Living Rooms: Photographs by Laura Kicey
Cafe Estelle
444 n 4th Street
(between Callowhill & Spring Garden)
Philadelphia, Pa

Opening January 9th, 6-9PM
The show runs through January

I have admired the work of Laura Kicey for a couple years now. Check out her Construct series, a really well developed body of architectural/fantasy montage images.
This Living Rooms show consists of interiors of abandoned buildings. I have seen glimpses of this work throughout the past year and based on what I have seen, I would highly recommend a visit to Cafe Estelle to see the work of this talented local photographer.
The media is all abuzz this week with stories about the final days of production of Polaroid film. While it is sad that the Polaroid Corporation is no longer going to produce a film that revolutionized photography, it doesn't mean that instant film will cease to exist. Based on the media hype throughout 2008, I have had several people ask me what I was going to do without Polaroid film? The answer is... I am not going to be without instant film. It is still quite easy to obtain and I am confident that it will be available for years to come. There is still a huge demand for instant film and suppliers will continue to fill the void created by the end of Polaroid's production run. I have been using hybrid film for several years now and they work quite well in my vintage Polaroid cameras.

So where do I buy my instant film?

POLAPREMIUM is a great source of hybrid instant films and 4 X 5 film.

Artistic Z is a manipulable film for SX-70 cameras...

Chocolate film is one of my favorite pack films. They also sell a pure Sepia film as well...

Viva is a fantastic vibrantly colored pack film that produces images with a groovy 1960's look...

Fuji Film also makes Color and Black & White pack film as well as 4 X 5 sheets...

So stop worrying people... don't believe the hype.

Polaroid: Imperfect, yet Magical

Polaroids to Fade Away
I have lived in the Philadelphia area my entire life, and I'm embarrassed to say I only saw my first Mummers Parade four years ago. I have been there every year since and wouldn't want to miss it. It is a fantastic day for photography. I usually hang out at Broad & Washington where the comic clubs line up, but anywhere along Broad Street is a great place to be on New Years Day.

We all know that the City has had to drastically cut back on it's budget this year, and that means virtually no money for the Mummers parade. Please help any way you can to keep the tradition alive... Do it for the kids!

Save the Mummers

Mummers Parade Web Site
J Randall Updegrove lives in Montana where it is very very cold lately, and it's been snowing like mad... and yet he still goes out with the camera and the dogs on a daily basis...and that is why he gets incredible images like this one...

Blue Twig by J Randall Updegrove (2008)
Wishing you all peace, joy and serenity for the holidays and 2009...

One of the nicest web sites I have ever seen for viewing photographer portfolios is Photography Now. Beautiful layouts in the form of gallery books, the presentation is spectacular and the site is very easy to navigate. Fantastic resource for photography lovers

Self taught French photographer Pascal Renoux has a gorgeous web site full of amazing images, as well as a really nice blog featuring well selected photography from all over the world. I just added his blog to my daily reading list.
The image below is from Renoux's Hand series...

Pascal Renoux's web site

art photo blog
I had a chance to do some wrestling photography today, which was the first time in almost a year...and the first time in seven years that one of my sons was not wrestling for this team. It was a completely new vantage point and a fresh look at a long term photo study. I really like some of the shots I got today....

wrestling project

This is a very short running solo show of works by Andrea Baldeck at Abington Art Center, Presence Passing, December 13-31st. It is well worth a visit to one of the nicest and perhaps most under appreciated art galleries outside of the city.
Baldeck's work "explores the play of light and shadows, and the ideas of decay and impermanence, found in structures and objects that are left behind"as quoted from the press release. For my taste, there are too many pieces competing with each other in the small room housing this show, and that distracts from the several truly quality works that convey the photographer's love of light and shadow and subtle portraits of decay. Less is more would have made this show outstanding. (Kudos for superb mounting and framing)

Don't forget to check out the annual Juried Show from December 13th to January 24th

During my weekly browse through the bargain section at Harvest Books I discovered this gem Cat People by photographer Bill Hayward, published by Doubleday & Company in 1978.
About eighty photographs of cat lovers with their feline friends. The book consists of people from all walks of life, but includes more than a few celebrities, and includes some really outstanding portraits. A real score for my photo library for two dollars!

Below is Jane Pauley with Meat Ball...

Dick Schapp with his daughter and Ghandi...

Paul Moore with Poochai...

Happy Thanksgiving to all my photography friends.... may you enjoy peace, gratitude, and lot's of home made pies!

Lost & Found

Check out David Kessler's documentary film about the lost
Diane Arbus photographs from her early days at Hubert's in New York...

