Obama/Hendrix Mash-up from michael murphy on Vimeo.
Proving himself to be a man of many talents, Michael Murphy has just released a mash-up video he did this weekend amalgamating Barack Obama's accetance speech with Jimi Hendrix's 1969 Woodstock rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Done in a Waking Life rotoscopic style, Murphy has synced up both video clips without altering either time code. Definitely some nice patriotic eye candy, click above and let it load to watch!
For more of Michael Murphy's works, please visit www.mmike.com
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
This year's Thanksgiving message and Weekend Video comes courtesy of Michael Jackson, performing here at the 1988 Grammy Awards. Although he was at the peak of his stardom, it's still quite amazing he was given nearly seven minutes and even more surprising that with four nominations that year he didn't receive one award. Nevertheless, here are the first few verses and chorus:
I'm gonna make a change, for once in my life.
It's gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference,
Gonna make it right.
As I, turn up the collar on my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowin' my mind.
I see the kids in the street, with not enough to eat
Who am I, to be blind? Pretending not to see their needs
A summer's disregard, a broken bottle top
And a one man's soul
They follow each other on the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go.
That's why I want you to know
I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I got these pictures from A Cup of Jo, who got it from black eiffel, who got it from Waldo's Post. So they're well on their way to becoming viral.
They're pictures from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, where between September and December you can go to an area called The Devil's Swimming Pool and swim to the edge without being swept over! This is due to a natural rock wall just below the water at the very edge of the pool that you can just see in the photographs and that slows the current even at the edge. Still - not for the faint of heart!
Sometimes an exhibition is many years in the making. Case in point
is the show I'm opening next week which deals with the ongoing influence the great photographer August Sander had and continues to have on photography. Most active from the early 1900s through the 1920s, Sander's credo was simple: "I am not concerned with providing commonplace photographs like those made in the finer large-scale studios of the city, but simple, natural portraits that show the subjects in an environment corresponding to their own individuality."
Sander's monumental photographic project "Man of the Twentieth Century" set out to document the people and typologies of his native Germany. He photographed people from all walks of life and became best known for the straightforward full length portraits that recorded his subjects not only with great objectivity but also with a subtle artfulness and psychological depth that has made them the definitive example of what a photographic portrait should be.
Sander's cool, objective style of portraiture anticipated work ranging from Irving Penn's "Small Trades" series to Diane Arbus's street portraits to The Sartorialist's style portraits. Yet the template he created and the medium itself have been robust enough to hold up to endless reinterpretation. That was the idea behind the show.
Going back to old notes and e-mails, I saw that I had been discussing this show with photographers like Rineke Dijkstra and Lolo Veleko over the course of many years, but what really crystallized the idea was when Sart posted the picture above left on his website and mentioned how much it had influenced him. Sometimes a chance word like this is all it takes to prod an idea into a reality.
One of the many pleasures of this kind of group show provides is the collaborative opportunity to work with some of my fellow dealers and thanks to them I ended up with everything I wanted for the exhibition. Granted, the show could have been many times its current size and I would have been happy to fill a space many times the size of my gallery, but here are examples by each of the photographers in the show. I hope as many of you as possible will get a chance to see it.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
This was one of those weekends where I unexpectedly came across a lot of different things I hadn't seen before. It started with a visit to Barnes & Noble where they were highlighting three surprisingly interesting mass audience picture books. The first, Influence by Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, is an illustrated collection of interviews with fifty or so people from the worlds of art, fashion, and media who have influenced the twins. The book sounds like an easy target, but it's intelligently and seriously done, and full of surprises - great pictures and oddments like a full page reproduction of a wonderfully quirky letter from Diana Vreeland to Bob Colacello complimenting him on an issue of Interview.
Propped next to Influence was Sports Ilustrated - The Complete Swimsuit Portfolio. Looking over my shoulder to make sure no-one I knew was looking, I snuck a peek at the book (well actually looked at every page). So I can now report that this is far from the complete portfolio - it's actually a selection of photographs of the most recent S.I. swimsuit models where each model is represented by a one photographer portfolio. But the quality of the pictures is surprisingly high - as you can see from the cover image - and there's a clever and well-executed idea where every "portfolio" opens with a mirror self-portrait by the featured model.
Lastly, Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric (a simply terrible title) by Barry Feinstein, best known for his early pictures of Dylan, has a text by Dylan himself (written in the 60s) and some good inside Hollywood pictures from the same period, most notably a series of close-ups of the hands of Oscar winners clutching their awards.
William Wyler holding his Oscar.
All three books are worth consideration.
