Friday, March 30, 2012

Silk Oaks

My last vaccine knocked me on my ass causing extreme tiredness and nausea.  The past two days I gave into the ennui, but this afternoon I forced myself out of the house and onto the hiking trail.   Thankfully, the trek up Fern Dell made me sweat and forget my exhaustion.  Soon I was focused on the blooming silk oaks, a signature of spring on the paths near The Observatory.  The yellow orange blossoms provided a beautiful backdrop to a hazy Friday afternoon.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fabrice Nadjari & Cedric Houin

French photographers Fabrice Nadjari and Cedric Houin journeyed to the remote district of Wakhan, Afghanistan, a place rarely visited and far from the war torn areas associated with this country.  The team took Polaroids of the people, followed by documenting the villagers, many of whom had never even seen a photograph, holding their Polaroid portraits. These soulful images capture a mixture of  innocence and pride.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Free Will Astrology nails it once again!

Figure out once and for all why you keep doing a certain deed that's beneath you, then gather the strength and get the help you need to quit it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lise Sarfati

On Hollywood, an evocative fine art photo series by Lise Sarfati.

“On Hollywood” shows women who really live in Los Angeles. They probably came to project themselves in the Hollywood landscape and to take advantage of the possibilities of success in this landscape. Hollywood interested me more for the concept of landscape as fantasy.

They are very real, and in different ways they seem to be the targets of a strange fatality. They shine in a very peculiar way. Like Pier Paolo Pasolini’s fireflies. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Silverlake Signage

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Great Affair

The great affair, the love affair with life,
is to live as variously as possible,
to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred,
climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day.
Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding,
and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours,
life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length.
It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery,
but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.
- Diane Ackermann

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Abelardo Morell

I attended a lecture the other night by fine art photographer Abelardo Morell.  I'm hypnotized by his dream like images taken with his home made camera obscura. 
I made my first picture using camera obscura techniques in my darkened living room in 1991. In setting up a room to make this kind of photograph, I cover all windows with black plastic in order to achieve total darkness. Then, I cut a small hole in the material I use to cover the windows. This allows an inverted image of the view outside to flood onto the walls of the room. I would focus my large-format camera on the incoming image on the wall and expose the film. In the beginning, exposures took five to ten hours.
Over time, this project has taken me from my living room to all sorts of interiors around the world. One of the satisfactions I get from making this imagery comes from my seeing the weird and yet natural marriage of the inside and outside.
A few years ago, in order to push the visual potential of this process, I began to use color film and positioned a lens over the hole in the window plastic in order to add to the overall sharpness and brightness of the incoming image. Now, I often use a prism to make the projection come in right side up. I have also been able to shorten my exposures considerably thanks to digital technology, which in turn makes it possible to capture more momentary light. I love the increased sense of reality that the outdoor has in these new works .The marriage of the outside and the inside is now made up of more equal partners.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


On Sunday I received a message from my mother saying, "I'm at the hospital with your father, but everything is fine."  Motivated by the spectacularly warm and sunny day on the east coast, they went to the beach to take a stroll.  On a gravel path, teaming with families and dogs, my father stopped to pet a German Shepherd and blacked out, landing face down.  A concerned stranger called the paramedics, and an ambulance whisked them away.  Thankfully, no bones were broken, but his lip was gashed and swollen, and his face raw with abrasions.

The last few years, time has significantly altered my father's life.  Simple actions like walking without taking a spill are no longer taken for granted.  In the last year, he seems to have surrendered more and more to his limitations, while still holding on to one last pleasure.  A set of car keys in my father's hand represents a freedom he discovered in his youth when he would take his father's car without permission for a spin on the streets of Manhattan.  My parents have resisted my requests for my father to give up long distance drives. "I'd rather be dead than give up driving", was his response.  When I spoke to him yesterday I was glad the fall didn't deter him from wanting to attend his watercolor class this Friday.  "I signed up for the morning class, didn't want to be driving home at night," and there was a long pause, "you know, there's a lot of traffic at night."  I was grateful, and saddened by father's acknowledgment that he's no longer capable of doing the many things he loves, the things he equates with living.

