Friday, April 28, 2017

"What’s so wonderful about the picture (among other things) is that while skating on the edge of a potentially joyless thriller, it never becomes one, even as it upsets you.  It’s still fun and, importantly, it’s still moving. In Demme’s view of this particular corner of America, there’s life and joy bursting out of every frame. With the picture’s music (49 songs) providing such a singular, superb soundtrack to these lives, people serve not just as scenery but as distinct individuals, sometimes poignant, sometimes musical. Among many stand-out, small performances, there’s a group of rappers outside of a gas station market, an inquisitive girl checking in on Charlie as he sits in his car, and a lovely moment in which Charlie engages with a clerk named Nelson (Steve Scales) who helps him pick out attire from the tacky tourist gear. It’s delightful, how long Demme allows this scene to go on and how much he, Daniels and Scales underplay what could have been a rote 'wacky' incident. Charlie is changing in the store (appropriately in a 'Virginia Is For Lovers' tee shirt) and Nelson is not at all perturbed by this, instead he’s encouraging, even casually life affirming. When Charlie asks Nelson if he should buy new glasses (he’s wearing Lulu’s colorful kiddie-looking specs) Nelson says, 'Nah, keep ’em. You’re beautiful.' The world is not such a shitty place after all."

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The internet sensation Rupi (Milk & Honey) Kaur, and some friends of mine.
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Source scene for La La Land Tree, 2016-7.  Three mile uphill walk in the rain, January 2017. The bench & lamp are fanciful additions, but everything else turns out to be pretty much just as depicted.
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Useful; maybe a little too useful re: San Marino.  But I've photographed there for eight years now, maybe long enough to shake the shadow of influence.

(Image: Christopher Brayshaw, Glasshouse, 2017)

Study for Double Self Portrait (1985), 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Amazing cover; bassist (Chuck Rainey?) & drummer on fire
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Forever Alone, 2017
Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ansel Adams, Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, CA, 1959

Just stumbled on a large-format double-page reproduction of this amazing photograph, not really done justice by the dully colored thumbnail above, but the only image of it I could find online.
Thursday, April 13, 2017

On Picturing Places

Sometimes I photograph places where others have been before me. So far these individuals include artists Scott McFarland, David Hockney and Jeff Wall, directors John Carpenter, Robert Altman, Kelly Reichardt and Damien Chazelle, novelist Leonard Gardner, and musicians Dan Bejar and Carl Newman. Some aspect of another artist's practice leads me to locate a typically remote or hard-to-get-to place depicted in their work, to repeatedly visit it, and, eventually, to make my own work there.

Harold Bloom anticipates the (largely unconscious) process underlying my practice with his fine phrase, “the anxiety of influence.” Maybe a better analogy is the "close reading" pioneered by critics I.A. Richards and William Empson and codified by the New Criticism that was still in vogue when I was enrolled in English literature at the University of BC, c. 1988-1995. I marinated in close reading like beef in cheap red wine & don't really think that any of us ever escapes the anxiety of our earliest influences. The New Critics' granular inspection of word choice and sentence structure primed me for the realist photographs of Atget, Walker Evans, Jeff Wall, and the early Andreas Gursky, which were made almost exclusively with medium and large format cameras.

Studying these pictures, I saw that each part of an image had meaning, even those incidental details that didn't initially seem to contribute to a photograph's quality. This democratic attention to everything falling under the camera’s gaze led me backward and forward through time to artists whose orientation, though realistic, remains open to the more abstract elements of composition, a retroactively constituted lineage encompassing figures as diverse as Corot, Samuel Palmer, R.H. Quaytman, James Endsor, Edwin Dickinson, Stephen Shore, and Rackstraw Downes.

As I looked more closely around me, I began to find other places where space, or at least my perception of it, cohered in interesting ways: a California "bottle forest"; a remote Nevada spring; a river that runs underground for most of its length and backward from its source; a rock ledge I repeatedly hid on as a bullied and inward child.

I try not to choose my subjects in advance, or to make “series” based on scholarly research. A spontaneous aesthetic response to a place, whether glimpsed on a screen, while out walking, in a gallery, or from the window of a rental car still seems to me to be the best, most open way of selecting slices of a larger world. That said, I am most interested in things that have changed over time, a category encompassing everything from Japanese stoneware to debris flows, secondary highway signage, and Harry Dean Stanton’s massively weathered face.

My photographs are digital inkjet prints made with consumer-grade cameras and, occasionally, custom-made electronics. Some works incorporate multiple exposures or prints to emphasize my repeat visits to each place; I have never made a successful work from a single visit anywhere, and suspect I never will. My pictures’ real subject is time.

Christopher Brayshaw
April 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Anodyne Inc.

After a quiet six months, real-life Anodyne Inc.'s largest real-money position just quietly leapt to within 5% of my estimate of intrinsic value.

$ not a particularly potent motivator for me, but I wouldn't trade the sense of being proven right by some impartial omniscient external authority for much in this life.
Saturday, April 08, 2017
Love's a Comin'
Words & Music by Curtis Mayfield

Performed by Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions

There's a love a comin'
Hold your head up high
There's a light a shinin'
Beyond that dark sky
You're not even aware
Though I know secretly
That that love is comin'
It's gonna be me
It's gonna be me-ee-ee!

From your old heart-breakers
There'll be no more pain
You'll have a brand new fella
With a brand new name
And a loves a comin'
Hold your head up high
I got a funny funny feeling
Things gonna be alright
It's gonna be alright
Mmm mm mm mm mm

That a loves a comin'
Hold your head up high
I got a funny funny feeling
Things gonna be alright

Well baby now don't you worry
Honey now don't you fret
Things gonna move on easy
Just the way you expect

And a loves a comin' (loves a comin')
Hold your head up high (hold your head up high)
Light is shinin' (lights are shinin')
Beyond that dark sky (beyond that dark blue sky)
Don't you worry (loves a comin')
Don't you fret (hold your head up high)
You're gonna move on easy (loves a comin')
Just the way you expect

Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Thank you for following the sound you’ve sort of been hearing your entire life--

Monday, April 03, 2017
Solo Exhibition: Spring 2017

Some of the photographs that appear here from time to time, as well as some new ones, will be on display next month at Saltspring Island's Fault Line Projects.  This solo exhibition, my second, opens Saturday 6 May 2017, and will be up for a month.  I'll be speaking on the work (& on Robert Adams, & Sturtevant, & Valery & R.H. Quaytman & Robert Linsley & etc.) on the Saturday afternoon, exact time TBA. I hope to see at least a few of you there.  
Sunday, April 02, 2017

Blue Point, 2017

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