photography

F*CK SELFIES . TELL ST*RIES (Also, love is more fun...)

Ink on 35mm negative  - scanned and edited. (Running out of paper series, 2015)

The cliche "distance makes the heart grow fonder" is only partly true. Because all too often distance will seed and sprout disinterest. And unlike hate, which is never separate from love, indifference is its truest adversary and antithesis.

Apathy allows for selfishness. Whereas love requires we put aside common sense and instincts for survival, to value the well-being of another as paramount. I would say that many of us never love without condition.  So we spend lengthy portions of our existence too timid to love as we should. And then some of us will forever mistake infatuation and lust for weightier connections.

We are held back by paranoiac whispers from internal Iago-esque voices, which spin fear-laden fictions and warn us against lifting that last bracing foot from the ground, lest we be irrevocably swept up by a tempest of adoration, and lose ourselves completely.

Loss is all the more frightening to us (particularly we "post-modern" Americans) who have only ever coasted along the downward slope of radical individualism. Those of us who make the assumption we are self-determined and free are all too often the least liberated...especially in love. 

PS - I reserve the right to change my feelings and/or opinions about this subject matter and anything else I may say (or not say) without apology.

 

Gentrify |ˈjentrəˌfī| (verb): renovate and improve so that it conforms to middle-class taste.

Gentrification describes the process of "urban renewal" in working class neighborhoods. Typically this begins with the construction of condos that attract young urban professional tenants (yuppies). Development and rennovation drive up rents and push out lower income residents.

Paradoxically, the process often begins with influxes of local artists looking for affordable places to live --  giving a neighborhood a "bohemian" aesthetic. This new character eventually attracts well-to-do residents who find the atmosphere desirable. The displacement of lower income artists and residents (often ethnic/racial minorities) is a direct result of this rapidly changing social character. 

Gentrification also involves an influx of upmarket local businesses and shops that cater to the tastes and lifestyles of affluent new inhabitants. Businesses like sushi resaturants, couture coffee bars, and high-end clothing boutiques come to replace local long-standing businesses displaced by higher rents.

I bring up this definition, not because I am anti-gentrification, but because I take issue with the limited options and lack of imagination present in the ongoing development of modern cities. Taking into account the desires and needs of only the most privileged population is not only deluded but unsustainable. Surely there is a way to grow and develop urban environments that allow for greater diversity (social, economic, and cultural) and that respect and preserve the history of a place. 

The pictures below capture scenes at the edges of Downtown Los Angeles. These are the environments that still reflect the grit, personality, problems, and history of a city in flux.

Photo Frenzy: Amadeus Mag - Gianni Arone

Because it bears repeating, every now and again I take photos for an art/music/culture magazine called Amadeus. I happily photograph creatives across Los Angeles while chatting with them about art, duh! So, I figured I would share some shots from my recent visit with the multi-talented and self-taught LA-native Gianni Arone. You'll have to pick up the next copy of Amadeus Mag this summer to get the full scoop on this inspirational young painter. For now, here are some snaps to get you going...

Photo Frenzy: Amadeus Mag -Teresa Flowers

Sometimes I take photos for this kick ass art/music/culture magazine called Amadeus. This happens to be one of my favorite things. I get to meet passionate and interesting artists who talk to me about what they love doing most and I get to take their pictures. Sure doesn't suck...

These are a few images from my time spent with the inspiring LA newcomer (Salt-Lake City transplant) Teresa Flowers. You can read the full interview with Teresa and see more pictures of her work at: http://amadeusmag.com/blog/teresa-flowers-a-multidimensional-approach/

Suffering & Wisdom: Finding Inspiration in Proust

"Griefs, at the moment when they change into ideas, lose some of their power to injure our heart." - M. Proust

While we are more than able to use our minds without being in pain, it is my experience that we become most inquisitive when distressed. We suffer,  and we consider this pain carefully, so as to place the it in context. It helps to understand its origins, plot its dimensions, and reconcile ourselves to its presence. 

One might argue, and some have, that reading Proust's opus "In Search of Lost Time" is itself painfully difficult. Hence it would stand to reason that the story has a lot to teach us. 

One of these lessons is how to suffer successfully and to learn from our pain - something I have found quite inspirational of late. Ignorance may be blissful, but it is when we engage with our grief,  we have the incentive to confront difficult truths. 

Suffering it seems opens up the possibilities for intelligent, imaginative inquiry...and Proust might make the point that reoccurring misery develops a heartier more workable approach for life. Something more attainable than a utopian quest for the perfect and happy life. 

 

Amadeus Magazine Feature

One of my dearest friends, an awesome chick named Alex Khatchadorian (who happens to be one hell of a music and art devotee), asked me to get involved with her latest creative endeavor -- a digital and print publication dedicated to all things art and music in Los Angeles. The proper name for this creative venture is Amadeus Magazine. Find all the juicy goodness online at: www.amadeusmag.com.

You can see some of my shots for Amadeus here and read a brief interview about my photographic fascination with LA, here