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”.
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.
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.
When 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.
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”.
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.
Hey, hey! Good news all around. I’m doing my first West Coast show this year. My cousin, Ric Todd, who is a talented sculptor, curator, artist-extraordinaire, is curating a group show at St. Paul’s Cathedral called, Ric’s Eyes. Ric is the Cathedral Artist-in-Residence and he has put together a group show featuring artwork by his favorite artists who have captured his mind, emotions and socials senses, so you can imagine what an honor and a pleasure it is for me to be invited to participate
My photo, Train Abstraction, will be featured and is available for sale, so those of you in the San Diego area, please do check out St. Paul’s Cathedral located at 5th and Nutmeg. The show will run until the end of September 24th.
I’ve started messing around with ink again but this time I get to combine it with photography. For a while now, I’ve been wondering how to incorporate painting in with my camera work and I think I’ve stumbled upon something.
I’ve been looking for a detour from my usual street photography and wanted to do something more abstract. After doing some research on new projects to take on, I started to experiment with dropping colored ink (leftover from my inkblots) into water and photographing them with a new macro lens that I got last week.
The results are wondrous! Watching the ink hit the water and billow out into beautiful swirling clouds is hypnotic and relaxing. It reminds me of when I used to dip my paintbrushes in water when I would do watercolor and watching the pigment leach into the water. I used to stare at it thinking about how beautiful and graceful the patterns of paint looked as they slowly unfurled.
Here, I was doing something quite similar but I also played around with the lighting to give the imagery an other-worldly feel. I’m still getting the hang of technique and coordinating my shots but it’s such an enjoyable work in progress.
More to come.
Finally I get to luxuriate in doing nothing! My work schedule finally tapered off into something more manageable and I finally get my weekends back. I can’t tell you how good that feels. It took me a while to feel like I was going back to normal and in the process I’ve been enjoying the feeling of not having to be somewhere.
This past weekend, I curled up on my couch with some new reading, the brilliant Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and had the windows open with a gentle summer breeze blowing through my apartment.
My appetite for reading has come back and I’m delving into various books as a way of replenishing my creativity. I’ve already ordered Americanah and I’m also reading David Deutsch’sThe Beginning of Infinity, which is a stark departure from what I normally delve into. Highly recommended by my boyfriend, this book address a lot of philosophical and historical themes of our world from a physicists perspective. It’s a bit hard to grasp at first but it’s potential seems immense, especially since the writer contends the importance of creativity as way of ensuring human progress.
Right now I’m using this time to be open, to try and experiment with new things and it’s a nice place to be. I don’t feel under the gun to create SOMETHING under any kind of frenetic pressure even though people keep asking me when I’m going to do my next show. In time…in time.
Until then, I’m enjoying the remains of summer, although I think it’s going by way too fast, and looking forward to new ventures and experimentation.
I’m still enraged by the Zimmerman verdict but in spite of my furious anger, I wasn’t surprised. I spent most of Saturday evening venting my anger and disgust on social media and trying to find a tiny space in my soul where I could find some solace but found none. I wanted to do more than just make angry posts on Facebook.
Apparently there were many New Yorkers that felt the same way because on Sunday, they turned out in droves to express their outrage over the Zimmerman verdict. I went to one of the peaceful rallies at Union Square in Manhattan. In the hot blazing sun, it felt so good to yell, to raise a fist in the air with my fellow New Yorkers to express our anger.
One of the most redeeming things that I love about my city is that it wasn’t just a sea of black faces shouting in protest, but waves of different colors: white, brown, yellow, all united to speak against social injustice. Many used this as opportunity to address other grievances of racially biased laws, such as Stop & Frisk and racial profiling that is rampant amongst the NYPD. It was amazing.
I also spent a great chunk of time photographing the rally and it felt so damn good to document something so personally meaningful. For once, it wasn’t about photographing pretty skyscapes and architecture; it was about documenting a tide of new consciousness that I am so grateful to be a part of. This is one of those times when you realize that art can make a difference, that it can really open people’s eyes and move their minds and hearts, and I want to contribute to that.
Until then, ONWARD!
Within the past few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with my photography in the areas of deconstructing images and then rebuilding them into something new. I’ve been having so much fun with it because it really does feel like abstract painting with a camera. It also forces me to really focus on my environment and re-invent everyday objects and imagery that I encounter. It’s amazing how something so ordinary can be transformed into something beautiful and new.
Starting with this “4sale” sign that I spotted outside of Banana Republic in Midtown Manhattan.
After splicing and duplicating the letters and symmetry of the sign, I blended the image so that it became this:
And then this:
I couldn’t seem to stop myself and pretty soon, I went on to stack these images together to create a unified piece:
Here are a few more before/after shots:
Before (a picture of a sculpture at Rockefellar Center):
Before (Shoefiti found in Queens)
And then this. This one is actually my favorite:
Doing these is soooo much fun and highly addicting. Additionally it probably makes people wonder what the hell i’m photographing random stuff for. I like to think of it as an exercise in learning how to see the beauty in the simple things.