Singular Beauty: Available Now

I am pre-selling my first monograph through Kickstarter:  Singular Beauty (Summer 2012) The book is being designed and published by Hans Gremmen, co-founder of Fw:, a platform for Dutch Contemporary Photography.

If you pre-buy the book through Kickstarter (for a pledge of  $45 +)  you will receive your book delivered before it is available to the general public. And every single person who supports Singular Beauty will have their name listed in the final publication. Read more about other rewards and the book on my project page.

Kickstarter is an ALL or NOTHING funding model and I only have until Jan. 20th, 2012 too make a big goal. I know things are tough out there for a lot of us, so whether you can spare $1, $5, $25, $45 or $500, every pledge helps!  There are rewards for every amount.


If you feel comfortable, please share this link with anyone you think might be interested.

Scope NY!

Become an Ultraviolet Beauty | March 3rd | 3-9pm

I am very excited to announce that AUREUS Contemporary will be showing my Ultraviolet Beauties work at Scope NY. They will be hosting an artist project in conjunction with Scope at the VIP preview of the fair on March 3rd. Please contact the gallery to set up your UV portrait commission:

In conjunction with the exhibition of Ultraviolet Beauties at our booth, Cara Philips will set up her UV studio and offer collectors the unique chance to get a commissioned Ultraviolet portrait of themselves or a loved one on SCOPE Opening Day. Portrait shots can be arranged directly on location at the photo studio in the SCOPE Lounge or at the Aureus Contemporary Booth (D14). This is an opportunity that will not be repeated again after the SCOPE fair. So please contact us to make arrangements for your portrait commission!

Hope You Can Come

I am thrilled to be included in the upcoming group show, Versus at Hous Projects.  Even more exciting for me, it is curated by Ruben Natal San-Miguel, who is pretty much everywhere these days, not only as a curator but as an artist. He has been an unbelieveable supporter of my work and he has so much for enthusiasm for photography you cannot help but carried along with him.  Also I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Elizabeth Houston of Hous Projects in Miami, and I am super impressed by the group of artists she and Ruben have managed to pull together for this exhibit. Click below to what is in store. The opening is Jan 7th from 6 – 10 pm at Hous Projects, 31 Howard St, 2nd Fl.  Hope to see you there and Happy New Year!

Brian Ulrich vs. Alex Leme
Mickalene Thomas vs. Nadine Rovner
Hank Willis Thomas vs. Cara Phillips
Amy Elkins vs. Molly Landreth
Matthew Pillsbury vs. Kris Graves
Phil Toledano vs. Elizabeth Fleming
Zoe Strauss vs. Ruben Natal-San Miguel
Jen Davis vs. Eric Ogden
Michael Wolf vs. Gina Levay

Singular Beauty Opens in Boston

Here is part of the reason I have been MIA from blogging. My first solo show will run from August 17th – October 10th, 2009 at the Suffolk University Art Gallery. I hope those of you in the Boston area can make it to the opening on September 17th. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see the work on the wall in a finished installation.

Singular Beauty

Curated by James Hull

Suffolk University Art Museum at NESAD

Opening Reception September 17th, 6-8:30pm

75 Arlington St, Boston MA


Don’t miss, ‘Thrift and Dark Stores’

Tomorrow at Julie Saul Gallery

Brian Ulrich

5/28/09 6-8 pm opening reception

535 W 22nd St


Klingman’s Furniture, 2008 © Brian Ulrich

And check out Salzburg-based photographer and blogger, Andrew Phelps‘s special edition pre-release of his new book:

28×28 cm, hardbound
ca 112 pages
ca 50 color images
ca 40,- Euro
Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg

You can contact him directly to purchase.  I have seen both the book dummy and the work, and it is a great edition to any photo library.


© Andrew Phelps – from NOT NIIGATA, 2009

One Less % Point

I just came across this exhibit, opening tomorrow.  As a car has just come into my life temporarily for the next few weeks, I am going to plan a day trip.  Because, if we go, they will give us more….


Kiki Smith, Getting the Bird Out , 1992


In her epochal essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” (1971), feminist art historian Linda Nochlin explained that myriad historical circumstances, principally lack of access to training, exhibitions, commissions and critical forums—not genetics—had limited women’s artistic achievement.As these circumstances changed rapidly in the period after World War II, so did the relative prominence of women in the ranks of the most progressive and visible artists in the West.

This permanent collection exhibition, organized as a contemporary complement to Hannah Wilke: Gestures, surveys work by some of the most influential artists of the last four decades who drew on the insights of critical feminisms to advance artistic practice, in part by addressing precisely those social, political and economic factors that have supported and continue to support gender-based discrimination.

