Friday, December 7, 2007

"How to hunt"

Trine S√łndergaard and Nicolai Howalt, with “How To Hunt”, are not only paying reverence to prey and hunter, but also to the photographic traditions of view camera photography. They also embrace photographic manipulation software and digital printing advancements as a means of more easily disseminate their concepts. The lush Dutch countryside setting severs as a comforting stage, a blanketing of beauty to contrast the acts of implied violence.

When hunting is mentioned, most people immediately think of the vulgarity of the act…as a sport. What of its attributes in the aid of survival? If you enjoy avian meat, and you what to have some stores of it for winter, it used to be you’d get a good hunting dog, train him well. Then, teach yourself how to track birds in flight with a rifle. All the while, training yourself to shoot accurately and consistently. Then, you’d have your stores. Not easy. (Things worth doing are usually hard).

Technology has served to make life much easier. By reminding ourselves of these direct relationships between food and prey, it can awaken those feelings of a deeper connection to ones environment. Rather than a mere act of survival modern hunting mimics these traditions, reverent of the hunter and prey throughout the ages, while practicing the act with all the know-how of modernity.

Showing at Silverstein Photography 535 W. 24th Street, until January 12, 2008

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Kids with Cameras" at Soho Photo

SohoPhoto is not in Soho. It is south of Houston, but it’s also in the triangle below Canal. So really it’s Suchitra, 14 "Girl on a Roof"
in Tribeca, I’m splitting hairs. Did make me wonder if they had to move for rent increases in Soho, though. The gallery has been around since the early seventies and has monthly portfolio review for prospective members. They’re most famous for their “Krappy Kamera” competition that only allows for images taken with cameras that have a plastic lens, or pinhole, or a cell phone image, you get the idea. They exhibit and promote members work monthly throughout the year. On display currently on the second floor of gallery is Zana Briski’s “Kids With Cameras”. The children’s pictures are the last things I saw at this gallery. If they were first I may not have bothered with the rest. I found myself being incredibly moved by the free, uninhibited nature of the children’s photographs. I spoke with one patron who stated, “Well, they obviously aren’t thinking, I mean you wouldn’t expect them to”; I didn’t disagree with him then and there. I instead thought to myself how pompous of an ass do you have to be to say something like this. The children that photographed these striking images may not have the education of this man, but they have most likely experienced much more in their lives that would make for some strong photographic expressions. One young photographer, named Gour, was quoted in the flyer as saying “...that’s why I like photography, I want to put across the behavior of man.” This statement doesn’t sound like a statement someone would make that was not thinking about his or her craft. These kids are from the brothels of Calcutta. They see all kinds of despicable behavior. This 13-year-old boy seems to what to show men their behavior in pictures, so that maybe they will step back and see their misdeeds as just that. That’s a pretty lofty goal for such an ‘unthinking’ photographer.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Jamel Shabazz at Powerhouse

There was a tinge of excitement rousing folk at powerhouse books the other night...was it Shabazz himself arriving? No, he was present in his argyle glory. It's the 'retro' crew...mad disappointing, well there is free beer. What was even more disappointing was the fact that no one (myself included) asked the 'retro' boys if they saw the inherent irony of them getting props for vamping styles that my man Shabazz made available through the proliferation of his vision.
I mean really, these kids are rockin' a stylo they were not around to witness firsthand. So they use ebay and what have you, great. Why is all the cool gear from 15-20 years ago? Make your own way. I realize that every generation builds on the last but to straight take the same styles and just do it again...weak. I will admit in my day the 60's and 70's were really popular references, vintage pieces were coveted, and some went as far as to copy photos of the day. They were lame too. Adaption, my friends, is the key to making it your own.
The rest of the photos from Powerhouse can be found here

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Remembering Terror is so Romantic

The romanticizing of the acts of terror that befell us all on 9.11 started almost immediately preceding the attacks: "the day that will be etched in the American physique forever", "the day the world changed", "heroes which shall never be forgotten"...the news media was quick to quantify the days event into neat phases strangely remittance of marketing phrases or movie tag lines. The media wasn't the only ones cashing in on this new market demographic...the 9.11 patriot or the scared shitless citizen. To cater to this new customer, almost overnight, bomb sniffing dog training schools popped up, the tall tower evacuation parachute was unveiled, new terror prevention security agencies formed, and American flags along with trash bags and duct tape were flying off Wal-Mart shelves. The unthinkable was coming true, America was uniting(under the roof a of the local mega store only), and it's still happening six years later...just on a much smaller scale, on the banks of the east river.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Jezebel's Howl

In the soon to be debunked Galapagos Art Space the "Jezebels" of the Jezebel Music Dot Com's "Consignment" event sang, strummed, and beat their immoral promiscuous hearts out. This reporter missed the opening act by a bit...but I did catch their name Low Lustre the fellas made a good show of it for certain. They were followed by the quirking duo of BobbyBlue.

This decidedly soprano singer has an eclectic mix of traditional Latin songs and cheery upbeat originals that he belts out to the beat of his standing drummer.

