Friday, February 27, 2009

The Critics Have Spoken...

Critics can be harsh as my colleague, Mark Page, has reminded me. Indeed, some can be brutally direct:

There wasn't any real meaning to any of them.

... the rest of them suck.

They all had furniture and stuff in them. I thought they were all completely stupid.

I like them because they were all B&W and stuff.

It's easy to forget how things all started once. Enthusiasm, uncertainty, enlightenment, commitment... if only it followed such a neat, set, logical pattern!

How many of you would recognize yourselves in these comments at that age- and how little they do change with age despite the increased verbosity. Thank you, Coeur d'Alene High School for the insight- and enjoy the journey...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

That Which Was Learned...

Recently one of the photographers we featured in Expiration Notice asked if all the work and effort was worth it. Well, the true measure of success would be if any of the featured photographers got some legs from it all with offers for print publication, exhibition or assignment opportunities, etc. That would be quite the payoff indeed!

The quality of submissions, along with an equally enthusiastic partner (who I've never spoken to, seen or met), make the whole scenario a lot less like actual work. And considering there's no flash, bells or whistles (just straight out, plain ol' Blogger), I'm pretty happy with the final product overall. Honestly, it's a kick promoting that which you really do love and believe in. I'm really excited by the work we're getting together for the next edition, and I'll be up for doing it as long as that quality continues. Fortunately, the issue of money is not a factor here- so all those perverse complications are conveniently averted.

Oh yeah, there is one ultimate irony to it all- Here's a guy who's damn lucky if he can get himself into a group show, and now he has decision power over guys with CV's and pedigrees he could only dream of. I aint saying that out of ego, spite- or guilt either. I hold no degrees in the field, never interned with any names, and was one of the worst 3rd assistants in all NYC for all of one year. I did study at the feet of The Masters for twenty five years though- gorgeous, original B&W then color prints of all different sizes, formats and styles at all manner of galleries. No, that certainly doesn't qualify one as expert, even when coupled with 35 years of shooting, but I've been around the block a few times now- enough to know that one of the major reasons some of the snottier galleries are more than happy to accentuate that great divide between the public and those behind the great gallery desk/barrier is to disguise the fact that they know (and appreciate) even less than you...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

46 Years...

At this point, I don't care if every single word was a lie and not one inch of it ever comes true. For the first time since 1963, The President of the United States sounded- presidential. And that's light years from where we were just one short month ago.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Perhaps I've been inspired by having the work of David Wolf and Alan George on my mind recently. Truth is, although the subject matter is similar, this photo (esp since it's B&W) relies more on the interplay between the graphic shapes within the frame. Wish I could say this will be the start of a whole new series, or better yet, a whole new way of seeing- but this is simply one where I just lucked out (and since all my previous attempts at "minimalism" never panned out, I almost didn't even bother getting off the bike to check it out).

Just happy it works- despite the fact that it still looks like it could've been taken in 1975...

Monday, February 23, 2009

The American Dream

Perhaps The American Dream has always been about the freedom to be able to stick one's head in the sand, as opposed to other places where one just simply can't...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Photography- The Lowest of Arts

My wife was watching Vicky Cristina Barcelona when I heard it. The movie heroine was experiencing some vast measure of artistic, creative angst. Rather, she doubted she had any artistic ability whatsoever. She couldn't draw, she couldn't paint, couldn't play an instrument, couldn't... but wait! Hadn't she been snapping photographs on her vacation? Is it possible, could it be? Could photographic technology provide this young, clueless artistic wannabe the last possible recourse for her budding creative juices? Of course, says her world famous, sculptor, lover, mentor-muse!

Wouldn't we all be busy with brush or guitar neck in hand if we had any real talent? Why else would we settle for some so called, alleged art form that Susan Sontag repeatedly reminded us couldn't even achieve the very minimum for which it was most often credited?

And so, we persist...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cars Towed IX

Latest from Garage series, although you must click to view sign and fully appreciate... (have similar photo, but the distortion kinda spoils it for me).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pro-Working Man Politico?!?!

Didn't think any such oxymoron could ever actually exist in this country anymore! Watch Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero outfox FOX talking head, leaving a bloody, dazed and confused right wing pundit in his wake. What we would accomplish with a few hundred more of these guys- or just one of them to replace this ball-less wonder...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When You Don't Know History...

Or just don't care- it doesn't much matter... (and you know they wouldn't have dared run anything like this during the reign of our one true simian chimp king the last eight years).

Update: Ain't it the truth...

Read It And Weep...

"I wish you'd just go ahead and shoot yourself. It would save us a lot of paperwork." (click title above)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Every time I see this photo from Crossings by Alex Webb, my mind just reels. Man and technology invade The Garden of Eden, and original sin despoils everything that is pure and sacred and beautiful. Of course, words just utterly fail to do it justice, and isn't that the point of taking the photograph in the first place, to record the actual event- and in this case, to transcend that instant into to the realm of... art. What more could be asked of any photograph?

And yet there are those who persist that photojournalism is a cliched relic of the past whose relevance is tenuous at best in our modern 21st century. Perhaps, our image burdened society has exhausted its attention and appreciation for images that define the very age that chooses to ignore them. But that is neither the fault of the photographer, nor the medium- admittedly limited as it is. I just don't know what more is expected of either, save a whole new technology, and a whole new way of seeing.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Very Conscientious Thank You

It's been a week since we launched Expiration Notice, and I just want to thank all the people who made it over to participate either by viewing or submitting, as well as those kind enough to give us a shout out (most of whom can be seen directly to the right). We hope it garners the featured artists some much warranted attention that may help further their careers.

