31 March 2010

PLUGGED-IN BY REQUEST: On-Line Art Show of The Photographs From My Recent Gallery Shows

Friends beyond the Bay Area have been asking to see the photographs in my recent one-person show, "Catching the Sun," and the pieces Ken Baker chose for the recent show he juried, especially since there was some new work they hadn't seen before.  So here goes (in no particular order):

"Tram Man" 

This is a photograph I took during a 2007 trip David and I  made around Oregon, of the newish aerial tram line between Portland's South Waterfront district and the OHSU campus.  I was drawn to the confluence of angles and lines that cause you to question the perspective, and the various yellow-greens and blue-greys and the glow of reflected sunlight.  The title can refer to the singular pedestrian or the anatomical likeness of the tram supports.  I chose this image to be used for the printed material for "Catching The Sun."

"Elevated A"

I took this photograph on a stay in Chicago in 2007, while doing some consulting for the Kellogg Foundation. As a native New Yorker, I'd always looked down on the Second City, and on this first of many subsequent trips I fell in love with the muscular physicality of the place and its buildings and structures.  I was drawn to how simple AND complex, and how gritty AND elegant this elevated train station structure was, and the blushes of color in the light on the almost-monochromatic surfaces.

"Crimson Stride"

This is the earliest work in the show--from my second visit in 2002 to two of my favorite places--Lisbon and Portugal. By then the country was modernizing quickly, but still had a feeling of a place left behind in its history, almost like a Mediterranean Vienna.  I've always been attracted to taking pictures of people using public places, and the black-and-white, marble mosaic pavements in Lisbon were the perfect background, and the strong Iberian sun and shadow the perfect context.  You may notice these particular mosaics also bear an anatomical likeness...

"Metal Man"

Taken on a visit to Minneapolis in 2007 this was shot in the interior of an old flour mill.  I loved the subtle differences in and relationships between the light and shade, the materials and textures, and the shapes and scales, as well as the reflected light in the darkened industrial interior. And yes, another anatomical likeness...

 "Arcs, Lines, + Grains"

This image is from that same 2007 Twin Cities site visit, and was taken along the St. Paul waterfront.  What pulled me in was the monolithic grain silos, the juxtaposition of structural lines and arcs and those formed by shadow, and the how the beam angles amplify the foreshortening between the silos, waterfront, and bridge.

 "L.A. Rising"

This photo was taken at the new wing of the L.A. County Museum of Art in 2008 when I started a longt-erm TOD planning project in L.A. for Metro and CalTrans. The main circulation path is a series of metal pavilions connected by outdoor stairs and escalators; and the escalators and terraces and palms; and the drama of the sun, shadow, and vanishing point seemed so quintessentially L.A. 

 "Autumn Rust"

This piece and the next were taken in Seattle in 2008, when I started a year-long, light-rail planning project there.  They were both shot in the late afternoon in Olympic Park, a multi-level, sculpture space built on a remediated waterfront brownfield.  I was caught by the firey, setting sun etching the shadow of the plum tree into the Serra sculpture.

"Urban Divide"

I seem to have an affinity for shooting chairs in public places in the afternoon sun; I'm drawn to the shadows the chairs cast, but also the patterns, placements, and combinations that the chairs  were left in by their last occupants when the sun was higher and temperature warmer.

"Mayne Stairs"

This interior shot was taken on one of the upper floors of the brand-new, Thom Mayne-designed Cooper Union academic building in New York in 2009. It was great fun to move around and through, and shoot all of the planes, materials, angles, turns, and surfaces, and the interior partitions lit from within were great to work with at night.    

"City Views"

These three images were taken during walks along the newish High Line in New York in 2009.  In this one, I was taken with how people were gathered in a small amphitheatre area, mesmerized by watching traffic and pedestrians.

"Coming Soon"

This was taken inside one of the old warehouses that open onto the High Line that are being renovated into upscale lofts, hotels, condos, and shops.  It kind of captured for me this really palpable zeitgeist I was feeling of everything being  in the midst being rebuilt, and redone, and re-branded.

"Night Security"

I was drawn to the dramatic light and color and perspective in this night scene, as well as the isolation of the spotlit security guard necessary in this stage set of a park that's locked up at night.

"Mimickry of Nature"

This older photograph from 2003 wasn't in "Catching The Sun;" but along with "Arcs, Lines, + Grains" and "Urban Divide," it was chosen by The San Francisco Chronicle art critic Ken Baker to be included in the show he juried. 

P.S.  While these shows are over, you can still purchase framed photographs at Awaken's on-line store; we're also talking about another show for summer!  I'm also working on  a San Francisco gallery show, and etsy and cafepress sites--I'll keep you posted!  


  1. OOOOH thank you! This was awesome! Loved seeing them all and reading about them -- I learned new things about some photos I was very familiar with! I looooove the blue color in "Night Security;" do you enhance your colors in post-processing?

  2. Ditto for me - I know we've talked about different aspects of certain photographs, but it was really nice to read in detail, all the thought that goes into your work.
    What makes you unique, and your work amazing, is that I have sometimes looked through the camera at what you're about to take, and just don't see what you're seeing.
    Thank you for sharing your gift.

  3. Thanks. For whatever reason, when I moved to digital, I decided that I wanted to limit my editing to essentially the things that I would have done when I used film and darkroom, so yes, I do play sometimes with the intensity of light or saturation of color, but I don't alter the images with a lot of software.

  4. David -- I am so with you. I have virtually the same camera Win does, and I have actually even tried to shoot a la WJD, and it just doesn't work. He just has an eye that is, truly, gifted.

    Winston -- thanks for letting us know. Sometimes I see photos with vibrant colors like that and I'm like, 'how come my photos never look like that SOTC (straight out of the camera)?' Makes me feel a little better about my photos. :-)

  5. I'm so glad you put these up for all to see! I love Tram Man and am so fortunate to have it on my wall where I can see it every day! Comming Soon and Mayne Stairs are so beautiful, I feel moved by them. And I do love those mosaics and their resemblence...

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