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Month: January 2010

Aipad Photography Show New York

Aipad Photography Show New York

Much of photography’s past is on display at the Association of International Photography Art Dealers Photography Show, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. But if you are concerned about the future of the medium, there are only a few hints of what might be to come.

Mainly it is a show for collectors of vintage prints. Among the 72 dealers, scores are presenting usual-suspect inventories: Evans, Weston, Arbus and so on. Some, however, have exercised more creativity.

Photology, for one, has a marvelous display of small, sexually provocative Polaroids by a select few, including Helmut Newton, Carlo Mollino, Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe. At Hemphill there is an understatedly poetic series of pictures of old buildings in the South taken in the 1970s with a Kodak Brownie by William Christenberry.

Two galleries present remarkable, though very different, triplets.

Monroe has Eddie Adams’s famous 1968 picture of a South Vietnamese officer shooting a Vietcong suspect in the head, flanked within the same frame by shots in which the prisoner is being escorted by soldiers before his execution and has fallen to the ground after.

Bruce Silverstein has three variations on a subtly surreal 1948 portrait of a preteen girl with strangely bright eyes and curiously dark skin (she’s white). She seems an eerie blend of innocence and witchy experience.

Similarly weird pictures of children by Loretta Lux are at Yossi Milo, but they are in color and slightly distorted digitally. “Marianne,” in a neat powder-blue coat, is lovely if a little spooky, but the strangely solemn, big-eyed twins in polka-dot dresses in another image are scary. They look as if they escaped from Stanley Kubrick’s film “The Shining.”

There is a lot of work in the show that blurs the line between commercial and fine art. Danziger has pictures of the punk goddess Patti Smith by Annie Leibovitz. At PDNB Gallery there are still-life pictures of food by Robyn Stacey. A watermelon with a chunk cut out of it simultaneously calls to mind Baroque-era Spanish Realist painting and illustration for a contemporary gourmet food magazine.

As for the future, Bryce Wolkowitz offers a variety of electronically animated works, including a self-portrait by Shirley Shor that appears on a framed flat screen. Using a program she wrote, Ms. Shor created a composite image in which randomly changing pixels from pictures of herself and about 40 relatives and friends combine into a shimmering, constantly shifting single portrait.

One photographer who definitely has a future is Alex Prager, a young Los Angeleno who makes staged color photographs of women that synthesize the influences of Cindy Sherman, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Douglas Sirk. Her coolly romantic pictures are at Yancey Richardson, and she will be included in a show of new photography at the Museum of Modern Art in the fall.

Low sales make jewellers look beyond gold

Low sales make jewellers look beyond gold

Jewellers in Mumbai are trying various alternatives to attract the attention of consumers who have virtually stopped buying gold jewellery due to the huge rise in its price.

Kamlesh Shah, director of jewellery brand ‘Incollection’, is launching a collection of wooden jewellery for the Indian markets.

“Unlike gold, which needs skilled craftsmen, wooden jewellery is made using a machine.

The effect is smooth and classy,” he said.

Shah has already procured the machine from China, which is the largest manufacturer of innovative jewellery in the world.

“The jewellery costs just a fraction of cost (of gold jewellery) and we expect it to be popular with the younger generation in India,” he said.

A range of jewellery made of mixed metals is also in the works, Shah added. “We are also launching a range of products made from mixed metals, which include silver, gold and platinum that give a yellow gold kind of effect,” he said.

“Unlike jewellery made from silver which turns black, mixed metal jewellery retains its luster,” he pointed out, adding this collection would be marketed in Hong Kong, too.

Prashant Sarawgi, brand director, Episode, a company which specialises in silver jewellery said the company has seen consistent demand for silver jewellery over the last five years. “Compared to gold, silver offers returns to the tune of 10 to 15 per cent year-on-year. We expect the trend to continue in the future as well. With the prices of gold going beyond the reach of the common man, we expect the demand for silver to remain,” he said.

According to Sarawgi, silver products in India have not been marketed well and hence many do not know about the returns they offer. “A decent gift in gold would not come for less than Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. But you can get a decent silver artifact for Rs 5,000,” he said.

