John Foster Tara Sellios Susan de Witt Christine Pearl Bear Kirkpatrick Michael Sherwin Alexandra de Steiguer
Issue 3 Fall 2014
Don't Take Pictures Issue 3 – Fall 2014
17 Winters The Photographs of Alexandra de Steiguer Hearing the Body, Witnessing Lives Bear Kirkpatrick’s Wallportraits STARK Susan de Witt Collectors, CSAs, and the Culture of Art Community Supported Art Invisible Histories Michael Sherwin’s Vanishing Points Christine Pearl Last Car Running Book Review: Love + Lust Open to Interpretation Tara Sellios A Studio Visit
2 Kat Kiernan 8 Roger Thompson 14 Melissa Horton 20 W.G. Beecher 24 Joseph Brennan 30 Shannon Mohrman 36 Amanda Hite-Salvato 38 Frances Jakubek
John Foster Collecting the Vernacular
Founder/Editor-in-Chief Senior Editor Staff Editor Designer
Kat Kiernan Roger Thompson W.G. Beecher Union Jack Creative
Publisher: The Kiernan Gallery, 49 Wyckoff Ave. 1st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Photo: Robert Alexander Williams
ast month I relocated both myself and Don’t Take Pictures to New York City. This move will allow for more collaborations with other creatives, and I am looking forward to expanding this publication here in the city. As with all big moves, packing up one’s belongings can be a chore. Choices must be made about what gets kept and what remains behind. When it came time to pack my artwork, the task was more daunting than expected. I discovered prints that I had never found the time to frame, and framed them. I found art books that I had not looked at in years, and paged through them. While not the most efficient method of packing, the time spent selecting frames, leafing through books, and painstakingly wrapping corners and packing boxes allowed me to reflect on my own art collection and what it means to call oneself an art collector. Though I am also a working artist, I choose to forego displaying my own work in favor of works by artists whom I admire (and can afford). Just because I could fill my walls for free, does not mean that I should. Instead, I
enjoy the act of supporting other artists of all mediums, and for that reason I consider myself a collector. In this issue, the role of the art collector, and its shifting definition, is a recurring theme. An interview with John Foster, a noted collector of vernacular photography, brings the idea of “value” into question. An article on the Community Supported Art movement explores and critiques who collectors are and the artists they support. Even the book review is not a monograph, but a collection of images assembled by a juror. In the coming weeks I will have a new perspective on the art in my home as I move pieces from wall to wall in pursuit of making them all work together. A new space and layout may change the way I think about some of the pieces. This publication features artists and collectors, with articles written by both. My intention with this issue is to encourage a discussion that makes you think differently about what role you play in the art community. Perhaps, by replacing the “and” with a “/”, more people might consider themselves Artists/Collectors. —Kat Kiernan, Editor-in-Chief
The Photographs of Alexandra de Steiguer Kat Kiernan
DONâ€™T TAKE PICTURES
Looking Seaward, Self-portrait 2013
In this digital age, it may seem impossible to wait five months to see one’s photographs, but the delayed gratification suits de Steiguer’s lifestyle.
sland living is often viewed as exotic and luxurious. Movies depict the lifestyle as idyllic, with palm trees, warm sands, and friendly neighbors. Imagine instead stepping off of a boat, alone, onto a snow-covered island in the North Atlantic Ocean. The sand is sharp and frozen, there are no palm trees, and the only neighbors are birds and seals. Alexandra de Steiguer has lived this kind of island life for the past 17 winters. Her black and white photographs portray her unique perspective of the Isles of Shoals in their dormant state. Through her lens, she documents the wild and harsh surroundings, and examines her place within them. De Steiguer’s first roll of black and white film was shot and developed in the forecastle of a tall ship off the coast of Spain. After a career as a deckhand aboard various tall ships, she toured the marine research facility and summer homes on the Isles of Shoals; nine small islands off the coast of New Hampshire and
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
Maine. “The islands have a certain wildness about them, so it felt a bit like entering an older and more rugged world—which is also how sailing a tall ship can feel—and so I was instantly intrigued.” That fascination landed her the job of winter caretaker on the spot. Now 17 seasons later, she cannot foresee a time when she would want to spend her winters anywhere but on “these wild and lonely islands.” Until a dry well several summers ago tainted the water with salt, de Steiguer developed her film on the island. Now she waits until her return to the mainland in the spring to print in her studio darkroom. In this digital age, it may seem impossible to wait five months to see one’s photographs, but the delayed gratification suits de Steiguer’s lifestyle. Printing by hand in traditional silver gelatin methods, the darkroom allows her the solitude she has become accustomed to. Alone with her film and chemistry, de Steiguer is able to spend
the summer months reliving the experiences of her beloved winter home.
Hotel in Snow 2012
Having spent 17 seasons with only the islands and their wildlife for company, de Steiguer’s photographs are deeply personal. Her familiarity with the terrain and geography allows her to photograph the islands in such an intimate way that they become a character in her story. Blending the genres of landscape and figurative work, de Steiguer shows her relationship to the environment. Wind blows through sea grass like it blows through her hair, and a fragment of washed-up driftwood looks like it could be de Steiguer herself, succumb to the sea. A self-professed “wanton and unreformed romantic,” de Steiguer’s island living is as far from a cinematic tropical paradise as it gets. Her photographs romanticize the rugged ideal of a life surrounded by water, glorifying the hard winters of New England. The
figurative images, mostly self-portraits, show a lone person in quiet contemplation. Using herself as a stand-in, de Steiguer becomes an “every-man,” devoid of any particular identity or time period. Often depicted looking out towards the horizon, the figure in these tableaus feels small against the expansiveness of the sea. Photographed near the centuriesold buildings and in non-descript dress, de Steiguer shows that her contemporary lifestyle is not so different from how living on the Isles of Shoals would have been 100 years ago. “[A]s a species, we used to be wild and free— like the animals I see every day among the islands, but in general, you can say that we’ve traded all that for something lesser… we’ve developed fairly rigid systems in which to live. But it’s still out there—the “wild life”—and we can still touch it sometimes, briefly, and we can still hear its call, and in some places we can see it all around us.”
