Archive for the 'Photo diary' Category

Photo diary: weekend in Vermont, October 2017

November 2, 2017

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The weekend began with a lovely road trip through New England. We stopped for lunch at an unlikely Polish deli outside Springfield, MA: kielbasa, pierogis, sauerkraut.

Our destination: Song Soul Farm on many acres outside Chester, VT, home to Kate and Jeff, college friends of Andy’s, who raise apple and pear trees, chickens, guinea fowl, three cats, and a herd of nine llamas. Llamas are dazzling creatures to be around. The guest cottage we stayed in sits right in the middle of their pasture, so all day long they promenaded back and forth, sometimes grazing on the lawn right outside the house where I sat reading.

Walking in the woods on a crisp autumn day meant encountering beautiful colors and an ancient weathered cabin.

Kate and Jeff are a delightful, smart, eccentric couple with a beautiful rambling farmhouse and a passion for pressing apples into cider, mowing fields, marshalling tractors for apple harvesting, and teaching city slickers how to feed llamas by hand.

 

 

Photo diary: Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride 2017

September 12, 2017

All over the country and around the world, Naked Bike Riders fill city streets once a year with a mission:

Riding together to promote fuel conscious consumption, positive body image, and cycling advocacy!

And, of course, because it’s fun to hang out naked in public with other like-minded individuals under the gaze of passersby, who will say things like “I haven’t seen this much wienie in my whole life!” Andy and I Amtraked it down to Philly to do the ride with our friends Nick (a Philly resident) and Ben (another New Yorker).


That’s City Hall in the background, where we got our marriage license a month ago. City Hall from another view, below. And below that, a latecomer (the guy in gray briefs with his back to the camera) halfway through the ride stripped down on the street and joined the fun.


Body painting was a thing, along with masks, hats, wigs, and funny costumes (“Bare as you dare” was the dress code”).

Culture Vulture/Photo Diary: “Expanded Visions” at Leslie Lohman

May 20, 2017

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I wanted to get together and check in with my friend Jeff Weinstein so we agreed to meet at the Leslie Lohman Museum in Soho. Weirdly, I’d never been to the museum since the collection moved in 2006 from a basement on Prince Street (in the building where Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman lived) to its spiffy new location at 26 Wooster Street, cater-corner to the Performing Garage, in a space that held a beloved downtown record store (Soho Music Gallery) when I first moved to New York. And we arrived just in time for me to get a look at “Expanded Visions: Fifty Years of Collecting” a couple of days before this terrific show closed. I was excited to take in the whole gamut: painting, photography, and multimedia pieces from famous names (Duane Michals, David Hockney, Robert Mapplethorpe, Catherine Opie) to plenty of undersung artists coming from a wide spectrum beyond white gay men, like these pieces by AndréTavet, Ayakamay, and Hunter Reynolds.


There was a time when the Leslie Lohman Art Foundation (as it was once called) was looked down on as cheesy because it tended to equate “gay art” pretty exclusively with “dick pics.” There’s still a fair amount of kitsch in the collection because, hey, there is a lot of gay art that focuses on naked bodies, and a big audience for it. But over time the couple’s art-buying morphed into a seriously curated collection, and the selection for this show is pretty stellar. And I’m not just talking about Stanley, one of my favorite photographers, himself a master at eye-catching male nudes.


I recognized several artists whose work Jeff and I had seen last summer when we walked through the “AIDS Art America” show at the Bronx Museum, including Joey Terrill and Patrick Webb.


A striking untitled piece by Nicole Eisenman.


And then all this intriguing stuff new to me (as mesmerized by swinging dicks as anyone else).


And then this headboard, which I would happily have in my bedroom.

By the way, the museum has a robust online presence, including a searchable database of images from Leslie Lohman’s vast holdings. Check it out here.

 

 

Culture Vulture/Photo Diary: The Whitney Biennial

May 2, 2017

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To be honest, the 2017 Whitney Biennial tried my patience. I had the experience of wading through acres of mediocre painting, ugly sculptures, and twee conceptual art to find a handful of works that pleased me aesthetically and intellectually. The show, curated by Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks, features a lot of painting on canvas, almost always multiple pieces by the same artist, which gave me an opportunity to get to know several intriguing artists new to me.

I found Tala Madani’s work edgy and amusing, especially Shitty Disco.

I very much liked Celeste Dupuy-Spector’s stuff, and not only because I loved this DJ’s playlist.


Of the three-dimensional work, my favorites were the black-magic melon piece out on one of the roofdecks – a wonderful bit of political dada by a Middle Eastern artist collective known as GCC – and Jon Kessler’s constructions, Exodus and (below) Evolution.

Also fun: Raul DeNieves’s rococo figures, which dance entertainingly between shamanism and kitsch.


On the down side: Samara Golden’s elaborate multi-level piece is undeniably impressive but emotionally opaque.


I found the amount of effort that went into Porpentine Charity Heartscape’s computer word games mystifying to the point of exasperating (and pretentious as the artist’s name); doubly true of Jordan Wolfson’s brutal virtual-reality audience abuser, Real Violence (below).

I walked out most impressed with two artists. Dana Schutz, whose controversial Open Casket has a devastating impact when you actually witness it in person (alongside the artist’s statement).

And Francis Stark, who created a roomful of paintings reproducing a provocative essay about censorship by post-punk essayist Ian F. Svenonious.

 

Photo diary: Tax March, NYC, 4/15/17

April 15, 2017

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Show me what democracy looks like? THIS is what democracy looks like. Empowered citizens hit the streets all over the country today to demand that the president release his tax returns, in the name of accountability, to let the American people judge whether he is acting in our interests or his own in his dealings with foreign powers. It was great to show up at Bryant Park and share energy with a real grass-roots assembly of New Yorkers — lots of pussyhat-energized women, young and old, multi-generational families with kids wielding handmade signs and grandparents in wheelchairs making their voices heard as we marched from there up Sixth Avenue.

Some chants: “We need a leader/Not a creepy tweeter!” “We don’t want your alternate factses/We just want to see your taxes!” “We wanna know/Who you owe!”

 

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