Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FAIL! Here is a Horse For Now

Trying to upload video... having technology problems. Here is an Icelandic pony for the meanwhile. Check back later to see if I wasn't a total idiot.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Ethics of Photographing My Sibs... Part Un

In a post several days back, I made a comment about having a free pass to photograph kids in an non-creepy manner seeing as that I'm a lady. My remark prompted my very intelligent and forever critical friend Sara to ask me: "Do you really think women get a get out of jail free card when photographing kids?" We then went on to discuss this article about Larry Rivers who photographed his daughters durning their adolescence. So naturally all of this discussion got me thinking about photographing my own siblings, their right to their own images, and crossing over the boundaries of their privacy.

In response to the article, I wrote Sara this: at the time he made the work he put his children in a situation they did not willingly want to be in. Whether done by a male or female photographer, I think that is an unfair thing to do, leveraging one's role of being an artist over ones obligations to their family. I think thats wrong. I do think art should be subversive and push boundaries but not at the cost of violating ones family's trust. I always ask my siblings if I can photograph them and often I am confronted with a negative response. Occasionally I'll make an effort to persuade them to let me, but a no is a no, and their feelings are something I respect tremendously. Initially I was highly protective of my siblings' image, the first body of work I ever created of them and put on the internet had a password so that only people I wanted to be viewing it could, because I felt it would have been a violation of their privacy. Knowing well what its like to be a teenager, horribly uncomfortable and somewhat terrified of your own skin, I would never put Maggie or Cora in a position that made them feel even more uncomfortable than they already do. This is something I am highly conscientious of.

And yes I do really think women have an easier time photographing children. Pedophilia is, generalization or not, absolutely associated with men, creepy men. Women are thought of as nurturing and protective of children and so women have an easier time. That said, a sexualized image of a child, will always look like a sexualized image of a child. Its something we are all highly attuned to pick up on, and I think would regardless of the sex of the photographer who made the picture. And I don't think its any more right for a woman to create a sexy picture of a child than I do a man. I do think however, that when its a slippery slope, women have an easier time navigating that path. Just imagine for one minute being a mother in a playground with your child and you see a 45 year old man with a camera photographing your child through the fence. And then imagine looking up and seeing an attractive 25 year old female doing the same. What is going to bother you more?

In writing all of this, I realized that ultimately my opinion doesn't really matter; Maggie, Cora, and Josh's feelings matter. So this prompted me to conduct age appropriate/attention span appropriate interviews with Maggie and Josh about their experience being photographed by me... Cora's soon to follow (Cora get ready) . The videos will appear on the blog in installments all week long so check back. And share your own thoughts about the matter...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Could They Possibly Be Better Looking Kids?

There are lots of great things about living in the city, but one of them happens to be how fast you can get C-41 film processed. Dropped off at 10am, picked up at 2pm, and online just a few hours later. Amazing.

Very pleased with these images, another case of something coming out exactly as you'd hope... now what to do about the background? Photoshop out the crap or leave it? Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Six Hours in A Car, Four Rolls of Film Later

For the last 25 years my family has vacationed for a week in August at the same beach. Sadly, breaking with tradition, I was unable to spend the week with them this year, but last minute I decided to hop in a car and join them just for a day. It'd been too long since I'd photographed Maggie and Josh and I figured this presented a good opportunity to fit some "work" in as well. Lots of multimedia content to follow of them in the days ahead. They decided to be particularly compliant this go round, thanks guys, you must be growing up or something... drat.

Today was not entirely uneventful... Joshua caught a fish with his bare hands, and the two of them got pick up by the police, but did not get to ride in the back of the police car much to their disappointment.. full story to follow stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Used Books

I'm very excited to say I am going to be in my first group show in Chelsea this fall. For the exhibition the curator, Ryan Frank, asked us four artists to compile the books which informed the various pieces we are each showing. Underneath each art work, a small shelf will be installed displaying the books from the artists' personal libraries. The exhibition is titled Used Books and surprisingly its focused on artists who are inspired by books! Here are my books, which I accidentally packed away in the move, and had to go digging through boxes to find!

Thoughtful Gifts

If you know me at all, you know I like kids, and I like pictures of kids, especially old ones... pictures that is. A gift from a hopeful monster particularly dear to my heart.

