So during my first week there were a lot of names thrown out at me, some I knew, most I didn’t. Here is a quick list of photographers to know. Not all of these are contemporary either.
I am sorry I cannot give details but feel free to look them up yourself. I hate the internet for this. Unless the artist has a website it is a horrible experience to view the work. I prefer artist books to be honest but take what you can get.
Luis Gonzalez Palma
Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison
Stay tuned: there will be more!!!
My life has changed considerably in a very short amount of time but I’ve ended up being comfortable, fortunately.
The program at AIB is starting off a little intense, a lot to do already though I know it is just the beginning.
Aside from being an actual student, I also have lessons at my workplace. I was lucky enough to find a serving position at Moksa restaurant where amazing, welcoming people work. One of them is the head bartender, Noon Inthasuwan. She is the sweetest, most fun, booze-loving person you will ever meet. And she shares her love for alcohol, training us a little more each week.
Today’s Lesson: Bulleit Whiskey!
Bulleit Bourbon is a made of rye and corn and distilled in charred American oak barrels (a fire is literally started on the inside of the barrels) which gives the bourbon its color and smoky flavor. The aroma is quite fragrant and reminds me of vanilla, oak, and spice.
Bulleit has also started making a Rye Whiskey which I love. It is a lot smoother and easy to take neat. The aroma of the Rye reminds me of cherry, oak, cinnamon and spice. It also has a nice smokiness to it.
This one’s a keeper!
Showing in Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.
FromJune 9, 2012 to October 8, 2012.
Gum is seriously wicked and takes some coaxing. Six failures, I hope gum is becoming familiar with me.
Somehow doing everything accomplishes nothing
As often as I can, which is not very often these days, I walk through my neighborhood with my camera. It is not as an intended shoot with predetermined ideas and subject matter. It is more of an exercise of “seeing.” I find this helpful when I am drained of all inspiration and excitement for my projects, which is often.
On one of these walks I saw something that reminded me of Poland. The image posted above is set in Brooklyn in an industrial zone with stacked building materials used as makeshift benches. Three older women sit and chat, something very common but unfortunately not so accessible in New York City. There are public spaces in the city of course but there is a difference between going to a space overrun with strangers or sitting outside your home with friends. My neighborhood is one of few that I feel is not only safe but clean and comfortable enough to just sit outside. It is something that is very important not only to the Polish but also the Hispanic people of the community.
During my vacations in Poland there would always be people outside just enjoying the air. My family lives in the country a little outside Rzeszow where everyone knows one another. It is not the most touristy of places but it is still beautiful and it’s home. In Poland there is a long tradition of each family building their own home themselves. This is a male dominated event for sure, all the males of the family are enlisted to help, but you would be surprised how much of the planning is actually done by the women. It is less common now of course but still practiced in my family. (In fact since I had visited last, my Aunt Asia and her husband Marek have completed their two story house and have their girls, Julia and Maya, to wreak havoc upon it.) During the time it takes to build, materials are strewn and kept all over the yard much like it is arranged above. And that is simply where you would sit. People can be found on the hoods of cars or on a stool under cherry trees or the branches of the cherry trees themselves. The three women chatting just emit that kind of feeling to me.
Strangely enough, when hipsters utilize those same kind of spaces it is more about angst and defiance. It seems more like a gimmick to look a certain way and break the rules rather than have it be what it is. To me it has to do with the fact that you see it in the media all the time; the group of younger people in a run down and industrial setting covered in graffiti. And as edgy as those photos get, you just can’t beat three older women at home on concrete benches.
In High School I took art during my last year. I remember one of our assignments was to critique a work of art, it could be anything. So I chose a page from a magazine which showed a beautiful figure dressed in white in between two rows of large smooth columns with a large bird flying over her head. It could have been a hawk or eagle, I couldn’t really tell. But it was so striking to me. I wrote an entire essay without saying what medium was used, not really paying attention to it. I analyzed composition, tonality, mood and color. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote about the image but I remember commenting on the serenity between the woman and the bird. The beautiful yellow-gold tone of the piece seemed fitting, warm and brilliant. And I remember commenting on a strange texture throughout the image, like grains of sand.
Anyway my teacher Mr. Moran, a QC alumni, gave back the essays but stopped at me and asked “You do know what this is, don’t you?” I replied, “A painting?” He just laughed and said “This, this is a photograph.” I was blown away. I honestly thought anything as beautiful and precise and still must be created, not “captured.” Suddenly photography could do more than I thought or expected.
The photograph could not really be created the way a painting can. It is a different kind of “create.” But that photograph was not just a coincidence either and was not simply “captured.” It was clearly set up with vision. It was controlled and manipulated but given room to breathe, which is a very appealing way to work. It is awkward to compare painting with photography but these two mediums seem to be inspired by each other, both can be made to look like the other.
I have been searching for the name of that artist for a long time. Now I know it to be Gregory Colbert. The image I saw was from his exhibit Ashes and Snow. I love the tone, the way the grain works where it should and of course the images themselves. I’m still blown away by this image.
Strange things are happening, my cyanotypes are changing. My samples look more brown and less pink. Magic.
I saved two of my favorite recipes for last.
Eggplant Black #1
A- pinch of sodium carbonate in 1L of water
B- 10 tablespoons tannic acid to a quart of water
Wet your cyanotype and then place in A until slight bleaching occurs.
Wash for 5 min.
Immerse in B as long as you want. Usually 20 minutes is nice. It can be left as long as 24 hrs but the highlights get hammered and will turn sepia.
Final wash 20 minutes.
Age your cyanotype for 24 hours.
A 32 ml of non-detergent ammonia to 1L water
B 50 g tannic acid to 500 ml water
C strong solution sodium carbonate (not specified, 1 tsp in 1L water is what I do)
Wet your print and place in a until it turns violet.
Wash your print for 15 minutes.
Immerse it in B for 5-10 minutes.
Wash the print for 5 minutes. If you like the brown, stop here.
Immerse the print in C until a deep red-brown appears.
Final wash for 20 minutes.
This is printed on a tinted pastel paper so I am curious what it would look like on lanaquarelle.
I like both of these toning recipes, they are mostly foolproof. These toning recipes have taken up most of my summer but I feel a little more attuned to the processes. I am by no means an expert. I don’t think even experts can anticipate the results all of the time. But I have expanded my knowledge somewhat as well as my patience.
With this I finally become a beach bum. This last week will be rock climbing, ocean and sand.
Desperation calls for inspiration
I love this photo but probably could have taken it better. My lovely coworker and friend Ewa is on the left holding a peach and my other lovely friend is Patrycja holding the head of a pineapple. Ewa looks tough and is on first impression but once you get to know her she’s a softie. Patrycja looks more delicate physically but can hold her own and is quite stubborn! The items were grabbed at random but turned out quite fitting.