Articles Tagged with: Artists
Bucharest | Sir Richard Bishop
Sir Richard Bishop, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sir Richard Bishop, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Apologies, as this is a bit out of order, being placed in the middle of the Bangkok series, but I have just returned from a trip to Bucharest, Romania where I had the great fortune to see Sir Richard Bishop perform at a club, thirty-one years after I had seen him for the first time at a hardcore show in DC.

I’ve posted the introduction to his interview below, but if you should read the article in it’s entirety here, at The Attic. A very nice piece of synchronicity.

Sir Richard Bishop, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sir Richard Bishop, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

It was 1984 in Washington, DC, at the height of that city’s legendary hardcore punk scene. We were young, aggressive and frustrated, and though not dumb, the amount of things we didn’t know were huge. We had no idea how important that punk scene was in DC. We had no idea that we were in the last year of hardcore punk, that the next year, the scene would just collapse into fragments. We had no idea we would survive and grow old and sit in chairs at desks for decades to come. And we had no idea that the visceral, instinctive and emotional wave of hardcore punk that surprised us and filled us with ideas and growling intensity was a feeling we would never feel again.

One of the great surprises was at a JFA show in DC in 1984 at the 930 Club. The small club was packed as usual for a well-known out of town band, a band whose logo was easily drawn on jackets, skateboards and walls. None of us knew the opening band, but back then, we had no information except for paper magazines and we were hungry for most any music. The opening band came out and the guitarist with his head wrapped in an Arab keffiyeh head scarf, started to sing in a high falsetto, like a feminine muezzin, chirping out a call to prayer. This went on for minutes. No accompaniment. This was at a time where hardcore punk fans would abandon their favorite bands for daring to play a song less than faster than the speed of light.

People started to leave. A few here, more there. Than a constant stream of people headed for the door. Hardcore punkrock took in and embraced many different musical flavors (The Pogues and The Butthole Surfers for God’s sake) almost because there was no place else to go. But a challenging avant-garde, experimental trio? Sometimes, people just wanted to thrash. For the few of us that stayed, and it was a fair amount, we were enthralled for next hour. All I remember thinking was, Who the fuck are these guys? And where the fuck are they taking me?

During one sequence, the drummer was standing, sticks just barely brushing the cymbals, in a trance, the band letting the tension build. When the break finally came, the drummer descended on his kit and I saw a drumstick shatter but did not see where the top half went until the guy in front of me turned around, blood streaming from his face. We filled in the gap he left and closed ranks to get closer to this crazy band. Who were they, I asked someone after the show. Sun City Girls. I bought their album that week and drove my friends nuts with it for months. I don’t even remember JFA playing.

Thirty-one years later, I was in Bucharest for a week, there to photograph the people and the streets. This musician I had met that night before took me to Club Control to watch a free, improvisational duet of violin and percussion as she was friends with the violinist. This show was an unexpected choice and I was enjoying the performance and oddly proud of the size of the crowd in attendance for such an experimental performance. Then some guy named Sir Richard Bishop came on. I had assumed it was going to be a DJ since it was a club. I had no idea. Bishop brought out a gorgeous small body 19th century guitar and started off with a song, heavy in the Phrygian mode, playing fully off of the North African mode. Unexpected again. I heard his voice in between songs. Definitely American. At times, percussive and at times, trancelike, I sat on the floor beneath the bar and let myself get taken along for the ride.

It was afterwards, outside in the terrace that I found out that it was Richard Bishop from the Sun City Girls. Well, look at that. We had both survived.


Kraków | Sculptor
Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Sculptor, Kraków, Poland; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


Istanbul | Lâle Müldür

Wandering the streets in Beyoğlu one afternoon, my friend Çiğdem elbowed me and pointed out a woman standing nearby with a small entourage.

It was Lâle Müldür, one of Istanbul’s most important living poets. Of course, I didn’t know who she was or really, still don’t know who she is, but hey, I took an unimaginative photo of her.

Here is a link to her poem "La Luna" translated into English.

Lâle Müldür, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Lâle Müldür, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


Arnold Newman | Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder © Arnold Newman

Alexander Calder © Arnold Newman

Whenever I want to photograph someone, I read about them. I read biographies. If they are painters or scientists, I know their work. This is all good. It prepares me to observe. For example, with Stravinsky, I loved his work and when I was asked to photograph him finally he was staying in a hotel, this was in New York, I had no opportunity to get out to the West Coast where he lived — this goes along with another question you had about him — I am not only an environmental but a portrait photographer. So, I am going to the concerts all the time. I love music. Everything from Beethoven to good New Orleans jazz. I would watch the piano or notice the piano. It was strong, harsh, beautiful and it looked like a big flat. It looked very much like his own work. We went on from that point after we researched his apartment to find the right place (including Steinway) to find the right place with the right kind of piano. Other times when I have no opportunity and I have to come take a quick look, I have to use all the resources of all those years of experience, my knowledge, my innate ability to look around, which most people should have that should be in the arts, and have to make quick decisions. I do almost as well that way as when I am researching it. That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a better photograph. It just simply means that I am able to think better. Let’s put it that way.

