Friday, March 29, 2013

-Bioshock-

I've made the argument before that video games truly are art and not just diversion. Storytelling combined with stark visuals and immersive experience. What else is art going to prove to be? Gaming is a nexus of different crafts and while, yes, we use it as a means of escapism and it would be easy to dismiss as lowbrow entertainment, I could spend hours formulating an argument for its validity, and I will...eventually. But the reality is I really need to get back to Bioshock Infinite. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

I've been a long time gone. From my blog, from my hobbies, from my mind. Last year sucked the god damned life out of me but I'm slowly clawing my way back into something that resembles myself and I'm finally feeling the flutter of wanting to create again. I spent the bulk of last year trying not to drown, trying not to choke. Now it's time to get this boat out of the irons.  photo gunstain003_zpsba1b0ca7.jpg I feel in love with photography as a substitute for a life that had been left in wreckage. I needed something to absorb me, define me and, most of all, distract me. Ten years ago, it did just that. A decade later and another life change has slammed me smack in the face and I wish I could say I had let myself get swept up in craft and art and the neuroses of creating. I've been about as inspiring as a dust bin. But I'm changing that. I'm looking back through my last ten years of effort and seeing something worth loving, something that was fucking awesome for me. Not awesome in the cowabunga, tubular, totally gnarly way. Awesome in the religious way. The spiritual, sweep me up and gut my emotions and make me say thank you for it. But also, in the cowabunga, tubular, totally gnarly way, too. I'm back, bitches.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

-Hell of a Town-

I've been talking about my trip to New York for months now. I feel like it's going to become that one night stand that just stays with you afterwards. Gets under your skin, makes you wonder 'what if'. All that hokey shit. That's what New York is doing to me. Making me think about it.

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It's an easy place to fall in love with. Old buildings, new ideas. Convergence. But you still have all your independence. You remain your own island even within the swarm.

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That seems like a whole bunch of sweet word bullshit, and yeah, it probably is. But I keep thinking about it and I keep thinking about whether I could see myself there. I keep wondering if I can see myself anywhere, really. It's been a long time since I felt that there was a place that I could maybe suss out a place for myself in the world. It was nice to be reminded that it's something that, in the end, I really do want. Even if that place isn't New York. Even if that place isn't America. It's nice to know that I haven't fallen so far away from myself yet that I still have that desire.

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It's also nice to have a picture or two to remember that feeling.

Monday, September 26, 2011

-Klassy with a K-

In an effort to class up this joint, I've been buying a few small pieces of art. Books, prints, vinyl toys and the like. Small stuff, mostly. No major investments, unless you count the inevitable bajillions I will one day not make off my own work. Now, in an effort to avoid laundry for another half hour, I'm telling you all the freak about it.

Last month I finally managed to get up to New York and visit with my kindred JP, of Art Brut(e) fame. The epic adventures and mild heathenism experienced deserve their own post (and an offering of the photos I snapped while up there), but one of the many, many slices of awesome I got to see while I was up there was the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibit at The Met.

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I was originally pretty bummed out because the show had been slatted to end two weeks before I'd even be in New York and I had to resign myself to missing out on seeing the icon's work in person and decided I'd just have to buy the book while up there and content myself with that.

But then, last minute, they extended the show and I made it in the last days. Five hours of standing in line later- no joke, we were really in line for that long. I finally got to see the work of one of my idols.

To some, fashion is clothes and nothing but. No matter how you present it to them, it'll always still be clothes. But there are still people who will deny comic books as legitimate literature and to them, I proffer my middle finger. I do the same to those who can look at the work of McQueen and do not see the art.

The exhibit I'll hold off on gushing about until the actual New York post, but it was amazing. It was one of those insane moments in your life where you feel an immensity before you and I'm so thankful that, not only was the show extended, but that my friends were willing to stand in line with me for over five hours. And wait patiently while I ran off to buy the companion book.

As far as owning art books, this is really one of my first for realsies one. However, it was quickly followed by receiving Kris Kuksi's Divination & Delusion from my brother as an (extremely) belated birthday present.

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Kuksi is this insane Rococo style sculptor who has been making a lot of splashes lately. His pieces are compulsive and elaborate and, in truth, a little over whelming when you first encounter them.

The thing about art books is that they are stupid expensive. I mean, it makes sense, I know how much it costs to print high quality pictures, but how many artists are laying around with 100 bones they can afford to toss at a Francesca Woodman book? Not this diva.

However, a couple weeks back, I came across Ashley Wood's Sparrow collection. Each book features a different artist and, for about $12, offers you 50 pages of their work, often with preliminary sketches and the kind.

