On the Web: August 2004 Archives
Tyler Green is back from vacation and so am I. I made a short trip up the coast to Mystic, CT to recharge my batteries and get away with my wife one last time before the baby shows up. It seems that other art bloggers are also AWOL in advance of the new Fall art season. Paige West appears to have abandoned Art Addict (perhaps she was cured) and Caryn Coleman hasn't updated The Art Weblog in almost two months, though her art.blogging.la is still going strong. John Perrault's Artopia is still on "summer hiatus." I've been trying to figure out this bizarre summer disappearing act that the art world perpetrates each year, and I think it must have to do with the confluence of academia and extreme wealth.
I want to thank a few sites that have been sending traffic my way this month.
Featured features a gallery and interview with a handful of photographers each month, as well as posting lists of links to great photo galleries and resources around the web. This month's best gallery focuses on Todd Hido. (The site works best in IE, is broken in Firefox and Safari.)
While I'm at it, Artishell.com has an extensive list of visual arts blogs(including this one, so you know they've got good taste.)
Primarily a design site, but knowing no bounds really, Coudal has a new (?) feature on Fridays called "Depth of Field. Each Friday, such as today, they will feature a critique of a single photograph/photographer. Today's feature is "The Bakers" from the Scotlandfuturebog series by Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick. Personally, I find the series to be arbitrarily silly, with pseudo-references to Renaissance art cycles, but Coudal also has a great photography page on their blog, as well. Lots of good stuff to be found.
Thanks to Laura Holder for linking to this site. She's also linked to a Martin Parr interview on the Tate's web site for last year's show "Cruel and Tender". Over a good five minutes, Parr talks about his choice of subject matter for the show ("the flotsam and jetsam of consumer society", how tired) but also the differences in presentation formats for books, video and gallery shows. At the end he talks about technical issues, which influence the casualness of the pictures as well as their flash-photo aethetic.
The curator commentary on Gursky completely demolishes any joy you can take in the cacophonous phantasmagoria that is Gursky's "99 cent". Take a listen and you'll see what I mean. Lots of hoo-hah about the "nadir of consumerist culture". Gack, it's like a broken record isn't it?
The interview with Rineke Dijkstra starts off as mostly a travelogue of how she came to take the two sets of pictures shown at the Tate, one of Portuguese bullfighters and the other of new mothers with their babies. About a minute in, she starts to explore the relationship between the subject and the camera and how she attempts to capture people when they are not completely in control.
Ryan McGinley's underwater photographs of Olympic swimmers were featured in the Tmes on Sunday. This series of shots is more focused and interesting than the scatter shot of Abercrombie & Fitch-like work the Whitney showed earlier this year. I question the decision to take Amanda Beard out of a competition suit and shoot her in "civvies". It's hard to distinguish this from a mere fashion shot, but then I guess we all gravitate to what we're comfortable with.
Tyler over at MAN has some thoughts on McGinley's itchy trigger finger.
Todd Gibson over at "From the Floor" is really cranking it out. Todd is a volunteer docent at the Whitney and "Five Simple Rules for Talking about Art" are his initial thoughts on how to construct his gallery talks. After reading them over I think they're also good advice on writing about art. Personally, I struggle with what to write about when I'm highlighting photographers whose work I admire. Since I'm still building up my mental catalog of artists, sometimes it's all I can do but to point out similarities in theme, style, or subject. Making the larger analytical leap feels just beyond my grasp for now. Of course, it would probably jump into my hands if I would spend more time on it.