Monday, December 19, 2011

Tim Barber - Untitled Photographs - OHWOW Book Club

Downtown All Star Team, obscured.

Tim Barber

On Friday OHWOW Book Club hosted a party to mark the release of the book Untitled Photographs by Tim Barber. Tim is a great photo-maker and Untitled Photographs contains some real gems. The work spans a period of 15 years, and though not connected by any specific theme or content, all of the images hang together very nicely and form a beautiful, unique, and complicated whole.

The book contains a great essay by Jesse Pearson from which I will quote "...these two last things that are important to remember about Tim, the person, as you look at his photographs: He is funny and also he is attuned to pathos. On a gut level, he understands the comedy-tragedy connection...Please therefore try to feel in Tim's photos the marriage of 'this is funny' and 'the world is sad.' Both are there."

In addition to his personal work, Tim runs the amazing online gallery Tiny Vices, curates shows and exhibitions, throws awesome parties, and shoots commercial work that you may very well have somewhere in your house right now.

Tim is also a real nice guy and his encouragement played no small part in the creation of this very blog. Late last summer I was shooting a show/party that Tim helped to organize and he asked to use some of the photos on Tiny Vices. I was honored and flattered and it really sparked me to go out and shoot more and more. A few weeks later I stopped by to shoot the opening of a group show Tim had curated. Through him some of my pictures ended up being used by the New York Times in what will no doubt be the apex of my brief ‘photography’ ‘career’ if it can even be called such.

Point is that I barely know him and yet I owe him a lot. You owe it to your eyes to buy his book.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Paul Cary, Total Control, Thee Oh Sees - (Le) Poisson Rouge

Paul Cary and the Small Scaries

Total Conrtol

Thee Oh Sees

Doug McQueen, who made the night a real rager.

Paul Cary and the Small Scaries came to town on tour with Total Control and Thee Oh Sees, and I got to go see.

Paul Cary is responsible for creating one of my all-time favorite records ever, the self-titled “The Horrors” lp released on In The Red back in 2000. (You can download a FREE ,legit copy here.) I still remember the first time I ever saw that band play. I was on a road trip with friends and we were staying in Colorado Springs with an old buddy. It was snowing like crazy and we drove across town at minimum speed through the mush to see The Horrors play at a punk house. They were also from Iowa where we all went to school, and I’d hung out with all of them for years but somehow never heard their music. Those guys had driven literally all day through the blinding snow to play this show, had just arrived at like 11 pm, and when they finished setting up there were probably 11 people to play to. They absolutely destroyed the place. They sounded huge, everyone danced like maniacs, and they won my heart forever.

Anyway, I hadn’t seen Paul play in a long time and I was stoked when I walked by (Le) Poisson Rouge and saw his name on the sign. Having mismanaged my schedule on this Friday night I got to the venue just as the guys took the stage. The new songs are a little less frantic, but the same stripped-bare, propulsive, raw, trembling, rock-and-roll howl is there.  The band he’s built is perfect for him. John Crawford can do anything he wants to drums and Adam Penly on the organ adds a current of reverent southern smoothness. Anyway, these descriptions do nothing so please just listen.

Total Control were seriously awesome in a Fall, Gang of Four kind of way and I thought they played an awesome set.

Thee Oh Sees were also awesome, and I was impressed with how big they sounded. A real fun live band. About half way through the show I realized that the male singer /guitar player used to be in a band with some friends of mine, which I then filed under the “oh, neat” category in my brain.

About the same time I was realizing that, my best buddy Doug McQueen, back home in NYC for the first time in 6 months, was realizing that he was pretty much invincible. He also had to dance. Like a ritual of awakening, his dancing started to bring to life the dormant crowd around him. It was his semi-successful stage dive on-top-of /in-to the immobile throng that finally turned everyone loose. His persistence to enjoy hisself whipped up a maelstrom. He single handedly started the party. Sadly, the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. He would exit slightly early with a black eye and a smile.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

M.O.B. Group Show - Bullet Space

It's made of band-aids.

