Source unknown – Title unknown (201X)

Efff me but this is magnificent.

The palate is reminiscent of Edward Isais–the perspective, lighting, composition and more unadordned mise en scene are decidedly not, however. (The pose might as well be a doppelgänger for Yung Cheng Lin–but although the perspective and composition of this are more in-line with his work, I don’t think he’s ever done anything this tenebristic.)

I originally found it here (which looks less like the source or even the site of the model and more just a really precocious self-definition-through-curatory-reblogging).

Does anyone know the source for this? I would be very interested in learning more about whomever made it…

EDIT: It seems likely that it’s Chinese image maker pingguodang (tumblr) (behance)–thanks for the tip-off anon!

Eric ChangMiki Modernica (2015)

This image appeared as part of an exclusive series for Treats! Magazine.

I could give less of a fuck about the rest of the images. This one appeals to me though.

Partly, it’s the stone tiles and the blue grey of the concrete setting off the grass’ cobalt green; Partly, it’s my preoccupation with questions of pubic vs private, so any work featuring nude figures ostensibly in public is relevant to my interests.

The question I have is: why the up-tilt? Yes, it more or less splits the frame in half, divided along lines of positive and negative space–which shouldn’t need to be stated but is a terrible composition strategy. Plus, the light reflected on the glass stairway railing is super distracting.

And actually, the more I look at this the more it irks me. I can’t dispute that Chang’s work is visually polished. It looks like quality. The issue I have is that he so frequently all but quotes from other artists. (If you like shit like Where’s Waldo, hop on over to his website and look for where he seemingly cut/pastes elements from Andy Goldsworthy and Tim Walker into his work.

The above references or borrows heavily–I can’t decide which–from Akif Hakan Celebi, Yung Cheng Lin and Miru Kim. I can’t speak for Kim–mainly because I’m in a longstanding feud with her (that she is likely to remain unaware of since I don’t usually broadcast the fact) but I take umbrage to her work. But as far as Celebi and Lin go, both wouldn’t have added an up-titled perspective to this scene even if both would’ve been drawn like moths to flame by the elements of this location.

ashleymacleanAvocado (2007)

Confession: in a week I eat probably a half dozen avocados–chunks of them in salad, guacamole in burritos; hell, I regularly halve them and spoon them out into my face the way most people eat that Greek yogurt stuff.

But it’s never occurred to me until I saw this that the color of a ripe avocado is extremely close to my all-time favorite color–which I call acid green but is sometimes termed pistachio. Or, an even more apt example: the green of the absinthe in Mark Romanek’s video for nine inch nails The Perfect Drug.

(As an aside it occurs to me that we stop asking certain questions of people beyond a certain age, i.e. what’s your favorite color? what’s your favorite animal? Why do we do this? Such questions are so much more informative and revealing of the quality and nature of inner life than small talk about how we pay our bills or commentary on the fucking weather.)

So beyond the fact that like black, avocado/pistachio/acid green compliments other loud colors well.

But this is an interesting photo for more than just the use of color. It’s a killer example of logic that justifies vertical orientation. (And unlike most cases where I merely refer to the compositional logic without showing my work–so to speak–I can explain myself in this case.

We’re dealing with a frame within a frame here. Actually, it’s a frame within a frame within a frame… but let’s keep it simple: there’s the frame and then the door into the dark hallway is a second frame. Note how the balance of the frame leans to the left and how that pattern is reiterated in the relationship between positive and negative space w/r/t the dark hallway vs. the light falling from the window in the far room.

Was MacLean thinking about that repeated form when triggering the shutter? There’s no telling. It’s possible.

But it doesn’t really matter whether it was instinctive or intentional. The logic is there–plain as day. This image would not have worked any other way.

Maurycy GomulickiMINIMAL FETISH_9895 (2010)

This is problematic for the same reasons I took this gorgeous Kodachrome to task.

It’s a teensy bit off balance– the angle of the legs in relation to the lower corners and the uneven grading of the pistachio backdrop; however,  I’m unsure whether it’s a lazy approximation on the part of the artist or an expectation that viewer will get the jist instinctively round it up.

Don’t get me wrong, the interplay of colors is LOVELY. (So much so that when it disappeared from my likes before I could post it, wyoh enacted some of her ‘net wizardry and tracked it down from little more than my muddled recollection of it.)

Gomulicki is trained as a designer and painter. His work is fixated on both documentation and vibrant-to-the-point-of-surreality color palates. And I can’t look at this or any of his images without relating them to amandajas’.

I don’t think it’s difficult to see why: Jasnowski is an image maker preoccupied with image making as a mode of design, after all; and she deploys a strikingly similar palate in her work.

