Thursday, August 30, 2012

Camden Hardy and the Ansel Adams Archive

I never thought I cared about Ansel Adams until I saw Camden Hardy's photographs of his objects from the archives of the Center for Creative Photography while I was in Arizona earlier this month. Sitting next to a fountain while attempting not to let children splashing water drench an iPad, I viewed nearly 100 images ranging from Ansel's cameras, the famous Hills Bros. coffee can, typewriters, a telegram, one foot candles used for exposure, and a box to hold large format film. I discovered Ansel liked to label things and neatly typed descriptions of the objects, placing them on the outside of containers. Looking at Camden's photographs of his possessions made me consider the person (hence the personality) behind the man who takes photographs I officially have no interest in viewing (let's just say anyone that ever worked at the Center for Creative Photography has an alternate view of Ansel Adams' oeuvre). Camden's photographs made me care and I was startled by that fact.

A few days later, I returned to school starting and the general chaos of not having enough time for art when I received this in the mail.

Note: the cats on the card will be used in my version of Arline Conradt's cat scrapbook.

Surprisingly, Camden sent me a photograph of one of my favorite items in series: the holder for Ansel's word processing glasses.  Details I love about this image: Ansel labeled it A.A. (as if he would confuse them with another person who owned eyeglasses used solely for word processing), the dark background (forcing a close examination of the details), and the glasses are out of sight (we can only imagine their presence therefore the holder becomes more monumental).

(Image by Camden Hardy)

Camden and I have many similarities in how we view possessions and the stories they tell. I'm looking forward to a future collaboration based around this concept!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Birds Part 2

Hmmm... I tend to post a lot of birds, balloons, and globes. Yes, I am fully aware of the symbolism.

Judy Linn, Chicken and Peacock, 1994

Greg Halpern, From A, 2011

Sarah Palmer from The Village of Reason

Laura McPhee, Mattie with a Northern Red Shafted Flicker, 2005

Josef Koudelka, Scotland, 1977

Ricardo Cases via.

Yola Monakhov, New Work


Katherine Wolkoff, Cardinal, Cardinalis, Cardinals, Found by David Lewis and Edward Conley. December 5, 1956. From the series Found.

Shelia Newbery, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Nine Fake Cakes..." on "I Like This Art"

I woke up this morning to peruse my Google Reader and what did I see on one of my favorite art blogs? Nine Fake Cakes and Nine Bodies of Water on i like this art.  Thanks Jordan!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Watching Light Change in the Landscape

Catherine Opie, Spring and Summer, Lake Michigan, 2004-2005

Catherine Opie, Fall and Winter, Lake Michigan, 2004-2005 

This summer I came to the realization that it is very important for me to be in a place where I can watch the light (and therefore color) change in the landscape. This thought always strikes me when I visit the mountains and the sea. [I like thinking of Lake Michigan as a calmer, cleaner, salt-free ocean in Opie's photographs above.] I want the time to observe these changes whether it's in a day or a season. This is something I am striving for in life not necessarily in the creative process.

I enjoy the consistency of location in Misrach's images of the Golden Gate Bridge. I want the time to watch a solitary object and its interaction with the elements. Something tells me there would be far less stress in the 8.5 months of the year I teach if that became a regular practice.

Richard Misrach, 4.13.99, 1999

Richard Misrach, 12.15.99, 1999

Richard Misrach, 10.6.99, 5:23 PM, 1999

Richard Misrach, 3.18.00, 4 PM, 2000

Richard Misrach via

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tucson Clear Water Sample

Where does one see a saguaro like the one illustrated above? Where does one acquire a Clear Water Sample in the desert? It dawned on me that I hadn't sampled any swimming pools since I began collecting these in May 2011 and Arizona has plenty of those!

Maybe this pool?

Or maybe this one?

Yes, definitely that one. It's clear. It doesn't taste like chlorine. I could live in a place that features water like this.

The final version at the JW Marriott in Tucson, Arizona on 18 August 2012.

For the record, this is my dream swimming pool that I hope to have one day when I grow old.

One of one dozen things in the near future

(Drawing courtesy of Bill Zack)

In my quest for trying new methods of presentation for the Autobiography series, I met with Bill Zack today to discuss plexi-glass boxes. Now I've set myself up for something difficult to accomplish in the next month. What else is new?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kate Johnson - Moving

Kate Johnson, a former student of mine, made the above photograph for an assignment in Special Topics in 2010. The goal was to create an installation that existed only as a photograph. She wrapped everything in her bedroom with newspaper as she was preparing to move back to Lafayette, Indiana after graduation. The blinds, to this day, astound me.

