31 May 2011

It Was A Pleasure Then

The way we were: Kate DiMonda, Gwen Singley, Kevin Burke, Maura Geelan,
Herb Ascherman, Christos Prevezanos and Jeff Spangler (with one of his old friends from home).
Art Skool Kids doing Art Skool Things in class and on the town.  NYC 1994.

A 2010s Visit To A 1990s Visit To The 1970s...

In 1994 I revisited the backyard of the buildings where my parents had an apartment from 1973 to 1982. We lived there from the day they brought me home from the hospital as an newborn until just after my 9th birthday. Though they were older (but rather spacious and well kept) rental apartments when we lived there, they were completely run down (yet still inhabited by renters) and a bit scary looking some 12 years after we left. 

The garages had once been turn of the 20th century stalls for horses with hooks for saddles and bridle gear in the walls and rafters. Amazingly, those were still there on this particular visit. As a child, our car sat in one of these garages and I was amazed that even though most of the panes of glass had been knocked out, the rickety folding doors themselves were STILL attached. I can still hear the shrill squeak that those worn-down rollers made when the heavy wooden doors were pulled open and closed each morning and evening.

Next to the back stairs of each apartment, there was a latched door to 
a small box for the milkmen of yesteryear to deposit their deliveries.

ABOVE:  The backyard directly behind our stairs and next to our garage.
BELOW:  Photo by my Dad showing me in this space on my shiny red tricycle in 1976.

30 May 2011

From The Archives: Print Lab

Scenes from the 4th floor printmaking lab.  Parsons School Of Design.  Fall 1994.
When I look at these, I can still smell the inks and the faint aroma of silkscreen emulsion from the ultraviolet room.

From The Archives: Tim Burton Macy's NYC Windows 1993

The windows of the 34th St. Herald Square NYC Macy's was a temporary display space for original sets from Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" in October 1993.  I shot these with my old Yashica when some friends from Parsons Illustration and I took a special post-class walk up to Midtown just to see these little dioramas.  It was a novelty to see Hollywood set pieces come to life while standing on an NYC sidewalk.  It was even more intriguing to see that the world famous Macy's windows were blacked out, save for a small round hole of transparency in each.  It was through these holes that one really got to understand the minute scale on which Tim Burton was working to create this magic world of his own unique and distinctive design.  Upon revisiting these images the other day (for the first time in 18 years) I realized that there was an added bonus:  In some shots, the viewer can see the reflection of the illuminated sign from the now-defunct Woolworth's store across the street.  Damn, I really miss Woolworth's.

29 May 2011

There Goes The Neighborhood

Shots of Times Square from 1996 and 1997:  Old things receding, new things emerging.
Say what you will about it, but those of us who were around at that time marveled how rapidly the transition from porn theatres and shady storefronts to Disney-themed stores and family entertainment occurred.  Good, bad or indifferent, within a six year span it was almost a completely different neighborhood than it had been previously.  Some earlier strains remained, but it was a lot like watching the construction of a theme park called Times Las Vegas Square.

Art Skool Damage 1994

Talk about having a bad case of Art Skool Damage...
A 1994 self portrait for a photography class at Parsons.  
No shirt, Christmas lights and scratched negative pretense.  How '90s is THAT?
Yeah, I know... I'm not Matt Mahurin or Samuel Bayer.  Why didn't anyone tell me that then?

28 May 2011

Archive: 6 Pieces Of A Panoramic

Click, save and print the six images above, lay them left to right (starting with the bottom image) and you have a panoramic view of the Brooklyn Waterfront and the East River as seen from South Street Seaport in January 1997.  I shot these on a "drawing day" with some friends using my old Minolta (which I haven't touched in ages).  Going through page after page of negatives, I've noticed nicks, scratches and debris on a lot of the images.  For some reason, though, these don't bother me too much.  I'd normally expect myself to feel as if though they compromise the images in some way, but in fact I feel as if though a lot of these pictures look like they've actually been somewhere.  I guess you could say that they feel like the times and places in which they were taken.  Perhaps they represent the distance between the place in my life in which I shot them and the place I am currently viewing them from.

From The Archives: Out In NYC > The 1990s

Lush at Irving Plaza.  May 1996.

Bjork at The Hammerstein Ballroom.  May 1998.

Suede At The Supper Club.  May 1997.

ABOVE: Duran Duran in-store appearance at the now-defunct Sam Goody.  April 1995.
I was not only amazed that there was a line all the way around the block for this event, but I was also amazed at the enormous spill over of fans (and local news crews) onto 6th avenue.  
It temporarily shut down traffic for some very angry NYC motorists, but made for a great moment.

BELOW: Duran Duran at Roseland Ballroom.  November 1997.

BELOW: A strange little Duran Duran footnote.
John Taylor (during his 1997-2001 hiatus from the band) doing a one-off semi-secret 
solo show as part of the CMJ New Music Festival at Sidewalk Bar in the East Village.

It was the second time I'd talked to JT and I (once again) found that he was just as 
friendly, open, engaging and unpretentious as he was said to be by others who'd met or worked with him.
I was (at the time) sad that he'd left such a great international pop supernova such as Duran Duran (which even THEY will now admit was on its last legs) but he would later rejoin the DD fold to create new, exciting albums and help them achieve a rather stunning return to form.