Years ago, caretakers would keep a logbook of the island’s activities, which over time would tell the story of how the island had changed and been shaped by nature. De Steiguer’s photographs as winter resident have been exhibited extensively throughout New England, earning her two Artist Fellowships from the New Hampshire State Council for the Arts. They have also recently been published in her first monograph, Small Island, Big Picture. Presenting 69 images along with her writings, the book serves as its own log of de Steiguer’s time on the Isles of Shoals. As viewers, we experience the islands as she does; through times of harsh weather, rare calm, and faint glimpses of the beginnings of spring. We are privy to de Steiguer’s world, but only during waking hours. At dusk she retires her camera, sparking questions about the islands
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
at night. We are left to wonder how the night sky looks without light pollution from the mainland and where the birds return to roost at dusk. As the sole witness to winter on the Isles of Shoals, these images provide the only records of the off-season before the summer visitors arrive. The photographs, while devoid of color, are rich in contrast, emphasizing the stark landscape’s bleak sky and sea. The landscapes are often sparse and carefully composed. The roughness of the land becomes more apparent in black and white. Her moody printing enhances the textures of the sea grasses, rocks, and salt spray. To give a sense of space, de Steiguer cleverly incorporates the coastline as a perimeter and a barrier. We can sometimes see other islands in the distance, or ships through the fog, but the unfriendly water and edges of rock remind
us of her confinement to the small islands. Like her occupation, de Steiguer’s photographs transcend a specific time period, and focus instead on place. Though the boundaries of the Isles of Shoals keep her isolated, de Steiguer is not so much a castaway as an explorer. She uses her camera to observe and record weather conditions, tides, and structures, sometimes placing herself into the frame to say, “someone was here.” While disconnected from the busy life of the mainland, Alexandra de Steiguer has instead found a rich connection to her solitary environment offshore.
Kat Kiernan is a native New Englander who has sailed the Maine coast. She is also the Editor-inChief of Don’t Take Pictures
Windblown 5, Self-portrait 2006
Haley House 2 2005 Above
Rock Pool 8 2006
Hearing the Body, Witnessing Lives Bear Kirkpatrick’s Wallportraits Roger Thompson
Wallportrait Anna 2013
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
ear Kirkpatrick lost his hearing when he was a child. It happened gradually, and he adapted to his increasingly silent world by reading lips and relying on his other senses to give meaning to the world around him. No one seemed to notice, so he was able to build his adaptations in silence until a concerned relative broached the subject with his parents, at which point he was ushered to a series of doctors and surgeries and, by the age of five, was granted his hearing back. He had been deaf for over a year, and one of the first mornings home after regaining his hearing, he cowered beneath his bed covers, screaming for help, as strange sounds filtered into his bedroom. The birds had risen with the sun, and their morning songs filled his room and his imagination, overwhelming and terrifying him. Too many sounds, too many possibilities. Seeing Kirkpatrick’s series, Wallportraits, one gets the sense that Kirkpatrick is filtering out the extraneous noise in order to focus on an idea. We see a subject’s face in isolation, with the rest of the body—often even the hair—excised and blended into imagery of the backdrop. The isolation of the face from the body, however, does not mean the person is disembodied or lost. Instead, their presence seems highlighted, his or her identity focused and clarified. The patterns and imagery suggest that we are seeing a person’s story, or at least some important part of it, and are, in fact, witnessing a life rather than viewing a static portrait. Kirkpatrick’s dedication to seeing and hearing the stories of his subjects animates Wallportraits. During his shoots, subjects share life experiences and tell their stories. While not all of them move toward disclosure, others relate intimate details about their lives, revealing inner struggles and ongoing challenges. These stories emerge in Kirkpatrick’s photographs, though largely as metaphors that are partly intentional
and partly serendipitous. The backdrops, which bleed into the subjects, are chosen largely by instinct and intuition. That intuition is formed, in part, from his interaction with his subjects. The emotional force of images like “Wallportrait Anna” derives from the contrast between the subject’s face, with her intent gaze and expressionless features, and the pattern of the background and shawl that isolates her face. The shadows that fall across both the fabric and her features provide depth not only to the image, but to her history. We sense in her commanding eyes an insistence on being seen within that history. Similarly, “Wallportrait Ashley” uses pattern and light to highlight the subject’s gaze. The looks of both subjects suggest melancholy, but not despair. They suggest a need to be heard, and, in spite of the fabrics that cover and protect their bodies, they suggest a need to be seen. Indeed, they insist on it. Kirkpatrick, reflecting on the photo shoots, suggests that when a model shares a story, he or she essentially “tells me about their lives and the water they swim in.” His hope for the photographs is more than personal, though; it borders on metaphysical: “I like to think that it can help me see the other waters they swam in before they were born.” From these distant waters he seeks to cull a meaningful photograph. Kirkpatrick’s impulse to reach further into the self, to try to understand what creates a person and his or her story, is not New Age mumbo-jumbo. Instead, his vision delves beneath the surface even as the surface recedes inward. Each portrait shares this quality. For example, it is impossible to see “Wallportrait Marianne” and not wonder what story has shaped Marianne’s journey and what rising seas she has confronted. More recent images, such as “Wallportrait Nicole: After the Master of Saint Veronica” or “Wallportrait Shoney: The Fall of Man,” suggest even
greater engagement with the subject and invite viewers to participate in an unfolding narrative. These newer photographs move away from fabrics and patterns, and instead use background images that crowd into and accrete onto the bodies of the subjects. The paintings are stories themselves that surround and grow on each
DONâ€™T TAKE PICTURES
subjectâ€™s body. These are not the stories hidden in the manner of the earlier images, with shawls keeping the body from view. They are instead stories hidden in plain sight, with the actual components of the body becoming visible only when we take the time to stop and meet the demanding stare of the subject.
Wallportrait Nicole: After the Master of Saint Veronica 2014 Above
Wallportrait Shoney: The Fall of Man 2014
The series as the whole does more than reveal the stories of the people Kirkpatrick has invited into his studio; it also captures some of his own story. By the time he was 11, Kirkpatrick had lived in seven different houses, and the ongoing shifting of place brought not just adventure, but displacement. His father, a Harvard geology grad
and ROTC cadet, had just returned from Vietnam, but he kept his stories, including ones that led to a Bronze Star, locked in silence. He moved the family to New York City, working on Wall Street before drifting increasingly further out into the countryside. The family finally settled on 50 acres in New Hampshire, but not before Bear
had internalized the drift and the silence. At 18, Kirkpatrick experienced an emotional break, falling into despair and turning to art and story in order to regain his footing. He began to study various mystical and religious traditions, focusing on those that highlighted the power of narrative in making sense of the world. Shamanic traditions became important to him, as he found in them rituals that helped to give voice and meaning to his experiences. He read Freud and Jung and found them incredibly com-
DONâ€™T TAKE PICTURES
pelling. He moved toward creative expression, using writing as a means to name his own experience. Today he feels that visual arts give him the most nuanced means to access the unspoken. Having previously found success in sculpture and furnituremaking, he now focuses his creative energies on photography. The expressionless gaze of so many of his subjects in Wallportraits contrasts with the rich fabrics, art, and organic matter that isolate the face, but that isolation serves
Wallportrait Ashley 2012 Above
Wallportrait Marianne 2014
to highlight the story at the center of the image. The person—his or her experience, his or her life—demands the viewer’s attention, and the rich imagery, blended through careful crafting with digital technologies, is less of a backdrop and more of an insistence that more of their story can be revealed through careful layering and obscuring. More importantly, it suggests that despite our best attempts to blend in, to merge into our surroundings and be lost in the stories around us, our own gaze pulls us outward to meet another with
the hope that we will be seen, heard, and loved. Without those gazes, and the art to bring them about, Kirkpatrick insists, “I’d be a goner.”
