Positive thinking: Just another overused platitude, brought to you by the self-help industrial complex, in your neck of the woods.

The shortest blog entry ever. Nevertheless, I just can’t help it, here is a little bit more and a little it more, and if you come back soon, I show you my very own special bits, a la Terry.  So, see you soon….! But If you just can’t wait for, go ahead, just Google it. You don’t really need a link, do you?

” Aie Caramba! — Art world erupts as Iceland bedlam bitch slaps Jeff Wall”.

Olafur Oliasson

Yesterday, I made my way to the San Francisco MOMA to see the Jeff Wall’s retrospectiva. Despite there being beautiful sunshine, I chose to go downtown and see what all the fuss-zzz-is about. I tend to go and see art when the sun’s a shina; it’s makes for better vibes when stepping back out if there ain’t none shining on the insides.

I had earlier panned him but I am always ready and willing to change my mind, especially when I have based my opinion on less than adequate internet digitals or the artist’s monograph (there’s a fucking ridiculous name for what most of us call ” a book ” ! Who comes up with this shit anyhow, Lexus of America ???. Is everybody still gunning for petit bourgeois, didn’t they read Zola? ).

As an aside and for future reference, just think of me as Tourrette’s blogging equivalent to rye, spouting expletives, unable to control my grinds. For the record, I have always been quite fond of that syndrome, even-thought I presume those afflicted with this terrible affliction would beg to differ and do so without actually sounding inappropriately and shockingly crass, for once……As for myself, I’m still looking for a therapist saddled with this less then pleasurable condition: Childhood introspection, bitch, ass ?

As was saying, I made my way downtown and checked out Jeff Wall’s oversized trans-whatever whats? and to my surprise, I still did not like his art. I can’t really put/point my finger on it but I just can’t trust him as far as I can throw it, and considering how big the fucking things are, that wouldn’t be too far. As for the curatorial blurbs introducing his craft, I wasn’t sure how to react, which depending on my mood, makes me want to streak through the galleries dousing museum guards and screaming: ” You ain’t no Condoleezza Rice “…. or, hang my head and cry.

So much for Jeff Wall and onward to Olafur “Son of Elias”. I had a few more minutes to devote to art before rejoining the sunshine outside so I decided to check out what was going on upstairs; there seems to be a generally giddy hum coming from the fifth floor veranda, which as we all know, isn’t exactly the sort of thing museums sound like; unless of course you happen across the after hour Cisco System team building drinking contest, corporate bedlam, run to the W and shit where you eat, sort of flap !

I decided that investigation would the best exploration to these inner introspections and off I went, three by three steps until there he was: ” Olaf-ur Elias-son”, Iceland’s answer to conceptual art. Dem is great art and to put on my best critical thong, I shall broadcast: “That was fucking awesome….“.

If you are in San Francisco or plan on visiting go to the SFMOMA and check it out. The only thing I will add to my less than researched and well thought out curatorial blurb-out is that the difference in mood between the “appreciation of art crowd” haunting Jeff Wall’s great halls of Canada and Olafur Eliasson’s second and fifth floor extravaganza was…….. Here is a metaphor to exemplify: “Jeff Wall’s galleries was to zombiarts what Olafur Eliasson was to a pole dancing Cinderella “, which would you rather watch?

In other news: I also saw Alec Soth’s fashion Magazine in da ” Olde Museum gift shoppe“. Nicely done but I just can’t help myself, I keep seeing Joel Sternfeld’s American prospects when I flip through this latest (Brent, how you like me now?).

A little something called “Dead”.

While eating pork larb today with Adrienne, I was once again reminded that some day I won’t be around to feast on minced piggy. Someday, I’ll be long dead and burned to a crisp, released from the clean and warm embrace of a crematory’s furnace; my ashes covering my children’s faces (knowing them, they won’t remember to piss downwind and I love them for fucking it up already).

Poor little piggy is, and will forever haunt my dreams, there to remind me, that this current space-time continnuum will someday, blow my head clean off, and into a thousand little blue-grey, powdery bits.

