Isn’t this supposed to be a holiday weekend where I do nothing except stuff myself with chocolate eggs? As a kid I think I enjoyed Easter more because on Sunday morning at the breakfast table there was always an egg tray of six Cadbury’s Cream eggs and a large Cadbury hollow egg plus a bag of mini eggs from the Swiss – Suchard or Lindt – now you’re talking. Why does good chocolate make you go “ohhhhhhhhhh.” Heaven. And then because it was the Easter holidays and no school for two weeks, I’d be eating chocolate at breakfast, noon and night and it didn’t matter.
iane Arbus is one of the most prolific photographers of the 20th century and a new exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New Yorkfeatures one of her most famous images of “Jewish giant” Eddie Carmel. Arbus wasn’t afraid to follow her own creative path and produce the work that interested her.
Masterpieces & Curiosities:
Diane Arbus’s Jewish Giant
April 11 – August 3, 2014
New York’s Jewish Museum.
Shanghai. May 2012. (c) Andy Summers
Andy Summers shared a love for both music and photography from as early as the late 1970s. As the guitarist in one of the biggest bands of the 20th century – The Police – his photography became an extension of his music.
While the band toured the world, Summers documented behind the scenes, giving an intimate, personal and unique point of view that could not be captured by hired press. Much later, after The Police stopped touring and stopped making music as a band, Summers produced with Taschen (2007) “I’ll Be Watching You: Inside The Police 1980-1983.” His first photography book of the band and their travels was “Throb” (William Morrow & Company, 1983), currently out of print. Since the band’s demise, Summers has been productive in both solo music projects and photography, the latter of which has extended his art to numerous exhibitions, magazine essays, photography publications and recently, keynote presentations of his work.
For his exhibition at Leica Los Angeles, Summers presents his global travels through a series of striking black and white portraits. You won’t find any images of music in this project, instead we see people and places and gritty raw realities of people’s lives in many parts of Asia.
I spoke to Andy about his upcoming exhibition in Los Angeles, his use of Leica and his photographic process.
GL: Tell me about your upcoming exhibition at Leica Gallery Los Angeles and what we can expect to see?
AS: I am pleased to be exhibiting at the new Leica gallery in LA, as I have been a Leica photographer for many years now. Therefore, to show in the new and first Leica gallery in LA is a distinct pleasure and seems fitting. All the photos in the show are shot with Leica and will be a selection from around the world in the last few years.
GL: When did your love affair with photography, and in particular Leica, begin?
AS: My true pursuit of photography began in the early eighties. I used a Reflex cameras as I started out but switched to the Leica Rangefinder a couple of years later when introduced to it by Ralph Gibson.
GL: From the images I’ve seen in this exhibition, people feature in many of them. Is this a conscious point of view?
AS: There is no conscious shooting of people; it would depend on the situation and if it ignites something in me.
GL: What is your method in setting up an image? Is it a fleeting visit and taking photographs of what you see, and/or do you enter into dialogue with your subject for background information?
AS: It can be both. The real preparation is the effort that one puts into developing photography skills over the years, or seeing photographic possibilities as part of some larger progression.
GL: Which city, town or country has been your most inspiring place to photograph so far?
AS: The inspiration for a photograph is not tied to one town or city, but rather something could be anywhere that grabs one’s visual imagination.
GL: Which photographers have and still do inspire you?
AS: Ralph Gibson, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Henri Cartier Bresson.
GL: From your upcoming exhibition in Los Angeles, can you choose an image to describe its subject matter and creative process?
AS: I wouldn’t pick out one; rather I would say that they are all facets of the process. First being in a situation that is visually stimulating and that may involve shooting rapidly or waiting for a scene to develop visually, i.e., the shapes become better inside the frame, the light improves or whatever it is that you recognize as more compelling.
GL: What more can we expect to see from your photography in 2014?
AS: No doubt I will travel with my Leica monochromatic and see what comes up…more images from China, probably.
“Andy Summers – Del Mondo” opens at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles with an opening reception on November 9, 2013 from 6pm – 8pm and the exhibition runs to January 4, 2014. Andy Summers will present an artist talk on December 14 at 6pm.
Leica Gallery Los Angeles
8783 Beverly Blvd.
West Hollywood CA 90048
See also: www.andysummers.com
About the interviewer:
Ginger Liu is a contributing editor to Ragazine.CC. You can read more about her in “About Us.”
The US media is going crazy about director-actress spats in Blue is the Warmest Color. Lets make something very clear. In Hollywood actors are afraid to complain and bitch to the press about their director. It would be career suicide. You’ve seen all the boring press junkets with the same lines spoken by every Hollywood actor – “It was the greatest experience of my life,” “I loved working with him.” It’s all publicty bullshit. You don’t get to hear about what really went on until years after. Now here we have French actresses in a foreign country saying what they like without Hollywood restrictions.
Director Abdellatif Kechiche’s lesbian masterpiece Blue is the Warmest Color walked away with not one Palme d’Or earlier this year but in a first for the Cannes festival, the two leading actresses were awarded one of the film worlds most prestigious prizes.
Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux performances are quite breathtaking in their realism and their warmth as characters who happen to be both lesbians. For this is a first love and love lost story which anyone can relate to. The films three hours doesn’t seem to be enough as Kechiche draws us in to Adele’s ordinary life in high school, love at first sight, her sexual orientation, immersion into Seydoux’s artist life, her own work as a school teacher and a perhaps inevitable break up as their two different worlds collide.