Roger Thompson is a Senior Editor of Don’t Take Pictures. He has written extensively on self-taught artists. He currently resides in Long Island, New York, where he is a professor at Stony Brook University.
Susan de Witt: STARK Melissa Horton
here is something inherently beautiful about a woman’s figure, especially when all outside influences and elaborations are taken away. We are left with a curvy form—and our imagination. The possibilities of what we are able to create in our own minds relating to that form are nearly endless. Susan de Witt in her series, STARK, potrays the power of this phenomenon and the artistic oblivion that is traveled when invoking a single, beautiful subject, devoid of all extraneous context. STARK was birthed from curiosity rooted in the mind of a young child—the need to understand and be embraced by the adult world on a deep and intimate level. De Witt speaks intently of the curious nature of her youth, specifically reminiscences of the glamorous—and equally mysterious—cocktail parties her parents would attend, both inside their home and in others’. She has fond memories of watching her parents transform into host and hostess, dressed, appropriately, to the nines. De Witt distinctly recalls the small booklet that her father referenced when making drinks for their guests. A handheld cocktail bible, the booklet illustrated not only recipes for adult beverages, but angular black and white graphic drawings of party goers enjoying those drinks, with detailed images of women drenched in elegance wearing gloves and hats and long flowing dresses. Those images that de Witt studied for so long began her love for lith printing, and the subject matter of her early memories emerge in this series.
Billy in Lace Dress 2013
The same curiosity that kept de Witt intrigued as a youngster has stayed with
her through adulthood. It can be witnessed in each of her bodies of work, as there is an inherent challenge posed as it relates to lith printing as well as black and white development. Each of the pieces in the work exemplify the artist’s need to explore the range of possibilities when details in the negative are removed. Simple outlines are highlighted beautifully, creating an ethereal space in which the viewer can determine for him/herself what it is he/she is viewing. Lith printing allows for overexposure to create drastic dark and light opposites, a process de Witt is clearly well versed and comfortable in. This graphic version of printing permits the artist to relay her message, even if the content is ultimately left to the imagination of the viewer. For example, in “Billy in Lace Dress” passion is difficult to escape. The brunette’s seemingly half-shut eyes, her elongated neckline, accompanied well by the deep plunge of the model’s lace dress, leads to an internal longing in the viewer. The journey from face to body is effortless, beautifully and simplistically so, and creates a safe space for the viewer’s mind to wander from lust to pure adoration for the shadowy, black and white form. The subject of this particular piece is not “Billy,” but a universal woman with a perfectly proportioned silhouette, and, generally, pleasing body form. The contrasts of light and dark push the viewer into a deeper sense of who this woman is—an understanding that she is beautifully unreachable yet somehow equally available to those who may be able to meet her needs. Paradoxically, the more control the art-
Eyes of Velvet 2013
Whoosh 2013 Opposite
Girl in Jodhpurs 2013
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
ist has in the development of negatives through the lith printing process, the greater level of control is given to the viewer to interpret a work in a personal and, therefore, intimate way. This creative and at times challenging process results in artwork that is more suggestive than conventional black and white prints. As color exists prior to the process, toning through lith printing creates an end product that marries delicacy of light with coolness of shadow. The illusions breathed into de Witt’s photographs are just that: illusions of our own minds. They are warm in some aspects, yet heartless and cold in others, but they all ultimately occupy a comfortable space that combines soft and subtle imagery with pure grit. The varied degrees of contrast that can be seen with lith printing are evident as well, with the juxtaposition of flowing whites that melt together against grainy, colder blacks. All work together to form an evocative aesthetic. Unwavering beauty can be seen in “Stark #3,” as de Witt takes us on a less processed journey back to the cocktail party voyeurism of her youth. With a hint of the roaring 20s, the clear silhouette presents a striking image. The tonal contrasts, which create a clear separation between the subject’s simplistically beautiful face and the mystery that surrounds her, cannot be overlooked. The difference in depth between the half veil covering the model’s eyes and the clear angles of the jaw and hairline draw the viewer’s eye. These sharp cuts effortlessly blend into the much brighter shoulder line that, because not cleanly defined, allows for an air of mystery to permeate the piece. It is clear to see de Witt’s mastery of the lith process in this work, as fewer exposures were necessary to achieve the desired outcome. In contrast, “Eyes of Velvet” portrays a completely different perspective of the
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
female form even if it invokes a similar level of intrigue through de Witt’s use of blurred lines. As in all of her work here, the viewer’s imagination delineates and fills in the story. To some, the subject may appear to be wearing a headpiece, while for others her hair is simply morphing into the dress she is wearing. Still, the female form remains the unquestioned subject, and the figure’s beauty lingers in the mind of the viewer, even if the woman’s identity—or purpose—can never really be known. Again, de Witt is able to create an illusion of shadow and light that requires the viewer to take another, more intentional glance.
Regardless of the origins of the idea of beauty, the female form embodies it.
Throughout the STARK series, the artist is suggesting a single purpose for the viewer: “Spend time with her; get to know her as much or as little as you’d like, and then make your determination as to who she truly is.” De Witt’s control of lith processing as an outlet for her vision paves a clear path for a spark of the imagination, inviting the viewer to see, to imagine, and to know. The work requires confrontation with personal understandings of beauty. A focus on form, whether defined or vague, can be unique to a viewer’s experience or an assertion of societal norms, but de Witt’s work suggests that regardless of the origins of the idea of beauty, the female form embodies it. The images presented in Stark speak to the truth that beauty is in no way clearly defined by shapely silhouettes or symmetrical faces alone; instead, the individual decides what is to be deemed beautiful. The viewer, seeing only the form, fills in his or her own story when all the distractions are left out.
Melissa Horton is a freelance writer in Alexandria, Virginia, with an eye for photographic art. Most notably, she is a contributing columnist for elephant journal.
