Tuesday, March 24, 2009

a paul graham interview over at PDN worth reading

PDN: In your 2008 essay on Tod Papageorge's book Passing Through Eden, you wrote that art made from “life as it happens… is regrettably viewed with suspicion in the art world. Misunderstood as a collection of lucky moments, fortuitous observations, or simply 'documentary', it has been bypassed or overlooked by many curators, writers and collectors who muddle it up with photojournalism, and are attuned mostly to assessing what the artist created.” Given that your work is currently hung in MoMA, and that you are having a mid-career survey as well, are you satisfied that the art world now appreciates work made directly from “life as it happens” and has realized its errors?

PG: Well, it's not a question of "errors." Of course Cindy Sherman's Film Stills, or Mapplethorpe's portraits, are stunning bodies of work. So is much of Jeff Wall or Thomas Demand or... My point is simply that the art world is traditionally attuned to perceiving what the artist “created,” which in photography usually means that they pick up more on work with a synthetic quality—constructed scenes, Tableaux Vivants, staged pieces—these fit neater into this expectation and fit into the broader art world model of “what artists do” much easier. However, the great photography which operates at the core of the medium—from Frank to Eggleston to Shore to Winogrand—doesn't fit that model, as it is taken from life directly, unscripted and unforced. That creates problems and is often misunderstood or marginalized as 'documentary' or 'observational.' Now nobody in their right mind can deny the power of what Frank did, or the best of Eggleston, or Robert Adams, but sadly there's a lot of folks that don't get it, and prefer the traditional model.

Having said that... there's a lot of blame to lay in the photography community itself, for the plain dumbness and lack of discrimination that burdens the medium. We should fight that and be smarter and more discriminating in what we do, say and promote. It's an incredible medium, alive and direct, but we need to engage our hearts and minds in aspiring to make truly great work, that put any doubts beyond reach.

read the whole interview here

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

wow jean paul goude

some of his images here

Monday, March 16, 2009


just got back from laredo texas and i found myself singing to this old song in the local shopping mall. enjoy...or not.

more china power: li wei

what i love about li wei's work is that he is doing things that anyone can think of in their crazy head, but, he actually makes it visible to everyone and that is what really counts. these kind of images makes me doubt if the actual part of photography that deals with the "document=reality" is really worth pursuing, for is it not more exciting to see things that only exists in our minds?...dilemma numero uno!


some very impressive images in shanghai artist maleonn's website. his use of the absurd is, well, hilarious.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

chris mccaw/hans-christian schink

the sun is burning on both artists. images of hans here and images by chris here

douglas adesko

i just went through an impressive website by douglas adesko. both in images and presentation. i liked the ohio project the most.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

julie blackmon

a remix of anthony goicolea, a contemporary lady clementina hawarden and ralph eugene meatyard. i saw a her work at photo la and found myself in like but estranged at the same time. see for yourself here.

©anthony goicolea

lady clementina hawarden

ralph eugene meatyard

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the backdrop-the isolation-the new meaning...michael itkoff and myoung ho lee

it seems to me these images are a little bit of many photography strategies put together in a very smart way. both artists have found a way to get photography critics and thinkers to burst out with explanations on what these images really mean... i´m trying to find out what they mean to the authors.

they both are interesting visual dilemmas and aesthetically striking representations that will find warm reception. myoung ho lee images here. michael itkoff images here.

ian baguskas

i really like ian baguskas work. calm, subtle and poetic. congratulations to him. one of my favorite portfolios is that of sweet water. from his statement about that body of images:

"Traveling end to end across Southern California, I witnessed the attempts people made to transform areas of the desert into their own personal oasis, defying both nature and reason. From what I could tell, the lush palm trees, green lawns and lakes in the towns of this region were nothing but a mirage to most of the people living there.

Without large-scale human intervention, this part of the West could not sustain most of its inhabitants. It is the diversion of rivers and the rapid use of the aquifer that has made it possible for some people to live this dream. For others, this lifestyle was only temporary, ending when the aquifers were depleted and the water ran out.

This was the case for the people of Lake Los Angeles, located within Antelope Valley, where in the 1960s an artificial lake was made to attract land buyers. Left to dry up once the developers sold their land, the empty lake is still colored blue on maps. Similarly, in 1958, a developer bought 80,000 acres of desert land and named it California City with the dream of creating the next Los Angeles. Miles of empty paved grids remain to this day just beyond the limits of a small city that never lived up to its builder’s intentions. It is stories like these that made me wonder, and want to explore, what still remains of this grand dream to populate the beautiful, yet unlivable, desert".

invisible city issue 1

i was included in the first issue of the online magazine invisible city. to download go here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

people of suburbia/ observations of latin american spaces

these will be 2 of the projects i will be working on this year. both stemming from the cause and effect of mexican suburbia project.

on observations of latin american spaces i am still looking onto space as a way to decipher culture and on the second i return to portraiture, now with the 4x5 camera, as i revisit suburbs i had pictured 3 years ago with no one living in them.

more pics here.