Among those represented are Jo Baer, Lynda Benglis, Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Patty Chang, Chryssa, Patricia Cronin, Agnes Denes, Ilse Getz, Nancy Graves, Eva Hesse, Deborah Kass, Loren MacIver, Marisol, Elizabeth Murray, Catherine Opie, Beverly Pepper, Judy Pfaff, Adrian Piper, Niki de Saint Phalle, Howardena Pindell, Anne Ryan, Carolee Schneeman, Collier Schorr,  Beverly Semmes, Judith Shea, Kiki Smith, Joan Snyder, Jessica Stockholder, Kay Walkingstick, Hannah Wilke, and Daisy Youngblood.

Great Women Artists is on view November 23, 2008- February 22, 2009.
Support is provided by Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management Office of Diversity.
The exhibition is curated by Thom Collins, Director with Camilla Cook, Curatorial Fellow, Purchase College.

Neuberger Museum of Art
Purchase College
State University of New York
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577-1400

914-251-6100 Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
914-251-6117 Saturday – Sunday, 12 noon – 5 pm


10 minutes from White Plains, NY
10 minutes from Greenwich, CT
45 minutes from mid-town Manhattan


Tuesday – Sunday, 12 – 5 pm

One More Reason to do Portfolio Reviews

Today, Daniel Cooney’s Emerging Artist Series launches on iGavel. I happily ended up included in the auction after running into Daniel at the ACP portfolio review in Atlanta. There are some really nice pieces in the auction.  Reserves are only 200.00, so with the current market situation,  it is a great chance to pick up work at a very reasonable price.  There will another auction in December with another set of emerging artists.  The last day to bid for this auction is December 10th.

All the prints are available for viewing in person at:

Daniel Cooney Fine Art

511 W 25th St #506


Some work in the auction:


Noah Kalina, Untitled


Avery McCarthy, There Are No Stars Here, XI


Cara Phillips, UltraViolet Beauty #28


Will Steacy, Father and Daughter, New Orleans, 2005

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

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

When I started GG, I was filled with apprehension and anxiety about introducing my work to the world. For a long time I avoided showing it to anyone, because my confidence was not there and I did not have the words yet to express myself in conceptual terms. Blogging and finding a community of fellow artists and curators helped me move past those issues.  For so long, my photo mentor would push me to get out there and act like I deserved it, but until I slowly, bit by bit, started to believe it for myself, I was unable to. Some people are able to ‘fake it till they make it,’ but for me it is crucial that things in my life are genuine. My relationships with friends, family, colleagues, my images and my writing, so I had to wait until I could be genuine in presenting my work.

It is important to find a way to develop your confidence. It is not about ego, or self-aggrandizement, but about a heartfelt belief in what you are doing. There is a big difference between hubris and excitement for your own success. I grew up being told to “not get a big head,” and believing that success was to be hidden and downplayed because it would make people hate you. So eventually it seemed like failure was a better option, because at least it made you stop being a target. However the cost was too high. There has definitely been a trend to find the next hot young thing in the photo world, and artists are easily sucked into the hype. And if the lightening does not strike, and the first time you show your work to a gallery they don’t offer you a solo show, there is a tendency to feel like a failure. But last night, I realized that taking your time and slowly building your way up, is a much better route. With each step forward, I have time to think and digest and chose what is best for my work.

And as much as we like to believe in the cult of the individual in America,  finding mentors and building relationships with those who can help you is imperative. Everything that has happened to me so far has been the result of both incredible effort on my part but also an equal amount of support and encouragement from others. And curating has absolutely helped me grow as an artist. I highly recommend focusing your energy on the work of others to open up your perspective. I succeed every two weeks, when I see how great the work looks on Women in Photography, and feel proud of everything Amy and I, with the support of Humble Arts, have been able to accomplish.

The art world is a tough place, and there are so many talented people out there, it is so important to focus on the things that matter. The highlight of my opening last night, was seeing one of my oldest friend’s from New York, now living in LA, appear in front of my picture without any warning. And seeing all of the other people I love come out to support me in a group show, made having my image on the wall mean so much more.

The icing on the cake, thanks you Nina and Christopher for the heads up, was discovering that James Danziger singled out my image to review on his blog, and oh yes, I come after Joel Sternfeld, Roe Ethridge, Alessandra Sanguinetti, and Vik Muniz.  The post is an excellent survey of the fall photo season, and worth a look for that.  Today is a very good day. (check out Will Steacy pic in the first image, my partner in crime at the show last night!)  If you missed the show last night, Micheal Mazzeo has put together a really nice group of work and it runs through Oct 11th.

F*#@ PayPal and Other Tidbits…

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

Best Day of My Photo Life So Far!

Today I was checking the stats for Women in Photography, I always find it fascinating to see how many sites around the world pick up the shows and write about them. I assume they say good things since I can’t read the many different languages we have been featured in.  Today, I saw and clicked on the link. And there in black and white on the Aperture website is the write-up for the Women in Photography Panel in September!  I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels see my name on the Aperture site and to be in such illustrious company. Truly, it is honor to speaking at an institution that once seemed so far out of reach. Thanks Laurel!  I hope you all can come to out talk, and help us make it a success.