The Gitanjali group, which is one of the largest players in the organised jewellery market, had launched the Revv, a collection of jewellery made of alternate metals like stainless steel, tungsten and titanium, as far back as four years ago.

Hasmukh Bafna, president, Gold Chains & Jewellery Wholesalers Welfare Association, said those who buy jewellery made from alternative metal are basically impulsive buyers. “The percentage of consumers who opt for such jewellery is very less, say around one per cent. There is no resale value for such products,” he said.

Phillips County Art Show set March 25-28 in Holyoke

Phillips County Art Show set March 25-28 in Holyoke

The annual Phillips County Art Show will be held Thursday, March 25, through Sunday, March 28 at the Holyoke High School Commons, 545 E. Hale Street. The show will feature the work of regional artists of Colorado and Nebraska.

This is the eighth year the art show is being sponsored by the Phillips County Arts Council. Area artists, from beginners to professionals, and students are encouraged to enter their work.

A collection of the work of local artist Jessie Scott will be on display during this year’s art show.

Scott was born in 1912 and lived most of her life on a farm in the Haxtun area. Her interest in art began at an early age and continued into her 90s. She was a prolific painter, sculptor and stained glass artist. She created a series of stained glass windows located in the Haxtun Church of the Brethren, depicting the ministry of Christ beginning with the Nativity and ending with the Ascension.

Her artwork is well known in this area and around the country and is held in many private collections throughout the United States and in England. Scott died earlier this year. A limited number of prints of her work will be available for purchase.

Artists may enter their work on Thursday, March 25, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Accepted media will be acrylic, china painting, creative stitchery, collage, colored pencil, drawings, fibers, hand-thrown ceramics and pottery, jewelry, mixed media, oil, pastels, pen and ink, pencil, photography-traditional, photography-enhanced, scratch art, sculpture, stained glass, tole painting, watercolor, weaving and wood carving.

Judging will take place on Friday morning, March 26, and an oral critique for artists and anyone interested will be offered from 1:30 to 3 p.m. An oral critique for students will also be offered at 1:30 p.m. The show will be open for public viewing on Friday from 3 to 10 p.m., Saturday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday, March 28, from 1 to 4 p.m. Many art pieces are available for purchase and the public is encouraged to visit the show and appreciate the work of area artists.

This year’s entries will be judged by John Cross of Sterling. Cross is assistant professor of fine arts at Northeastern Junior College. He received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and his master’s in fine arts from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Mo. He has taught drawing, painting and design classes at colleges and universities in the St. Louis area. Mr. Cross refers to himself as an image maker.

While primarily a painter, he uses an eclectic range of techniques, media and imagery to create art works that reflect his thoughts on contemporary culture and the power of the individual. His work has been displayed throughout the U.S. and is held in several private and public collections.

Susan Reber of Sterling will judge student entries. She will be offering a student critique on Friday, March 26, at 1:30 p.m. Reber has been painting for 30 years and has taught art in grades K-12, as well as at the college level. She prefers watercolor and paints in both realistic and impressionistic styles. She also works with collegiate sports design and interior design.

RACIST GRAFFITI AT HIGHLANDS PARK IN CONCORD

RACIST GRAFFITI AT HIGHLANDS PARK IN CONCORD

Extremely racist graffiti (I’m talking really really bad) was found at Highlands Park last night on a bench, right as you enter the park from the Louisiana Drive side.

It’s one thing to see gang graffiti, but this was bad, and it doesn’t help that it’s so close to an elementary school.

Whoever you are that did this graffiti, you’re an idiot.

If you see anything suspicious at Highlands, or any other park around the city, call the police.

For those of you wondering, I do have a photo, but I decided not to post it since I know it would bother a lot of people.

Lou Correa and Young Senators Organize Graffiti Clean-up in City

Lou Correa and Young Senators Organize Graffiti Clean-up in City

State Senator Lou Correa and students from his Young Senators program are partnering with the City of Stanton to organize a Community Graffiti Clean-up event on Saturday, March 20th from 9am-12pm in the City of Stanton. The residential neighborhood taken over by graffiti is on the corner of Western Ave and Orangewood Ave along the railroad tracks that pass through the city.

