Tag Archives: Art
When Kate and I got in line at the Guggenheim Monday morning at 10am I had my Nikon FM2n and 6 shots left on a roll of Kodak Tri-X 400. Luckily I had rated that roll at 1250 ISO for overcast winter days and early nightfalls. I find you can push Tri-X to 1600 or even 3200 and get usable images, but for 35mm I try to keep at 1250 or under. The grain is pronounced at 1250, but not quite overwhelming in a Xtol developer. Of course, if you used something like Rodinal, it would be grain city even at 800.
I hadn’t planned on taking any shots inside of the Maurizio Cattelan exhibit, just a shot of the Guggenheim facade.
That plan changed when I got inside. The exhibit is whimsical, and thanks to the unique design of the Guggenheim, totally engaging. As you climb or descend (we took the stairs to the top and went down) the view of the exhibit, which hangs from the ceiling into the atrium, is constantly changing. You see pieces from above, then at eye level, then from below. It wasn’t long before I joined the camera snapping hordes. The Guggenheim has a no photography policy, but guards and staff did not prevent people from taking pictures. Camera flashes, despite the total inability to light up something that far away, fired almost constantly. I was able to take these shots, sans flash of course, at f4 and 1/60th of a second. I think I was able to use 1/125th of a second on one of them and had to use f2.8 on another. Still I’m happy with how they turned out. I could have easily shot a roll or two of film to capture this exhibit, but I liked knowing that I had to be selective.
This was my favorite piece of the exhibit, but also the hardest to photograph. I knew I only had two exposures left and I wanted to save one for the facade on the way out. How do you expose for a huge, dark mass of soil against a white background? Very carefully… I love the bunnies on the grass.
All images developed in Xtol 1+1 solution at 68F for 11.5 minutes.
At Work, Artist Jef Campion
This is the first of a series of black and white film posts that I’m calling “At Work.” I’m always fascinated by the details in our everyday lives, so I’ve decided to turn the lens of my old Nikon towards people’s workspaces.
This one is appropriate to begin the series with, as Jef’s work was some of the first pieces of street art that caught my eye shortly after moving to New York. He uses Diane Arbus’ striking “Child with Hand Grenade” as one of the signature pieces for his street work. Arbus’ photograph of a boy gripping a grenade in his hand has startled viewers for over 40 years. Jef, an admirer of the troubled artist, enlarges her image and accents it with blood red paint dripping from the boy’s shorts.
War is a common theme in Jef’s work. Like many people, he is troubled by the amount of time, money, and lives wasted on waging war. His Grenade Boy is usually tagged with a bright red “Army of One,” “No More War,” or “Give Peace a Chance.” While we talked, I learned that Jef has been a New York firefighter, risking his own life for others for over 17 years. Besides his career as a firefighter, he works in his studio, where he has three or four fully mature pieces ready for gallery shows. His current body of work, both street and studio, has emerged from his experience of sifting through the wreckage from Ground Zero for survivors and fellow firefighters after September 11th. He spent weeks on site for the rescue and recovery mission and has used his art as a way to deal with the experience of being immersed in such destruction.
I spent some time in Jef’s spacious Yonkers studio photographing his work and tools.
Jef at work on a new piece dedicated to Diane Arbus, which collects targeted words from headlines of the New York Times editorial page over the last few years.
Again the concept of war takes center stage
Jef put a call out for theses specific letters from children’s building blocks for this unfinished piece. The blocks will be against a backdrop of baseball cards.
An art exchange from a fellow street artist. Exchanging work with other artists is a quick way to get your art up in another area. Jef has sent his Grenade Boy and Bride of War pieces to Cuba and Sao Paulo, Brazil for other artists to paste up.
Detail from current studio work
Jef and I are planning a night shoot as he pastes up his work locally. I’ll post those images here as well. As much of a fan as I am of Jef’s street art, I was really blown away by his studio work. It will be interesting to see what he does this year. You can see his street work on Flickr, as well as on the streets of NYC and LA.
All images shot with Nikon FM2n and Nikkor 50mm f1.4 Ai lens on Fuji Nopan 400 speed film pushed to 1600 ISO and developed in Kodak D-76.
Somehow I let the month of September and almost all of October slip by without visiting The Hole gallery to see Mat Brinkman’s PHANTASMATGORIA. On the last day, I managed to slip up to Soho with an hour to spare before closing time. I’ve been a huge fan of Brinkman’s work since his mini-comics days (still have a copy of “Oaf” around somewhere) and then his “Teratoid Heights” and “Multi-Force,” so I knew I was in for a treat.
The exhibit was smallish and took up the first two rooms, but the walls, washed in intense colored lights, were packed with his drawings. I happened to have my Leica with me and also had a roll of Kodak Tri-X 400 black and white film. Tri-X 400 pushed to 1600 would give the perfect grainy texture and give me just enough light. The colored lights were part of the exhibit and made the work extra creepy, but I’m fond of the grainy look that pushed black and white film gives these pictures.