To Mrs. Mary Webster
617 W. 9th St.
Cincinnati, OH

Dear Mary, just received your card, was sure glad to hear from you, glad you are having a good time. I think of you often, I got a letter from Mother D. she said you wasn't home, her letter was so nice. I am sending baby's picture it was taken the day we moved just as she was playing. We are O.K. have a nice place to live now. We are sending you and Mrs Webster our very best wishes a life of happiness. Hope to see you soon, Laura.

May 1915

Monday, August 23, 2010


This is a haunting photograph. However, child pornography charges were brought against this photographer... and that doesn't leave you with the best feeling now does it... But Cate Blanchett stepped in to defend him against censorship and I do love her... Not sure what my final verdict is, other than that I am glad I am female as I sort of get a get out of jail free card when photographing kids. I saw a guy reading Lolita on the subway today, and I wanted to give him a look indicating that I thought he was a perv (of course I don't really) just to make him uncomfortable just for a minute and to have a little laugh with myself.

Bill Henson

Thanks Nora

For introducing me to Walter Niedermayr... seriously.. how did I not know about this guy until this weekend. Shame on me.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Explosion Sous La Terre

Where was this taken? I'll give you a hint. Not under water... Drum scanning like a maniac all week long. This is part one of three of what will likely be an explosive composite. Stay tuned as per usual.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fireworks Always Make For Satisfactory Pictures.. Why?

Going through my archives in pursuit of images for the new website I came across these, taken in the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen in 2007 (wow). I was very proud to photograph in the gardens that evening as I called to request a photography pass very last minute and not only did they grant me the pass but they also gave me free admission for myself and my trusty assistant Claire. I was not there for the fireworks, but they certainly were an added bonus. I kept waiting for a guard to come up and give me a hard time about my tripod and demand proof that I was entitled to be photographing where I was, so that I could go "Schzam!" and whip out my pass very slick-photographer-like. I recall, fortunately or unfortunately, only one mild mannered guard just checking in to see what we were up to.

I Will Finish These Pieces God Damn It

How awful, to have photographed something a year ago, and still not have had the time to work on it properly. I'm reading A Room of One's Own right now adamantly agree with Virginia about needing the clarity of mind, space, and time to do one's work.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Horse Versus Kitty

Horse 1: Kitty 0

a more legitimate post later this night.. busy work day!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Thought This Was Funny

Apparently the New York Times doesn't think I'm sea worthy... hrmp!

Article: of which I have little interest in actually reading

Friday, August 13, 2010

Two To Be Married

I'm hopeful for these two monsters.... I made this portrait more than four years ago. Wow.

Geeking Out

I'm a terrible web designer, and 99.9% of the time I detest trying to read and write code. But that leftover .1% is delicious. Those short lived moments happen when, after many bleary-eyed, agonizing hours, you find that one close-bracket or comma you missed, and then suddenly everything starts to work. That fleeting instant of realization makes all the other excruciating moments worth while. I am sure if I knew what I was doing, I'd be able to find a menu that tells me where my mistakes are, and much less time could be spent yanking at the ends of my hair. Nevertheless... new website to be launched soon... stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ah History...

"Behind every 'Once upon a time' there is always another. Have you ever tried standing between two mirrors? You should. You will see a great long line of shiny mirrors, each one smaller than the one before, stretching away into the distance, getting fainter and fainter, so that you never see the last. But even when you can't see them any more, the mirrors still go on. They are there, and you know it. " E.H. Gombrich, A Little History of the World

Finished this book last night.. I've always had a love of history, and in high-school I made a concerted effort to be good at it to please my father, who, once upon his own time, focused solely on it. While my photographs aren't about history in the broad sense, they could be described as a personal history; sure, why not? My father likes to say that he studied history, because he felt he was born in the middle of a movie, and had to figure out what the plot of the movie was at the beginning, the part he'd missed, so that he would know what to do next. His exact words are far more eloquent than my awkward paraphrasing, but I think whatever way its stated, the idea applies to why many of us take pictures: to try to freeze the past to better understand what might come next..

Wish I had a better portrait of my father to post here. New goal: portrait of father. This one will have to do for now.

As you can see, my father is no longer a scholar of history, but instead spends his days spelunking into icey caves.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Check This Out

My friend Christian's newest exciting endeavor.... He is super smart and talented, so pretty much anything he does is awesome.

