Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Artforum Critics' Pick: Tyler Show

Thanks to William Pym for the review. William is the Director of Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, as well as a writer for Artforum.

Check out William's Art Jaw story here.

Thanks for going to see the show!

Tyler Lecture Tomorrow


7725 Penrose Avenue, Elkins Park, PA

talking and talking by me

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The End Of The World

Who the hell would have known that the Bush administration would bring Armageddon on? I'm sure some people did, but I wasn't one of them. When Bush became president the first time, it was evident a coup d'├ętat had occurred. Like an ass, I thought we could just weather it with the constitution in place. I thought it would be a terrible time for the US and the world, akin to the damage Reagan and Bush, Sr. caused. Actually, I thought it might be even less because of Bush, Jr's. seeming incompetence and disinterest. But I didn't think our government would slide into a morass that appears to have no getting out of in my lifetime. When I think about the devastation caused by this administration I often feel as if I have aided and abetted them by being so complacent. In many ways, it seems as if life shouldn't have just gone on post the fraudulent 2000 elections. The coup shouldn't have been allowed to happen and I should have committed myself to helping overthrow this administration. But I didn't.

In the great complexity of my politics I am reluctant to vote, although I always do. I don't believe the American political structure functions in a manner to benefit Americans, or world citizens, and in many ways it seems immoral to vote within a system that I think is easily manipulated in order to keep a broken structure in place; a structure that most often benefits the wealthiest in the US, and the world, at the expense of the rest of us. I just had no idea how devastating the last 7 years would be. And as embarrasing as this is to admit, my lack of political comittment wasn't based on the optimism of "getting through," it was based on the complacency of "coasting through."

I've made some great work and really been focused on I-95 during the last 7 years, but in the back of my mind there's a little regret that I didn't do more to stop the Bush family juggernaut. I'm not saying I could have enacted any change, but I should have actively participated more in an attempt to stop them.

138 lets roll anxious depressed? copy

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dropping Knowledge

I wrote a whole curriculum for the If You Break The Skin kids with components similar to ideas put forth in Dropping Knowledge. Check out Dropping Knowledge by clicking above.

Nancy Spero

Nancy Spero's work has had a big influence on me and I highly recommend checking her work out.


In the last few months I've found there's lack of online imagery and information that was I certain would be a click away. Today, I was searching for any image showing Nancy Spero's scroll/hieroglyphic paintings that include an image of woman roller skating. I found nothing. I am amazed that I can't easily find them online, but sometimes I think it's great to not have everything so accessible.

I suggest buying, borrowing or checking this book out of the library to see the painting details I was searching for...

Nancy Spero
by Jon Bird, Sylvere Lotringer, Jo Anna Isaak

"American artist Nancy Spero concentrates on the depiction of women: mythological women, movie women, tortured women. Inspired by classical and modern sources, she collages and imprints her contemporary goddesses onto long, papyrus-like friezes that scroll around museum walls. Her subject matter, which has ranged from the writings of Artaud to the Vietnam War, mirrors her life; working in Paris in the cultural ferment of the 1960s, she moved to New York in the 1970s to co-establish the feminist gallery A.I.R. and to join with artists and critics such as Leon Golub, Robert Morris and Lucy R Lippard in forming the Art Workers' Coalition. Since the 1980s she has attracted international acclaim, her exquisite works giving form to feminist issues and new critical discourses."
Not related to art, politics or theory, but still a beautiful capture of 1970's culture.

P.S. Attention, academics! Just make that true for a moment; forgo a queered close reading of Matchgame PM and just enjoy Brett and Charles.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Free Kitchen Table for Lucky Bala Cynwyd Residents and Amazing Gourds for Lucky South Philadelphia Residents

This kitchen table is free. The first person to email me who can get it tonight or tomorrow gets it. It's a great table, we've had it for about 10 years. Pick up is in South Philadelphia.
OK, great news... The table was picked up by an amazing group of 4: Colleen and Keith, "the parents," and Nina and Jack, "the kids." First, I know all of them, we met at the screening of "If You Break The Skin" and they've been to I-95. I was apprehensive about giving the table away because I wanted to give it to folks who would know how much we loved it and I lucked out with having not just one person, but 4 great people take this treasure. Helllllloooooo! Score!

And they brought these amazing gourds from a Cynwyd Elementary sale, now proudly displayed in our window.

Love to your whole household. And I'd especially like to thank Nina and Jack for their support over the years.