I find myself more than unusually attracted to the morbid when I hear of a suicide or a particularly depressing and accidental end:

One of my girlfriend’s co-worker’s hubby committed himself to the deep, on the 25th, and there it is again, staring me in the face. I did not know him, or her for that matter, but my feeble mind, has an exceedingly difficult time, “comprehending” and knowing this day, the 25th, you can wake up and know that: you will end it.

I mean no disrespect or judeo-christian contempt but to take ones life goes against life’s tenuous hold on life itself, as to be as incomprehensible as death itself.

Happy, Happy, Halloween…. little minced Piggy.

You ain’t no Condi, part deux…

New Web Site TestTo complement the post below as well as announce my intentions of personally redesigning my site, I had just wanted to add a few comments to the post below, to further refine my thoughts.

When I tuned in to “A Photo Editor” this morning I was getting a haircut. Knowing full well that the potential for hits and track-backs had been greatly heightened I promptly tore off the stylist’s robe and rushed home to post below. The resulting “do” was less than symmetrical but Jennie got a kick out of it, and besides I quickly returned so she could resume and make it just so.

As I was saying the hardest part of survival as a photographer is accepting your work’s failure to produce results. You keep repeating to yourself that some day, somehow, they will all come to their senses and finally understand what it is you think you are doing. Unfortunately, we cannot work in a vacuum, divorced from the times and the fashions which so often dictate how we must think and create to earn a living.

All is great under Heaven’s banners but financial recognition* rides a very thin line, and the more there are of us, the sharper and razor thin it is.

A more perfect metaphor for this condition might be better explained by drawing upon a non too subtle parallel with the Amazon: As you may know, there are no “large” predators in the Amazon as the diversity and abundance of rain forest life can only survive and thrive if, and only if, it becomes, over eons, smaller and more specialized.
The Amazon is a desert full of life and only those who can reduce their size survive: There are only a few large predators in the Amazon because the ecosystem cannot sustain them, as a result, random selection favored smaller, more nimble predators. These are well know facts to biologists and zoologists but little observed by artists and other such parasites.

So, until you somehow manage to become the creative primate’s equivalent of “The Jaguar”, you will have to learn how to stay small, nimble and specialized. Those skills will come in handy when self doubt, failure, life, death and the Santa Anas burned down you little piggy’s house.
Until you manage to reach the top of the food chain, you will need to feed on the canopy’s lower terraces. The trick is to accept failure promptly and adjust to the never ebbing cultural tsunami that is “Sparta”. May be some day you’ll make waves of your own but in the meantime you will need to be able to run for the hills and distill your moonshine with no other company but your own.

As stated below, I have no intention of stopping the work I am presently doing but I need to find alternate ways to fund it. A new, more “visually acceptable” and “a propos”, body of work is a good way to do so, as long as it let’s others in, on the festivities. Car jacking will have to wait until I am good and ready.

I have put considerable amounts of thought into this in the past few months and have come up with a plan to rescue this faltering financial house. If I stick to it, I’ll be fine, but that might be the hardest part of this upcoming trip. Staying happy in this business is learning to dance the very fine line between the ideal and the mundane, insults and promises.

* There are other forms as we know but without capital there is little chance of continuation, especially as a photographer. This ain’t no cheap profession.

You ain’t no……

A Corsican Welcome.

Today, one of my comments is the subject of the “Photo Editor’s” post so I’d better write something quick. I wrote that comment in response to my experiences with my most recent work, work I started developing 6 years ago or so.

I did so in response to what I saw was the writing on the wall; photo-journalism was about to take a serious hit and if I wanted to continue making a living I might very well do something instead of bitch.

The resulting work was and is 100% me. It is not derivative of anybody’s, it is self expressive and personal. Something we all hope to achieve. For a brief moment I imagined it would be successful and bring me the cashes and riches I needed to continue expanding and developing it.

Nevertheless, the best part about change is that it forces you to innovate, adapt or switch and bait. I consider my work unique and ground breaking (go ahead disagree, I don’t give a shit), but apart from a few dedicated friends, editors, art directors and a smattering of the cognicenti, this new work has been a dismal commercial failure and I know it and I know why.

