Archive for category Indiana stuff
One of the best photos I’ve seen in a long time: This is from the spring Dior campaign, it was shot in the woods near Versailles.
And to clarify for my local, Hoosier fans: I mean Versailles (pronounced VEHR sigh), as in Louis XIV and Paris; not Versailles (pronounced vir SAYLZ), in Indiana. Dior doesn’t shoot campaigns in Indiana. (If they did, the women would be in the bikinis and pumps, each rolling around on the hood of a Camaro. At least from what I’ve seen, that’s the one look that you get from about 98% of Indiana’s female models.)
Back to this fantastic, classy, French photo, click to enlarge.
I can’t wait for tomorrow to be over, but I’m freaking out about it at the same time.
First, I don’t know how I’ll react if Romney wins the presidency. I hate him; I hate him more than I hated McCain and even George W. Bush. I always thought that Bush was just clueless, but Romney is evil. He is a liar and a cheat. He is insincere and he doesn’t have the country’s best interests at heart. He doesn’t care about the American people; he just wants to be president.
Second, on a local level, the current state of politics in Indiana scares the crap out of me. The Republicans who have control of both the State House and State senate already spent last session limiting women’s access to publicly funded healthcare, writing a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality, and squashing the unions for public servants. Mike Pence is going to be out next governor; he is a minister, not a politician. He will be one of the three most conservative governors in the country. And the first three months of his inevitable term may determine whether my decision to keep living in Indiana is a permanent one.
There is just so much at stake. The fact that this election is so close has me really worried about the general intelligence and sensibility of my fellow Americans. I can’t pretend that I can even begin to understand Republicans — they are so against abortion because of the sanctity of live but then they don’t want to provide the living with access to healthcare or a decent education. They are selfish to the core with their money despite their faith, which dictates that we should help the poor and take care of the disenfranchised. They don’t want a level playing field; they don’t think that as a gay man, I’m worthy of the same basic rights as other people.
I really feel like we’re at a turning point for this nation and that tomorrow will determine so much. At least, no matter the outcome, I’ll have some answers tomorrow.
Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard that the Superbowl is taking place this weekend in my hometown. I have to make it clear that I couldn’t give two shits about football (even this game), nor am I losing sleep like most other local gay men because Madonna is in town to be the halftime entertainment.
But despite it all, this is something that doesn’t happen very often, so the other night Jay, Jared and I went downtown to walk through the Superbowl Village. It was kind of cool.
I do have to admit that, while to crowds and the street scenes we encountered might be just like any other day in a place like New York, it’s cool to see Indianapolis putting on a good show. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I heard it said that the “Superbowl people” are impressed, and that they said that no other host city has put together a pre-game week that was as good as this one (attractions, events, entertainment lineup, etc.). I can say this: I’ve never seen such a polite crowd. Every single person who accidentally touched, bumped, or otherwise contacted me said “excuse me.” It was notable.
Below, here’s me, having a beer outside. I hardly ever drink beer but I thought this venue warranted it. I just wish that the camera bag attached at my hip makes it appear that I have a 50-inch waistline.
And here, we walked past one of the entertainment stages to find the Purdue Glee club. I have to wonder how many parents were down there, proud that their gay sons were participating in football-related activities.
It was fun. I’m not sure if we’ll go back downtown before the game, but we might. I can tell that this city is going to feel lonely after Sunday. I’m probably glad that Jay and I will be traveling some this month.
And yes, I will watch the game, just to see how Indy pulls it off. If nothing, the commercials will be fun. And the cuter of the Manning brothers is involved. And there’s Madonna. But to be honest, the only part of the Madonna performance that I care about is the fact that one of my best models — and good friends — will be in the halftime show as “Boy Toy #1,” or something like it. I’m sure he’s not allowed to give me details so I haven’t asked, but supposedly he was hand-selected by Madonna, herself.
I feel honored to be among the 33 artists invited to participate in this exhibit.
Travis Little, who’s work I featured last week on my blog, originally suggested that I submit a photo or two to be considered. I know that Travis had been trying to put together an art show featuring nude work for over a year, but this tends to conflict with the “community standards” of Indianapolis (he had a gallery on Mass Ave. very close to signing on last fall, but then at the last minute the gallery owner freaked out and pulled the plug). So to my knowledge, this will be Indianapolis’ first juried nude gallery show.
Unfortunately, I’m doing some traveling in November, so I will be at the First Friday Preview on the 4th but will probably be unable to attend the Panel Discussion on the 11th. My work, and all the selected pieces, will be on display in the Stutz Art Center through the exhibit’s run, from November 4 – 23. I’d love to see all my friends come out on the 4th! We’ll have fun.
All photography is this post by Katie Moon.
The Purple Hat Project came into existence just a few weeks ago, after the Winter 2011 session of the Indiana House of Representatives approved an Arizona-style anti-immigration bill, and passed a second bill to amend the state constitution prohibiting gay marriage and gay adoption.
In March, an article by Mickey Maurer appeared in the Indiana Business Journal suggesting, “Let’s enact legislation requiring immigrants and homosexuals to wear purple hats. If we are going to treat them differently, we have to know who they are—on sight.”
My friend Josh decided to take the Business Journal’s satire and run with it, thus encouraging all people who support equal rights to wear purple. His goal with the Purple Hat Project is to show how many Hoosiers, gay and straight, do not support discrimination in any form.
