Friday, January 31, 2014

Thank fucking god its Friday. AMIRIGHT. Not really though… I'll be spending my weekend studying for midterms that I have next week. Yup you heard it here folks.. midterms! & it's not even February yet.. well it will be next week but #ugh. My school is a lot of work & sometimes it just really sucks. On  a more positive note, my favorite part of the week is here, friday obviously, but photographer friday!!

William Eggleston is an American color photographer born in Tennessee (I suck at American geography, I had to spell check Tennessee how embarrassing). He exhibits work similar to Stephen Shore, as in he is drawn to the ordinary. Again, something I find myself drawn to as well. Recently, three dozen of his large format prints were sold $5.9 million in an auction at Chritie's to benefit his own organization, Eggleston Artistic Trust. Which sounds like a loud of crap to me because it's his own organization to preserve his own images. One of his prints set a world auction record for 'single print by the photographer' for $578,000. He has been quoted saying, "I only photograph one thing one time." As a photographer I find that extremely hard to believe. In order to get the perfection he is able to achieve in every shot (compositionally, etc.) there is just no way. There is also just no point. Why only photograph something one time? If you have the option to photograph it a few times at a few different angles, distances, etc., why not? How do you know that just stepping a few feet back won't completely change the image in an amazing way? Or flipping it from horizontal to vertical won't redefine the image and the subject? Whether his remark is true or not, his imagery is beautiful. 

All images © William Eggleston

Here's what I'm listening to:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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I've always found tattooing a beautiful form of expression and memorial for a certain important aspect of one's life. I'm not a big advocate for getting something not meaningful at all, especially something someone just thinks "looks cool" - those are the tattoos people usually regret. We've all met our fair share of people with the classic '90s tribal band tattoo, or the an infinite sign, or a cross… that they just got on a whim because they thought it looked cool. (Don't get me wrong, these are interesting ideas, but be sure you can back it up with something actually meaningful!) I am all for tattoos that someone can sit me down and explain to me something particularly important about why they chose it for themselves and why they want to keep it on their bodies forever; the minute someone just shrugs I get a little suspect. These individuals are the "shruggers" that I take issue with, at which point I excuse myself from the conversation that I regretfully found myself in, so I can go bang my head into a wall. My stories are quite simple but are both very important to me. 

My first tattoo I got relatively close to my 18th birthday. I had always admired the beauty and expression of tattooing oneself, so I had been thinking a lot around that time about what I found important enough to me. I wanted to memorialize this important time of my life with something that represented it. Art and art history had always been a huge part of my life, and still is to this day. I was about to embark on my first year in college and I was going to be studying my true passion: photography. Although not a photographer, Salvador Dali was a major influence in a lot of my creative processes at the time of my artistic career. His exuberant personality and creativity was something that I had hoped to embody in myself and my own work. I settled on a quote that has been said to be his last words, "I do not believe in my death." Although he would have probably spoke this in his native language, Spanish, I chose to get this in French, "Je ne crois pas en ma mort". I have always been enamored by French culture and the language. My true dream is to live in France. 

The second tattoo I recently acquired. A lot of changes have happened to me in the past year that it would take me three weeks to truly explain everything. Almost every aspect of my life has managed to change in a radical way. I moved cities, transferred schools, broke up with my ex boyfriend of four years, lost a lot of truly important friends, started dating someone completely different, adopted my pup, & have been dealing with some truly grounding family issues. I have the type of personality to never really talk much about how much all of this has really effected me, but it has. Some for the positive but a lot of negative too. I have always found it really difficult to remind myself to stay positive and to be grounded in any situation. Sometimes I just have to take a minute to gather my thoughts and remind myself of these important mentalities. 

The Om or Aum symbol has ancient relations to Hinduism and Buddhism, and often is chanted in the mantra, "om mani padme hum." I have never considered myself truly religious, but I do agree find myself relating to a lot of Buddhist philosophy. And although I don't often find myself chanting this particular mantra, I do often tell myself my own mantras in these times. I settled on the Om symbol to constantly remind me to stay grounded and positive in all times, no matter how hard it might be. I got it on my ankle as almost a literal reminder to stay grounded. 

