Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Last night our country elected a historic candidate, the first black president of the United States of America. His election win was carried on the shoulders of many first time voters and also people like myself who got more involved than I ever had in a presidential election. But this is not the end of the journey, just the beginning. All of you who were so passionate about getting Barack Obama elected need to stay a passionate and make sure that the change promised actually occurs. You need to make sure you are involved, write your congressman and the White House, let them all know that you want change to happen. You want the war to end, you want this economic slide to end and you want the reputation of the United States to become what it should be.
So now is your chance to stay involved with politics, keep a watchful eye on Obama and make sure that change does happen.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I know this blog is supposed to be about art but with only six days left to the most important election in my life time, I find myself focusing on the candidates and well art. There is nothing an artist loves more than someone who likes their work enough to purchase it. With the economy tanking art purchases have surely dropped. And worse than that, the funding for the arts in the last eight years has declined. While that declines, Exxon/Mobile has just posted another record gain $54 Billion in one quarter alone.
So, which candidate is going to support the artists, who is going to put money back into art education, who is going to put money back into NEA? Barack Obama
From Obama's website:
Our nation’s creativity has filled the world’s libraries, museums, recital halls, movie houses, and marketplaces
with works of genius. The arts embody the American spirit of self-definition. As the author of two best-selling books – Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama uniquely appreciates the role and value of creative expression.
He has a platform in support of the arts where as the Mccain campain hasn't even mentioned the arts.
So this is my soap box and I am standing on it right now asking for anyone out there who reads this blog, who is interested in seeing the arts in America to grow and flourish, please read Barack Obama's platform and then make sure you VOTE Next Tuesday, November 4th.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
On Monday, October 27th I will be teaching a photography workshop in my studio.
This is a one day workshop in which participants work with female models in various lighting situations and poses. This class will be geared toward the photographer, who uses photography to express themselves and to create aesthetically pleasing images.
The participants will learn:
• How to light and pose the model for various artistic effects.
• How to use your photographic equipment and lenses.
• That respect for the model is a building block to a great image.
There is still room for a couple more photographers so if you are interested, please drop me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, October 13, 2008
The other day someone actually asked me why I was an Atheist. If I believed in any god and how it came to be. So I directed them to my website which has my rant on religion which I copied below:
As a child I grew up in an Italian-American household. Roman Catholic icons were all over my grandparents house. I went to Catholic school for 9 years and did my duty as an altar boy. Needless to say, religion was a big part of family life. First Holy Communion. Confirmation. Church on Sunday. No meat on Friday. No goodies during Lent. These were the rules that were going to get me into heaven. I got married in a Catholic church, teaching love, honor, till death do us, etc. But then it happened, I got divorced. A Roman Catholic doesn't get divorced, it's a sin. I'll go to hell. No wait, all I have to do is go to confession and it's all better. Neat trick!
After a few years I tried the church again. I went to church with a very devout Catholic girl. During the mass, the priest stood in front of the congregation holding a blow-up sheep trying to talk about something or other. I sat there thinking, "What the heck is the priest talking about?, this is religious enlightenment?"
After many years of pondering religion in my life, trying to get something out of a church service, I have come to realize that organized religion is like a crutch. It helps you when you need it, and when everything is ok, you can discard it. In recent years the talk of God has flooded the media. People killing in the name of religion, saying it is "God's will". A young child is struck down by a stray bullet from some crack dealer's gun, and they say, "God works in mysterious ways".
No matter what happens God has a perfect record.
So here is my belief; Life is what you make it, not what some spiritual deity has destined it to become. You set your course and you determine the outcome. It's not pre-planned, it's not fate. Like the T-shirt says "Shit happens".
Now, I have no problem with people who believe in a higher power, just as I have no problem with people who wear ugly shoes. Just don't ask me to wear your shoes. And please stop trying to convince me I am wrong, when I die I'll find out... or not!
Below are the lyrics to a song that came out in 1976, that I think is still relevant today.
If There's A God In Heaven (What's He Waiting For?)
