Archive for December, 2009
This is our latest art acquisition.
We picked it up, kind of on a whim, at a First Friday event. I like it because of its presentation, and how it isn’t flush to the wall.
We’re running out of space in which to hang art. But we’re so close to meeting our goal of having nothing but original art on our walls. And I love that.
I’ll be honest with you: I’ve been a little bit depressed this week. It might be due to insomnia or it might be artist’s ennui, or it’s both — or it’s one because I have the other — do I have malaise because I’m not sleeping or am I not sleeping because I have malaise?
Anyway, I’m thinking, again. I have three goals that I want to meet in the next three years. And right now, they seem so unattainable. And so I lay there, thinking, “I can’t do that. It’s too late.” Which is ridiculous. Maybe I have neither depression or insomnia but a mid-life crisis.
Anyway, I can always find a way to be thankful for something. I have great things: a loving partner; a beautiful home that’s full of art; an adorable beagle and three opinionated cats; a job; a Christmas tree time four; a car that I love; a photography business that’s gaining respect . . . I am thankful that music can still move me to tears, and that the sky is full of stars, and that a Democrat is in the White House, and that I have people in my life who are fun, inspiring, creative, and make the world better a better place to take up space.
I am also thankful for Australian “footballers” who like to be photographed naked — artfully, of course.
In case you’re intrigued, if you Google this Nick Younguest, you will find a few photos of him on the rugby pitch, and many more photos like this.
In the mornings, Oliver the cat sits on the edge of our dresser, next to the television, and watches Jay and I get ready.
When Oliver jumps down, Violent — I mean Violet — takes his place in the same spot. Only every day, she faces inward and looks in the mirror; obviously saying to herself (insert high-pitched kitty voice here), “I’m so pretty.”
I’m afraid this is all I have today.
I heard two, distinct, arguments yesterday regarding the concept of aging gracefully as it pertains to artists. Aging gracefully is, by the way, something that I am trying my damnedest to figure out. Anyway, the two philosophies:
- People, including creative types, should stick with their own and be ready to acknowledge when a night club, event, gallery, or other institution is geared towards a market that is “too young” for them. To do otherwise might seem phoney, staged or ridiculous.
- No matter the age, artists and other creative types NEED to be around youth and young culture in order to stay inspired and/or edgy. The day a creative soul loses touch with young energy, he or she loses genius and starts making the kind of art “that matches the sofa.”
Personally, whether I like it or not, I seem to lean towards the latter. Once upon a time, my friends were 3 to 4 years younger than me, then they were 10 years younger than me, and now I know more than a few people who are 15 years younger than me. But this could be part of the natural aging process. (When I was 27, I certainly wasn’t hanging with 12 year olds. [This is Scott Barnes, not Roman Pulanski.]) It could be that as we reach this beastly thing called middle-age, we are able to form friendships with people who are both older and younger than ourselves.
At the same time, I don’t want to be ridiculous. I remember when I was young and going out four nights a week, and always seeing the same 50 year old couple on the dance floor, surrounded by 23 year olds, and thinking, “God help me if I turn into one of those people.”
Darlings, there is a chance that sometime in spring I will have the opportunity to photograph these two college football players, from Wabash (one of the last remaining ”male-only” colleges).
Here they are flanking some geezer . . .
. . . and here they are flanking some other boy . . .
You can imagine that I might be a bit intrigued by their perceived enjoyment of flanking things. Those of you who know anything about a few of my particular fantasies might have some thoughts about this shoot (like how am I going to get through it without exploding, or making a complete, perverted, ass of myself?).
I’m trying not to get my hopes up, because if I’ve learned one thing from my photographic experiences, it’s that college boys are fickle — what sounds fun now is the last thing they’ll want to do in two weeks. But I’m holding out hope.
One more photo, just for kicks . . .
Ross Mantle’s portrait essay, In the Wake of an American Dream, documents a rural Pennsylvania community that was built by immigrants, but like much of the rustbelt, the “dream” never fully materialized.
I think this is one of the best sets of photojournalistic portraits that I’ve ever seen. Please check it out.
All photos in this post copyright, Ross Mantle.
Here’s an article titled, 50 Instances of Objectifying Men & Exploiting the Male Body.
From the article . . .
Outcries of sexism towards females by the advertising agencies, media and fashion photographers are becoming outdated and irrelevant when we see the same thing happening to men. You can’t call it sexism anymore if it is happening to both sexes. Excessive sexvertising, nudevertising and a bit of exploitation of the bodies of young models? Yes, maybe. But not sexism.
While I would agree that there is some excessive body exploitation in contemporary print advertising (for example, jeans ads in which the models are not wearing any jeans, or anything else), the writer’s decision to include artist David Vance’s “Gods” intrigues me — because that kind of art, to me, is no more exploitive than the ancient statues on which Vance’s work is based.
Then again, I think the advent and ubiquitousness of digital photography has changed society’s view on art and photography, and what’s happening in print advertising could be related to that. I’m sure there are some photographers out there that would argue that a campaign for Varsace or the Gap is art. They might be right. I need to think about this a bit more.
As you’re perusing the article, note that each of the 50 installations contains multiple photos . . . just in case you enjoy looking at exploited men.