farm city!

abandon me.

June 16, 2011
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Numi Thorvarsson. Photographer.

eyðibýli 6

eyðibýli 1

eyðibýli 16

eyðibýli 11

eyðibýli 9

Haunting photos, abandoned homes, Iceland (I think).
See the rest here.


country heroes.

January 18, 2011
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Jim McGuire. Nashville Portraits.

Johnny Cash (with Dr. Billy Graham), Townes Van Zandt, Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins and a real young Steve Earle.
See a bunch of other important folks in American music here.

vale street.

January 7, 2011
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Carol Jerrems. Photographer. Australian. 1949-1980.

Carol Jerrems took photos of the ‘sharpie’ youth subculture in Melbourne in the 1970s. Her photos mark the beginnings of a new-wave in Australian photography, a blurring of documentary-style realism and a more subjective-style of portraiture. Her style remind me of Gavin Watson‘s photos of British skinheads.

riding the rods.

November 30, 2010
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I have a thing about trains. Always wanted to ride ’em. Always wanted to travel like a hobo – down and dirty, wind in my hair, yadda yadda.
Now it seems the only people who ride trains are crusty punks. And while I was once asked, seriously, recently, if I was a crusty punk, I’m not. Have never been. And so ya, I was offended. I’ve actually had a job. For real.
Crusties aside, this shit looks fun, right?
And so I’ve spent my morning, drinking stovetop espresso, listening to this gutter-punk/folk-fusion revival on youtube and looking at photos here.

tunnel people.

November 29, 2010
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Teun Voeten. Photojournalist. Dutch.

In 1994/95, Voeten spent five months living, sleeping and working in a tunnel underneath Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The result is his book on New York’s tunnel people, an intimate glimpse at a weird, and now-extinct (Amtrak kicked everyone out in 1996), subcultural lifestyle in America.
Voeten has taken photos all over the world – mostly specializing in war and conflict zones. Check out his other work here.

empty pools.

October 30, 2010
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“Frontside grinds on real coping, carving tile, sessions with friends and lots of cold beer.”

A few weeks back, I came across a neat little magazine made of newsprint featuring a bunch of photos of empty pools and people skating them. I can’t remember what it’s called, but I liked it. And then I found Poolrider, a site dedicated to pool skating. There are hundreds of photos and these are only four of ’em. Something cool about the re-imagination of space. The appropriation of abandoned or underused places. I’ve never cleaned up an old pool for skating myself, but it seems like something I might want to try…

art history.

October 27, 2010
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Slavery. Graffiti Crew. The Subway Art History Project.

Joan of Arc, a reimagination of this work by Seen.

Another reimagining, this time of work by Dondi.

Finally, another work in tribute to Blade

See the whole slide show here.

“A collective of graffiti writers who have embarked on an unusual citywide campaign to summon 50 or more of the most famous pieces of old-school graffiti out of the history books and back onto the streets. The project, called “Subway Art History,” is unusual not only because the artists are making the pieces with the permission of businesses, schools and other perhaps nostalgic owners of blank vertical space, but also because of the nature of the pieces themselves. They are expressions of homage in a subculture that has almost always been defined by fierce competition, intense striving for originality and a kill-the-elders attitude toward the past.

…In New York the idea is to use the pieces to try to teach a two-part history lesson. The first is about the glories (as the collective sees it) of the early days of graffiti and the invention of a vernacular art form that has swept the world. The second lesson is about world history itself, in neighborhoods where education remains low on the list of priorities for many struggling teenagers.”

I recently came across the 25th anniversary edition of Subway Art, a collaborative photo book by Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper. It’s large format and the photos look great. I especially appreciate Cooper’s photos of works-in-progress, portraits of artists themselves and just her general ability to capture the context of the early graffiti scene in New York.

Anyway, the Times article quoted above, features recreations of work by artists featured in Chalfant + Cooper’s book.


August 26, 2010
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Danny Lyon. Photographer / Filmmaker. USA.

I’m reading Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude, about a white kid growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s. Gentrification, urbanism, graffiti, the beginning of rap music – all themes in the life + the book.
As these things go, I stumbled across a bunch of photos of Brooklyn in the 1970s – taken by Danny Lyon for DOCUMERICA, a program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency.
And so, Brooklyn summertime, stoop-sitting, graffiti and concrete playgrounds.

printed matters.

July 27, 2010
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Hatch Show Print. Letterpress Posters. Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Hatch Show Printers has been printing (mostly) music posters since 1879. Unfortunately for me (and you, if you also like old printed matter + archived ephemera), they only started archiving their posters in the 1970s. One Hundred Years of Lost Letterpress Posters. Ah well. They’re still making neat stuff and I’m glad to see they’re doing well enough to warrant an article in Forbes magazine.
My favourite is definitely the Wilco Cityscape.
Analog, what?!

on the south side.

July 22, 2010
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Michael L. Abramson. Photographer. Chicago.

Michael Abramson took these great photos of funky crowds at shows in Chicago’s South Side in the 1970s. The photos are published in a book by Numero Group, accompanied by a 2-LP soundtrack of Chicago’s sweet soul.

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