It's amazing the amount of well wishes we have received- Joe Reifer was even nice enough to inform us completely out of the blue that Blogger, via Picassa, automatically strips any metadata photographers may embed in their work. And that is indeed a good thing to be aware of- although I'm of the opinion that once you put a photo out on the net, if someone wants it bad enough...

And it's always sad, but not unexpected, to see how the other half reacts. One person was rather perturbed we didn't have a female photographer, and being a minority member pretty much all my life, I can share her... frustration. Actually, I was going to choose a female photographer for the first volume, but it was pointed out that she was currently featured on another online magazine- so I looked elsewhere. One of my favorites (male) for the upcoming issue is also currently featured elsewhere, so I'm looking elsewhere once again. Yes, sometimes there's more than gender, or even talent, to be considered. Quite frankly, I'm more concerned with getting a person of color (of any gender) on board, but as my colleague pointed out- it aint gonna happen till the work says so.

Then there's the case of one particular blogger who very deliberately chose to exclude us (more a petty than Conscientious maneuver on his part) from a recent post on new photo publications. Sometimes you hope that egos (and personal beefs?) can be checked at the door, particularly when it concerns promoting the work of others. Sigh...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Two Vastly Different Blogs

Recently received two emails concerning two photo blogs, Evan Sklar's blog is like a breezy jaunt through the park, Karl Baden's "blog," well, ummm, that's something entirely different...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Innocence - The Child Soldiers of Sri Lanka

Click here for a very moving audio slide show on the above, photographed by David White. The flowers are not some empty photographic artifice, but a very clever way of not revealing the identities of these already traumatized children.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Avenue Patrice Lumumba- Guy Tillims

I suppose everyone has seen at least one of the now familiar post Chernobyl crisis photo essays. Abandoned office and apartment buildings, vacant playgrounds and classrooms, and everywhere the eerie presence of loss and decay. And as eerie as those photos are, now imagine the same apocalyptic environment- except with the haphazard presence of its still living occupants.

The cities and streets of Avenue Patrice Lumumba have not been cursed with the invisible poison of radioactivity, but with the dreaded legacy of colonial and post colonial rule and interference. This is what countries, cities and towns look like when they have been stripped of their resources, both natural and human for centuries on end, denied of even the very hope that a Patrice Lumumba died trying to revive and instill.

Guy Tillman's photographs very tellingly depict those ghost lands of heart, mind and soul, where history continues to overwhelm the present and undermine that yet to come. For more on Lumumba (incl the excellent movie), the man who could've prevented today's turmoil in Congo see: here, here, and here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My balls, my balls, my kingdom for my...

After repeatedly discarding them about whenever the need arose for him to hold them aloft and have them work whatever magic they may have once possessed (instead of just capitulating on each and every issue imaginable), it seems a certain senator has unwittingly stumbled upon his lost and not so prized possessions. I'm still betting that when push comes to shove however, this is all the good Senator Leahy will have to show for his new found "assertiveness".

Monday, February 9, 2009


Expiration Notice Vol.1 is up and running, featuring work by: Alan George, John Darwell, David Wolf and George Georgiou... We hope (Mark Page and I) you enjoy this new venue and that it helps further the emergence of these very worthy artists.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Truth & Lies

Those not familiar with Jillian Edelstein's masterwork Truth & Lies can get a good taste here of the cause, effect and aftermath that accompanied the absolute insanity that was South Africa.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Shoot For Free- No, You Don't!

No way, no how; never did, never will. If there's one thing that really gets my ball rolling, it's when yet another jackass proclaims his complete and utter joy and liberation at being able to shoot for free. "I don't have to pay for film, I shoot for free!" The only way you shoot for free is if you're one of the chosen handful who doesn't have to work to pay their own bills (ask Joel).*

No, this aint about digital v film- please; or even which is bloody cheaper! This is simply about what would possess someone, anyone to buy: the necessary computer hardware (incl all the extra memory, RAM, extra hard drive, whatever), software (incl plug ins, etc), monitor calibrator, paper (now more expensive w/o silver- explain that one), inks worth more than their weight in gold, printer, and of course, camera, lenses, accessories... A multi-thousand investment anyway you look at it- and then turn around and yell, "Hey, look at me. I shoot for free! Free, I tell ya!"

Yeah, and the last eight years have given us unprecedented economic growth and security.

*Joel Meyerowitz-- Eggleston came to New York in 1969 or 1970 and someone sent him to me. He showed me a box of black and white photographs from the south. Mediocre photos, in my opinion, without tension, without energy. I then showed him approximately 500 colored works. We sat together until the early morning. And when he left he murmured something like: 'Color photography, that's it.' He then started to take pictures similar to the ones he had done before, only in color. As a millionaire he could afford to have them printed. Szarkowski liked my work in color. But he kept saying:' I need prints. I need something for the wall.' Only I did not have the money for prints. That's how Eggleston became the pioneer of color. But that's what it's like in photography.'

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This Is Who And What We Were For Five Long Fuckin' Years!!!

And still, the Obama administration is reluctant to prosecute...

"We possess all the evidence which proves that the torture methods used in interrogation by the U.S. government were explicitly ordered by former U.S. defence minister Donald Rumsfeld. Obviously, these orders were given with the highest U.S. authorities' knowledge."

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Well, submissions for the first edition of Expiration Notice are officially done, with publication on 2/09/09. Which, of course, means that submissions for the second edition and beyond have already begun, so- Bring 'em on!