Dresden
Scarlet Letter
People
Tramp Steamer
Contact

Archives / Links / Represented by Gallery Yoram Gil

 

Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

 

February 27, 2013

This is my favorite Gregory Crewdson - Riley in front of his North Street photo with Jennifer Jason Leigh in the car in the middle of the intersection at Eagle Street. I took the shot after she had appeared in a play at the Berkshire Museum.

I've been thinking a lot about Crewdson's work after seeing the documentary movie about him at the Little Cinema Monday night. I loved it. It was great riding around Pittsfield with Crewdson in the film, Brief Encounters, and listening to him talk about his affection for certain streets and neighborhods, often the grittier sections of Pittsfield, Lee, North Adams. Each film is a production. He has a crew of perhaps 60, a cast, a cornicopia of stage lights and amazing patience. He micromanages the whole thing.

In the shot above, if you look closely enough, you will see a woman in a red jacket seated at a table in the restaurant in the right foreground. The documentary, made by Ben Shapiro, shows how Crewdson placed her there, capturing an Edward Hopper feeling of loneliness, as does the man approaching the marquee of the Senior Center. Shapiro spent 10 years, starting in 2000, on the film which covers the period in which Crewdson worked on his series called "Beneath the Roses."

He likes to shoot his pictures at twilight, often enlisting the fire department to hose down the streets and using a mist machine to fog up the background. His crew is fanned out, following his directions on adding a light here, taking one away there, trying to get a guy to stop shovelling the sidewalk in front of his shop until after the shoot. (In this case the guy in the movie gave the Crewdson guy a lot of lip and continued shoveling.)

In many of his photos he shoots the scene as he thinks it should be seen - looking for what he calls a perfect moment. In these the cast - even if its a star like Ms. Leigh - fills a vital but physically small role in the photo.

Sitting on the curb outside the Madison Cafe, this woman has gone through a lot of cigarettes while Crewdson adjusts and readjust her pose and seemingly takes in everything. No detail seems too small. In a Boston Globe review of the movie, Sebastian Smee says that Crewdson's "photographic language ... hovers between straight documentary and contrived theater."

This is Crewdson, looks like a rumpled street person as he ambles around amiably, always looking, always finding someone to talk with. The camera in his hand above is about one tenth the size of the digital he uses for his shots. He doesn't click the shutter. But he's the guy who dreams the scene up, captures the beauty and sadness in the ordinary, transforming the ordinary into something haunting in the process, the guy who decides where to set up the dozens of lights, where to put the camera, which color sheets to use on the bed, which car should be moved three feet backwards, which sign removed, which catch basin should have an strange light shinning from it, etc., etc., etc.

The scenes above and below were built to Crewdson's specs at MASS MoCA some years ago, giving you an idea of the cost and effort that goes into a single shot. Often he isn't looking for a cast of sleek people. For instance, the mother above has a pretty face and hair but she wouldn't appear on the cover of Vogue. Everyone had to wait for four long hours before her infant fell asleep.

On the other hand, the woman in the shot below could be on the cover of Vogue and Crewdson uses her too in these shots of suburban angst. Is she dead or alive.

In these domestic scenes, unlike the panoramic views I started with, he focuses in on the individual realizing they are leading Thoreau's life of quiet desperation. Below a woman - maybe the same one in the flooded living room - tends her profusely blooming indoor garden wearing a nightgown and illuminated ironically by celestial rays, rays that would normally lend spirituality and hope to a scene that is without either.

Crewdson said that when he approached her about doing this in her house, she said, "Why not?" And look at the niche she gained in art history by saying yes. He needed her and that expression on her face to pull off this great psychological drama of a photo.

 

 

 

 

February 22, 2013

It was love at first sight when I came across the painting above by Jose Parla at the Haunch of Venison, a London gallery. WOW swept through me.

He is an artist hitting the big time but I had never heard of him.

Then I found a video of him in action and my heart accelerated. The way he works is exciting. Below is another of his works in the London space with the great name. His show, which ends in late March, is called Broken Languages. The painting's called Day and Night in London Town.

