Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Simen Johan says "Hallo dahling"

"Hello, darling" -- photo by Simen Johan
"Untitled," Simen Johan, All rights reserved

Simen Johan
is a Swedish photographer, born in 1973. I saw his show, "Until the Kingdom Comes," last week at the Yossi Milo gallery in Manhattan. The prints started at $20,000 each.

Unfortunately, the show is now closed, but here's a link to all the pictures.

This is from Yossi Milo's press release:
"Photographs from Simen Johan’s ongoing project, Until the Kingdom Comes, depict an unsettling natural world hovering between reality, fantasy and nightmare. Johan merges traditional photographic and sculptural techniques with digital methods. Having originally photographed a variety of plants and animals in natural preserves, zoos, farms, museum dioramas or his own studio, the artist then resituates them digitally into new environments constructed from images photographed elsewhere."

And this is from an earlier write-up at the Robert Koch Gallery.
"In his most recent images, from the series "Until the Kingdom Comes", Johan depicts animals in scenarios where their actions or demeanor mirror human conventions. The images allude to our inclination to anthropomorphize and domesticate what we see and find around us, and they speak to realms of emotion, our fears and desires, rather than reason."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pictures from the world's newest country

John Rae, warming a polaroid
"John Rae, warming a polaroid," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

My friend & colleague John Rae has traveled to more unpronounceable places than anyone I've ever met. He takes pictures all over the world for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. A lot of this involves hard travel & rough living, not to mention daily immersion in the often grim realities of poverty & disease. But there is beauty too.

Here is his lightly edited take from a recent visit to South Sudan, the newest country in the world. I'm not sure why John desaturated the color in most of these shots, but I like the effect.

See more pictures by John.

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Ruins of Detroit" by Yves Marchand & Roman Meffre

"Packard Motor Plant," Yves Marchand, Roman Meffre, All rights reserved

Ah dystopia! As a culture, we seem to be wild right now for wrecked grandeur, for dramatic ruins (with or without zombies). Personally, I've always been thrilled with the notion (remember what Neil Young sang, "Don't let it get you down/It's only castles burning."). In fact, to this day I get a schoolboy jolt of pleasure from the grim ironies of Shelley's imaginary "...look upon my works, ye mighty, & despair" poem.

Unfortunately, the initial evidence suggests that our own real-life declineas a nation -- & as a world -- won't be nearly as much fun.

See Ruins of Detroit

Here's part of what Marchand and Meffre say about the city:

"Nowadays, unlike anywhere else, the city’s ruins are not isolated details in the urban environment. They have become a natural component of the landscape. Detroit presents all archetypal buildings of an American city in a state of mummification. Its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great Empire."

Thanks to Jessie Allen, author of The Blackstone Weekly, for the tip.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Guest artist -- Daniel Traub

By Daniel Traub
"Vacant lot, Philadelphia," Daniel Traub, All rights reserved

See the series by Daniel Traub.

See his website for more from Philadelphia and photojournalism from China & other far flung places.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Guest artist -- Thatcher Keats

By Thatcher Keats
"Drunk on floor" from "DSM III (g.a.e.t.)," Thatcher Keats, All rights reserved

Take a look

The 1st pictures I saw by Thatcher Keats were flash closeups of very drunk & stoned teenagers. I got the impression from the friend who told me about him that these were taken early in his career, that he settled down some as he got older. I can see that. But the pictures are still as blunt as a whack from a hammer, even when they're tender & funny, like some of the shots in the The Kids series. I think this guy is terrific.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tonight's guest artist -- Evgenia Arbugaeva

By Evgenia Arbugaeva
By Evgenia Arbuaeva, All rights reserved

See more of this series at Photo Lucida's Critical Mass 2011 Winners. Arbuaeva describes the project this way:

"Tiksi is a small village located on a shore of Arctic ocean in Russia. It was built in USSR by people who believed in the future of the Arctic and were coming here from all over the country: scientists, explorers, the military. I was born in here and after fall of Soviet Union my family, as most of the population left Tiksi. But I could never forget this place with it's vast tundra blown off with winds so strong that if you are a little girl it can easily pick you up and bring to places. My playground with stars during Polar night, lighthouse in a blizzard... This year I came back to my home village for the first time in twenty years. It was a journey to surreal childhood memories. Some people say that Tiksi will be closed in near future because it doesn't serve a purpose anymore. Before that happened I wanted to capture this special place 'in the middle of nowhere'."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Today's guest artist, Greer Muldowney

"6,426 per km2," Greer Muldowney, All rights reserved

From a series on the architecture of Hong Kong, the most densely populated urban space in the world.

