Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Greetings from Punta de Mita

Turns out this is the only place outside of the Galapagos where you can find the blue-footed boobie. Who knew?!

And on that Darwinian note, I'm taking a break for the rest of the week. But thank you for all your responses to the wheelie story. Always good to know someone's reading.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Travel Advisory and a Travel Tale

The Four Seasons in Punta De Mita.

The day after AIPAD, I headed south to Punta De Mita, Mexico, to join my family on spring break. (And now I sit blogging by the pool.) But getting here was no fun. Because of the current runway work going on at JFK, the delays have backed up all the way to LaGuardia and my wait in the security line at the Delta terminal at LaG was one hour and five minutes! So New York travelers beware. (See below.)

On a very different travel-related tack, a friend recently told me a true story about a passionate romance that recently took place between two Americans abroad. She was an artist and he was a banker, sparks flew, days and nights were spent in the rapture of new love. They agreed to meet several weeks later at some romantic island and the woman got there first. Would the man make it as promised? Would the sparks still fly? Waiting inside the lobby of the hotel she finally saw him come through the doors pulling a wheelie bag. And in that instant the dream shattered. She knew she could never love a man with a wheelie bag.

People seem to take different sides on this story. Either she was right and he was an un-macho fuddy duddy not suitable for our passionate life-embracing artist. Or she was a fickle neurotic clearly not capable of a relationship of any depth. What do you think?

I’m simply here to sing the praises of this wheelie backpack that was once my son’s that I’ve started to take on planes with me stuffed with computer, magazines, etc., and remark on how effortless it was to stand in line for the hour and five minutes pushing this along rather than to be carrying or picking up and putting down whatever wheel-less carry-on I might have had before. Viva el wheelie!

Monday, March 22, 2010

AIPAD - Aisles 1,2, & 3.

Tod Papageorge. Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus at MoMA. 1974. At Deborah Bell.

Unfortunately now a retrospective look, but as promised, here is my finished round-up of some of the many highlights of last week's AIPAD Art Fair.

Up for a second year at Joel Sorroka but still just as good - Robert Frank's 1955 shot of salesmen at a Cadillac showroom.

Also previously remarked on in this blog - Helen Levitt's 1988 New York image. At Robert Klein.

Two pictures at Bonni Benrubi - the humorously titled "Mount Fujii" by Massimo Vitale.

And Matthew Pillsbury's shot from London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Robert Kennedy on the campaign trail by Bill Eppridge at Monroe Gallery.

Also at Monroe, this impressive composite of Washington Square, going from day into night by Stephen Wilkes.

Above and below, two prints made from autochromes from the National Geographic archives at Steven Kasher.

And truly one of the highlights of the fair for me, three variants of Frederick Sommer's iconic "Livia". The two cropped prints came from the sitter herself.

And quite a curiosity - two photographs of silhouettes of none other than Stieglitz and Steichen. Photos by John Barrett Kerfoot, but prints signed by the sitters.

Twiggy, 1966 by Barry Lategan. At Peter Fetterman.

Also at Fetterman, Lillian Bassman's "Fantasy on the Dance Floor. Barbara Mullen, Paris, 1949.

Another picture I never tire of. Flor Garduno at Throckmorton Fine Art.

I liked these two so much I bought them myself! A rare vintage D-Day landing not by Capa, and a vintage NASA "Moonwalk". At Joseph Tartt.

At this point I'm afraid I was losing track of where I saw things, but I liked this picture of Ansel Adams at The California School of Fine Arts. The photographer, William Heick later got Adams to sign the mount.

Another great Winogrand - "Circle Line Ferry, 1971."

At Julie Saul, two handcut c-prints by Soo Kim make a novel collage.

"Guatemala, 1967." by Brett Weston at Scott Nichols.

The always sprightly Lartigue at Hyperion Press.

Carleton Watkins at Andrew Smith.

