The artwork of Australian-Iraqi artist Toba Khedoori leaves a distinct impression. Her works are primarily finely detailed, photo-realistic pencil drawings in monochromatic lead or color on massive sheets of waxed paper. The drawings tend to be focused on discrete, single objects set in a vast emptiness — a chair, a fence, a door — or a piece removed from its larger architectural context — rows and rows of seats from a theater or, as in the example pictured here, a fireplace. It’s one of a series of drawings of fireplaces currently on view as part of her solo show at LACMA in Los Angeles. The drawing has a trompe l’oeil quality but has none of the cheap gimmickry of that anachronistic decorative conceit. Looking at the drawing from afar, it appears as if there’s an actual fireplace recessed into the gallery wall.
On a recent visit to the Arcana bookstore in Culver City, in Los Angeles, we checked out some beautiful coffee-table books on surfing and surf photography. Among these was a book titled “Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume: 1936-1942.” It’s a collection of sepia-toned photos by Don James documenting his surfing experience and his surfer friends and their lifestyle in Southern California during the pre-World War II era and early war years. The photos reveal what the surfing life was like in its first idyllic golden age when the Hawaiian “sport of kings” was still novel and taking root in California.
Time magazine recently published the “100 Most Influential Images of All Time.” It’s a stunning mixed collection of iconic, powerful and beautiful images. Among these images is the first photograph ever taken, a picture from 1826 titled simply “View from the Window at Le Gras.” The image shown above is a 1968 photo titled “The Invasion of Prague.” It’s one of our favorites.
The New York Times Style magazine “T” recently published an excellent feature on photographer William Eggleston, considered the pioneer of color photography. The article was written by Augesten Burroughs and offers images of Eggleston (like the one below) shot by another influential photographer, Wolfgang Tillmans. The online version includes video by Tillmans and a slideshow of some never-before-published images by Eggleston. Great stuff and a must read for fans of the photographer and his style.
Photographer Mike Kelley photographed airplanes taking off from airports around the world and then composited the images to provide a visualization of all the various airlines and takeoffs. Kelley calls these “Airportraits.” You can view more of these images on his website. The image of LAX above was used for the front cover photo of Nicholas Felton’s recent data-visualization book “PhotoViz.”
This blown-up black-and-white image is a fitting street-art tribute to the late great actor-comedian Robin Williams. The photo adorns a construction-site hoarding next to a popular book shop in the Mission District of San Francisco, where Williams had lived for many years and where he spent his early career working the local stand-up comedy club scene. In the photo, Williams is young, bearded, almost feral with a poignant, restrained intensity. In context of the city’s visual clutter, the image manages stands out.
This framed image of pop superstar Lady Gaga pictured below is one of many such celebrity portraits by the accomplished photographer Martin Schoeller currently on view at the Hasted Kraeutler gallery in New York. (To the left of Gaga is portrait of artist Jeff Koons and on her right is one of actor-comedian Zach Galifinakis.)
We’re loving Acid, a fresh and artsy surf magazine based in Europe. In issue Number 2, pictured here, there’s beautiful photography and photo essays and fascinating personal essays about surf adventures in unlikely places like the southeast of England where waves are extremely rare and the Eisbach River in Munich, Germany, hundreds of miles from the sea and many more from an oceanic surf break.
This past Friday we went out to Rough Trade New York in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for a performance by Swedish indie-electronic duo I Break Horses. The band were joined by a live drummer and in spite of some old-school analog-synth equipment needing reboot during the show, they sounded great in Rough Trade’s perfect cavernous performance space.
This stenciled “Smoke Trees” wheat-pasted street art poster in the Lower East Side of New York City has a graphical, lo-fi propaganda feel. The bear iconography and message harkens to Smoky the Bear and public service ad campaigns to create awareness about forest fire prevention. The message here is subversive and explicit, though unclear. The colors are beautiful and and make for a striking visual on the side of the general clutter of the graffiti- and street art-bombed Jay Maisel Building at the corner of Spring Street and the Bowery.
We love this book of photographs by the renowned Swiss artist duo of Peter Fischli and David Weiss. “800 Views of Airports” is precisely that: A collection photos taken by Fischli and Weiss at airports visited on travels around the world throughout their decades-long career. The volume is the definition of coffee-table book. “800 Views” is textless. There are no captions, no labels, nothing to indicate where and when the photos was taken. This curatorial, editorial concision gives the hefty tome some mystique and only adds to its beauty. For the well-traveled, many of the airports may be easily identifiable — Tokyo Narita, JFK, London Heathrow, Schipol, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Malpensa — though there are a bunch of photos taken at an airfield that few would recognize, a place where de-commissioned commercial aircraft are put out to pasture.
The 33rd photo in our What’s Outside the Window? photo project series is this view looking out the door window of the J train on the Williamsburg Bridge as it approaches the Marcy Avenue subway station in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The view looks north up Bedford Avenue with a tenement building covered in graffiti in the center and a painted billboard for the Landmark Vintage Bicycle shop and steelwork of the bridge in the foreground.
In our ongoing photo series What’s Outside the Window? is this image of a couple hugging on Orchard Street, as seen through the plate glass front wall of the Dressing Room Bar, in New York’s Lower East Side. The girl looks sleepy and affectionate, while the guy is checking his cellphone and seems to be texting.
Reid van Renesse’s art photography of skaters, surfers and life in New York City’s Rockaway Beach captures the playful, urban beach subculture of this gritty, singular Queen’s neighborhood. The artwork shown here was recently exhibited and for sale as part of a local fundraising event at Rockaway Beach Surf Club to raise money for rebuilding a skate park destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
We’ve personally never been into tattoos. We don’t have any of our own. But we appreciate seeing a beautiful tattoo. And combined with a certain style, as in the case with the women pictured here snapping cellphone photos at a recent protest in New York City’s Washington Square Park, we find a tattoo very alluring.
OjodePez is a rather serious but excellent art and journalistic photography magazine from Spain. Pictured here is edition 29 of magazine.