Gay Music History

Today 12-3 Rich Garella redux at Khmer Art Gallery: Recommended

This Sat., October 27

A Special Gallery Discussion & Open House
Images of Cambodia: 1995-2003

Khmer Art Gallery
Saturday, Open House & Discussion

319 N 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

October 27 [12 noon - 3 p.m.]
Images of Cambodia: 1995-2003
Photographs by Rich Garella

Photographer, journalist, activist Rich Garella left Philadelphia in 1995 for a new life in Cambodia where he lived for nearly five years. Working first as a journalist with a daily newspaper and later for the main opposition political party, Garella has traveled extensively throughout the country - capturing a wide range of images from beautiful to stirring to captivating. Garella returns regularly to the country he grew to love. He believes that the Cambodia of today has as much to tell the world as the Cambodia of thirty years ago. Meet Garella and see his stunning photography at a special open-house event, October 27, [12 noon - 3 p.m.], hear stories, and gain insight into this fascinating and topical land on the other side of the world, before Garella heads back to Asia in the weeks ahead.

Khmer Art Gallery is Philadelphia's only art venue dedicated to Cambodian works. Artwork is selected to demonstrate the historical and artistic values of ancient Cambodia with modern works expressing contemporary perspectives. Khmer Art Gallery's expansive collection includes an astounding array of sculptures, paintings, bronze and silver works, jewelry, musical instruments and the city's largest collection of Buddhas. Khmer Art Gallery is located at 319 N. 11th St., just north of Chinatown proper, in the new loft district, home to a spate of new and newly relocated galleries. Khmer Art Gallery is open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 p.m.-4 p.m. and by appointment. Call 215-922-5600; or go to
truth or consquences couple applying makeup_web.jpg
Couple in Truth or Consequences, NM

Friday, October 26, 2007

FEMA fake Press Conference

FEMA staged a sham press conference... FEMA employees played the part of independent reporters Tuesday and asked questions of Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the agency's deputy director. "I'm very happy with FEMA's response," responded Johnson.

It seems as if this is a fucking joke... except not. "Harvey, you're doing a heckuva job!"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Women to Watch: Photography in Philadelphia

The opening was great. Overall a great success, I was only sorry that I didn't get a chance to say good bye to a few folks. I thought the show looked great and loved my slide show set up. It's an honor to be be included in this show and I am particularly thrilled to be in a show with Eileen Neff.

If you live within several hundred miles of the Philadelphia ICA, you shouldn't miss her show there...Eileen Neff: Between Us


Women to Watch: Photography in Philadelphia

October 26, 2007 - December 9, 2007

Women to Watch: Photography in Philadelphia features new or recent work by five Philadelphia-based photographers. The photographers, selected by Susan Fisher Sterling, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C., include established Philadelphia artists: Alida Fish, Eileen Neff, Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, Clarissa Sligh, and Deborah Willis as well as emerging talents: Genevieve Coutroubis, Sarah Stolfa, and Zoe Strauss. The exhibition is organized by the Pennsylvania State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in cooperation with The Galleries at Moore. The exhibition has been developed in conjunction with NMWA's Women to Watch biennial exhibition, a new state and international committee program which will open at the Museum in Washington, D.C. in March 2008.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The Tyler show is mostly installed, friends. There's 2 components to the show; real slides, not digital, projected onto 3 walls and a small pushpin installation in the front room. Of course I thought it would be an hour to do everything and I ended up being there from 10 to 7. Why am I so mental? That I can not answer.

The push pin installation is different that I had anticipated and is a genuine result of looking at some of my new work from the last few months. It's akin to the kind of first edit I do prior to putting a "works-in-progress "slide show together.

And I love "Produce," the student group that asked me to do this show... their curatorial and gallery team is powerpacked. Powerpacked! Because I liked the group so much I opted to use the space like a project space, meaning that I'll change the order of the pushpin exhibit during the course of the show and actually use the space for real work, as opposed to a static installation. In addition, this is the first time I have ever shown slides using a slide projector and the first time I've used more than one wall in a projection installation. I've thought quite a bit about a multi channel projection from a laptop but I've never really thought about slides, so it's thrilling to think about projected images using a format other than a digital/laptop projection. In ordering the slides I found it a more rigid and formal process than my usual, but I also found the real slides to be warmer, and truer, than the images projected from my computer.

"Produce Exhibitions Program is a student-run organization at Tyler School of Art. Our goal is to present the work of professional artists and to create a dialogue between them and Tyler students and faculty. Produce curates one show each semester with the guidance from the Exhibitions and Public Programs Department at Tyler. Previous artists include Tim Murphy, Jon Manteau, Quentin Davis, Nelson Loskamp, Benjamin Kinsley, Steven Lam, and David Howe."

Special thanks to
Michelle "Bev"

and thanks to
and all who helped with the installation

These kids don't need no guidance! They're killing it!

