Inspiration: Peta Clancy and Marjorie Salvaterra

Peta Clancy is a visual artist based in Melbourne, Australia, who works with photography, bioart, video and installation. She investigates the intersection of art and biological processes, and has undertaken an indepth exploration of the skin as a porous membrane.
 Paper Thin from the series Pierce 2007
Lips 1 from the series She carries it all like a map on her skin2005-2006

genetic genie - body manufacture - Commissioned for Off Mozart festival, Sala Terrena, Salzburg, Austria, 2006
The genetic genie installation explored the image of the chromosome in a broader cultural context. The form of the chromosome (inflated sculpture) was based on a karyotype of Peta Clancy’s own chromosomes. For this project Peta Clancy worked in collaboration with Erik Hable and Sylvia Kranawetvogl.

 A concern of both of these artists is who we are within our body and in the larger world.  Coming across two visually disparate artists is a serendipity that provokes a new direction for thought.

 Marjorie Salvaterra’s images reveal “a fine line between sanity and insanity,” according to Virginia Heckart, Assoc Marjorie Salvaterra’s images reveal “a fine line between sanity and insanity,” according to Virginia Heckart, Associate Curator of Photography at The Getty. of Photography at The Getty Center.
All work below from the series, HER.
"....I’m forty three years-old and I’m trying to grow as a person but so is my skin. I’m not that interested in holding onto my youth. My life is far greater now. But letting go isn’t as easy as it sounds. Some days I don’t recognize this person who looks back at me in the mirror. She is older, has responsibilities. She has had to learn that sometimes God has a bigger plan for her life than she does. Not everything goes the way she wants it to go. Things happen. Money comes and goes. So do jobs. As well as friends....With HER, she turns away from the mirror and turns the camera on her own life -- examining the psychology of her age and her gender in black and white, through surreal interpretations and exaggerated gestures, reminiscent of Italian cinema, creating photographs that reflect the universal idea of womanhood and assure HER that she is not on this path alone."


Inspiration: Sally Mann

New work by Sally Mann continues her use of metaphorical wet plate collodion with self portraits made from 2006-2012.


Michelangelo goes to Filter Photo Festival

Link to this photograph for a flight through the chapel.

We had a wonderful time showing the book iteration of Dialogues with Michelangelo at Filter Photo Festival 2012.  Lauren Henkin was most helpful and enthusiastic. All in all, a wild ride!  


Dialogues with Michelangelo - the Book

It got stuck in our craws. Side-by-side pairings of Sistine Chapel figures with our photographic interpretations never seemed a proper configuration for a dialogue. A number of ideas for unfolding books were tried. Barb's lightbulb went off and illuminated the solution: vellum....and another image is revealed.

We prepared a mockup for Review Santa Fe. It worked! Now how to bind it?


Dialogues with Michelangelo - Book Construction

Colleen Plumb lent us adhesive to make a "perfect binding," we figured good juju using Aperture to secure the pages while we bound them. Easy.

Modern Women Exhibit and Resource

Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art, an exhibition, book and excellent resource. Timeless information.

Tina Modotti. Roses, Mexico. 1924
Tina Modotti
Maya Deren. Meshes of the Afternoon. 1943
Maya Deren
Atsuko Tanaka. Untitled. 1964
Atsuko Tanaka

Kindred Spirit - Julia Kozerski

We happily joined Milwaukee photographer, Julia Kozerski at Review Santa Fe. Her newest work is a physical comparison with contemporary icons. Instead of assuming the trappings of authority and wisdom, Julia questions the dictates of the fashion industry. Stills from her video are featured on F-STOP photography magazine.

100 Most Influential Photographers of ALL TIME

Thirteen women photographs have made it to the top 100 most influential Photographers of All Time list.  Hmmmmm! Compiled by the UK's Professional Photographer, it's a bizarre list, for both ranking,  inclusion as well as omissions.  Sorry about that Dorthea Lange, Anna Atkins, Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Imogene Cunningham, Lisette Model, Tina Modotti, Ilse Bing...to name just a few dead white women.

7. Diane Arbus American 1923-1971
Freaks, loners and people on the edges of society’s norms were Arbus‘s subjects. Her direct and simple portrait style and subject matter have inspired ever since. www.diane-arbus-photography.com

14. Cindy Sherman American 1954-
The ultimate self-portraitist, Sherman’s use of herself as the model was at the forefront of photography being recognised as art

22. Annie Leibovitz American 1949-
She started out as the staff photographer at Rolling Stone and is now at Vanity Fair. She’s shot everyone and her portraits define our times.

36. Nan Goldin American 1953-
The queen of grunge, Goldin turned her lens on her drug-using and transvestite friends to create shocking images that saw personal reportage re-born. www.artnet.com
47. Mary Ellen Mark American 1940-
Mary Ellen Mark started photographing the streets she lived in and developed into one of the world’s leading reportage photographers.
50. Corinne Day British 1965-
Influenced by Goldin and Clark and a close friend of Kate Moss, Corinne Day’s fashion images and personal reportage create controversy and commercial praise. www.corinneday.co.uk

70. Leni Riefenstahl German 1902-2003
The controversial photographer and film maker whose images from the 1936 Nazi Berlin Olympics have inspired photographers every where 

75. Sarah Moon British 1940-
Moon’s fashion and personal images have influenced every photographer who’s seen her work and marvelled at her use of colour.

