Forget Black Friday: Humble Arts Holiday Sale

In deference to Buy Nothing Day, I have decided to post this on Saturday, even though, technically, my grandfather would have considered this the equivalent to “buying nothing.”


© Allison Grant

The value of your investment in the stock market may be plummeting, your real estate value imploding, but art is forever.  You can hang it up and enjoy it, an act I have not been able to replicate with my SEP-IRA.  Knowing this the good folks at Humble Arts Foundation are offering a holiday sale of 30% off their limited edition prints.

Now is your chance to own great work by Shen Wei, Juliana Beasley, Cara Phillips, Grant Willing, Allison Grant, Jason Lazarus, yours truly, and many, many more.    You can get shopping here.

PETA Protest

© Susana Raab


© Shen Wei


© Jason Lazarus

Feature Shoot: The Blog


© J.J. Sulin

Alison Zavos has started a new blog, FEATURE SHOOT, featuring up and coming photographers, and I am today’s interview.

More interesting to me, are her interviews with Emily Shur, J.J. Sulin, Melissa Ann Pinney, Claire Beckett, and Corey Arnold, among others.  She is looking for submissions, so don’t be shy!

Colin Finlay at Discovery Communications


A very powerful presentation yesterday at Discovery Communications by photojournalist Colin Finlay who showed images from Rwanda, Antarctica, The North Pole, and devastation from mountaintop removal in West Virginia and oil production in Alberta, Canada.  Colin approaches his work with a messianic zeal and his presentation style was sort of an understated Garrison Keillor with a lot of whispery drama and pregnant pauses a bit of Eckhart Tolle philosophizing, all of which of course, is not out of keeping with his subject matter.  His was definitely one of the most stylistically evolved photographic presentations I have ever seen and I am always grateful that presentations of disturbing work are not combined with Beethoven’s Fifth like something out of Star Wars. The audience was visibly moved and in addition to the opportunity to view an important body of work I think it was most instructive to us photographers on how to make our own presentations more successful.  My own act is a bit more vaudevillian in contrast, but I think my current subject matter lends itself to that, as does my Mary Poppin’s philosophy that “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” But when you are photographing victims of a horrific genocide a spoonful of sugar is very inappropriate indeed.  I’m a big fan of Eckhart Tolle, and I believe that we carry the things we photograph with us forever.  Personally, having suffered enough sturm und drang the first thirty years of my life, I am not eager to take more on and continue the cycle at this point.  We all know what we are capable of, hopefully, and each to his/her own task.  I am grateful that many people like Colin Finlay have shoulders broad enough to handle their tasks

New (to me) blog: Two-Way Lens

Michael Werner has recently started a blog featuring interviews with photographic luminaries like William Greiner, Zoe Strauss, Lori Nix, Andrew Phelps, and Richard Renaldi. Werner nobly and succinctly cites his motivation here:

Two Way Lens is a project designed to inform and inspire emerging photographers wanting to focus their creative output in a way that enhances their chances of finding an audience, being included in exhibitions and ultimately achieving gallery representation. The journey from inspired artist to successful artist is one that is often difficult to negotiate and hard to control. On these pages, I will feature the experiences and opinions of other photographers who I have found inspiring, and hopefully the knowledge they have built in their own experiences will be valuable to all of us finding our own way to sharing our creativity with the wider world.

Check it out here.

FotoWeek DC The Saga Continues


Come see Josef Koudelka tonight – there is free parking in the Katzen Center garage:

Josef Koudelka
Meet the Artist

6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

American University Museum
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.
(202) 855-1300

Exhibition on view:
Thursday, November 13, 2008–Sunday, December 28, 2008

Please join American University in welcoming Josef Koudelka to celebrate the opening of Invasion 68 Prague, an exhibition of the remarkable work he made during that one historic week in 1968. Invasion 68 Prague
is now on view at the Katzen Arts Center, co-produced with Magnum
Photos, the exhibition features large-scale ink-jet prints of a
selection of work from the related Aperture publication, along with
extensive text panels.


I had the enormous pleasure of photographing Wally Shawn, of Princess Bride and Star Trek fame, and most recently of Gossip Girl, a show I have never seen.


As I was scoping out locations a few minutes before I was to arrive at his girlfriend’s apartment, I got a phone call: “Susana, this is Wally.”  How can you not love someone named Wally and who uses no publicist? He met me in the foyer of the building and was great to work with, though he was sensitive to being photographed in front of certain objects that he felt were too grand: a broken gilt mirror, a heavily carved wooden chair.  AND he told my photo editor that he would FLAT OUT refuse to be photographed in a bathtub filled with milk.  Well!

It was a treat to spend time with the co-creator of My Dinner with Andre.  We talked about writers, writing, the creative process, Trekkies (he loves), Princess Bride Fans, how many times a week someone shouts “Inconceivable!” at him, and even debased ourselves with now passe Team Anniston vs. Team Jolie chit-chat(he brought it up FYI).  Thank you Cathy Mather and Wally Shawn – you both rock.  Tune into Wally on Gossip Girl and don’t be shy about letting the network know if you love him.

Slideluck Potshow DC III = Success

Centering itself in the vortex of photographic extremes that is FotoWeek DC: hipster art openings versus crass commercial promotions and every gamut in between, Slideluck Potshow DC III emerged as an unpretentious grassroots night of pure photographic fun.  The folks behind it arranged a top-drawer event, with presentations from locals, superstars, and superstars that are locals alike.  LOVED presentations by Hank Willis Thomas, William Christenberry, Chris Usher, Stephen Crowley, Alison Shelley, Jacquelyn Martin, Stephane Janin, Juliana Beasley, and many others whose names I cannot recall.  Most poignant for me was a series with video of Sierra Leone amputee soccer players.  My apologies to the photographer whose work this was for not remembering your name. Your video hushed us all in the room.  We were moved.  Honestly the event has such great verve and spirit. I don’t know how Casey, Alys, Emma, and the rest do it all, but thank you!  For those of you who have the event coming to your area – I encourage you to go. And for those of you who don’t – contact Casey and start one!  Viva SPS!

Update: Thanks to the omniscient Liz Kuball I now know that the Sierra Leone amputee soccer play video was created by Fiona Aboud and you can find it easily on her website.  Check it out and you will be inspired. Ain’t no mountain high enough! Girl, you’ve got some soul!