OCTOBER 24, 2007
Reception at 6pm

Zoe Strauss: Images Works in Progress

At Tyler and Penrose Galleries
on Tyler School of Art campus

7725 Penrose Avenue
Elkins Park, PA 19027


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Technical Talk with Zoe Strauss!

I know I've been out of it, friends. Many, many things have been going on. Oh my, many things.

But now it's time for a new section of my blog; "Technical Talk with Zoe Strauss!"

Without further ado...

"Technical Talk with Zoe Strauss! Part I"

Here's my camera line up

Canon 35mm Rebel
Minolta Dimage 3.5 Megapixel point and shoot
Nikon D70

and now I have chosen the next in line...

Nikon D300!

Much thought went into this decision, believe me you. I have loved the D70, but I've had a few issues with it in the last few months. The only complaint I'd ever had was that the raw image, shot as jpg or raw, was often too blue or cyan. But now, all of a sudden, the exposure can be off. Also, I now occasionally get a tremendous amount of noise/grain or loss of resolution when using P (program function).

The above details are from the photo below... the photos preceding and following this one don't have the same resolution loss and I was using the exact same settings. I know! What the fuck?!?

ken and don 5_2 web.jpg

I like to go all automatic all the time, but use P when I don't want the fill flash, particularly inside, and when I don't have time for manual.

I heard that the Nikon D200 had some exposure issues... the light meter or shutter speed can be off. This has been a consistent complaint with D200 users, including my stellar intern who owns a D200. Look, I ain't fooling around with bracketing and shit! I just want to make the photo! There's moments when I inconvenience a stranger by asking to make their photo and I'm going to take the least amount of time as I can.
Anyway, there were also a few other issues which made me think I would be going with the Canon equivalent; I did really love my Canon Eos Rebel. But when I went to actually take a look at the cameras (not the d300, which isn't out until November or December) I was all about sticking with a Nikon. Apparently, the d300 is fixing many of the complaints folks had with the d200. They better fucking be fixed because I am going to shoot that motherfucking d300 into the ground. Plans are made! Except for the "using money to pay for the camera" aspect, I'm ready to go!

Slide Shows Postponed til Jan

Date to be announced in late November.

But there's plenty coming up! Plenty!

OCTOBER 24, 2007
Reception at 6pm

Zoe Strauss: Images Works in Progress

At Tyler and Penrose Galleries
on Tyler School of Art campus

7725 Penrose Avenue
Elkins Park, PA 19027



OCTOBER 25, 2007
Reception from 6 to 8 pm

Women to Watch: Photography in Philadelphia

Reception: Thursday, October 25, from 6 - 8 pm

Levy Gallery at Moore College of Art
20th St. & The Parkway
October 26, 2007 - December 9, 2007



NOVEMBER 7, 2007
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

If You Break The Skin, You Must Come In Screening

At the 2007 First Person Festival

First Person Stage
2111 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA

Wed November 7th, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

The documentary If You Break the Skin, You Must Come In does more than just scratch the surface of the lives it examines. When a group of adolescents in foster care were chosen to make a film about maverick photographer Zoe Strauss, the process turned inside out by having them turn the camera on themselves. The result is a sobering, but ultimately uplifting, look at using art to find joy and magic in the world that surrounds us. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Strauss, the director David Kessler and the young filmmakers; one of whom, Charday Laverty, also curated a show of her photographs that will be on exhibit throughout the festival.

PLUS, a the panel discussion following the film will be awesome.

$10 (It's totally worth it)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I love Leonard Nimoy.

Look, everyone knows I'm a giant science fiction fan. But did you know am a #1 Spock fan? And I'm a big fan of the original Star Trek series... groundbreaking and important.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Working during the middle of the day? Helloooooo, "sick day!"

OCTOBER 12, 2007
12:00 – 1:45 pm

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
1201 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Philadelphia Marriott Room 403.

Contemporary Public Art in Philadelphia: An Artist's Talk with Zoe Strauss and Julia Bryan-Wilson.
This conversation reflecting the program committee's special interest in the arts and activism will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Room 403. No tickets are required.

As part of the Annual American Studies Conference.


What It Means To Be In Love.

I need a lot of sleep... I would say realistically 10 hours a day. For real.

Today I slept from around 11 to a little before 1 and then got up, a little groggy, and went to the CVS to pick up a witches brew of serotonin and histamine drugs for myself. I'm working on a lineup like the photo below, with my own bottles from the same CVS.

leo's mantle with medications 2 web leo

At the pharmacy counter, two women were giving out flu shots; a young and very beautiful African-American woman with long hair and an older and heavier white woman in a housecoat. As I got up to the counter, a crazy old woman in a blond wig and a tube top under an open sweater, probably in her late 70s, was harassing the flu shot givers and going at the housecoat shot giver.
(Please note that while the tube top wearer's look was interesting, and is far cry from the dominate look among over 70 South Philly women (housecoat, rolled down socks and scuffs), a tube top in any age group here is not such an atypical look that one would think "She's crazy!")

