Washington City Paper reviews Photo/Diary at Hemphill’s Carroll Square Gallery: Last Weeks to See!

It’s been a great treat to be exhibited with the other fine artists of Photo/Diary at the Carroll Square Gallery.  Louis Jacobson of the Washington City Paper Reviews Photo/Diary here.

The exhibit, which features the work of local photographers Edgar Endress, Jati Lindsay, E. Brady Robinson, Dawn Whitmore and yours truly closes in a couple weeks.  If you’d like to see it it’s open Monday – Friday during regular work hours and is conveniently located near Chinatown.

East of the River

Black Girls Rock From the series, The Invisible Wall: Photographs East of the River.

An excerpt from the Jacobson piece:

Raab, for her part, offers a selection from her impressive “East of the River” series documenting the predominantly African-American precincts of Anacostia. Particularly impressive are Raab’s images of a street performer dancing on top of a transformer box while a crowd gathers on the sidewalk (bottom); a cheerleading practice held within a sea of otherworldly green umbrellas and grass; and a proud youngster in a pink T-shirt posing with a pink purse and small pair of scissors.

Dave Jordano: A Prairie Wanderer

© Dave Jordano

Got the opportunity to write about one of my favorite Chicago area photogs, Dave Jordano on NYT Lens blog today. You can read it here.


© Tim Davis (no relation to Jen Davis)

These turbulent economic times bring to light so many themes: greed, and economic leveraging as ponzi scheme built on real-estate over-valuations (bubble); our ambiguous financial future as a nation funding two wars and the fall-out this house of cards hath wrought; the privatization of capital gains and the socialization of subsequent losses; the conflicting methods needed to achieve the greater good for the general public versus the greater good for one’s own self.

A lot of us having been working on themes of consumption for a long time, but this current sitch is beyond simple plastic consumer culture.  It’s a large web connecting us all for things that we saw happening and I think this is a most interesting aspect.  If Rome falls, now we all fall. Two degrees of separation, etc.

© Mary Ellen Mark

This is all a round-about way of saying that I am an abstemious consumer, and I have lately thought about collecting photography.  I have browsed charity auctions for a while, but have never been tempted at my price-point, yet.   Yesterday, the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s catalog came in the mail and I spent near an hour perusing it’s varied and interesting contents.  It looks to me like they’ve tried very smartly to sequence and include a bit of the photographic gamut – and I’ve got three pieces I’ve got my eye on.

© Michael Paris Mazzeo

These are all pieces available at CPW’s auction.  My end point is this – I like to use my discretionary spending to support the arts – and artists. It’s a win-win situation and puts all this good karma into the world.   Use your discretionary spending to support what you want to put out into the world.   I know this is a bad economic time for people, but we can still save up for yearly contributions to whatever it is you wish to support.  And for me, art auctions are no sacrifice as you get something for your contribution.

© Jen Davis (no relation to Tim Davis)

And if those prices are too dear for you, I’ve got a little offer of my own in the next post for a very reasonable $15. Stay tuned.

Reviewing Myself

Unplugged this weekend after the NYC trip and rode my bike around DC checking in on two exhibits I’m in. The first is at Politics & Prose bookstore‘s Modern Times Coffee House. It features my Sense of Place series. Politics & Prose is to DC what Powell‘s is to Portland, OR and City Light‘s is to San Francisco. Most recently, P&P made the news when it recanted a speaking engagement with a Arabic scholar. Memory serves poorly, but there was quite the hubbabaloo.

Thus in this den of radical defiant bookish peoples sits my exhibit. Now Modern Times is not exactly a posh place, but I have to say that the work looks good all together in one room and that room is a shabby coffeeshop in an independent bookstore. While I was hanging up the prices on the work, people were talking to me about it and were genuinely engaged. And one woman matched the work she was next to perfectly (see below), and this always brings a tear to the eye of the creator.

I like this body of work. I think it evokes a portrait of a person in absentia and that’s interesting and I like the palette. I give this work B+/A-. (Yes, I know I may be biased, and therefore I am donating my prize lucre to charity).

Moving on the the ginormous, formidable, and well-endowed AU’s Katzen Center for the Arts.

Behold the Monolith of Art!

Well as you know, group shows are a motley lot, and this one in particular curated by no one other than a bunch of different visual artists competing for these fellowships and submitting one piece representative of their work. There is some beautiful work out there, and it hangs together better on this one light-filled corridor where about half of the show hangs. Further down the fabulous light-filled corridor into the dusty prism of the rotunda you will find my work, sandwiched between the illuminated blue glass elephant sculptural piece (???) and the fire alarm. I see no relationship between me and my neighbors. And the rotunda is a gigantic prism refracting light in a million directions. So such is the ignominious debut of my work at the Katzen Center. Room to grow!

My Shame, The Katzen Center, Washington, DC

Someone who did have a nice debut at the Katzen Center was Juan Andres Rodriguez who was in the big house in a show called Multiplicitocracy. yea. For me he was a highlight with his portraits of Columbians. I am very South America centric right now, but this body of work is compelling regardless, . Martin Chambi-esque. Black and White. I want to print swap with him for this one of a pig tied up. It was a humongous pig tied up against a bush. So at least I got lifted up a little by that.

Juan Andres Rodriguez © 2008

Life’s just funny where you put out you work and where you find good work. The show in the coffee shop is fun and gratifying (the work was just sitting around till october anyway, i’d rather have it out there) – while the fancy arts center is personally deflating. No biggie – glad to get it out – literally from my closets and fun to have the opportunities as well with all it’s surprises.