I am OK with it and it’s almost a blessing. I will continue working it on my own and take it as far as it will let me. In the meantime, I will work on a new, “less personal and eccentric” body of work and will use the cash I make from it to fund this decidedly “un-visually acceptable” photography.

The best thing about reverses is that it often forces you to discover who you really are as a photographer and as an artist (if I may ever so presume to call myself such a thing).

In the words of a Time editor whom upon seeing this new work exclaimed: ” You found your voice, now you’ve got to learn to sing “. I can only learn to sing by having the capital to devote to it. One way to do so is to get back to work and shoot something a little more” visually contemporary”.

You ain’t no Condoleezza Rice….

Overseen in San Francisco: On Castro and Market, a homeless man pulled out his member in front of “Pottery Barn” and tried spraying the crowd with a perfectly formed jet of urine. All the while screaming: “You ain’t no Condoleezza Rice, motherfuckin’ bitch…!“. This gives new meaning to Colin Powel’s famously adage to W: “You break it, you buy it”.
So, “Condi”, I guess that means, in a cosmic sort of way, ” that if the man tries to piss on your diplomacy, you ‘d better get out of its way”; but it seems that you probably already knew this.

In other news: A gratuitous and graphic image to complement above post. NOT AT WORK…! I just thought it had some, how to say, psychic similitudes to the afore mentioned scenics. I’ll have to admit, I collect ridiculous images like these.
Upon viewing, please reverse roles immediately to appreciate as it is truly meant to be. I just couldn’t find a similarly graphic image where the sexes had been flipped to illustrate my point appropriately.

If an erection lasting more than four hours persists….

Nice article in the October 8th issue of the New York Observer. I think we could replace the words “Ad Biz” with any number of other creative businesses and there you have it. Can I lick your middle ground, please?  Yawnnnnn….: “Insert priapus here*”

“There aren’t enough personalities in the business anymore,” said adman Richard Kirshenbaum, who founded Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners with his former J. Walter Thompson co-worker Jonathan Bond in 1987, when he was 26. He was speaking as part of a panel on how to start your own ad agency, in the Time-Life Building, as part of Advertising Week 2007. The assembled hopefuls twittered.: Continued here:

 

Another one bites it…

Robyn Color, in San Francisco, will be closing their doors at the end of October. As far as I was concerned they provided an invaluable service to photographers with their museum quality on demand Digital C41 prints, for a price which made you feel like you were not being fleeced. If you have 300Ks to invest in buying the business, a profitable and viable one I hear, contact them.
The building was bought out from under them and they will be tearing it down to put up condos facing magnificent highway overpasses. Hopefully someone in SF will have the presence of mind to either buy them out or start a similarly successful business based on the same concept.

This 2 bit town has done it again. I should move to LA when my kids graduate high school, and get out of this second rate city and county. Nice place to work and live if you like coding for a living, but not much good for anything else. Personally, I don’t feel like moving to London, New York or Paris. That leaves LA as a possibility. See you there someday…..

El señor Martin…

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I am going to quickly take advantage of this unique opportunity. Timothy has me on his blog and I know I’m gonna get some hits so I figured I’d say something nasty about Martin Parr, quick!
Martin Parr was first brought to my attention after I did a story on “Windows of the World”, back in 1995, just before my son Raphael was born. I thought to myself, “I got it, I am going shoot a body of work on global tourists. They are so fucking funny, how can I miss”? I like shooting social conflicts and all that shit but I really like a good bit of ridicule in between bludgeonings.

Mind you, this was back in the days when if you were not a “concerned photojournalist” it was hard to be taken seriously. You know you had to be concerned and care deeply. Care about your subjects while you trampled them underfeet.Anyway, my friend Ed Kashi, I think it was him, mentioned: “you should look at Martin Parr’s work, you’ll like him”. I did and I was pissed, that motherfucker had stolen my ideas back in the early nineties. I had to give up on it and go back to being a concerned photojournalist. My one and only chance to be funny, and I blew it….. no, “HE” blew it.

As I was saying Martin Parr is one of my all time favorite photographers but lately his work has severely diminished in quality. His Mexico work sucks and so does most of his recent work. Check out his other work, from let’s say 1990 to 2000 and you’ll see what I mean. May be he is just going thru a shallow period or the lecture circuit has got him thinking he’s the shit. Eyes on the prize baby.

