The following was taken from an article in the Janyary 4, 2011 ARTFORUM By Travis Diehl. All copyrights are held by ARTFORUM and Travis Diehl.
A DeLorean, gull-wing doors ajar, sits on the rack at the mechanic’s. Its vintage California license plate insists: NOW. Yet the image (Matthew Brandt’s Aluminum, 2008—a LightJet print mounted on aluminum, no less) has the unmistakable dull sheen of an already obsolete future.
Curated by artist Matthew Porter, this tightly packed group show takes its name from the didactic 1951 film starring Ronald Reagan. Porter’s selections bring to mind another reference point: “Ronald Reagan and the Conceptual Auto Disaster,” a subheading in J. G. Ballard’s 1968 pamphlet “Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan.” As it poises the 1980s between midcentury optimism and current malaise, the exhibition has something of Ballard’s chilling erotics of catastrophe. The show achieves a kind of fetishized, polished stasis: the DeLoreans in the shop, for one, but also James Welling’s black-and-white print of a vehicle being jump-started (Jump, Averil Park, New York, NY, 1995) and Andrew Bush’s striking photos from 1989 of motorists driving classic cars. These last have long, elegiac titles that make poetry of technical description. In one, an old man “drift[s] northwest at approximately 68 mph,” “somewhere” in California, “one evening in 1989.” The subject is frozen in time, bathed in golden light, yet “drifting” with terrible velocity.
Like Reagan’s films, Porter’s show has plenty of sententious moments—Moyra Davey’s photo of vintage audio equipment (Receivers, 2003), Brandt’s print of dead bees rendered in bee parts (Bees of Bees, 2008), or Matthew Spiegelman’s blown-up photogram of a marijuana pipe (Glass Pipe Transfer 9, 2007)—as if to say this is the decade(nce) America asked for, and then some. In Mark Wyse’s Untitled Landscape, 1998, for example, the sprinkler system of a coastal SoCal villa battles a brown hillside for a moat of green lawn. Yet even where the works are blatant, they are also astute, as when Spiegelman photographs portions of the 35-mm filmstrips of trailers for ’80s teen flicks Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer. Against white backdrops dappled by the shadows of potted plants, the strips suggest the arrested, glossy motion of a Reagan-era adolescence—a past this show and its coldly nostalgic images are still working through.
Bedtime for Bonzo is on view through January 29, 2011
By Jim McKinniss
I was attending a talk about the current show “What’s New Pussycat?” given by Max Presneill at the Torrance Art Museum last Friday when I met local artist and photographer Steven Wolkoff. One of the first things Steven mentioned is his website which invites people to submit a photo and have it “Baldersaried”. I thought that this is a quite clever idea so I took the small note Steven had with the site address on it.
The website is http://www.baldessariyourlife.com/
Steven brings whimsey and fun to the experience of being a participant in a continually evolving group project. Be sure to visit the site and maybe even put Baldessari in Your Life.
By Jim McKinniss
Vivian Maier’s newly discovered photographs follow in the tradition of wonderful photographers such as Diane Arbus or Gary Winogrand. In the three photos shown above I am reminded of the photos both of these fine photographers. I do not know if Vivian was influenced by them but I can conjecture that she knew of them.
The following article by John Maloof appears in the January 18, 2011 issue Double Exposure which is an on-line magazine published by PhotoWorkshop.com. http://www.photoworkshop.com/
This was created in dedication to the photographer Vivian Maier, a street photographer from the 1950s – 1990s. Vivian’s work was discovered at an auction in Chicago where she resided most of her life. Her discovered work included over 100,000 mostly medium format negatives, thousands of prints, and a ton of undeveloped rolls of film. I have approximately 90-95% of the work.
Some have suggested that I add more information on the story of Vivian’s work and such. Here is what I know.
I acquired Vivian’s negatives while at a furniture and antique auction. From what I know, the auction house acquired her belongings from her storage locker that was sold off due to delinquent payments. I didn’t know what ‘street photography’ was when I purchased them.
It took me days to look through all of her work. It inspired me to pick up photography myself. Little by little, as I progressed as a photographer, I would revisit Vivian’s negatives and I would “see” more in her work. I bought her same camera and took to the same streets soon to realize how difficult it was to make images of her caliber. I discovered the eye she had for photography through my own practice. Needless to say, I am attached to her work.
After some researching, I have only little information about Vivian. Central Camera (110 yr old camera shop in Chicago) has encountered Vivian from time to time when she would purchase film while out on the Chicago streets. From what they knew of her, they say she was a very “keep your distance from me” type of person but was also outspoken. She loved foreign films and didn’t care much for American films.
Some of her photos have pictures of children and often times it was near a beach. I later found out she was a nanny for a family on the North Side whose children these most likely were. One of her obituaries states that she lived in Oak Park, a close Chicago suburb, but I later found that she lived in the Rogers Park neighborhood.
Out of the more than 100,000 negatives I have in the collection, about 20-30,000 negatives were still in rolls, undeveloped from the 1960′s-1970′s. I have been successfully developing these rolls. I must say, it’s very exciting for me. Most of her negatives that were developed in sleeves have the date and location penciled in French (she had poor penmanship).