New York, New York

Women In Photography

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
6:30 p.m.

Aperture Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York
(212) 505-5555

I Heart I Heart Photograph

I was incredibly flattered when Laurel picked my work up and posted some of machines shortly after I launched my blog and site. I was aware of her blog when I started, I had read about her gallery show in the NY times. There are a few of the early photo bloggers, pioneers, who have really not only invented the the photo blog, but continue to be influence far outside of cyberspace. While some of the early voices,Alec Soth and Christian Patterson have moved on, the remaining few dominate the world of fine-art photo blogging. Conscientious and I Heart Photograph being the most creative and well known. (of course there are many others launched right after with lots to offer) What both of these blogs offer is a chance to discover the work of an artist you may not know. They are doing all the leg work for you. While as a photographer this is useful and interesting, as a photo professional is is life changing!

When Laurel posted my images, I almost immediately received an email from a photo editor asking if I was the same Cara Phillips that used to work at Redux Pictures. Turns out we had worked there together over 4 years earlier and she was now working at a magazine. So because of Laurel we re-connected and I showed her my work. And in a stranger twist of fate, I am freelancing for her at that magazine this month doing photo research, which by the way is a lot of fun. What I have discovered on the other end side of the photo divide is just how much I Heart Photograph has to offer. It’s easy to navigate, well archived and all the images are linked to source sites. But most importantly it is a veritable treasure trove of undiscovered pictures of every possible kind. And each image leads you on to something, perhaps not what you are looking for but often worthwhile. Then you go to the stock sites where you seem to get 67 pages of the most banal, mediocre photography imaginable. (the exception being news imagery, which is often really good) I mean, really I can’t believe anyone ever uses stock! My guess is the sheer quantity of imagery is the problem.

Buried in there somewhere is probably a lot of good pictures, if you know how to find them, but there are so many dreadful things, you just want to give up. And truthfully, I am sure many corporations cannot always use the kind of innovative and exciting, and let’s face it sometimes weird work showcased on the site. But in a world so full of imagery, we are increasingly dependent on the curator. Those who are willing to shift through the metaphoric garbage to pick out gems are more important then ever. I am much more interested in seeing a site that has one person’s very specific taste I may or may not always agree with, then a generic hodge podge of junk. So hopefully as the blog scene grows, there will start to be more options for buyers, that will actually also give individual photographers a chance to sell some of their images. And for magazines to have an easier and better way to find imagery for their publications.

A random sampling of IHP artists

morten nilsson

Jesper Ulvelius

Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk

Women in Photography & Other Thoughts

Roger Ballen, one of my favorite images from the NYPF

I know I have been MIA since the last week’s NYPF, but it took me a little while to recover from photo-overload. There are a lot of great posts about the event, Shane, Andrew, Joerg, Robert, and others all have their take on the events. For me it really was a whirlwind of meeting people, and observing how the NY photo world operates. Relationships are the secret to the art world. For instance, Kathy Ryan was accessible for the whole event. I saw her giving numerous tours of her exhibit and talking to everyone. I never quite got up the nerve to introduce myself, even though I have emailed with her before. It just seemed too desperate, like throwing yourself at the hottest guy at bar at 3:45 am. But it was super interesting to watch everyone and listen to the conversations. There is definitely an inside world that once you are in, gives you a lot more opportunities. But while I may not be in that circle, I saw a lot of friends and made some new ones. I am still blown away that people know my work & blog. It is nice to know people get something out of GG.

That is why I am excited about WIP. At this moment, everything in the world is in flux. The internet is absolutely changing how we relate to each other. There is something great about people reaching out and forming communities. It empowers them to express themselves and to connect. Amy Elkins has been an incredible partner on this project. Not only do we feel like we are doing something that could really be positive, we are having a lot of fun. My hope is that WIP can help create more community among women artists. We are already scheduled through March of next year and still have a bunch of great artists to put on the calendar. Amy and I are really committed to showing quality work and to giving people a place to further their art career. So when we launch, I hope people spread the word about the site to friends and photo/art contacts. There will be a launch party in mid-June, more to come soon…

This project has me thinking a lot about intentions lately and what I want to get out of this experience. I think having a solo show online, can be a way to reach people who for various reasons don’t go to galleries. And perhaps help someone get noticed in the very crowded field of fine-art photographers. But the web is a funny thing, every good intention can come with a price.

Last night Nightline had a story about a stay a home Mom that has created an online blog for women to post their pictures and ask strangers to tell them what to do with their hair. She has a 2 year line up of people waiting to get help to ‘look better.’ While researching the hair site, I came across this blog, which illustrates the type of thinking that leads women to the Plastic Surgeons consult chair. I am sure Hair Thursday is only trying to help, but as soon as you use the internet community for this kind of thing, I think you are on dangerous ground.