Stark #3 2013
C o l l e c to r s, CSA s , and the Culture of Art W.G. Beecher
incoln, Nebraska, gained 50 new patrons of the arts this summer. So did Fargo, North Dakota. In Philadelphia, there were 100. More than just purchasing museum memberships, these people were participating in one of the fastest growing movements in art collecting: Community Supported Art. Often referred to by its abbreviation, community supported art is a movement that connects artists to a local buying audience. Modeled after the community supported agriculture—the original C.S.A.’s—these programs sell a limited number of “shares” to members of the community, who then receive “harvests” periodically during the mid-summer and early fall months that generally comprise the C.S.A. season. Rather than receiving farm fresh tomatoes and carrots, community supported art provides its members with small artworks made for the
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
occasion by local artists in a limited edition. The participating artists are chosen by a jury and employ a wide variety of media and styles. For artists who do not work in editions, such as painters and ceramicists, the C.S.A. programs generally require that they create a series of very similar works that function as an edition. A party is often held on these pick-up days, giving the members a chance to meet the people whose artistic careers they are supporting. The first Community Supported Art program began in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 2010 as a joint project by Springboard for the Arts and MNArtists.org, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The program was an instant success, and this new form of C.S.A. began to spring up all over the country. Now in its fifth year, the St. Paul program’s 50 shareholders will each receive work from all nine of this season’s
artists. St. Paul’s C.S.A. program charges $350 for a share, and prices in other cities tend to vary between $300 and $400 for a season’s worth of art. Some charge more for the opportunity, such as Brooklyn’s CSA+D, which sells its 50 shares for $500 each. Photography is a natural fit for community supported art programs. Not only are works easily printed in editions, but photography is a medium that is comparatively easy to display and understand. Because most C.S.A.’s seek to ensure that shareholders receive a wide range of media however, photographers represent only a small minority of participating artists. An exception to this trend is the Crusade for Art’s C.S.A., which exclusively presents photographers and targets a collecting community rather than a geographic one. (Full disclosure: the Executive Director of Crusade for Art,
Springboard for the Arts CSA Photo credit: Zoe Prinds-Flasha
Jennifer Schwartz, wrote an article that appeared in Issue 2.) For artists, the benefit of participating in a community supported art program is clear: their work is essentially pre-sold to the C.S.A.’s shareholders, guaranteeing them between $1,000 and $1,500 in return for creating a new piece in an edition of 50. Perhaps more importantly, they connect with local arts patrons who are receptive to new artists and willing to put their money into their local art community. After discovering an artist through a C.S.A., a shareholder may want to collect more of that artist’s work. Such connections have the potential to create beneficial and long-lasting relationships. Equally important, participating in a community supported art program allows the artists themselves to connect with fellow artists in their area, adding to the vi-
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
brancy of their creative community.
Springboard for the Arts CSA For budding collectors, buying into a C.S.A. can serve as a means to begin a collection or to easily get a flavor of the local talent. However, these rationales do not lend themselves to repeat subscriptions. If the goal is to fill wall space and learn about a region’s art scene, then receiving six pieces a season will soon become overwhelming. Although rather few well-known artists have participated in C.S.A.’s to date, the low price of a share allows budget conscious collectors to get their hands on a small work by an artists they admire or acquire a piece by an upand-coming artist before they “make it big.” Established collectors are more likely motivated by the community and social benefits of C.S.A.’s rather than the art it will bring to their doorstep. Serious community art
Opposite (from top)
Springboard for the Arts CSA CSA+D Brooklyn
collectors do not need a C.S.A. to find local talent, especially considering that the participating artists are published online. Because shareholders do not know what artwork they will receive, they have limited insight into whether it will match their interest or style, or if it will be easy to display. An interested collector could approach specific artists directly, removing the limitations and the uncertainties associated with receiving an art “harvest.” Perhaps most significantly, the manner in which Community Supported Art programs select and deliver art presents a model that is decidedly at odds with traditional collecting. Without the ability to select and evaluate art before taking it home, shareholders cede the curatorial aspects of acquiring art to the C.S.A.’s organizers, foregoing one of the most important parts of the collecting process. In seeking to appeal to as much of the public as possible, organizers generally try to present a broad spectrum of community artists and media. With 50 shareholders to please, a C.S.A. program may be inclined to select artists whose work is more decorative than deliberative. The result is that collectors are getting the art that is available rather than the art of their choosing. This might be good for filling wall space, but does little to hone a collector’s eye and vision. To be sure, connecting with and supporting local artists is a good thing. Community Supported Art programs harness the collective buying power of their shareholders to pay local artists for new work. It also introduces the artists to a receptive audience, opening the door for a more direct collecting relationship. And if, after buying a share, you get art that you don’t care for or can’t display? Well, maybe you don’t keep it. After all, receiving even one piece that you are proud to own is well worth the price of a C.S.A. share. Discovering a new local artist that you love? That’s worth a lot more. W.G. Beecher is an editor for Don’t Take Pictures.
Invisible Histories Michael Sherwin’s Vanishing Points Joseph Brennan
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
His work is an archaeological dig where, without breaking ground, he explores the history of a place.