Here's another painting at Haunch of Venison and below is one he did for the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Finally, below if one of a number of outdoor paintings he did last year in Havana in collaboration with the French artist JR whose faces grace cities around the world. Parla, who works in New York, is of Cuban descent. For the murals they photographed 25 people who lived through Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution in the 1950s.

Both lyrical and explosive, Parla's work is based on his impressions of cities he visits, drawing texture from what he sees and feels about a place. As he puts it:

"For most of my life I have experienced being in transition and migration. This feeling allows me to bring the broken languages of the global community and its conditions into the gallery.

"My work is an empire of fragmented cacophonies, observed performances, palimpsestic musical gestures and topographical compositions..."

Palimpsestic. Now that's one showoffy word. I had to look it up. A palimpsest is a manuscript on which the original writing has been written over.

 

 

 

February 19, 2013

Photo by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

This is one of my favorite photographs. I took it a year or two ago On East Street from a great distance and then blew it up. So what I have is a photo that looks like an impressionist painting.

I am anxious to enlarge it much further and print it. But I haven't been doing that lately because of the cost and the storage problem. The girl, who was striking (I don't mean she was on strike), was putting on lipstick.

Last night Babbie and I went to the fifth PechaKucha Night at the Berkshire Museum. The nine presenters included Van Shields, the museum's executive director. His 20 slides showed him in front of far flung works of art in which he attempted, comically, to mimic the stance and expression of the subject.

Tonight I'm going to 10 x 10 RAP (real art party) at the museum. It starts with a party at 5:30 and at 7 p.m. there is a drawing for 100 paintings, photographs and sculptures donated by their creators. A lot of them are pieces I'd like to own.

Buy a ticket for $25 and you can get one of the 10" x 10" artworks. The only catch is that the one you get depends on the luck of the draw. The person whose ticket is drawn first gets first pick. The person whose ticket is drawn last - well you get the idea.

The money raised will go to scholarships for college art students from the Berkshire Art Association and for art field trips for high school pupils.

 

 

February 15, 2013

Photos by Grief Horner/All Rights Reserved

I drove 1 1/2 hours yesterday to meet George in Amherst for our monthly lunch at Judie's .

When I walked in I looked around for George, who usually arrives first . Didn't see him.

A hostess greeted me.

I'm looking for an old, old man, I told her. "Do you have one here."

"You may be out of luck," she said. "Let me check."

Another young woman came out and asked, "Are you Grier?"

"That's right."

"Well your wife called and said George can't make it."

So I sat at the bar and ate by myself and took pictures. At the top is one of a couple sitting to my right. That's my arm on the bar. To be inconspicuous I put the camera on the counter sideways and pointed it in their direction and clicked the trigger a few times. A sneaky way to do it, but you can't just hold the camera up in front of your face and shot if you want to get a candid shot.

 

The skylight over the bar and a neon sign are reflected in my sunglasses.

So why didn't George and Babbie call me on my cell to let me know not to make the trip. I had only been gone a few minutes when George called Babbie to let her know his battery was dead and the tow truck was going to be delayed.

Well, they had called me, over and over. But my cell, which I was on vibrate, not ring, was lying on the passenger seat. The upholstery absorbed the vibrations so I just continued merrily on my way.

This was the second time in the last few years that I dined at Judie's alone. The first time it had been a misunderstanding on which day we were getting together.

 

 

 

 

 

February 12, 2013

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

This is my submission for the 10 X 10 RAP being held this week at the Berkshire Museum. Mine was 101st entry when I brought it in about 20 minutes  before deadline yesterday afternoon. Its title is Riding Hood's Rothko.

In case you were wondering, that isn't a spot on the photo on the young woman's right thigh, it's a fashionable hole in her tights.

I was going to submit a painting but Sunday night I decided it needed more work. Since it was in oil, any changes I made wouldn't dry in time. So I went to Plan B - the photo.

