There was a time when it seemed I was at all the art fairs, wearing suits, talking utter twaddle, showing work and liaising with collectors. Not quite sure what happened, but I don't seem to do them so much these days. Actually I do know what happened and it started with me being in a bad mood and went on from there. Anyway, if you wanted to escape the sub zero temperatures of the UK, perhaps you might want to check out Art Miami. Its always a great event and easily on par with Paris Photo which was just last week (used to be in that one too!).
I couldn't find much of Alfred Seilands work on the web. But what I did find I really admire. The written piece here is the introduction to his book East Coast-West Coast.
In American road movies, the protagonists usually travel from East to West, or vice versa, and photography has also been inspired by the trip across “God’s own country” – one needs to think only of Stephen Shore or Robert Frank. By contrast, the Austrian photographer Alfred Seiland repeatedly traveled for several months from North to South, from South to North, along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, taking a total of 110 photos over eight years. Only 48 made the final selection for his book East Coast – West Coast. He always spends a lot of time finding the perfect place, often returning several times to capture an unusual situation – without ever staging a setting.
Seiland also quite deliberately limits himself technically: 4x5” film, always with one and the same plate camera, no filter, long exposure times, tripod, usually the same lens. He seeks out a realistic angle: “When looking through the camera, I see more or less the same thing as I would without it.” Using a fixed ratio of sides to top and bottom, he then makes enlargements and sometimes spends hours correcting in order to ensure that the colors and lighting temperature are exactly right and he has eliminated even the smallest mistake. This method brings results. But what makes his images so unique? Is it the typical buildings and landscapes? Or the people who leave a trace everywhere without ever being in the middle of things? Possibly it is the colors, the light and the shadows, the lines and surfaces. And without a doubt it is the jumps between the different levels in each image.
These jumps put size into relation, one example being when the yellow limousine in the foreground makes the white wooden house with the red roof on the other side of the street seem like a toy in terms of scale. They also offer unexpected insights, for example when the patchy reflective sun protection on the shop window mirrors only the light, whereas the narrow strip of window beneath it reflects the beach and the sea. Alfred Seiland seeks to oppose superficiality – in the East, the West and wherever else it looks as if this superficiality might gain the upper hand.
North Pier. Blackpool 2010
There comes a time in every project when your just not sure. For me its usually around halfway. You start to weigh up the costs involved. You might see work by others that may be a little similar which can be off putting. The work is not edited and can seem like a right jumble of nonsense (I tend to shoot and box up the images editing when 'I think' I am finished). And of course, lets not forget, sometimes you just loose interest.
As I have mentioned before, its not the starting of a project that's hard, Its the finishing. But I think the halfway point is the most dangerous as it can still go either way.
Its always good to pull out a few images now and then, reflect a little, and maybe even show a few goodies which is precisely what I have done here.
In my slightly Astigmatic eye there is still no better way to have a large photographic print made than by hand.
Roy at Michael Dyer Associates is indeed one of the best regarding this slowly dying art. Always able to get the very best out of my sometimes iffy negs, I have never come away disappointed..
I know all to well the ins and outs of this once booming industry, its long hours, bad backs and ability to see a black cat in a mine shaft. But these days I tend not to print any larger than 20/24" myself..
38/48" Green Station Wagon. Utah 2008.
My lack of postage lately may have been caused by my discovery of this years twelve photographers short listed for the Prix Picket super dooper prize on the theme 'Growth'.
Having been entered for this and not making the short list, I was too busy weeping and could not bring myself to eat or go outside.
Joking aside the Prix Picket Twelve, as they shall become known, are all of the highest calibre and deserve to be there. Having said that there are a few I personally think don't fit the theme as well as some, but that's not to say the work is not superb.
So I have decided to give myself a prize of £60.00, which is 0.1 percent of the Prix Picket Prize, and have included my entry with the images you see here. These images are all about the 'Growth' of the tourism and leisure industry in Las Vegas and were part of my entry.
At least this way I will feel like a winner and will probably spend my prize on a nice three course meal and perhaps an Appletinie.
And if you were wondering. My favourite to win is Mitch Epstein.
Its that special time of year again when 'l'attraction de Paris' draws near as Paris Photo opens on Wednesday.
Always worth a visit, even if its just for a day and a Crock Monsieur.
I was going to attempt a English Channel swim to keep the costs down, but apparently the French are trying to put a stop to this as the fat old ladies in there flowery swim hats keep getting in the way of fishing boats and ferries..
As for the advertisement image. I have mentioned the wonderful work of Michael Eastman on here previously. See those highlights on the marble floor and how not blown out they are, and how symmetrical and balanced the image looks. That my friends is skill... More of his work here.
Stampeder Motel, Ontario, Oregon, July 19, 1973
I was delighted to see a Stephen Shore article in this months BJP. What pleased me most is that they have not used the usual images chosen to represent SS opting instead for lesser known images, which are of course just as impressive. A nice move there I have to say.
Shore's work, in particular American Surfaces and Uncommon Places, probably carries more gravitas now than it did in the 70's. This is one photographer I always come back to time and time again.
Lisa is a joy to be around, energetic and full of enthusiasm and her original pieces are really quite something.
Looking forward to this one.
Please note that this Private View will take place on Thursday, 11th November 2010 from 18:30 - 10:30.
Diemar/Noble Photography presents
‘I Won’t Be Your Mirror’
Photographs by Lisa Holden
Holden’s photographic compositions combine very different types of historical, cultural and personal imagery, as well as analogue and digital techniques.
We cordially invite you the Private View at Diemar/Noble Photography, London.
Private View Thursday 11th November 18:30 - 20:30
Exhibition 12th November 2010 – 8th January 2011
Please RSVP by Monday 8th November
Tel +44 (0)20 7636 5375
web www.diemarnoble.com / Twitter @DiemarNoble
Nearest Tube Oxford Circus/Tottenham Court Road
Lisa Holden will be speaking about her recent work on 12th November at Diemar/Noble Photography. To book a space, please RSVP at email@example.com. Spaces will be limited, so please book by 5th November to avoid disappointment.
I have been meaning to write about the work for a while now, but in all truthfulness I just don't know what to say about it. In fact I am not even sure if I like it. Sure its striking and very dramatic, but I cant help feeling its a lot of technique and very little content, and maybe a little too obvious, at least for me.
As is so often the case these days the luminosity of the image is lost in the final print, and as these tend to be Ink Jet, it doesn't really put the work on my collectors list.
When I first saw Dobrowner's work I was a little dumbstruck as I had never seen a technique quite like it. I just couldn't work out how he had achieved these surreal results, but I did know it wasn't film based. And there lies the problem. Once you discover how it was done, (read the article) it takes away any mystery that was left.
The art critique Brian Sewell once said (cant remember whose work it was);
"It's like an ejaculation. Your excited at first, there's a climax, and then you loose interest."
And that pretty much sums up how I feel about the work..
There's an interesting interview with Mitch here.
I always enjoyed the story of the Solway Spaceman, especially when the photograph was taken so close to where I grew up. Of course if an image like this was made today there wouldn't even be a story thanks to the joys of Photo Shop. Nowadays its all images of the Virgin Mary in butter, weight lifting toddlers, and paintings in galleries by three year olds. Shame really.
I did make a photograph in the very same spot as the Solway Firth Spaceman a few years ago (see pic), but sadly no men in space suits, or alien beasties.