Saturday, November 28, 2009


For those of you who've been posting it up with me on facebook, I apologize for the disappearing trick! As the days get cooler and the daily worries build with the "slow season" I have a growing sense of preservation naturally packing on. I've focused my energies more keenly toward my family and home.... so off goes casual conversation with strangers ( beloved though some are! ) I might even pick up the phone!

New Year is coming soon... sooner than last year and sooner still than the year before !

...Which leads me to one of my 2009's favorite photo picks. I've seen thousands of images this year and this one sticks with me.. The best things seem to be simple yet profound, ugly yet beautiful reflecting of course, what else but our own nature!

Here's the RED FOX honored with humble berries in what appears at first to be merely a sound slumber.. Kudos to the photographer Kimbrini for what she calls " Un Taxidermy".

I love what she did with blades of grass and ice here..... beautiful!

I was never beautiful.
I learned by heart the octaves
of grief and the peculiar phrases
of a man's desires. Mine was the chord
seldom struck; oh they gave me
an arm to walk
over the esplanade. I walked
with the arm. They stood
near the edge, watching,
humming the ruse of the borrowed car
and from their pockets rose the petite chanson
of the hungry key. I walked on alone
and the water came, touched my feet
and was gone...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


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have a good week.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Interview with RUSSELL JOSLIN

I don't know if you've noticed, but there's a Renaissance going on. A group of fantastic artists are out there RIGHT NOW gracing and redefining the art world. Among these band of artists are the gifted, Joslin Family.....

There is JESSICA JOSLIN, the bewitching sculptress of skeletal darklings .. her husband JARED JOSLIN , the noted awe inspiring (no really) painter, for whom I was lucky enough to sit as inspiration for his fan dancer piece ..

And brother to both, one of my favorite photographers , Russell Joslin.

Russell is also the editor/ publisher of the ALWAYS remarkable black and white photography journal, SHOTS magazine. I was so excited he agreed to answer of few of my questions.

I so admire the breadth of Russell's knowledge and his dreamy, often dark style of imagery.

(Russell Joslin)

Tea: Beginnings, especially in a creative life are moving and inspiring...
What first made photography your main passion as an artist?

RJ: I think it was when I first began to look at photography as a language. It was something I came to understand gradually. I aspired to be a writer in my early 20’s, but also studied graphic design, intaglio printmaking, and photography in college. At some point along the way, I realized that most all my prints were derivative of photographs I had made, and that my photography was starting to visually communicate what I was saying with my writing, only more effectively. So ultimately I turned my full attention to photography.

TEA: Yes, I've come across several photographers recently stating that writing was their first love. I can see the unique kindredship ( between photography & writing).

Was taking over the reins of SHOTS magazine a seminal moment of commitment to photography or a natural progression long after you knew what you wanted?

RJ: I would say the latter… I was committed to my personal work in photography years before I took over SHOTS, but I would say that editing and publishing SHOTS has deepened my commitment to the medium in general. I’m immersed in it, and it’s a part of my daily life, whether from the magazine side or the personal side.

TEA: What role if any does nature play in your self portraiture? Do you metaphorically belong there?

RJ: Many of my self-portraits over the years are done in natural environments, so yes, it certainly plays a role. Part of this is for practical reasons—I live near forested areas, and they are good places to shoot outdoors and generally allow me to work in solitude, which I prefer. (Less the times a random stranger happens across me in the woods and wonders what the hell it is I’m doing!) I also often find these places visually seductive. Aside from that, the forest is a symbol of the subconscious, which is of interest to me. I love the dream world and that which relates to it, so I would say that especially in the context of my work, I do feel I belong there…

TEA: I feel as if i'm somewhat intruding (in a good way) when seeing your portraits. I especially admire the talent you have for achieving intimacy in your images... and I also love the way you turn simple gestures into something, more.

RJ: Thank you for the compliment. I most often photograph people I know, and who know my work, so I feel that brings a sense of intimacy to the portraits.

TEA: Having conducted many interviews over the years for your magazine, which to date surprised and/or inspired you the most ? ( In which issue?)

RJ: You’re putting me on the spot! That’s a tough question to answer. I’ve done about 70 interviews now for the pages of SHOTS, and it’s truly one of the pleasures of my job. As a photographer, it’s an honor be in a position where I can interview photographers that I admire. I learn something from each of them, and hope that my readers do as well. But I don’t want to dodge your question, so I’d have to say that the most inspiring interviews have been the ones with deeply established photographers who have consistently worked in the medium for decades and who were so generous with their answers and wisdom concerning their work. People like Rimma Gerlovina...

( Rimma Gerlovina below)
...and Valeriy Gerlovin (no. 89), George Krause (no. 83), and Jane Evelyn Atwood (no. 92) come to mind.

( Jane Evelyn Atwood below)

TEA: I'm a big fan Rimma Gerlovina too ( being primarily a conceptual photographer). She is also a writer, referred to by some as a visual poet. I see your work in a similar way..