It started life as the shot below. I took it on the street in New York City. Recently I cut the girl out of the picture with Photoshop Elements 11 and inserted her into an internet photo of a section of one of Mark Rothko's murals for the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram Building in Manhattan. He painted them about 60 years ago. There was a dispute and they were never hung there.

The event is sponsored by the Berkshire Art Association and the Storefront Artist Project in conjunction with the museum. Part of the city's 10 X 10 Festival, the small works are going to be sold for $25 each through a drawing on February 20. The money raised will go to benefit county art students.*

Here's the schedule of events.

February 14 - 20: The art will be on display at the museum.

February  19: A preview party will be held in tandem with the Museum's Pecha Kucha night. (At Pecha Kucha the participants each give a fast - and often furious - slide show. If past Pecha Kucha nights are an indicator, the show should be a lot of fun.) It all begins at 7 p.m.

February 20: A 10 X 10 RAP (Real Art Party) will be held at the museum. Doors open at 5:30 and for a donation you can get beer or wine. At 7 p.m. the drawing takes place. To participate you need to buy a ticket - called an ARTIX - for $25. There's no guarantee you'll get the work you like best, but you will get an artwork. The first name drawn chooses first, the second name second, etc.

* The money raised will be used for BAA fellowships for college art majors from Berkshire County, For regional art field trips for high school art classes and free admission to the museum for art students. The sponsors announced that the Berkshire Bank Foundation has made a donation to the project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 10, 2013

 

 

Ansel Adams

 

 

 

Ansel Adams, the great American landscape photographer, drew a surprising number of people to the opening of his show at the Berkshire Museum last night - surprising considering it was the evening after the season's heaviest snow fall.

The display of 48 of his photographs will hang through June 2. These constitute about two-thirds of a selection of work Adams, who died in 1984, considered his best. 

Ansel Adams: Masterworks, a travelling exhibit from the collection of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park in California, will be on view at the Pittsfield museum through June 2.

 

I took these shots of his work at the museum last night but my pictures don't fully convey the immense power, beauty and technical perfection of his work.

 


 

Last night Sarah Todd of Rural Intelligence, the internet arts and activities weekly, was covering the reception. That's Sarah above. Below reception goers serve themselves. Me? I had a brownie and a toothpicked confection.

 

 

 

 

 

Four movers and shakers on the Berkshire arts scene are pictured here. From the left they are museum Communication Director Leslie Ann Beck, museum Executive Director Van Shields, Pittsfield culture chief Megan Whilden and artist Jeanet Ingalls. Below are Maria Mingalone, the museum's director of interpretation, and her mother, Edie Mingalone of Pittsfield.

 

 

 

Also being celebrated last night was the opening of Nature Magnified: Photographs by Andreas Feininger (above). His photos of shells, bones, insects, and other organic objects are paired in the gallery with shells from the Museum’s expansive natural science collection. This exhibition will also be up through June 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 7, 2013

This is a guest post by Karen Lee with photos by Susan Geller in connection with Karen's upcoming burlesque performances at Spice Dragon in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on Friday February  15   and Saturday February 16. Deirdre Flynn Sullivan is director.

One of the visual attractions of the Spice Dragon shows is that Karen Lee will perform in the Cage, the ornate women's loo.

I became the Gypsy Rose Lee and pioneer of burlesque in the Berkshires when
asked to be the chairwoman for the Lenox Library fund raiser "Burlesque for
Books" In 2010.

My training as a Broadway dancer and entertainer allowed me to
embrace the art form, but I had no idea that it would lead to a whole new
performance career. Despite tremendous resistance and backlash after that hugely successful event,(including an article in the Eagle that caused me to lose a one-woman play at Ventfort Hall that summer) I never gave up on

 

my mission to be authentic, true, and expressive. So in the summer of 2010 I became the MC for the debut of Gypsy Layne, the first burlesque troupe borne in the Shire (North Adams), where we performed every Thursday at 11 PM in Williamstown. (Editor's note: She is no longer associated with that group. "I am my own show, yes, and do my own thing. Always.")

