exhibition

First known use of iPads, iCloud, and Photostream

indian_art

Taken with iPhone 4S through glass, 2″ across

I met an old and dear friend, Mamen Saura who was visiting New York and we went to a exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India, 1100–1900.

The exhibition is made up mostly of book pages displayed flat. The scale is so small that the museum has a box of large magnifying glasses that are essential for seeing the pieces, even if you have perfect vision (which I don’t, I used both my reading glasses and the magnifiers).

I hadn’t been to the Met in years and I have to say, it’s so overwhelming my head was spinning. Mamen and I took in the first room of this six room show and had to go sit down and have lunch, we were totally exhausted. We went back and saw the rest of it but in fact, we both ran out of energy before the end. I plan to return with my wife Anne to see it again, it’s that good.

On the way to that exhibition we passed through the new permanent exhibition of Islamic art which is also spectacular. The Met really knows how to display art and while this is to be expected, not every museum does as good a job. I’m not trying to be a “New York snob” but in fact, MoMA is also an excellent place to see an exhibition: the Henri Cartier Bresson show that Anne and I saw there recently was beautifully presented.

Note: nn closer inspection of this Indian art from the 1500’s we found the beginnings of Apple marketing to the rich and famous. We weren’t aware that Apple made pink iPads but no doubt the teenage girls of that era were pleased as punch over it.

The Art of Everyday Objects

Stacked Glasses

Gary Sharp and I are doing a two person show at The North Bend, Oregon Public Library in June, 2009: The Art of Everyday Objects. These are my submissions.

They’re printed on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Photo Rag paper and cut to 12″ squares mounted in 21″ frames and they look darn good if you ask me (you didn’t but there you have it). We also have notecards of each piece as well.

I think this will be a great show and as always, it’s a pleasure to work with Gary on it.

Ashes and Snow opening

David Darling

Last Thursday we went down to New York for the opening of the Gregory Colbert photography installation, Ashes and Snow. We went primarily to support my wife’s ex-husband and my friend, David Darling who composed much of the ambient music used in the installation. Even at a mobbed and noisy opening in a cavernous and cold space, the music shone through. Coupled with a movie that was showing at the far end of the space, David’s music was a perfect compliment for the large scale photographs.

Ashes and Snow Photograph

Unfortunately, as soon as I entered the space I was told to put my camera away so I took few pictures and you’re better off going to see this amazing show than looking at even high quality pictures online: the space, photographs, lighting, and sound are breathtaking. The 10 foot by 4 foot (almost cinemascope scale) photos are printed on handmade Japanese paper, are sepia tone, and are coated with wax. The effect is much like a sepia version of Irving Penn platinum prints: a soft, rich, deep, and contemplative look that is in total contrast to the sharp, photos I’ve been trying to make for years.

This is not documentary photography so if you think you’re going to a National Geographic-like show, you will be disappointed; this is a successful exercise in photographing animals and people in water, in temples, and in other settings and presenting it in a such a way to build a mood, a sense of harmony, a feeling. And it works incredibly well.

Ashes and Snow Structure

The Nomadic Museum structure that houses this show was designed by architect Shigeru Ban and will travel with this show to various countries on its world tour. The building is built with large shipping containers, stacked and a “tent” with structural elements made of paper tubes. The lighting is spectacular and the ambient sound is everywhere. Unfortunately, the evening the show opened the outside temperature was 6 (fahrenheit) and because the space is only marginally heated, we froze and had to move through it fast. But, as March marches on, the space will warm up and the show will be more accessible weather-wise. The entire show breaks down into pieces that are loaded into the shipping containers which are then put on a ship and taken to the next venue.

This show is without a doubt one of the important photo exhibitions of our lifetimes and it is being underwritten by numerous big names including George Soros. I saw the show The Family of Man as a child in New York and this show is on a par with it although very different in execution. I’m going to return to New York later in the month to see it again, hopefully with fewer people in the building so I can enjoy the photography. I did splurge and buy the show catalog which is a beautifully made book of the entire show, printed on beautiful paper with similar color and depth of the actual photos.