Happy New Year!

see the series here...


I came across

this impressive photograph while researching 19th century photographs in the Online Archive of California.

1918 Man and Child with weapon standing in front of barn wall covered with animal pelts. Photographer unknown.



I've always thought that Gregory Crewdsons' fictions were rooted not only in cinema but that they also borrowed and were inspired by historical photographs like the famous Sternfeld image below. I am more partial to the serendipitous.

A reader has commented about this post and linked to an article in the NY Times titled Joel Sternfeld Versus His Successors. It's a good read and can be found here.

Joel Sternfeld  Exhausted Renegade Elephant, Woodland, Washington 

Gregory Crewdson Untitled from the series Twilight 2001


Barbara Crane

Recently, I had the good fortune to catch a Barbara Crane exhibit at the Stephen Daiter Gallery while in Chicago for the Thanksgiving holiday. Her recent monograph Private Views published by Aperture is one of my favorite books from last year so I was happy to have a chance to see the Polaroids up close and personal. What I didn't know was how much diversity and range there was in regards to the rest of her work. I came away liking Barbara Crane more than I already had. That's always a good feeling.

Private Views 1980 - 84

Private Views 1980 - 84

Fringe Benefit 1975

People of the North Portal 1970-1971

People of the North Portal 1970-1971

Human Form 1965-1966

all images ©Barbara Crane

2 from Hawaii

Jasper, Hanaleia, and Justin   20 Mile Beach, Molokai, Hawaii   2009

Baldwin Beach, Maui, Hawaii   2009



A Painting

I'm speechless


in case you missed it...

In the Science Times a couple weeks ago there was a fascinating story and slide show about a little known culture in what is now Romania nearly 7000 years old that had a highly developed visual language. There is currently an exhibition of the artifacts titled "The Lost World of Old Europe," at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.

Photos: Marius Amarie and Elena-Roxana Munteanu


World AIDS Day

Every December first since 1988 our culture and media highlight and reflect upon the global AIDS crisis. Today I'd also like to draw attention to a couple of powerful projects about AIDS. The first is a Magnum project called Access to Life - where eight photographers followed thirty people around the globe before - and four months after - they underwent antiretroviral therapy. The other is an audio AIDS diary from the Hearing Voices audio project. Both are extremely moving and important works of journalism. Coinciding with the day when President Obama will speak to Americans about the erroneous escalation of the war in Afghanistan - we might try instead to think about all the courageous people fighting to preserve life in the fight against AIDS...

© clockwise from top right; Paolo Pellegrin, Alex Majoli, Eli Reed, Steve McCurry

© Melikhaya Mpumela