I live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York City. I decided to photograph myself in 2002. I started with self portraits during my last semester in undergrad at Columbia College (ed. note: BFA Photography). I felt like it was time to turn the camera on myself. Prior to this I was making portraits of one person over a long period of time.
This project is about my place in society and the judgment I felt from men and women and how I felt that I did not fit into this mold of beauty. It was time to articulate my insecurities through photographs, and from the moment I started, I have not stopped.
I was born in Akron, Ohio in 1978. Two years later me and my family moved. We landed then in Illinois. A lot of moving in my life. From Illinois to New York, then back to Illinois till ‘93. At that point my family moved to Arizona. When I was done with high school, I packed my belongings and headed to Chicago. I stayed there the longest, 9 years, then New Haven for graduate school and now in NYC. (more…)
*By Deb I discovered Linda’s music from reading an article in a magazine. The story kind of struck me… a 60 year old dentist who used to be this trippy folk singer in the 1970s. She had recorded the album Parallelograms back then. The label did nothing to promote it and she went back to dentistry. 30 years after, the phone rings. She found out she had fans all over the globe. She had no idea.
I found Linda’s e-mail and we met for lunch. It was January 2009, grey ultra rainy day. Probably one of the absolute sweetest, most marvelous people I’ve ever met. I decided to make a film about her. The first stuff I shot were those scenes in the dentist office, where she spent the day keeping routinely scheduled appointments as I filmed inside her tiny office with my noisy camera. I am looking for sponsorship to finish the film now. Jeff Mc Carty. Filmmaker.
My name is Linda Perhacs and I was born in California. In the mid-1960s I went to University to focus on a dental hygiene career. It was a healing profession that allowed me to work flexible hours, and I wanted time to explore life. I felt that the sphere in which I existed was too small. I noticed some people all around, dressed kinda funny, and I wanted to know what they were up to! So I began to talk to them, I started to read, to buy different music, and creativity just exploded within me.
Having earned my bachelor’s degree, I went to work for a periodontist. I hadn’t done any music at all in college, but that changed when I moved to Topanga Canyon with my husband at that time. We were both fans of nature. We never went to a public park. We would go to the wildest country you could find and then I began writing songs.
Through my work as a Dental Hygienist, I became friends with film Composer, Leonard Rosenman. When he asked me to come to his studio after hearing a demo tape I made in my kitchen, I considered it quite an honor. He said he wanted to produce my first album, Parallelograms.
When the album was finished, I was surprised that the label did absolutely nothing to promote it. They sequenced it, not in the order I had chosen, and then pressed it so badly I could only bear to listen to it once, and I threw the copy of my record away. I only listened to my private tapes because they had the depth and sound quality that we had worked so hard to create.
I asked for a new pressing and was ignored. I was never asked to do any publicity of any kind. I heard nothing of reviews, good or bad. Except for one distributor, who admitted he loved the album himself, but had to prioritize the AM pop material.
I remember being told that it was selling the most in places with natural outdoor beauty like Hawaii, Canada and Colorado, Alaska, but not Los Angeles. LA was more into harder, noisier sounds. I felt it best not to ‘give up my day job’ under those circumstances!
In 1999, 30 years later, through an exhausting search, Michael Piper finally found me and told me how popular Parallelograms had become, I had a following of people from all over the world and he showed me emails from them, and some music magazines wanted to interview me. I was stunned! Finally people like Devendra Banhart http://www.myspace.com/devendrabanhart and others around me, encouraged me to return and put out new music. And because of the good that can be added to a world, so in need, I am doing so now.
Daft Punk is a wonderful group who I really admire and have a great deal of love and respect for! I met them thru their producer, right after their film, “Electroma” came out in 2008. They had used my song, “If You Were My Man” in their film. I was totally honored that they did so!
I now live in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. It’s a very crowded and busy city with lots of people from all walks of life which makes it interesting. My days are really filled up with work, performing live and trying to get new material out.