hat is dying is not dead, what is vanishing has not yet disappeared. Michael Sherwin’s Vanishing Points series challenges the limits of history by exploring the duality of place and presence. His work is an archaeological dig where, without breaking ground, he explores the history of a place. Sherwin’s work illustrates the profound and indelible marks left by a defeated people on the places they once inhabited so that by showing the now, he reveals what once was. The series, 25 photographs of places where Native American history and American expansion have collided, reveals the importance of history even while stripping a location of its native physical identity. Sherwin shows that it is not the physical manifestation of a site that matters; instead, it is the history that matters, leaving an impression felt by any who bear witness. Go to Gettysburg and stand between the twenty-foot boulders at the Devil’s Den. Allow your senses to adjust for a second and listen to the breeze rushing between the prehistoric citadel of rock formations. Feel the place, where 2,600 men hacked and shot
one another to death in a matter of some 12 hours. There are no bodies left to view, no rifles or canteens strewn about in the chaos of conflict, but you will feel the presence of that place’s history. It presses in on you. Michael Sherwin wants you to feel it in native histories. For example, Sherwin depicts the lingering presence of the Monongahela tribe in an unlikely place: the Suncrest Town Center, a development on the tribe’s historic land. Suncrest Town Center is a typical development, including a Buffalo Wild Wings and Jos A. Bank. Car exhaust lifts over the hum of vehicles on a monolithic concrete parking lot. Some 2,000 years ago the Monongahela people lived, played, held religious ceremonies, and buried their brothers, sisters and children here, a holy site now paved over. It is a major business development complex, essentially a shopping mall, in Morgantown, WV. The land was donated to West Virginia University by a wealthy Morgantown resident for use as an archaeological site. At one point Wal-Mart vetted the property; however, after the Army Corps of Engineers discov-
Suncrest Town Center, Morgantown, WV 2012 Right
Chickamunga Mound, Chattanooga, TN 2011
ered the remains of at least seven gravesites as well as evidence of broad ethnographic significance, Wal-Mart stepped aside. West Virginia University instead sold the 9.2-acre property to a development firm for $1.55 million. The land was lost to “progress,” and to make a tragedy even worse, the remains of the Monongahela tribal members were exhumed and sent to current members of the Seneca tribe in New York. The Seneca’s were a traditional enemy of the Monongahela, and some historians believe they may have even been responsible for the tribe’s demise. In Sherwin’s photograph “Suncrest Town Center, Morgantown, WV,” the viewer is
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
carried over a wildflower and grass-covered ridge, creeping from the bottom left upward and to the right of the image. Like Odysseus returning from his exhausting journey ready to hang his shield and rest, but finding his world entirely changed, the viewer peers over the ridge and into a parking lot, a moated bastion of consumerism. Light trails zip between neat rows of cars whose owners feverishly shop at Kroger for groceries or Cowboys and Angels, for Western boots, accessories, and apparel. They are careless— maybe even defiant—of the history below the linoleum mall tiling and their vibram shoe soles. The end of a people, an eradicated civilization whose monument of repose, a 2,000
Cleared Meadow, Greenbottom Wildlife Management Area, WV 2011
Factory, Ohio River, near Moundsville, WV 2012
year-old burial site, is replaced by the monumental trophy of victory and expansion that is the Suncrest Town Center. Still, the Monongahela remain. Their history is stronger than pavement and steel, and Sherwin intends us to see it despite ourselves. The grassy ridge pulls the viewer into the image, its power begging the viewer to see something hidden, something unequivocally present. A history. A story. At the image’s literal vanishing point, there are rolling hills, and surrounding the parking lot, grasslands infiltrate the new construction. The escalating ridge in Sherwin’s photograph
is an incantation, an ancient chant, a war drum. It is like the American abstract expressionist painter Barnett Newman’s perfect brushstroke: the negative space it creates allows us to see the positive. The ridge, like Newman’s monastic compositions, creates for the viewer a stoic god of color amidst a world of chaos and movement. The ridge is an existential reminder that we are all monuments fading into earth. Only our history remains when we are the defeated people. Michael Sherwin’s Vanishing Points series illustrates that there may, in fact, be no vanishing point. An army may kill a people, historians may attempt to revise or change a people’s
narrative. Contractors and developers may destroy physical evidence of a people’s existence and cover it with their own objects of importance. But the ineradicable essence of those former inhabitants will always remain. A place remembers even when it seems to forget. The new face of the Suncrest Town Center does little to erase the history of the place itself. Simply because we cannot name it does not mean it is not there, or that we cannot feel it. As at any vanishing point, the lingering weight of history refuses to be lifted, and it hangs over that place like a shroud. History does not favor the righteous or the wicked. When our civilization erodes or is conquered, only our history shields us from
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
oblivion. The monuments we build will be torn down, our homes razed and built over. Our graveyards will be paved or plowed under. But what will always remain will be our history and its sometimes invisible, yet pressing, presence. Sherwin reminds us that our places have memories, ones that can be seen even as they vanish.
Mural, Point Pleasant Riverfront Park, Point Pleasant, WV 2012 Opposite (from top)
Soybean Field, Buffalo, WV 2012
Grave Creek Mound, Moundsville, WV 2012
Joe Brennan is an artist/collector working at Sotheby’s as a Union Property Handler. He lives with his wife, their baby girl, and chihuahua in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
Christine Pearl Last Car Running Shannon Mohrman
or Christine Pearl, photography has been more than just a passion; it has become a form a therapy and a way of life. At the age of 50 she developed a neurological condition affecting her mobility and balance, resulting in the need to use a walker. At first she resisted the walker, viewing her disability as a prison sentence. Trying to cope with the problem, Pearl picked up a point-and-shoot camera. In the beginning she hid behind the lens, afraid to face the world as a visibly disabled person. Eventually, as she found purpose and connection to her surroundings through photography, her fear subsided, and she began her work in earnest. Despite her limited mobility, Pearl is motivated to move through the world, observing people with her camera.
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
The success of a documentary project, like those Pearl has embraced, is dependent on the cultivation of a relationship between a photographer and her subjects. Without trust and understanding, the photographs of other cultures can appear exploitative or reductive. Pearl’s relaxed and friendly demeanor has allowed her to establish the relationships she needs to create strikingly honest images. Nowhere is this more clear than in her series Last Car Running, an ongoing project documenting demolition derbies and the culture surrounding them. Though her interest in photographing the derbies began as an assignment for a street photography workshop, Pearl’s history with this unique sport dates back to her teenage years. She reminisces, “My first car the summer after I graduated
from high school was a ’62 Ford Galaxy 500, which burned more oil than gasoline. When I could no longer keep the car legally on the road I gave it to a friend’s older brother to run in the local demolition derby. He won the derby and it was so exciting to see my car go up in smoke and end its life in such a dramatic way. The memory of that car’s demise has always been a romantic one for me.” Carrying the drama from her memory into the series, Pearl’s photographs use motion and low angles to bring the viewer into the energetic environment. In black and white, the smoke, white against a black sky, becomes a sort of flare gun, both announcing the event and referencing the use of flares in auto accidents. The act of destruction becomes more imposing when seen from the perspective of the car.
View from the Pit 2013 Right
Sledgehammer 2 2012
Through her experiences with the demolition derbies, Pearl has gained an appreciation for how her diagnosis has helped her artistic development. She moves slowly in the chaotic environment, pausing to experience her surroundings in a new way. Every photograph is carefully composed as she waits patiently for the right moment to come to her, rather than rushing around in pursuit of the action. The swing of a sledgehammer, the spinning tires in mud— the viewer can almost hear the crunch of each collision. Pearl manages to place us in the middle of the action, while her balanced compositions maintain a sense of order. Last Car Running looks at more than just twisted metal and muddy rallies. Pearl also shows quieter moments of friends and families tailgating during the event. While
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
the images of the derby itself evoke a visceral response, it is the portraits that provide glimpses of the culture and spirit that sustains it. During her first summer photographing from the “pit,” Pearl discovered the complex relationships between the teams. Her images vacillate between the anticipation and adrenaline flowing through the competitors in the heat of the moment and the quiet dignity of the team members present on the sidelines and in the pit between heats. Families who have made the derby into a tradition make up teams that span generations. Each car, its productive life over, is adorned and cherished by its owner, culminating in a grand send-off in a blaze of glory. Friends competing against one another put aside their competitive spirit to help make repairs on each other’s cars and prepare for the next heat.
