Posts Tagged ‘photograph

23
Aug
08

Jon: Sage Sohier’s “Almost Grown”…

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I’m usually not a huge fan of straight forward portaiture, but Sage Sohier’s series Almost Grown manages to strike a resonant emotional chord for me in spite of its stark simplicity. The series is comprised of images depicting parents posing with their on-the-cusp-of-adulthood children. The majority of the images create a visual triangle of spectatorial gazing, where in one of the subjects stares at the camera (and therefore at us, ther viewer), while the other model gazes almost longingly at their familial partner in the image.

This not only creates a visually dynamic image, it also creates a physically dynamic experience for the viewer, who immediately feels personally involved in the obvious emotional connectivety taking place.

These images expolore both the unbreakable connections between family members, and the necessity to at some point, and to a certain degree, sever those connections.

You should really go to her site and look at more of her photographs….CLICK! CLICK! CLICK!

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26
Jul
08

Jon: The Return of photographer Liz Wolfe…

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Long time Gaycondo readers may remember this post  or this other one I did about Canadian photographer Liz Wolfe. She has been one of my favorite’s to watch for the past couple of years, but it has been kind of a bummer lately because she has not not updated her website with new work in ages.

Lucky for us, today she finally did! Not only did she add 14 new images (including the two featured below), she also built an online store which she has been talking about doing for years. The store has two different sets of ten 6X8 images for sale for a measley $100. That is only $10 per image people! 

The groups are divided into two common themes in Wolfe’s work: Sugar and Creatures. These are open editions, but I would still pounce on these amazing opportunities to own Wolfe’s original art at a fraction of her normal gallery prices. Based on my experience with the last time she tried her hand at an online store (I bought some pieces from her and then *poof* the store was gone a week later. I was lucky with my timing.) this venture may be over any day now.

TWO NEW WORKS BY LIZ WOLFE

Bunny with Candy, 2008

Popsicle, 2008

To see more just CLICK CLICK CLICK!

04
Jul
08

Jon: Meet Freddy 4…

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To find out exactly who Freddy is, check out the first post of the series here.

To see all of the posts, click the link in the bar to the right.

12.) “Freddy has a tricycle. He likes to ride it around and around the house. He must not go a long way down the street.”

13.) “Do you like to go on a picnic? Freddy does. There are a lot of good things to eat in the picnic basket.”

14.) “No Freddy! Do not use the sweeper on the sidewalks. Please use the broom indtead.”

25
Jun
08

Jon: Meet Freddy 3…

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To find out exactly who Freddy is, check out the first post of the series here.

To see all of the posts, click the link in the bar to the right.

9.) “Grandma likes to read to Freddy a bed time story. Do you like to listen while someone reads to you?”

10.) “All little bears like their honey,

And carrots are for the bunny.

But if a little bear gives you his Valentine heart,

Oh wouldn’t that be sunny?”

11.) “Grandpa and Freddy would like to show you Grandpa’s red roses. They are two year’s old. Grandpa is not mad at Freddy for picking his roses.”

21
Jun
08

Jon: Susan Dobson is Seeing Double….

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…or triple, or quadruple, or whatever comes next.

Images from Susan Dobson’s “No Fixed Address” (2004)

Whether it be for the purpose of visual trickery (such as in Victorian stereoscopic photography), or as a means of making a statement about modern obsession and celebrity ( the most well known practitioner being Andy Warhol), the use of repetition as an modern artistic tool has always held a certian allure. By putting forward the striking sameness in a group of images, the viewer’s immediate intellectual response  to this brand of art is to assign great importance to whatever differences do exist.

Artist Susan Dobson’s 2004 photographic collection No Fixed Address begs the question: If there truelly is a natural drive within human’s to find and create variation when reacting to repetition, then how does this need for controlled chaos manifest itself in our day-to-day lives? The answer becomes apparent when studying what is possibly one of the most visually jarring self inforced uses of man made repitition: tract housing in modern American suburbs. These highly planned communities use repeating or alternating floor plans and designs. Driving down a street in one of these neighborhoods it is easy to become lost as a result of the immidiate sense of deja-vu and confusion that sets in. In fact, developers of tract housing have created the design element of building curved streets  even when geological factors don’t require it. This is done in order to prevent the creation of an endless repetitive horizon and the disheartening emotional reaction it would cause to a resident.