What What Where headlined, this sextet of electro somethings rocked a hard six song set to the gleeful appreciation of the crowd of onlookers. As with any good "Jezebels" the acts were dripping with sweat, going hard, and not stopping until we were all done, thanks for the good time, Jezzies.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Black Moth Super Rainbow In-Store

As is usually the case for us here at Fotomatic, we were turned on to this bunch of rockin' ambient band nerds by a friend. A friend who most likely was turned on to them by someone else with a discerning musically taste. Word of mouth is how good music stays good and bands support themselves without bowing to commercial music demands, and how Fotomatic gets to cover sweet events. So drop us a line and let us no what's good in your hood, or what's going down in your part of town; enjoy the flicks shot at SoundFix in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bill Adler's Eye-jammie Gallery

Bill Adler is the one to talk to if you had your artistic awakening around the genesis of rap. Or maybe you happen to be hanging with the rising rap stars of the early 80's, sporting a camera, and all the while snapping shots that showed your uncanny eye and technique. Even if these reason don't apply to you, the real reason to go see Bill and his gallery, word is bond, he’s the nicest person working to promote Hip-Hop culture that we’ve run across. That’s why it’s so disturbing that he might be pushed out of his space which he has occupied for thirteen years. When he signed his lease the neighborhood was a bit rougher and real estate redevelopment wasn’t in the building's foreseeable future. The space (sometimes serving as an office for various ventures, but for last five years of its life serving as a gallery to some of the most talented hip-hop influenced artists) is a nice size room with biggish bright windows, all in all, a really nice Chelsea studio. From his desk Bill looks out over his displayed collection “Part of the Permanent record: Photos From the Previous Century” by Harry Allen, Hip-Hop Activist & Media Assassin. This show has got them all Sheila E., Flavor Flav, Scott La Rock, Whodini, Setsasonic just to name a few. Thirty-six photos in all, all showing a founding member of the culture photographed in moments of triumph, friendship, quiet reflection, or just plain frontin’ for the camera. Harry and Bill, with their show, share with us quite the historical record. You immediately sense in Bill a need to connect these images of the culture’s Petri dish days with the younger hip-hop audience. An audience that is more akin to the slick, marketing firm approved, image stylist polished, MCs of today. Few will take the time to explore the past, the past of what seems to drive almost every move they make. Part of the problem is the complete lack of reverence for the music. Before you can even memorize the verse to the most flavorful joint on the radio, it has been pushed out of rotation by the next big hit. But for those that venture to the gallery, and not just virtually, the true heads will be richly rewarded for their efforts. Bill himself has so much to say about his ride on the surly seas of Hip-Hop; he has two books on the subject. So you know he’s got some great stories, and often is very willing to share them.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Have you met Jaimie Warrren?

The hard working ladies and gents over at NAME: have been working to provide you with their latest commentary on contemporary culture. So it comes as no surprise that the folks at NAME: talk about photography. Not to ride coat tails here but if cross-promotion isn't enough of an excuse to have post about someone else post, the fact that this interview is with Jaimie Warren is. So sit back relax and enjoy the unique stylings of NAME:'s Jaimie Warren interview.

Jaimie playing bacci ball at a BK BBQ

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jeffery's Wedding in RVA

Our good friend and painter Jeffery just made his eternal vows of love to his bride Robin, a school teacher with one of the most pleasant dispositions we've ever come across. Way to go Jeff your life changing decision was prudently made and happiness will reign in your house. Enjoy the good life.

Monday, July 9, 2007

5th Vice Photo Show 7.6.2007

Commentary on the 5th Vice Photo Show

Fotomatic would like to thank the lovely folks over at Vice Magazine and Brooklyn Industries Contemporary Art for letting us photograph at their event, the 5th annual Vice Photo Show. Thanks for not kickin' us out. It was good fun thanks to a nicely done show not to mention a consent flow of Colt45 24oz cans and hip hot guys and girls. The photos at this show are most definitely worth a look-see. Vice has given us a great diversion on these lazy summer days in Williamsburgh. Let the photos of Radeq Brousil take you to a even cooler realm than Broadway and Driggs, a photographer who moved to Canada from Europe, these images explore the strange behavior of animals in Canadian wilderness, strange in comparison to the behavior of their European counterparts, according to the artist. If Canada doesn't suit your fancy, take a jaunt over the pond and back to the "Days of Thatcher" with John Sturrock's intense, truthful, and involved documentation of the demonstrations and riots in the UK from that era.

The show flyer is adorned with Enrique Metinides plane crash photo,

this Mexican photographer of crashes and crime scenes from the 60's, delivers the initial punch to set the tone of the show. As if those images weren't heavy enough, why not address the absurdity of modern warfare with Kalpesh Lathigra"Lads On Patrol".
Here, the photographer presents images of British soldiers stationed in the Helmand district of Afghanistan. These feel direct and stark, as well as a little sad, depicting young soldiers displaying their weapons with a look of fear embedded in their expressions. These images are displayed next to Richelle Forsey's images of student soldiers of Burma,

an all student democratic front fighting for democracy in their home nation. The soldiers are shown with expressions of confidence alluding to the fact that their chosen mission is one that gives them great pride. The dichotomy of these images of soldiers is evident and striking. As any good show will do the curators at Vice have kept with a theme to an extent. But being that it is a Vice show it's not all doom and gloom...after feasting you peepers on some politically charged imagery your eyes are given a slight respite with what else but topless women and shirtless boys. Three photographer seduce and sedate us with these bird chests and mystical mammary glands Carolin Leszczinski, Issabella Rozendaal and Matt Gunther. As you saunter your way through the exhibit, the back room holds the treasured moments of "My Little Dead Dick" the photographic diary of two young love struck photographers Madi Ju and Patrick Tsai as they dance their way to young love's bliss. So there you have it, go see it or at least pick up a copy of the Vice Magazine photo issue. The Show confirmed in our minds that powerful images still speak loudly even if sometimes we find ourselves drowning in a sea of mediocre photography that is devoid of concept, but somehow existing only out of the shameless consumerism, right on.