Written by Elton John and Davey Johnstone
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin - Available on the album Blue Moves
Torn from their families
Mothers go hungry
To feed their children
But children go hungry
There's so many big men
They're out making millions
When poverty's profits
Just blame the children
If there's a God in heaven
What's he waiting for
If He can't hear the children
Then he must see the war
But it seems to me
That he leads his lambs
To the slaughter house
And not the promised land
Dying for causes
They don't understand
We've been taking their futures
Right out of their hands
They need the handouts
To hold back the tears
There's so many crying
But so few that hear
If there's a God in heaven
Well, what's he waiting for
If there's a God in heaven
What's he waiting for
Monday, September 8, 2008
Hello all, It has been some times since I have last posted a blog. The reason is that I have moved my studio into a new building. The new space is a wonderful 1925 building and I have about 1/2 of the upstairs. The upside it is a beautiful space, the downside is it is about 1/5th of what I had! I didn't realize until this move how much crap I have accumulated. I was reminded of George Carlin (RIP) skit called "A Place to put My Stuff" the bigger the space the more stuff you put in it, and I definitely did that.
But now that I am finally moved and my gear is all out of the boxes I can resume shooting. I want to let everyone who reads this that the Red Chair Project is alive and well and I am still looking for people young and old, male or female, straight or gay to pose for this project. If you are interested, please check out my website for some samples.
The New Studio Address is: 101 N. Fifth St., Perkasie, PA
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Hi all, just a quick bit of news. I just received notification form a new gallery in Harrisburg that one of my photographs, "La Pieta, revisited" will be a part of their first annual 2D and photography exhibition featuring artists from Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Their website is ArtHouse Lounge
The exhibition begins August 10th with the opening reception Friday, August 15th from 5 to 8pm.
I hope some of you can make it to Harrisburg and support the local art!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Please make sure you are over 18 years of age and I really would appreciate any comments about this body of work. I want to know if you love it, hate it, or if you think I should not have done this at all.
If the response is positive then these images will be posted on another website, but lets take it one step at a time.
Please, let me know your thoughts!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Hi everyone, it has been a while since my last post so I thought I'd jump right in with something that is very pertinent to my artwork.
recently I was approached by the website Michelle7 to give them more photographs to use on there online gallery. I was one of their featured artists in the past and I really like their site. During our emails the curator commented that their erotic site was getting much more hits and would I consider posting there. Now I typically do not shot work that is more erotic in nature, not that I am offended by it or anything like that, I just haven't done so. I have thought a lot about it in the past and always wanted to see how far I could push things until it became, well blatant pornography. Thus rises the debate, where is that line,. what is pornography. Forget the Supreme Court, their decision years ago was that we'll know it hen we see it. Thanks for the clarification! And frankly I don't care about their views, but I do not want to loose my base of people who like my work, but I do think that there are a lot of people who like things a bit edgier, me being one of them. So I have searched and the debate still rages on. I found an interesting interview between Ken Taylor, a Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Stanford University and Anne Freire Ashbaugh, a Professor of Philosophy, Colgate University. Interview link You would think that with two Philosophy professors we would get a definitive answer to this question, right? OK I was only kidding about getting an answer. Of course there is no answer it is all perception. We all see things differently, you may see a beautiful nude statue and say that's obscene, where I see a religious symbol in a government building and find that obscene. The point I am making is that there is no substitute for good taste and if I am shooting more erotic images and feel like I am doing them justice, great but as I am shooting, if I feel kind of icky about them, then stop. I crossed a line somewhere along the way.
So I will leave it up to the viewer as I always have. In coming months you will see a link on my website to some more erotic images as well as postings here when the images will be on Michelle7. Please, I urge anyone who reads my blog to give me some feedback as to your thoughts on my new body of work and my attempt at pushing myself toward what I feel will be a liberating artistic experience for myself, my models and hopefully you, the viewer.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Well, that's enough of my rant about the state of our country. But beware Jehovah's Witnesses and take note before you go knocking on some stranger's door. Oh yes and girl scouts look out when selling your cookies. We now will have households of trigger happy people just itching to be "invaded" so they can use their new toys.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
"If it disturbs you, it's art."
"If it inhabits your dreams and questions your fears, it's art."
