Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Christmas in July!...adults only

If there is something greater than this santa (and, yes, I have weighed it up against the item I ask for at Spencer's gifts every time I go in, the Jolly Jumping Pecker), I would love to know what it is.

Please read the descriptive text under the Santa photo.
Also, I realize that Lynn Bloom is subject to the torture of my asking an employee for a "Jolly Jumping Pecker" in every Spencer's that we've ever walked into. Honey, thanks for your patience.

Monday, June 27, 2005

I don't know from art, but I know what I like OR great PMA moments

I really ain't one to be talking all that pedantic art shit, but let me point this out-

visitor email


I have a great interest in painting and I'm pretty sure the composition of my photos is often subconsciously influenced by painting. I sure didn't think of Anselm Kiefer when I made this photo or even after it was printed and I started to work with the "visitors" image but it must be hidden away in my mix. This Kiefer painting, Nigredo, is one of my all time favorites. That high horizon line is off the hook.

In landscape photos, I tend to prefer a high horizon line and a stark foreground. As usual, I have about 20 specific reasons for why I like a lot of foreground...whatever.

veronica rios murder scene email

3-fishtown memorial copy

I saw a show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art about 20 years ago; a retrospective of W. Eugene Smith that I think was called "Let Truth Be the Prejudice." There was one photo in that show, of course I can't remember the name, which was a shot taken low on the ocean, with only ocean as foreground and US naval ships high in the frame. The image was remarkably flat for an image of undulating water and really beautiful. I saw that image around the same time as Nigreo at the art museum. Bring it, Philadelphia.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom and Nan


Sunday, June 19, 2005


Right, so I'm having a show at the ICA.

How much more fancy can I get? Jesus H. Christ! My career is blowing up!
Can't knock the hustle, baby!

Ramp Project: Zoe Strauss
April 22– July 30, 2006
Institute of Contemporary Art
118 S. 36th St. Philadelphia, PA

I'm going to be doing a "ramp project," which is a commissioned project for the 52-foot ramp corridor that connects the first and second floors in the ICA. A part of my dream last night was that I painted


in a light color high up on the north facing wall and had attached binoculars to the railing at the entrance to see it clearly. In the dream, I was explaining the meaning (which I would never do in the non REM world in order to leave the text open to different readings). I often dream about shit like this. I'm not kidding.

I painted this on the SW corner of 5th and Wharton Sts. 9 years ago and, apparently, it's remained important in the continuum of my work. It's still really summing it up for me.


desperation with Paula and Liz

I put this up on the same wall about a month after "Desperation" went up. It went in the space to the left of "Desperation," the former foyer of the demolished house. You can see it in the photo with my friend Paula standing in the foreground.

history of hysteria

And then these went on the south east corner of 5th and Wharton. It's before I had pushed them together but after I had painted the ID numbers on them. 4/1/70
collision at sea

Also check this out...artblog. Robert and Libby are so up on everything, they never cease to amaze me. A shout out of love to Libby and Roberta.


Pew Fellow Report

I genuinely like all of the fellow Pew fellows that I've met.

Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater
Astrid Bowlby
Pablo Colapinto
Gerald Cyrus, Jr.
Cheryl Hess
M. Ho
Beth Kephart
Jay Kirk
Shawn McBride
Filmon Mebrahtu
Joshua Mosley

I actually didn't meet Jay, but, I'm telling you, the rest of the Pew folks... top notch.
I actively love Shawn McBride and I'm not ashamed to say it.

Later this week, I will be making a suggestion that we all be photographed in front of a backround like this one.
pew fellow photo-1

Friday, June 17, 2005

Sibling Spotlight- Part I: COSMO BAKER

As many of you know, I am close with my family- 2 brothers, 1 sister and my mother. This is the first in an exciting series focusing on the greatness of my siblings.

COSMO BAKER aka younger brother.


Last night, my lady was reading Complex magazine and then, surprise, there was a little section about my own brother with a handsome photo. Cos works as a DJ and is often in the press with some something about him. Woe is the person who hasn't seen him work.

Cosmo has always been a musical genius. When he was about 6 or 7, a stranger knocked on our door on Spring St. and gave Cos drumsticks and a practice pad. Apparently, this guy who would periodically come to practice his saxophone across the street had talked to Cos a few times and they had some sort of music discussion or mini lesson that prompted this man to get Cos a drum kit because he had "never met a child with such perfect rhythm." I'm not kidding. How nuts is that?

Also, to me, Cosmo is the most humorous person on earth.

Check out Cosmo's website- COSMO BAKER
Holla at your boy!

Coming Soon
Part II- He who never wants his name spoken and had to move to Japan to keep people from talking to or about him...W-lker R-berts
Part III- The most shining star in the sky, superfly, world's greatest sister...Savannah "Nannie" Roberts.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


sometimes a flash makes a phenomenal difference in the mood of an outdoor photo.

