This Thursday night Alibi gallery is hosting a fundraiser for Cornerstone Community Outreach (CCO) , featuring portraits of CCO residents shot by event organizer Michelle Britton, which will be available by silent auction, along with prints by photographers Sandro, Fred Burkhart, David Gremp, and myself. All proceeds go to CCO. You can see some of the work here.
The picture above will be available in the silent auction; I shot it in Uptown in 1988.
Thursday, August 29th, 2013
6pm-9pm $10 cover
1966 W Montrose
Chicago, IL 60613
Tomorrow night a photography exhibit opens called Test Shot: Unintended Portraits, which includes a photo of mine. The show, hatched by photographer Saverio Truglia, features the kinds of shots that normally don’t see the light of day:
These unintended pictures are the consequence of technical or artistic trial and error. They’re often lighting, styling or posing tests that lead toward the intended result of a photo shoot. They can be dismissed as “test shots”, however when judged on their own merits, these off-beat portraits can be so compellingly ambiguous that they challenge our best artistic intentions.
The photograph above is one of my entries that didn’t make it into the show (you’ll have to visit the exhibit to see the picture that did make it in). Why is it unintended? Under normal circumstances, if you were on assignment, photographing the honorable mayor chatting with the local alderman, and you noticed a distracting background element you’d recompose and take another shot. Your photo editor in most cases probably wouldn’t appreciate seeing the hair of a hidden young girl flowing majestically down the mayor’s back in a sassy rat tail. Then again, I guess it depends on the editor.
The opening reception is tomorrow night at 1821 Lofts, which will also be hosting an open house.
Test Shots: Unintended Portraits
Friday May 17, 6-10pm
1821 W. Hubbard St. Chicago, IL 60622
Seventy-one year old photographer Fred Burkhart’s first gallery exhibit opened last month at Alibi Fine Art (where I took the picture above). The photographs were shot over several decades, starting in the 60s, and usually include people living outside the mainstream, including hippies, LGBT activists, KKK members (who Burkhart documented until they beat him up after he told them “I’d join the Girl Scouts before I joined you clowns”), S&M enthusiasts, and indigent street people.
Although Burkhart’s photographs are always humanistic, he seems to seek out the strange–his portrait of neurosurgeon Estelle Toby Goldstein is eerily lit and her head is cocked unnaturally; she glares at the camera with winged eyeliner, cluthcing a disembodied brain. There’s a shot of Jack Kevorkian leaning over to say something to a young girl–tenderly holding her arm–with his comically gruesome paintings in the background (one shows a freshly beheaded figure, blood oozing from the neck). In his portrait of filmmaker Usama Alshaibi, in front of Chicago’s Biograph Theater, a naked woman (Alshaibi’s wife and collaborator Kristie Alshaibi) reclines gracefully atop the box office booth.
The show is up through March 23rd, and is definitely worth seeing. You can read more about fascinating life here, and listen to a recent WBEZ interview here.
Here’s a 360 degree panorama I shot at the legendary Ramova grill in Bridgeport (the neighborhood where last night’s enormous warehouse fire took place) not long before it closed last May. This will be part of an interactive documentary project that filmmaker Jen Kienzler is producing, which will include brief audio stories as told by many of Ramova’s regulars. (She is currently seeking tech help to put it together; if you might be available, please email her.)
The counter, stools, and booths have been relocated to Benton House where they are hosting a “soup kitchen” tomorrow night, with help from Soup and Bread.
Click and drag on the image to pan; use shift and control keys to zoom in and out.
Tomorrow night an exhibit of my photographs opens at Elastic. Improvisers is a series of 25 portraits of musicians, including Von Freeman, Ken Vandermark, Mike Reed, Jeff Parker, Jason Adasiewicz, Mars Williams, Hamid Drake, Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Josh Abrams, Tomeka Reid, and Jim Baker (pictured above), to name a few. Also on display will be a selection of street pictures I shot in the 80s and 90s. This is a soft opening; the official reception for this is on December 14th.
Following the reception, at 9PM, there will be a performance featuring Jacques Demierre, Lou Mallozzi, and Vincent Barras. And don’t miss the Umbrella Music Festival this Wednesday and Thursday.
Tuesday, November 6th, 6-9PM (concert at 9).