"If it lifts you up in some sort of emotional epiphany or throws your preconceptions to the ground, it's art."
and finally a quote by Paul Gauguin, French Post-Impressionist Painter, "Art is either plagiarism or revolution." so they say and I agree, Let's start a revolution!
What they were eluding to is that art is everywhere not just on gallery walls but in fashion, in architecture, all around us. That is why it is so vitally important the we keep the arts alive, whether by patronizing a museum or small local gallery, viewing a performance or concert or on a beautiful day taking a walk in a city and looking around and realizing that someone had to design that building.
Art is one of the few things that we have that expresses who we are, don't let the funding for it go away.
Yes, I know I had to bring up politics but now we are down to the two candidates for president and they will decide who to fund and who not to.
According to information available from the Barack Obama campaign, the Illinois senator believes that the arts should be a “central part of effective teaching and learning.” He proposes increasing funding to expand public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations, and he intends to create an “Artists Corps” of trained artists to work in low-income schools and their communities. Obama also hopes to increase funding to the NEA, whose budget has been slashed by $50 million since 1992.
For more on Obama and the arts you can read Edward Winkleman's blog at http://edwardwinkleman.blogspot.com/2008/03/arts-funding-and-obama.html
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
It seems that censorship is alive and well in not only our own country but throughout the world. Last week Australian photographer, Bill Henson had of his photographs seized from an art gallery in Sydney on the claim that they are child pornography. Not only that since Henson has over 250 photographs hanging in prestigious galleries all over Australia and in state buildings. He and gallery owners are being intimidated by the right-winged Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who has recently introduced section of the NSW (New South Wales) Crimes Act, which covers the production, dissemination and possession of child pornography. He is getting support from the arts community notably Cate Blanchett. She and 42 other leading writers, dramatists, filmmakers, musicians and artists issued an open letter to the prime minister. The letter rejected allegations that Henson’s work was child pornography and called on Rudd and Premier Iemma to “rethink” their previous comments.
For more about this issue of censorship you can read a report on it at the World Socialists Website.
It seems the more and more the right-winged conservatives throughout the world feel threatened, the more they are going after artists right to freedom of expression. That doesn't mean that blatant child exploitive photographs should be allowed. Child pornography laws are in affect to protect children from people who preys on a children for the sole purpose of violating and sexualized them. But in this case as in the case with Robert Mapplethorpe back in 1988, the children and the families all agree that the images are tasteful and beautiful. That there was nothing seedy going on during the shoot. The intent of the photographs is the real crux of the issue. Again, here the intent was just simply a beautiful photography of innocence.
So as much as I bash the good old US of A about our narrow minded politicians, it seems we are not alone and that my friends is a scary thought.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
NBC10:Sex Shop For Women Causes Chester County Controversy
WEST CHESTER, Pa. -- A quiet Chester County community has become riddled with controversy. The issue is a sex shop some say must go.
"Sexuality is something that is natural. I'm not exploiting it like everyone else," business owner Jill McDevitt said.
The 22-year-old said she thought West Chester would be the perfect place for her new store. The downtown is trendy and packed with young students.
Feminque Boutique, which has been open for three weeks, is an adult store catering to women, selling lingerie, lotions and adult novelties. Those are in a back room.
But she said not everyone has welcomed the store...."I think anytime you take something like that -- something involving human sexuality and pervert it -- that's wrong," the Rev. Edward Deliman said.
The monsignor of St. Agnes Church said he has written letters to the borough, spoken about the store at Sunday service and has been encouraging other parishes to protest the shop at Tuesday night's planning and zoning meeting.
Now the Monsignor of St. Agnes of course is calling sexuality perverted, but what about the hundreds of young alter boys whom the Catholic Church scared? Oh I am sorry that's another topic. And besides, the Pope said they were sorry.
Anyway, Jill has a wonderful concept that should be embraced with open arms. The town of West Chester's zoning committee should do the right thing and stand by her.
Please let Jill know you support her, her website is http://www.feminiqueboutique.com/
Monday, May 12, 2008
Hundreds strip naked in Vienna for artist.
