Archive for April, 2008

Mapplethorpe

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You can say many things about Mapplethorpe, and personally there is much of his work I don’t think is artistically all that impressive. On the other hand, there is much of his work that I that I think is spectacular. The man could make a print that would make your mouth water just on the pure technical qualities. Don’t believe me? See some of them, then see if you disagree with me.

And if you think Mapplethorpe was only pictures of gay men, well, there are plenty of those, but his body of work is much more diverse and impressive than just the images that pissed off conservative Senators.

At the same event I got to view many Mapplethorpes, Artopolis, a gathering of hundreds of the worlds high end galleries, I also got to see some Salgados, Warhols, Greenburgs, some of the best and worst of modern art, “Ohhh….look….another painting in a single solid color, how innovative!!!” There seems to be something of an interesting movement to get 2d art to reflect and incorporate 3d art. Interesting trend.

An inspiring day.

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Brains

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My Unbiased Opinion

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As a journalist, I am fair and unbiased. (Actually, I pretty much am, weird huh?)

I ain’t saying I don’t have a point of view on things though. This might not see publication, haven’t decided yet. It’s funny for me. Don’t like it? I don’t bother to moderate the comments, so have fun. And he full well knew what I was doing.

Plus, you got to admit, this is just so wonderfully, ridiculously over the top, how could I possibly pass this up? (Got to admire his make-up.)

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Because I Can, XI

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I’m going to see about working on a new series of images. As with all new series’, it will probably fall by the wayside, but for right now, I want to see where it goes.

I want to explore the relationship between the solo and pair (maybe even group). As in the solo person, and the pair dynamic. Or put simply, and bluntly, between being single, and being in a relationship. Not all the images will be that simple, but that’s the genesis idea.

This is from a Zombie Pub Crawl I covered this weekend (more images to follow). The first bar was packed, way packed. Evelyn was sitting on her friend Kathy. There was a large group in a circle, talking, chatting it up, the usual. Evelyn would flirt with her boy, on the left in the frame, kiss him, whatever.

Kathy seemed to be enjoying herself, though not nearly as engaged in the conversation as the others. I enjoyed watching her reactions. In this case, the group was toasting something, probably Brains. They were Zombies, everything was about Brains. Kathy did her own thing.


Because I Can, X

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A Moment of Silence

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I knew coming into April that April was going to suck. It has. Royally.

On Monday I lost one of my closest friends, a friend who I’d spent literally 4 or 5 hours with a day at least a few times a week. Rarely would I not spend at least an hour a day with this wonderful friend. My beloved white 97′ Ford Escort is no more.

I didn’t treat it right. I wasn’t as kind to it as I should’ve been. It had a rough existence, just like everything that is close to me, it was used, abused, thoroughly beaten, but loved. I should’ve cleaned it more, lots more. I should’ve taken it in for maintenance quicker, for the last two months it had a tire that had to be filled up every week because of a “slow” leak. It had a dent that was never dealt with. It was in serious need of a car wash, serious need. The windshield had been cracked for the better part of a decade, it had leaks in multiple places (I’d laugh and swear as it rained on me while I drove), it liked to pull to the right, just a little, the windows were manual, and the number of times I had to tell people to lock their door as they got out I can’t count. Who besides me has…had…manual locks? And manual windows? The drivers side door would freeze shut on and off all winter, usually just the lock, but at least a few times every winter I’d be cursing as I climbed over the passenger’s seat to get in, and sometimes out.

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It always got me where I was going, reliably, until Monday. I was pissed when it busted. I was supposed to be having a picnic with a friend of mine. An event that would probably have been the highlight of my week. Instead I was sitting on the trunk of my car in a community college parking lot, which I had mistakenly gone to because I screwed up where my shoot was at. Sitting on the trunk, waiting for a tow truck, thinking the fuel pump was busted. I was annoyed. I was supposed to be having a picnic. It was over 70 and sunny. It was going to be such a good day.

I had, by some weird quirk of chance left my bike in the trunk of my car. At least getting home from the mechanic’s was going to be easy. A little before 4pm I got the call. I don’t cry. I just don’t. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just me. But I couldn’t handle that one. I only had a few minutes before I had to get running to my next shoot, but I shed a few for my Ford. The engine needed to be rebuilt, and, well, it’s a 97′ Ford Escort. The work was more than buying a new one. Nothing but dumb bad luck. Something involving the 4th piston and a lot of words I don’t quite get. Nothing I could’ve done. I can’t even feel guilty that it was somehow “my fault”, it wasn’t. It was just gone. It had seen it’s last trip.

