Rallies

Since Election night, things in NYC have really amped up politically. The sheer despair in the weeks between the election and Inauguration was palpable. It felt like a vacuum sucked the life out of the city. I remember vividly that the night before, I had been at a ZGRT concert in Bushwick and Zachery stood in front of the crowd and urged everyone to vote...or face the consequences of a President Trump routine. He was dead serious, unlike many other people in the city who smugly assumed Hillary had it in the bag. His words rang through my ear the next day, as I wandered around Green-Wood Cemetery, suddenly feeling a shift in the energy. Starting the night of 9 November, I've been very busy documenting political gatherings in the city, meeting incredible activists, artists and musicians, and generally having a blast.

I started photographing rallies over the summer, when my friend Andi and I marched several times with Black Lives Matter. I photographed a few of those over the course of a few months, so by November I had gotten familiar with the routines of city rally rules and what to look out for. I really enjoy going to ones that involve marching bands.

In late November, a rally was held outside of the Puck Building (owned by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump) and I ended up meeting a bunch of amazing people who have since become friends and familiar sights at rallies. I was recruited a few weeks later to shoot photos for a political group called Rise and Resist, which has been a really enriching experience. Rise and Resist began as an offshoot of ACT UP, and has since grown to nearly 10K members. I've had amazing adventures on the street, met a celebrity or two, and become very familiar with the Venn diagram of activist circles in NYC. The same people show up to many of them, and it's become quite a funny little family.

If anything good has come out of this trainwreck of an administration, it's that I've had more encounters, opportunities and have become wrapped up in a very dynamic time. I really enjoy political rallies. 

 

On The Waterfront

Sometimes the best photo shoots are the spontaneous ones. My friend Emily lent me her divine Canon EOS 6 and one afternoon my friend Rhiannon and I cooked up a scheme to meet up and do vintage style photos at the Gantry State Park complex and famed Pepsi Sign.

Rhiannon delivered on the vintage style! She has a whole bunch of outfits and costumes and ended up choosing a really pretty brown shimmery 1940s style dress. My inspirations came from On The Waterfront, Vargas illustrations, and even Blow-Up. We had a blast in the chilly East River wind!

 

The Girl Who Cried Wolf

A couple of weeks ago, I got a request for a visit from my friend J, who lives near the area of central PA where I grew up. My friend is very ill with lupus, and her latest flare-up left her reeling. I agreed to come out to stay with her to cheer her up a bit with some fun photos and pleasant company. The idea of escaping the city for a week or so with grass and mid-August meteor showers also seemed appealing.

J. met me in the kitchen when I finally arrived. I hadn't seen her for some time. The Loretta Young lookalike with the gigantic eyes and flaming strawberry red hair was nearly unrecognisable. Prednisone and medically-induced poisoning had punched through her body, leaving her sleep-deprived, swollen, and sore. Swaddled in a blue robe emblazoned with stars, she enveloped me in a bear hug. At this point we both got the sense that this visit was going to end up being something beyond our original intent.

No one is entirely sure what lupus is. According to J, it "really doesn't exist." The word itself is Latin for 'wolf,' the affliction is an autoimmune disorder, and antibodies turn on their host, attacking various organs, making the body extremely sunlight-sensitive. Pregnancy with lupus is out of the question, because an embryo is seen as an invader. It's absolutely frightening, and its incurable.

Her inability to be in the sun for long periods of time keeps her confined indoors, desperately crowdfunding to find a safe, practical space, or casually googling what might be killing her, if her eyes are working that day. Her daytime outings involve either floppy hats, shades, coats of sunscreen, and coverings, or sitting on her porch, chucking balls for the dog from the safety of a roof cover. 

With no family to regularly assist her, she is stranded, except for the assistance of neighbours and friends. After a lifetime of caring deeply for others' welfare, she now finds herself too physically weak, mentally exhausted, and emotionally distressed to find the energy for her own well being. The first night I was there, the next door neighbour, a good ol' boy with half a six pack already in him and a heart of gold, came wandering over with a dozen eggs from his chickens and ducks. I never saw a woman weep with gratitude over eggs before.

"You don't understand," she said, holding one up to her eyes. "I desperately need nutrition and I've been living on white bread and rice all week because almost everything contains something that could poison me. I even have to know what is in my food's food.  These are safe for me to eat and I can't believe they're right here." The neighbour cheerfully took her over to his garden and offered her as many tomatoes, onions and peppers that she could eat. If he had offered her a trunk full of rubies, I don't think she could possibly have been happier. After all, you can't eat rubies.

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Over the next few days, the true nature of her personal microcosmic hell came to light. During her hospitalisation, her cousin was killed in an accident and she was too sick to attend his funeral. The shoes she had purchased for it still lay unworn and resented in the kitchen shoe rack. 

