Monday, March 30, 2009

Helen Levitt: 1913-2009

In my job as an entertainment producer for, I read a lot of stories about a lot of meaningless people. I don't have to name the celebrities -- you see their faces every week on the magazines staring back at you in the grocery check-out line.

But every few days I get to read about someone who was a true artist. More often than not it's in the form of an obit. Today, that person is legendary New York street photographer Helen Levitt. Read for yourself.

I chose the image above because, frankly, it reminds me of something I'd shoot myself. But for a truer sense of her legacy from the earlier part of the century, my friend Jeremy sends this link.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Eat, sleep, cry

Bryan Schutmaat is a Houston photographer who I found through flickr. He shoots everything I wish I was shooting when I'm not shooting my family -- which seems to be a lot of what I shoot since the birth of Henry. Nothing wrong with that. I just like Bryan's stuff -- a lot.

If you love the vacant, often depressing beauty of the American West as much as I do, please visit his Web site and his flickr.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Museum quality framing

Mary McIntyre show :: Greenwood, Seattle

Is it weird to try to make art when viewing other people's art?

I have a thing for taking pictures of people observing artwork. Or at least I like the idea of people being in the same frame as a picture in a frame (or a picture spray-painted on a wall, for that matter). Sometimes it's about scale. It's hard to get a read on the size of a sculpture, for instance, if the only thing in the photograph is the sculpture.

The problem is that museums and galleries that display art more often than not frown on you taking pictures of their art. I've been in some pretty killer museums in several different countries and I can't remember ever being encouraged to take photographs. Not that that stopped me. I wasn't being a total scofflaw and ignoring the museums' wishes, but I had a hard time not sneaking a few here and there to capture the spirit of places I thought I might never make it back to.

At art shows of a less grand scale, like those put on by your friends at coffee shops or what-not, there's a little different vibe than that projected by the scowling museum rent-a-guard. I feel like there's a tiny invasion of privacy going on when you photograph someone looking at art. Not sure it's valid, but if you're into getting lost a little in an artwork and some jerk is popping pictures, the moment may be ruined.

With all of that in mind, check out some photos that I find artworthy because they contain worthy art.

Floralis Gererieca :: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Public photo display :: Paris

Getty Museum :: Los Angeles