See what I mean go to his site and click on recent work and if you happen to disagree, tough shit. More weight to my bullshitt.

And BTW, I really don’t like Radio Head either, so be it!6.jpg

Mixed Greens.

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This essay was written and is being used by permission. Father Ignacio Kotsakis, pictured above (not a pseudonym), is the author of the treatise you are about to read–:

Begin transcript:

“I am a cold war baby and for what it’s worth the Soviet Union used to be an altogether appropriate and useful reflection of our collective imaginations; kinda made you wipe your nose on the curtains more carefully, so to speak….
Some may say, that it’s still the case, that nothing has changed, but they would have to prove it and show me these are not simply more opiated promises. From my vantage point as an abbot, this country and most of its western approaches have become much more socially and religiously conservative; and I don’t mean it compared to the sixties, or in response to its excesses. It is not, as they meekly proclaim, the other arc of the pendulum’s swing, a spasmodic twitch, a reappraising of the consequences.

I won’t use the current administration to bolster my pieces, since so many have already made very good cases against these new century national polices, but simply put, these times are not, as they pretend to claim, a counterpoint to an overly liberal society; but a long standing need which man seems to indulge in, and often recklessly; to approach reason and humanists from an irrationally privileged and entitled need to dominate our fellow bedmates.

In the case of the United States, this was brought on by race and the perceived abuse of the concessions the majority felt they had made in good faith . Loosing some of their hard fought cultural, economic and political prizes reduced them to these great seething and consumptive masses. Law abidingly, they relented, because it had thankfully been civically ingrained, but they only did so because they intuitively sensed that the anger and hatred, of their formerly enslaved roommates, needed to be peaceably moderated.
The possible consequences of these continued inequities might just be too eminently catastrophic and brutish, to be confused for more of the same.
The rapid growth and economic prosperity of the 50s and 60s were about to be wiped clean, concessions had to be made, but not without consequences.
Legions sat bitterly and passively waiting for a lovable and popular Moses, to deliver them from the compromises they felt they had been forced to make. And It came, ever so cleverly disguised as an enlightened sheep, in economically lupine clothes; but best of all it was sincere, self convinced and soothingly reassuring to these fatherless masses.

The political shift began to swing from a society where the individual pretended to be prized and adulate for questioning the state, to elevating him for his ability to beat it, cash it and love it. In short order, opportunists, gurus and self anointed abbots began the oft mentioned and inevitable process of ridiculing the very ideas, they had espoused with such evangelistic and vigorous zeal. They began to espouse commercial incentivistic as a better and more patriotic way. From idealism to embracing “The Prince” in less than 30 days. Injecting religiosity into the brand, to transform it into a new form of political thinking, I might venture to name: “National Social Narcissism”.

A political ideology based on speculatory enthusiasm, religious persuasions, self evasion; and on the religiously implicit acceptance, of an eminently pliable and disinterested populace; geographically gated and isolated, and continuously marinated in a mildly anxious chemical haze, masquerading as change.”

PS: I also found this while surfing.

Anonymous….

It seems that, as of late, many bloggers have decided to do so anonymously. This prompted me to think about anonymity as the act of expressing ones thoughts and ideas without revealing ones identity seems rather cowardly. At the end of the day, there are very few reasons for anonymity, unless your life or those of your friends of family are imminently threatened by the powers that be.
If your clients or your boss look at you sideways because you have opinions and would like the world to know how you feel but need to do so secretly, you’d better be running for your life on a daily basis. Otherwise, don’t bother, we are not interested, especially since for all we know, suspending disbelief, in your case, would only be worth it if you are exceedingly talented, comedic or excentric. Photographers, editors, art directors and all other trumpeting prophets of the creative classes shouldn’t have to hide behind super secret cloaks to speak their piece.

