Wednesday, April 18, 2012


If you're on facebook you might have seen Nina Katchadourian's airplane lavatory photos.  An article on says, "To pass the time during long flights, artist Nina Katchadourian goes to the lavatory, adorns herself in tissue paper costume, and creates hilarious self-portrait photos in the style of Flemish Renaissance paintings. She calls the series “Seat Assignment: Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style.”

She used items found in the labratory (toilet seat covers, toilet paper, etc.), a few items she brought on board (sweaters, inflatable neck pillow) and a cell phone camera to create her brilliant images.  If you're lucky and you live in the bay area, or can travel here before May 26, 2012 you can see these images at the Catherine Clark Gallery at 150 Minna St., which is the alley street between Mission and Howard streets.

Making pretty images is fun (which is, hopefully, what I do)...but it sure would be great to come up with a clever idea like this.  After all, it really is the idea...that's the ticket.  And, of course, the wherewithal to execute it.

But when you look at her images they work not only because of her clever use of ordinary items to create her costumes, but the fact that she has the perfect profile for the "flemish style," small delicate features, thin but prominent nose, long face, dark hair...that's what helps make these images work.

Here, let me show you.  The bottom image is the famous flemish painting by Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfine portrait, the top images are just a few of Nina Katchadourian's that are being shown at the Gallery.  It's hard to see from my small thumbnails...but the facial similarities are there.  Her idea is just too darn clever, her execution and perfect profile makes it happen!

Oh, and she's also showing two videos where she's dressed in her costumes and lip singing to hard rock songs.  I forgot to write down the names of the songs...and I can't remember them now but that doesn't really matter.  It's fun to watch.  I just hope no one was hopping up and down outside the lavatory while she was rock'in out!  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Travel Photography

I'm showing this image at Lakeside Cafe...part of the 81Bees Travel Photography Show.  I took this with a nothing fancy point & shoot camera...but I love it so much that I decided to show it.

This was taken on Fanning Island, part of the Republic of Kiribati...and it's not really an island at's an atoll.  I traveled to this untouched world a few years ago with a girlfriend.  We had rented bikes and were riding along the only, very deeply potholed, mud and dirt road that followed the little strip of land surrounding the lagoon.  As we passed a clearing with a few grass covered huts built on stilts we heard children shouting, "Hello!, Hello!" and as we looked back we saw these kids racing after us.  Of course we stopped! 

"Hello" appeared to be the only English they knew so I held up my camera and the boy on the left, obviously the leader, lined everyone up for me.  The first shot I took they were all very stiff and just stared right at the camera.  I held my index finger up to indicate I wanted to take one more shot.  Also, by this time the little girl on the left in the yellow shorts had caught up.  For some reason I think the leader of the pack became a little apprehensive about me taking one more photo...but that became the "keeper."  After looking at the heights of the children and the colors they were wearing, I don't think I could have lined them up any better myself!

I would love to go back some day and see what has become of this little piece of, until recently anyway, forgotten part of the world.  It still is one of my top favorite places I've visited.    

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Traveling Show at Lakeside Cafe

I'm showing work at Lakeside Cafe.  Part of the 81Bees Photography Collective.  The theme is travel and we're pretty much covering the world.  Our Opening Reception is this Wed 4/11 from 7:30 to 9pm.  Stop by if you're out traveling the streets of San Francisco.