Click the pictures for extra grain and larger size.
Picked up six rolls of Kodak Pro color film at Target in a pinch and am pleasantly surprised at these shots. Used the Leica M6 with a Leica Summicron 50mm lens. These were also developed and scanned at Duane Reade. No post processing, except for a crop on the skull shot.
“Why so serious, Kate?” on Kenmare in Nolita
Skull on Lafayette, just south of Houston
Updated version of the RCA Dog on Crosby Street
Trash Bins on Crosby
New Haculla on Lafayette
Skull on random lightpost base
Phones on Crosby
Saturday afternoon, after watching Nadal sweep three easy sets in Madison Square Park, we walked down and over to the East Village. Luckily, a friend reminded us that the HOWL! Festival was taking place and that artists were midway through covering the walls around the park.
I have no idea.
Until this roll, I haven’t been that pleased with Kodak Tri X 400. I used it several times at 400 and have developed it in both Ilford DD-X and Rodinal, but until I read up on people pushing it to 1600 with good results I hadn’t thought of pushing it. First of all it already seemed plenty grainy. I liked that. But it was also flat and not very contrasty. So yesterday I loaded a roll into the Leica M6 and set the ISO at 1250 (well 1200 on the Leica, which has a dodgy ISO setting if you ask me). I also developed it in Kodak stalwart D-76 instead of Rodinal.
These are the results. Very contrasty. Normally I would adjust the contrast up a bit with Tri-X, but didn’t need to touch it. Just scanned them in.
The Dynamic Duo? Shot on the corner of the Bowery, NYC with Leica M6
Sword Licker, Shot on the corner of the Bowery, NYC with Leica M6
Kirby Chirbie, Shot on the corner of the Bowery, NYC with Leica M6
Shopping Cart and Stairs, Shot on the corner of the Bowery, NYC with Leica M6
Flash Life, Shot on the corner of the Bowery, NYC with Leica M6
Side view on Spring Street, Shot on the corner of the Bowery, NYC with Leica M6
Early this morning I dropped Kate off at a doctor appointment and made my way back home with the Leica M6 in hand. As I walked over to the 1 train from Soho I ran across a great wall on the corner of Grand and Wooster. These shots are the first with the Fuji 100 film in the Leica. I used my ancient Summicron 50mm lens, which is still plenty sharp. These shots were developed in Rodinal 1+50 for 11.5 minutes.
Man with Pistol (click to view larger and see how good a 50 year old Leica lens can be)
OBEY mural up top on the corner, Soho, NYC
Wall on Wooster, Soho, NYC
Chairs and Bird Cage
Gas Mask Man and Women
It’s too bad that this Faile & Bast Deluxx Fluxx Arcade was just a pop up exhibit at the Perry Rubenstein Gallery. Seriously. This thing was bad ass. You walk in, grab tokens and go to town on re-rigged 1980s video games.
There’s no Donkey Kong or Galaga, just these weird video games that sometimes react to your joystick yanks and buttons jabs.
But really, you’re too engaged by the artwork around you. It’s everywhere. On the sides of the video games. On the walls. On the ceilings. On the floors. You are accosted by imagery.
And maybe it doesn’t help that you’ve had two drinks down the street at Kampuchea on an empty stomach, but I think anyone walking in here will be blown away. Unfortunately, today was the last day of this pop up arcade.
Fear not, I took a bunch of pictures to give you the feeling of the Faile & Bast Deluxx Fluxx Arcade.
The walls are covered in amazing art. It’s hard to concentrate on what strikes you first.
And then you see stuff like this on the side of a machine.
A sample video game screen.
On the way back to the foosball room.
Random wall art
And I caught Kate just standing there. Yes, the floor is covered in art too.
Finally, the foosball table
More wall art
Closer to the foosball table, the colors are amazing.
I LOVE this detail on the Foosball table that looks like a comic book masthead. Awesome!
And even more wall art…
This week Kate Gilmore’s “Walk the Walk” popped up in Bryant Park Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30am and 6:30pm. Working in shifts, a group of women perform an improvised choreography of everyday movement elevated above a curious public. Free to perform their walk as they wish, they must all wear a uniform of yellow dresses, matching tops, and beige shoes.
Inside the open structure visitors are able to hear the reverberating sounds of the women’s feet striking the platform above.
Men Watching, Kate Gilmore’s “Walk the Walk” in Bryant Park, NYC
Two Men Peering, Kate Gilmore’s “Walk the Walk” in Bryant Park, NYC
Women Walking, Woman Standing, Kate Gilmore’s “Walk the Walk” in Bryant Park, NYC
Kate Gilmore’s “Walk the Walk” in Bryant Park, NYC