Friday, July 30, 2010

Greetings from Sarajevo!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hurry Up and Win!

Last minute notice for the 3rd Ward Open Call for a bursary award for their Summer show.

A residency and $5000 dollars to spend on overpriced coffee in Williamsburg await the lucky winner....

As well as the golden elevator to art stardom of course.

Go forth and conquer art people!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wisdom: Louis Faurer

"My eyes search for people who are grateful for life, people who forgive and whose doubts have been removed, who understand the truth, whose enduring spirit is bathed by such piercing white light as to provide their present and future with hope." - Louis Faurer

Oooooo...Dedication's What you need...

It must be five years since I last got in contact with the enigma that is Boogie. When I started making pictures and finding my feet as a street snapper, I would pore over his influential Artcoup website/blog, amazed at the access and intimacy he was achieving with his photography just a few blocks away from my Brooklyn base in the heart of Bushwick, photographing the lives of those ruined by crack and heroin addiction.

Long before Tumblr, Facebook and even the mass popularization of blogging, there was Boogie, posting pictures everyday, logging, categorizing, sharing his stream of consciousness with the world.

I wrote to him in 2005 to share my appreciation for what he was doing. "You should join Magnum" I said to him, "or get a big agency to represent your stuff" I suggested. "Yeah, I'm kinda in a fuck everybody kind of place right now" the reply came back "Thanks for your email though". Five years and five published books later and Boogie is still pushing himself and his style to the max, steadily maturing and adding new dimensions to his approach and his work.

Photo District News has a piece on the work from his latest show on their Photo of the Day post today where Boogie talks about this process:

“When the Carmichael Gallery contacted me about doing a show, they were at first surprised by my initial selection … it didn’t include any of the images that people are used to seeing from me, like gangs, drugs and other hardcore stuff. It was a selection of totally new work mostly of normal day-to-day life, and much of it in color. After years and years of shooting only b&w film, I started seeing images in color some time last year, and it opened up a whole new world for me. After going back and forth with the gallery, we came up with a final selection which we called The Uncovering. It’s a pretty apocalyptic series, but I think it really represents the new me.”

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Everybody's Talking About...

Jon Rafman's 'Google Street Views'. And well they should be too. Somewhere in last interview with the late Dennis Hopper published by Vanity Fair he stated something along the lines of 'it being the artist's duty to document his own time'. Never a truer word could be spoken and Rafman's work is a perfect example.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Requiem for a Picture

The Observer's 'New Review' has a video of 'The Month in Photography' which carried me away with it's haunting music (that I can't identify) and beautiful and oddly moving imagery. It got me thinking about the life and death of photography (definitely the music).

Filled with classic images from the likes of Salgado, Mary Ellen Mark, Steve McCurry and Sally Mann and modern classics from photographers such as Tim Hetherington, Nadav Kandar and David Monteleone it seems that the public's knowledge and thirst for photography has never been greater just as the level of complaining about the 'end of photography' and the 'death of photojounalism' has also never been more ubiquitous.

To my mind these arguments run the gamut from the proverbial sublime to the ridiculous. Globalization, the proliferation of digital photography, the internet and of course...the internet have all been blamed for what I've genuinely heard called "the death of still photography".

Such is the frequency of these articles it sometimes seems commentary on the topic has almost become and industry in itself.

Personally the quest for new projects, insights and the constant stream of photo-based brain chatter keep me busy enough to even form an opinion on the matter. Sure it's true that photojournalists weigh in 189th out of 200 on the Best and Worst Jobs 2010 list but no-one ever said it was gonna be easy. As the ever wise D. Timmons would calmly state:

"If you've got good shit, you've got good shit".

Never a truer word spoken.

None the less for interested parties, here's some of the links past and present on the topic and a picture by the sage-like and ever spot-on David Burnett that made me smile:

LA Times: "When it Paid to Photograph Hard Truth"

Lens Blog with Tim Hetherington
JM Colberg: 1 2 3
Stephen Mayes on World Press Photo
Digital Journalist: "The Death of Photojournalism Ten Years On"

Image copyright David Burnett

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Hotness: 4th July

All this crazy sunshine makes me want to get out there and shoot.

4th July at Coney Island was a perfect example. Wild with heat, every inch of sand swarmed with people and trash, there was a classic picture to be had in every direction. There was something sultry and seedy in the air too that ultimately drew me in and helped me find a rhythm in my images that day, something to focus on in a mire of thirty thousand people. It was encapsulated by this image of young Puerto Rican charges and their knowing muse.

They were Bushwick kids in the throes of hormonal mania, spending their day throwing themselves off the pier in dazzling displays of mating behavior, their brains all hopped up on blunts and bravado.

It was a kind of primary coloured Martin Parr mind-trip that made me want to get cracking on a new summer project: "The Hotness"...


Stay Tuned.

Space is the Place

Apologies for the lack of blogging on Milky Blacks of late. I have been boldly going to NASA on a film shoot. Here's a snap from the Space Center at Houston.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bare Bones show: Wild Crazy Madness

The Bare Bones show lit up the Lower East Side on Tuesday night and was a great success for the terrible trio Harry Malt, Niall O'Brien and Matt Lambert. Once the suits and nihilistic trendies were out of the way bondage punk acts Juggle Nut and Giggle Fits took over the proceedings adding their own distinct flavor to the event....

Big up to the Bare Bones crew.