Tailgate 2012 Opposite
Pearl’s respect for her subjects is evident and refreshing in a time when the current trend is to show the “otherness” of bluecollar America. Instead, she presents this community as the backbone of our country, showing the hard work and close community that keeps this hobby strong. On an intimate level, she admires their willingness to get dirty and the enjoyment they take from good, not-so-clean fun, but in a broader sense, Pearl also explores the American love affair with our cars. More than in any other culture, automobiles are deeply ingrained in our identities as Americans. Demolition derbies were created in post World War II when new cars were rolling off of the assembly lines, devised as a means to dispose of pre-war cars and provide entertainment in rural areas. Iconic images of road trips, drive-ins, and car races permeate our culture. Pearl’s photo-
graphs play on that nostalgia. Pearl sees a lot of herself in the demolition derby. Like the pit crews working with the tools on hand, she is constantly working with her surroundings and circumstances to achieve her desired photographs. Finding inspiration from the derby culture, she has learned that she does not need to hide who she is, but to embrace it, and she follows her passion, regardless of any preconceptions that others may have. She is fascinated by the competition and love for destruction, the latter of which she feels is a reflection of our disposable society. Still, though the derbies are destruction-oriented, there is also an incredible amount of care given to the participants’ vehicles and conveys a sense of pride among them. It is fitting that Pearl has immersed herself among people who are not dismissive of
these imperfect vehicles, and who have built a lifestyle around finding a place for them. They have found a place for her too. She admits that while at first the crews were suspicious as to why a “middle-aged woman pushing a walker with a camera” was in the pit, now in her third year of the project, she is a welcome sight. Pearl’s own connection to this community gives her photographs a universal appeal. She astutely comments that, regardless of our own individual backgrounds and identities, “At one point or another I think we’d all love to drive our car into something.” Shannon Mohrman is a freelance writer from Houston, TX. Her writings have been included in various publications including The Circle and The Story Project. She is also a classically trained operatic soprano and an avid knitter.
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
ove and lust are among the most powerful emotions. No two people experience them in the exact same way, but these emotions have sway over all of us. We love and lust after physical objects, spiritual and societal attainment, family, success, and of course, romantic partners. They dominate our thoughts and drive our decisions. The fourth book published by Open to Interpretation, Love + Lust presents words and pictures that are as varied and complex as its namesake emotions. No two photos are alike and no two stories are alike. Open to Interpretation publishes juried book competitions that explore the relationships between photography, poetry and prose. Each book begins with a themed call for photographs. The selected images then become literary inspiration for writers’ submissions. Each photograph is paired with two pieces of writing. For Love + Lust the jurors—photographer and blogger Aline Smithson and award-winning poet and author Dorianne Laux—join forces to combine image with imagination. Beautifully designed, the simple, crisp, and clean layout helps the eye to see both writings and photographs individually. The photographs sit adjacent to its corresponding literature, leading the eye from page to page, each piece complementing the other. With more people than ever documenting their romantic relationships through photography, pinning down a specific image for love or lust might seem simple. What sets Love + Lust apart, however is the balance between the title words in a single piece of writing or a single photo. The jurors selected pieces that most accurately and tastefully displayed these emotions. As the publication’s creator Clare O’Neil writes in the introduction, “[s]ome of the submissions were eye-openers, even for me. While going through the estimated 2,000 submissions, some of the interpretations, for both photography and writing, were slightly more lustful than what everyone was prepared to
publish, but there were other photos that revealed ‘the complete spectrum on this call.’” The featured artists and writers understood the balance that Smithson and Laux sought to present. The photographs are evenly divided between concepts of lust and love. After several read-throughs, I tended to favor the photos and poems of parental love and the photos involving elderly couples. The book is especially successful in the areas where writing and photos were able to capture a deep-seated love that binds the subject closer to their partner, or a lust that true love can encompass. For instance, a mother’s passion to care for their child, as in Catherine Just’s “Nap Time,” or Niki Berg’s “Desire” which illustrates the time-tested passion between an elderly couple. Accompanied by the words of Steve Hoffman, “Look how, in our old age, the gods have joined our bodies
at the hip.” While reading and studying the pictures I found myself contemplating true love, laughing out loud at some of the awkwardness that some submissions evoked in my own memory, and even being brought to tears thinking of my life and that of my parents and grandparents. This is what Open to Interpretation is all about: presenting a photo as more than an image, and providing a visual accompaniment to the reader’s searching mind. It is a brilliant matrimony of words to photography, and photography to words. There is a definite journey for the reader, and just like love and lust, that journey is completely unique for each person that cracks open the book. Amanda Hite-Salvato is a newlywed freelance photographer and writer. She is fluent in Spanish and travels the world.
Desire, Niki Berg
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
A Studio Visit with Tara Sellios Frances Jakubek
Untitled No. 1 (from the series Impulses) 2012 Right
Sketch for Untitled No. 1 (from the series Impulses) 2012
ara Sellios and I were to become good friends, but this was the first time she had asked me to help her create a photograph. One flight up, we reached her apartment and quickly stepped into her studio. I’m not sure if I expected some sort of dungeon with torches as the only source of light, but I was surprised to find a perfectly neat, bright white studio space in a quaint, Somerville, MA, house. Crisp sunlight cascaded into the room, perfectly illuminating the tables covered in bones, paints, and years of drawings. Religious imagery and totems were scattered throughout, though there was no sense of hierarchy within the space. Delicate bird skeletons were balanced with platters of glistening props, and a mirror reflected back a wall of sketches, signifying the layered process Sellios works within. I looked at the singular table with a board painted red behind it; in my mind I pictured all of the trauma and beauty that had been created on this one tabletop. There were a few options of wine glasses sitting in pairs near the setup, seemingly hopeful to be included in today’s photograph. My personal constraint of not wanting to make a mess was tested when we began to shoot and Sellios had to remind me to let the wine pour in abundance. She disappeared beneath the black cloth of the camera to perfect the frame and set the exposure. I know under the shroud she is experiencing her creation. This image has existed in her mind and she now has the materials, light, and extra hands that she needs to bring it to fruition. So we pour. Between exposures we each open a new bottle.
became a wash of bloody burgundy, but the sunlight felt so soft. Sellios creates exquisite and exaggerated still lifes that are comprised of animal parts, fish, wine and luscious foods. Her work is reminiscent of late 17th century painters, resurrecting the vanitas style by incorporating elements of a feast and the remains. She first creates sketches, meticulously planning out her image, then later photographs the set up with a Zone VI 8x10 camera in her studio. Using only daylight to make the photographs, she controls every aspect of the set to mimic a baroque-style lighting scenario. The images are meticulously detailed, and when viewed up close, the display of wounds and deterioration of her subjects results, says Sellios “in an image that is seductive, forcing the viewer to look, despite its apparent grotesque and morbid nature.” Though she studied photography at The Art Institute of Boston, her inspiration and interest lies in a broad range of art history. Altarpieces have influenced her use of multi-panel images, which allows the viewer to have more than one access point, and artists such as Walton Ford have added to the conversation of predator and prey.