I am sure most of you by now have heard of Spence Tunick. Since 1994 he has had thousands of people strip nude and pose in public in what he calls temporary installations. He describes his work as "...the individuals, en masse, without their clothing, grouped together metamorphose into a new shape. The bodies extend into and upon the landscape like a substance."
Originally I felt his work had an edge; he set up these daring shots with hundreds of volunteers, skirting the law and making these very interesting landscapes. But now, he is very celebrated and he is being granted access to pose his photos anywhere he likes and thousands of people want to be involved. What was once unique and different has been commercialized and almost trivialized.
I bring up Tunick's work because I find it interesting to see his work and hear how he explains it. I realized that his work is the polar opposite of what I am doing. When I photograph a nude person or group of people it is as much about them as individuals as it is about me the artist. Their own sexuality and, personality come into play, not sterilized or sanitized for your protection. In Tunick's work it is about him as an artist using the nude as a vehicle. The individual person is lost in a sea of bodies. And with these large groups of people, the nude actually disappears into this mass which becomes part of the landscape. Totally acceptable to be viewed on Good Morning America or some other tv news tabloid.
I will always give an artist credit for doing something different and inovative whether I like it as art or not, I just find it wild that Tuncik was actually able to make the nude common. Pity.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Well tonight is the opening of the "Heart of Peace" exhibition at the Greenshire Arts Consortium. Greenshire is an amazing place of peace and relaxation run by two of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. According to Arlene and Jim, "The inspiration for this mixed-media exhibition comes from the understanding that humanity and our earth community share unique commonalities, with peace and love often being the thread that weaves together this genuine connection."
Opening Reception and Peace Garden Dedication
May 2, Friday Evening, 6pm - 9pm
Peace Garden Dedication will be at 7:30 pm
Facets of Peace Portrayed by Artists:
Harmony with Family, Friends and Community Understanding of Commonalities and Differences Expressions of Beauty toward our Living Planet Inter-racial and Cultural Connections; Unconditional Love Sharing, Giving, Altruism, Personal Tranquility, Peace of Mind Bonds of Brotherhood, Sisterhood; Reaching Out to Humanity
Three of my images are part of this beautiful exhibition along with the works of:
James Ambrogi, Alix von Auenmueller, Claudia Balant, Lesta Bertoia, Ron Bevilacqua, Janet Bishop, Audrey Clymer, Edna Dollin, Wendy Ellsworth, Patricia Goodrich, Marianne Knipe, Scott Ogburn, Ruth Rosenfeld
I hope to see you at the opening!
Monday, April 28, 2008
I am ashamed that they stooped as low as this and hope the young lady's reputation isn't ruined because of a photographer's ego.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I have been shooting the nude figure since the first time I picked up a camera for an Introduction to Photography class in college. To me, the nude represents the complexity of what it is to be human – from the most flawed to the most beautiful. Recently, my work has evolved from mere explorations of the human form to attempts to connect with the subject more intimately to reveal the variety of the human condition, from joy to despair, from sensual to erotic.
Michael Barone has been a working artist since his teens. His medium changed to photography at the University of Delaware, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography in 1984. He works from his Bucks County studio and his work has been shown in galleries throughout the northeast.
Recently Barone’s work has been featured on the website for the National Coalition against Censorship, which commented, “…Barone's nudes are documents of great relevance. What is obscene? What is sexual? What is repression? These are issues Barone addresses through his skillful silver halides pieces that from darkness and light unveil flesh, sexuality, inhibition and conflict.”
17th Annual "On the Mall" Art Show Egg Harbor Township, NJ Purchase Award
22nd Annual National Indian Summer Art Show Art Show Atlantic City, NJ - First Prize, Photography
26th Annual Atlantic City on the Boardwalk National Professional Fine Arts Show - Juried Show
Ocean City Art Center Ocean City, NJ - Juried Show
Fetishes Boutique Philadelphia, PA - Solo Exhibition
Grendel’s Den, University City, Philadelphia, PA - Solo Exhibition
Halcyon Gallery, Philadelphia, PA - 2 person exhibition
Coalition for Sexual Freedom Art Auction, Boston, MA
Midlantic Gallery Arts Consortium, Perkasie, PA - Solo Exhibition "Parental Advisory"
DaVinci Art Alliance Philadelphia, PA - Solo Exhibition "Parental Advisory"
Philadelphia Center for the Photographic Image Philadelphia, PA - Juried Show
Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia, PA - Jured Exhibition "City Paper Photo '06"
Katie Stauffer Memorial Art Center Richlandtown, PA - First prize, photography
Side Tracks Gallery, New Hope, PA - Group Exhibition "Naked in New Hope"
Greenshire Arts Consortium, Quakertown, PA - Group Exhibition "Heart of Peace" Opens May 2nd
So there is me, the artist, in a nutshell!