Check it out and spread the word!


And his personal website:

That's Christian on the right there, with his amazing wife Shilpa. I love both of them, and I took this picture two years ago!

Maggie Three Years In A Row

Every year consecutively for the past three years Maggie has visited me in New York for her birthday, and each year, I push the boundaries of what exactly is appropriate to do with a 12, 13, and now 14 year old respectively. Fortunately, Maggie is always up for whatever I throw at her. Over the years, I've introduced her to thrills such as Venezuelan food, port-o-potties, and outdoor dance parties. To document this weekend which is special for the both of us, I take a polaroid of Maggie. This is her at 12, 13, and 14, always so glam.. I was a train wreck at her age. What happened to that ugly phase I thought everyone went through?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Backyard Kind of Weekend

I'm house sitting for the month, and one of the many pleasures of the house is the DElightful back yard that I get to sit, barbecue, and tan in. Here is Chad trying it out for himself. He didn't much care for the sun.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

From One Hopeful Monster to Another

I have been gratefully exploiting my sisters' privacy for years. Revealing all the awkward moments, capturing each ignominious pimple on large format film. I made a whole stink yesterday about how much I hate blogs as journals, I know, but since this too relates to my work, about transitioning into adolescence etc.. I thought this was permissible. Once again, a sister sends me another little gem:

And my response to what was inside:

thanks so much for your super sweet letter, and I am very glad that you wrote me asking for advice. I am not sure how private letters sent to you this way are, so I will try to be discrete and I will just assume you will be able to figure out what I am talking about since you are a smart girl. (Because of modern technology, you can now send campers emails which are delivered to them daily along with regular snail mail. Hey, at least I saved on postage)

My thoughts are as follows. Every year from 6th-11th grade my best friend always dated the guy that I really liked. Honestly, every single year, a different friend would date the guy I had a mega crush on. And yes it totally sucked. But here's how I looked at it so that I would not feel crummy all of the time. Firstly, I have ALWAYS felt that girl friends are a lot more important than guys. Would you seriously want to lose a girlfriend over a stupid guy you liked when you were 14?? If I got upset, Judy and I probably wouldn't still be best friends. Who you like at 14 has nothing to do with who you are going to love years from now, and while it might feel shitty watching your friend date someone you like, you should remember that their relationship is only going to last for a hot second, and then be over. Relationships at your age last for about as long as it takes to make popcorn in the microwave. (I didn't want to use the line from Clueless: "finding love in high-school is like finding meaning in a Paulie Shore movie" as I think the reference to the man who delighted us with treats such as BioDome might be lost on a present day 14 year old girl). So is it really worth losing a friend? Or letting it really upset you? Guys aren't worth the trouble.

That said, you shouldn't let a girl friend treat you poorly, or walk all over you. It sounds like maybe someone you know isn't behaving as nicely as they could when it comes to this kind of stuff. But that is only because they are insecure. So they have to do petty stuff, like interrupt you when you are in the middle of a conversation. That is so lame, and only makes her look stupid you know? You are great, and if a guy is going to like you, then he will. And if he doesn't then he doesn't know what he is missing. And besides, who wants to date someone who doesn't REALLY want to be with them? Not me. You're a catch, and don't forget it. Also, you are 14, so you have many years of many man ahead of you, to fall for, and date. Hang in there little soldier, the world of romance is a tough place, but I know you can brave it. I'm here for you. Love Morgan

Monday, August 2, 2010

What It Means To Move

Generally speaking, I find live journals disguised as blogs totally insufferable. So I strive to avoid expressing any deep thoughts here. But on this occasion I thought I could make a rare exception to the rule only because it relates to my photography. These photos were taken at 6am on my final morning in the apartment where I have lived for the last year. After packing all through the night, I finished as the sun came up over Brooklyn. I actively seek out moments of transition to photograph. I don't actively pursue living them, as they are often hard to get through, even if rewarding once you've survived. With the overwhelming wave of nostalgia that struck me in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I decided, instead of crying, to take some photos. But because I'd just finished stuffing my life into bubble wrap and boxes, finding my camera was no easy feat. Instead, I resorted to my iPhone, which did a good job fulfilling the role I needed it to. Uninteresting photos for an emotional moment.