The Lost Arts

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Picture taken during The Artist Process, Part 2. July 2012.
5 Pointz, Long Island City
©Jaimee Todd

I remember the first time I laid eyes on 5 Pointz. I was new to Queens and was trying to familiarize myself with the Long Island City area. One day I was riding the 7 train home and as it rounded the bend towards Queensborough Plaza, I was totally struck by this awesome building that was covered in mesmerizing graffiti. I was probably the only person standing there with my mouth gaping open but as soon as I got home, I did a Google serach to find out what that magical place was and learned that it was called 5 Pointz.

Since that first encounter, I’ve had the opportunity to visit this graffiti art mecca and even had the chance to photograph artists creating murals during The Artist Process, an event produced by fellow artist, Marthalicia Matarrita.

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Photograph taken by Jaimee Todd
Mural by Danielle Mastrion. To see more of her work, please visit www.daniellemastrion.com

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©Jaimee Todd

Today, I’m really sad to say that 5 Pointz is coming and down and will be replaced with yet another damn high rise building and shopping center. The building’s owners, Jerry and David Wolkoff, had the murals whitewashed in the middle of the night. I found out this morning when I watched the news and saw footage of artists  and other onlookers sobbing in despair. I knew that the owners were going to demolish the building but I didn’t expect this insult. They claim that they were doing the artists a favor by whitewashing the murals first so that the artists didn’t have to witness their art being destroyed in the demolition. I hardly find that a benevolent act, especially since it was done under the cover of night without allowing people to take one last look or photograph of the murals.

The demolition of 5 Pointz is just another example of how New York City is gentrifying into an unrecognizable shell of itself. The grit and the edginess that made the City feels so magical seems to be ebbing away. Yes, I realize the owners have a right to do what they want with their own property but what they’re destroying a cultural icon. Supposedly they intend to create a dedicated space for graffiti  where the new buildings will be but it won’t be the same. You just can’t recreate the sense of community that was suddenly stripped away.

I’m grateful that I was able to take pictures and that I still have them, but I really regret not going back there again before this happened. When I heard that 5 Pointz was in danger of being taken away, I always told myself that I would come back…but now it’s too late.

 

 

Curate NYC!

Last night as I was working on one of my art projects, I got the this email. I couldn’t believe it! I had applied to Curate NYC for the last few years and this was the first time I received recognition for my entry, “Lava”.

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Needless to say, I’m pretty psyched that Linda Michael from the Heide Museum of Art in Australia actually selected one of my pieces to be featured as part of the online exhibition and I’m sograteful for the recognition.! You can see my work as well as the other featured artists right here.

I feel like these ink works are really taking me places. I can’t wait to see what path I’ll take next!curatenycphoto

 

Ride or Die

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Side shot of Pontiac LeMans ©Jaimee Todd

For a little change of pace, my boyfriend and I checked out a classic car show in Long Island on Saturday. The weather was gorgeous and we were hoping that we would get a chance to photograph some of the vintage rides. For some odd reason, the turnout of participants was pretty low so we didn’t get a chance to shoot as much as we would’ve liked. Nevertheless, we were able to take some pretty cool shots images and my boyfriend was like a kid in a candy store (he loves cars…big surprise).

GTO rear ©Jaimee Todd 2013

GTO rear
©Jaimee Todd 2013

 

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

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1968 Charger
©Jaimee Todd

I like focusing in on the signage of the car logos and angles of the front and rear, which I feel is a bit more distinct than typical car photography. You can see more of my pics on my Flickr feed right here.

Humans of New York

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Damn….I’m pretty exhausted as I write this but it’s a good thing. Tonight I got a chance to go to the book-signing for Brandon Stanton’s highly anticipated Humans of New York photography book.

Anyone who’s friends with me on Facebook knows that I’m a big fan of the blog and the photography, most especially for the stories behind the humans of my city and I’m always sharing the most touching stories on my personal page. The stories range from poignant to hilarious and it’s not uncommon for me to laugh out loud or get misty-eyed while reading them.

I pre-ordered the book a while back but when I found out today that Brandon would be signing copies at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square, I hustled down there to buy another copy for him to sign. When I got to the event, there was a HUGE line that wrapped around the store all the way to the entrance. I had never seen a turnout for something like that before in New York. Even though I had to wait a long time just to get my book signed, it was fascinating to see who came out. A lot of the people that were actually the more colorful subjects of Brandon’s book showed up to make their appearances and people were rushing over to them to get their autographs too.

photo-58When the time finally came for me to get my books signed, I had my little 10-sec speech all prepared in my head but it didn’t go as planned as the night was getting long and clearly Brandon was tired and had to hustle get books signed. He was gracious and friendly but he really had to move it along. All that aside  I am now a proud owner of a beautiful collection of stories and photography. Going through the pages and reading of his journey from a bond trader to a well-known photographer is very inspiring.

So if you haven’t checked out the Humans of New York blog, go visit it. And if you haven’t gotten the book, go get a copy.

Off to bed.

New Experimentation: Part 1

©Jaimee Todd 2013

©Jaimee Todd 2013

Last week I bought my first tripod so I could shoot some self-portraits as part of a photography project that I’m working on. I spent most of today practicing with some shots. Like most people, I HATE taking pictures of myself. The casual ones that are littered around Facebook and Instagram are one thing, but posing full-on for my DSLR is an entirely different thing. When I uploaded my shots, my reaction was a bit strong because the shots seems to show another side of myself that appears moodier, more vulnerable. It’s always eye-opening when you see yourself through someone else’s “eye”.

©Jaimee Todd

©Jaimee Todd

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©Jaimee Todd

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©Jaimee Todd

 

Ink Drops Meet New York City

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

I’ve been wanting to try this for a while. I thought it would be fun to integrate the ink drops into some other photographs that I’ve done using Pixlr (which is essentially a poor man’s Photoshop). I like the way this turned out, even though it looks a little ominous. I haven’t had much experience using a photo-editing program such as this but the online tutorials make it pretty easy to use, so I definitely plan on using more Pixlr in the future!

 

 

New Additions

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Tornado
©Jaimee Todd 2013

The work with my ink drops goes on! I’ve been steadily building up my collection to enthusiastic response. I’ve been looking for different color combinations and exploring unique formations, all while coming up with titles that reflect the mood of the shot.It’s addictive and a lots of fun.

What’s satisfying about doing this collection is that I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from other artists, mostly painters and photographers. I feel like I’m onto something with these so I’m working on keeping the flow going. You can see my current collection by clicking here.