Here are some of the quotes I heard from crazy tube top...
"You're a fucking fat pig!" "You need to lose that weight, you're fat" and "You look like a fat piece of shit." Oh my GOD, this lady was out of her fucking mind!

The housecoat flu shot giver was saying "Thank You!" and laughing but the woman who was receiving the flu shot at that moment was NOT amused and neither was the other flu shot giver.

As a matter of fact, the young flu shot giver told me that this same crazy tube top woman had hovered around them when they were at the Pathmark, cursing and harassing them, and the young flu shot giver had to tell her to leave or she would call the cops. And she said that the crazy lady had parked next to them in the Pathmark parking lot...which prompted a young Hispanic man getting an injection right into the tattoo on his left bicep to say with real shock, "She can drive?!?!" and the young flu shot giver said "Mmmmhmm, and she can follow the same route that brought her to that parking spot right back out."

So the housecoat flu shot giver was administering a shot to a old woman who had a hairdo much like my late Aunt Midge, hardly any hair, practically bald, but the little that's there is high and styled like a cocoon that's just begun to be spun, allowing a person to see right through it. The little bit of hair this lady had was dyed jet black. Leaving with my giant bag of pills, I heard housecoat flu shot giver say, "I've got diabetes and they think I might have uterine cancer" to the woman as she was swabbing her injection site with an alcohol pad...the woman with the black see through hair grabbed her arm, hard, and said, "It'll all work out, Hon."

When I turned up the hair aisle, the crazy harassing tube top lady was standing with a NUN IN FULL HABIT! Obviously, I took a photo with my cell phone immediately. And I almost went back to show the flu shot givers, but decided they'd had enough of this lady. I eased past the nun pretending to look at shampoos and heard crazy harassing tube top lady say to the nun, "When G-d brought me back..." They were holding hands super tight and the nun gave me a look of long suffering with a little bit of "help me!" in it. So much for patience of a saint.

At the front of the store, two women in line were hugging each other as tight as the nun and crazy tube top were holding hands. They were hugging and rocking back and forth with great joy and speaking in Spanish.

And the cashier turned and yelled to someone I couldn't see in the makeup aisle, "Don't give me a dirty look! You're getting chicken cutlets now!"

Woman at US/Mexico Border

There's slight differences among these, but I'm pretty sure no matter which one I go with that I want to warm up the browns a little.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

David Kessler on the COVER of the Philadelphia Weekly

Holy SHIT! Click on the title link and read this article right away! THE COVER!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Back from Texas and New Mexico. I forgot the power cord for my mac, and it's an older model that meant I couldn't buy one in El no computer for 4 days. It was good and bad. I had planned to do work during the trip and no way to to tell folks I couldn't do it. But it was also a dream. Man, it was great. It helped me plan for the upcoming trips a thousand times better than if I ran back to the hotel room and began uploading photos and checking email.

I am super tired, but will begin editing and checking out photos today, after another 5 or 6 hours of sleep.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

An awesome photo from the high school reunion.
Dawn, Shahida and me

Shabbat Shalom! Check out this article about me by Yasha Wallin in this Month's Heeb Magazine!

I have been having some crazy health issues as of late... a bizarre sensation that is best described as "significant discomfort" in my right arm and leg. I had a CT scan yesterday, no bleeding and no mass, and will be having a MRI when I get back from Trinity. My new neurologist cleared me to go and said no rush on the MRI, which is a HUGE RELIEF. I have had some insane neurological action happening for approximately the last 12 years, palatal myoclonus, which means that I have to pay extra attention to any sort of symptoms that could indicate MS and that's kind of a pain in the ass, but what am I going to do? That's just how it is.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Posting is slow, and will be so for the next week.


Monday, October 01, 2007

High Hopes

Next time you're found, with your chin on the ground
There a lot to be learned, so look around

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant

But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

So any time your gettin’ low
’stead of lettin’ go
Just remember that ant
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant

When troubles call, and your back’s to the wall
There a lot to be learned, that wall could fall

Once there was a silly old ram
Thought he’d punch a hole in a dam
No one could make that ram, scram
He kept buttin’ that dam

’cause he had high hopes, he had high hopes
He had high apple pie, in the sky hopes

So any time your feelin’ bad
’stead of feelin’ sad
Just remember that ram
Oops there goes a billion kilowatt dam

All problems just a toy balloon
They’ll be bursted soon
They’re just bound to go pop
Oops there goes another problem kerplop

Writer(s): cahn/van heusen

NL East Champs