April

I AM

If they asked her if she was busy and her mind whirling with a million thoughts, I can relate. If they asked her if she was really a man or a demon about to kill them - I’d be interested and thankful for the distraction.

FV

 

KOHEI YOSHIYUKI

Kohei Yoshiyuki, “The Park”, 1973

Kohei Yoshiyuki, “The Park”, 1973

A pretty good article to introduce an interesting photographer for those who don’t know of him. I remember reading about Kohei Yoshiyuki’s series “The Park” quite a few years ago when the internet as we know it was still young. It was such a strange project I thought, though I also thought it was pretty amazing.

The subject matter of voyeurism and Yoshiyuki’s choice to photograph the night voyeurs instead of the couples getting down in various parks in Tokyo inherently brings up an array of privacy issues, which as the author notes, feels relevant in the #MeToo era and the general lack of privacy felt online these days.

When I first saw them those type of issues were not on my mind. I was more fascinated by this curious subculture. In places like New York City, San Francisco or any major American city, this type of stuff is pretty common, though from what I know, mostly in the gay male community. Cruising in parks is common knowledge and it wasn’t unusual to stumble upon a couple of guys doing their thing while walking your dog or crossing Buena Vista Park when I lived in San Francisco.

However, I don’t really recall seeing a lot of voyeurs (although I’m sure they were around) and again, there were no straight couples that I heard of that used the parks regularly as hook up spots. I know plenty of people who’ve had sex in public but not the way the people in Tokyo were going about it. I suppose it was partly the freewheeling 70’s and partly the cramped living in Tokyo that led the people to the parks. Maybe a dash of exhibitionism as well. Either way, it makes for good thinking about a man with a camera 40 plus years ago, running around in the night and watching the watchers, and making images of them for us to really make this exercise in voyeurism astounding in it’s degrees of separation.

Fun stuff.

FV

 

MUSIC - MANU CHAO

I got turned onto Manu Chao about the time this album came out. A guy I knew from Tunisia knew I liked music and let me borrow this CD. I fell in love with it right away. From the mix being full of full of little bites of phrases and sounds, the blend of lighthearted sounds with social themes, his ability to sing in a variety of languages and mood setting tunes that let you drift away, there's nothing I don't like about this album. Manu Chao comes across as a true citizen of planet earth. I'd start with this and "Clandestino" and move forward through his catalog. Enjoy the ride...

FV

 

LINO 8

00049_LINO_08.jpg

Went pretty simple again for this print. In fact, I don't think I'm done with it but maybe I am. I like the thing as a whole and think I did okay but not good executing it.

Things I'm still battling are making circles without getting jagged edges as you can see in the eyes. Also, I'm still not getting the consistency in my lines yet in regards to width and straightness. These are all due to a lack of practice as my time has been tight lately and this stuff is at the bottom of my list.

But, not making excuses. I'm going to manage my time a bit better and devote more practice to my knife work. It really is something I look forward to doing and I get a big kick when the print is made. As a wise man once said to me, "Nothing to it but to do it". So with that, we'll see what next week brings.

FV

 

MUSIC - NURSE WITH WOUND

Nurse With Wound has been around since 1980 and has an insane catalog of music. Mainly it's the work of Steven Stapleton, who's collaborated with various people over the years.

I really love this album, Spiral Insana from 1986. It's got a very haunting, sensuous, at times disjointed feel to it. Elements of electronica, noise and ambient are woven throughout and take the listener on quite a beautiful ride in my opinion.

As I mentioned, there is a huge catalog of music and I haven't explored it all. I'm sure it's worth investigating anything you can grab as Stapleton is amazing.

FV

 

LINO 7

Was very busy this week to be honest and didn't have much time to practice doing cuts or anything like that. I did have some time to sketch out a few ideas I want to make into prints. This was the least detailed one so I did all the cuts yesterday and printed this morning.

Even though things felt kind of rushed I'm real happy with the results I got. Again, it's a pretty simple and not detailed image at all. But I did get in some practice on doing some fine cuts like on the head and this dude's crazy mouth. The other thing I wanted to try was to create texture using a big u blade and while I didn't plan it out well (all the texture lines are pretty haphazard), I got a feeling for what's possible.

I should mention that after I made my sketch on the plate I was careful with the fine lines but stayed loose when doing the texture stuff. I was gonna try and be more deliberate but I don't know, once I get going I really enjoy the freedom of letting loose. I'm sure that's because I still have no skill at what the hell I'm doing. It's all god though. A productive and instructive print for me this week.

FV

 

LINO 6

Went real simple this week. A square or block that is supposed to be blocking light all with what I intended to be roughly equal sized lines. As elementary as it is I encountered a couple of problems.

I mainly free styled this. I drew out the square-ish shape that's the focal point and then just cut the rest of the lines by eye. This obviously accounts for the uneven spacing and asymmetry with the lines, which doesn't bother me too much.

The bigger problem I had was inking the plate. I'm still not getting how shallow or deep to make my cuts, so as you can see on the upper right of the shape, the ink was too much I guess and bled out. This was the best of probably eight prints. I even cleaned the plate completely after a few tries and still got that muddy or pooling problem.

Overall, no big deal since I'm seeing what's wrong at least. This was pretty much a technical exercise, though I do like the idea and will likely give it another try down the road. Interesting how something so seemingly basic can create a challenge. I like that.

FV

 

MUSIC: DAVID BOWIE

Part of the so called "Berlin Trilogy", this album has a great sound and vibe. I've been a Bowie fan since I was a kid in the 70's due to my older cousins worshipping him. As I grew older and learned more about him, my respect for his successes and failures grew and grew. He was gifted dude and quite an artist (Dancing in the Streets excepted).

UPDATE: The whole album is always getting pulled from YouTube, so this video is part of a playlist off the Heroes album. Right now you have to search "Heroes Full Album" to access some playlists. If I see it reposted as a whole album I'll update this post again. 7/17/2018

FV