Category Archives: Editorial

Sugimoto/Todd Deutsch

From Modern Art Obsession

3. Hiroshi Sugimoto photographs at Gagosian Gallery have had their prices reduced from $450,000 to $360,000.    Gasp… like what is that?

Even at $360,000, MAO would consider that price to be totally RIDICULOUS for a new Sugimoto photograph! While MAO loves some of Sugimoto’s work.. there’s NO WAY in any sane world, anyone but a total fool would pay $360,000 for a single Sugimoto photograph.

We love this Gagosian press release quote..

In 1980 he began working on an ongoing series of photographs of the sea and its horizon in locations all over the world, using an old-fashioned large-format camera to make exposures of varying duration….

By returning to the same subject repeatedly, he reveals the subtleties that he…..

Perhaps, That “HE,” Sugimoto, hasn’t managed to do anything new or original in years? Except raise his prices beyond reality? Ok.. maybe MAO is being a bit harsh.. So no disrespect to Sugi…but we’re just saying…Hmm..it’s something to think about.   Should a single newly printed Sugimoto photo sell for more than the average price of a house in most parts of the U.S. ?  Maybe MAO is missing something..? like an extra $360,000 to burn on a new and dull Sugimoto photograph.

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Personally I think Todd Deutsch’s approach is more understandable,

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In a few days I turn 40.  In a few months our fourth son will join the family fray.  Time to rethink where things are headed.  I am growing weary of weighing the pros and cons of edition sizes, where to send packets, trying to decide which competitions to enter, and on and on.  Strategy, strategy, strategy.  Position, position, position.  What I am learning is that I am really not that guy.  All the effort comes at the expense (emphasis on ‘expense’) of what I love about making and looking at photographs.  Of course I still want the pictures I make to be seen, but right now I am looking for ways to be more like myself in the process.  More emphasis on rhythm, less emphasis on melody.

So, I have decided to occasionally offer small prints for sale.  11 x 14 inch c-prints.  No editions.  Just prints.  As many (or as few) as the world wishes to soak up.  And cheap, too.  30 clams including shipping. (Larger versions of many of the images will still be available in the editions we have grown to expect.  After all, there is a place for those as well.)

Although maybe somewhere in between would be the ideal?

LAY FLAT

LAY FLAT is a great new photo mag which, rather than being bound, presents the reader with individual prints. It is an idea I’ve often thought would be a really nice thing to own.

animallogic01

Also includes writing by…

One Credo After Another
by Tim Davis

Close Readings
by Darius Himes

The Secessionists Revisited: Artist Collectives in the Age of the Blog
by Cara Phillips

A Telephone Conversation with Mike Mandel
by Shane Lavalette

The Crisis of Experience
by Eric William Carroll

Castaways vs. Utopians
by Jason Fulford

Recent art…

Just got back from my holidays. Had a good time and managed to see some great art.

First up was some recent work by Chema Madoz (o en castellano) . His webby is out of date and I really prefer the work from 2000 onwards – there is much more bite to it, including a series on flags as nationalist symbols which I liked.

A lot of his recent work would fit in the ‘I’d buy it if I could afford it’ category.

I also took a trip to the Wurth museum in Logroño.

A great place to view art. All this group’s museums are set in industrial parts and form part of the working environment for the employees as well as the public. Favourite of the show – as always when I see one – was a Caro piece…

I especially like his table top sculptures, I’ve never seen anything so physically heavy that gives the impression of grace and airiness

I’ve been wanting to see some of Rinko Kawuchi’s Aila work for a while, prints are so different from books…

and I like it. Simple, well ‘drawn’ images that have a consistent naivety I like. Couldn’t make these images for love nor money!

The work of Luisa Lambri was new to me.

as was the work of Jorg Sasse

I also got to see some ‘old’ friends,

I’ll be posting more links later, together with some work from the trip. Happy New Year!

Holidays

I’m away for the holidays now until 6th January, so things will be even slower around here than normal! We always go to my wife’s home town, Logroño,

the capital city of La Rioja, where the wines come from, for my birthday and Christmas (48 this year, where does the time go?!).

