Economic Woes = Time to Buy Art

One of the ideas that emerged form the Young Collectors Panel at Aperture a few weeks ago, is that art, if purchased intelligently, holds it value even when the stock market is crashing.  So during our current market disaster, non-profits are apt to find their donor’s suddenly less generous, and are going to need support from somewhere.  They are likely be a lot more auctions going on, which means a great place to get work at a value.  I have a friend with a vintage Arbus picked up at an early 90’s AIDS benefit, now worth considerably more.  So I decided to pick out some good buys from the current crop of work out there, all good causes.  There is a lot of chatter online about the art for Obama auction, but it would be great to spread the world to those outside of the NY art world, and push up those auction prices!

Art for Obama – Auction begins October 1st – The list here is pretty great, Sternfeld, Daivs, Kereszi, Carucci, Wagner, Tillmans, Morell…

Elieen Cowin

Untitled, 16″ x 20″, Light Jet, From the Series: Your Whole Body is a Target, 2007/2008
Artist Proof

Todd Hido
#6097, 2006, 11″x14″ C-Print, from the series A Road Divided
Caption Info: “From my upcoming solo show in San Francisco
that opens the day after Obama could win the election!”
Artist’s Proof #2

David Maisel
Lake Project 16, 2001, 20″ x 20″ C-Print
Edition: 5/1

Laurie Simmons
Lying Book (Sepia), 1990
8″x10″ Chromogenic C-Print
Edition: 15/30

James Welling
Glass House, 2006, 32.5″ X 44.5″ Ink Jet Print
Notes: Printed on Museo silver rag, mounted on museum board
Artist’s Proof 1/3

Blind Spot

James Casebere
Row House, 1994
silver print
14 x 11 inches
edition of 60
Reuben Cox
From The Work of Joe Webb, 2001-2007
Kodabromide print
11 x 14 inches
edition of 15 + APs
Wijnanda Deroo
Guestroom, Curacao
16 x 20 inches
edition of 15
Justine Kurland
Burnt Down Forest, Wet Tinder
16 x 20 inches
edition of 25

Jem Southam
February 2001 from Upton Pyne
8 x 10 inches

edition of 100

Hannah Whitaker
White Rabbit, 2007
11 x 14 inches
edition of 15 + APs

Wall of Fire, Labor Day,
(Clevand, OH)
From Self Portrait as an Artist
Digital C-print
Paper: 11 x 14
Image: 9 x 13
Signed and numbered
Edition of 10

Stage for High School Commencement
, 2006
From History of a Village: Mamaroneck
Paper: 11 x 14
Image: 9.75 x 12
Signed and numbered
Edition of 10

From Imitation of Life
Paper: 11 x 14
Image: 9 x 11.25
Signed and numbered
Edition of 1

Gary, Ilano TX,
From Almost Naked
Digital C-print
Paper: 11 x 14
Image: 10 x 12.5
Signed and numbered
Edition of 10

Lipo Machine #43,
From Poignant Longings
Digital C-print
Paper: 14 x 17
Image: 11 x 14
Signed and numbered
Edition of 10

And in honor of the Art for Obama auction, I will contbribute the profit of my next HA Limited Edition print sale to Obama’s campaign.

So I know its a strange time in the world, but investing in art, is a lot better than buying another handbag or ipod or thing that will bore you and that will lose their value in a matter of months.

October Madness!

Okay this is by far the most challenging month of my life, while all of it is great things, exhibitions, events, showing my work, winning contests, writing, travel, etc. I will admit to being a little overwhelmed.  I actually enjoyed cleaning my apartment this afternoon to get rid of some of my pent up anxiety. So it really means a lot to check my email and find a review of my work by Page 291, a very thoughtful and intelligently written blog, if you are not reading it, you should. I am a big admirer of 291, and reading the review of my work currently up at the Michael Mazzeo Gallery, made me feel that the extraordinary amount of work I am doing is paying off.

Also, if you are in NYC this month, Amy Elkins and I have lots of exciting things happening.  Our Aperture Panel is this Tuesday at 6:30 pm, Aperture Gallery 547 W 27th St. Two of our amazing WIPNYC artists will be on hand.  Elinor Carucci and Robin Schwartz (up now).  Also premiere copies of Robin’s lovely new monograph form Aperture will be available for viewing.

October 4th, is the opening of Invisible Truth, a group show at the Westbeth Gallery, at 55 Bethune St, from 6-8 pm.  Please join Amy and I and several other very talented ladies for the opening of a group show curated by Joan Beard.

Come get your UV portrait taken by me on October 16th or 17th in Union Square, or on October 24 & 25th at 9th Ave at 14th St as part of AIOP. Maps will be available at businesses on 14th Street including 14th Street Framing Gallery, 225 W 14th Street and Rags-A-Go-Go, 218 W 14th Street. There is also an opening party on October 5, 3-6pm at Otto’s Shrunken Head on E14th.

On Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008, 6:30 – 8:30pm New Museum, is the big Blurb Photography Book Now event.  Should be something, RSVP here for free!  Seeing the winning entries while drinking and mingling.

