Why sometimes computers & outsourcing fail.  I apologize to all of you incredibly generous people who sent me donations for my AIOP outdoor photo project, now formally scheduled for October 18 & 19 in Union Square, and October 24 & 25 at 14th St and 9th Ave in the meatpacking district from 11-2 & 2-4 each day, weather depending.  There is also an opening party for the event on 10/5 and lots of other exciting stuff going on all month, I will post a map of the activities soon.

However paypal, partly because of my not understanding how to request money correctly, but mostly because of the two customer service agents from India were unable to comprehend or correctly help me with the issue, all of your funds were returned. Today I finally got someone on the phone who explained to me how all of my difficulty could have easily been avoided.  So I am up for round #2 if you are all, I have sent emails to you re-requesting the funds. It is quite embarrassing to be sure!  But, I am even more excited about the project itself, despite the paypal debacle, especially now that the work will be featured in two group shows this fall.

The first one at Michael Mazzeo Gallery, formally Peer Gallery, opens next Friday, the 12th.  I know it’s a crazy season but I hope those of you in the NYC area can stop by.  Some great photogs are also in the show, including the indomitable Will Steacy and Miss Rachael Dunville.  I met Michael at a portfolio review, and have kept in gentle contact since. Part of what makes this show so exciting for me, is that all my hard work and energy has led to being in a group show at his gallery.  It is so important to develop and maintain relationships, no matter what field you are in. Developing them takes enormous amounts of time, energy, and a willingness to accept that it often leads to nothing.  But if you are patient and persistent, and if your work has any value, things do happen.  During my month off, I thought a great deal about where I want to go next, and now that things are happening, I am energized to pursue those ideas. So I hope to see you all on the 12th!

Michael Mazzeo Gallery

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

September 12 – October 11
Opening Reception
Friday, September 12, 6 PM – 8 PM

526 W 26th St Ste #209

And don’t miss this week’s big opening for me, Joel Sternfeld’s the Oxbow Archive. From the Press Release:

Sternfeld’s new work represents a break with painterly notions of the Picturesque and the Sublime; his field is flat, average and indistinguishable from thousands like it. He does not take the view from nearby Mount Holyoke as the Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole did in 1833 and look down on the Oxbow of the Connecticut River, the “grandest prospect in North America.” A single field that appears in Cole’s now iconic painting is of ample interest for Sternfeld’s attentive eye.

This work represents a departure from archetypal photographic depictions of nature; grandiloquent mountain views and dramatized skies are eschewed, as are ideal specimens of flora. Anthropomorphization of “perfect form in nature” does not occur; the geometric is not valorized. The photographs are not meant to be metaphoric equivalents of anything else. Rather, the images present themselves without pretense as a systematic index of seasonal progression.

If you know Joel, you know that is probably the most personal project of his life. It is a very subtle and intellectual body of work and a departure from his oeuvre in some ways. But I give him enormous credit, for his willingness to continue to grow and take risks as an artist, instead of churning out show after show of the same work, guaranteed to make $$, or to live off his glory days and just keep endlessly having retrospectives.  I am not naming any names of other photographers of his caliber, but I think you all know who I mean.  When you have a certain level of success and still have the balls to fall flat on your face, or to make work that needs to age to have meaning, is a rarity in today’s art world.  But if we want to have anything to look at in two hundred years of any value, we need artists wiling to do just those things.

Luhring Augustine

Joel Sternfeld

Oxbow Archive

Sep 6 – Oct 4 2008

531 W 24th St