Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Ok, so the 2nd of the Whitney openings happened tonight. I was only at the one for the artists last night for a few minutes, I was having some crazy technical problems which were solved by the amazing Ron but I didn't leave the Whitney until about midnight.

The best people at the opening...

Lynn Bloom
Ilene Baker
Savannah Roberts

Many surprising things, the first being how much I like the people working at the Whitney.

Also, I was pleased to see that Daniel Johnston made the opening. His works in the show are amazing.

Here is a list of celebrities who were at the opening...

Kim Gordon
Thurston Moore
John Waters
David Byrne
Chloe Sevigny

So far this has been awesome. Thanks to my lady for coming up with me. I am sound asleep so more tomorrow.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Great News

The laptop is repaired and email is up and running and I am back in business. Look out!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Birthday of the Greatest Person on Earth

Feb 25th is Lynn Bloom's birthday.

Happy Birthday, #1.

Philadelphia Mag

Ok, my dream has come true, I am in this issue of Philadelphia Magazine, on page 28. A shout out to my man Matt Schwartz for the writing. Yes, Matt Schwartz is great!

I am unable to scan in the page but will do so when I get my computer back.

Actually, my biggest dream is to have a photo of me and LB in Philadelphia magazine with me taking a photo of her leaning on a baseball bat and have it say something about "Philadelphia's New Power Couple." Maybe it's best that that doesn't happen because the excitement over a photo of "Philadelphia's New Power Couple" could actually cause me to die.

Friday, February 24, 2006



I have lost quite a bit of email during my computer crash. As you might know, I am very behind on returning my emails so I have lost a least a week of unresponded to notes. Because of this, it is possible that I have lost your request for photos or an email exchange or response. Please feel free to email me again although at this point it will probably be up to 2 weeks before I can get back to folks...my laptop is in the shop for a few days minimum and I will be in New York with limited access to email for a week.
Well, friends, some crazy shit is going down.

1. My laptop is stone cold busted and that is VERY VERY BIG TROUBLE for me. Fortunately, the info is still on it, it just needs to be transferred but that is an enormously long and tedious task. Plus, it's possible that I have lost all my email and that would be real bad.

2. Whitney update. I saw my room, it's unbelievable, I love it.
There were some technical difficulties, but they will be fixed by the amazing Ron. The images projected looked amazing.


I am bringing my laptop in to see if the stuff can be saved but I will not be able to answer any emails at all today. Please call me if you need me.

Laptop crashed

so quite a bit of work because it won't even open more later.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I wish I could have fit this one into the slide show

Announcing May Hours at 838 Cantrell

Beginning May 13th, I will be having regular studio hours at 838 Cantrell St. Folks will be able to swing by and pick up the photos that they want, as well as taking a look at what I have going on with my work.

Just putting this out there. Next week the Whitney opens, April 22nd the Ramp Project at the ICA opens, May 6th is Under I-95 so I am working about 200 hours a day for the next 2 months. I know May 13 is a long time to wait, but you can do it!


838 Cantrell


and by appointment


Next Level Insanity

I am, as usual, super behind on returning emails. However, I am working on it and will be getting all responses done TODAY!

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Abu Ghraib files- Salon

"Never-published photos, and an internal Army report, show more Iraqi prisoner abuse -- evidence the government is fighting to hide."

Welfare Office

142-dwp star search .jpg
This photo was made in my welfare office on Buttonwood St. I was on welfare for over 4 years and our South Philly office moved to Buttonwood St. which is right at 10th and Spring Garden. Now, I don't know why the hell did the Department of Public Welfare thought it was a good idea to make people from South Philly go all the way to 10th and Spring Garden but who can guess the inner workings of the DPW. This was made right at the end of my being on welfare, right after my last visit with a caseworker.

It's not one of my favorites, but it has some interesting and strong components and, obviously, a strong personal history aspect to it. It's made in it to the beginning of the slide show and will probably make it into I-95 again this year.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Email Issues part II

I am now getting email direct from my website, but many didn't go through yesterday. If you emailed me through the "Contact Zoe" page on my website yesterday, I didn't receive it. Just email me again through the site or direct at info@zoestrauss.com.

Zoe Strauss Photo of the Week Club.

Hey Friends,

Just send me an email at info@zoestrauss.com with "subscribe" in the header and I will send you a photo a week.

Willie Nelson

"Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)" may be the first gay cowboy song by a major recording artist.

Someone passed a copy of this song to Willie Nelson back in the late 1980s and, according to Nelson's record label, Lost Highway, he recorded it last year at his Pedernales studio in Texas."

OK, first, this song rules.
Second, Willie Nelson has always ruled and will always rule.

Thanks to the BVSC for directing me to this great news.


Now that the Whitney stuff is up there and being installed this moment...