And very exciting, on October 23rd, you must join me to support Amy at her opening of a solo presentation of her Wallflower work in the project room at Yancey Richardson Gallery.  More details to come…

Blurb Symposium, The Future of the Photo Book

I had the great pleasure this weekend of attending the Blurb Photography Now awards and symposium to receive my award.  So I thought I would share some of the highlights. Thanks to everyone from Blurb who were so supportive and generous.  It was nice to see how genuinely invested all of their employees were in the contest.  I highly recommend the upcoming NYC symposium, especially if you are contemplating or creating a photo book. Darius Himes, from Radius Books, gave a thoughtful and very intelligent presentation on the history and importance of the photo book as a medium. Mr. Himes, also explained the criteria he created for the judges of the contest.  Not only was the quality of your photography a factor, but overall book design, the concpetual & emotional impact of the book, and the pacing and editing of the project.

There was an extremely informative presentation by Bob Aufuldish, a book designer from Aufuldish & Warinner, who went into great detail to explain the components that are used to design a photo book.  For a photographer, it is great to hear the ways in which design choice can help to elucidate your conceptual framework.  He showed various books as examples of successful design, including Lewis Baltz, The new Industrial Parks, near Irvine California, Robert Adams, The New West , and Edward Steichen, The Family of Man. I know I am already inspired to take my book to the next level.

Also very exciting, Michelle Dunn Marsh, formally of Aperture West, now a senior editor at Chronicle Books, showed the soon to be published Aperture West Prize winner, Hank Willis Thomas‘s book.  It is a truly inspiring piece of work. Thomas’s varied formal strategies are all intelligently incorporated under a unifying theme.  What was great to hear, is that Marsh had followed Willis Thomas’s career for some time but felt unsure of how to publish it, before he resubmitted his work for Aperture West Prize with a new artist statement.  She said that his shift to from a personal interpretation to a broader cultural theme, placed the work in a different context, which to her elevated the work and made it important to print. I think it is easy to be discouraged or worry that you must get everything right at the first go, so I love to hear that your work can evolve as it lives in the world. What is not quite right one day can suddenly comes into focus.

Which leads to another very interesting discussion at the event, the impact of self-publishing on your chances of getting published by one of the major houses.  This is obviously a “developing field” and the impact is still in transition.  What clearly emerged, is that limiting your book editions, and being open to changing your book and to collaborating with a publisher, greatly improve your chances.  Of course for every rule there is an exception, but it does make sense to me that a publisher would be wary of investing $50,000 is something that has already been released. Although I think as time passes this may change.

Other presenters included, Elisa Urbanelli, senior editor at Abrams, Clare Jacobson from PA Press, and photographers Todd Hido & Dan Milnor.  Perhaps the strongest theme I took away from the symposium, is the importance of research.  Find out what publishers are right for you before submitting, and create a book project that has lasting power. The pro publishing world is working 2 years in advance, so they must consider how relevant your work will be in 2010.  As an artist, it is hard to think that way, but clearly good work only improves and becomes more relevant as time passes.

Another useful tidbit was the importance of following up and keeping in touch.  Again, no’s can become yes’s as factors change.  So if someone says to keep in touch, according to Dunn Marsh, that means do it!  You may not hear back, but if they are interested in your work, they do pay attention.  While it is hard not to give up when you get no response, in the long run it does not help you to be easily discouraged.

The Blurb event is on the road, it is in Cologne now, and will continue on to London 10/10, and then comes here to NY 10/22.



10/23/08 – 10/28/08


Messeplatz 1
50679 Köln

Hall / Stand: 10.2: C042


Friday, October 10, 2008
1:30-5:30 pm
Delfina Galleries
50 Bermondsey Street,
London SE1 3UD
+44 20 7564 2400

New York

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
2:30-6:30 pm

New Museum
235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

Humble Arts Just Got Hotter!

I know, I am friends with them, I know they are selling one of my prints, but despite all of that, I am so genuinely impressed with the newly relaunched Humble Arts site. It has a great design, and more importantly makes the photography the star of the site.  Jon Feinstein’s latest Group Show is the first time I have really liked a set of work focused on exploring the photographic process.  It all seems so fresh to the eye, not an easy thing to do.

These are very uncertain times in the world and it is trickling into the photo world.  I just stopped by my rental place, and the looks of defeat on their faces was really scary. The commercial world is especially taking a hit, and will most likely get worse.  This is a moment when new is necessary, to keep people interested and looking at art.  There is something both light and hopeful in much of the current crop of work, but also an equal measure of darker work.  I am excited to see what they do next. And looking at the show, I am inspired to get out my camera. I just need money to pay for film:) Good job Humble.

B There…

Tonight, my great friend and WIPNYC supporter Amani Olu is speaking at Aperture along with my new BFF, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, superstar photographer/blogger Brian Ulrich, and Aperture’s own Kellie McLaughlin.  Pretty much the whole photo community is coming out, but the event is about photo collecting so please pass this along to your friends with high paying jobs – if you have any left after this weekend’s Wall Street blood bath, speaking of hubris and misbehavior and Republican mismanagement… Think of it this way, what better time to start collecting affordable, emerging artists.  Who wants a million dollar piece of crap these days!  I mean specifically some of the excrement that has been passing as art these past few years.  Maybe now we will finally emerge from a decade of indulgent, art for money’s sake.

Aperture Foundation

547 W 27th St

6:30 pm

Below from Brian Ulrich’s Copia, ‘Retail’ series. A body of work that, which is already starting to take on even more significance as it ages.