More pictures by Greer Muldowney.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Today's guest atists -- Sebastian Liste

Sebastian Liste photo
"Young Bahia girl with bracelets," Sebastian Liste, All rights reserved

“And when the guitar whines in the hands of the serenade singer, in the bustling streets of the agitated city, woman, do not doubt for a minute. Attend the call and come. Bahia is waiting with its daily feast. Your eyes will be flooded with the picturesque, but also with the miserable. Grieve for these left-over colonial streets where modern skyscrapers rise -- violent, weak and ugly. "
Jorge Amado

See the portfolio I recently submitted, here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Entering "Exposure 2011" contest

"Painting 'The Town,' " Tim Connor, All rights reserved

The picture above is part of a portfolio I'm submitting in the "cityscape" category of a competition called "Exposure 2011."

See my portfolio here.

Read what I wrote about my pictures:

"I first saw these images through the 12th-floor window of my office in Manhattan. Gigantic in scale, they appeared on the outer wall of a 21-story-high office tower a few blocks uptown and gradually took shape against the sky. First they were colored paint in seemingly random patterns. Then they became star-crossed lovers; machines at war; bank robbers dressed as sinister nuns; a bulldog as big as an elephant.

What surprised me most about these images – really they are nothing more than wildly scaled-up movie ads – is how disconcertingly intimate they can be. At this size – the size of a city building -- they transfigure my neighborhood skyline like a new slide clicking onto the wall in a dimly lit room.

The images are created by an intrepid team of mural artists (artfxmurals.com), who sketch and paint each poster with rollers and large brushes in a day or two, then, after the movies have opened, crank their scaffolds up and down the wall again, whitewashing everything. I’ve been photographing this process for over three years.

The light in Manhattan changes quickly, especially above the rushing street-level canyons, which fill with shadow early. I love all the manifestations of this New York light, but most of all -- for this project -- I love it at the end of day. As darkness gathers below in the grumbling rush hour streets, I'm blown away by these fierce (and/or silly) outsized fantasies, thrusting insistently into the light . Sometimes I enjoy imagining them as visitations from our cultural gods. Other times I'm just glad they make us look up and forget ourselves for a moment."

Preview the book from which the portfolio is taken.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Newsha Tavakolian: Iranian feminist photographer

by newsha tavakolian, iranian photographer
Newsha Tavakolian, All rights reserved

See more of Iranian photojournalist Newsha Tavakolian's powerful work here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Overheard in the herd

Joseph Karl Stieler

"I realized that Beethoven has no idea how much I love his music -- because he's dead."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In the pines

"Red eye," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

"While the sun shines," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

Sunday, July 24, 2011

White birches

"Birch again," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

"With purple flowers," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

See more.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bride & groom

"Mannequin bride," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

"Mannequin groom," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Red Hook graffiti fence

"Green eared eyeballs," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

"Red wall Red Hook," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

"Mix mural," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

Monday, June 27, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

I couldn't walk past

"Smash up," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

"Faceless pharaoh," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Boy in garden 2 (without the chain link)

"Boy in garden (no chain link)," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

Lately my pictures don't please me. I have experienced this before. I protect my fragile self-esteem by doing other things.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bike shooter

"Boy in garden,Crown Heights," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

Today I got out & did some shooting. I rode my bike to Prospect Heights in a few minutes, then dawdled east into Crown Heights, where I made the picture above. I realized biking is an excellent way to explore for photos (it helps to have a lock -- which I now do -- so I can leave the bike & walk around). I've biked with camera before of course, but the shooting was always secondary to the transportation -- to getting somewhere. Also, I was typically intent on getting some exercise. This time I didn't care that I'm out of shape. I had no destination. Hello, summer.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Too real

"Farmer, Napoleon, Ohio," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

I shot this on assignment a few weeks ago & like it very much. But at that time the spring still hadn't popped in N.E. Ohio & not even weeds were showing in this farmer's corn field. Also, the one day I had out there was heavily overcast or raining from first light to last. Dressed in muddy shirt & jeans & much-worn john deere cap, my subject met me at his barn & we walked out to his field . He was unfailingly generous and kind, but it was clear he had been working in the barn before I got there & was ready to go back to work the minute I left. We had a good session & I got a variety of framings & expressions.

When I got back to New York, no one wanted to use this picture or any of the others like it, including those in which the farmer is grinning. "Too depressing," they said. Luckily, I had made some lovely, friendly shots of the farmer & his dad & their little dog back by the farmhouse, & we used those. The writer & the editor liked it & so will the farmer, so there's nothing to complain about. It worked out fine.

