Monday, March 30, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
DEMYSTIFYING THE JACKANORY
When Andrew Hetherington’s turn at the mic arrived a brief video spot from the BBC television series “Jackanory” highlighted the inspiration for “What’s the Jackanory’s ?” name. Everyone in the room could sense the changing in the air from artist to artist...Stein and Hetherington both had their own styles of handling their presentation. What immediately struck me was Andrew’s dry wit and subtle presence. It was the lynch pin of his whole presentation, just as it is in his photographs.
The more Hetherington unveils his roots in Photography, characterized by lighthearted old photos of his youth, his journey for something more becomes clear, though he does not necessarily have his finger on what the more is. He moved from Dublin because for him, being a photographer should be more than a job. With that in mind he infused himself into the mix of the fashion industry. His brief fore in fashion left him wanting, so still he sought the more. This brought him to a critical juncture in his photographing career: searching for something else. He started to find the more as intangible aspects, back in Ireland with his new snapshot with high quality approach.
It is apparent as I re-look as these images, that the soul and integrity of Hetherington the man, suddenly shone through his pictures. It doesn’t seem to me that Hetherington ever wanted to be Steven Meisel or Stefan Ruiz; he wanted to be himself, which is the most refreshing aspect about Hetherington’s perspective on the world he captures on his Hasselblad.
When we reached this point in his talk, I was personally left thirsting for a bit more of the development of the person through doing this work: stories of making the game changing images from him, or just something more. It felt like there was a wall, and he was only bringing us so far into his world. Now, in fairness there were a couple of urges from the powers that be to speed up the presentation, but nevertheless we were left hungry to know more about him in this way.
Let’s not be fooled folks, the seemingly no-frills approach is very calculated. Part of the je ne sais quoi of Hetherington, is his the appearance of a folksy casualness. His approach to making pictures though, is based in a technical mastery that allows for mobility and as such is part of how he achieves a certain quality or soul from his subjects. The same is true of his consistent dress. The g-star jeans, t-shirt and jean shop jean jacket it’s are playful and emblematic Hetherington is: simple yet calculated and identifiable. I wish I could understand this more the man himself.
As guarded as he was about his own process and development, the alter ego of the Jackanory was not so. During his development in his assisting days he speaks very fondly of his experience C- Printing at Print Space. The networking and conversations seemed to fuel the burgeoning Hetherington.
‘What’s the Jackanory’ was created from the desire to feed Hetherington’s creative disciplines. Jackanory is his vehicle to creating a new network where his own creative energy becomes invigorated by the sharing of ideas and work of his peers. And somehow this blog all stems from a staunch desire for greatness. Knowing the story of others and what is going on is an important aspect to keeping Hetherington’s mind working and his creative juices fresh. I never would have thought of a blog in this way, but Hetherington has achieved this: an arena to talk about the industry, but more importantly feed the energy of artists with a common goal. This representation of the unguarded Jackanory is in stark contrast to photographic persona.
If you didn’t know Hetherington personally before hearing him speak you would know that he is passionate about the exchange of ideas and the possibilities of his alter ego. The one thing that the presentation lacked was the ability to properly credit his passion and ability for making pictures. This I feel is because he only lets us in to a point.
In true Hetherington fashion, he ends his presentation with a checklist, “Jackanory’s tips to editorial photography and blogging.” It was a charming list of all of his eccentricities and personal favorite gear and tools for the job.
In the end we are left feeling that Hetherington is someone who genuinely cares about his craft and the world around him. This is evident. Yet there is an unfinished note of uncertainty…Hetherington, what are the deeper aspects of your story?
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
So who is the defining Mom Photographer?
The first one that comes to anyone's mind seems to be Sally Mann. She seemed to carve out the territory on being a Mom, photographing her kids and letting all the complexities of those relationships steer the work. You knew the kids were hers...no question about the intimacy she recorded. These kids came from her loins and the connection is evident. These days, to me, the work still carries a punch. A bit romantic for our current times I thought before revisiting it, but she's got the sexuality and the physicality that kids carry and filters it all thru her images. And there is darkness. With all of that the work seems to be speaking to everyone. You rarely meet someone who is not a fan. ( I did...but only once.)
oh my god, I'm not raw enough, I'm not saying anything new, I have to change the whole project ...I just create so-so shots that only deserve a place on Flickr under the surname mamahobbyphotog or some such.
"Mamahobbyphotog"..."Proudadphotog"...that type of thing...it haunts the genre. But lots of folks have transcended the genre and made really powerful work. I just can't think of the defining Mom Photog or Dad Photog pre Sally Mann/Gowin/Callahan. So....contribute here if anyone can.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Rebecca Horne, exhibiting artist and photo editor of Discover Magazine fled NYC just before a snowstorm hit and made it out to rainy SF to put together the portrait series we were producing for The Conference on Climate Change. Always a little nervous in these situations...I mean...on the phone stylist Shannon Amos and I can talk a pretty good game....we sound like nice normal folk. When the client is on another coast, it's a piece of cake. But when they come to meet us and the dream team of Khalif, Poling, Sjoen...surprise! It's like art school all over again. Khalif and Poling are artists living the life 24/7, Sjoen is the last living Marilyn Manson fan, and Amos? When they see her pull in hauling slabs of ice and fake rocks dressed like the Unabomber with her mirror sunglasses on...oh, well....she always seems to charm them ...as all of them do. And again I'm reminded how fortunate I am to be able to work with them all: we get together and they just do their thing....all I do is ask them to show up and press the button.
Just watch the video and see.
More pics of all of the fun below....
Rebecca Horne of Discover Magazine watching from the prism.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009