When I woke up feeling out of sorts today, I quickly put a label on it, "still recovering from the 50th birthday celebration I attended this weekend", and dismissed it.   It lingered through out the day like a bruise tender to touch, and I realized it was a different 50th birthday that had me in a tailspin, one I attended 33 years ago, my father's.  Witnessing the twilight of my father's existence makes me grateful for every day, and simultaneously terrifies me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rocking 50

A destination birthday celebration in the desert turned into an epically fun weekend.  Neither rain nor a Friday evening run to the emergency room after a photo booth mishap dampened any one's spirits.  An afternoon hike in a steady hard downpour to the Tahquitz waterfall was a precursor to worm races on the living room carpet and a dinner celebration.  The highlight of the evening was a dinner game designed by Smashly.  Each guest found a name taped under their chair, the impetus to tell the tale of their first encounter.  For some it was an introduction that took place only hours before, for others decades had passed.  Unexpected, hilarious, and heart felt tales unfolded as we lingered around the table toasting the friend who united us.  The evening continued with dancing, hooping, sparklers and, when the skies intermittently cleared, conversations around the fire pit.

In the last year or so, more and more of my friends are honoring this milestone.  The fetes vary reflecting the individual, but the sentiment is the same.  Our history is reflected in our relationships,  friendships and experiences, thus it's not surprising that this specific birthday evokes the past as much as it contemplates the future.  The "who will I become question?" which hovers over 30 is barely a whisper at 50.  Instead I hear "who have I become." Roots have been tethered, and although we can continue to evolve, solve, and learn, the journey is already well tread.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


A stroll in the wind farm before a soak at Two Bunch Palms.

Friday, March 16, 2012


In between meetings
went for a drive in the hills
lost time, vibrant spring

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Dominique Browning's blog SLOW LOVE LIFE continues to inspire me.  I love her honest and poetic musings, and was especially moved by this post about Walt Whitman inspired by a midnight walk in Manhattan under the full moon's glow.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Bull

Free Will Astrology Horoscope for week of March 15th

"Roots and wings. But let the wings grow roots and the roots fly." That was written by Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez in his book Diary of a Newylwed Poet, and now I'm passing it on to you. It will serve as a keynote for the turning point you're about to navigate. In the coming weeks, you'll generate good fortune by exposing your dark mysterious depths to the big bright sky; you'll be wise to bring your soaring dreams down to earth for a pit stop. The highs need the influence of the lows, Taurus; the underneath will benefit from feeling the love of what's up above. There's one further nuance to be aware of, too: I think you will find it extra interesting to interweave your past with your future. So give your rich traditions a taste of the stories that are as-yet unwritten.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Carl Jung

“…the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”


Monday, March 12, 2012

Levitated Mass

In1968, land artist Michael Heizer drew a sketch of a rock balanced above a trench and named it Levitated Mass. Then he waited. As the decades passed friends, and sometimes strangers, would alert the reclusive artist to rocks that resembled the one in his sketch. None quite fit the bill. Then, in 2005, a quarry owner in Southern California called him with some news, “I’ve found your rock.” The 340-ton piece of granite in question, hewn from a quarry in Riverside, was the perfect manifestation of the one in the sketch Heizer drew in 1968. The artist paid $70,000 and the deal was done.  The boulder is one of the largest megaliths moved since ancient times. Taken whole, Levitated Mass speaks to the expanse of art history, from ancient traditions of creating artworks from megalithic stone, to modern forms of abstract geometries and cutting-edge feats of engineering.  After traveling for 11 days through four counties and twenty-two cities, the rock arrived at LACMA this weekend, greeted by revelers honoring its final destination.  

The rock will be placed in the center of a 456-foot-long concrete-lined slot constructed on LACMA’s campus.  As visitors walk along the slot, it will gradually descend to fifteen feet deep, and the rock will appear to be levitating above.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday at the Market