Low Pressure Sodium Vapor Street Lights

Now look at these photos!

lifting shirt

colonial village lady3-1web.jpg
When making a photo on the street at night, it's very important to retain the orange of the light from our street lights. A flash can help to light it up, but the feel should be all orange.


Ah, friends, so you might have heard that I'm going to be having some stuff in the Whitney Biennial.

I will be showing a works-in-progress slideshow at the Whitney.

208 images will be projected. Most of the images will be projected at 5 seconds a piece. The shortest image projection will be 4 seconds and the longest image projection will be 10 seconds.

As I've said before, these works-in-progress slide shows are an important tool for helping me see different possibilities for the ordering of the photos under I-95 and for choosing which photos ultimately make it in for May. And that's what the Whitney's getting, a slide show that's helping me figure out the best possible placement for the 2006 May 95 installation.

Like the I-95 installation, I have worked on the slideshows so that you can enter the projection room at the Whitney at anytime, begin viewing and stay either 2 minutes or 10 minutes and still get a strong sense of my work.

Several of the photos in the slideshows will never make it to Under 95 and several of the photos that will be included in this year's May show won't be included in the slideshows.

lifting shirt

The above image is not one of my stronger images by a longshot. But it's a image that carries the photo projected before it into the photo projected after this image and a bridge is important between those two photos. This photo of lifting up a shirt in the street at night evokes a feeling that I want to put forth at this particular time during the slideshow. I went back and forth about including this photo and finally decided that it does it's job well enough for right now. But it can't hold it's own in the 95 installation.

72 giant mouth pleasures21.jpg

Now this is a photo I love and it will definitely be in this May's show, but it couldn't be included in the slideshows. It's too difficult to place this in the slideshows without losing the image that would follow it.

Several photos with text in them also didn't make the slideshows but will be included in 95. Because the projection will be going at a super fast pace, too much text is overwhelming for the overall feel of the show. Also, there's no way to override the sense that the photos with text could be read by some as captions for the architectural images or the portraits that precede or follow them, and that's not how I want folks to read the show. The photos with text are connected to the other images, but obviously not literally descriptive, and I don't even want a hint of direct commentary on the preceding and following photos.

62 we love to see you smile.jpg

This photo is a good example of how the text images can work in one format and not another. This photo can be read in a number of ways but sandwiched between two projected images, the "We love to see you smile" becomes attached to the before and after photos urging the viewer to read it as descriptive of the pre and post photos.

Under 95 there is a lot of space between the photos and that allows for more text heavy images.

mattresses asbury

This photo made it in to the slideshows and it was kind of a surprise to me. I hadn't though much about this photo after having made it this summer but it makes sense in the context of the whole show. As I thought more about this image, it makes sense on it's own and is a contender for the May show this year.

Just so you know, I'm bringing it at the Whitney. WHOOOOOO!
colonial village lady3-1web.jpg
Feel free to click on any of the photos on my blog. They will take you to my flickr page.

The Block of Champions

al midnight new year's eve 2006-3-1web

Well, the paper came out and at 8am, I got a call from Antoinette. Pictured above is Al, Antoinette's husband, in the doorway of their house across which is across the street from our house.

Antoinette was so excited about the article, "oh we're so thrilled" and "how do you say it in Jewish? Kinna Hurah!"

(I'm not sure why, but many of my Italian neighbors are super into my being a Jew and are always breaking out with, "Mazel Tov" and Yiddish sayings. I'm not kidding. Even Bobby who's all hopped on Lithium was all about "Happy Hanukkah.")

So that phone call was truly great. Then later on in the day, I talked to Karen Heller (I had called her to thank her for such an amazing piece) and Antoinette had called Karen right after she read the article and said how happy they were to have me and LB for neighbors! WHAT?! HOW GREAT IS THAT!

Then later, I got a note in the door from my other across the street neighbors, the superb Little Charles and his awesome mother Annette, "Congratulations on winning the Whitney award." Then today I had a card from other neighbors, Candy and Krissy, "we're proud of you."

South Philly, my friends.

Dick Cheney is a dick

Yes, Dick Cheney did shoot someone in the face, and that is huge news. But what about Scooter Libby's testimony this week? I think that's bigger than our vice president shooting someone and then not reporting it to the police until 18 hours later.

My hope eternal thing is really hard pressed with the Bush administration in power. I fear that we are in a time where our rights are being eroded so quickly that as we constantly fend off the huge abuses of power, we can't help but lose some of the smaller battles over basic human rights.

Look, we came through the 80's, and if we keep plugging away we can knock this fucked up administration right on it's ass. Or shoot it with buck shot and disable it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Email Issues

I am having a number of communication issues today...I don't seem to be receiving emails direct from my website. Please email me directly at info@zoestrauss.com
Holla at your girl.



