Categories
Arts Photography

Vladimir Lagrange, photo artist

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Vladimir Lagrange, Tomorrow Morning, 1969

Vladimir Lagrange took artistic photos of ordinary Russians for the “Soviet Union” Magazine. He also captured a bunch of personal photos that never saw the day of light because of Moscow’s censorship.

In reading up on Vladimir and looking at some of his pictures, it reminded me of this Bertolt Brecht line from War Primer (1955):

“The camera is just as capable of lying as the typewriter.”

The rise of mobile photography unleashes the citizen reporter, making it even harder to assess truth from propaganda. The world speaks in images to which people latch on to their own cocoon. Beware the blind spots.

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy

Be brave, clench fists

The quietest people have the loudest minds. That’s why introverts are more active than extroverts on social media. It’s easier to speak through screens than it is face-to-face.

But showing up offline is the only way to get anywhere. No one’s going to marry or hire you because you speak well on screen but not in person.

Fortunately, the Internet is the perfect training ground for building creative confidence.

It’s a place where you can show your work and strengthen the presentation muscle for your real life.

In some cultures, it may be ok to hide behind a screen and still get where you want to go. But for the most part success still takes being present.

So get out. Show up. Strive to be an interesting person online and off otherwise, you might not get the recognition you deserve.

Categories
Arts Books Photography

19th century algae prints by Anna Atkins

These algae prints were misattributed for more than a century before art historian Larry Schaaf discovered that they were the work of British botanist Anna Atkins.

As a pioneer of cyanotype photograms, a process in which sunlight (not a camera) imprints over objects on a piece of coated paper, Atkins produced the blueprints for a book entitled Manual of British Algæ in 1841. She just never got any credit.

Thanks to Larry Schaaf’s book of Atkins’s work, promptly titled Sun Gardens: Victorian Photogramsher work continues to see the light of day.

These algae prints were misattributed for more than a century before art historian Larry Schaaf discovered that they were the work of British botanist named Anna Atkins. #art #photography #science
These algae prints were misattributed for more than a century before art historian Larry Schaaf discovered that they were the work of British botanist named Anna Atkins. #art #photography #science
These algae prints were misattributed for more than a century before art historian Larry Schaaf discovered that they were the work of British botanist named Anna Atkins. #art #photography #science
Categories
Creativity Photography Travel

Urban stimulants

Photo by Wells Baum (Grand Central Station)
Photo by Wells Baum (Grand Central Station)

There’s a compelling story everywhere you go. But some places (e.g. New York) are more content rich than others.

All you need to do is walk a few blocks and observe with the cerebration of your senses.

The graffiti scrawled on the outside of million dollar apartments, the street smoke billowing out from the sewers, the smell of hot dogs and nuts from the street vendors, the sound of delivery trucks running through potholes, and the scratch you get from someone’s suitcase as they rush by you.

Everything is attractive, a potential a souvenir of the present moment.

New York manufactures an excess of content and inspiration, much like the Internet. Such hyperactivity is overwhelming and hard to parse — some thrive on The City’s ubiquitous stimulus, others feel compelled to escape to Florida to refuel.

External provocation is integral to any environment. After all, that’s why we travel — to be astounded by newness.

If boredom is your enemy, seeking interesting places with variable rewards may be your calling. But that last thing you want is to get abused by the infinite. It’s better to scroll with intention to coalesce out of the void of 24/7 distraction.

Categories
Arts Photography

RIP Photographer Michael Wolf

RIP photographer Michael Wolf, who’s photography of mega cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo continue to amaze.

Thanks Eileen Chengyin Chow for the beautiful Twitter thread honoring his work.

Categories
Arts Creativity Photography

Tips for artists who want to sell

Tips for artists who want to sell

John Baldessari, Tips For Artists Who Want To Sell (1966 – 1968)

Glad to see that the mind’s eye remains changed.