A similiar dissorienting affect is created in the presentation of Dobson’s No Fixed Address, in which the identically cropped images are hung in such a way as to mimic the visual sameness of her subject. Each photograph features the startalingly duplicated front entranceway of one of these homes. Each house has the same basic door, windows, bricks, and pillars. The slight differences that begin to emerge outside of that combination are all a result of individual intervention and the effects of aging. Some home owners choose to alter their walkways or paint their doors. Others make dramatic landscaping choices. The color of the brick facade is slightly weathered over time. However they choose to do it, all residents have found ways to stamp the immediate world around them as uniquely their own.

At the root of Dobson’s study seems to be a question of the confused duality of our human desire to at once find comfort in familiarity, but to also challenge the validity of that comfort. Though No Fixed Address does seem to be saying that there is a certain individual beauty and warmth that shines through in even the most uninspiring of conditions, Dobson chooses not to offer a direct qualitative answer to her overarching question. Instead, we are left to ponder our own existence as one of many, and to ask ourselves, “Am I doing enough?”

18
Jun
08

Jon: Meet Freddy 2….

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Part 2 of my Grandma Shirley Tabor’s Freddy photograph project from the mid 8o’s. To get the full story, see the first post here.

5.) “Freddy wants to know where is the turkey? He doesn’t want to eat this chicken or the blue bird.”

6.) “Freddy is being real good so Santa will bring him a nice Christmas present. Are you being good?”

7.) “Freddy is wearing a New Year hat. He wants to stay up until after twelve O’ clock. Happy New Year.

8.) “Freddy would float away if he wasn’t inside the house. We better not open the outside door.” (sorry for the bad scan- Jon)

 

13
Jun
08

Jon: Meet Freddy…

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I am currently in the process of developing a new website called Meet Freddy. It is an ode to an amazing woman named Shirley Tabor, or as I knew her, Grandma Tabor. She was a painter, cartoonist, craftmaker and photographer who lived out her life in Coffeyville Kansas. Her work was never shown in a gallery, printed in a magazine, or sold at auction. Students do not write essays about her in college or debate the hidden meanings lurking in the images she created. In fact, as far as I am aware, no one outside of my family has ever seen any of it.

However, she inspired me deeply and was the first person to ever tell me that I was capable of creating something beautiful. I believe that she is largely responsible for making me the creative person I am today.

“But who is Freddy then?” you ask. He is a bear. Not a real one, but a stuffed animal one that stands about three feet tall. His origins are unknown to me, but I do know that something about him inspired my Grandma in the 1980’s to create a small world around him. When she passed away about six years ago she left me the small crocheted box pictured above. Inside were 50 photographs and several poems.  Each photograph was numbered and on the reverse was a hand written description of the image. Picture by picture a story was born.

So yeah. This box is my prized possession. If my house were on fire, it would be the first thing I would grab. Until recently, it had never occurred to me that I would ever have a forum in which I could share her work. Then I got this blog and learned a (very) little bit about webpage design.

So, I am going to make an awesome page that at first is about Freddy, but will eventually feature all of her art. Until then though, I am too excited to not share the pictures with all you Gaycondo readers. So, every week I will post a couple of them along with the words written on the back.

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1.) “Grandpa Tabor found a lost teddy bear in the woods. He took him home to Grandma Tabor.”

2.) “Grandma Tabor named the teddy bear Freddy. Freddy likes to sleep on the back of Grandma’s bed”

3.) “Freddy wanted to be the Easter bunny. He said, ‘don’t you look until I get the eggs hid!’ Look at his tail.”

4.) “Freddy is dressed like a ghost. He thinks that the kids do not know who he is. Can you tell? Do ghosts have bear’s ears?”