For those who aren't yet familiar with SHOTS, what is it about visually ? Is it a pretty open journal stylistically?

Does it support any particular movement?

RJ: I always find it hard to categorize or summarize. I don’t see it as supporting a movement per se. I try to keep it open, but that’s not to say that I don’t think it has an identity. Because I’m the sole editor, it’s certainly a reflection of my own tastes and leanings, but I try to remain open to all types of work too. It’s always fun and challenging—I love what I do. I’ve always been fascinated by looking at photographs, curious to understand something about the person who created them.

TEA: So, what's in store for the near future ? I know you travel a bit to act as juror and/ or curator for some interesting shows...

(Russell photoNOLA 2008 below)

RJ: I do curate a few shows here and there—most recently was one for the New Orleans Photo Alliance called the “Spirit World” that was, from all indications, well received. I often review at photo festivals too—next up will be Fotofest in Houston next spring. Other than that, I’m presently hard at work on the next issue of SHOTS, and after that will turn my attention back to my personal photography work. Publishing quarterly presents a nice rhythm that allows me some time for my own work in between issues.

TEA: You seem so perfectly suited for " Spirit World". From what I was able to see online, it looked like I missed a good one .. And in New Orleans no less!

Well, there's so much to learn not only from the truly engaging images but the amazing people you choose to bring to your readers. This coming annual PORTFOLIO issue is going to be great! Always some of the most ambitious work to be seen..

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions ( i.e. allow me geek out just a little).
It was a real honor, Mr. Joslin.

Hopefully I'll see you in Texas this Spring for Fotofest ...

Thanks, Darla, the pleasure was mine.

I'll hope to see you too!


SHOTS is reader-supported quarterly journal of fine art photography in its 23rd year of publication. Be sure to order your subscription, HERE .

As stated above, SHOTS offers insiteful interviews, also, regular calls for emerging and established photographers.

( Russell Joslin)


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Loved & Stinky

You know that article of clothing, that accessory, that you found or was grandfathered in.. that If given half the chance your mother or some "what not to wear" TV show would take away from you or burn in a flaming pit?

I have one. The suede hat. I will shiv you If you try to take my hat away from me. It is brown and it's a man's hat. It suits me somehow and It MIGHT have a name. If it did, I wouldn't tell you because it might get up and run to you if called.

It's actually stolen. I stole it from my kid. Ian MacKaye ( minor threat, Fugazi, the Evens) gave it to him fair and square, and I stole it because it fit me better. I did everyone a favor by doing that.

It's slightly stinky inside. It smells like head and hairspray if you actually dared to take a whiff. It's falling apart too. I will patch it up like the good solider it is when the time comes. I will never find it's match. It's not the prettiest, but it has what the french call " a certain something" . I think I've said enough.

Carry on.

Friday, November 13, 2009


So, by now everyone knows or should know the American designer Tony Duquette.. . We all have the heavy book that came out that made us all want a more magical and elaborate bedrooms, more glamourous tables and for some, more interesting marriages ... I thought because it's technically the time for window watching and shopping i'd lay out some classic examples of Bergdorf Goodman Tony inspired windows...some of my favs...



Here is a photo of Arlene Dahl wearing a charming mask designed by Duquette


How about a Pylones cow purse? I was drawn to this only because it looks brutal... as if it has been skinned.
Red leather. interesting choice. Hmm.

...speaking of savory or ( un) ... Macaroon is not my favorite, but every time I see a box of these Marie Antoinette inspired cookies I automatically want to pile them everywhere, give them as gifts, wear them...EVERY thing but eat them.

Sweet guts! designed by Dr. Romanelli and distributed by Medicom Toy, this hello kitty is cute on the inside too.

Aren't angry enough??? Try pretending to shoot your neighbor with your breakfast. ( thanks Winter Rosebudd via Babs!)

Happy Weekend Beauties !!

..... no sir don't mean maybe (match box circa 1910)

The Illusionists

The Illusionists is another show I'm missing but glad to pass on.
Taking place at George Billis Gallery until Dec 19th in L.A....a MUST SEE.

Jared Joslin

Carol Golemboski

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bird Spotting

There's this woman in her 80's that I saw this morning.. I see her often enough to call her an acquaintance. She sells me gloves and shoes at this local shop and I desperately want to take her portrait. I kind of stare at her through the racks. I'm afraid to ask. Not because I don't think she'd want to, but because I want to style her in a....well... a Quentin Crispy way. I can't see her any other way and I don't think she, the individual, wouldn't find it flattering.

Part of this visual tick ( if you will) is because all cool old ladies remind me of Quentin, and frankly that's who I really wish to photograph, I suppose. Of course that's impossible because he's gone. I will ask the older lady anyway- you never know, she might humor me. :) I'm going to ask her this weekend.