What is freshest of all is the depiction of lesbian life. It’s sexual, it’s ordinary, it’s domestic and sometimes secret. But while Kechiche’s story is about two women in love, the being gay factor doesn’t dictate plot. There are no deaths or lesbian vampires. What I loved about the film and Adele’s character were the similarities in my growing up and coming out. The sex and the domesticity are all too familiar but so is keeping part of ones life a secret.
And what about the talked about ten minute sex scene? Well, I can understand the length as Kechiche’s other scenes are also long and involved so skipping past these scenes would put it out of whack. But after five minutes I did start to feel distracted. These sex scenes because they are sex scenes don’t draw us into the plot or the characters. We get it. We know they are having sex, lets get back to the story.
Blue is the Warmest Color is still doing the rounds of the festival circuit but will be on general release in cinemas in October, a fact that has prevented it from qualifying in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards next year. Exarchopoulos and Seydoux however, could be in contention for Best Actress Oscarsbut we will have to wait and see.
Blue is the Warmest Color – US release October 25th
To celebrate 125 years of the National Geographic magazine excellence in photography and environmental storytelling, the Annenberg Space for Photography is curating what promises to be one of the largest multimedia exhibitions of its kind with hundreds of images on display: including print, digital instillations and documentary films. The sheer scale of the exhibition, which coincides with October’s National Geographic’s commemorative magazine, will no doubt warrant more than one visit.
I spoke to Patricia Lanza, Director of Talent and Content at Annenberg Space for Photography, about possibly one of the largest photography exhibitions of its kind.
GL: Congratulations on putting together and presenting what appears to be a rather dauntingly large exhibition of photography and multimedia. The sheer numbers of images on display, the videos and film – to actually whittle it down to 400 historical images from the National Geographic and the 500-plus images in the digital installation must have been a long, yet enjoyable process.
How long has the planning taken?
PL: The planning has taken over a year.
GL: Are the images categorized in the their own subheadings: such as people, country, endangered, photographer, etc?
PL: The images are in thematic sections:
America (general themes)
and the October 2103 Issue. October is the anniversary month for both National Geographic Magazine and the National Geographic Society, so there will be images from one of the world’s greatest repositories of photojournalism, as well as new material being commissioned for the October issue of the magazine.
GL: Is there any indication from this huge exhibition that the printed edition of National Geographic is coming to a close?
PL: No. This exhibition was a way to show some of the scope and depth of National Geographic’s 125-year collection – not just the iconic images but whole stories. NGS is famous for its storytelling journalism and this is a spectacular way of highlighting that.
GL: Will we learn of future developments within National Geographic from this exhibition?
PL: This is a very innovative and forward-looking way to experience an exhibition. Nophotography exhibition has been done on this scale in this way, mainly because until now, the technology for presentation on video screens wasn’t up to the quality of displaying it on a video monitor. This opens the door for a different way to experience photography of this caliber.
GL: What do you hope people will learn from The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years?
PL: The importance of having a photographic history of all forms of life on earth and beyond; the importance of how photography can alter your way of thinking and start a dialogue and the importance and immeasurable value of what photography and photojournalism contribute to our awareness and our consciousness.
GL: Thank you for your time. I can’t wait to see the exhibition.
Annenberg Space for Photography Presents
The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years
October 26, 2013 – April 27, 2014
Open free to the public, Wednesdays thru Sundays.
Please check website for hours, transportation and parking directions.
Iris Night Lecture Series free to public on first come-first served basis.
All Iris Night Lectures take place in our new Skylight Studios located across
the lawn from the Photography Space.
This interview also appears in Ragazine.cc
Ginger Liu is a Photographer/Filmmaker/Writer. Based in Los Angeles, she travels extensively and is a long-time contributor to Ragazine.CC. You can read more about her in About Us, and on her blog and website and on Flickr.
“Television icon Ellen DeGeneres will return to host the Oscars® for a second time, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Academy Awards® will be broadcast live on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, on the ABC Television Network.
“We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars,” said Zadan and Meron. “As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars. There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are.”
“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say – the third time’s the charm,” said DeGeneres.
“I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year’s show,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President. “We’re looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show.”
“Ellen is talented, wonderfully spontaneous, and knows how to entertain a worldwide audience,” said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO. “She’s a big fan of the Oscars; we’re huge fans of hers. It’s a perfect match.”
“It is an honor to welcome back Ellen DeGeneres as the host of the biggest entertainment celebration of the year,” said Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group. “She is the consummate entertainer, equally beloved by her peers in the industry, movie fans and television viewers. We very much look forward to having her back on ABC for Oscar Sunday.”
DeGeneres hosted the 79th Academy Awards in 2007, for which she received a Primetime Emmy® nomination for “Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.”
DeGeneres has made a home for herself in daytime with her hit syndicated talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which has earned a total of 45 Daytime Emmys during its 10 seasons.
DeGeneres’ began her career as an emcee at a local comedy club in her hometown of New Orleans. Her acting career in television included roles in several successful sitcoms before being offered a part on “These Friends of Mine” by ABC. After the first season, the show was renamed “Ellen.” Running from 1994 to 1998, the show garnered record ratings, with DeGeneres receiving Emmy nominations each season in the Best Actress category. In 1997, DeGeneres was the recipient of the coveted Peabody Award as well as earning an Emmy for writing the critically acclaimed “Puppy Episode” when her character came out as a gay woman to a record 46 million viewers.
DeGeneres has also been successful in her feature film work. DeGeneres scored unprecedented popular and critical response to her character, Dory, the fish with extreme short-term memory, in the blockbuster Pixar animated feature “Finding Nemo.” DeGeneres recently announced the highly anticipated sequel to “Finding Nemo,” Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” currently scheduled to be released in November 2015.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar® Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.”