Saturday, December 24, 2011

An Atheist's Christmas

As I write this blog, my wife is down backing, Christmas carols are playing and I am thinking that Christmas is a wonderful time of year, even for someone who doesn't believe in god.

People seem a bit more friendly and tolerant.

Buying gifts for friends and relatives.

Helping out charities who they normally forget the rest of the year. It seems this season brings out the best in everyone, well almost everyone.

We need to remember that the season is about people being good to one another. Being thankful for what we have and the people in our lives that bring it joy and meaning.

In the spirit of charity and giving, you would hope that tolerance would be among the virtues that people would practice this time of year. But unfortunately, this is also the recruiting season for a lot of churches. It does take a lot of money to keep the lights lit in those large houses of worship.

What if instead of filling those collection plates for the church, it all gets donated to the poor in this country? Just a thought, in the spirit of giving.

Being a good person is not a religious attribute, it is a human one. One that we all should try to be.

So whether you believe in god, are Jewish, Christian, Agnostic or Atheist, the important think to remember is to be good to one another, not just at the end of December, but the entire year.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pink October

So, first off let me apologize for it being so long since I have posted anything.

My new corporate job has really zapped the creativity out of me but every day driving to work I see and hear more and more things that just really bother me.

Being October, the country seems to focus some of it's attention on breast cancer. Yes, it's Breast Cancer Awareness month.
What does that really mean?
It means retailer, who for 11 months out of the year, don't really care about being aware that the estimate for 2011 was that there will be 230,480 (female); 2,140 (male) new cases of breast cancer and 39,520 (female); 450 (male) deaths.

But all around us we see pink. Home Depot and Lowes have pink tools and pink vacuums.
Car dealerships have pink blow up ribbon balloons in their windows and even grocery stores are saying "fill your cart for a cure."

How can they commercialize such an awful disease?

Giant food stores are saying they are donating to "breast cancer research" for certain items you buy. How much are the donating? Who are they donating to?

Brighton jewelry is doing the same thing, buy this and we'll donate. But none of them are saying to whom they are donating.
At least Subway says they are donating to the local chapters of the American Cancer Society.

But come on, car dealers? They are just trying to tug at some heart string so they can move cars before the new year model comes in.

I think this is disgusting and am actually avoiding companies who have no history of caring about the cause except for the month of October.

There are many companies, New Balance shoes, Energizer, and Bank of America, just to name a few. Have committed to support the fight against breast cancer 12 months out of the year, not just one.

So before you buy the bag of potato chips with the pink ribbon on it, do a little research and find out more about who the are and how thy plan on donating.

You want to donate to the cause, don't buy a product, send a check to the Susan G. Komen foundation, or your local chapter to the American Cancer Society.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Unsettle, not really

I have been wanting to write this blog post for a few weeks now but have been a tad busy with life. But I am glad I waited. Sometimes I'll read or see something and react so quickly that I'll review what I wrote and not always think I got it right.
Now, being a few weeks from the exhibition my thoughts haven't changed.

Unsettled: Photography and Politics in Contemporary Art is now showing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I was very exhcited to actually be able to see this exhibition and that it was being sown in Philadelphia.
This is what got me excited:
Unsettled: Photography and Politics in Contemporary Art presents work by nine artists who used photography to address some of the most controversial political and social issues of the late 1970s through the early 1990s, including feminism, racism, the AIDS crisis, and gay activism. Looking at a diverse range of pictorial strategies, and at works that are by turns confrontational and contemplative, Unsettled examines the historical reasons why many artists made provocative photo-based works in the 1980s, and invites viewers to consider why some of this art still causes controversy, twenty or thirty years after it was made.

So with that, you know I had to go. A few weeks ago my wife and I eagerly went to view this exhibition. The only high point to this exhibition was I had the opportunity again, to see a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph up close and personal. As for the rest of the exhibition it was, safe.

They had a advisory before you walked in warning you of images that might elicit strong reaction from the viewers... yawn.

Don't get me wrong, the work was interesting. With work by Nan Goldin, Peter Hujar, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano, Lorna Simpson, and Carrie Mae Weems, they had the opportunity to really show the pulse of the country and the art world during the time period.
But, alas, it was safe. They chose images from these artists that were not shocking or thought provoking. They did what the Philadelphia Museum always does, they coped out.

The art circles in Philadelphia are so conservative that even the museum is afraid to really show what they want. At least I want to think they want to. This exhibition could not have been what they actually wanted to show. At least I hope not.

Wit all that said, you show view trhe exhibition which is at the Perelman Building across the street from the main museum. I would be very interested to hear your views on this subject.

Anyone of you who has seem my work knows I do not shy away from controversy and maybe this has made me skew my views.

So visit and support the museum and let me know your thoughts.

Image above:
Untitled (We are your circumstantial evidence)

Barbara Kruger, American
Gelatin silver prints

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Working for the man

First off, let me apologize to anyone who reads my blog about my long absence.  Since my exhibition last fall things got a bit quiet and not many pieces of artwork have been selling. So what is an artist to do? Sell himself out for a pay check and benefits!

Yes, that is right, I am now a full time, in-house photographer for a catalog company. I should items for the company website and monthly catalog. The work keeps me busy and shooting but not artistically fulfilled.

I am looking forward to finally getting in a groove at work so I can shoot on the weekends and create more images that I hope will entice, inspire and make the view think.

It is interesting how things have changed since I have actually been in the corporate world.
  • Business Casual has nothing to do with business attire.
  • People don't ask questions face to face, it's all by email. Even if the sender is sitting right behind you and you can hear them type the email
  • The massive amounts of approvals just to get a $25 cord ordered
  • Yards and Yards of red tape
  • Cubical workers all with their individual iPods
  • 40 hour work week, yea if I only work till Thursday!
At least I get to hide in a photo studio for most of the day.

Besides that and the age gap with me and the rest of the creative team, I like the company and don't mind the work. It's the creative stifling that I am still trying to find an outlet for.

Any suggestions?