Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

I'm back in the boat.  Even though I need routine, I resist.  I've returned from the Alps and slowed down enough from a miraculous deluge of work that came in after my return from Europe.  So I am here to blog once again.  

It is Ash Wednesday and for those who aren't Catholic or unfamiliar with the meaning, it is the first day of Lent.  You won't know what that is either, I guess.  Well anyway, lets just say it signifies the anticipation of spring for me and the observance of Jesus's final days on earth. I think the 40 days of Lent is a symbol of Jesus's 40 days in the desert too.  Many good Catholics repent, fast, contemplate their existence and offer themselves in humble service during this period.  There will be a Mass or prayer service for those observing Catholics and Ashes will be distributed upon the forehead.  "From ashes we come to ashes we return."  Kind of a scary thing for a young girl growing up Catholic.  It just dawned on me how much the Catholic faith drives home the death thing.  No wonder I am so preoccupied with dying.  I was exposed to the grotesque, mangled and bloody way too early.  I remember being mesmerized by the religious paintings of Caravaggio.  In particular, the crucifixion of  Christ.  If you've never seen this painting look here.  I'd torture myself with these images. My mother had these art books laying around the house and I'd spend hours testing my courage.  I'd jump over the pages with the scary paintings and then slowly, like I was sneaking up on it, I'd turn back to them peeking over the edge of the page into the dark, shadowy mangled body of Christ hanging on the cross.  I guess this is where I might have developed my morbid sense of humor too.

Today I will participate.  I want to shoot the observants and the ceremony for my show and maybe I need a little touch of humility myself.  One can never have enough.

Greg Miller, a fellow Nashvillian and a Guggenheim Fellow has a series on Ash Wednesday here.  I had forgotten how big the Catholic population of NYC was.  

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sally Mann: What Remains

Last night I watched  What Remains:  The Life and Work of Sally Mann.  I am always reluctant to meet the artist whose work I love in fear I'll not like them personally.  I braved it with this documentary.  I have a deep respect and compassion for this person.  She is humble, honest and kind.  I got the sense that even though she is a driven artist she is a wife and mother first.  I highly recommend people to see this film.  I will have to admit I was not interested in her later series of images but after having seen this I have a deeper appreciation for it.  It is a film that has educated me more about the art world and how we all struggle with the same fears no matter what level of the social/professional rung we're we have achieved.  Her courage to allow filming of her rejection from Pace/MacGill and her allowing the documentary to show her fears of becoming passe in the art world was healing for me.  Any artist struggling with fears of rejection and the like will benefit from this heart warming insight into this artist's life.  

Also her series What Remains brings to light for me how fascinated I am with death.  Her philosophy behind the series is worth exploring and facing.  After all, none of us gets out of here alive. 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The F Blog

I have images at F-Blog. Here is the link.  These are images from my upcoming show to be exhibited this summer at the East Gallery at the Parthenon.  (no, not the one in Greece)

Erin, Tennessee in the Summer

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Bitter Photographer

I came across a post today at a blog I frequent left by The Bitter Photographer and had to go check him out.  Wow.  I have to say it was so refreshing.  He is blogging about things so many of us are afraid to say out loud or we share only in the safety of our inner circles.  Of course he blogs anonymously.  Why not!  Who cares who he is.  The point is he is saying things that most of us photogs think- maybe the well balanced, spiritual giants don't think this way.  I know I am working on staying positive but sometimes I just got to let it out.  One of the post was particularly hilarious (all of them are hilarious).  It was about Kwaku Alston and his similarities to Jay Silverman.  Why I find this particularly funny is people rave about this photographer's ability.  Yes, he is good, but he has taken some pretty ordinary photos, just like us all.  So why do people rave about his work as if it was fabulous and worthy of adoration.  Not long ago I had the privilege of meeting with a particular photo rep turned photo consultant who took a considerable amount of time oohing and ahhing over KA.   At that time I had no idea who he was and I was like...."what is this all about?"  I felt like I was in the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale "The Emperor's New Suit."  The Bitter Photographer is probably not a blog I'll go to everyday, and well he isn't really posting anymore,  but somedays I will have to check in to see if there is someone out there seeing that the Emperors is in his underwear.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Stop Motion Video

You've got to check this out over at A Photo Editor Blog.  It is so much fun and it is worth the 2 or 3 minutes of your life.(here)