1) It is amazingly difficult to start/have a family if you make “normal” salaries here (you know, only in the $100k range). The amount of wealth in the area has driven up home prices near the places where the jobs are to astronomical levels. I own a home in San Jose that I’m able to afford, in a neighborhood described by my Realtor as “a first time buyer’s neighborhood”, because both my wife and I work. She recently gave birth to our first child and we’re preparing her to go into day care. It is going to cost me more in one year to put my baby in day care than I spent putting myself through 5 years of college. Having my wife not work, however, would put an extremely significant dent in our finances to where it would be very hard to pay bills on just my salary. We literally can not afford another child. Additionally, I have to establish my schedule based on commute traffic which typically has me out of the house well before 7 am and many times back home by about 8pm. Leaving work at 5pm simply doesn’t make sense, because I would get home at the exact same time if I left at 7pm. I have the benefit of sometimes having flexible working locations. I can’t imagine it for people who don’t.
2) While you tend to hear a lot about the awesomeness of companies like Google and Facebook, the fact is that the vast majority of companies in the Silicon Valley are just as slow moving and driven by petty personal politics as companies anywhere else. The difference is that many of these companies produce products with high margins (like software) that are in high demand. I’ve worked at places here that feel like a Dilbert cartoon. Pointless meetings, decision makers who either make horrible decisions or no decisions at all, inept co-workers, etc. One major difference here is that people do tend to be willing to work longer hours, albeit with mixed results.
3) As others have said, there is still plenty of poverty in the area. East San Jose, East Palo Alto, parts of Fremont and Milpitas are very undesirable places. Which to a lot of people is puzzling especially when every other car on the freeway is a Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, or Tesla. Also see a fair number of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martins, Maserati, and even a Bugatti Veyron (OMG IT WAS SO AWESOME) as well. Every major metropolitan area has this problem and I personally don’t know of any good solutions to fixing it (and anyone who claims to doesn’t either!).
4) I’ve heard the argument made, and it isn’t entirely without merit, that solutions that come out of the Silicon Valley can actually be detrimental to the economy because the efficiency and automation that companies are able to achieve using these products effectively lowers demand for labor. Basically, I’ve heard it argued that we destroy jobs here. And people here know this. It’s something that’s hard to measure, and I’d say in some cases its true (I once worked on a project where literally one of the goals was to eliminate a 900 person global department). I believe in the long run what we do in the Silicon Valley creates more jobs but with different skill sets.
With all of that said, this is the place I choose to live and work. I am surrounded by the smartest people in the world who are from all over the world and getting to experience first hand the companies that change the world.
We met Cristian through friends in common in a bar, one drunken night. After many beers and a long conversation, I was amazed by his story so I asked him for an audio interview to share with all of you.
He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and due to a family crisis, he moved with his mom to Los Angeles, California to start a new life. He was 5 years old.
They have lived there illegally for more than 20 years. The whole fear of deportation hit him when he turned 16. This is his story.
*By Victoria Béguet Day Alluring, beautiful, enigmatic, vaguely disturbing and definitely thought-provoking, Brazilian photographer Gustavo Lacerda´s award-winning Albinos series seems to capture our fascination with the unusual and unconventional perfectly and manages to raise some interesting questions about perception and difference along the way.
There is no doubt that Lacerda makes some bold choices; except for some rare exceptions (a brightly colored scarf, red fingernails), everything in these portraits, not only the subjects´ skin, hair and eyes, seems to lack pigmentation. From the pale walls in front of which the subjects stand, in unforced poses, to their washed-out clothes, all of the elements in this stunning series contribute to a kind of all-encompassing pallor which, instead of causing the subjects to fade discretely into the background, blending uniformly into their dull surroundings, makes them stand out in an almost unapologetic way. They are unique, intriguing individuals and have our full attention.
The subjects look into or away from the camera. Their stares are focused, distracted or pensive, as if they know something that we don´t, which adds to their appeal. In certain cultures, albinos are simultaneously revered and discriminated against. In the wild, animals that possess this genetic disorder seem to face a similar fate because of their lack of the necessary camouflage needed to increase their chances of survival. There is a definite vulnerability in Lacerda´s subjects. For whatever reason, we can´t seem to take our eyes off them. Honest, engaging, intelligent, Gustavo Lacerda´s Albinos raises interesting questions about beauty and difference.
I was born in Kenya and moved to England when I was 5 years old. My memories of Kenya are mixed with the super 8 footage that my Dad took of us on safari.
I live in a small apartment in Venice and have made a bed amongst the beams, it’s like sleeping in a nest, and best when raining outside.
