Archive for November, 2011
In New York, Kevin and I accidentally got on an Express 1 train and ended up on 125th Street. We turned around and took the train back down to 86th Street in Central Park West and decided to walk the rest of the way back to 49th, where we were staying. Kevin suggested that he wouldn’t be opposed to finding a place for a late-afternoon cocktail.
We found a gay bar called Providence on 57th, but it was closed for a private event. And so we walked a few more blocks, before I stopped and looked into the window of another establishment.
“Here’s a bar,” I said.
Kevin shrugged. “Yeah.”
“It’s not crowded. There are a couple seats at the bar.”
“It looks all right,” Kevin said.
“Oh my God!” I gasped. “Do you see that bartender? Honey, we have to go in here.”
And that was the event that led to my being able to shoot Stefano, the bartender, for my American People series.
Stefano, by the way, has only been in New York for a year. He’s from Rome. And he is lovely, inside and out. I have a few more photos of him, which may work as a Drifters set. I’ll let you know if I decide to post.
The prime factor that motivated me to go to California a few weeks is right here: I had lined up a shoot with this man. I have never traveled across the country for a photo shoot before, but there are some opportunities that you just don’t pass up.
Scott wants to work with me at least twice more. I think I could make a whole calendar of just him! You can see a lot more from our first shoot on my website, under Models: Men.
We looked through the hundreds of original photos in Michael’s apartment — he could start his own museum. We walked from Chelsea to the Meatpacking District; we saw the High Line, and some famous graffiti art, and some places that were used in a couple of movies, and the doors that used to be the seedy gay bars where Mapplethorpe and Truman Capote would hang out. We ate Cuban food. And we heard stories about Michael’s previous life, before photography, when he was a music industry executive. We heard stories about his friendships with Cyndi Lauper and Metalica. I can’t wait to read his memoir, when he finishes it.
Michael asked me to take a few photos of him, and I was more than honored to do so. This one belongs in my series.
This is Jodi, who, first of all, happens to be one of my best friends. She doesn’t enjoy having her photo taken, so I acted quickly when I convinced her to pose for my American People series a week ago while Jay and I were in New York. We had just purchased Levain cookies (if you’ve never had a Levain cookie, I suggest you order one immediately; they are worth the price!), and we were walking towards Central Park, when we stopped to get this shot.
This is one of my favorite portraits that I’ve taken recently. It could have something to do with my love for the subject, but I think that’s only one reason. And if I weren’t so modest, I’d also say this is one of the best photos I’ve ever seen of Jodi. But as the photographer, I can’t quite get away with that.
November has sure been interesting for me. I can’t say that ever before have I been in all three of the country’s big cities (New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago) in one month. But now I can.
Here we are yesterday, driving up Lake Shore Drive in Chicago to deliver a print to a gallery. (Sorry for the camera phone pics.)
I got home last night; finally, no more traveling for a while. I was lazy and watched movies. It’s been so long since I’ve been “lazy” that I didn’t know how to do it, I kept feeling like there was something I should be attending to. But finally, I settled in.
I watched “Captain America” (for Chris Evans) and “Blue Valentine.” I liked “Blue Valentine” enough (good, not great). But, this might be one of my favorite movie scenes — ever.
Just before this clip, Ryan Gosling’s character says this:
I can’t really sing. I have to sing goofy, in order to sing. I have to sing stupid.
I do, now, understand why people make a big deal about Ryan Gosling. And Michelle Williams is just awesome.
The rest of you can all keep your stores that open at 4am; there’s probably nothing that could get me into a shopping center on Friday.
But if you are inclined, which do you think you’d stop to visit first, the boys of Abercrombie . . . ?
Or the boys of Hollister . . . ?
Click either photo for a larger version.
If you’re preparing to travel to visit family this Thanksgiving, you might also enjoy looking at these photos; the way things used to be. You can see more by following the link at the end of this post.
I love nostalgia, but I’m not really sure if I would agree with people who say the world was better some number of years ago than it is now. Look back 40 to 50 years ago and you had gay bars being raided; bi-racial couples being driven from their homes; women being offered the vast career choice of becoming teachers, nurses, or secretaries; and people smoking cigarettes EVERYWHERE.
But this is for sure: People had class and fashion sense back then (whereas today, one of our cultural icons is Snooki).
And I remember when I first started traveling by plane. People were saying, “Remember when you used to get a hot meal on a plane?” That became, “Remember when you used to get a tuna sandwich on a plane?” Last week, when I few four hours during lunchtime from Los Angeles to Chicago, I got a can of Diet Coke and the option to purchase a bag of pretzels (for three dollars) that would have fit in the palm of my hand.
Follow this link for more photos, and some charmingly sexist captions — like I said, not everything was better back then. But the photos sure make you think.
I found this via Jay’s Facebook page. Thanks, darling!
This is my friend Seth’s documentary, about senior hunger in America. The film is in the post production stage and I’m excited to see it released next year.
While I was in Los Angeles, Seth and I had a long conversation about how the elderly just aren’t respected in American culture, and how senior hunger is a subject that most of us never think about — this, despite the possibility that any one of us could face it. I know that any time I think about it, my mind changes the subject very quickly. I think we’re all in denial.
This is going to be an important film.
Me, walking down Ventura Blvd. to get coffee
My two best friends, since arriving at Seth and Lisa’s
Where you go to pick up Tom Cruise and John Travolta
Skyline from the 101
The Hollywood Freeway
Capitol Records, as my model returns me to LA
“Rhein II” became the most expensive photograph in the world last night. The above photo of the Rhine River by Andreas Gursky sold for $4.3 million at Christie’s. This broke the previous record of $3.89 million, set in May by a Cindy Sherman photograph.
At the same auction, the above Roy Lichtenstein painting called “I Can See the Whole Room!… And There’s Nobody in It!” broke the record for the single most expensive art piece, by selling for $43.2 million.