Elastic: 2830 N. Milwaukee (2nd floor) Chicago IL 60618
I have a photo exhibit at Saki for the month of August, and tomorrow night (Friday, August 3rd) there’s an opening reception from 7 until 10, featuring Mike Bulington on the turntables. The CocoRosie portrait above–shot at the Empty Bottle in 2004–is one of the images in the show. Other subjects include The Coctails, Liam Hayes and Plush, The Ponys, Insane Clown Posse, Sir Paul McCartney, Mekons, Autumn Defense, Bill Callahan/Smog, David Yow, André Williams, The Sea and Cake, Andrew Bird, and My Gold Mask (and more!).
Friday, August 3rd, 7-10pm
Saki, 3716 W. Fullerton Ave. Chicago, IL 60647
Tomorrow night I’ll be taking part in the Hideout Holiday Sale, selling fine art photographic prints alongside many other very talented artists, listed below. Come on by and have a drink; even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on art, there will be a bevy of first rate people to mingle with, and I’ll be there too.
I shot the picture above on Maxwell Street not long before it was completely wiped out.
Hideout Holiday Sale! Tuesday, December 13th, 6PM to 9PM. Free.
1354 W. Wabansia Ave. Chicago, IL 60642
Rock Candy by Helen Tsastos – Exquisite hand-made-in-Chicago jewelry featuring pearls & gems, vintage treasures and original artwork
Sarah Bortt – Hand Maid soaps, lip balm, bath bombs, wallets, cases & purses from truck tire inner tubes plus jewelry
Souldier – Handmade guitar straps and belts
Dollybird – Metalsmith jewelry
Nomadic Ant – Jewelry, leather hip bags, belts
Kiku Handmade – Fused glass jewelry, buckles and house wares
Greg Schultz – Wood fired ceramics
Tim Wood – Wood works
Martha Bayne and Sheila Sachs – Soup & Bread cookbooks, recipe cards
and boxes, aprons, and art prints and knit items
Vera Videnovich – Hand-spun yarn, knit items & homemade preserves
Winter Session – Handmade canvas/upcycled bags, scarves, aprons
Bloodshot Records – All kinds of swag
Jo Snow – Flavored syrups for coffee, snow cones, Italian sodas and
Sarah Steedman – (20th only) Handmade stuffed animals
Petula Bay Frangias – Books, journals and photo albums
Studio Relativity – (13th only) Custom holiday stockings and wine gift bags
Alison True – (13th only) Hand drawn insect décor and proofreader’s marks posters
Chivas Goat Milk Skin Care
Black Dog Gelato
Puffs of Doom
Pleasant Plot CSA
Map to the Hideout
UPDATE: Here’s a link to the interview. Thanks to Alison Cuddy for having me on the show, and to Andrea Jablonski, the hardworking curator of the exhibit.
This Friday I’m participating in an exhibit with 9 other photographers. We’re showing photographs depicting life at Chicago’s greatest music venue, the Hideout. I’ll be on WBEZ’s Eight Forty-Eight tomorrow morning discussing my pictures for this show.
Above is a portrait of Shellac‘s comely drummer and flower arranger, Todd Trainer. I shot it at the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary concert, which was hosted by the Hideout.
The show is called Scrapbook, and here’s the info:
Friday, September 23rd, 2011 6-11PM
High Concept Labs: 1401 W. Wabansia, Chicago (catercorner from the Hideout)
Featuring photographs by:
And posters from Steve Walters, Alana Bailey, Kathleen Judge…and more!
Last Friday I was fortunate to have an assignment shooting video for a Chic-a-go-go hosted Soul Train party . I can’t tell you how happy it made me to see a roomful of people dancing in 1970s style without the slightest trace of irony. Everyone was having so much fun. Thanks to impresario Jake Austen, host Mia Park, the beautiful, inspring dancers, DJ Bob Abrahamian, and the great City of Chicago.
The woman in this picture was blowing everyone away, dancing with abandon in her motorized wheelchair. I pity the fool that challenges her in a Valor Game.
Be sure to check out the superb exhibit of photos taken on the Soul Train set during its heyday.
On Monday I had a swell assignment—photographing Chicago Imagist painter Jim Nutt at the Museum of Contemporary Art for an article in today’s Reader. His MCA show Jim Nutt: Coming Into Character opens this Saturday.