Your are going to see now 3 different photography projects. The Disciples, where I photographed fans outside different concerts. I was fascinated by the different tribes of people that attended them, and how people emulated celebrity to form their identity.
James & Other Apes, portraits of gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans using the aesthetic of the passport photograph, and Where Children Sleep, stories of diverse children around the world, told through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms.
*By Daniel Rolnik I’m based in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. We have a pretty cool and vibrant art scene going on here, but not so much photo realistic stuff yet – at least not that I’m aware of. People are still a bit hesitant about this art form around here, but I have a feeling there will be more of it in the near future.
A sad thing is the politician’s decision to ban all sorts of graffiti and/or graffiti inspiring movements in town. At the same time, there’s a fancy auction where they sell pieces by Banksy and other street artists for large amounts of money. I just find that incredibly ironic and disturbing.
I make photo realistic paintings and usually work on one piece at the time. I don’t like to split my attention and focus, but I’ve got a lot of pieces ‘in the making’ going on inside my head. I’m always planning ahead and thinking of what I’d like to paint next.
So far, I’ve made oil paintings showing graffiti, but I’ve never made photo-realism with spray cans. I don’t have too much experience painting graffiti, I made a painting of Ice-T like six years ago and let’s just say it didn’t turn out exactly how I expected it to, haha! Graffiti is extremely difficult to master – I think I’ll just stick with my small brushes.
In Sweden we have short summers and long winters. We have to go to a special place to buy alcohol, which is not open at all occasions. We have a king who is called Carl Gustaf and a prime minister who is called Fredrik Reinfeldt.
Most of the feature films produced in Sweden are pretty bad and boring, although there are exceptions of course; Roy Andersson and Thomas Alfredsson to mention a few. Our music scene, on the contrary, is very vivid and successful, I think. Lots of great bands in very different areas and genres. We drink lots of coffee, I think Finland is the only country to beat us on that. It’s a quite multi cultural country which is great. We don’t dub foreign films and TV, which is great too, we get lots of free English lessons at a daily basis.
Today I had a conversation with a friend about our first film and TV memories, as a child, and I remember that I was totally hooked on the TV-show ‘MacGyver’. That was the first show I actually looked for in the paper, to see what time it was on. One summer when I was about 9 maybe, I got hit in the cheek by a dart arrow. That hurt. Another “bad” memory, was when my first house pet, a cat, disappeared for about two weeks. I think that was the first time I ever was depressed and felt down. It came back, though, which was great, but it got hit by a car eventually and died.
Other than that, I had a great childhood. I was raised by my parents, who were very loving and caring, and still are. I had lots of fights with my two years younger brother when we were kids but that stopped sometime in our teenage. Now, he is one of my best friends and he is actually also going to help me with some administration related business of mine, to clear up some time for me. He is pretty much like me, but he’s got a moustache.
To get inspiration I listen to lots of music, I’m addicted to hearing new music all the time, trying to keep up with all the new releases. I’m a great fan of movies too so I guess everything just melts down in this big pot and then something completely else comes out.
Usually, when I start doing a poster or illustration, I just sit and look at lots of images and figures, and sometimes I see something that I could do with it, remix it or combine it with something else. I rarely draw pictures just out of my head, I guess most of my work is a result of consuming lots of pop culture, remixing and tweaking already existing imagery. Often, I sit up at night with my headphones and play around, and sometimes I happen to stumble upon a good idea and make something good, and sometimes it just becomes shit. I guess it’s quite normal.
When I am not working, I love going to the movies (alone or with friends), hanging out with friends and drink a beer or two and just do silly things, playing the piano (although I don’t own one at the moment, hoping to change that soon), travel and walk new streets and have a coffee at a random café and just look at people, sleep ‘til I wake up without setting an alarm, clean the house and do dishes with my mp3-player set on shuffle.
Currently, I have ideas for a couple of projects, some are even half finished, so I really hope to be able to share some of those in a near future. It’s been a while now, since I shared anything, not too happy about that. I just haven’t had the time to complete them and focus, although I’m very happy for all the freelance work I have got recently. Those jobs give me the opportunity to keep doing what I’m doing, without having to work at a daytime job. For that, I’m very grateful.