137,000 miles, 90,000 of those with me.

It was my first car, my only car to date. I need to get a new one, this week or next. But I’m going to miss my white 97′ Ford Escort, affectionately known in my own head as the “411”.

You’ll always have a place in my heart.

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Because I Can, IX

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Just some quick grabs from a foggy Saturday afternoon. Someday I need to analyze why my scenics look like they do. Ah well, not for today, bigger and better fish to fry.

Enjoy another nice spring day, I plan to.

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Another Night Out II

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From my buddy JB’s B-day party. His lady friend was having a good time.

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Infra-Red (IR) Afternoon

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As the weather was nothing short of gorgeous today, I figured I’d go for a bike ride. Ride the IPP (Illinois Praire Path) from Wheaton to Aurora and back. Would’ve helped if I had thrown my bike shoes in the car. Yes, along with all my other snobberies, I have clip-in shoes for my bike. I like them.

So, after a few minutes of pouting, yes, I pouted, I decided to go for a walk instead. The plan had been to bike, exercise and take some photos with the IR camera I got back in December but haven’t had much chance to use yet. Slowing down gives you more time to look, walking is the best way to see your surroundings. Since I was walking, I shot a lot.

It was fun, relaxing. They’re pointless pretty images, but they make me smile, and some of them are very Rorschach inkblot test. I know what I see, what do you see?
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Because I Can, VIII

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I was having a fine discussion this weekend with a Tribune shooter about shooting for yourself. Sometimes, sometimes, you need to create a joke just for yourself, even if it’s a wee bit misleading. This will never see publication…probably.

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Mentor and Friends

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jh_200804120942_mg_4886It would seem every year my alma mater is hosting an event, “The PJ Love Seminar”. It’s a celebration of and eductional discussions about photojournalism, plus a celebration of one of my former teachers and mentors, John H. White. John’s the bomb. It was a good event, recharging and much needed.

It also ended at the Billy Goat, where we discussed how the sky was falling in journalism, and Vince took a picture of the crotch of his pants with everybody else’s cameras. Don’t ever leave a PJ alone and unsupervised.

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Something Else

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It’s been a long, tough, but very good couple of days. I can’t say much beyond that, except that the view was nice.

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7 Days, This is 7 Days

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Alright, this is to help give you an idea of what 7 days in my life looks like. This doesn’t cover it all, there are some images I’d like to have in here which are missing, just no time to work on them, others have already been posted. There are, of course, things I did, very happy events, which I enjoyed, didn’t document. But this is 7 days, from Friday, March 28th till Thursday, April 3rd.

The theme of my seven days was awesome people.

This includes some former residents of the Henry Horner CHA projects. They had a great conversation, which I was minimally part of, about the past. Basically, the past is the past, we’ve made our mistakes, it’s where are we going, who are we now. It’s one thing for me to say this, it’s another to hear this from a man who’s done some time. It’s also always fun to hear stories about the projects, and how wonderful they were, how much fun, how strong of community there was. It’s so easy to see what we want to see, or what was most recent, to forget that there is so much more there, there once was so much more there, if we just sit down and listen. Stories about kids growing up, and parents having to sneak out to have a drink because they couldn’t be seen drinking in front of their kids. Doors left unlocked because it was community. Kids goofing off, and while going up the stars getting a whoppin’ from adult after adult for their misbehavior, till they got home, the parent thanked all their neighbors for whoppin’ their kid and then gave em’ a whoppin’ themselves. The kids learned quick, communities are wonderful things.

Lloyd Bradbury, a blind painter. He can see just a few inches out of one eye. He’s happy, a kind of sarcastic in a fun humorous way, funny, intelligent, and a pretty decent painter. We had a good talk about how art has to come from what the artist feels. He’s good people, good people, and someone who I look forward to talking to again.

Otherwise, a week of good friends, good to awesome talks, some really hard stuff, really hard. I hate watching bad things happen to really good people, but it does, and it sucks, I wish I could protect my friends, but alas….

Other more random photos:

The man with the bat is Ernie Banks. Not to exciting the PR shot essentially, but cool, because it was Ernie Banks, not to mention Hank Aaron was there, we just goes to neat’o in my book.

The building is the Chicago Cultural Center, and it’s Escher like nature. I’d been meaning to shoot that space for a while, and I’ve still got a lot of exploring of it to do, but it was fun to spend some time there before having dinner with a friend.

The play was something I shot as a job for a buddy of mine. The usual theatre stuff.