My intentions are to educate and titillate and to continue the legacy of this unique form. It has roots that go back to England and was brought to this country in the late 19th century. My shows are influenced by its history, as well as vaudeville and musical comedy. They are about celebrating and enjoying the body, the mind and the spirit behind it all.

I have since been invited to perform with the Poetry Brothel in NYC at

Meyer Lansky's original Speakeasy as well as

in Cambridge at the Cantab Lounge. I had a 4 month residency at the Down County Social Club where I developed what has now become my very own 'Marilyn Show'. It has become an essential part of my performance life and an opportunity for me to hire professional local musicians, including my own son Maximillian. Every show is completely unique and thematically connected to the venue/event. I hope you will join me for the 10x10 Festival and find out what its all about!!

To see a video by Ms. Geller go to Karen Lee: Queen of the Cage.

 

Karen Lee
Spice Dragon, 297 North Street
10 Shades of Marilyn
Fri & Sat, Feb. 15-16 at 8:30pm

Donation suggested

An homage to the life and legacy of Norma Jean Baker. Conceived/choreographed and performed by Karen Louise Lee, this tribute show is a collage of costumes, songs, text and movement that reveal and celebrate the woman who became Marilyn Monroe. Directed by Deirdre Flynn Sullivan.

 

On Friday the 15th at 10 PM at Sprice Dragon Ms. Lee will also stage a second show: When I Fall in Love.

Donation suggested

This is an original cabaret featuring Ms. Lee and guests including Johnny Segalla, Deirdre Flynn Sullivan and the BurlyQ Boy Band. Music, dance, trivia, laughter and lots of love form the core of this show as we take the audience on a journey to another era of glamour and le joie de vivre!
 

 

 

 

 

 

February 4, 2013

Photo Booth Shots by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

Sunday morning at 8:45 it was 48.9 degrees in the bedroom. I had been feeling the cold seep through the blankets but hated the idea of getting out of bed to get another blanket.

This is the kind of interior temperature Babbie likes at the beginning of the winter. But by this time of year she's lost her apetite for artic bedroom blasts and doesn't open the window as wide - or sometimes not at all.

But she is down in balmy Myrtle Beech, North Carolina, for a week walking along the ocean with Zoa, and I - the home body - am at home.

So when it dipped below 50 in the bedroom, it was my own fault. Even though I had only left the window ajar, that was too much.

This morning it wasn't quite as cold in the house, but cold enough that I threw on a hood and pulled it up before the heat came on.

Below is a picture of how I looked 24 hours earlier. That was around noon. I had already been up three hours but hadn't made myself presentable yet, assuming that making myself presentable is within the realm of possibility.

I guess you could call this: Tribulations of a cold bedroom, bad hair and an absent wife.

 

 

 

February 2, 2013

Photo by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

This is Route 9 heading east to Northampton about 3:30 Thursday afternoon. And this was before the fog got really bad.

On the trip over from Pittsfield you would run into patches were there was no fog. Then wisps would form a thin wall across the pavement. Occasionally you plunged into a fog bank.

Coming back to Pittsfield in the early evening conditions were much worse, among the worst I'd ever seen. It was dense, enveloping, isolating, so bad you couldn't see the houses along the road.  Most of the time I couldn't tell where I was. I was almost through the village of Goshen before I realized I was in Goshen.

This was the kind of fog that causes 75-car crashes on the interstates.

At times I was driving under 20 miles an hour. The low beams illuminated the white lines at the center and side of the road for a short distance ahead. Except for the lights of oncoming cars, those lines were my only means of navigation. And there weren't many cars driving east.

Coming out of Northampton about 10 cars formed a caravan behind me. For more than an hour only one vehicle passed me: a van that was moving insanely fast. I would have loved to be able to stay with it so I could just follow its tail lights. But their diffused glow disappeared in seconds and I just couldn't drive that fast. I was amazed at the driver's skill and stupidity. Who knows? Maybe it was an emergency.