Here's what I'm listening to:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hermit Life

With all of this recent snow fall and sickness, I have become the biggest hermit alive. My life is normally pretty consistent with hiding away in my apartment on my couch behind a computer screen, but it has become a serious struggle to even take Sushi outside. I did manage to dye my hair a shade of lavender in the mean time & see Schoolboy Q perform. (Even if I couldn't actually see a damn thing… #shortgirlproblems)

Winter is cute and all but for like… max three days. Certainly not cute after its been snowing constantly for the entire month of January or when it turns to brown slush and I slip and slide while attempting to walk. I'm prepared to pick up and move to the southern region of France any day now - who is paying for my plane ticket?

Here is my less than exciting life the past few days in iPhone photograph form.

My neighborhood mid-blizzard.

My mama sent me flowers because I've been so sick.
It's a flower dog with a stethoscope, medical bag, & a head mirror!

The most delicious snack. Gluten-free toast, avocado, & tomatoes 
avec black coffee. 

Sushi in her snow booties! 
Essential when you live in the city & the sidewalks are covered
in really harmful salts. I swear by Pawz dog boots. 

Gluten free cinnamon Chex cereal with blackberries & raspberries. 
Très yummy. 

Here's what I've been listening to recently:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"When I was young there were beatniks. Hippies. Punks. Gangsters. Now you're a hacktivist. Which I would probably be if I was 20. Shuttin' down MasterCard. But there's no look to that lifestyle! Besides just wearing a bad outfit with bad posture. Has WikiLeaks caused a look? No! I'm mad about that. If your kid comes out of the bedroom and says he just shut down the government, it seems to me he should at least have an outfit for that."

Happy Saturday all. Just needed to share this important message with blogland. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ugh I've been so bad this week at posting! My apologies!! Between the snow days, catching up with class work, have a zillion tests on this morning, and on top of that, having the worst cold of the century, it has set me behind a shit-ton. I have mostly been spending my time cowering under my blankets with multiple rolls of toilet paper to blow my nose into and sipping on tea and honey. Send positive energy to make me feel better because I haven't felt this shitty in awhile. :(

Enough about me, its Photographer Friday!! Yay! 

This week I wanted to introduce an iconic photographer, Stephen Shore. The past few weeks I was posting about more portrait-driven photographers, while Shore relates more to what I tend to shoot. His stuff is absolutely amazing and is absolutely inspiring to me on every level. I feel more of a connection to his work than the last few photographers. Yes, McGinley and Collins create beautiful images, but their work is something that I wish I was confident enough to partake in, while Shore's work is something I find myself more drawn to when I am behind the camera. 

Stephen Shore is another American photographer, who works primarily with film. He began using 35mm, and then medium format, and eventually into the world of large format, or 8x10. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, I will post images below with what these types of film cameras are. Large format allows the photographer to work with the largest size negative, which allows them in the darkroom to create beautiful, larger images, without losing any detail. Anyway, Shore has managed to create beauty in the seemingly banal scenes in American landscape. It is pure beauty and has always been an inspiration. He is alive and well today and is the director of photography at Bard College. 

All photographs © Stephen Shore

For those of you who have no idea what I was talking about in terms of cameras, let me teach you all briefly about the beautiful and lovely world of film photography! A lot of modern day photographers and artists consider film a dead art, but if one is interested in a more fine art approach to the arts, I think film is the only way to go. Personally, when I am creating a film image, my work is so much closer to me. When I am snapping away with a DSLR, (digital single-lens reflex camera) I never feel the same connection to my work. Film has much more of a process and everything must be correct the first time around. Sure, you can correct for a lot of things in the darkroom, but if you had just gotten in correct the first time around you would spend significantly less time and money correcting. There is also a limited amount of images that one can take so every photograph you think that you see, you must be pretty sure that this is something you want to capture. With digital, everything is just click click click and then delete later. You basically have unlimited attempts with little to no consequence at an image. If you are a complete novice with the workings of a camera and what all of the lingo means, thats okay you can be a pro on photoshop and fix it all later. Which I strongly disagree with