78. Julia Margaret Cameron British 1815-1879
One of the few female photographic pioneers, Cameron photographed her family with very little technical expertise and created soulful sepia portraits that still inspire today.

80. Deborah Turbeville American 1938-
Turbeville bought a magical quality to her fashion and interiors work and popularised the use of grain to create atmosphere. www.deborahturbeville.com

83. Eve Arnold American 1912-2011
As a member of Magnum, Arnold used her gentle manner to create iconic images of the greatest movies of the last century. www.magnumphotos.com

84. Jane Bown British 1925-
The quiet newspaper photographer for The Observer who only uses one camera and takes exposure readings off the back of her hand. An inspiration and still shooting today.

94. . Helen Levitt American 1913-2009
Levitt only worked as a photographer for a short time over two specifically intense periods. The images she created then of children playing and the street life of New York are timeless. www.npr.org


JeongMe Yoon - Pink & Blue and Lots of It

L is  familiar with the pink "phenomenon," having washed loads and loads of exclusively pink clothes for 3 years.  L spent her own childhood in blue hand-me-down clothes, a victim of her own mother's practicality having grown up during the Great Depression. JeongMee Yoon's work reminds us all why some colors should be banned (except in the case of Elsa Schapiarelli). 
As girls grow older, their taste for pink changes. Until about 2nd grade, they are very obsessed with the color pink, but around 3rd or 4th grade, they do not obsess with pink as much anymore. Usually, their tastes change to purple. Later, there is another shift. However, the original association with the color-code often remains….. 
Seowoo and Her Pink Things

Sunjae_Seungjae and His Blue Things
Buddist Shop

I am fascinated with the accumulation of things. Themes of my past photographic series include: “Zoo” (1998-1999); “Natural History Museum” (2001); “Space-Man-Space” (2000-2004); and images of a toy collector's possessions (2004). The “Zoo” and “Natural History Museum” series explored artificial environments that are arranged and organized through predetermined classifications.

Ultimately, more interesting and  disturbing in The Pink & Blue Project is the reference to the lessons we teach our children about  obsessing/materialism/consumerism. It's an impressive example of contemporary "natural history,"as well as pretty darn grotesque.

Gwen Hardie - Written on the Body

When we began the photographs which have become All Things Are Always Changing, we saw that the scars we accumulate on our bodies are the documentation of  life's experiences: childbirth, fracture, rupture, disease.  
Gwen Hardie's paintings view flesh intimately,  evoking thoughts of identity and an ancient genetic heritage.



Of her work, Body Tondi, Hardie writes, "The surface of the human body is an amazing membrane. It bears witness to the person living inside; an independent individual and yet closer inspection of the skin reveals that the body is made up of moving elements that are universal and part of the greater natural world."
Drawing 2


Big Chick's Photography Collection

Our friend and favorite collector/patron, Michelle Fire, joined others in conveying the glories of her life collecting photography.

Collecting Seminar: Live with Art
Milwaukee Art Museum
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Tom Gitterman of Gitterman Gallery in New York presented amazing photographs and addressed all topics related to building a photography collection. After lunch, Lisa Hostetler  moderated a panel discussion with Tom Gitterman, Michelle Fire of Big Chicks, and Milwaukee Collector,  Dr. Tony Krausen.

Images from Michelle's Big Chicks and her home.


Immortalized - Women & Leadership Archive

Thanks to B's efforts, we join many other artists in the Loyola University Libraries' Digital Special Collections.
Our work is housed in the Women & Leadership Archives which collects, preserves, organizes, describes, and makes available materials of enduring value to researchers studying women's leadership activities. The WLA strives to promote knowledge and understanding of women’s many diverse and important contributions to society through active collection development, research, and the facilitation of learning about women’s history. The Women & Leadership Archives functions as a public facility in addition to serving the Loyola University Chicago community.
A sampling of our documentation may be found in

Chicago has been home to many female artists for  years, each with her own unique career, point of view, politics, and form of expression. Whether teaching, creating art for public spaces, or making a social commentary, these women have all made contributions to Chicago’s dynamic art community. The Chicago Women Artists online exhibit provides a sampling of several women artists’ collections that have been recently acquired by the Women and Leadership Archives. The exhibit includes a variety of materials that provide an overview of ten artist’s careers: artwork, exhibition catalogs, press coverage, correspondence, photographs, resumes, artists’ statements and other unique documents. The ten featured collections include those of Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman Mary-Ellen Croteau, Kathryn Kucera, Margot McMahon, Jacqueline Moses, Lindsay Obermyer, Eileen Ryan, Susan Sensemann, SisterSerpents Artist Collective, and Mary Tobin.

