Pinned to the wall, they have an original and effective sculptural quality, although I imagine if you bought one, you would want to house it in a nice clean box frame.

The gallery has forgotten to update their website, so this is the only image I have for now, but I'll try to post more next week

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Friends with Cameras - Part 2

Some of you may remember a previous post about my friend Leslie Simitch of Trunk Archive, the new powerhouse photo agency. Leslie is rarely without a camera and is something of a specialist at catching romantic couples on the fly.

Case in point, her latest snap (above) shot at some seedy club last night. Leslie, who is also an early adopter par excellence, now swears by the Canon S90 which she was turned on to by her old classmate, the great fashion photographer Pamela Hanson. That kind of recommendation is hard to ignore, so I guess we'll all have to try the camera (below) out.

And if you're in need of a refresher on Leslie's previous shots, here they are again:

You can't say the girl doesn't have talent!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekend Video

Healthier than the smoking toddler, more authentic than the roller-skating Evian babies, for Father's Day weekend we present the Brazilian samba dancing baby!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Get High!

A couple of weeks ago, this photograph by Mark Seliger in New York Magazine of actress Paz De La Huerta leapt off the page at me. I liked the attitude, the curves, and the grit of it. And it reminded me of another favorite photograph - Helmut Newton's shot of Elsa Peretti (below).. The differences are as interesting as the similarities.

Helmut Newton. Elsa Peretti in a 'Bunny' costume by Halston, New York , 1975

Newton's is high fashion, Seliger's is downtown cool, but the elevated perspective gives a fresh look to the background and brings a slight sense of danger to both pictures.

Marilyn Monroe on the balcony of the Ambassador Hotel, New York City, 1955. Photograph by Ed Feingersh.

What always happens once you take note of a particular type of picture is that they start popping up all over. And so it has been with balconies. A random e-mail about an auction of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia led me to this picture. A quick search of Magnum Photos website pulled up the two pictures below by Inge Morath - one of the most overlooked photographers to be a member of the famous photojournalist organization.

Inge Morath. Saul Steinberg. 1962.

Inge Morath. Norman Mailer. 1966.

I didn't catch the credit and now can't find it, but last but not least, this from the Styles section of The New York Times. O.K - we've caught on to the trick!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekend Video

While all eyes are turned on South Africa for The World Cup, this video, sent my way by Josie Borain (who some of you might remember as the tomboy haired Calvin Klein "Obsession" model) reminds us of South Africa's amazing musical culture.

Speaking of Josie Borain (who along with my favorite movie - Clint Eastwood's "The Outlaw Josey Wales" inspired my daughter's name) she published a book a number of years ago called "Josie You and Me". A collection of self-portraits, portraits, and behind the scenes reportage of the modeling world - it's the best of its genre and still available if you do a bit of web searching.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Save The Dates

June 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. is a book signing at my gallery for a good friend - the legendary art director Ruth Ansel. I've written about Ruth several times so just click here and here if you need to refresh your memory. But she will be signing a new monograph, a booklet that is the first in a series on great women graphic designers by the Swedish design group Hjarta Smarta. (I kid you not.) It's seminal reading for anyone interested in superlative book and magazine design and sublime art direction.

Marina Abramovic at MoMA by Jean-Philippe Delhomme.


Tomorrow (Thursday, June 10) from 6 to 8 we'll be having an opening reception for our first summer show "The Art Fair is Present".

A playful reference to the just finished Marina Abramovic retrospective at MoMA (titled "The Artist is Present") the exhibition is comprised of work exhibited by the gallery in recent art fairs mixed with new work by Jean-Philippe Delhomme that comments on the New York art world. While Jean-Philippe (who is an old friend) is an illustrator whose medium is gouache, the joke is that he thinks he's a photographer. And his work is often mistakenly credited "Photograph by Jean-Philippe Delhomme" even though it's in no way photo-realistic.

The show also includes work by Bernd & Hilda Becher , Christopher Bucklow, Paul Fusco, Ormond Gigli, Jim Krantz, , Annie Leibovitz , Robert Mapplethorpe, Ryan McGinness, Len Prince & Jessie Mann, Viviane Sassen, Ezra Stoller, and George Tice.

While on one hand a sampling of what the gallery shows, on the other hand the exhibition calls into question the practice and convention of how art is viewed in galleries, how information is provided, how commerce is conducted, and to what extent communication (or the lack of) is a part of the process.

Installed in the manner of an art fair booth with a variety of works displayed and clearly identified and priced, the installation will incorporate a table and chairs within the public gallery space at which the gallery director or a member of staff will be available at all times to talk to visitors about the work on view and the general concept of the show.

Contrary to the Chelsea convention where the visitor is often purposely ignored, our aim during the show is to invite a dialog. In this way, the exhibition will address the differing ways art is viewed in a commercial context, and by extension how presentation and communication affect the gallery going experience.

So feel free to drop by Tuesday - Friday (our summer hours) for a chat. This does not mean a portfolio review!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Brian Duffy - R.I.P.

Brian Duffy, whose photographs helped define the look of London's Swinging Sixties, has died aged 76.

Along with David Bailey and Terence Donovan, Duffy was a key part of the group of young working class British photographers who revolutionized the image of the profession and became as famous as the models, musicians and film stars they worked with.

He was born in London's East End, studied dress design at St Martin's School of Art, and worked as a fashion illustrator for Harper's Bazaar before turning to photography. He was one of just a handful of photographers to shoot two Pirelli calenders, and was known for his clean and graphic approach to fashion photography.

His work also spanned reportage and advertising, and he shot three David Bowie album covers, including Aladdin Sane.

In 1979, Duffy decided to give up photography and burned many of his negatives, but he resumed taking pictures just last year.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Pie Town

Ruth Leonard Secures a Calf in Her Pasture

Continuing my look at graduating student work, from the SVA (School of Visual Art) MFA program, this provocative group of images by Debbie Grossman. Based on Farm Security Administration photographer Russell Lee's classic 1940 portrait of Pie Town, New Mexico, Grossman appropriates and photoshops Lee's photographs to re-imagine Pie Town as a homestead community populated exclusively by women.

Grossman's website is also worth checking out for a few more Pietown images and a sad but moving work that's a poignant tribute to her mother.

Jessie Evans-Whinery with Her Wife Edith and Their Baby

Community Meeting

Couple at a Square Dance

Jean and Virginia Norris, Homesteaders and Town Founders

And the Russell Lee original:

This also brings to mind this piece by Kathy Grove - a professional retoucher and artist whose conceptual work involved retouching iconic images. Here her ironic prettifying of Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother".

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Emer Gillespie

The Photographers' Gallery in London is currently showing a selection of student work by recent graduates of English art schools. Among the 27 entries, this one in particular caught my eye (and my heart).

"Two Homes" by Emer Gillespie documents the parallels of the two separate households in which the artist’s child lives. In a rare example of the diptych form being used to its best advantage (a form much abused by student photographers) Gillespie pairs scenes of seemingly mundane objects and routines that make up the life of a child living with separated parents.

While on one hand, the images illustrate subtle connotations of gender distinction - what's most affecting is the straightforward observation of what must be undoubtedly confusing for a young child.