This week winter finally came, everyday was officially cold and then we got our first snowfall of the season! The weather made activity levels dwindle but there were guests in from out of town so total hibernation was not an option! I can’t really complain because the week had some good highlights and it certainly started off well. Tuesday morning Brian Paul Lamotte and Andreas Laszlo Konrath from Pau Wau Publications came and talked to my class at SVA. They were great and Andreas left me with a copy of his new book out by Dashwood Publications Back To Mystery City, which is part of the new annual Dashwood Book Series. The complete set has seven books, all by different photographers. Must get over to Dashwood and check out the rest of them and other new publications soon. There is a book signing there this Wednesday the 25th for Japanese photographer Motoyuki Daifu…
That evening was Enrico David’s opening ‘Head Gas’ at 231 Bowery, the New Museum’s new project space. David’s large ethereal paintings looked so beautiful in the space and seemed really different from the work I usually associate with him, bolder colors and more defined shapes, so it was nice to be totally surprised when I walked in. The space had also been transformed since their inaugural show with Spartacus Chetwynd at the end of last year. The opening was followed by dinner at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, which I had wanted to try for awhile now. Apparently when you ask the waiter to order for you you get everything on the menu!
I was introduced to the work of three new photographers this week, all of which I was excited to find out about. The first came via the recommendation of former employer, dear dear friend and Photo Agent extraordinaire, Julie Brown, who suggested I check out the blog of photographer Dimitri Kasterine. I liked the blog but what really got my attention was his portraits of artists, writers, directors, actors and the such, all mostly from the seventies and eighties. Kasterine is an English photographer who has spent most of his life living in the states (he was born in 1932). His portraits, which include the likes of Jasper Johns, Philip Johnson, Keith Haring, Cindy SHerman, Arthur Miller, Graham Greene, Johnny Cash and Richard Gere, to name but a few, have that rare ability to capture known personalities with a slight amount of spectacle and a large amount of intimacy without the image feeling tried or staged. They are really beautiful!
The second was also sourced from across the Atlantic and is the work of the young Swiss photography team Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs. Onorato and Krebs are currently part of the group show ‘Annual’ at Bruce Silverstein Gallery so I decided I should go see their work in person. This annual exhibition at the gallery invites ten curators each to include the work of emerging photographers. Onorato and Krebs work was included by Independent Curator Kevin Moore. When I first looked at the duo’s work on line the thing that struck me was their interest in photographing Americana, something so many artists are interested in – however, their travels and documentations felt different, felt exploratory beyond just photographing the quirky things that make America distinctly America, or so we have come to believe through the redundancy of so many of these projects. Read Moore’s statement from the exhibition below:
What to do as a young photographer, trained in, enamored of, yet burdened by the weight of certain American photographic icons: Robert Frank, Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, William Christenberry, Robert Adams, Joel Sternfeld? Team up, go on a road trip across America, and take the piss. Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs (both Swiss and born in 1979) made a series of trips between 2005 and 2008, during which they photographed the clichés: desert landscapes, tract houses, funny signs, motel rooms, and the road itself. Yet instead of generating a subjective vision of America through documentary photographs, honoring that sacrosanct tension in art photography, the Salingerian duo has desecrated their own work, manipulating, splicing, puncturing, montaging, spattering, and rephotographing the original prints, as if in an effort to make the photographs emote more, to insert (or doubt?) the romantic loneliness of that other Swiss roadster Robert Frank; to enhance (or make fun of?) the deadpan humor of Stephen Shore; to augment (because maybe one just couldn’t quite feel it at the time?) the sense of revelation of William Eggleston. The Great Unreal asks how true photography is and goes further: are we—were we ever—capable of authentic experience?
The show is up till the end of February – definitely worth checking out. Also while there make sure to check out the work of Russian photographer Ivan Mikhailov, also an interesting new discovery.
The weekend got colder and when the snow came on Saturday I popped by Pier 59 Studios and saw a bit of Summer as Summer collections are already being shot – which is scary because I still haven’t bought any winter clothes! But at least among the bitter cold I got a glance of what the warm weather holds in store for us!
But the real guilty pleasure this week came when I finally had a night in and watched Almodovar’s ‘Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down’, which I hadn’t seen in so long. I forgot how amazing the music is in that film is! Anticipating ‘The Skin I Live In’ coming out on Netflix! Oh… second guilty pleasure was realizing that watching the football game can be really fun!
And ending with this!