Oct 31, 2008


Photo by Susana Raab

WHAT: FotoWeek DC opening + Silent Print Auction of

"Women by Women: A Juried Exhibition by WPOW members"

DATE/TIME: Thursday, November 20th - 6:30 to 8:30 pm

WHERE: Sewall-Belmont House and Museum

144 Constitution Ave, NE Washington DC 20002

(Next to Hart Senate Office Bldg / Metro: Union Station)

DESCRIPTION: The Women Photojournalists of Washington craft a visual journey through the lives of women and girls around the world. From the desperation of an emergency room in Haiti, to an ordered classroom in China; from the bubble gum pink of a girls bathroom during a middle school dance, to a whitewashed detention center on Mexico's border–moments of beauty, humor and darkness present themselves in their rawest form.

COST: Free!! (Bring your checkbooks or cash if you plan to bid during the silent auction!) Can't make the event but still want to bid on our photos? Bid online at: http://womenphotojournalists.org/auction/index.html

Curated by Ken Geiger, National Geographic Senior Editor and MaryAnne Golon, Time Magazine, Consulting Editor

More about WPOW:

Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW) is a non-profit organization of 175 women working within or studying the field of photojournalism in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

While still in the minority, women are a quickly growing segment within the historically male dominated field of photojournalism. WPOW seeks to both address the specific needs of Washington DC area female photojournalists by nurturing professional growth, and to educate the public about the role of women in this field.

Oct 27, 2008


Second day before closing, I caught the awesome show at the Studio Museum of Harlem, "The World Stage: Africa, Lagos, Dakar", the amazing paintings of Kehinde Wiley. I have seen Wiley's work before---maybe at Deitch Projects, I'm not sure---but I didn't remember it having such a powerful effect. In Wiley's newest work, he sets up shop in various locales and soaks in the culture of that place, through hanging out with locals, visiting museums, and studying the relevant history. In Lagos, Dakar local African men were given the chance to pose in stances based on those of local monuments and statues; it was a give and take between artist and subject at these photo shoots. As a result, the gestures in the paintings are almost dance-like, such as in "Place Soweto: National Assembly".
One bit of information which was not provided was the significance of the brightly colored patterns both enveloping the figures and serving as backgrounds; I would assume they are taken from each specific locale of where the painting was made, but if anyone out there knows more specifically, please let me know!

Wiley's technique is nothing short of perfection; invisible brushstrokes, and a complex understanding of color which is nothing short of a modern Vermeer. In a documentary describing Wiley's practice (on display in the Museum), he explained his process as first: photo shoot, then digital work to enhance the colors already present. The nuances in the skin tones were obviously carefully labored over, and the sculptural shadowing combined with the large scale gave each painting a special, monumental quality. ('On Top of the World,' Kehinde Wiley, 2008)

Oct 24, 2008


While in Santa Fe, I finally had the opportunity to visit the well-known Site Santa Fe contemporary art center. The current show was the 7th international biennial to be held there, 'Lucky Number Seven,' curated by Lance M. Fung.

I do appreciate the fact that Fung chose---to more or lesser degrees---emerging artists, many of whom were from the region.

However, much of the work was not exceptional, and came up short of inspiring new conversation or dialogue.

New York based artist Nadine Robinson's piece was the most impressive, a giant trio of X's perched atop the SITE Santa Fe building, illuminated at night with hundreds of industrial bulbs. The 3 X's reference both the historical religious reading of the cross and plays with more contemporary notions of 'x-rated.'

Studio Azzurro had the most interesting and fun piece in the exhibition, featuring locals walking up a city sidewalk, digitally projected on a gallery wall, larger than life. The viewer could place their hand on any of the figures walking by, at which point the figure would turn and face the viewer and give them directions in the area. As a long-time urban dweller, I appreciated this investigation into how people treat and interact with one another in a busy city area. Ignore? Keep eyes focused forwards? Make eye contact? Or talk to each other?

Probably the weakest work in the show was the sculptures of mother and daughter team headed by Eliza Naranjo Morse. Their sculpture---reminiscent of a long piece of poop---was chosen to be draped over the entrance to the museum. If a piece is, in essence, advertising how and where to cross the threshold from outside to in, it better be a strong, or at the very least, interesting, or offensive, piece of work. This was none of those. And especially in contrast with Nadine's giant x's, I really don't know what the curator was thinking to offer this very important site to these artists and this piece of work. I appreciate that they chose 'local' materials for their piece such as clay, but so what? This was an example where MORE would have been effective; the result was just weak. This picture is from some of their other sculpture draped elsewhere in New Mexico.

On one hand, I respect Fung for bringing in regional artists to an international exhibition space, especially as regional work is such a huge part of the art market in New Mexico. However, if it can't provoke thought or be visually seductive, there has to be more to it than 'being regional.'

SHARON CORE and AMY ELKINS at Yancey Richardson Gallery

Several good shows opened up last night, including Sharon Core and Amy Elkins at Yancey Richardson Gallery.

Sharon Core's show in the main gallery, 'Early American,' featured exquisite still lives, an homage, in essence, to Raphaelle Peale, considered the first early American still life painter.

In the rear project gallery was Amy Elkin's project 'Wallflowers,' featuring cute young men up-front-and-center of flowered wallpaper.

I loved these two projects together. It would have been great to see the works in one room, instead of separate spaces. Both artists used a painterly, careful use of light and color palette; both are heavily entrenched in art historical reference.

This show is open until December 6th.

10:15 DOT COM

My friend Beth turned me onto this really cool website, where you upload a photograph you take at 10:15 a.m. I love the idea of all of these simultaneous lives coming together on a website at a specific moment. Here is one of the pics from 10:15

photo by Jay Heinz of Chapel Hill, NC 'Unicorns and Freakin' Rainbows'

Oct 18, 2008


New Mexico is incredible.

It's my 3rd time here, and the first time I've been here with my 4 x 5 camera and much better skills at making pictures. It is stunning here---an extremely wide and vibrant color spectrum, tiny humble homes set against massive, impassive mesas and mountains, and a moon that doesn't disappear until late in the afternoon. Made some pictures in White Sands, Raptor Lake, and along Route 3 in the middle of some rolling hills dotted with farms and yucca and trees, the leaves a pale golden green in the sparkling autumnal sun. It was pretty awesome.

Now in Santa Fe.
Saw a really lovely photography show at the Monroe Gallery of the work of Stephen Wilkes, another photographer who has been investigating the rapidly changing environment of China.

The image I found most enigmatic in the show was this:

Farm house before demolition, China, 2006, Stephen Wilkes

This photograph was exhibited as a diptych with a matching image, the farmhouse just now a pile of rubble. While I have certainly seen plenty of before/ after destructions depicted in photography, the strange, ethereal lighting and overcast, yet shimmering sky really contributed to the overall feeling of: is this really happening?

Oct 14, 2008


Well wanted to add a brief something in here....have been on my honeymoon in Puerto Rico for the last couple of weeks, which has been quite an adventure, from the boozshie pools at El San Juan Resort and Casino to the wild coasts of Rincon to the insane, extremely verdant jungles and mountains of the interior of the island. After that, the odd, decrepit city of Ponce, the rain forests of El Yunque, and now....stuck in Fajardo, a small coastal town trying to escape the island before the hurricane scheduled for tomorrow!

So, rather than go to the tropical Caribbean island of Vieques as planned, we've decided to abandon PR and head to New Mexico instead, one of our favorite places to road-trip, camp, and make 4 x 5's. My friend Sarah Palmer has made some pretty sweet pictures out there.

Shelter, White Sands
2008, Sarah Palmer