Pace gallery in London are currently showing an exhibition of late paintings from Mark Rothko interspersed with large black and white photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto. It was all very sombre and yet unexpectedly I was thrilled by one small detail in particular - the careful, inch-wide edge of blank canvas left unpainted around the Rothko's. I left, thinking they are his best work.
Currently in a group show at the terrific Brancolini Grimaldi gallery, are Nicole Belle's photographs from her 2007 Rev Sanchez series. It's great to find exciting images at an exhibition that when you check out the photographer later it turns out they have done loads of other great stuff, too.
The good thing about the camera I've got at the mo is the control over the self-timer. Not only can the actual delay before the shot is taken be set for any amount (ten seconds is fine for me) but also the subsequent number of exposures made. With my previous Sony R1 I literally walked miles (and in heels... which was good practice, actually) back and forth, setting and re-setting the self-timer after each photograph was taken. With a Nikon D5100 the walking back and forth was down to a mere 500 hundred metres per shoot. Today I started off with my usual four shots per press of the shutter default setting but soon was aware that I always seemed to get into just the right pose immediately after the fourth and final shot had been taken. So I upped it to 6 (somewhat guiltily, I'm not quite sure why). Then 8. As a result soon I was actually making the shape I thought might work when that final eigth exposure was made. But, inevitably, after not too long, I wasn't quit…
I look forward to DLK reviews of New York Photography shows, they are always a treat to read. In the latest one, Artie Vierkant @Higher Pictures, the writer, in passing, refers to the 'socialization' that occurs as a result of being a regular visitor to galleries. At first I was surprised at the choice of this word, assuming 'socialising' may have been the meaning intended, but having read a terrific article on what 'socialization' means it may have been entirely accurate. The discription of how values are permeated reminds me of something that writer Richard Dawkins has said about the virus like nature of human behaviour. The latter part of this socialization piece describes how the Navajo Indian families dealt with crying babies which sounds remarkably similar to The Contented Child theory of child-rearing.
I took 703 photos at a construction site outside town today, I had a feeling none of them were any good when I'd finished, an assumption which has proved to be correct, having just flicked through them. But having 703 failures is a slightly better feeling than not having made the effort to go. It was sort of sunny, enough to feel sweaty even though it's October.
I've just noticed a 2nd hand copy for sale of Park City, Lewis Baltz's work that he showed at my college a lifetime ago and which was a revelation in various ways for me. The book is not in very good condition but it's only a hundred quid (usually fine copies go for several hundred). I wanted this book so much when I was a student and remember it was fifty quid at the time, which was a lot more than fifty quid is worth now.
After his visit I asked a course lecturer if he had contact details for Baltz and he gave me an address in Sausalito, California. I never actually got in touch, though. For a whil…
In Andy Warhol's early life as a commercial artist he loved, to the point of obsession, to draw women's shoes. He was broke and would exchange some of this 'shoe art' as payment for restaurant bills, using it as a kind of decorative currency. Today I am reminded of that sheer, goddamn sexy thrill he must have felt, when I bought some shoes. The tortuous impracticality of four inch heels suggests they are perhaps more a work of sculpture in themselves than being practical footwear. But practical isn't everything, it's that heart-skipping-a-beat, pupil-dilating moment of needing to possess that is very like the irrational urge to buy actual art, it's about something other than being sensible.
Incidentally, MOMA rejected Warhol's 1956 gift of a shoe picture, citing lack of storage space. He kept the letter.
I was aged about 7. The new girl at school was quite tall, Indian, I think and was wearing a swishy purple satin dress. I'd never really noticed girls and it must have been one of my very first moments of sudden interest, more for the dress than her, probably. The fact that none of the other girls in the school dressed like her made her appear all the more remarkable, different. The fabric was so sensual, for a split second when walking by I touched the material, fleetingly, so she wouldn't notice, and guiltily, I suppose, as it is the sense of risk that I remember and not the sensation of touch. She never noticed and no-one saw and apart from that one vivid moment I have no other memory of her.
When I was about ten years old I remember one sunny Saturday morning being in Woolworths picking through their small selection (50-100) of trashy paperbacks which were in my price range, when a small crowd (50-100) began forming in part of the store nearby. Miss Great Britain arrived. Or maybe it was Miss England or Miss United Kingdom, I'm not entirely sure. But it was definitely Miss and not Ms.
This must have been the first time I'd witnessed a celebrity meeting the public event, it seemd a bit odd to have been just looking at books in Woolworths when when one occurred right beside me. (Morrissey used to write about these kind of moments so well.) The craning to see (she was quite short so craning was required), the mulling around in the vicinity and reluctance to leave, the whispery expectancy of people, and then the acquiring (free?) of a small glossy photograph and the queuing to have it signed. Why did I want that picture? I'm not sure. Perhaps it seemed qui…