The floor was stained red, wine dripping from the drenched tablecloth... I watched the substance seep into the fresh white linen and take shape around the folds of the fabric and the outline of the glass. Merlot eddies formed around the base of the stemware as the velocity of the streams increased. The table
For the sake of making the images she desires, Sellios allows chaos to erupt in her tidy studio. Gallons of wine have met the aged hardwood floor, and her shelves have been filled with gutted fish and bloodstained creatures to satisfy her specific vision. Stemware shrapnel sticks to once-white linen, and pollen from the lilies drops into oyster shells, mixing with red wine and a touch of seawater. The mess is only temporary, though. For each image Sellios arranges the subjects in a very precise way, generating what may seem like disorder in the gathering and setup. Yet, ultimately, the pieces find their designated homes within her frame. Once the image is created, she keeps the imperishable items and disposes of the rest. She reminds me of a hunter who gathers and feasts on her prey but washes her plate immediately afterward in anticipation of the next banquet. The hunt is no easy task, however. Oftentimes sketches will exist long before she acquires the materials to make it, initiating a quest for a very particular set of structures in her space. We look at a painting of two skulls surrounded by lilies that has lived on her studio wall for a while now. She says that she is waiting to make this one, explaining
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
that there is a hold up on receiving additional skulls due to some mold on their necks. Her journey now becomes a meeting of aesthetics within human and Mother Nature. Dependent on others who have interest in collecting—butchers, sommeliers, and fishermen—her series becomes infused with collaboration and results in her forming significant relationships with others. A postcard hangs above her desk that reads, “I thought great artists had great compassion for people.” This and all of her surroundings serve as a reminder for gratitude and mercy while Sellios works. Her imagery walks a thin line between deep romanticism and vulture-like darkness. Viewing Sellios’s series from Lessons of Impermanence to Impulses, we take an emotional journey that moves through vulnerability and fragility to dominance and codependence. Nuzzling goat skulls, entwined octopi tentacles, skeletons, and freshly slaughtered forms all convey personalities in their postures and gazes. What seems to be initially expressed as grotesque and predatory becomes relational and intimate, part of a love story. A shark’s jawbone leans casually
Tara Sellios Photo: Frances Jakubek Opposite
Untitled No. 6 (from the series Luxuria) 2013
against the edge of the wall, neighboring a few snake vertebrae that appear to be conversing with the fish bones. Sellios looks at them, laughs, and calls them her pets. Her space is filled with both characters we’ve met in her photographs and new friends and creatures. Sellios refers to the installation of items pinned to a wall as a visual idea bank. Allowing herself some freedom from the timeline of creating works, she talks excitedly about overlapping projects and upcoming exhibitions. She hopes to incorporate an interactive element into an upcoming public presentation, and all I can imagine is sitting at a long table toasting the host with a piece of severed trout on my glass. Such is her imagery that it moves us from mundane to impossible.
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
She continues to make work that acknowledges death and the sacredness of independence. Her upcoming series is going to be lush, filled with an abundance of flora that signify revival and durability. A glimpse of new imagery is placed around the room. The palette is darker, listing in a gray scale spectrum. Later this year, Sellios is moving to a much larger, yet much darker, space, but she embraces it as something ‘cosmic.’ She knows where the final images will turn, but says, “I can’t do the end now.”
Frances Jakubek is Associate Director and Associate Curator of the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA. As an artist she explores photographic media to understand an ever-changing visual language.
Above (from left)
Untitled No. 7 (from the series Retribution) 2011
Untitled No. 14 (from the series Lessons of Impermanence) 2010 Opposite
Untitled No. 8 (from the series Luxuria) 2013
John Foster on
collecting the vernacular J
ohn Foster is a photographer and celebrated collector of outsider art and vernacular photography. For over 30 years, Foster has made his living as a fine artist (painter), photographer, art educator, and graphic designer. During that time, he and his wife Teenuh built an astounding collection of self-taught and outsider art, a collection that was started in the mid-eighties. While Foster and his wife continue to collect outsider art, it is John’s decade long obsession with vernacular photography that has been receiving recent attention. According to Foster, his collection of anonymous snapshots consists today of nearly 2,500 “extraordinary” images, a collection he believes is rather small compared to many other collectors. “It’s quite easy to amass a huge collection of snapshots. I am extremely picky about the anonymous images I select. For me, it’s all about the quality of the image. I do not care so much about the time period, developing technique or even subject matter as long as the image challenges my eye and imagination.”
Foster has been an invited speaker at numerous museums and institutions, including the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, the Metro Show, and the American Folk Art Museum in New York. Two years ago, the International Center of Photography (ICP) acquired an anonymous image from Foster for their permanent collection. The Foster collection of vernacular photography is called Accidental Mysteries, and a small portion of it has toured ten museums and cultural institutions across the country. In 2005, Arts and Antiques magazine named John and his wife into their prestigious list of “Top 100 Collectors in the United States.” Not only has his photography collection been widely exhibited, but has been written about or shown in Harper’s Magazine, The Village Voice, SF Gate, Phaidon Online, and other prominent magazines and newspapers. A weekly contributor for the website Design Observer, Foster also maintains the popular blog, v, which enjoys a cult-like following among artists, collectors, and designers. Don’t Take Pictures spoke with him about his collection.