I was on the road to deliver a proposal for a one-man show at the A.P.E. gallery on Northampton's main street. It was the last chance I had to deliver it before the deadline. Great timing.

 

 

 

 

ff f fd

 

Archives 2012 January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
Sept 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
Archives 2011 January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
Sept 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
Archives 2010 January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
Sept 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
Archives 2009 January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
Sept 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
Archives 2008 January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
Archives 2007 January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
Archives 2006 January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
LINKS

Seth Harwood, writer

Leslie, poet

Joe Goodwin, painter

Juliane: bimbopolitics

Lisa Reinke, painter

John Mitchell, commentary

Charles Guiliano, MAVERIC, art critic

Saatchi Gallery

ArtDaily.com

Steve Satullo, movies

Christine Heller, artist

 

 

 

 

© grier horner - all rights reserved • grierhorner.com

 

 

 

February 4, 2013

Photo Booth Shots by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

Sunday morning at 8:45 it was 48.9 degrees in the bedroom. I had been feeling the cold seep through the blankets but hated the idea of getting out of bed to get another blanket.

This is the kind of interior temperature Babbie likes at the beginning of the winter. But by this time of year she's lost her apetite for artic bedroom blasts and doesn't open the window as wide - or sometimes not at all.

But she is down in balmy Myrtle Beech, North Carolina, for a week walking along the ocean with Zoa, and I - the home body - am at home.

So when it dipped below 50 in the bedroom, it was my own fault. Even though I had only left the window ajar, that was too much.

This morning it wasn't quite as cold in the house, but cold enough that I threw on a hood and pulled it up before the heat came on.

Below is a picture of how I looked 24 hours earlier. That was around noon. I had already been up three hours but hadn't made myself presentable yet, assuming that making myself presentable is within the realm of possibility.

I guess you could call this: Tribulations of a cold bedroom, bad hair and an absent wife.

 

 

 

February 2, 2013

Photo by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

This is Route 9 heading east to Northampton about 3:30 Thursday afternoon. And this was before the fog got really bad.

On the trip over from Pittsfield you would run into patches were there was no fog. Then wisps would form a thin wall across the pavement. Occasionally you plunged into a fog bank.

Coming back to Pittsfield in the early evening conditions were much worse, among the worst I'd ever seen. It was dense, enveloping, isolating, so bad you couldn't see the houses along the road.  Most of the time I couldn't tell where I was. I was almost through the village of Goshen before I realized I was in Goshen.

This was the kind of fog that causes 75-car crashes on the interstates.

At times I was driving under 20 miles an hour. The low beams illuminated the white lines at the center and side of the road for a short distance ahead. Except for the lights of oncoming cars, those lines were my only means of navigation. And there weren't many cars driving east.

Coming out of Northampton about 10 cars formed a caravan behind me. For more than an hour only one vehicle passed me: a van that was moving insanely fast. I would have loved to be able to stay with it so I could just follow its tail lights. But their diffused glow disappeared in seconds and I just couldn't drive that fast. I was amazed at the driver's skill and stupidity. Who knows? Maybe it was an emergency.

I was on the road to deliver a proposal for a one-man show at the A.P.E. gallery on Northampton's main street. It was the last chance I had to deliver it before the deadline. Great timing.

 

 

 

 

 

Archives 2012 January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
Sept 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
Archives 2011 January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
Sept 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
Archives 2010 January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
Sept 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
Archives 2009 January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
Sept 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
Archives 2008 January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
Archives 2007 January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
Archives 2006 January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
LINKS

Seth Harwood, writer

Leslie, poet

Joe Goodwin, painter

Juliane: bimbopolitics

Lisa Reinke, painter

John Mitchell, commentary

Charles Guiliano, MAVERIC, art critic

Saatchi Gallery

ArtDaily.com

Steve Satullo, movies

Christine Heller, artist

 

 

 

 

© grier horner - all rights reserved • grierhorner.com