Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wonderland of Decay : June 1st - June 30th

poling in her oakland studio, 5/07

What's up with all these spaces? They are vacant but totally alive with...something, I just don't know what that something is. Empty institutions and forgotten amusement parks found around America, falling apart and being taken over by foliage and growth, mud and earth. Mother Nature is coming and having the last word, taking it all back. Looks kinda like the photographs by Clarence John Laughlin who worked in the 1940's, mixed with a super rich easter egg coloring of now. It's the work of SF photographer Suzy Poling, whose one person exhibit opens Friday June 1st at ZG Gallery in Chicago.

What does it all mean? Here is what the gallery says:

Suzy Poling's "Wonderland of Decay" exhibits her two photographic series of abandoned mental hospitals and amusement parks found throughout the U.S. Through the recuperative power of time and nature, these deteriorated sites are absorbed back into the environment, creating a platform for Poling's beautifully haunting "surreal landscapes of color and texture, where human trauma and escapism had once taken place."

Poling's one person exhibit opens Friday June 1st at ZG Gallery @ 300 Superior Street in

Chicago. See more of the show HERE and see more of her artwork HERE.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Blog: I Like To Tell Stories

Loneliness, honesty, the need to find something that is missing...and a photographer's obsessive attempt to make a beautiful photograph out of everything he encounters.

These are the qualities that define NYC photographer Jonathan Saunder's blog, titled "I Like To Tell Stories". All of this searching and finding seems to go on, curiously enough, during sporting clay shooting competitions. It's an odd mix for sure, but it all seems very real and very real life.

Thus it is very addictive...see what he is up to HERE. If you want to learn more, Saunders discusses his journals and photographs in depth on a podcast interview HERE.
all photographs by jonathan saunders

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Chicken John

Must have been 10 years ago that I saw Chicken John perform with something called the Circus Ridiculus at The Ice House in Phoenix, Arizona. Friday I got a chance to meet him, hang with him and photograph him and his coffee powered truck at The Shipyard in Berkeley, CA.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pictures from Home

Bocce ball and the Solar System

Bocce ball and the solar system in Mama Danieles Family Friendly Room, Springfield, Massachusetts.

My Crew:

Is this the Manson Family? Squeaky Fromme and Susan Atkins?
No, just the crew on the Smith and Wesson shoot in Springfield Massachusetts, Suzy Poling and Lynne Wentworth.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Out Takes: The Wildlife of Smith and Wesson

Two shots of animals from the campus of Smith & Wesson in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I Love Spam

Check your junk mail box, my big spam campaign goes out on Friday. The blues are kinda nice, don't you think?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Leon Borensztein October 11-November 7, 1984

With the internet, one can access anything these days ....for a price of course.


Ad for Modern Postcard / Thomas Broening appearing in PDN Photo Annual 2007.
See more HERE.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Pretty Actress Laughing

I never really thought I could take a shot like this: a pretty girl, blonde, laughing, appearing to sincerely be having a great time! But we did and actress Laura Bell Bundy made it all so easy for us back in March, deep in the basement of the Golden Gate Theatre in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. This is out this month on the cover of Continental.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Photographer: Jennifer Juniper Stratford

On January 2nd I had to do a shoot in Los Angeles and thought it would be a neat idea to cold-call a photographer whose website I had been visiting over and over and over. It was LA photographer and video artist Jennifer Juniper Stratford. I sent her a note, counted the hours, and waited for a response. The next day she sent a note back saying "Sure, tell me where and when and I will be there." She never asked why, what are you up to, who are you...any of those things. She just trusted and showed up, right on time as expected. I was so psyched she was open to this...what a cool way to start the new year.

Jennifer points her camera at things she loves and is fascinated with: Dungeons and Dragons players, net-famous performance artists, old and abandoned video games. Her shots have this great innocent empathy to them and they are showing us things I never really thought photographers ever wanted to point their cameras at. And not a trace of cynicism in the shots at all...which is so important when looking at people who might be considered eccentric. Her work reminded me of photographer Chris Verene, but much kinder. When I brought him up, she really had no idea who he was. Sometimes working in a vacuum leads to creating great work.

Jennifer went to school at The Art Center in Pasadena, a big commercial photographer factory where her fellow students were graduating and getting big gigs, like HUMVEE campaigns, while she was photographing this odd and curious subject matter, far away from any commercial concerns. "When I graduated, they just couldn't give me any advice...they just didn't know what to do with me and my work, " she explained. For some reason this story was comforting and inspiring....well, see for yourself. See all her work HERE, and some of it below.