Friday, August 31, 2007

Barbie Meets G.I. Joe

I have a piece in an exhibit opening next week. The exhibit is titled Barbie Meets G.I. Joe, and it’s at the Koehnline Museum of Art at Oakton Community College in Des Plains, IL. Dates for the exhibit are September 6-October 19, 2007.
The opening reception is Thursday, September 6 from 5-8 p.m.

The show is an installation by Patrick Miceli, a Chicago-based artist who makes really interesting work which deals with pop culture and consumerism. For this project, he gave nearly life-sized drawings of G.I. Joe or Barbie to over 40 artists, and asked them to respond to the figures as they saw fit. The figures, made by the individual artists, make up the exhibit.

I received a G.I. Joe figure to work on. Here’s what I did with it.

I actually made the piece a couple of years ago, when the war in Iraq was in it’s early stages. I covered the entire figure in actual U.S. dollar bills (which cost me $67). I then appropriated the Halliburton logo, painting it onto G.I. Joe’s chest to resemble a chest wound. Halliburton is one of the private corporations (formerly led by Dick Cheney) awarded contracts to support the Iraq war. I changed the text to head ‘Hasbroburton’(Hasbro is the toy company which makes G.I. Joe).

Here’s a close-up, making it easier to see the logo.

Barbie Meets G.I. Joe
Koehnline Museum of Art
Oakton Community College
1600 E. Golf Rd.
Des Plains, IL.

Dates for the exhibit are September 6-October 19, 2007.
The opening reception is Thursday, September 6 from 5-8 p.m.
Gallery hours Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Koehnline Museum web site

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Vacation photos

I’ve decided to post a few vacation photos here. That’s not the focus of this blog, but a few won’t hurt. After a few days recovering from jet lag, catching up on grocery shopping, laundry, and all the other tasks and errands that need to be done when returning from vacation, I’m just starting to get back in to the rhythm of studio work. I’m working on making digital negatives, and while I’ll report on my progress here, I most likely won’t have any work to show until I start printing from the negatives I make, which will be at least a couple of weeks from now. So, some shots I took on vacation will give you something to look at while I work on other things in my studio.

These photos were all taken in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is an incredibly photogenic city, it’s hard not to get good photos there. That’s the problem. Good shots are easy to get, but they all start to look like postcards after a while. Add to the fact that I was in vacation mode, not work mode, and the end result is nice looking photos that I’ll never use in my serious work. I’m ok with that, this trip was intended as a vacation. I’ve got other travel plans this fall that are work related. I’ll concentrate on shooting more serious images then.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I'm Back

Just got home from vacation a couple of hours ago. Had a really great time, but I'm jet lagged and tired now.
I took a lot of photos. Some are typical tourist shots, but a few are images that might work for making pieces for my sabbatical. I'll post a few shots over the next couple of days. First, I've got a lot of photos to go through, a lot of laundry, and a need to catch up on sleep.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I’m leaving for vacation on August 2nd, and will be returning on the 21st. Starting out in Washington, DC for a few days, visiting friends. After that it’s off to Amsterdam, followed by a few days in the Dutch countryside, visiting friends who live near Apeldoorn.
Then it’s off to Budapest for several days. We’re planning a day trip from Budapest to Vienna as well.

This is a vacation, not a working trip, but I’ll be shooting the entire time, and it’s quite likely I’ll end up with some photos that I can use when I start making alternative process prints. Vacationing, fun, and enjoying the company of friends are my main goals, however.

I’m bringing art as gifts for my friends. They’re all recently made pieces, and all involve some aspect of alternative process photography, so I thought I’d post them here.

This is a Polaroid lift made for my friend Michael. Michael moved from Chicago to the Washington DC area a couple of years ago, and recently bought a condo. This is a housewarming gift for his new place. The original photos were taken in Olympic National Park on the Pacific coast of Washington state two years ago. Michael went to graduate school at the University of Washington, and knows the area well. In fact, I think it was him that convinced us to go out to Olympic National Park when we visited Seattle. I scanned the finished lift, cleaned it up a little, then enlarged it and made a print roughly 12 X 24 inches. I had to mail it, it’s too big to fit in my luggage.

This print is for my friend Els, who lives in Wenum, a small village outside of Apeldoorn in The Netherlands. I met Els while doing an educational exchange a couple of years ago. Els also teaches art and photography, at the Netherlands equivalent of a community college. For the exchange, she came to Chicago for two weeks in the Fall, stayed in my house, went to school with me, saw the sights, etc. The following Spring, I went to The Netherlands and did the same thing. We became friends, and have kept in touch. We’ll be visiting her when we are in Holland, so I made this for her. The photo was taken with my Holga camera using black & white film. I scanned the negative, played with the color quite a bit, then enlarged it and made a print.

This one is for my friend Dal, who lives in Budapest. Dal is a former colleague from school. A few years ago, he met up with an old flame from college. She is Hungarian, and when they realized they were a couple, got married and moved to Hungary.
This print is a bit of an experiment, an attempt at a vertical panorama shot with my Nishika 4-lens camera (you can see other images made with this camera if you go back to the first posts in this blog). I’ve shot a few more of these panoramas. If they work, I may enlarge them and make digital negatives to do alternative process prints with them. This one was shot at Millennium Park here in Chicago.

I’ll try to post at least a couple of times while I’m off seeing the world. and will try to upload some vacation photos as well. I don’t think I’ll be too far from a computer while I’m away. If I don’t manage to post during my trip, I’ll update as soon as I get back.