There is an open photo shoot on Saturday, in which all people (gay and straight; singles, couples, families, and pets) who believe in equality for all are encouraged to come, have fun, and pose. Since Saturday is Jay’s and my 11th anniversary, I can’t think of a better time for us to do it, or a better way to commemorate the day. If you come, wear your purple!
For me, being in front of the camera is about as pleasurable as having dental surgery, but Katie Moon is doing the photography and I can’t think of another local photographer that I’d rather sit for. She’s amazing, as evidenced by the shots in this post.
The Republicans regained control of the Indiana General Assembly by campaigning heavily on unemployment/jobs. They have been in session for slightly more than a month. These are the subjects of the primary bills that have advanced so far:
- A bill to write an amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage to prohibit same sex marriages and civil unions, AND goes so far as to prohibit private companies from offering domestic partner benefits.
- A bill to promote charter schools that some say will decimate the public education system and encourage enrollment in parochial schools.
- A bill to make it illegal for an employer to ask his/her employees if they have guns at the workplace.
- A bill requiring all doctors to tell, in writing and verbally, all women seeking abortions that “life begins at conception,” whether said doctors believe this or not.
- An Arizona-like bill that would allow police to demand proof of citizenship from immigrants.
In my current home state, our newly inaugurated conservative state legislation will most likely be introducing a sea of bills that would make Hester Prynne feel at home here. One of the first to have a committee hearing is designed to make “upskirt photography” a crime.
Here’s the meat of the bill (as seen on the Indiana Intellectual Property blog):
Sec. 6. (a) As used in this section, “private area” means the naked or undergarment clad genitals, pubic area, or buttocks of an individual.
(b) A person who, without the consent of the individual:
(1) knowingly or intentionally:
(A) surreptitiously photographs, video records, or captures a digital image of the private area of an individual by means of camera, a video camera, or any other type of video recording device, whether or not the photograph, video, or image is permanently saved; or
(B) performs an act described in clause (A) under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that the individual’s private area would not be visible to the public; and
(2) performs the act described in subdivision (1) with the intent to:
(A) gratify the sexual desires of the person;
(B) humiliate or embarrass the individual; or
(C) publish, transmit, or otherwise disseminate the photograph, video, or digital image; commits invasion of privacy by photography, a Class A misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class D felony if the person knowingly or intentionally publishes the photograph, video, or digital image or otherwise knowingly or intentionally transmits or disseminates the photograph, video, or digital image to another person.
Jay sent me this link and asked how I think it’ll impact fine art photographers such as myself. In short, I really don’t think it’ll affect us because of section (b), “without the consent of the individual.” However, this bill is so poorly constructed that I could see how it could cause more problems than it solves. (Could people get into legal trouble for taking photos of their friends at public swimming pools if a stranger walked into the shot? What about marathon runners? Underwear models in a fashion show?)
And I have to be snarky for a minute: I think it’s kind of funny that the term “private area” is repeated multiple times in the actual bill. Who wrote this, a group of six-year olds?
The one part of the bill I have trouble with is the elevation of the crime to Class D felony status if the person “publishes” or “transmits” the photos. Indiana has more than it’s share of murderers, rapists, spouse abusers, meth labs, and street gangs out there, do we really need to be sending people to prison for 1-5 years for taking a picture in a gym and putting it on Facebook? I’m not sure the punishment fits the crime, in the least.
For the record, I’ve taken my share of “street photography” photos over the years. These are candid, and the people being photographed usually don’t know. I do not consider this ethically questionable because a.) the people I shoot are always in public, where b) surveillance and security cameras are most likely also photographing them, anyway, and c) they aren’t exposing or doing anything that could be considered morally objectionable. I’ll also confess that I periodically find myself perusing the pages of Tap That Guy, a forum for street photographers who specialize in shooting photos of . . . shall we say . . . attractive men. But again, the intent here is not to humiliate; more likely, the guys being featured might consider it a compliment.
However, I do not, in any way, condone “upskirt photography,” locker room or bathroom photography, or anything related. This goes beyond being tacky and irresponsible, it really is an invasion or privacy and should be a crime.
I realize that I’m kind of talking out of both sides of my mouth, but there’s as much gray area to this issue than there is either black or white. And with increasing ubiquity of small personal cameras, security cameras, “Big Brother,” along with a growing tendency for a lot of people to post photos online of everything they see and do, I’m just not sure this particular bill won’t have unintended consequences, if it passes as it’s currently written.
There aren’t many artists that fascinate me more than Andy Warhol. Trust me, if I thought I could get away with it, I, too, would wear a silver wig and have two fembot models following me around everywhere, mixing my martinis and speaking for me when I was feeling unsocial.
But really, if you’re in Indianapolis, you absolutely HAVE TO go see Andy Warhol Enterprises at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (until January 2). In fact, I might even be inclined to go again, if you want to. It’s a great exhibit, and some of the pieces in it have been released by the Pittsburgh Museum for the first time ever.
You’ll see some of Andy’s advertising campaigns, his pop art, his screen tests (including Edie Sedgwick and Nico), his films, his modeling/spokesperson gigs, his self portraits, his magazine covers, his interviews in Studio 54, and more.
It’s really awesome.
Edie Sedgwick’s screen test
One of Andy’s muses, Joe Dallesandro
Joe Dallesandro, with his son