Leo Fitzpatrick

Richard Kern
Chocolate by Martynka Wawrzyniak
Martynka Wawrzyniak and Richard Kern

Last-last Friday I went to Bullet Space on the Lower East Side to see the group show “Mob.” I had some friends in town and thier band was playing a show (more on that in a future post) and their set started at 7:30, so by the time I left work I had less than 30 minutes to scoot all the way across town and back. I really feel like I shortchanged myself and anyone who might actually look at these pictures because I was in such a rush, and furthermore I didn’t even write down who made what. The show was actually really great, in a cool place with a very cool history, and there were plenty of really interesting people in attendance, and I only spent like 15 minutes there. I totally blew it and I’m sorry.

I was very excited to see a projection of Martynka Wawrzyniak film “Chocolate” which made me an instant fan when I first saw it this past summer. As soon as I watched it I tracked her down on facebook so that I would be aware of her future endeavors. What I didn’t realize until months later was that she is married to Richard Kern, an amazing photographer and filmmaker of whom I’ve been a fan for years. Kern has shot everyone and his images have been pretty much everywhere and he continues to produce an astounding volume of work all the time. His early films included collaborations with Sonic Youth, the Butthole Surfers, David Wojnarowicz, Lydia Lunch, and Henry Rollins just to name a few. The often violent, often sexual subject matter lead a former girlfriend of mine to say that she “couldn’t be with someone who could sit through that.” Turned out she was right!

Anyway, It was crazy to get to meet him and he was insanely friendly and suffered through a lot of awkward stammering. He told me that he was responsible for shooting “Chocolate” as well as pouring the chocolate itself onto his wife, and that they had to shoot the whole film twice, which must have been brutal. He described a piece that Wawrzyniak is currently working on which sounds truly unique and exciting but that sort of defies explaination. I would have loved to talk to him much longer but due to my idiotic time constraints I (mercifully for him) cut the conversation short as I sprinted out of the gallery like a freak to catch a cab back across town.

If you have the chance, don’t miss this very cool show. The Bullet Space keeps odd hours, so perhaps contact them to see when they would be available. Info is below.

292 East 3rd StNew York, NY 10009
[view map]


Fri / Sat / Sun 1-6pm
or by appointment or chance

Monday, November 21, 2011

Miranda July - "It Chooses You" launch party

 A card by Joe Putterlik, who helped to inspire "It Chooses You."

 Mike Mills is back there.
"We are watching you"

On Thursday night Partners and Spade hosted a party in honor of the release of Miranda July’s new book It Chooses You. The book chronicles a period in 2009 when procrastinating work on a screenplay July "crisscrossed Los Angeles to meet a random selection of PennySaver sellers, glimpsing thirteen surprisingly moving and profoundly specific realities, along the way shaping her film, and herself, in unexpected ways."

The shop was filled with items that they had bought via classified ads, then repackaged to along with a snippet of an interview with the person selling it. Items on offer included ball-crawl balls, paint tubes, drum sets, posters, flags, scrabble letters, bikes, and old trophies to name but a few. I arrived about an hour after the event started and most everything was already spoken for. It’s amazing how transformative the touch of an artist can be, that literally everything in the store had sold out in a matter of an hour whereas most of the items on their own merits could linger on a junk shop shelf for years without notice.

Also on display were a collection of hand-made cards created by Joe Putterlik. Putterlik was an 81 year old retired housepainter that July met when she went to buy something from him via the Penny saver. He and his cards (many of which are dirty limericks written for his wife) were featured in July’s film The Future which was released last summer and helped to inspire the book. Joe passed away shortly after filming, and it was touching to see his sweet and silly cards presented here with such reverence.

Amy read It Chooses You and said it was great. I trust her endorsement, so check it out.