Wednesday, December 23, 2009

happy holidays!

art vs. commerce

my kindle not only let me read triple the amount of books i used to read, it also - as you might know - allow me to do clippings and share those with you. today on the subway, while running christmas errands, i read a beautiful fable "hunger artist" by kafka, the ending of which metaphorically juxtaposes fine art and commercial art. (or at least it was the way i understood it - which is exactly the way i feel about the subject)

"Forgive me everything," whispered the hunger artist. Only the supervisor, who was pressing his ear up against the cage, understood him. "Certainly," said the supervisor, tapping his forehead with his finger in order to indicate to the spectators the state the hunger artist was in, "we forgive you." "I always wanted you to admire my fasting," said the hunger artist. "But we do admire it," said the supervisor obligingly. "But you shouldn't admire it," said the hunger artist. "Well then, we don't admire it," said the supervisor, "but why shouldn't we admire it?" "Because I had to fast. I can't do anything else," said the hunger artist. "Just look at you," said the supervisor, "why can't you do anything else?" "Because," said the hunger artist, lifting his head a little and, with his lips pursed as if for a kiss, speaking right into the supervisor's ear so that he wouldn't miss anything, "because I couldn't find a food which I enjoyed. If had found that, believe me, I would not have made a spectacle of myself and would have eaten to my heart's content, like you and everyone else." Those were his last words, but in his failing eyes there was the firm, if no longer proud, conviction that he was continuing to fast. "All right, tidy this up now," said the supervisor. And they buried the hunger artist along with the straw. But in his cage they put a young panther. Even for a person with the dullest mind it was clearly refreshing to see this wild animal throwing itself around in this cage, which had been dreary for such a long time. It lacked nothing. Without thinking about it for any length of time, the guards brought the animal food. It enjoyed the taste and never seemed to miss its freedom. This noble body, equipped with everything necessary, almost to the point of bursting, also appeared to carry freedom around with it. That seem to be located somewhere or other in its teeth, and its joy in living came with such strong passion from its throat that it was not easy for spectators to keep watching. But they controlled themselves, kept pressing around the cage, and had no desire to move on.

Friday, December 18, 2009


what a great surprise to see yourself featured (again) on one of my most favorite blogs! this time in connection with kate cusack's zipper jewelry shoot i did together with my team (dina yassin, aldys minaya, jamal hodges) a year ago.

this shoot occurred to be very controversial and raised lots of discussion on photoforums after images have been published. for many people it was shocking to see a model of a mature age in a otherwise typical jewelry advertising shoot. however, for me the idea was not to shock but to be honest in the first place and send a certain message to the audience.

kate's jewelry is sophisticated. it requires certain experience and confidence of the one who will be wearing it, otherwise it will overpower the owner. put it on a 18y.o. beauty and it'll clash. kate doesn't aim her jewelry for teenage audience. instead, her jewelry compliments a beauty of an elegant age. 
candace woodward, kate's close family friend, seemed to be our perfect model. it was an amazing experience working with her.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

dream catcher

our coat story in december "holiday" issue of ROUGE magazine:

stylist: ursula agurto
make-up: anetta klemens
hair: daniel santos
photo assistants: aric gutnick and zoe roman
fashion assistant: evan narvaez
models: zenia sevastianova & caroline de marqui @ major model management NYC

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

project "christmas tree"

this year our christmas tree is a found object (it is technically just half of the christmas tree my boyfriend found on the street last year) and its ornaments are polaroids of real christmas tree ornaments and toys, mixed with some pictures we took last christmas during our fairy trip to vermont.

happy winter holidays! stay cozy and warm!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

mortal engine

i was completely mesmerized by mortal engine. this dance-video-music-laser performance creates a surreal ever-shifting world in which the limits of the human body are an illusion. crackling light and staining shadows represent the most perfect or sinister of soulds.

mortal engine looks at relationships, connection and disconnection, isolation and togetherness, in a state of continuous flux. conflicts between the self and shadowy other, struggle to escape inner darkness - mortality, sexuality, desire.

apart from concept, what also amazed me is the harmony of human and technical parts of the performance. interactive projections were meticulously designed to respond to dancers' fine movements. both were at the top level but without competing and overpowering each other.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

art basel miami 2009

this year it was my first time going to miami art basel, and i am already anticipating the next one.
inspiring to say the least, 3 days at the fair left me art overdosed and with an immense urge to create something (outside of photography) myself.

definitely, it was fun gallery hopping in design district but yet selection of art and its level at convention center was hard to beat. ironically, most of the galleries bared "NY" prefix in it's name and were coming from chelsea neighborhood where i spend most of my working time freelancing. however, it was worth the trip to see everything under one roof, as well as i believe that curators' selection of pieces was being tightened up according to the high-standards of basel fair. lots of striking conceptual art from well-known as well as emerging artists. to name a few of my favorites artists and categories:

- black wireless map of NY done with graphite on metal (way more impressive than a camera could capture)

- photorealistic  paintings of urban landscape on used cardboard

- evan penny's distorted "4D" wax portraits

- witty light signs 

- distorted mirror installations

- series of abstract paintings and sculptures using simple play of color, texture and shape

generally speaking, i think most of the exhibits could go under the tag "smart art" - something that looks simple at first sight, but has a double-meaning, something between the lines, with lots of cultural, social, political, historial references only an experienced viewer will be able to decipher if he takes a closer look at it. going through gallery to gallery you feel like you are solving riddles created by artists to entertain and inspire.

p.s. i appologize for the poor quality of the snapshots taken on my blackberry since my "big" camera was not allowed inside the pavilion without press-pass