Monday, April 21, 2008
In keeping with the last posting about the war, I'd like to mention an exhibit that I am very proud to be a part of. The exhibition "The Heart of Peace" is being presented by the Greenshire Arts Consortium.
The inspiration for this mixed-media exhibition comes from the understanding that humanity and our earth community share unique commonalities, with peace and love often being the thread that weaves together this genuine connection.
The exhibition runs from May 2 - 25, 2008 with the Opening Reception and Peace Garden Dedication on May 2, Friday Evening, 6pm - 9pm
Exhibiting Artists Include: James Ambrogi, Alix von Auenmueller, Claudia Balant, Michael Barone, Lesta Bertoia, Ron Bevilacqua, Janet Bishop, Audrey Clymer, Edna Dollin, Wendy Ellsworth, Patricia Goodrich, Marianne Knipe, Scott Ogburn and Ruth Rosenfeld.
Please come out and support the arts and this peace initiative. It would be great to see some familiar faces at the opening.
For more information visit Greenshire's website at http://www.greenshirearts.org
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I am old enough to remember Viet Nam and some of the protesting that went on in the late 60's and early 70's. I remember my denim jacket that had a patch on it, Make Love, Not War. It was right next to my Apollo 13 patch. I was 8 years old. Now we have been at war for what seems like forever, a decidedly unpopular war. I am not sure what wars are popular, but a war none the less that is ugly and tearing apart this country and others around the world. And yet I see no protests. OK, maybe the little group of women on Saturday morning with their signs, a couple hundred protesters once in a while in Washington. But nothing like the rallies of the late 60's.
As an artist I make statements in hopes that people will see them, take note and maybe change their thoughts about the war and our current state of affairs. And in that I feel like I will have done my part. I AM mad as hell, but why isn't anyone else. And if they are, why so quiet. Bruce Springsteen's newest CD has some strong anti-war songs and for a brief period of time he got some flack for it. But that has passed and the songs are still not played. The strongest song on the CD "Magic" has the refrain
"Who'll be the last to die for a mistake
The last to die for a mistake
Whose blood will spill, whose heart will break
Who'll be the last to die, for a mistake"
He got mad as hell and did his part, will you?
Last to Die Lyrics
Monday, April 14, 2008
I am now at the half way point and really am looking for 50 more people, normal everyday people, to sit in my chair. You will compensated with an 8x10 copy of the image I choose and also have the satisfaction of being apart of something that may make people take notice that no matter what we have we are all the same and all part of the human race.
For more info visit baronephotoart.com
Friday, April 4, 2008
From time to time I have been ask who has influenced me as an artist. I mention Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci as very big influences in the way I see the human form. But as a photographer my biggest revelation came in 1988 when I was fortunate enough to see the exhibition, "The Perfect Moment" by Robert Mapplethorpe. Viewing this exhibition with my infant daughter in a stroller, I was taken back by the freedom of expression, the beautiful lines and tones that he created. And by the sheer guts he had as an artist to shoot and print some of his works. So many people have judged him unjustly from what the press said about him after his death but until you actually see his works in person don't judge. You should visit his foundations website at http://www.mapplethorpe.org/index.html Take a look and tell me what you see.
Till next time .....
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Hi all, well it's April Fool's day so I figured I'd post this today since people think I am a fool for attempting this photo project especially in this day and age and while I am still working on my Red Chair. Which, by the way, should hit 50 participants very soon!