Sophie56 flash -1email

no flash

1-wachovia- back flash copy

wachovia- back copyemail
no flash


Friday, June 03, 2005

Pew Fellowship

Something unbelievably great has happened. I have been awarded a Pew fellowship in the works on paper category. Getting the Pew fellowship is a great honor and I am thrilled and surprised that I've received it. Actually, I'm shocked that I got it.

The Pew fellowship is 50,000 dollars that I've chosen to receive as a two year salary. Right now I make 7,800 dollars a year. (IRS, PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS COMES FROM MY LADY!!) This means that the 2 year fellowship is 6.4 years of my current salary as a domestic.

I will now be able to complete the 10 year I-95 plan and next year I will be able to afford deep crystal laminate, NO GLARE!, for the photocopies. Right now, I work on art from about 9:30 to 2:30 then drive to work, as a babysitter, in the suburbs and work from 3:30 to 7, then come back home and work on more art until 9:30 or 10. I'm letting go of at least one day of the drive out to Gladwyne. (AGAIN, IRS, DON'T BE FOOLED, I DON'T WORK AT VARIED BABYSITTING JOBS MORE THAN 6 HOURS A WEEK!)

I will revamp and update my website.

I can start to make my 10 year plan for my 40s, full sized car collisions, much like "Collision at Sea," the boats colliding at 5th and Wharton that I set up in 1997.

I can't be anymore grateful or honored.
I swear to god, I won't let you down, folks.


Pew Fellowships in the Arts (PFA), established by The Pew Charitable Trusts in 1991, awards grants of $50,000 to artists working in a wide variety of performing, visual, and literary disciplines. The grants provide financial support directly to the artists so that they may have the opportunity to dedicate themselves to creative pursuits exclusively. The program aims to provide such support at moments in artists’ careers when a concentration on artistic growth and exploration is most likely to have the greatest impact on an artist’s long-term professional development.

PFA is founded on the belief that the vitality of the arts today-and especially tomorrow-is dependent upon the ability of artists to create new work. Ultimately, the cultural community of a city, region, or nation cannot survive without the nourishment and stimulation that the creation of new work by living artists provides. Whether it is a performance in a concert hall, an exhibition in a museum, a poetry reading at a school, or a community arts festival, the cultural life of our society is built, fundamentally, upon its artists and the work they are able to make on an ongoing basis.

Opportunities for contemporary artists in the United States to concentrate on the development and creation of art are extremely limited. Arts institutions are devoted, for the most part, to the presentation and preservation of artworks themselves. Those institutions that do support the creative process most frequently do so on a short-term or commission basis, which restricts an individual’s ability to grow creatively over time and to experiment in his or her artistic discipline. Many artists are also beholden to marketplace pressures that may preclude experimentation.

A primary function of the fellowships is to free artists from other activities-literally, to “buy time”-so that they may focus on creative development for a considerable period. It is anticipated that the funds will be used in large part to release artists from other types of employment so that they may pursue artmaking. Grant funds may be used to support costs that include, but are not limited to, materials, assistants, training, and travel. The specific use of funds is at the discretion of the individual.

PFA makes awards to artists working in twelve different discipline categories, which rotate on a four-year cycle. Applications are accepted annually for the three discipline categories under consideration in that year. In 2000, applications were received in the areas of folk and traditional arts, painting, and scriptworks. Discipline categories reviewed in other years include choreography, craft arts, fiction and creative nonfiction, media arts, music composition, performance art, poetry, sculpture, and works on paper. Panels of distinguished artists and arts professionals from outside the five-county Philadelphia area review applications. Panelists, chosen for their expertise and aesthetic breadth, serve for one year.

Fellowship selections are made through a two-step process involving preliminary and final selection panels. Three separate preliminary panels, which are discipline-specific, review the applications and select a small pool of finalists. The final selection of fellowship recipients is made by an interdisciplinary panel, composed of artists and arts professionals representing the three discipline categories being considered that year.

Fellowships may be awarded to artists at any stage of their career development, from early to mature, and to artists working in a wide range of aesthetics and traditions. Fellowship recipients are determined according to two primary criteria. First, and most important, applicants are judged on their artistic accomplishment and future promise. Submitted work samples are the basis for this judgment. The quality of work is considered in the context of the applicant’s individual experience, training, and career stage. Second, panelists consider the impact that a fellowship will have on the applicant’s career and artistic development. The artist’s statement, along with the submitted work samples, is the basis for this judgment. Up to twelve fellowships are awarded annually to artists living and working in the five-county Philadelphia area.

Please listen to
My Love Won't Let You Down
by Bruce Springsteen
from Tracks, Disc 3

I'm taking it to the next next level, folks.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Shout Out to Carla Williams

Just so you all know, Carla Williams is the newly appointed editor of exposure, the Society for Photographic Education's bi-annual journal.

Carla's web site is superb.
Carla Williams...fully focused and all around suberb!

That's My Motto: Fuel the Fire

that's my motto