Wednesday, September 23, 2009

culturehall news

Every two weeks, culturehall selects the work of four members for the FEATURED WORK section of our homepage. For the current issue, I browsed culturehall's archives to look for engaging images that collectively suggested a cinematic noir narrative. Louise Noguchi's falling cowboy recalls the glamorized violence of western films, while Sara Applegren's mysterious nighttime road from her Telling Stories series brought to mind David Lynch's dark highways. Lilly Lulay's elderly elisabeth takes on a sinister dimension - perhaps, the blurry and embroidered mug shot of a granny killer from a true crime episode. And Matthew Rose conjures the danger and allure of car culture with his Road Sign created in the pop art spirit with wood, paint, glue and a cutter.

culturehall will be inviting artists and curators to select work for upcoming features, so drop by for more highlights from the archives as well as new work by artists contributing portfolios to the site.

culturehall is also continuing to expand its list of ARTIST RESOURCES, our collection of international blogs and websites that provide a range of compelling information about the arts. This list of resources has the potential to be a great tool for artists, writers, educators, curators and the like to locate diverse content about the arts in a single, organized online environment. Recent additions to our list include Art Fag City, which was awarded the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant in 2008, and ROLU, an exceptional and elegant blog about art/architecture/design/music and culture that has attracted a world wide following.

As a result of my own involvement as an artist in culturehall, two of my gas station pieces were recently discovered and leased by Warner Brothers Television Silver Cup Studios for a scene in an upcoming episode of the series, Gossip Girl, scheduled to air on Monday October 26th. As someone who is entirely out of touch with television and perhaps too dependent on the Internet to inform my reality, I had to google the program to find out what it was all about: Gossip Girl. Hmmm ... sounds a lot like my life in NYC. If someone can burn me a disc of the episode, I'd be much obliged.

Blow Back, by Louise Noguchi

Side Scene #1, Telling Stories, by Sara Appelgren

elisabeth, by Lillay Lulay

Road Sign, by Matthew Rose

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Faculty Exhibition

Roof Top Wedding
copyright Robin Schwartz

I started a new position this fall teaching photography at William Paterson University, which means I am making a trek on a bus from Port Authority twice a week to a green and lush campus in northern New Jersey. Full-time faculty member, Robin Schwartz, and I are teaching concurrent intro digital photo courses - sharing notes and transitioning the photo program into the digital era.

Robin and I are also both currently exhibiting photographs in the annual faculty exhibition in the Ben Shahn Court Gallery on campus. I first became familiar with Robin's work when she and Elinor Carucci gave presentations as featured artists in a panel discussion about Women in Photography led by founders, Cara Phillips and Amy Elkins, last fall at Aperture. Robin's highly imaginative and eccentric images depict her daughter, Amelia, interacting with exotic animals such as kangaroos, elephants, hairless dogs and cats, and various primates. Robin takes her "circus family" on tour of the country to find these strange creatures - recently, a trip to Texas in the heavy August heat to rendezvous with some monkeys. Her third monograph, Amelia's World, was published in 2008 by Aperture, and some of her images from this series were included in the newly released photo book, Hijaked: Volume One, which incorporates work by contemporary Australian and American photographers.

I had the pleasure of meeting the star of the photos a few weeks ago, and Amelia is as charming and magical in person as she appears in her animal kingdom. She showed me a small turtle shell and a lifeless mouse that she had discovered on one of their journeys, and I gather that there are more than a few living creatures at their home in Hoboken.

Faculty Exhibition
Ben Shahn Court Gallery
William Paterson University
Wayne, NJ

September 14 - October 16

Friday, September 11, 2009

Browsing the Archives of 20x200

The staff at Jen Bekman recently asked me to browse the archives of 20x200 and select some of my favorite works for their blog - which was lots of fun. Here's what I came up with: Browsing the Archives with Tema Stauffer

Rachel Hulin has already selected two of my all-time favorite 20x200 pieces, the haunting Untitled (LA20070805) by Noah Kalina and No. 13. 3/11/2006 (plane lifted by men) by William Lamson. But I also love Lamson's other photograph from his enigmatic sublunar series.