This exhibit is intended to be a sampling of the WLA’s holdings related to Chicago Women Artists. We also have collections related to the following Chicago women artists: Barbara Blades, Barbara Cooper, Nichole Ferentz, Karen Hanmer, Linda Lewis Kramer, Margaret Lantermann, Silvia Malagrino, Olivia Petrides, Nancy Plotkin, Fern Shaffer, Michelle Stone, Maureen Warren and Toby Zallman. Please contact the archives at wlarchives@luc.edu for more information.


Transformation of the Body - Ovid Would Approve

The Infinity Burial Project proposes alternatives for the postmortem body that promote and facilitate an individual engagement with the process of decomposition.  The Project features the development of a unique strain of mushroom that decomposes and remediates toxins in human tissue, the development of a decomposition ‘kit’, burial suits embedded with decomposition activators, and a membership society devoted to the promotion of death awareness and acceptance and the practice of decompiculture (the cultivation of decomposing organisms).  Founded and directed by Jae Rhim Lee, the Infinity Burial Project is funded by the Creative Capital Foundation, the Institüt für Raumexperimente/Universität der Künste Berlin, and the MAK Center for Art + Architecture.


Documentation and Representation of the Body

After taking two weeks of healing scar photos, I'm comforted by some of James Elkins' thoughts on the representations of the body in art...

In the largest context of photography and disability and time passing, I  embrace....

What Photography Is -- a response to and inquiry of Roland Barthes's Camera Lucida. Elkins' argues that photography is not about representation, memory and meaning, instead he suggestion that photography informs us about how we see and what we see when we look at a photograph. "….photography is also about meaninglessness--its apparently endless capacity to show us things that we do not want or need to see--and about pain, because extremely powerful images can sear permanently into our consciousness." 


Research - Eye to Eye

After seeing our installation at the Portrait Society show, Debra Brehmer mentioned that there is a long history of eye portraiture:
Eye portraits are considered to have their genesis in the late 18th Century when the Prince of Wales (to become George IV ) wanted to exchange a token of love with the Catholic widow (of Edward Weld who died 3 months into the marriage) Maria Fitzherbert . The court denounced the romance as unacceptable, though a court miniaturist developed the idea of painting the eye and the surrounding facial region as a way of keeping anonymity. The pair were married on December 15, 1785, but this was considered invalid by the Royal Marriages Act because it had not been approved by George III, but Fitzherbert’s Catholic persuasion would have tainted any chance of approval. Maria’s eye portrait was worn by George under his lapel in a locket as a memento of her love. This was the catalyst that began the popularity of lover’s eyes. From its inception, the very nature of wearing the eye is a personal one and a statement of love by the wearer. Not having marks of identification, the wearer and the piece are intrinsically linked, rather than a jewellery item which can exist without the necessity of the wearer.
-- from The Art of Mourning Blog

Elegant Examples from Wonderwall blog
Additional eye portraits for sale:

We wish we could find better frames than the goofy and cheap Chinese shit used for the exhibition.....we can!!!

New Work - Every Day - Eye To Eye

Every Day
December 2 - January 14,2012

Debra Brehmer gave us a delightful opportunity to create new work, consider our collaboration and look at another part of our changing bodies.

For the exhibition, Every Day,  thirteen artists/photographers were invited to shoot images during a single day of their lives. The intention was to escape intent, packaging and ambitions and seek out the mundane. Each artist has been given a two-foot wide by 10-foot high space to present the project. This exhibition also loosely addresses the issues that Giotto brought to image making in the 1400's as he re-staged religious stories down on earth, within real-life settings (rather than against gold-leaf backgrounds in the netherlands of a spiritual world). 

Our collaboration does not involve shooting without intent, so, to legitimize our participation, we tweaked Debra's criteria to address what we do every day that we work together…and that is to make sure we see Eye to Eye on every aspect of our project.

This work was created  on 4 November 2011, at 30,000 feet on the Airtran flight from NYC to Milwaukee.

The Invention of Middle Age

Podcasts from Slate.com have been entertaining in these dark, immobile days. New York Times reporter, Patricia Cohen, was recently interviewed about her new book,  In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age.  It is a social history of midlife touching on biology, psychology and culture. The conversation was wide ranging and she sets the stage for our consideration of Ovid's "songs of transformation" addressed in All Things are Always Changing.

Other articles from Cohen's New York Times oeuvre  address midlife:
For all things flow; all things are born to change their shapes, and time itself is a river, flowing on an endless course.

meditations on Venus
Part I: Meditations on Venus,   All Things Are Always Changing      2005-2010


30 Years - The Dinner Party Project in Chicago

The graphic design for the 1981 exhibition of the Dinner Party Project in Chicago was Barbara's post-graduate magnum opus. It was life-transforming for all those who where were involved. We honor all of our mentors and now bear witness to the wonderful community that was formed and that has endured over the past 30 years. Thanks for the website, Barb! In 2007, Chicago's sculptural installation was placed on permanent exhibition in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art in the Brooklyn Museum.

Embracing the Change

The blog for those  with Advanced Style even if we are "invisible."  The longer you look at these, however, you wonder if things have changed at all -- there have always been idiosyncratic fashionistas. What would Cindy Sherman think?