But I like this one best. And I'm glad I don't have to argue against squaring up the horizon.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Good news

"Madonna with gas and electric," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

At yesterday's auction for the Winter Summer Institute this photo at 6" x 8"(snappier in the print) sold for $220. Asking price was $150. Other two pix (see yesterday's post) also sold for suggested first bid or above.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

My pix at auction to benefit a great cause

Original prints of two of my favorite pictures (below) will be featured in a silent auction next Sunday night to raise money for the Winter-Summer Institute's upcoming trip to the rural mountains of the Malealea Valley in Lesotho, southern Africa. These amazing New Yorkers will join theater contingents from South Africa and Lesotho to make theatre with the local villagers that reflects community concerns about the region's HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Read more here. There's also food, drink, awesome music, movies and more art. A night that will rock you...

" 'Backyard hanging laundry with cat' by Tim Connor," 11 x 14 original print

" 'Those are the hills of hell my love' by Tim Connor," 5 x 7 original print

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Shrink-wrapped boats

Shrink-wrapped boatBlog
"Shrink-wrapped boat," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

Shrink-wrapped boat2Blog
"Shrink-wrapped boat 2," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

These were sitting in the boat yards at Montauk a little more than a week ago.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Visualizing (a tiny part of) the Universe

Courtesy "All That Is Interesting" from the PBH Network

Check out this fascinating sequential visualization of our Earth scaled against various objects in the near-universe. The final images in the post are from the Hubble telescope, which focused on an ink black area in the night sky for over 4 months to collect light that had spent 13 billion years reaching its lens.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

2 women

"Botanica saint," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

"R.I.P.," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

Saturday, March 26, 2011


"Baby buggy," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

"Eat my dust," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

"Evolution," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Are movies "cursed"? Are photographs?

"Tim at 'Beast' opening," Lucy Winner phone cam

Saturday's opening of the show "Beast," in which I had two photos, was a big success. In the picture above, taken at the gallery, I can be seen crossing in front of one of my photos, the one titled "Esther."

Today a lady from the gallery called to tell me that last night the "Esther" picture inexplicably fell off the wall, shattering the glass in the frame & gouging the print. Part of a series of gigantic building-sized ads for upcoming movies that I've been photographing for several years, "Esther" advertised a movie called "Orphan." The tagline read, "Something is wrong with Esther."

Let me explain.

In the movie Esther is a strangely beautiful child adopted by a couple who are grieving their recently stillborn baby. These parents think Esther is nine years old, but in fact she's a 33-year-old woman named Leena Klammer who suffers from hypopituartisim, which has stunted her growth. Esther has escaped from an asylum for the criminally insane & is making her way across the country, posing as a little girl. Along the way she has committed a string of gruesome, bloody murders. In this movie she gets angrier & angrier. First, she kills an unfortunate nun & then the good-hearted husband. Finally, she tries to kill the wife and her two children. At the end of the movie Esther ends up getting kicked in the teeth by her new mommy & sinking beneath the surface of a frozen lake.

After all that, she must be really, really pissed, right? I mean poltergeist-smashing-glass-pissed? I mean psycho-killer-on-the-loose pissed? Am I right?

When the gallery lady reached me with the bad news, she said, "We couldn't figure out why the picture fell. The frame wasn't broken... In fact..." she said, it's as though... the picture... jumped off the wall."

Oh god...

Friday, March 11, 2011

"Beast" opens tonight!

"Beast" opens tonight!

If you're in the NYC area & free tonight, visit "Beast," a show opening from 6-10 pm at Brooklyn Artist's Gym. There'll be wine, good art & interesting people. I'll have two large photographs in the show.

Directions: BAG is at 168 7th Street, 3rd floor -- between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. On the border between Park Slope and Gowanus, that's only 3 blocks from the 4th Ave/9th Street stop for the F, G and R trains. There's plenty of parking. The show is in the same building as the Mac Support Store.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My photos in "Beast"

"Esther," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

"Blue eyes," Tim Connor, All rights

The two photos shown above will be in a show called "Beast," opening next Saturday, March 12, from 6-10 at the Brooklyn Artist's Gym, 168 7th St, 3rd floor in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn (it's only 2 blocks from the F, G & R train stop at 4th Ave/9th St). More info on the show is here. I'm really looking forward to this one. I'll be showing bigger prints than ever before. And I suspect that few if any of the other artists will be photographers. I'm anxious to see how the painters, sculptors & conceptual artists handle this theme.

Hope you can make it.