Thursday, June 30, 2011

LUIGI Y LUCA/ photographers

So, my newest favorite photographers are an Italian duo based in Berlin, Luigi and Luca. They met when students in Italy, one doing modeling for the other. A love affair began to develop between the two, and in many ways, their images are documentation of that love relationship. Many of the images of them together are digitally manipulated, as the shot is set up, Luigi will photograph Luca, and then Luca will photograph Luigi. The photos are then digitally blended into the final images of the two men that we see. There imagery is every bit as exciting as Erwin Olaf's, however their work does not stop at being homoerotic but, at times, makes the leap into being sexual without being pornographic. Of course, there are those who see it otherwise, and the two have faced some prejudice and discrimination while trying to show their work. There are so many wonderfully creative images to choose from, I had a tough time narrowing it down to ten. Obviously, there will be future posts of their work.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

WILLIAM GEDNEY/ photographer

"William Gedney made two trips to eastern Kentucky. In the summer of 1964, he traveled to the Blue Diamond Mining Camp in Leatherwood, Kentucky and stayed for awhile at the home of Boyd Couch, head of the local United Mine Workers Union. Then Gedney met Willie Cornett, who was recently laid off from the mines, his wife Vivian, and their twelve children. He soon moved in with the Cornett family, staying with them for eleven days. Twenty-two of the photographs from Gedney's 1964 visit to Kentucky were included in his one-man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (December 1968 through March 1969). Gedney corresponded with the Cornetts over many years, and finally returned to Kentucky to visit and photograph the family again in 1972. In his notebooks Gedney writes about these lives he witnessed and photographed, the complicated relationships within such large families, the importance of the automobile. Gedney made notes about a creating a book dummy of the Kentucky work, but no completed dummy exists in the archive. With the exception of one image, the Kentucky photographs were never published during William Gedney's lifetime."

The above paragraph is from a blog called TYWKIWDBI. Though there are many of Gedney's images available on the net, there is not a lot of readily available info on the photographer and this particular project. But the images are haunting and truly fascinating. I love "slice-of-life' stuff. Gedney was born in 1932 and died of AIDS in 1989.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

STONEWALL/ The Beginnings of Gay Liberation

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the homosexual community fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

The above is the opening paragraph  from the Wikipedia article on the Stonewall riots of 1969. June is Gay Pride month. Gays and friends of gays around the world celebrate the last Sunday in June as Gay Pride Day, but alas too few of those attending those celebrations know about the history behind them. There are a couple of generations of gay men and women who have grown up in a world where gay people are actually visible, and this is so wonderful. But, they know very little about a time when this was not so, a time when virtually every gay person hid who they were from the world at large. What happened outside that seedy little Greenwich Village, mafia-run bar, in 1969 changed, forever, the world as gay people knew it.

I hate to be just another of those who say "I was there" but I WAS THERE. I was working as a waiter in another village gay bar, Seventeen Barrow, just a couple of blocks away. It was in an old building that was said to be Aaron Burr's stable. I was not a rioter that night. I was a witness. My boss gave me and another worker a few minutes to go and see the action as word came to us of it. I must admit that I did not fully appreciate what we were witnessing, first hand, that night. The Wikipedia article is pretty comprehensive and there are several books and a couple of films dedicated to this important moment in LGBT history. Consider checking them out.

Here are some of the very few photographs of the events of that evening.

Friday, June 17, 2011

THE MILKY WAY/ Randy Halverson

Here is a three minute video that captures the beauty of the heavens above us.

This from Huffpost Green: Randy Halverson spent three weeks braving the South Dakota Plains winds to capture this video, and we're sure glad he did. Wired reports that it took Halverson around 20 shoots lasting between three and four hours to capture all the photographs. At that rate, each second in the video represents 14 minutes.

Halverson wrote in the video's description that weather was his biggest challenge: "There were very few nights, when I could shoot, that were perfectly clear, and often the wind was blowing 25mph +. That made it hard to get the shots I wanted. I kept most of the shots low to the ground, so the wind wouldn't catch the setup and cause camera shake, or blow it over."

Plains Milky Way from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

MILAN VUKMIROVIC/ photographer

A while ago (March 2010) I featured a photo by Will McBride from his series called Overpopulation. McBride was a famous documentary photographer in the 60's and 70's. A few days ago, I ran across a series by photographer Milan Vukmirovic called Boxes which is a tribute to Will McBride. Vukmirovic was born in 1970 in France to a Yugoslavian family. He is largely a fashion photographer. The first photo below is McBride's. The remainder are Vukmirovic's.

Monday, June 6, 2011

HALLELUJAH/ Leonard Cohen

Who doesn't like Leonard Cohen? And who doesn't like his song, Hallelujah? Well here's four Scandanavian guys who do an incredible job with it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed

This is so very interesting and also very sad, to reach the end of you life and be filled with regret over life skills that are very much in our control.
By Bronnie Ware (who worked for years nursing the dying)
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. 
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. 
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle. 

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings. 
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. 
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly,in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved.Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip.But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks,love and relationships. 

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have sillyness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again,long before you are dying. 


So, who can resist a drunken crawl in the African bush?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

TAMOTSU YATO / photographer

Tamotsu Yato was an early Japanese photographer and sometimes actor who was instrumental in creating the Japanese homoerotic photography genre. He often photographed simple country Japanese men. There are also some images depicting Japanese ritual suicide, seppuku. Yato died in 1973.