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I so related to the sentiment expressed by the artist (see bold text below) that I ordered myself a print.

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Artist Statement:

I first started to take party pictures for a very wealthy New York businessman who wanted a record of his jovial and vulgar drunken office parties. From this work I was hired by Anna Wintour to cover the New York party scene for Vogue. I feel that a well examined detail can tell the whole story better than a pulled back, general shot of a scene. The angle of a shot can convey the particular combination of levity and anxiety one can feel in social situations. My art dealer once called it my “drunken lens.” The photographs that work best for me have a sense of human fragility. Unrealized dreams; our perverse optimism as we swim upstream like salmon in order to mate, find love, security, money, power, to retain youth against all odds and evidence. One is never so naked as when dressed for a party. Why do we leave the house, over and over again, only to feel the glamour we anticipate evaporate as we approach it? I came to fashion photography only through this personal work: It has never been an ambition or a particular interest of mine. It can be very enjoyable when one is offered the freedom to really go mad creatively in these contrived situations. I believe I am basically hired to bring that sense of louche spontaneity to a shoot that I find out in the real world. However, no image I create for fashion can ever be as satisfying as finding a real moment that encapsulates my ideas of what makes a good photograph. The found moments, not the manufactured ones, are the gold.

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This and other prints from the artist available at 20×200.

 

I lifted this from a Cary Tennis piece years back, and go back to it over and over; it never fails to help me breathe a little easier. I hope it does the same for you.

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 It is recommended first of all that you do not lose your cadence, that lovely something in your voice, and also that you patent what you’ve got and bottle it for later because it’s a long trip and you may run out; also that you write a chapter of your memoirs now before you forget, and that you continue to break rules wherever they conflict with your stated intentions; that you operate a voting machine not only when moved to do so by principle or amusement but in accordance with the general expectations of a democracy, and be sure to visitParis; also that you quit any job that does not please you and if you have been thinking of taking up the mandolin or the banjo, do it now.

 

It is also recommended that you be sure to remember not to forget to eat the things that agree with you, and that if you have not yet found the clothes that match all the variations of your spirit, you do so.

 

There is much to do, much ground to cover, much equipment to pack. The rest of your life is bigger than the rest of a sandwich. You can see all of a sandwich but you can’t see all of your life. It has a horizon, but it’s not round like the earth. If time were round, then you could get up high and see farther over the edge, but we don’t know exactly what the shape of time is, do we? Time is warped in some way, we feel certain of that. You can get high enough to see over the horizon, but you can’t get high enough to see the future.

 

So you pack for the unforeseen. You pack the best you can. You take a camera and plenty of film. You take medicine and contact information and you make a list of the mantras you’ve been given, the mantras that work, and the places you are drawn to that you know you must visit along the way. Some people are drawn to Tahiti; me, I think I have to see Cape Horn because I am drawn to the kind of treacherous passage where a sailor is reefing the jib with ice in his beard. I am drawn like a child to the image of a crossing — the crossing of a river, the crossing of an ocean, the spanning of a distance, the arrival in a strange land.

 

And that’s what you’re doing when you’re talking about the rest of your life, isn’t it? You’re talking about a planned arrival in a strange land. So as I said, you pack carefully.

 

That doesn’t tell you much about practical matters, and I can see that you are already getting upset with me again. So I can say this:

 

Do not arouse the ire of wives. They will bring ruin down on your head. Keep doing what you are doing, but restrain yourself where the making of enemies is concerned.

 

Have a regimen and a routine, a thing you do that always works, so that you can always do it when people fail you. It’s something different for everybody. If you don’t have anything that always works, find something and perfect it — a certain drink that never fails, a song that gives you goose bumps, a certain walk on a certain path that always elevates your spirits, a meditation that always calms you, a food you always like to eat.

 

You need somebody you can always call, too, but people will change and even if they stay the same they die, and then they’re gone. You can’t depend on them. You need more lasting bulwarks. You will find a favorite meeting you always like to go to and then everyone will buy houses and move away. You will find a friend who promises you things and doesn’t come through. So a practice that always works must be solitary or of the earth or of the mind; people will change and let you down. You need something older than people.

 

So live near a river or a mountain or a stream. Live near something you can walk to where you go, Ah.

 

List these things so you don’t forget them. Write them down, so when you’re stuck you can go down the list and say, OK, the chocolate mousse that always worked is not available right now because it’s 2 a.m. and the mousse is available at a certain restaurant in Paris and I am not in Paris. I am in Austin at the Broken Spoke about to lose my wheels. You go down the list. A certain walk around Land’s End in San Francisco: ditto, you’re not there, and it’s too late to fly there. You keep going down the list, which you keep in your purse, until you find a thing you can do that will work: somebody you can always call to cheer you up. So even though it’s 2 a.m., you make the call and wake the person up and talk for a while, explaining as you do that the person is on your list of people you can call when nothing else will work.

 

I know this isn’t very practical, but I don’t even know where you’re going. So you have to choose, not me. All I’m saying is, take the time to choose wisely. Be frank with yourself. Don’t take a Bible if you’re not a Bible reader. Don’t take sunscreen if you never put it on.

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Now curvier than ever.

February 15, 2012

We all knew I was a little more crooked than most. Now I guess we know how much.

Lots of chiropractic work in my future…

 

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