I remember seeing Paul Newman win an Oscar and he said “Oscar-winning roles aren’t acted, they’re written.” And that struck me. I was a young actor watching with wide eyes and I thought, “What does he mean by that? He acted it. It was him. Why would he say it’s written?” Then over the years I realized that you’re only as good as the material.
So I believe the best actor in the world, say Meryl Streep, if she was handed C-level material, she could bring that up to a solid B. But that’s it. When I read Breaking Bad cover to cover and I read it because my agent says “You worked with him onX-Files many years ago, he remembers you and wants to see you for this.” Okay. Usually the majority of pilot scripts are pretty predictable. “She’s in love with him but he’s going to fool around. Yep. Yep. Yep.” You’re not invested. But with Breaking Bad, it was immediate. That first page:
A pair of trousers fall through the sky, bright blue billowy clouds, red rock, dirt, tires roll over them. A runaway RV in the middle of the desert. Cut to the inside you see a man wearing only tighty-whitey underwear and a respirator driving madly. There’s another man passed out with a respirator next to him. Behind him, two men dead, sliding up and back in a sea of glass and chemicals.
My name is Habib Koité and I am from Mali, Africa. My father had 4 wives. We were 17 children living in the same area. I liked that ambiance, it was nice for me. My mother sang for traditional events, my dad and uncles played guitar so music was quite natural for me. My parents were not so convinced about the fact I wanted to be a musician. They expected me to become an engineer. One of my uncles saw my talent and pushed my parents to accept my willing to learn music more seriously and finally they accepted.
I was +/- 20 years old. For sure I remember all the lessons and it’s true that I became a teacher because I was on of the best of my class but also because at the end of my learning, the professor of guitar died… and they needed to find quickly another professor.
In 1991 in Perpignan, France, a French friend of mine who was living in Bamako, got in touch with the festival VOX POLE and proposed me for a solo. They accepted and I won the prize: the recording of 2 tracks. It was my professional beginning.
I could explain the fact the people can appreciate without understand one word by an opening mind, a desire of meeting another world, other people, the interest for other cultures. I can have the same feelings for songs for which I don’t understand any words…That’s the World of Music.
After some gigs in Europe Michel De Bock proposed me to produce an album. All the tracks were played since many years in the clubs in Bamako.
So the work to do was to make them shorter (each of them had a length of 10 to 15 minutes… too long for the European public). After this work we made the recording in 3 days, then the mixing and mastering in 4 days (also incredible) and the CD was ready. It was like a natural birth, so quick, like breathing. In 1996 we made 90 concerts in the world in one year.
I do propose a music based on the traditional rhythms with a touch of Europe because obviously I have some influences by listening and learning other music. At the beginning it was not easy for the people from Mali to agree with this, but little by little I think this adventure was appreciated.
Luo Gang, who was born in a small town in Guangan city, southwestern Sichuan province, disappeared on his way to kindergarten 23 years ago, said his parents. Heartbroken, they did everything they could to find their son, but to no avail. They eventually gave up and later adopted a daughter.
What they didn’t know was that their son had been taken to a city in southeastern Fujian province, some 1500 kilometres from Sichuan. Although Luo’s adopted parents loved him and treated him like their own son, he said the desire to find his birth parents had always haunted him.
“Everyday before I went to bed, I forced myself to re-live the life spent in my old home,” he said. “So I wouldn’t forget.”
But the only memory Luo had of his hometown was of two bridges. He drew a rough map of his hometown from memory, before posting it on “Bring Lost Babies Home”, a Chinese website devoted to locating missing children through the help of volunteers.
Soon afterwards, a volunteer wrote back with valuable information – a couple from a small town in Sichuan’s Guangan city had lost a son 23 years ago. The time matched Luo’s abduction perfectly.
Luo searched for pictures of the Sichuan town and found they looked familiar to him. To confirm his suspicions, he turned to the satellite version Google Maps. The minute he zoomed in on an area called “Yaojiaba” near the Sichuan town, Luo recognised the two bridges. “That’s it! That’s my home,” shouted Luo, in tears.
Luo was pictured in a tearful reunion with his birth parents and grandparents in Sichuan. “In the past years, I couldn’t help crying each time I thought about my son, who could be starving without enough clothes on him,” said his mother. It is unclear whether any criminal charges will be brought against Luo’s adoptive family.