If you fear that your job or your reputation might be compromised by what you have to say, I would rather you remain silent instead of rambling on about the mundane. Unfortunately, that’s often what it amounts to: Opinions devoid of any information which for purely economic reasons need be protected by a vail of secrecy. Do I really need to anonymously know what photographer turns you on or wether digital is better than film? If you are going to wear a magical mantle of clandestinity, you’d better have something earth shattering to say, or shut it. Are you really, who you seem to say you is, or aunt Wilma masquerading for kicks. If it’s adrenaline you seek, try freelancing……

In the meantime, I did a little research on Anonymity and came up with a few links which I found worth mentioning. Anonymous Photo Editor. Anonymous Photographer. And why often times a lawyer’s brief turns out be more interesting than those less than stimulating anonymous bloggies.

“On a bag of frozen peas”.

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I had originally posted this poem last June about my friend Steve, who I assure you, is nothing but an entirely fictionally character and in no way bares any resemblance to himself or anyone else. I had appropriate his name and relative likeness to allow me to post the original poem below, which had been crafted to reflect my uninformed and entirely fictional views and opinions of the Art World; of which I am not a bona fide, plenipotentiary and recognizably known member.
Nevertheless, since it was one of my best poems “ever”, it really needed to be re-posted in its original form, devoid of potentially and offensively injurious references meant to humiliate, denigrate or disparage Steve’s character, honor or person.

I shall post it first, before the perniciously ironic rant directly following this short, yet lyrical narrative epic sonnet(!). Furthermore, should you decamp and choose to browse greener, less obscure pastures, I shan’t blame it entirely on you, but rather on the interminably long vituperations which follows this decidedly and purposely rank poetic odyssey. It is, I admit, long and tortuous even to those of you who might have by now become better accustomed to my professional and personal sense for self-ridicule. Those of you who may not have taken the time to ease into these mindful peregrinations might find it pretentious, offensive and bitterly pompous :

The Poem:

The Art World ; it’s like….

It’s like snatch; but sweeter
It’s got swatch; but sooner
It’s got stash; but bigger

It’s like smack but stronger
It’s like you; but better
It’s like Yak; but butter

It’s like; nice but later….
It’s got racks; like “Hooters”
It’s got back; like looters

It’s like grass and fiddlers…
It’s like ass, and fingers
It’s like mass but longer….

Next:

I decide to remove the second part of this entry and will probably not be reposting it. I am a big fan of my own ramblings but finally decided against it.

Forty three (.Y.)…!

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Today is my forty third birthday. Since I am taking the day off, I figured I’d just lay around and enjoy what turned out to be a warm and sunny October day. Bright and early, my mother called to wish me well, second only to Adrienne, how sweet it be? *

Anyhow…. later today, between 10 and 10:30, I drove to Berkeley to once again ingest the world’s largest frozen bucket of acidophilus and ice cream headaches. As I stood there, nearly unconscious, helplessly wolfing some type 2, I came to thinking that not so long ago; twenty three years, to be more or less exact; that it was I, who felt remarkably like these misshapen college grads…….
Not to be outshunned between classes, I sat on the UC’s lawn to take in the sun; a vain and failed attempt at warming the temperature within and these reptilian brains therein. Just then, and not a decade to soon, I suddenly and inexplicably recalled that my newfound friend “Mauzner” had Saturday mentioned: “Don’t you know, you can mail order whores on Craigslist !“. **

Not to be outdone, I picked up my iPhone(a gift) and started surfing Craigslist for pussy…. and then some, Aie papi!!!…… Men seeking woman, woman seeking man, men seeking men, women seeking women, LGBTs seeking men, men seeking LGBTs, humanity seeking relief, morning glory, that sort of thing…..
First off, I can’t believe I did not know about this until last saturday evening, what’s wrong with me? It’s not like I have never surfed Craig’s crevasses or something. Nevertheless, there it is, under “services”, between “event” and “creative”. If that’s not a happy ending, I wouldn’t know it, if it were to hit me!

It’s my birthday and I can only imagine what you’re thinking, but no, I did not indulge and call one in. I am like Mauzner, afraid of diseases, and given the circumstances and the collegiate supernunnery surrounding me, I wisely opted not to call it in.
But now that I think of it, this here fortuitous scene, might make for the perfect symbiosis of iPhone advertising, that thirty second clip on your TV screen. Mauzner, “it’s my birthday gift to you, kid”…. “Think of it as your big “YouTube” directorial debut, baby”!