“The homes of these hardworking Orange County residents have been ruined by graffiti and because of a worsening economy they cannot afford to keep covering up the graffiti themselves,” stated Senator Lou Correa. “I’m bringing folks together so we can clean it up and restore safety to this community.”

“The graffiti program of Senator Lou Correa comes at a very important time. Stanton is expanding our own graffiti program to fight this crime in our neighborhoods with increased fines, penalties and restitution along with an intervention program at local schools. This partnership will bring together the Stanton community,” stated Stanton Council Member David Shawver.

Spate of Graffiti Sprayings in Lakewood

Spate of Graffiti Sprayings in Lakewood

Several incidences of spray-painted graffiti in Lakewood, NJ, have residents on alert, though, sources say, the graffiti does not appear to gang-related or targeted at any specific group, but rather simple vandalism.

Graffiti is not a new phenomenon in Lakewood, where anti-Semitic writing has shown up in various neighborhoods, including Coventry Square, over the last few years.

In the more recent incidents, a new house on Ridge Avenue, at New York Avenue, was blatantly sprayed up in an act of vandalism.

In a second instance, a non-Jewish house of worship was sprayed with graffiti as well.

Jon Naar Interview | The Faith of Graffiti

Jon Naar Interview | The Faith of Graffiti

It’s 35 years since the release of Norman Mailer and Jon Naar’s Faith of Graffiti book. The legendary book has been re-issued and is available in a special edition at Wooster Collective, who conducted this interview discussing the impact of the book and the process of compiling such a legendary title in 1974.

‘Best of’ photo exhibition in Troy; emerging artists featured in Hudson

‘Best of’ photo exhibition in Troy; emerging artists featured in Hudson

While the annual Photo Regional may be the best barometer of what’s happening in the medium, the “Best of” exhibition series at the Photo Center of the Capital District in Troy, now in its second year, is becoming the gauge of emerging talent.

With 25 artists, “Best of 2009” is rough around the edges, but that’s its charm. The 52 frames jam the center’s cluttered space with a salon feel. It’s easy to miss the pictures lining the tight and winding hallway leading to a “Do Not Enter” sign on a back door.

Exposed pipes and some works hanging on an odd partition — wobbly as walls in an office cubicle — add to its casual, unfinished feel.

A majority of the frames are landscapes — many of the tried-and-true variety — yet nearly all exhibit a high level of technical execution. There are no real surprises, but some do push the medium. As last year, many artists have taken up photography recently; about one-fifth of the entries were unknown to organizers.

Like the Photo Regional, the “Best of” is organized through an open call. Submissions are whittled down to the best of a single artist. In a new twist, the works not making it to the walls are shown in a video compilation. Visitors are encouraged to vote for their three favorites in keeping with the center’s mission of developing new photographers.

In keeping with that spirit, here are my three selections:

“Hotel Movement” by Diane Reiner. A black-and-white geometric image that toggles between the ideas of existence and buildings, work and play, home and travel caught by a keen eye for the moment.

“Storm King at Dusk” by Lynn Palmiter. The Hudson River Valley has been the subject of some great art over the years, and this image adds a level of foreboding and mystery.

“Merging Earth and Sky” by Cheryle Gowie. Using a long exposure, the black-and-white image literally drags the sky to the tree tops, while its use of watercolor paper with various coatings frays the ends into jagged forms.

‘Emerging Artists 2010′

Most of the artists don’t have regular gallery representation; none went to a formal art school. They seem content to stay on the fringes of the art scene, breaking academic rules of color, form, material and composition with brooding, unabashed glee.

They are gathered in an exhibition called “Emerging Artists 2010” at the Limner Gallery in Hudson through March 27.

The pen/ink and digital image “DJ Change” by Gavin Weir has an Obama-esque figure spinning tunes at a decadent party with dollar bill-laden donkeys and elephants grinding and bumping on stripper poles. “Mary” by Tamara Staser-Meltzer is a caustic paper collage showing a deconstructed Jesus’ mother as anything but a virgin.

E. Thurston Belmer’s “A Red Home” takes the form of a homey and sedate 19th-century portrait, but startles with its pain and longing, while the highly graphic head shot on oil and canvas in “Obey” by Tim French conjures up fear and loathing in an autocratic society. There’s a rough quality of youth to the exhibition, and a wide variety of skill.