Anonymous Snapshot 1942
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
Anonymous Snapshot 1940
How did you begin collecting? I think that collecting filled a void in my life. As a youngster, it was something that I needed to do to stay afloat. I started out collecting groups of things I could find for free—like interesting rocks and natural objects—even bottle caps. When I look back now at my collecting, I can see the burgeoning of myself as an artist too. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was beginning to hone my eye—developing a kind of connoisseurship of looking at things. I felt somewhat “wealthy” having these groups of things around me, always admiring each one for its unique (or similar) properties. At some point later I
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
collected coins, and with that I was examining each one for condition and rarity. I was always on the prowl for things that were interesting to me. I’m reminded of the great designer Paul Rand who once said “the artist is by necessity a collector,” and I think that’s true. Look at Georgia O’Keeffe and the natural objects she collected for inspiration. She was well-known for the bones, rocks and weathered objects she found in the desert. Once, in graduate school while at Washington University, I found an envelope of 25 or 30 x-rays that were being thrown away. This was around 1975, and I thought they were intriguing. At the time I was experimenting with various photographic
processes like photo-emulsion canvasses, so I made large silver gelatin prints from these x-rays for my thesis exhibition. Those were early years for so-called found photography. How did that first acquisition influence subsequent ones? Well, at the time I was an ambitious flea market picker. The late 70s and 80s were fertile times for that. In pre-eBay days, it was easier to find deals. I would find anonymous paintings and carvings and whirlygigs, and I would marvel at their craftsmanship and visionary styles. So, the found object became very important to me. Like most collections, it started with a few piec-
es here and there in the house, but today, my wife and I have to take something down if we are going to hang something new. It was at flea markets that I first started looking at snapshots. They were considered practically worthless in those days. In terms of my artistic and collecting maturity I was not ready yet (in the 1970s and ’80s) to collect vernacular photographs in earnest. I did have a small collection of snapshots but didn’t give them much thought. It wasn’t until about 2004, at the advent of digital photography, that I began collecting them with a clearer vision of what I was looking for. I sensed that these snapshots were important in the broader context of photography, so I collected with more focus. I don’t collect any particular genre, but I do like images that challenge my eye. I always seek the best image I can find, whether it be a portrait, landscape or whatever. Because you collect vernacular photography, often by unknown artists, how important is record keeping? Well, I don’t have a database of every snapshot I have bought, but I keep receipts of the larger (more expensive) things I purchase. At an earlier point in my life, when I began to earn a bit more discretionary income, I would often write or call a dealer to ask if I could buy a piece by paying it off over time. For those purchases, I have better records, and indeed, some of those dealers have become good friends of mine. Most gallery owners, but certainly not all, appreciate the effort young collectors make an effort to collect, especially those like my wife and me, who would put off buying a new sofa to buy art.
around the country, including the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Intuit Gallery in Chicago and many group shows at other museums dealing with a particular theme. I’m always happy to loan a piece, and I only ask that the piece be insured door to door, and that it’s crated and packed properly when it’s returned. My snapshot exhibition is called Accidental Mysteries, which consists of about 100 vintage images, has traveled all over the country. This fall it will be at San Jose State University, and it was given a major exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum a few years ago. It’s been exhibited at Intuit in Chicago, at the University of Memphis Art Museum, the DeVos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University, Hanes Gallery at Wake Forest University, the Gregg Museum of Art and Design at N.C. State University, and many others. There is a modest exhibition fee, but otherwise, the only costs are shipping and insurance. It’s a very affordable exhibit to book, and always popular, because we have all used a camera. Nowadays, people see paper snapshots of the 20th century as odd artifacts—which indeed they are.
lic and private. Some offer (without first being asked) to donate works to public collections. As a collector, do you feel the act of unsolicited donations devalues the work? Most good institutions won’t accept a donation unless you are a very big name. Sally Mann, for example, would have no problem donating to almost any institution, but then again, she doesn’t need to. But if you are an emerging artist, unsolicited donations will probably be met with rejection, and that doesn’t help you. Now, of course, if you have a curator speak to you personally and say, “I really admire your work,” perhaps then you could approach that curator at a later date with a gentle note that suggests the possibility of a donation. Otherwise, be cautious. It would probably be best to just keep working hard, use social media, exhibitions and meaningful art contacts to promote your work.
What are your thoughts on galleries providing a collector’s information to an artist?
Do you loan out your collection, and if so, can you describe that process?
I think it’s OK to let the artist know the name of the person who bought a piece from them. But personal emails, addresses and phone numbers I would certainly not give out without permission from the buyer. All of this is discretionary information that should remain in the hands of the art dealer or museum professional. And of course, the artist needs to respect the gallery relationship to the buyer and not approach the buyer directly.
I have loaned pieces from our outsider art collection many times for exhibitions
Many artists strive to have their work in important collections, both pub-
Anonymous Snapshot 1938
photograph ÂŠ Hiroshi Watanabe
Hiroshi Watanabe | THE DAY THE DAM BREAKS Linda Troeller | ORGASM Photographs and Interviews Robert Shults | THE SUPERLATIVE LIGHT Elaine Mayes | RECENTLY Wyatt Gallery (Editor) | #SANDY
Why Do Thousands of Galleries Hang Their Art With Gallery System? Gallery System art hanging systems are used in thousands of galleries and studios worldwide, including Kat Kiernan’s Kiernan Gallery. Why? Because Gallery System equipment makes it easy to hang, adjust, and refine until the work shines as it should. No nails, no tools, no fuss. Just great displays.
Call Gallery System Art Displays today at 800-460-8703, and mention Don’t Take Pictures for a free sample kit.
Penland School of Crafts
Eclectic workshops in photography and twelve other media in a spectacular location
October 19 – 25 (one week) David Emitt Adams Rethinking Wet Plate Photography Explore tintypes and ambrotypes while experimenting with alternative methods of display.
March 8 – May 1 (eight weeks) Dan Estabrook Photography in Reverse Students in this workshop will make photographs while covering the technological and aesthetic history of photography, backwards—beginning with cell phones and ending with daguerreotypes. Scholarship application deadline, November 28. Penland School of Crafts Penland, NC • www.penland.org/photo Dan Estabrook, Small Fires, gum bichromate with watercolor, gouache
The Boston Marathon draws runners from around the world every April to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton, MA to Boston. The course is legendary – the ladies of Wellesley, the hills of Newton, the gauntlet of BC spectators just over Heartbreak Hill – and the experience is one of a kind. Printed offset on bright white, archival stock, this train roll style poster commemorates each of the towns runners encounter along the route of The Marathon. 15”x24”. $22 plus shipping. Ships loosely rolled, USPS Priority Mail. Looks equally sharp matted and framed (not included). For more images or to purchase, visit shop.unionjackcreative.com.
Union Jack Creative
Wallportrait, Ashley #2: The Triumph of Death Bear Kirkpatrick 2013
Don’t Take Pictures is a photography magazine published in print twice-yearly (March, September) that celebrates the creativity involved wit...
Published on Sep 8, 2014
Don’t Take Pictures is a photography magazine published in print twice-yearly (March, September) that celebrates the creativity involved wit...