Friends, I am burning the works-in-progress slideshows to a CD right now and then driving over to Fedex and overnighting them to the Whitney. I am nauseous.

Please return tomorrow for fascinating commentary on my work when I am more coherent and insightful. Right now, I am a nervous wreck and close to vomiting.

Zoe Strauss and Dick Cheney shoots someone in the face!

What better news could I have shared the front page with? Maybe if someone shot Dick Cheney in the face and then waited over 12 hours to call the police. That could top it.


Hey, my mailbox was full this morning on my cell phone, so if you called earlier I might have missed your call. Just call back!


Um, yeah, here's a front page article about me in today's Inquirer.

First, what a great article. Karen Heller wrote it and she did an amazing job getting me down. Karen is a pleasure to be with and, obviously, a great asset to Philadelphia journalism. Thanks, Karen!

And next, Tom Gralish tore up with the photos.

I have many, many other things to say but I am finishing the Whitney stuff right now and will have a longer discussion later.

Inquirer Slideshow

Saturday, February 11, 2006

838 Cantrell St.

At long last the search for a studio is done. I am now a landowner.

Please let me introduce 838 Cantrell St.

I can not love this house any more. The block is great, the house is great, I couldn't ask for anything better. Prepare now for a summer opening.

joe making a save web
Here is one of the across the street neighbors making a save. The new studio is on the right with the black iron door.

838 CANTRELL. 100% YES.

kitchen floor web

the little room web

twin beds web

My only fear about the new studio is that it's too comfortable. Upon entering the house there is an unbelievably strong desire to lay down on the carpet in front of the tv on a tv. This home is phenomenally similar to my grandparents home in feel and it will be difficult to clear out the furniture and paint the living room. Obviously, I will not be painting the stair wall paneling or removing the carpet.

tv on a tv web

Obviously, I will be keeping Frank on a mirror.

BREAKING NEWS! I have been informed by Cousin Ellen that there is a nearly identical montage of Francis Albert in my Aunt Mary's house. Worth noting is that my Aunt Mary claims Sinatra not only as her favorite singer, but also her favorite actor.

Also, a nearly identical montage of Francis Albert lives in LB's grandmother's house. Not on a mirror, but on white paper.

Also, no, my grandparents did not have a nearly identical montage of Francis Albert in their home. They did however have a Rabbi on black velvet which my grandfather brought home from Tijuana.

frank 3-1web

The color in these photos is very true, so warm inside with incandescent light and so blue outside. It's like a dream.

frank with love-1web

This says it all, baby

Friday, February 10, 2006

Elle Magazine


I know when you think "Elle Magazine", you generally don't think "Zoe Strauss." Well, naysayers, feast your eyes on this on page 264 of this month's Elle.

elle article_0002

This is just a little focus on 3 of the photographers in the coming Whitney Biennial, me, Hanna Liden and Angela Strassheim. I am eager to meet them.

838 Cantrell St

frank 3-1web

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Belated Rip Grandpa Al Lewis

"I've been in the struggle over seventy years - it doesn't bother me I may not win."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Daughters of D-Day

Check out this great article about my Mom's new project...

Daughters of D-Day.

Ilene Baker and Joseph Baker
Mother and Grandfather
Also, I have been working on video clips of the slide shows so I can post them. More on that later.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Public Space

Also, check out this new literary magazine. Yes, yes, one of my photos is on the cover, but I would be championing it regardless.

The premier issue will be released on Feburary 15 and has 2 articles of great interest to me...both on mining. I'm also really into reading the piece on Hollywood during the McCarthy era. Actually, if they had included pieces on the Hindenburg, lesbian erotica and the history of Philadelphia, it would have literally been written for me. Don't miss it friends.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Ok, I'm shopping for some clothes and all but why, WHY, isn't there a fatite section in department stores? Fatite meaning fat and petite. Seriously, where's the love for fatite ladies like myself?


Check out this month's issue of Colors magazine page 92 and 93, because this photo is in it. The printed issue is little this time and looks great.

everything store8-1web

This issue is "Best Wishes" and includes the wishes from regular people from around the world.

The wish on my page is, "I don't have any one," and that is Ali Poureslami's wish.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Rocky VI

The time has come to reveal the meaning of these photos...the filming of Rocky 6 on Dickinson St.

rocky say hi to my momweb
Ok, this lady is yelling, "ROCKY, SAY HI TO MY MOM."

woman in pink watching rocky-1web

man meeting sly stalone web
This guy was giving a heart-felt speech to Sly.

neighbors watching rocky shoot web
These neighbors watched the filming outside of our house. The dialogue was pretty amazing and included Sly saying to his fake son, "That's for cowards, and you ain't a coward!"

We heard that about 200 times.

I have much more to say about this so prepare for additional commentary.