No. 6. 8/6/2005 (plane) by William Lamson

A German photographer who similarly mystifies me with her control of light in her nighttime scenes is Juliane Eirich. I saw some of her gorgeous prints at the Scope Art Fair last March and have since poured through her website. I am awed and jealous to say the least.

Bus by Juliane Eirich

Also very mysterious and sexy is a portrait by Shen Wei. The image brought to mind the pensive, lonely, intensely sexual films by Taiwanese director, Tsai Ming-liang - the mood, the setting, the isolated subject, the sense of desire and longing...

Yi, Beijing by Shen Wei

This quirky image by Kelly Shimoda, an early addition to 20x200, uses light beautifully to make kitschy pink and blue balloons strangely seductive.

Untitled (Hanoi no.2) by Kelly Shimoda

Then, of course, I must mention the two prints I purchased from 20x200, Eric Graham's, Unleaded, Unleaded, Premium Unleaded, and Justin James Reed's iconic western scene, Idaho Springs, Colorado, both of which are hanging in my apartment.

Unleaded, Unleaded, Premium Unleaded by Eric Graham

Idaho Springs, Colorado by Justin James Reed

Kevin J. Miyazaki's work seems to be influenced by the same tradition of exploring the American vernacular, and I like his understated contributions from his Fast Food series.

Jones Boulevard Location, #1 by Kevin J. Miyazaki

And Katie Baum's cool photograph of a gumball machine might have been painted by a Photo-realist in the 1970s ...

Gumball Machine by Katie Baum

So yes, I confess, I love this kind of stuff.

Finally, is there any artist out there who can't relate to the sentiment captured by Clifton Burt? I think that pretty much sums it up.

think-make-think by Clifton Burt

Friday, September 4, 2009


Mexico City
copyright Allen Frame

Untitled #101
copyright Tim Roda

I couldn't be happier that summer is coming to an end, and there is a fall buzz in the air on these early, sunny days of September. And best of all ... galleries are coming alive again with new shows, including work by some of my favorite figures in the photo community.

I developed an instant crush on photographer and photo professor Allen Frame when I met him last spring on account of his southern grace and natural sophistication - not to mention, his sweetness. I have been eager to see more of his beautiful work "live" as what I have seen from his books and website convey a sensitivity to mood in both private and public spaces that feel equally intimate. Allen makes use of the emotional resonance of light; figures emerge from deep shadows in both his earlier black and white work and his beautiful new color work that will be exhibited at Gitterman Gallery in a show opening on Wednesday, September 9th.

Three great shows are opening the following night including Tim Roda at Daniel Cooney. Omni-present art collector, blogger and enthusiast, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, has previewed the prints in Tim Roda's Family Matters series and has written a thoughtful analysis on his blog likening the images to Spanish or Italian cinema: Ruben on Family Matters. Judging from one of the comments, the show may provoke a range of impassioned perspectives on artists whose children are their subjects - historically, a heated topic in photography - especially when there is anything resembling sexual content in the work.

And I would imagine many of us are looking forward to the first New York solo show of one of the most dynamic and influential women in New York's photo community, Amy Stein. Amy's Domesticated series, which has toured the country and the world, will be exhibited at Brian Clamp ... and you can find more surreal animals and landscapes made by Simen Johan virtually next door at Yossi Milo in a show titled, Until the Kingdom Comes.

Also this month, photographer and co-founder of Women in Photography, Cara Phillips, will be exhibiting her Singular Beauty series in her first solo exhibition at the Suffolk Art Gallery in Boston. I previously had the opportunity to see her work in a Hey, Hotshot! show at Jen Bekman last winter, and her prints are stunning. There is an opening celebration on September 17th at the gallery, so if anyone is driving to Boston - let me know!

Brown Consultation Chair
Beverley Hills
copyright Cara Phillips

copyright Amy Stein