This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine was one their best - an issue devoted to what we watch on screens. Among lots of good articles was a round up of memorable things seen recently by an eclectic group of writers, directors, and bloggers. I have to confess to not being among the 13 million or more people who have to date watched the "Christian the Lion" clip on YouTube. So the information in the following article and clip were new to me, and a revelation. But here for the record is what I thought was a beautifully written piece by radio producer and author, Starlee Kine:
Christian the Lion was a little lion cub that two young guys saw on sale at Harrods in London in 1969, back when department stores sold these kinds of things. They took him back to their flat, where he got into their sock drawers and played with balls of string. They befriended a vicar who let them use a local churchyard as a playground for the cub, and at the beginning of the video (which someone pulled out of an old British documentary and posted on YouTube last summer) there’s Super 8 footage of them frolicking about. Then text appears on the screen explaining that once Christian got too big, the boys had to take him to Africa to be with his own kind. A year later they decided to go visit him, even though they were warned that Christian had become a full-grown lion with a pride of his own and wouldn’t remember them and would perhaps attack them if they went. They went anyway, these two tall, floppy-haired guys whom I admit I am seriously crushed out on, and the next thing you see is this grainy footage of them standing in the African sand, calling Christian’s name silently, because there’s no sound. Oh, and I’m sorry, did I forget to mention that Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” is playing in the background, and that as you see Christian appear and are still unsure what’s going to happen (my friend Heather was convinced she was going to witness the two boys’ deaths; she couldn’t understand why else I was freaking out so much when I made her watch it) you hear Whitney sing, “I wish you joy and happiness, but above all this, I wish you lo-uh-ove,” and then Christian is running toward the boys, leaping onto his hind legs (“Watch out!” Heather screamed at this part) and the music is all, “And I will alll-ways love you,” and you see that Christian not only remembers them but that he loves them, dearly, desperately, he is hugging them with his enormous lion paws? And one of the guys, who looks a lot like a young Roger Daltrey, actually, has this huge smile on his face and you can see him choke back a sob. It’s just the most solid reason I’ve seen yet for why the Internet should exist. By the way, the video isn’t nearly as effective without the Whitney Houston song. I’ve tried watching it both ways and, really, you need the song in order to experience the full-blown effect.
And here, for those who haven't seen it is the clip:
Lastly, while watching the Jets crush the Titans, I happened to catch the new ad for Guitar Hero featuring Heidi Klum (and directed by Brett Ratner). You have to give her credit for the way she gets into this.
Apparently she suffered a concussion after launching herself onto the couch one too many times!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
As regular readers of this blog know, I’m a big fan of sky and cloud photographs. So photographically speaking, the cold weather brings at least one good thing – we’re entering the season of nacreous clouds.
Nacreous are among the rarest of clouds, they are mostly visible two hours after sunset or before dawn when they shine brightly with vivid and slowly shifting iridescent colors. Compared with most lower altitude clouds, nacreous clouds stand almost still - an indicator of their great height (some 9 -16 miles high). Their brightness is because at those heights they are still sunlit. They can be found mostly at high latitudes like Scandinavia, Iceland, Alaska and Northern Canada. However, they do occur as far south as New England.
Photographing clouds is a tricky thing – it takes a special vision to make something that’s more than just pretty pictures. But as Alfred Stieglitz, Eliot Porter, Richard Misrach, and even Bruce Weber have shown, there are always ways to make a personal statement out of the ephemeral.
Monday, November 17, 2008
My thanks to Eyeliah from Style Symmetry for leading me to the Miss at la Playa blog which not only identified where these pictures came from, but showed the entire amazing series.
For the record it's French VOGUE, November 2008. The model is Eniko Mihalik. The photographers are Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, and the shoot was styled by Carine Roitfeld with make-up by Lisa Butler.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
A lot of good things came in pairs this last week. The William Eggleston show opened at The Whitney and runs through January 25. This untitled image from 1975, while somewhat atypical, has always been a favorite. I like the contrast of the modern American look of the girl on the right with the pre-Raphaelite look of the girl on the left. If you divide the picture down the middle and look at it one half at a time, there's an amazing visual dichotomy.
I've unfortunately lost track of where this picture came from (please post if you know) but the pictures illustrate how skillful styling. lighting, and photography can make the same model looks decades younger and older!
I gave Callie Shell a hard time for what I called her "rip-off" of Paul Fusco's "RFK Funeral Train" pictures, and the response was quite divided. To redress the accusation, TIME have just published a portfolio of her pictures from the Obama campaign. Click here. I particularly like this moment shot while the first couple elect were listening to Bruce Springsteen. Unless the pictures lie, the Obamas do seem to have an extraordinarily good relationship.
And finally, one of my favorite "couples" pictures. I had this for years as a postcard and didn't think I'd ever be able to find a jpeg, but a google image search of "black and white cat tails" brought it up!