– Arnold Newman


Ray Eames | Graphic Designs & Letters
Tic Tac Toe Fabric Design  circa 1947, ink on gold paper © Ray Eames

Tic Tac Toe Fabric Design
circa 1947, ink on gold paper © Ray Eames

 

Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world.

– Ray Eames

Letter to Sansi Girard. 1961, ink on paper from Ray Eames

Letter to Sansi Girard. 1961,
ink on paper from Ray Eames

 

Take your please seriously.

– Charles Eames

Drawing of Molded Plywood Chairs by Ray Eames

Drawing of Molded Plywood Chairs by Ray Eames

The problem of designing anything is in a sense the problem of designing a tool. And as in designing a tool it is usually wise to have a pretty clear idea of what you want the thing to do. The need is to fill it’s particular objective.

– Charles and Ray Eames

Dot Pattern fabric design circa 1947,  pencil on tracing paper © Ray Eames

Dot Pattern fabric design
circa 1947,
pencil on tracing paper © Ray Eames

 

Yes, Charles had always been terribly interested in photography. I think it’s been known that his father was a great amateur photographer and had left equipment. His father died when he was very young. He left his equipment and Charles started to read instructions and taught himself about photography. The great joke he always made was that he was making glass plate negatives before hearing that there was such a thing as film, because of having this old equipment. But he learned a great deal. Then he used it always as a tool, photographing architecture, photographing objects, studying it by photographing models. And I think he made some experiments in film when he was at Cranbook. Some film . . . I must check that, I think they might have it. We kept records of everything, but he never shot just a record, he always shot something and made a good-looking photograph.

– Ray Eames

Crosspatch Fabric Design, 1945 © Ray Eames

Crosspatch Fabric Design, 1945 © Ray Eames

 

So, filmmaking — he was always interested in documenting things, and using photographs rather than pages of explanations. He had a very strong belief of being able to see something rather than having to describe it, so we’ve always used photographs for that.

– Ray Eames

Christmas and New Year's Card, 1933-34, pencil on paper © Ray Eames

Christmas and New Year’s Card, 1933-34, pencil on paper © Ray Eames

 

I never thought of myself as an artist and couldn’t bear the word.

– Ray Eames

Christmas and New Year's Card, 1933-34 © Ray Eames

Christmas and New Year’s Card, 1933-34 © Ray Eames

 

It was natural for me not to separate them, you know—now you study history, now you study dance, now you study music, or now you study pottery or whatever it is—it all seemed to be one thing.

– Ray Eames

Dot Pattern, Fabric Design,  circa 1947 © Ray Eames

Dot Pattern, Fabric Design,
circa 1947 © Ray Eames

 

Ray comes to design through painting
and I through architecture –
that this should not be at all surprising
since I feel that most everything is a
form of architecture, certainly all of the
environment that man creates for himself –
and Ray feels that painting is related to
everything and of course I feel that painting
comes under the heading of architecture.

– Charles Eames

Illustrated Happy Birthday letter to Susan Girard © Ray Eames

Illustrated Happy Birthday letter to Susan Girard © Ray Eames

 

Never let the blood show

– Charles Eames

Letter to Sansi Girard from Ray Eames

Letter to Sansi Girard from Ray Eames

 

What works good is better than what looks good, because what works good lasts.

– Ray Eames

Letter to Charles Eames, 1955 from Ray Eames

Letter to Charles Eames, 1955 from Ray Eames


Désirée Dolron | Xteriors VII, 2004
Xteriors VII, 2004 © Désirée Dolron

Xteriors VII, 2004 © Désirée Dolron

 

The astounding Dutch photographer Désirée Dolron’s work can be viewed here. This piece sold recently for £103,250.

I enjoy reading about people online trying to mimic her style using Photoshop only. Poor digital generation photographers. Good bye craftsmanship.


Budapest | Artus
Artus Company Dance Company, Budapest, Hungary; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Artus Company Dance Company, Budapest, Hungary; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Artus, Budapest, Hungary; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Artus, Budapest, Hungary; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


Daniel Clowes | The Kinks
The Kinks, 1972 © Barrie Wentzell

The Kinks, 1972 © Barrie Wentzell

I didn’t really listen to the Kinks growing up at all — I was just vaguely aware of them, like everybody else — so when I was in my mid-20s I bought a couple of their records, just on a whim, and got sort of obsessed with them. There was something that they did in their work, or that Ray Davies did in his songwriting, that I wanted to apply to my comics, which was to have this pop exterior to his work — the surface seemed like they were sort of simple pop songs, like you could hear on AM radio — and yet underneath that was a very profound, idiosyncratic vision. I liked the juxtaposition: where he was sort of this dandyish pop star on one level and yet this seemingly very lonely, troubled man on the inside. That was just something I was drawn to, and he came closer to doing that than any cartoonist I can really think of.

– Daniel Clowes

The Death-Ray @ Daniel Clowes

The Death-Ray @ Daniel Clowes