Saturday, December 29, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
en todo- posse of love
returning to new york city after a month of sleep-away camp, was always a vivid moment for me. through and through the many years trooping north to the state of brotherly love, vibing on fresh lakeside, crystal clear fresh water and breezes that were alive in the way summer can only make them pass by, descending into new york city was always a surreal and so real return to this true concrete jungle.
feeling the energy, getting close to the city, warmer, more humid air and then over the geee dubs, into manhattan, the warm weather hydrants, the colors of cabs, reflections, stores, signs, fruits, people! yes, back in new york city, for another month of lamping back grade school way before a new september.
this is my posse, closer than close. circa 1993. corner of 112th, nyc.
love and health and happy holidays to all...
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Columbia University is planning to build a 17 acre campus in Harlem in the next 10-15 years, from 125th street to 133rd street on the West Side of Manhattan. The final vote is on the table of the city council and this vote will take place at the end of January 2008. Many homeowners, renters, business owners, building owners are still hoping the council won't pass the approval. And if so, these folk still plan on standing firm and staying their ground. Emminent Domain is an option that Columbia hopes will come into play if needed.
I spent a few days exploring the neighborhood in question, practicing with a large format camera on loan for my class...
"Tuck-It-Away Storage, Broadway and 131st street"
love and health and strength to all...
Saturday, December 15, 2007
This autumn I enrolled in a large format photography class at icp. i had been out of the education game for some time and hadn't actually enrolled in a photo class in years, since the blessed lands of minnesote. i cashed in my teaching assistant credits, got blessed with a half price class and my five week journey began. day one i was given a 4 by 5 camera and told that it was mine for the duration of the class.
it has been five weeks and the class ended yesterday. it was beautiful. i began a project that i plan on continuing off and on for the next year. thing is, i gotta get my hands on a large format camera (so if anyone knows a grandma, or a friend trying to get rid of theirs, let me know) to continue its beauty
a 4 by 5 negative is 20 times larger than a 35 mm negative and thus means 20 times more info, more detail and all around more love. of course, that also means there is 20 times or more room to mess up, but "mess ups" are all part of the learning experience.
so, so, my project. well, i'm beginning to take portraits of people in my building, here in nyc. i started with some friends who work here who i've known for ages. i haven't gotten everyone and i want to return and re-make some of these portraits but it's a beginning. i am soon hoping to make portraits of as many folks who live here that are down. that may take some time, but as far as i know, i got heaps of it.
so here is the first i'm sharing. my dear friend larry, who i've known for almost 27 years the end of this month.
love and health to all...
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
the system=el sistema
unfortunately over the past 48 hours i have been involved in helping a good friend sort his way through "the system," also known as "la sistema" or also known as a nasty combination of the NYPD, the New York State Supreme Court and the Department of Corrections.
it has not been pretty and it has, sadly, although not unexpectedly, certainly reinforced my distaste for police officers and "la sistema" as a whole. the real truth is that families and individuals, human beings and lives are infinitely more susceptible to incarceration and loss of freedom if resources are not available.
it has also gotten me thinking about that crazy word no one ever really mentions after grade school- SLAVERY. and its made me think and possibly realize that a lot of this has to do with the uphill battle that is upward mobility and in my opinion is also directly related to the history of slavery in the americas in all of its nasty forms.
poor folk around the world get the short end of the stick. poor black men in the united states, quite possibly get the ugliest end of the deal. i think too, that folks like p diddy, barack obama, denzel, even though all their successes are so strong and incredible, allow the public to forget the reality that today in new york city it is a damn hard going being a black man in harlem, beverly hills or even northfield, minnesota.
i got a lot on my mind, more specific experiences to share, but i don't want to bore anyone. i just had to share a snippet.
as for a photo, well, today is a print i made a few weeks back, visiting my cousin and her husband in upstate new york. the "plate" was a piece of paper with crayon drawing (the crayon held the ink). i don't remember the process but it included water, a press and some gum arabic...
much love and health and freedom to all...
Monday, December 03, 2007
a dust brother
i awoke this morning to snow obscuring the sky and dusting the roads. it was the first white morns in new york city this year and as i lay on my couch, half asleep, a quarter on the way to a dream and the other twenty five thinking about an idaho russet potato i had sitting in the kitchen, i decided to spend my day cleaning out a room that was long overdue.
reluctant had i been for some time, knowing that on the other side of the boxes and bags, dust and dirt, was a short hop through days of my life, right there in a pile, gathering dust.
i cleaned for 8 hours, organized and sorted and even made some time to cook a pot of kala chana, which four hours later is still simmering and stewing.
through the day i came across some wonderful photographs and even had one ready to share. but that image didn't seem to have a negative with it, so instead i picked these three...
love and health to all...