Scene one: iphone fades in…. quirky iPhone acoustics chimes in….dirty little finger points and clicks on the mapquest GUI……dirty little finger on the mapquest GUI searches for pussy….” “san fran frisky shemale + seeks + dirty Latin” “…… map zooms in and there you is …. “gorgeous shemale Latin“, so beautiful, and functional too, papi !….. dirty finga scrolls and calls….. iPhone tunes in, cute capitalist music fades to….. iPhone ringing….. gorgeous shemale Latin picks up her phone…..” Aie papi, jew wanna play, jew wanna play papi”?

For those of you, who like me, have not had that Browse me long time feeling of these erotic services birthday wishes that is Craigslist, I highly recommend it.
Just remember that if you are not a member of the student body, or faculty, and are browsing for craigslist’s pussy on the premises of the UCB; it is wise to cover your dirty doings with an overcoat or any other, similarly shaped, protective shield.
And BTW,not that you don’t know this already; in this life, or the next, they don’t offer rebates for pussy; on my or anyone else’s birthday….. sadly……

Happy birthday to me anyway. “Thank you Mommy, I could never have written this entry without thee….!”

*My 12 year old son, Raphael, looked dazed and confused, when I asked him if he wasn’t forgetting a little something. After thinking it over he blurted out, “Happy retirement”. I came within an inch of turning coffee into a finely aerosolized mist. Where he got that idea beats me, but it might forever be, the best birthday greeting I have ever received.

**(Now, now, I would not want to start any rumors or anything but knowing a little something of his personality(he lives in my neighborhood in San Francisco) and having photographed him a few times for honey, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t sometimes tempted to call in a few “ladies”, to satisfy his needs for a little “R&D”).

My new favorite ASCCI: (.Y.) . It means big tits.

“Ken, Alec, with this ring, I wed thee”….

One fantastic advantage of keeping a blog which nobody reads, is that freedom of expression, is just another word for nothing left to fear. Having said that, this fantastic voyage would not feel complete if I did not stick one in the ribs and shoot me in both feet while I am at it ; especially so, since I am so blatantly expropriating the language, if not the groovy feelings of the sixties.

A few months back I got to thinking that I could not, for the life of me, figure out why Alec Soth is such the darling of photography’s establishment, so beloved by the photographically minded masses. Granted, the man is a perfectly competent, if not a capably bearded photographer; but beyond that I can’t tell him apart from his large format documentary brethrens, which are, as we now know, all the rage.

Knowing full well that my present choice of words are remiss, I can’t help but believe that if you were to blind test his pics for originality, to the uncognoscenti, they might have a hard time telling him apart from the rest of the large forma-tees. And then it hit me, “Americana”, he’s got that all American thing going, that home town, hand on heart quality. I get it, he documents, in a Fine and Arty way, the hearts and minds of the beast; like Geographic used to when they drank Martinis.

You can hang it in a gallery, without attracting the kind of shame and contempt otherwise reserved for idiot savants and country bumpkins. After-all, who wants to wax poetic about the place you have so desperately and recently escaped from last week, and expect a gallery to take you under its clean, white and downey wings. Like telling mommy she’s the best thing that ever happened to me, but without being overheard, mocked and ridiculed by the literati, like getting in touch with your feelings for free, play little league, or vote libertarian when no one’s looking.

I could not, for the life of me, write an entry about this intuitive and ever so fleeting feeling until good old Ken Burns, the Lawrence Welk of documentary film making, premiered “The War” nationally, all across the country. There you have it, the perfect twins…. I couldn’t believe it, I finally had that critically acclaimed hook, so desperately needed, to knock those two birds with one teeny tiny stick.

Ken Burns is to Alec Soth what Alec Soth is to documentary. It’s Americana, but very still. Pan right, pan left, pick a universality and stick to it, squeeze in in a few tears and some scratch and sniff, and there you have it, success; where there was none, now there is. A little heartstring made that fat lady sing. For my money, Alec Soth should have stuck to Bogota and the shadows, where his work might have actually blossomed quite nicely. Nice timing though, I must admit. All the power to both of them, they deserve it.