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.

1aaa

Documents068

Documents069


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.

1aaa

1aaaa


Bjork

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

..May 2007 New York..

Photo credentials for Bjork. Assignment for Mix Magazine.

1aaa

blog17


Striptease Burlesque photo exhibition, Gallery EF, Tokyo, Japan

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

..May 2007 Tokyo..

Poster from Striptease Burlesque photo exhibition.

1aaa

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

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.

1aaa


Tracy

Monday, October 19th, 2009

..August 2001    New York..

This was the first portrait I took of Tracy.  It was taken during a fashion shoot at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.  We had to deal with curious tourists, an August heat wave, and crazy fashion designers who wanted to shoot 20 looks in 3 hours with clothing to big for the models.

We didn’t shoot again for another year.  After that Tracy was a muse for 6 years.  We traveled almost everywhere to take photos.  8 hour car rides to the Midwest looking for old wooden covered bridges, sunrise trips to remote deserts close to where the military tests missiles, dirty alley ways in Venice, the vile bathroom at CBGB’s, and countless other locations all times of day, morning, an late night.

All to get photographs.  Not much seemed far away during those times.  We found a way to make the camera work with whatever resources we had.

This was my favorite photograph from the fashion shoot.  Tracy looks almost like a boy in this photo.  The eyes and tilt of her head always catch my attention.

She was always able to give me emotion.  The intangible that makes our photos.  I haven’t been able to consistently get that out of the many people I’ve photographed.

I don’t know what happened to those fashion designers.  I’m not even sure what they did with the photos…..But it resulted in me and Tracy working as an effective team for many years.

After all the passed time, it’s  still spontaneous and unpolished when we photograph.  A lot like the excitement of the unknown when we photographed the first couple of times.

1aaa


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.

blog24

blog25


Yesterday

Friday, October 16th, 2009

..October 2009 New York, Tokyo, Nagasaki, and Kamakura..

I have many thoughts about spending last autumn in Tokyo and Nagasaki. It’s exactly a year. In many ways it feels like yesterday.

It is strange because my mind and heart are still in Nagasaki and Tokyo. With the atomic bomb Survivors, Hibakusha, in Nagasaki, and at the Survivor’s of the Tokyo fire bombings home’s in Tokyo and Chiba.

I still feel the change in the air from September to October when I walked around Asakusa and Kamakura on days I wasn’t taking photos.

I still see the emerald green leaves turn to rust orange in Shinjuku Gardens. It feels like last year was a day ago.

How do we get time back? Or is the passage of time what makes it special?

1aaa


Last Day in Tokyo…

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

blog16


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.

blog5

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.

1aaa