The Hubert's Collector on Studioscopic

Story on Art Blog

"Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them…. There’s a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats." (Diane Arbus)
November 14th 7-8 PM
Painted Bride Art Center
203 Vine Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19106

Davy Rothbart, founder of the wildly popular underground magazine Found (also a book and website) weaves some of his most fascinating finds into an energetic presentation. Join Rothbart for his entertaining elaboration on the stories behind the cast-off notes and letters plucked from the nation’s subways, schools, streets and sidewalks.

Found Magazine

An exhibit of Found items will be on display in the Painted Bride Gallery throughout the Festival. Audience members are invited to contribute their own discoveries to Found’s collection of anonymous ephemera. Photos below are from the beautiful and fascinating display of found items...

Salon du Festival
Thursday November 13th
Painted Bride Art Center
203 Vine Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19106

Part of the Thursday night First Person Arts Festival will feature a new documentary film by David Kessler, a short film about the finding of some "lost" photos of Diane Arbus and the man who made this discovery in a collection of circus sideshow memorabilia. The film is called the Hubert's Collector on the Diane Art-Bus.

Here is the full story about the lost Diane Arbus photos on Artblog

I am currently working on the Tao Project... a photography project based on the Tao te Ching ... and it will be an attempt to interpret the 81 chapters of the Tao through photography.A thoughtful and meditative interpretation through the eye of the camera lens.The project is to be a pure collaboration between artists who share a similar spiritual connection to the earth, the water, the skies, and all living beings. As of today, over 100 photographers from all over the world are participating in the project. At this point we are in the very early stages of collecting a body of work, and I am gradually selecting one photograph for each of the 81 chapters and then posting the chapters one at a time on wabi blogi. I am trying to post one chapter a day. The initial selections of photographs that I am posting with each chapter is a temporary selection made solely by me. Eventually I will form a team of jurors from among the most active participating photographers and a few random experts who will decide by consensus on the final photos that best interpret each of the 81 chapters.
Cecil William Stoughton (January 18, 1920 - November 3, 2008)

From todays New York Times...
Cecil Stoughton, the chief photographer for the Kennedy White House, who documented its glittering public moments and its intimate private ones, and who captured its sudden end in one of the signal images of the 20th century — Lyndon B. Johnson’s swearing-in as president aboard Air Force One on Nov. 22, 1963 — died on Monday. Mr. Stoughton, who died at his home on Merritt Island, Fla., was 88.

Full NYT Obit

Cecil W Stoughton Bio

Zoe Strauss and Barack Obama sharing the cover of this week's Philadelphia Weekly.

Zoe Strauss story in PW

I'm going to vote like the
spirit say vote,
I'm going to vote like the
spirit say vote,
And if the spirit say vote I'm
going to vote,
Oh Lord, I'm going to vote
when the spirit say vote.

Finishing Our Work
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

(from the Tao te Ching, ch 9)

The Path to National Serenity.....

1. Get out and Vote
2. Celebrate a victory or accept defeat
3. Support the winner

What this country needs more than anything is to get together behind the next matter who wins on Tuesday. No ifs, ands, or buts. No crying, no whining, no devision.
We need a united front more than ever before. Do it or we are all screwed.
(I'm not talking about blind obedience...I'm talking about eliminating hatred, ignorance, and intolerance which has been spewing forth in equal amounts from the left and the right for too many years now)

Walker Evans & Zoe Strauss.....

Jacob Holdt & Zoe Strauss...

On Friday night I had the pleasure of attending Between Frames, part of the ongoing Conversations with Photographers series at Project Basho. What a pleasure to listen to two deeply mindful artists discuss their craft, and it was another reminder that what is going on at Basho is the best thing that is happening to the photographic arts in Philadelphia. Get on the mailing list and commit to attending an upcoming lecture or discussion... I guarantee you will be back for more.

Koichiro Kurita: After leaving the field of commercial photography at age 40, Koichiro Kurita pursued fine art photography concentrating on landscapes. His landscapes are quiet and serene, almost meditative. He photographs with an 8x10 camera and makes large platinum/palladium prints on hand-made Japanese Gampi paper. His photographs are part of the collections of notable museums such as George Eastman House, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris.\

Stuart Rome: After shooting a series of cultural and sociological photographs in Haiti in the 1980's, Rome developed a keen interest in the connection between individuals and the natural world which ultimately led to his focus on landscape photography. His photographs are part of the collections of notable museums such as The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics, Yale Art Museum, and The Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Onward '09 A journey for Emerging Photographers