Went to Powell’s nearby and was happy to see my book prominently displayed in the photo section.
Jason Eskenazi, a photographer, worked for a time as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum. For two months in 2009 he arranged to get himself assigned to the galleries housing the exhibition based on Robert Frank’s seminal book The Americans. As he recognized photographer friends visiting the show, he began querying them about the images from the book that meant most to them. After quitting his job, he continued to reach out to photographers, some well-known, most not.
The result is a compendium of these short commentaries printed without images entitled The Americans List. It is necessary to know The Americans, or to have the book handy, while perusing this slender little volume, but most photographers have seen and assimilated Frank’s work at some level. Most have at least one image that stands out for them, and I am no exception.
I think of Robert Frank’s The Americans as a road film that takes us sweeping across the landscape from one scene to another, a series of glimpses, anecdotes, gestures, faces, places, jump cuts, disjunctions, jarring, restive movement from one point to the next. There is no story, but thousands of possible stories.
View from hotel window, Butte, Montana:
I wake up from a dead sleep. Can’t tell what time of day, the light dull, the air thick with copper dust, the distant growl of machines. They are digging, devouring the earth, and they’d gladly eat the town alive if they could, human bodies and their thrown-up shelters and shops, inconvenient constructions, in the way of the divine right of power, of electricity speeding through wires.
I am traveling, on the run to be honest, took the car, left my wife behind. I am standing naked in the window staring through the flimsy curtains at the dark sullen town. It’s the end of the world. But I’m happy. I’m free — for the moment.
Coffee Table — © Brian Rose
In the printed paper, Sunday.
Online link here.
Adding to a post from a few days ago:
In 1982 I was asked by Frank Christian to take photographs for his forthcoming album “Somebody’s got to do it.” I went to Frank’s skylighted studio apartment on the top floor of a Greenwich Village townhouse, and we sat around chatting, drinking coffee, snapping pictures. The two images used for the cover were from that session–back when albums were 12×12 inch LPs.
I didn’t do a lot of photos of musicians in those days–largely because I wanted to be one of the songwriters, not just a witness to the scene. In retrospect I wish I had taken more pictures. I did, however, do a number of album covers for songwriter friends, and sadly, most of them–Frank, Richard Meyer, Tom Intondi, and Jack Hardy have died, way too soon.
Not many people made their own albums in those days, and Frank took his cue from Jack Hardy who was recording and releasing his own. That’s Jack’s Great Divide label on the lower right. Not a real company, but a certain imprimatur, nevertheless. I think that’s where the title comes from, somebody’s got to do it, and Frank would say it ironically with a sly grin.
ArtUp on ABC News, Channel 7
From last week:
Nice to see some publicity for FAB’s ArtUp program, which involves using construction scaffolds, containers, and other kinds of spaces and surfaces for public art. My WTC mural on the sidewalk shed on East 4th Street between the Bowery and Second Avenue is shown twice in the video, although I’m not mentioned by name. It will be up until January 27, so you still have a couple of weeks to see it.
Thoughts over breakfast this morning–cognitive dissonance department.
Mario Batali, celebrated chef and restaurateur at a Time person of the year event:
“The way the bankers have toppled the way that money is distributed, and taken most of it into their own hands,” Mr. Batali said, “is as good as Stalin or Hitler, the evil guys” whom Time named Man of the Year long ago, Stalin in 1942, Hitler in 1938.
The internet lit up with indignation from Wall Street: ”Cancel all reservations at Batali’s eateries, including Babbo and Del Posto.” Yet another wrote, “Done with Batali restaurants.”
Meanwhile at Occupy Wall Street David Crosby and Graham Nash performed a five song set at Zuccotti Park. From a mostly snarky NYT article:
When the concert ended, to protracted cheers and vigorous finger-waggling, an oft-used signal of appreciation inside the park, Ms. Mandaglio spoke of the thrill of seeing a favorite group from a bygone era. She was asked what song of theirs she liked best. “The one they were playing before,” she said, taking a long drag on a cigarette as she dangled the sunflower between her fingers.
But she was not the best person to ask, Ms. Mandaglio added. She was really more of a Bob Dylan fan.
And at Penn State University in response to the firing of famed football coach Joe Paterno and the forced resignation of the university president, students rioted overnight in downtown State College, Pennsylvania. Never mind that the ousters were the result of a grave mishandling of child sexual abuse.
Some blew vuvuzelas, others air horns. One young man sounded reveille on a trumpet. Four girls in heels danced on the roof of a parked sport utility vehicle and dented it when they fell after a group of men shook the vehicle. A few, like Justin Muir, 20, a junior studying hotel and restaurant management, threw rolls of toilet paper into the trees.
Time and Space is now largely done–I am still tweaking the images–and we are working on the last details of the layout. The book is based on the Blurb prototype that is still available, but with a more refined design and a tighter edit of the photographs. The new Time and Space will be larger (about 9×12 inches) and and will sell for a lower price. There will be a limited edition slipcover version of the book with an original print inside, which will be really beautiful and well worth collecting.
This is the final week of my Kickstarter campaign, and I am just over 50% of the way to my goal. This is your last chance to participate in this project by making a donation–at whatever level you are comfortable with. A donation of $50 gets you a copy of the book as soon as it is available, and $250 gets you the limited edition book. I have received several donations of $10, which makes me very happy. Some people have very tight budgets, but enjoy going on Kickstarter and sprinkling money around to projects they find worth supporting. I have donated to another project myself and plan to do more.
Please join in–your help is appreciated and needed. Thanks!