Saturday, May 12, 2012

Metropolitan (57), 2012

Contrast and saturation problems fixed in the foreground and in the figure's blue shirt.  Post-processing, represent. Time elapsed: 3 1/2 hrs.  Maybe no one but me will notice the difference between version #1 and version #2, but #1, now destroyed, bothered me enough to change it.

The figure's pose reminds me of those old "Hurry in..." ads from the 1950s and early 60s, a logjam of cartoon figures sprinting toward a one-day sale on washing machines, women's shoes, a storage locker full of beef....

This one is for L., but I was thinking of this great Walker Evans, too.

CJ (18), 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012

CJ (17), 2012
Karmin’s style, it turns out, is reference; if it were to have come out with a wholly original sound, it would have been alienating.

Karmin’s rise also reflects that hip-hop, once something that outsiders had to apply for admission into, is fair game for anyone. The barriers to entry aren’t there anymore. The line between theatrically revising other people’s raps and using the medium seriously, for your own purposes, has been all but eradicated.

Thursday, May 10, 2012
"This is a period that is not often talked about, postwar North America. People had to do desperate things in order to make a living."

Thoughtful answers to questions about an excellent show.
Collectively, the works assembled here do have a strong proselytising intent. They are [his] way of preaching two messages: his stated passion for the vibrancy of the natural world; and his faith in the languages of art, as opposed to what he calls the monocular tyranny of photography, to represent that world as no other medium can.

Hence, perhaps, his magpie eclecticism, his multiple borrowings from the canon of past art.

The exuberant ventriloquism and quasi-pantheistic devotion to Nature are not always convincing. There is often the suspicion of a gap between what the artist has willed himself to create and what he has actually created.

A suppressed charge of melancholy lurks behind the bright surfaces of many of these pictures, hints even of a conscious morbidity and loneliness in some of their most insistent motifs: the recurring barren trunk of a stricken tree, the road or passage leading to some ominous, mysterious horizon. Glummest of all are those multi-camera works: split-screen meditations on a natural world that often appears a blank and forbidding place, seen from a car moving with the funereal slowness of a hearse.

I Got The News, from The Darcys' Aja.  Very much in the spirit of some of the photographs that appear here from time to time, esp. 4:27-on.  A translation of an admired source into one's own idiom.

Studies for a photograph I hope to make this fall. Antelope Valley, CA.
Wednesday, May 09, 2012

CJ (16), 2012
About These Photographs

Two sequences of pictures, found and framed in Google Street View.

Metropolitan: sites in Los Angeles previously unknown to me.

CJ:  sites in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, North America's most violent city, a place where neither I, nor native Mexican photographers, can work openly.

The experience of modernity in two of North America's largest cities. 

When I began I thought, naively, to visually contrast "good" polyglot heterogenous modernity with "bad" failed modernity.  The pictures complicate this distinction, revealing it as arbitrary.  Even in Murder City, daily life goes on.

100 pictures made of each place, of which perhaps 8-10 will be accepted as finished works and shown.  No sequence ever exhibited in its entirety.

Each picture extensively post-processed and best considered a sketch or drawing.

Smallish prints, ranging in size from 5" x 7" to 9" x 16".  Framed.  One or two slightly larger pictures presented as backlit images in off-the-shelf wall-mounted digital display frames.

Thanks to Owen Kydd, Gabrielle Moser, Andy Keech and David Hockney, special friends of these works.

CJ (15), 2012
Tuesday, May 08, 2012

CJ (14), 2012
Monday, May 07, 2012

CJ (13), 2012
Sunday, May 06, 2012

"Characterized by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtapositions; '[A] great concourse of phantasmagoric shadows'--J.C.Powys"

CJ (12), 2012

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