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I've splurged on four so far, one by Ashley Wood himself, as well as Phil Hale, Glenn Barr and John Watkiss. They're small and concise. They don't waste anytime inventing meaning behind the work, they just present it to you and allow you to digest. It's something I can really appreciate.

The gallery I am showing at this month had several prints by Dave Perillo. Kitschy, retro and pop culture filled, I picked a couple up:
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Look, while I can't say Flash without doing it in a singsong voice in homage to Freddy Mercury, I am also known by many a friend to be a wee bit Kraken obsessed. So, it was pretty much a "Holy crap" when I saw this little gem:

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Tomorrow I will have to go buy some frames for these babies. And speaking of things I need to frame when ever the flying freak they get here, I ordered these from The Kills website:
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I had to go through hell to order them, due to the complicated set up of their website's credit card service, but order them I did, friends. Order them I did. And I've been feverishly checking the tracking status ever since.

The last little tid bit from my art haul over the last several weeks was actually a vinyl toy I picked up today:
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Brandt Peters has a blind box line out, and I'm a notorious sucker for those. I really like the little dude. I'll have to buy more.

And because it's freaking awesome:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

-Lomo Llama-

So, I accidentally bought a Diana. Oops.

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The local comic shop I tend to slink into around my lunch break happened to be having a fairly massive mark down on all of their Lomography equiptment. Now, I already have a cute little red Holga courtesy of the super fantastic Petra, and it's a great little starter piece for someone looking to try out a medium format rig (and comparatively cheap, as well) But the Diana mini they had on the shelf was just so damned cute.

So yes, I bought the stupid thing. Oops.

Maybe now I'll be able to use that 8lbs of film I hauled back from Texas two years ago and promptly did nothing with.

-36 and Not Much Else-

I love photography. I love the world it allows me to experience. I love the fact that it allows me to share that world with others. I love the view points it forces me to consider. I love the fact that it totally freaks out certain family members and causes them to ask my mother if I've happened to have "fallen in wit dem devil worshipers and such." I love it. Truly.

But in between all the high fiving demons and terrorizing the Faithful, I've become increasingly aware of the stigma of "The Photog" and thusly, become increasingly uncomfortable at times with owning the fact that eight years ago I was bit by the shutterbug and never looked back. There's that little glaze you see in people's eyes sometimes when you mention what you work in, and realize you somehow just lost credibility. You're suddenly Some Chick with a Camera and not the Ass Busting Artist you damned well know you are.

The validation photography has always sought as a medium of art is nothing new. From the beginning it's had to bob and weave the dismissive comments that it's a lesser and, somehow, easier art and when there isn't in-fighting between the digitals and the analogs, even now there is flack to dodge from the painters and sculptors and people who shit corn cobs into glass bowls for a living.

Now when anyone with a cell phone app or a pirated copy of PhotoShop can style themselves as a photographer, it makes that weird, squishy struggle for legitimacy that more strange. It's the same elitism the cute girl at GameStop gets whenever a guy asks her "Yeah, but are you really a gamer?" Instead it becomes, "Yeah, but are you really an artist?"

It's easy to press a shutter release. It's not easy to know your equipment well enough to truly command it. That said, I'd by lying and flying if I said some of my favorite pieces weren't complete accidents that I have positively no hope of ever recreating. Hell, even some of my favorite pieces by others were the result of cellphone captures, or came out of the dreaded Whimsy Land- Hipster- requisite Holga/Diana/Lomo/What the hells ever.

So whatever, be an indie fuck messing with your white balance. Be a hyper technician calibrating every mirror in your principle body to the point that you forget to bother with actual composition. Just have fun with what you're doing, damnit.

Me? I'm just happy my fan page has 36 members. And none of them are my mother.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

-BFehhhh-

So, I've made the big decision to not only return to school, but to switch into a full photography degree track. My family always knew me as an academic and as a science minded individual, so they're definitely having to adjust, but over all they seem happy for me.

Regardless, I'm happy for myself. When I was studying photography formally, for my minor, I just remember being so happy, having a full drive and actually sinking my teeth into what I was doing. I felt grounded for once in my life and I feel like I just need to reclaim a little of that old sentiment.

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One of my oldest friends came down for the 4th of July weekend and we got a chance to talk about the program I'll be studying (she previously got her BFA from the same university) and what to be prepared for. We also had the chance for an impromptu photo shoot.

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I don't know. For me, all of this is that little thread of fresh air in a stale room. I'm excited in a way I haven't genuinely felt in a very long time.