Hi. How are ya? Please ignore my rosacea, beady eyes, crooked nose, and double chin. This is about the HAIR, people!

Hair Thursday features images of everyday women, who are given advice on their hair. Each person has a celebrity or two selected as their “model” of what they should aim for.

The web is full of places where you are welcome to be rated, the web boards of Teen Vogue include page after page of these rate me posts. As an artist I am fascinated about the human need to feel special. A large part of the Cosmetic Surgery experience is about this drive to be ‘seen’ even it is means being judged.

Blog Evolution

With the start of New York’s first photo festival, I got to thinking about the evolution of the ‘photo blog.’ Last night’s Tim Barber Tiny Vices show, featured several of the blog world’s mainstay’s and during the evening’s events for the first time I met people who knew me because they read Ground Glass. It was a pretty amazing experience. Afterward, a bunch of us went out to eat. Looking around the table, I thought what a diverse and talented group of people. But more interesting is how we had come together. Amy Elkins, Ofer Wolberger, Amy Stein, Amani Olu, Jon Feinstein, Will Steacy, and Corey Arnold are all bloggers, or are involved in the internet photo community. While some of us know each other from other places, many people met last night for the first time, but knew each other from online.

Then there is Andrew Hetherington, I have been telling him for months he is the Walter Winchell (inventor of gossip column and most important man in radio part) of the photo world. Now he is working for Foto 8 magazine covering the festival. Andrew is a great writer and his sarcastic Irish wit makes his blog one of my daily reads. He really has carved out a unique place for himself in the blogoshpere. The festival itself, includes a presentation by i heart photograph’s Laurel Ptak tomorrow at 5pm with Tim Barber. The fact that both Magnum & Aperture have blogs goes to show how important the form has become. Several blogging artist’s have already proven that they can blog and have successful art careers, Alec Soth, Christen Patterson, Brian Ulrich, Shen Wei, Amy Stein and others. Not to mention, blogging gallery star Jen Bekman, also in the curating 2.0 event. Joshua Lutz has work at the Tierney Foundation show, and has his first solo show at Clampart Gallery in September.

What does all of this mean? I have no idea, but I have met some great people and I am enjoying the ride. Perhaps the next great “photo movement” is not about a particular style or conceptual agenda, but about how artists communicate and share their work. All of the big movements in the past happened when loose groups of photographers formed and shared ideas and work. The WPA project, the Dusseldorf School, Szarkowski’s heyday at the Modern, 291, Yale’s MFA program in the 90’s. It is only a thought, but there is an awful lot going on these days online. Blogs are in a way replacing the underground art scene that made New York so vibrant in the past. NYC rents have made that world a memory, but you can take a chance on an emerging artist online. You can also build an audience. Without a support system, you cannot sustain an art career.

Speaking of which, we now have our site up for Women in Photography. The correct submission info is there and the first show goes up June 2nd – so stay tuned!

And if you are in the mood for something that reminds you of how the world functioned before computers, when we actually had to think and take time to do things in a very different way, there is a great show that opened last night at Cohen Amador Gallery. Japanese photographer, Masao Mochizuki’s strange, otherworldly images of television from the 1970’s look both modern and from a time that never existed. What took him hours of precise and methodical shooting, could now be done in ten minutes with photoshop, but I imagine would have none of the charm. If you are looking for a respite from the chaos of NYPF, it is just the spot.

Cohen Amador

41 E 57th St 6th Fl

New is Old or is Old is New?

A very interesting (as usual) post from Joerg Colberg on Gregory Crewdson’s new work. I went to the opening, my friend scanned the show and I was excited to see how the raw images came together. I was torn about them, while they are certainly very accomplished, I felt disappointed at their lack of new ground. In some ways they were less produced than his last show. I could see that he was trying to capture the feeling of a rust-belt town, which has a very different look than his usual middle class suburb. I appreciate Joerg’s sentiments about our culture’s voracious appetite for newness. We do seem to focus on always wanting the next thing even when there is nothing wrong with what we have. But in the case of Crewdson, I would have liked to see a new visual or conceptual idea. This is an artist who helped to transform the look and process of contemporary photo practice. So I would hope that he would continue to innovate. His images seem to be more about meeting the demands of the current art market, then about anything else. I really can only remember one image from the show. I don’t think artists have to constantly be doing the ‘next’ thing or re-inventing themselves, but they should not rest on their laurels either. And yes some artists work in the same mode for years to create a long term body of work with great meaning. It is something to consider. You have to give Robert Frank credit for moving on to experimental film and art rather than repeating himself. His later work may not be as good as his masterwork “The Americans,” but it takes risks and is unafraid of failure.