I am looking for real, loving sensual couples in all sexualities to pose for me together without reservations and show their passion for each other. My "Lovers" series has already begun and I am now looking to expand it. So if your not shy about being a sexual being also doing so in front of a camera, let me know.
Care to help?
Monday, March 10, 2008
Anyway, this Monday is a nice day because it's my my 6th wedding anniversary. Now for you long timers out there, 6 years may not seem like a lot but those who know me know that this is a record for me. I am still very much in love with my wife and things couldn't be better. So that's my post for today, nothing artsy or deep just a post saying I am still in love with my wife. It's kind of cool!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
I was interviewed the other day about my recent book never thinking it would actually make a newspaper, well it has! Click on the link below to read the article.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Here is a little about the Red Chair Project:
In our current socio political climate it seems that there is a growing division between the classes. People discriminated not because of sex or race but because of social status.
The one thing that always sets people apart is how they look to others, the clothing that we hide behind is the mask we wear and portray to the rest of the world.
I want to show that beneath it all we are very similar, with the same wants, needs, doubts and desires. For my “Red Chair” project I am asking people to pose nude in a chair that I bought from a yard sale for $5.00. This "red chair” is the common ground in all the photographs. My subjects are asked to fill out a brief questionnaire then just sit and talk with me during the photo shoot. No one will be posed, I want my subjects to sit the way they want, talk about what they want and feel free to be themselves.
As of March 4, 2008 I have photographed 42 wonderful people, but I still need more.
I am looking for women, men and couples from all walks of life to help me with this project. My goal is 100 portraits. I am over a third of the way there, now I need men and women of all races, positions in society and sexual orientation over the age of 30.
I hope you will think about participating in my project. If you do you will have the satisfaction that you are helping tear down the walls of stereotype and showing that we are all the same, we are all members of one race, the human race.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Todays post is something a bit different.
Jim Donovan word renown drummer and founding member of the band Rusted Root, will be giving a hand drumming workshop in my studio. This will be Jim's third workshop he has taught here and they are always a lot of fun and informative.
Below is his press release about this event.
Photo by: Barone Photography Studio
February 28, 2008 -- Acclaimed teacher and multi-platinum recording artist Jim Donovan from the percussive band Rusted Root will be hosting an evening of interactive hand drumming, chant and meditation on Friday evening April 11, 2008 at the barone Photography Studio from 7 to 9:30 pm.
The workshop titled "The Yoga of Drum and Chant" will feature participants interactively learning powerful hand drumming rhythms, mantras and spiritual techniques for personal empowerment from India, Tibet, the Caribbean and Africa. Donovan provides a large selection of authentic West African drums called djembes for participants to use for the workshop. Additional details about the workshop can be found at Donovan's website www.JimDonovanMusic.com
The event is open to anyone over the age of 17 regardless of prior drumming experience. Anyone wishing to register for this event is asked to call Barone Photography Studio at 215-453-1208 to register today, space is limited.
Where: Barone Photography Studio
19 North 7th St.
Perkasie, PA 18944
When: Friday, April 11, 2008 from 7 to 9:30 pm
Cost: $35 in advance $45 the day of the event.
All Major Credit Cards Accepted
Call: (215) 453-1208 to register, space is limited.
Beginners Warmly Welcomed
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I just wanted to let every interested photographer that the call is out for the 16th annual Phillips Mill Photographic Exhibition.
The deadline for entries is Friday March 7th, so if your interested you need to get to it.
More information can be found at www.phillipsmill.org
Monday, February 25, 2008
Well I am finally entering into the 21st century with this Blog. Someone told me you have to have a blog, so ok I'll try it. Here I'll put information about my studio, art shoots, upcoming gallery exhibitions and other BS that hopefully you'll want to read.
If you want to write me with questions or comments, please do.
I am a serious artist who medium is photography. People say well your a photographer and I always say no I am a photographic artist. The term photography gets lumped into that category with the paparazzi and the weekend warriors with new digital cameras. I have been shooting for almost 25 years, hold a BFA degree in photography and soon working towards my Masters.
So, yes there is a difference in a photographic artist and a photographer.
Well that's all for now, here's hoping someone actually reads this.
All the best,