But that connection triggers another question: what is the relationship/where is the boundary between image making & design?

And how does any answer inform the question of the purpose of color in image making practice?

Henry Gaudier-GreeneTanya Dakin: Absinthe and Caviar for Breakfast. (2013)

One (1) of six (6) 4×5 Fujiroids created by Gaudier-Greene and Dakin appearing in Issue 7 of the always comely analogue only art-zine 62nd Floor..

Tanya Dakin is a Philadelphia based model/photographer/provacateur writing a book about her vagina; she shares explicit photos depicting her DD/lg relationship and has the most beautiful ink I’ve ever seen. 

Gaudier-Green is a photographer who shares my commitment to film and shoots with Pentax 67ii.

I dig their respective work with limited reservations–Dakin is a competent image maker but I am far more taken with her no safety net approach to life and the uncompromising openness with which she shares herself; Gaudier-Greene’s has preternatural aptitude for color work and any sort of instant film he touches becomes a medium for the transmission of god-like beauty; thus the lack of specificity in his B&W film work is never something I quite know how to reconcile.

They remind me of Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí: individually I respect the quality and care with which they craft their work; however, it always feels as if their personal work suffers from the echoing absence of the things that render their collaborative endeavors so effortlessly transcendent.

That’s not to say this image is free of problems and distractions–it isn’t. But between the attention to color and light, the wawker-jawed composition gets its volume turned down by the ‘realness’ of a fully-experienced unmediated moment in which two impressive talents merge into a single, uninterrupted and timeless genius.



Fox Photo-ArtGlass Olive [from the Voyeurism Series] (2013)

Initially, I see the stone wall and sapling filtered, dappled light. All of it pulls up a step or two short of full blown flashback to strolling around Fort Tryon Park on a summer afternoon.

This feeling motivated me to look into Fox Photo-Art.

Le sigh. What is it with image makers bearing vulpine monikers and their privileged insistence upon producing self-important, creatively stunted dreck and deeming it ‘art’?

Usually, this attitude causes me to dismiss the work in totality; however, it somehow increases my appreciation of the above image even if there’s nothing especially inspired about it.

Yeah, the composition is solid: the angle of the ledge leads the eye to Glass Olive; her body is situated parallel to the focal plane so her legs can remain open toward the camera.

Unlike the more natural, obviously comfortable positioning of her legs, her upper body is rigidly posed in order to facilitate reflection of light from the bright white pages of Margot Mifflin’s Bodies of Subversion onto her face.

To my eye there’s a startlingly nuanced yet fraught conceptualization at work here: using Ms. Olive’s face to establish a counterpoint to the focus on her pubic area.

Glossing over the implications with regard to matters of heteronormative gaze and sexualization/objectification of female bodies, this strategy somewhat succeeds. Although, it should be pointed out this counterpoint unbalances the image; and only works due to the dimensionality contributed by the angle of Ms. Olive’s legs balanced against the essentially decorative negative space occupying the left third of the frame.

I am almost always appreciative of clever framing. But what fascinates me here is the degree to which the subject remains completely indifferent to being seen in spite of all the visual cues pointing to the precision with which the scene has been staged. The most obvious being that no matter how much you fidget, wiggle or kick, even given the audacity of sitting in such a way in a dress sans undergarments, dresses only fall like this as a result of being carefully arranged.

It’s like the Fox Photo-Art can’t decide whether he’s dealing in conventions of public nudity or upskirt shots.

Speaking of the latter: recently, I’ve seen some commendable efforts (like this) to recast an otherwise exploitative genre in a more consent-driven, body positive/sex positive manner.


let me give you a taste

I posted an image featuring this pair back in early December

It’s cropped and the colors were mangled to hell—can someone explain to me Tumblr’s pervasive affection for the offset slider? I continue to dig that image and stand by my original comments.

Thus I was excited to happen upon another image featuring the same pair even if it was clear although the colors were better the composition was decidedly less inspired. Still, I have do have a soft spot for erotic imagery that leaves the man more exposed than the woman.

Then I noticed the boy’s expression which reads to me as a sort of haughty bitch-why-aren’t-you-deep-throating-my-shit-already pout. Uh, hello Fuckwit. She has her soft, warm tongue on the most sensitive part of your anatomy. Please die. Now.

I should have left it at that. But no, I am trying to be a more thorough curator. I just had to query TinEye.

And le sigh, it’s true the images are part of a series. It’s hosted on BeataPorn. (There’s a FREE PREVIEW of the series but probably unnecessary spoiler: it’s the same old eyes-bleeding-from-uninspired-repetition-of-the-routinzed-hetero-normative suck-and-fuck charade.)