Anyway, the cameras I was discussing earlier were 35mm, medium format (120), and large format (8x10). Each camera produces different sizes and works with different size negatives, and it is truly up to the photographer themselves what they would like to deal with. 35mm is the most common now because of it is easy and portable. Medium format is also somewhat still popular because, again it is easy and portable. Large format is not portable for a long shoot by any means. I would not take my large format camera and walk around the city all day just hoping to find an image. The benefit to large format is being able to capture and keep a lot of detail in the image. The smaller the negative is and the larger you want your image to be, the more you enlarge it in an enlarger in the darkroom, the more information you are losing. Larger negatives allow for larger prints and a lot more detail within the image. Each has a very different process in which the image is projected onto it's negative and then later how it is processed in the darkroom. There is so much information about photography, especially film, that I feel needs to be shared because so many individuals have not even an inclining about it. It is a lovely form of art that I think should be taken advantage of more on a daily basis, way more so than using anything digital. If anyone has any questions, needs something elaborated on, or ever needs to know anything about photography, please, please contact me! I am always willing to help and to educate! (I'm sorry for writing so much today but I miss practicing photography full-time so this was somewhat of a rant for me.)

35mm film camera

A medium format, 120mm, camera. This camera is also twin-reflex lens.

Medium format, 120mm, single-lens reflex. 

Large format, 8x10, on a tripod. 

Large format camera, 8x10


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reliving My Childhood… One Sim Family at a Time

As I am currently being snowed in inch by inch, I will be/have been hiding underneath my blankets in my bed all day. I have also managed to somehow, miraculously, do something on the computer other than play the Sims 3.

Remember this?

Fortunately/unfortunately I have always been an avid Sims fan. I can still remember rushing home from school and just sitting in my room all night with my eyes glued to a screen playing the OG Sims. (Hello parents, this is why I now wear glasses to see anything) I would spend hours exacting a family, their house, their lives. Who can forget deleting the ladder from the pool and having them wave their hands in the air? Or having the stove catch on fire and the dreaded Reaper come and kill someone? I know that everyone has made their "dream" family, which consists of your perfect life, with your perfect spouse, in your perfect house. For hours my ears would be serenaded by the theme song from Buy Mode. Of course, no true Sim-er could ever play without the cheats…. rosebud ;:;:;, or as the game progressed: Motherlode. I have played the game through all generations of it, (Sims, Sims 2, & now Sims 3… Pets) and I am sorry to say that here I sit, ten plus years later, still sitting my ass behind a computer screen clicking away on a simulated game of life. Not sure if its sad, pathetic, or whatever, but at least I can do it now with a glass of wine in my hands.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Excuse me, while I toot my own horn

Yes, here I am honking away over here. My boyfriend and I recently decided that we will be starting our own independent, small clothing line based out of Philadelphia. We know a few people who have been doing it and just thought, "fuck.. we could do this… but better." We're both creative individuals and both have some awesome ideas. We're currently looking for somewhere/someone to print the t-shirts for us but we have a lot of ideas and designs in the works. We plan to sell t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, hats, beanies, for both the gentlemen and ladies out there. Really, we're planning on making anything that we think would look dope.. and is affordable. We know what it's like to be a broke ass kid (hence the name). Definitely keep checking back because this won't be the last time you'll hear about Broke Ass Kidz. If you're interested please don't hesitate to contact me via e-mail or comment below.

Friday, January 17, 2014

TGIF!! That means another round of Photography Friday here. Hope everyone had a wonderful week and are bracing themselves for a weekend of hopefully drunken escapades. Maybe I have inspired you enough to begin to photograph and document such escapades? No interesting story started with drinking a glass of water. 

So this week I wanted to exhibit a pretty well known photographer in the art world: Ryan McGinley. If you aren't familiar with his work it is all beautiful film pieces that amaze me every time I look at them. He and my last week's feature's work, Petra Collins, remind me of each other. He has even photographed her. A lot of focus on the human body and form as well as the strange activities that separate us from one another, the two tend to focus on. They are also extremely interested in the preservation and study of youth and youth culture. 

McGinley, born in 1998, is an American photographer based out of New York City. He is local to the area and he and I both grew up in NJ. He also attended the same university as I, Parsons The New School for Design, although he did not study photography while he was there. His work has been exhibited around the world and particularly in New York City. He is featured in the public collections in the Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney, and more. His work has been described as, "freezing a stage in a lifetime. Young and beautiful is as fleeting as a camera snap -- and thus all the more worth preserving." 

© Ryan McGinley 2013 - Body Loud

© Ryan McGinley 2013 - 2013

All images copyrighted © Ryan McGinley 2013