Friday, March 11, 2005

old work

woody guthrie

I painted this mural at 5th and Wharton about 10 years ago. This was the first image for the mural, but the names of the stars in the constellations became much smaller.
It was up for about 2 months.

The text used in the mural was from a descriptive list in Woody Guthrie's book Bound For Glory...each star was one description and each constellation was a list between semi colons.

“Movie people, hoss wranglers, dead enders, stew bums; stealers, dealers, sidewalk spielers; con men, sly flies, flat foots, reefer riders; dopers, smokers, boiler stokers; sailors, whalers, bar flies, brass railers; spittoon tuners, fruit-tree pruners; cobbers, spiders, three-way riders; honest people, fakes, vamps and bleeders; saviors, saved and side-street singers; whore-house hunters, door-bell ringers; footloosers, rod riders, caboosers, outsiders; honky tonk and whiskey setters, tight-wads, spendthrifts, race-horse betters; blackmailers, gin soaks, comers, goers; good girls, bad girls, teasers, whores; buskers, corn huskers, dust bowlers, dust panners; waddlers, toddlers, dose packers, syph carriers; money men, honey men, sad men, funny men; ramblers, gamblers, highway anklers; cowards, brave guys, stools and snitches; nice people, bastards, sonsabitches; fair, square and honest folks; low, sneaking greedy people”

Bound for Glory
Woody Guthrie
pp 258

Friday, March 04, 2005

Asbury Park

Asbury Park, NJ

asbury park the city 2 copy

asbury park matinees 2 copy 1

alarm calls police copy

9-asbury park couple copy

asbury park counter copy

asbury park tilly 2 copy

There are many reasons why Asbury Park is so important to me and the Asbury photos are so important to the overall 95 project. The great majority of photos included in the 95 show are made in Philadelphia and most of the others are made in places that are significant in my personal history. Several photos in the 95 show were made in Las Vegas, where I lived as a child for a few years. However, I searched out Asbury Park as an adult, partly because of the fall of the tourism industry and the deindustrialization, partly because of it's history as a Philadelphia shore spot, partly because of the devastating race riots, partly for it's musical history, partly for the Palace, partly for the direct connection between the complete decline of Asbury and the advent of Atlantic City legalized gambling.
Look, these aren't all the reasons, but I ain't getting into every specific of why Asbury is in all up in my mix. I love Asbury Park.


Race riots broke out in Asbury Park on July 4th, 1970 and over 100 people were injured. I have searched for information on the Asbury riots and info is sorely lacking. I don’t know how the riots started…if you have information on the Asbury riots, PLEASE email me and tell me where to look.

Now check this-

ASBURY PARK, Feb. 22, 2005 –
City Councilman John J. Hamilton Jr. was arrested this morning and charged with conspiring to obstruct commerce by extortion and lying to authorities.

He was one of 11 present and former local officials -- including the current mayors of Keyport, Hazlet and West Long Branch -- who were arrested today as the result of an FBI sting operation.

Feb. 3, 2004

The former Mayor of Asbury Park, Kenneth "Butch" Saunders, pleads guilty to filing false tax returns for 1997, 1999 and 2000. The plea comes six weeks after a federal jury convicts Saunders and an aide of conspiring to bribe a council member for her vote on the town's billion-dollar redevelopment plan.

Kenneth "Butch" Saunders sentenced to 33 months in prison.

7/22/03 from Asbury Park Press

Former Asbury Park Councilman James Condos pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud yesterday, admitting he sold his influence and votes to be able to open a bar business in the city and for the promise of a salaried job with the housing authority.

The ex-councilman's plea bargain stems from a federal probe into corruption in Monmouth County that was first made public in January 2002 and led to charges against four former officials in Asbury Park or Ocean Township, one Asbury Park campaign manager and millionaire power broker Philip Konvitz.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

3 photos unsuitable for outdoor display

I almost always tell the person I'm taking a portrait of to pose however they want. I have no idea why these men opted to show their penises. The folks in my portraits are all people who I've met only when I've approached them to ask if I could take their photo. The men in these photos are strangers to me. I explained my project to them and we talked for a minute or 2 and then I took their photo. I didn't encourage or discourage these guys, but I was excited to see them so fully participate in the portrait.

Often, there is a conspiratorial feeling between me and the person I've asked to photograph. Sometimes, in the few minutes we spend together, it's as if we really, really know each other and have a shared secret.

What makes the following photos so compelling to me is not just the composition of the photos, it's also the full-blown craziness of getting out your penis in a public place to have a complete stranger photograph you. Two of the photos with penises out are solid enough for showing. The last photo is weak and I wouldn't exhibit it, but it's interesting to me why it doesn't work. None of these moments were repulsive or frightening. Actually, they were great moments.

mummers exposing penises copy

1. I was laughing so hard when I took this photo, I could barely hold the camera. Guys, god bless you.

1 mummer pouring bud on another mummers ass copy 1

2. This can be shown outside and I love it, but I'm on the fence about it's placement in the 2005 95 show. It will probably find it's way into the 2006 show.

pecker-2 copy

3 and 4. I really like this photo, but it's not nearly as powerful as the one below it. Sometimes subtleties evoke a much stronger reaction in me. The photo below has a menacing quality, a stronger sexuality and his expression is beautifully impassive. There's a greater depth to the photo below than the one above. That being said, the photo above is one of my all time favorites.

lurch-2 copy

jerking off4 email copy

5. This photo is phenomenally boring to me. The composition is weak and although a man masturbating in his car should really be engaging, it's just flat. In some ways, I was happy to have this picture fail. I work to have formality and intimacy in every photo. However, despite the subject and interior framing of this photo, it has neither. Sometimes, albeit rarely, I need a kick in ass to think harder.