I found her name written with pencil on a photo-lab envelope. I decided to ‘Google’ her about a year after I purchased these only to find her obituary placed the day before my search. She passed only a couple of days before that inquiry on her.
I wanted to meet her in person well before I found her obituary but, the auction house had stated she was ill, so I didn’t want to bother her. So many questions would have been answered if I had.
(c) John Maloof Collection
photos (c) Vivien Maier
By Jim McKinniss
Artists Ray Beldner, Brendan Lott, Sonja Schenk, and Annie Seaton are pleased to announce their upcoming exhibition, Misappropriation. The pop-up show, which takes place during the Art Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair, includes paintings, mixed media, digital prints, and small-scale installation all using and misusing found photo-based imagery. The exhibition will be on display at Studio Orange in Culver City, California.
Since the early collages of Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp’s use of found object for his series of “ready-mades,” artists have felt free to use, reproduce, appropriate and incorporate materials found within popular culture and society. These raw materials reflect and embrace the world around us: snippets of newspapers and magazines, film and TV excerpts, snapshots, advertisements, news headlines, bits of text, characters, fragments of song, and so on. Artists used this source material just as artists have used raw material for thousands of years.
Now with the ubiquity of computers, digital cameras and the Internet, artists have access to the world’s greatest libraries, image databases, and interactive tools at their fingertips. As a result, traditional artistic practice is changing once again as artists explore the potential of these new technologies and incorporate them into their working methodologies. For each of these artists, the Internet and digital technology play a vital role in their creative processes.
Appropriation as an artistic practice and visual strategy is not new to contemporary artists, but the case that this exhibition makes is that the Internet enables a new kind of appropriation or borrowing, a “mis-appropriation” which is the intentional—sometimes humorous, sometimes dark—misuse of someone else’s material. In this case, their images or their likenesses. Each artist in the show collages images they have taken or found on the Internet or elsewhere, and they re-purpose and re-contextualize them in a way that reflects on their origins. They are in a sense “meta-images” misappropriated for the purpose, in part, to reflect on the picture’s original purpose and meaning.
Viewing Jim McKinniss photographs, 2nd City Council Art Gallery reception, Blackberry by Doug Stockdale
Yesterday evening was the opening reception for the 10th anniversary of the 2nd City Council Art Gallery in Long Beach. Nice music, nice food and a lot of nice art to enjoy, as well as a number of members from the PhotoExchange, including the exhibitors and fans of the artists.
The 10th Anniversary show runs January 8 through February 6th.
John Montich, a long time member of The Photographers’ Exchange, is the featured artist in the show “Off the Hinges” at Utopia gallery in Long Beach, CA. The work for this show is comprised of twenty 4×5 transparencies created from 35mm slides using a Daylab slide printer. These twenty transparencies are one of a set from the edition of 15.
When asked about John’s work for this show, James Scarborough, who is a Los Angeles area based art, theatre, and film critic had this to say:
“With bulwark forms that appear held in place with dynamic compositional lines, “Off the Hinges”, appears exceptionally well composed. Upon closer examination however, some little something – an object, an errant line, a shaft of light – crops out of nowhere. While these little flourishes don’t threaten the balance of the composition, they do remind us that no work of art is vouchsafed without some form of plastic struggle, whose resolution provides one with the same satisfaction that arises from a resolved musical cord.”
“Off the Hinges” should be on your list of art shows not to miss in 2011.
The Artist’s reception is Saturday, Februrary 12th 4:00 to 6:00PM
Utopia is located at 445 East First St., Long Beach, CA.
By Jim McKinniss
The images above are by photographers (left to right) Andre Kertesz, Elaine Mayes, and Carleton E. Watkins.
HELMS DAYLIGHT STUDIO
3221 HUTCHISON AVE. #E • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90034
In the Heart of the Helms Bakery District
An Exhibition of Classic Photographs from the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries.
Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, CA
Michael Dawson Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Etherton Gallery, Tucson, AZ
Charles A. Hartman Fine Art, Portland, OR
Steven Kasher Gallery, New York, NY
Lee Gallery, Winchester, MA
Carl Mautz Vintage Photographs, Nevada City, CA Richard Moore Photographs, Oakland, CA
Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CA
William L. Schaeffer/Photographs, Chester, CT
Andrew Smith Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
The Weston Gallery, Carmel, CA
Stephen White Associates, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, January 15: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 16: 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.
Reminder for this coming week-end: PhotoLA
PHOTO LA CELEBRATES TWENTY YEARS AND RETURNS TO THE SANTA MONICA CIVIC AUDITORIUM
JANUARY 13 – 17, 2011.
Photo LA XX is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary, and is the longest running art fair west of New York, and is the largest photo-based art fair in the country. The fair will return to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium but will include off-site programming, events, seminars and discussions with celebrated artists like Uta Barth and Tim Hetherington.
So check out the link and see what interesting exhibitions, books, and events to consider: http://www.photola.com/
Hopefully see you there!
Best regards, Douglas
The opening reception will be on Sunday, January 9, from 2-5pm.
The gallery is located at 1702 Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103
By Jim McKinniss