While I'm musing over faux Quentins, I thought I'd tell you my Quentin story.

It's not really a story but a moment to remember. That's one of the brilliant things Mr. Crisp did, especially in his elder years. He gave out these moments to strangers and he knew they were gifts. In New York as this older man with silk galore and sweet tart hair, it WAS like spotting a rare bird. A bird you may never see again. I saw Woody Allen everyday on Madison Ave. walking his Soon-Yi, draped jewels around Isabella Rossellini's neck and even saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer chick's ( whatever her name is) boobs while fetching her more shoes to try on. Typical New York celebrity moments in high end retail... but... they all seemed so far away, so busy. Removed from "down there" in civilian town, even when they were nice.

I was on my way to a friend's near Houston Street. It was my day off, in June 1999. I passed a restaurant window and something caught my eye ( TWEET!!) The restaurant wasn't a nice one. It was a plain ol place to get coffee and maybe a bagel or some crappy cobb salad with a bowl of luke warm veggie soup. There he was in a cream blouse, with pink scarf and broach with hat all jaunty like-cane leaning- Painted round pink bursts on his adorable sagging cheekbones and a cup of tea. I recall these details because I stopped dead in the middle of foot traffic and soaked him in. For a good 20 seconds he didn't notice me, and then he did. He straightened himself and placed a delicate hand on his jaw line. He posed, I gushed.. then he smiled and took this swaggering sip from his cup, like, ''that's right darling, it's me, Queen of England". I blew him a kiss and he waved ( yes, like Miss Magnolia on a Thanksgiving Day float). Whether it was real or not, I felt like I'd just seen this kindred being, a little like seeing an old friend. He died later that year.

Film- An Englishman in New York..covering the later period, in which Crisp resides in New York.
The film premiered at The Berlin International Film Festival.

Gold Vs Petker Collection

( via Clint Catalyst !)

I love this tank from the Gold vs. Petker collection

And if you've got the length to wear Palazzo pants ( which , I do not) these are quite good too...

...from Jared Gold's Renegade Fashion !

But I think my favorite.. is this printed dress ...

Newest Liz McGrath Show @ Billy Shire

If your are in L.A. November 14th.. go see Liz McGrath's new show " AMERICAN ANIMALS".... It's sure to be wonderful !

"American Animals"
This Saturday, November 14 2009
Billy Shire Fine Arts
5790 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
phone: 323-297-0600

Opening reception from 7 - 10pm
Show runs from November 14 - December 5 for more details

Young and Beautiful

Austin Young has been a hero of mine since the 90's ( when he had a different name...but coming from me, who's counting ;)

When I first saw his work I was taken not only by his colorful bold style but his subjects. He has the clout to photograph some of the most famous people on the planet (and he does) yet he chooses ( thank God) to keep his main focus on friends, drag queens, fringe, beautiful misfits and great emerging talent, local royalty. He is friends with so many of my friends yet we've only talked online. I think I might act a fool when I finally meet him. Nawww...who am I kidding. I'll wantonly throw myself in front of his camera!! Oh, wait..that's acting a fool. Nevermind.

He is also a phenomenal film maker..producing such gems as ...

He also has a series entitled THE WORM . It's not for everyone, but I find it hilarious.

I'f you don't already know him... take a long drink of Young... You'll most likely feel better for it.

Here are some classic examples ..... enjoy.

" Squeaky "

"Siouxsie Sioux"


Winter in 3 Frames

I really love these BIlly & Hells portraits. They seem to embody a season and a time you can't quite name.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ever get secretly thrilled about adorable Nun Crafts???

(Ah, come on .....sure you do!)

Shhhhhhhhhh, then I have a seeeecret surprise ---

--link-> Hand crafted New Olreans Ornaments :) ( pralines and cupcakes too!)

''Cherished and collectable hand painted ornaments depicting local favorite and historic New Orleans landmarks. Sister Olivia at The Poor Clare Monastery draws pencil sketches to create these beautiful works of art. The sketches become note cards and some are minimized for creating the ornaments. The minimized sketches are glued to balsa wood, cut on a scroll saw, hand painted, varnished and signed by the artist. The sale of these and other crafts made by the Sisters are a means of support for the Monastery.''

I'll admit.. i get all a-flitter about collecting these hand made nun ornaments....and I have all of them!! JEALOUS??? haha

Anyway... im giving you a heads up to order before the christmas rush. Oh, imagine how southerny you'll feel with New Olreans Nunnery decorations glittering on your Jesus tree!

Speaking of trees- When I lived in New Orleans ( we'lll talk more on that later) I learned they pile their trees post x-mas in a pile in what is called the ''neutral ground'' ( median strip) and just set them on fire! No fire trucks or to do about it...just watch the night turn orange!

( me with babe in tow)


Bragaglia Brothers...

" Typist" 1911

Photodynamic Portrait of a Woman ( A. Bragaglia)