Archive for October, 2009

…Waiting for the American Dream and a bus on the outskirts of town…

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

..December 2006, Brooklyn, NY..

On a warm December day, Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey…In a park next to an electrical power plant and old sugar factory in Williamsburg. Reminds me of the American Gothic painting. Stoic feeling. But very warped. One looking one way…one looking at the camera. Tried to put the smoke stack in between the two.

What caught my eye was the park bench being very high because of a ditch on the ground. Their feet dangled like little kids. Never hitting the floor . They were short but this made them look miniature.

Was the last shot of the day. The tired look helped. On the last frame they interlocked their arms. Made a big difference….Searched an hour for those red flowers before the shoot.

I wanted a serious and stoic look in their silly costumes. I didn’t want a silly image, a contrast.

Probably the photo I enjoy the most from the Striptease Burlesque exhibition. 2 years later it would be the poster image for the Iisalmi, Finland version of the exhibition.




Looking at the bus stop in Nagasaki….

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

..October 2009 New York..

I wonder what it is like to grow up in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Do the children realize what happened here to their families 65 years ago?

Jet lagged, every morning at 7AM, 2 hours before my first interview with an atomic bomb Survivor I took short walks around the epicenter in Nagasaki. I wandered past the Urakami Cathedral walking up the stumpy rolling hills with school kids catching the public buses. I caught the laughter of 10 year old kids and the louder bantering of teenagers teasing each other. Occasionally saw a kid texting on their cell phone while waiting for a street signal to change.

Every manhole cover on the street in Nagasaki has a star imprinted in the metal. Frequently passed signs and stickers saying…”Nagasaki, the City of Peace.”

I couldn’t help think about the people who were vaporized by the atomic bomb. I was walking on cement that lay on top of ashes and unidentified bones. I was walking on sacred ground.

A city now covers what could be a cemetery. Every atomic bomb Survivor I met had someone in their family who was never found in the carnage of August 9th, 1945. Some vaporized, others burnt to charcoal and ash mixed in with the soil or washed away in the river.

Matsuo-san told me she thinks about saying good-bye to her 11 year old brother on August 9th, 1945. An hour before 11:02AM, when the atomic bomb was dropped. He was walking to work, less than a mile from the epicenter. Never found. Most likely vaporized or turned to ash.

I wonder what it’s like to grow up in these cities. Do they think about what’s beneath their feet when they walk to school?

The entire place had an affect on me. The people, landscape, history, stories, the few remaining heavily damaged fragments of life that barely Survived….

I grew up in a special place. New York is considered one of the capitols of the world. A cross roads of culture and excitement. Growing up in Hiroshima and Nagasaki has to have an affect on people. Whether it’s being aware of the tragedy, the cruelty of life, or the desire to live in a peaceful world.

I don’t know what it’s like growing up in either city. But if I did it would have had a profound affect on me. It did when I was 34 years old.




Friday, October 23rd, 2009

..May 2007 New York..

Photo credentials for Bjork. Assignment for Mix Magazine.



Striptease Burlesque photo exhibition, Gallery EF, Tokyo, Japan

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

..May 2007 Tokyo..

Poster from Striptease Burlesque photo exhibition.


Striptease Burlesque photo exhibition
Gallery EF
2-19-18 Kaminarimon
Tokyo, 111-0034

May 31st-June 21st, 2007

Sleeping Hot Dog Vendor

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

..October 2009  New York..

..Sleeping hot dog vendor outside the Museum of Art in New York.  Didn’t buy a hot dog from him.   Took notice of the army photo in back of the sleeping vendor.  Men with large machine guns.

On sunny October days, I walk to escape the dreary reality of war.  I think about all the people I spoke with in Japan who lost the majority of their family’s during WW II in the Tokyo fire bombings and atomic bombings.  I don’t like the glorification of war because it doesn’t explain the reality of war.


The Edge of the World…Siberia coming up, than Sapporo, and over the horizon into Tokyo….

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

..July 2007 Somewhere over Alaska..

..On plane, over Alaska, on the way to my exhibition opening in Tokyo.  Leaving the Western Hemisphere, entering the Far East.  Siberia coming up, than Sapporo, over the horizon into Tokyo…The Edge of the World.



Last Day in Tokyo…

Thursday, October 15th, 2009


Crystal Swarovski

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

..September 2005 New York..

One of the first photos Tracy and I did for Burlesque project. Always will be one of my favorite photos of her.

It’s shot in a location we would work in many times the next 3 years. It almost became another character in our photos. This was my second photo shoot there and first with her.


Was the first shot we did in her burlesque character. We hadn’t shot in a long time. The color series was called “Whores of the Night.” But I preferred the B/W series.

Was the beginning of a new character for us. The contrast makes it feel like “old” Berlin. She still has beauty in her face and softness against the icy black background.

It’s one of favorites because of the transition. Sexy and sensual. We worked hard through the years to build up a chemistry. A combination of influences here. But in the end it’s us…and the camera.


The Edge of the World

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

..May 2007 Aluetian Islands beneath my feet..

..With the Aluetian Islands beneath my feet. I’m leaving North America crossing into Asia. The Aluetian Islands feel like tentacles reaching from the West into the Northern Pacific and the the back door of the Far East.

The plane ride glides across Canada, hits an apex in Alaska, then slowly descends across Attu Island, spiraling past Siberia, and down to the Edge of the World.

Little know, but important front of WW II was fought on these stretch of islands reaching off Alaska. Japanese skipped across this backdoor. Took 2 years to get the small force off the islands. A Zero fighter crashed, found perfectly intact, to be studied…

You don’t think of it, the Aluetians are the last outpost of the US Empire. The furthest beacon away from the homeland. Completely unknown to 99% of the population. From this ocean perch, it’s a direct stare into Siberia and the entrance to Japan. I can see the red lights of Sapporo on the horizon.

Torchy Taboo

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

..August 2006 New York..

Torchy Taboo is a long time burlesque performer from Atlanta. She often works with fire and is known for her elaborate costumes.

She was in New York the summer of 2006. We made detailed plans to shoot in the late summer.

On a random Thursday afternoon, I got a call from Torchy saying she was leaving New York in 4 hours and wanted to shoot now. But I had to drive to her Port Authority bus terminal right after because she had to make a 4PM bus to Atlanta.

She had moved out of her place and was staying in friend’s living room in the Village. “We can take the photo in the living room…” she explained.

I left right away, hit traffic, parked the car, 3PM. Knocked on the apartment door and a tiny woman with a Southern accent answered, Torchy. 5 minutes to take a photo in a strangers living room.

Than take her suit case to my car and rush to Port Authority. Get to the bus terminal, she rushes out with her suit case, disappears into a crowd of frantic travelers, never saw her again.

So much for the elaborate details of a planned shoot. Turned out to be an unexpected good shot. Burlesque personalities.

This portrait was edited out late in the process. Was a tough choice. It wasn’t shown in the original Striptease Burlesque exhibition shown in Tokyo.


Documents 067

Documents 066