I’ve just received a hand-made card from Bee Flowers,

which was a great treat. Bee also has some work in this month’s edition of Ojo de Pez , I’ve got a copy on order but not seen it yet. Bee has also has a new project which I’ve seen a draft of. He’s using a really interesting strategy to structure the images, but I’m sworn to secrecy for now.

Anyway, Happy holidays!

Update,

As usual I published this too quickly. Spending some time on Bee’s site I see he has some new work…

Keith Johnson revisited

I’ve posted about Keith before, but I’ve just had an email from him regarding the Crane Silver Rag paper, and he tells me he helped with its development and is a consultant for Crane. Really nice when you find a product you like has an input from a photographer you like!

Keith has some new work up too. I can’t insert these images into the blog as Keith has a roll-over presentation (Update: of course I can put these into the blog! and if Tim on a Mac can do it…!). But some of the extended are very nice indeed.

More on ‘art’ versus ‘photography’…

I had a couple of people over to look at prints and work-in-progress over the weekend which resulted in an order for a trip and a BW 50cm x 50cm ‘Green Thing’ pic (REALLY excited about this last as I’ve never done a fine print of this as I was using a flatbed when I was doing this project – I also think I’ll be talking to John Brownlow again as his Epson printing on silver rag is amazing).

I came away from these sessions quite energised, but at the same time slightly perplexed. I’ve noticed that some photographers, and some photography collectors, build a ring fence around photography with a strict personal definition of what photography ‘is’ and what it ‘isn’t’.

Looking at the montage/construction lying on my worktable, I had comments like ‘these are all good images, why are you ripping them up, and layering them like this?’ Which got us into a nice conversation about what I’m trying to achieve – always good to check your intentions! But I’m finding that this whole question never even crosses the mind of art collectors. Although I admit the work I’m showing ranging from BW landscapes, through colour urban landscape work to the latest projects, can be confusing!

I was also contacted recently out of the blue by my ex-wife, Pauline Thomas. I’d not heard from her for many years, but she was very complimentary about my work now. She was a bit surprised I think, as I was a musician when she knew me ( a career sadly curtailed by a car crash). She is an ex-Art Development Officer in the UK and her approach to career progression is remarkably open and not suffering from the ‘is it photography or not’ scenario. But she’s given me a lot to think about – thanks Pauline!

Constructions.

Been fairly quiet recently as I’ve been away from the pc building a montage/construction. I started off on 50x70cm board but quickly realised that was too small so I moved up to 1mx1.5m.

I’m using a combination of older pics both BW and colour and the newer digi pics. No jpeg as this is lying flat and I can’t get an angle!  Not too sure about the archivability but I’m not too bothered as it is really a test. Don’t know how I could do a portfolio review with this kind of thing, but I’m certainly very happy with how it is progressing.

It has lead me to start thinking about the problems in presenting this work, and the different expectations between ‘art’ (single images) and the ‘photography’ (themed ‘bodies’ of work) market. More later

Question..?

I’m going to be building some ‘constructions’, part of which will be photos stuck to archival board. Anyone know the best archival way of putting pics on board? I want the pics to look stuck on, so dry mounting is too clinical. I was thinking linen tape????

Making prints

Since my return from Madrid I’ve been in a self-imposed exile from the internet – well apart from Tim Atherton’s blog and the occasional read of the streetphoto list.

I’ve been adopting a Winogrand approach to photography in that I’ve been shooting, then burning the stuff straight to disk without looking at it. I’m now starting to wade through the resulting images.

I recently got this print from John Brownlow. And yeah, I know, the jpeg doesn’t do it justice!

It is printed 50cm x 150cm on Museo SilverRag, an amazing paper. Everyone who has seen the print prefers it to a C-Type. The reds are just so much more vibrant.

This has got me discussing with people who have seen the print how many hours it takes to make – the scanning, spotting, compiling, photoshop work. Forget about the hours spent walking around or worrying about the ‘art’ side of things, just the sheer sweat of making the print justifies the purchase price, and often astounds people who think ‘digital is easy, isn’t it?’

I’ve also updated my website to include 6 images from the ‘Exotic’ series. The series now has a pretty solid identity, and I’ve had some print enquiries so it made sense to make it visible without coming to the blog.

Anyway, I’ll be putting up new work in a little while.