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Signs of Our Time

Melrose Avenue Graffiti, Photography by Michael Varhol — I found Graffiti Girl, the work of street artist Common Cents, on Melrose Avenue and was drawn in by her old school Betty Page sexiness and her enticing pose.  With her face half hidden behind an alluringly raised shoulder and spray can at the ready, she symbolizes the inherent illicitness of graffiti and street art, both in its uncensored content and often unauthorized use of public spaces and private property. Like the artists themselves, Graffiti Girl keeps her identity hidden, exemplifying the art form’s seductive outlaw aura while inviting viewers to live a little dangerously themselves. The temporariness of the work, which can appear and disappear within the space of an … [Read more...]

West of Western

Michael Varhol moved to Los Angeles from Washington D.C. in the late 70's; a move where the boundless sprawl impressed his eye with a continuum of never ending blandness. "The long boulevards and avenues seemed to blend into a bland, building-after-building architectural continuum, with no center of focus, like Ed Ruscha’s “Every Building on the Sunset Strip". The only things that rose above the horizon line were the palm trees, billboards and the occasional cluster of tall buildings."   West of Western was his first collection of black and white L.A. photographs all shot west of Western Avenue, in the last quarter of the 20th century. When introduced to the work of Max Yavno's galvanizing black and white imagery of Los Angeles from the … [Read more...]

The Loupe_Woodside, NY

Kristina Fetkovich, Greetings from Woodside NY — Summer was a BLAST! I can't believe it’s really over. I had so many fun adventures right here in Queens, like frolicking amongst the wildlife in Flushing Meadow Park. We traveled outside the borough too, spending long weekends on the longest of islands for fireworks and libations, and taking never-ending drives into the far reaches of central New York State. My sunburns are a distant memory now, but the photos will last a lifetime, so long as I back up my hard-drive! Hope to see you all at Christmas! Luv, kfetko. … [Read more...]

Head with Open Mouth, 1995

Robert Stivers, Head with Open Mouth, 1995 Gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of George Stephanopoulos Arnold Tunstall at the Arkon Art Museum, a gem of a museum in a formerly grand industrial city –recently introduced me to the work of Robert Stivers.  Mr. Tunstall had organized an exhibit of 40 of Stivers photographs that the museum owns. The work was striking, and the exhibition –hung in a patchwork style– displayed the work perfectly. It gave the impression that each image was trying to reach out of the frame to say something and consequently the room, though eerily silent, felt activated. The images have a pulsating aura, that might emit light in the dark. The feeling was both disconcerting … [Read more...]

The Loupe_Six Shooters

One winter afternoon, six photographer friends met for lunch to celebrate the unusual circumstance of being in the same place at the same time. The conversation navigated over the usual terrain most photographers cover when sharing notes and photo war stories, and eventually the discussion moved on to the desire to stay inspired, make new work and find a place for our orphaned images. An idea blossomed—to create a visual dialogue with each other–and before we paid the check, Six Shooters was born. Our goal?  To express Six points of view, over Six days, creating a thread of visual connections whether it be through subject, color, light, or gesture, leading the viewer on a photographic journey — a visual train, so to speak, with each image … [Read more...]