Archive for March, 2010

Vagner’s Videos – Brazilian Bum Slap

March 28, 2010

In the second of my very occasional series of viral videos dug up by my boyfriend Vagner comes this gem of Carioca Funk by the group As Tequileiras [that’s Portuguese for Tequila Girls]. The song is called Surra de Bunda, which roughly translates as Bum Slap. If that sounds like your kind of thing, be sure to watch the video below, especially as far as 1:52

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Gustavo Di Mario

March 25, 2010

Via Tete Almeida’s blog I found this portfolio on Behance Network of Gustavo Di Mario, an Argentine fashion and fine art photographer. The portfolio gives a good overview of his fashion and editorial work. I’d describe his aesthetic as homoerotic gaucho twink:

© Gustovo Di Mario

© Gustavo Di Mario

From book, Potrero © Gustavo Di Mario

Di Mario has also published a book here in Argentina called Potrero, which delves into the world of small time football clubs and Sunday players in various remote parts of Argentina’s interior. The title means pasture or a dusty field where the game is often played. I own the book, so here’s a few photos from it:

You can buy the book online at Librerias Santa Fe and have it shipped abroad. Their website is a bit of a joke. The book’s product page confirms neither price or stock but it should run about 80 Argentine pesos. Since I live here in Buenos Aires they actually had one of their deliverymen hand deliver it to my apartment.

Steal What We Can

March 21, 2010

Photographers always claim to be collaborating with their subjects. The truth is we are willing to do anything to get what we want from them. We’ll steal what we can as quickly as we can or pay any price after that if the stealing doesn’t work. You know that is true.

Quoted in an article on Too Much Chocolate about photographing family.

[or as one of my photography professors said, <<somos vampiros>>]

Nelson Kon – Sao Paulo

March 20, 2010

More aerial views of sprawling, Latin American megalopoli, this time of Sao Paulo from Brazilian architectural photographer Nelson Kon.

Pablo Lopez – Mexico City

March 19, 2010

I’m back in Buenos Aires but before I return to South America on this blog, I’d like to linger a bit on the way with these photos of Mexico City by Pablo Lopez:

I feel a bit like I’m stalking Sr. Lopez. The day before returning to Argentina I stoped by Rose Gallery in Santa Monica, CA to see if they had any exhibition catalogs from his show there that I could buy. Although they were sold out, the helpful staff showed me a thick stack of his work prints, which was a real pleasure. And just yeseterday, I went to see the exhibit Laberinto de Miradas at the Casa de Cultura, a traveling show, funding by the Spanish government, of Latin American documentary photography. The show’s banner features a child pointing a gun, so I didn’t have a lot of hope for the show but there was a lot of interesting work, including six more photos by Lopez from his Mexico City series.

The aerial photos are amazing, of course, but I think I like the ones on the ground even more. Lopez has a talent for scouting perspectives. The text accompanying the photos mention that the photos take their inspiration from 19th century Mexican landscape painters. I recalled having seen some of those paintings at the Museo Nacional de Arte [MUNAL] in Mexico City. Unfortunately museum’s website doesn’t actually feature any of museum’s art, which is a shame because the paintings are lovely; aerial views of Mexico City when it was a small city and views of Popo and Itza before they became forever obscured by smog. I love that Lopez is taking up this tradition and updating it. I feel like these kinds of works get lost in the sweep of Mexican art, from Aztec calendars to Frida’s mono-brow.

Update June 2010: the online magazine Nuestra Mirada published a series of [big] Lopez’ photographs including some new ones.

Kristopher Stallworth – Periphery [of Bakersfield]

March 9, 2010

This weekend in Fresno I visited the Corridor 2122 gallery and saw the show Proof by photographer Kristopher Stallworth. I was intrigued and so checked out his website where I discovered his amazing series Periphery. Shooting at night and using his car’s headlights for illumination, Stallworth photographs the rough and ever changing urban edges of Bakersfield, CA, where he is based.

From the series Periphery by Kristopher Stallworth

From the series Periphery by Kristopher Stallworth

From the series Periphery by Kristopher Stallworth

I appreciate the effort involved in driving out to some ditch at the edge of town before dawn and waiting for that precise moment when the intensity of the dawn twilight matches that of his headlights. From Stallworth’s artistic statement:

The [headlights] transform these familiar places, details are revealed, while much of the area is obscured by darkness…. California’s Central Valley is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, and the influx of people causes the edge of town to constantly shift, as new sub-divisions and industrial parks spring up.

Ridgemont Typologies – Mark Luthringer

March 8, 2010

My last post about San Joaquin Valley towns got me thinking about  the series Ridgemont Typologies by Mark Luthringer which I came across about a year ago. It depicts various aspects of recently built suburban architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Office Parks from the series Ridgemont Typologies by Mark Luthringer

I get a thrill out of seeing my home territory depicted in photographs. No water towers or steel mills here, just office parks exactly like the one I used to work in. The majority of places where people spend their time in California, northern, southern or central look like this. Luthringer, with the limitlessness of his digital camera, explores this sameness.

From his artistic statement:

I came to see that not only could I not take credit for previously existing form, I had no desire to.

I also love that Luthringer photographs in bright sunlight. To try to depict California otherwise is not a recipe for long term sanity.

Foreclosure, USA by Kirk Crippens and the fractal nature of San Joaquin Valley towns

March 5, 2010

I was at RayKo in San Francisco this week renting a darkroom and came across the book Foreclosure, USA by Kirk Crippens.

Cover image of Foreclosure, USA by Kirk Crippens

End by Kirk Crippens, image courtesy of the artist

Duplex by Kirk Crippens, image courtesy of the artist

Green Pool by Kirk Crippens, image courtesy of the artist

The images are from Stockton, California, a town in the San Joaquin Valley due east of San Francisco. In the boom years it became a bedroom community for commuters priced out of the Bay Area. Construction boomed with population growth and cheap mortgages, coming to a sudden stop in 2008, leaving many areas unfinished.

The whole of the Central Valley boomed during these years and all the towns lining highway 99 contain subdivisions of similar vintages and in similar states, be it large cities like Sacramento and Fresno or small towns like Selma or Dinuba. There’s a fractal nature to the towns because large or small, they all contain the same urban and suburban features [empty downtowns, Chevron stations, Rabobanks,  Save-Marts, Wal-Marts, craftsman bungalows, post-war schools, dense new subdivisions, etc]. The flatness of the Valley allows the development model of the moment to reproduce itself in a grid-like fashion upon the land in a way that is invariant to scale.

Dinuba has two such unfinished subdivisions each undertaken by mega-home constructors at the peak of the market; Muirfield on the south side of town built by Wathen Castanos and on the west side, Las Casas at Viscaya built by K. Hovnian [HOV, you’ll see their stock is down 94% from its all-time high at the time of this writing, altho it’s up 5x from its crisis low of 85 cents]. The names of the subdivisions are wonderful, too, for capturing the contemporary tastes and aspirations of local home buyers. Though I try, I can’t resist poetic images of decay. Here’s a sampling of my own snapshots from Dinuba:

Muirfield development © Thomas Locke Hobbs

Las Casas at Viscaya at night © Thomas Locke Hobbs

Muirfield in the Tule Fog © Thomas Locke Hobbs

The images in Crippens’ work offer a of west coast, stucco-version of the Detroit-style ruin porn that’s all the rage these days. An exhibit of Crippens’ photographs is currently up at SFMOMA’s Artists Gallery space at Fort Mason in San Francisco until March 12th, 2010. You can also purchase the book on Blurb, altho, unfortunately, Blurb’s prices are outrageous.