The making of a self-portrait is difficult.
At least for me.
Here's a shot of my hand and my latest victim, Candace. Wonderful, I know. This is what happens when I am blocking the shot. And I mean "blocking" theatrically, not like my hand is in the shot, yo.
Determining the shot is fine. Lighting it is a no-brainer. The model is always perfect (with direction).
So what's the difficulty?
I'm a self-conscious bitch. And that's all well and neutortic, BUT, this is a photographic series that needs some consistency. And I need to provide that.
How's my hair? Am I smirking? Where the fuck are my hands and what the fuck are they doing? Really, do I look like that?
As Pete Townshend famously said in 1982, "It's fucking hard."
All of my victims have been patient. The best ones found humour in my preening all queen-like. And laughed at me. I like that. Candace did.
But I'd like to think that it pays off. One way or the other...
Cover Star: Candace
Headlining Band: Duh (demo)
Just waiting for a royalties lawsuit from the RIAA...or Courtney's people to fax me...
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Cough. Cough. Cough.
Can't shake this thing that gripped me last Thursday.
The plague? Probably...
Makes it hard to smoke, ya know?
This is how mankind will go down, this is our future. Mark my typing...
My two photos from The Dirty Show arrived safely last week back from Detroit. Detroit! We love you! And we feel your economic deficit! Hang in there, Motor City! But buy some shit, yo!
The photo above is of Cristi wearing THE FURRY THING her mother donated for the shoot. Turned out that it turned out pretty damned cool. Way damned cool, in fact. Stacy helped. We love Stacy (see link to the right).
I feel like shit, but the last twelve days were the best I've had in a year and a half.
And that's nothing to cough at.
Cover Star: Cristi
Headlining Band: Da Smiphs
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
A calm has descended, both internally and externally. The external, understandable and magical and beautiful, the internal, a mystery. Perhaps it's part and parcel of the external? Perhaps it's set and setting? Perhaps it's due to change - the country, my work, my medicine cabinet, my head and my heart?
There is calm, for the first time in 14 months. And I wholeheartedly embrace it and all of it's messengers.
The battle, of course - and it's a delicate, delicate balance - is to not embrace too hard. Savor it, be appreciative and thank your lucky stars for every second. Don't try to own it, trap it, bottle it or wallow in it.
Just be. Calm.
Working on it...calmly.
I took this photo of Andrea Grant in November of 2007 at her apartment after she shot a commercial for Johnny Walker earlier in the day. She wore the dress in the commercial and kept it on for me. We had a cocktail, I set up my lights and she stood there. Time for the entire shot to be realized - 5 minutes. Confident and Calm.
Working on it, again...confidently.
When Rufus Wainwright wrote this song last year, it seemed to me to be a beautiful, barb-laden, anti-administration lament. It doesn't feel the same anymore due to change, but just listen - it's STILL brilliant. And reminds me that things were bad. REALLY bad. "Been burned down..."
Cover Star: Andrea
Headlining Band: Rufus Wainwright
Monday, February 09, 2009
Saturday, February 07, 2009
What I saw today:
I saw an Iron Queen have a near-meltdown, but crisis averted.
I saw a life-sized wookie, who said to me, "James, I gotta get out of this fucking suit!"
I saw some chick dressed in a white cape with a white bustier and white panties posing for photos.
I saw a bunch of fat, pimply guys with questionable facial hair.
I saw a bunch of astoundingly overvalued comic books.
I saw a Vampirella cover painting priced at $15,000.00.
I saw a whole lot of "Watchmen" shit...
Sometimes, I cannot believe the world we live in.
Sometimes, it makes perfect sense.
I'm glad to be home.
Cover Star: Katy
Headlining Band: The Sonic Youth
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
The "Self-Portrait" series has been dusted off, resurrected and resuscitated. Renewed interest by an outside source FORCED me to shoot this last night.
I didn't want to do it.
Really I didn't.
Look for more. Or don't. I don't care.
And in uplifting news, Lux Interior from The Cramps is dead at 62 from an "existing heart condition." Fuck.
If you never saw the Cramps, you won't now. I did. Twice. And their "Tear It Up" in "Urghh, A Music War" was what grabbed me as a teenager...and made me frightened and fascinated.
RIP, Erick Lee Purkhiser.
It's Wednesday. In February. Two Thousand Nine?
Do I have an existing heart condition? My doctor says no...
Cover Star: Katy
Headlining Band: The Cramps
It feels like Tuesday. A Tuesday in February.
Cover Star: Katy
Headlining Band: Nancy & Lee
Monday, February 02, 2009
- My favorite Moby album is (no surprise) his punk rock/guitar album "Animal Rights." Back in 1997 when I was a music reviewer for AOL, I ranked it as my #1 album of the year. That's how much I liked it. And I probably haven't listened to it since. So the other night, I suddenly had a hankering to hear it eleven years later...and, for it, I looked and I looked and I looked. NOTHING frustrates me more than not being able to find the one record that's banging through your brain. So, after an hour or so, looking everywhere it could possibly be, I concluded that I must have loaned it to some ungrateful bitch (gender agnostic) who still has it. Sigh. So a little trip to eBay and today my "new" copy of "Animal Rights" showed up in my mail box. Crisis averted, although I HATE buying shit TWICE.
- Did a location scout for my shoot tomorrow night. Man, it feels good to do that. Great apartment directly overlooking the World Trade Center Hole - seriously, as close as you can get. It is on loan from the model's friend who would like to list it as a film/television location here in the city. I told her that in exchange for letting us use it, I'd help her do that. It's well decorated, modern, really high ceilings and most importantly is new to me. I love working with new locations. Oddly enough I prefer working with models who I've worked with before. And that's exactly the situation here. Photos to come.
- I think my two prints got to The Dirty Show today instead of Friday, today being the final drop-dead day. That's cutting it a little too close. I still don't know if the lab marked them 2 day instead of overnight or if Fed Ex just decided to take their time (or maybe, just maybe there was incliment weather), but it's just too damn close for my constitution.
- I scanned negs until 7am this morning. When I get on a roll, I get on a roll.
- I actually watched The Stupidbowl last night at a friend's house in Washington Heights. And I gotta admit that even though I could care less about professional sports, that 4th quarter was something to see. Wish I had put money on Pittsburgh...although I know I would have bet on the Cardinals.
- It feels like Monday. A Monday in January.
Cover Star: Location Scout Shot
Headlining Band: Moby
There are holy places in my apartment. My kitchen table is one of them.
You can sit there with me and have a drink or a smoke or watch me develop film, but mostly there, you can tell me things.
And I will listen. And tell you things too.
As long as you are invited to do so.
Cover Star: Libby
Headlining Band: AMC
Sunday, February 01, 2009
"The world is like a ride at an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it, you think it's real, because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round and it has thrills and chills and it's very brightly colored and it's very loud. And it's fun, for a while.
Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: 'Is this real? Or is this just a ride?' And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and they say 'Hey! Don't worry, don't be afraid - ever - because... this is just a ride.' And we kill those people.
'Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride! Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry; look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.'
It's just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that - ever notice that? - and we let the demons run amok. But it doesn't matter, because... it's just a ride, and we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort. No worry. No job. No savings and money. Just a choice, right now, between fear...and love."
- Bill Hicks
I choose love.
Holy shit. Letterman does the right thing 15 years too late! Maybe he's sick?
Cover Star: Severine
Headlining Band: AMC