And last but certainly not least, Frederick Sommer's mysterious "Circumnavigation of the Blood" at Stephen Daiter Gallery.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend Video

It's been hectic at AIPAD and given the time it takes to post dozens of photos I ask for your indulgence, In the meantime, here's a song that blew me away - "How You Like Me Now" by The Heavy as seen on David Letterman. (I particularly like the enthusiasm with which Dave greets the lead singer at the end and gets him to reprise the performance.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Aisle 4

Philippe Petit on his return across the wire. World Trade Center. August 7, 1984. By Jean Louis Blondeau. At Stephen Bulger.

I only had time to check out the aisle my booth is in, so I will do the other three aisles next. But for now, here are my ten favorite pictures from Aisle 4.

Showing how vivid a 19th century photograph can be - Edouard-Denis Baldus. Saint-Etienne de Caen at Gallery 19/21.

A compositionally stunning Josef Koudelka, "Ireland on St. Patrick's Day" at The Czech Center of Photography.

A cabinet of rare Japanese photo books at the always interesting Harper's Books.

A tiny Helmut Newton polaroid from Photology Gallery's display of various polaroids.

At Keith DeLellis, a Weegee of Limelight Gallery, often credit as the first photo gallery in New York.

At Joseph Bellows, this mammoth book of aerial photographs by Michael Light.

Also at Bellows, this 1977 photograph by Randal Levenson - "Stripper, Murphy Brothers Shows, Fargo, North Dakota". You've got to love a happy stripper!

This unusual almost snapshot picture by Dorothea Lange at Michael Shapiro.

And lastly, one of an interesting group of topographical pictures of the mid-west by Rhondal McKinney at PDNB Gallery.

Danziger Projects at AIPAD

A Christopher Bucklow (r) and Jim Krantz (l) face you as you approach our booth.

Here is my booth at AIPAD. What goes into the selection of work to go in a booth? It is the end of the most carefully thought out process that has been taking place over the last two months - a distillation of what pictures and photographers have most struck a chord with me, who the gallery represents, and what I'm saying about the future and the past. It's also designed to be a harmonious whole where the works speak individually but also are enhanced by the dialog with the other work on display. (In case you thought it was just a bunch of pictures I was hoping to sell!)

Continuing round the booth counter-clockwise are Mario Sorrenti's early portrait of Kate Moss, Paul Fusco, and a wall of Viviane Sassen's.

The Sassens (ctd.) and my 70s/80s wall.

From left to right - Robert Mapplethorpe, two Annie Leibovitzes, and George Tice.

A vintage wall of paired images starting with Julia Margaret Cameron and followed by Edward Weston, Seydou Keita, and Ezra Stoller.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I'm briefly out of the blog loop as we set up our booth at AIPAD (the annual photography art fair that takes place in New York at the Park Avenue Armory) and where more than 70 of the world's leading photography galleries present a wide range of museum-quality work from 19th century photographs to cutting edge contemporary.

The show opens with a benefit evening on Wednesday and then runs through this Sunday, March 21, so if you're anywhere near New York City, this is the show to see. And of course be sure to drop by Booth 401 - Danziger Projects.

I'll be blogging from the fair and highlighting my favorites pictures so stay tuned.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Andy Freeberg

I first met my now good friend Andy Freeberg when we did a show of his photographs of Chelsea gallery front desks. Titled "Sentry" the series took a ironic look and the intersection of art, architecture, and ritual that is the world of the high end Chelsea art gallery. The prints were beautiful and luminous and made quite a stir.

Already an accomplished photojournalist, the show vaulted Freeberg into the art world and the pictures were subsequently shown around the world and acquired by major museums and collectors. This left him with the question of what to do next. The answer as you will see above and below was to continue his exploration of the art world with a series of pictures of Russian museum guards and the work they were guarding. Like "Sentry", they record the interaction (or lack of) between the individual and the work of art in photographs that are works of art in their own right.

March appears to be Freeberg's month, and the Russian show opens tonight at the Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles. At the same time Freeberg's work can be seen at Houston's Fotofest, and a book is about to come out.

Freeberg's latest excursion into the art involves dealers sitting in their booths at art fairs. So if you see a guy who looks like a cross between Brad Pitt and Robert Pattinson with a Canon 5D Mark II, watch out!

And from the series "Sentry":

Cheim and Read

Galerie Lelong

Sikkema Jenkins

Metro Pictures