One of the reasons I was interested in this piece relates back to an old family photograph I have of my Aunt Eleanor who resided in a floor-to-ceiling cardboard covered house in the 1940s. It's the obsessive nature of the action and the sheer amount of detail Kate portrayed that drew me in.

A couple weeks ago, long after Kate graduated and moved away, she sent me another version. She's moving again and this time she wrapped her living room. Part of me wishes that there were blinds on that window or at least the lovely blue of the light outside but overall, I am enamored with the scale (larger furniture, a bigger space, etc.). It's also ironic when one thinks how little newspapers are read and here they aren't used for learning the news or advertising. Instead they serve a functional purpose - protection of the objects they cover. They also conceal and make generic everything in the room which is also fascinating.

I am hopeful that Kate moves several more times in her future. I'm counting on the seeing a kitchen, dining room and bathroom someday! Thanks for sending me the image Kate.

Exhibition Announcements are Here!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Birthdays? I just have one thing to say about that.

Found postcard from the collection of JR

Found postcard from the collection of JR

Lara Shipley, Night Drive

 Martin Parr, From the book Mexico

Robert Voit, New Trees

Lee Friedlander, Tucson, Arizona, 2011

Peter Granser, From Sun City

Friday, August 17, 2012

"The Object Transformed" Press Release

The exhibition opens on Monday, August 20 and will be on exhibit through Thursday, September 13 in the Shircliff Gallery of Art.

Closing Reception will be held in the gallery from 11am - 12pm on Thursday, September 13, with an Artist Lecture from 2pm - 3pm that day in the Shircliff Auditorium, E101 in the Humanities Building.

Jacinda Russell is a photographer of objects - the object transformed into a self-portrait, a representation of place, a distant memory, or a symbol of fixation. Important influences in Russell’s work include found photographs, maps, 16th century cabinets of curiosity, worn and dilapidated objects, obsessive behavior in collecting, repetition, and storytelling. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Art at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Russell received her MFA in photography from the University of Arizona and her BFA from Boise State University.  Her mixed media installations and photographs have been exhibited nationally and her work is represented in the collections of the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Reed College, Portland, Oregon.

The Shircliff Gallery of Art is located in the Shircliff Humanities Building on the corner of 2nd and Harrison streets. Gallery Hours are Monday - Thursday 8am - 10pm, Friday 8am - 5pm, and Sunday 12 - 3pm. The Gallery will be closed on Labor Day Weekend, September 2-3.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Eric Conrad

Today is my friend Eric's birthday. He is also an object maker (and a painter, drawer, trickster, snow camper, and marvelous maker of anything ranging from waterproof jackets to loincloths). I've been thinking a lot about visiting him and his wife Yoonmi in Kansas soon. They aren't that far away but sometimes they feel like they really are. In my quest to make distance shorter & to feel slightly closer, this blog post will have to do.

From Eric's artist statement: "Figures, part-beast and part-human, struggle to regain a sense of identity, support and control within sensual, exuberant, violent, and/or co-dependent relationships.  The works often contain narratives that deal with a coming to terms with past actions taken or current events not easily forgotten.  Heaps of figures are mixed-up, entangled, disfigured and forced into co-dependent communities, fragile structures where there is potential for reconciliation and collapse."

Anthropomorphology, 120" x 48" x 96"


Horse Head, 15" x 15" x 15"

Last Night 2, 30" x 39"

Last Night 2, Detail

This drawing is from a collaboration entitled Yesnomaybe with Eric Conrad, Yoonmi Nam & Kristi Arnold. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


A season cannot slip by without a post about Ed Ruscha. The above is a quick snapshot of a page in this book that caught my eye in Strand Book Store in NYC last March. I loved it because it was another artist's representation of a list.

Tangentially, I also met a cow named Babycakes this summer (Fabio on left, Babycakes on right):

After a little Google search wanting to find out more about these titles, I found where the name most highlighted on the right hand page of Ruscha's list ended up.

Ed Ruscha, Babycakes via (it can be yours for $3500). 

It is llustrated with 22 photographs, one of a baby and 21 of assorted pastries with the weight of each items.  I should have made this discovery two years ago! Yet another connection between Nine Fake Cakes and Nine Bodies of Water and the work of Ed Ruscha.  Here are a couple low res photos of the interior via.

To which my response can only be....

Ed Ruscha, OOO

It's love at first sight... doughnut shaped circles of water floating on a swimming pool blue background. Oooh!