She told me to photograph everything that went on in her home: her food, the environment, interactions, her emotions. So that's what I did. Alice the fly on the wall, the voyeur, the documentarian. No amount of bleak street photography could have prepared me for magnitude of this experience. Normally I can walk away, conscience cloudy, hiding in my room idly wondering who the people are that I notice. Here, I was effectively forced to watch helplessly as my sweet friend stumbled through her dark night of the soul.

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The next day I accompanied her with another friend to her town, home of the Grier School, a ritzy equestrian girl's boarding school. According to town gossip, Bette Davis's daughter had attended there and gotten scandalously knocked up by a local. The Grier School was clearly my friend's happy place, an ivy-covered wonderland on the periphery of a village she described as "imagine Stephen King, David Lynch and e.e. cummings get drunk and make up a town." We shot some pretty photos on the campus, she proudly showed me the Grier kitchen where generations of her family had worked, and some angel gave us popsicles and juice.

We then visited the rest of the little village. The Ancient Greek influences on the architecture were strange for rural Pennsylvania: horse troughs with elabourate lion-shaped spouts, working water pumps, Ionic columns. J. described each house her family had lived in, and upon the discovery that the old water pump her grandmother had used was in fact unlocked and working just fine, she ecstatically ran out and immediately drew some, just as generations before her had done.

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This was the last time I saw her truly blissful the rest of the trip, however. Her latest hospitalisation poisoning revealed an allergic reaction to sulfate, and she had neither the strength or vision to read every single ingredient on food at the grocery store. By the way: nearly everything contains sulfate! Our mutual friend and I spent a good hour with her, scanning ingredient lists for nutritious food that her body could safely process - a much more complicated process than friends' helpful suggestions of "just eat healthy vegetables and protein," or worse, "if you go vegan that might help." 

You see, even healthful vegan eating has its own hierarchy in J's body mechanics, and right now her immediate needs are for fats and oils - yes, those of animals. Her kidneys cannot process protein normally, so a few bites of beans can cause major problems. On top of lupus, J. has a genetic condition that makes her ineligible for a kidney transplant, so she needs to be very careful about balance.  She drinks a daily shake of clay and diatomaceous earth to assist her kidneys in filtering out toxins. This of course can result in intestinal pain and constipation. 

"It's basically Choose Your Own Organ Failure at this point," she explained. "One doctor says my blood pressure is too low and I need salt for my heart to function. Another doctor tells me too much salt can tax my kidneys, which can kill me. I'm a vampire. I live in the dark, I have to drink these dirt shakes, and I feed upon bread and white rice."

Friends came through to help her clean the house and sort through food and beauty products that contained sulfates - nearly everything in her cupboards. J's strength and mental capacity to handle everything was dwindling. Every few minutes her phone pinged - because on top of all this, she is one of the head organisers for a ComicCon. Her illness complicated matters there, as well. At one point she had to arrange for face masks and a wheelchair just to be present for that.

 

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On the final day, I accompanied her to two separate hospital visits and an optometrist appointment. She cannot drive long distances because of her health. After the medication poisoned her, she had also recently wrestled with temporary blindness. The optometrist visit was necessary to clear any possibility of glaucoma and to make sure she was legal to drive. 

Her friend drove us to State College. Her reliance on others can cause anxiety, especially if someone is running late to run her to an appointment. A phone call to the medical centre for directions left her with a mild panic attack as the receptionist told her that her doctor was located in the oncology ward - triggering her fears that she had cancer on top of all this nightmare. Already stressed to the gills, each further interaction with doctors and nurses left her shaking and terrified.

A doctor with the bedside manner of a drill sergeant nonchalantly suggested a bone marrow biopsy, given that her immune system was shot. By the way - both of these were surprises! After telling J. to her face that she probably wouldn't need a biopsy, he scheduled one anyway out of protocol without informing her. When the nurse asked her ten minutes later when a good day might be to have her bones scraped, J. began sobbing. The blood work, already uncomfortable, happened right after this. She then had to travel to another medical centre to give a urine sample. The nurse scribbled her last name on the specimen cup in Sharpie, just like a Starbucks latte, and directed her to the bathroom.

"Well? Might as well document me peeing, too! Just another part of my day." J. said.  This process is messy and clumsy for women, and any remaining shred of optimism goes right out the window when your urine sample cup gets plunked on a sink next to that of another sick person.

I asked her if she usually faced these hospital visits alone, to which she said yes. As we waited for her biopsy schedule to be worked out, I noticed a little Alice In Wonderland doll hanging on the nurse's computer monitor. I asked the nurse about it, and she said, "oh, that's just a voodoo doll." Voodoo in a hospital sounds perfectly reasonable. I entertained a few fleeting thoughts about using it on Dr. Drillsergeant. Maybe a nice charlie horse.

We then travelled back to her place, where her brother was waiting to drive us another 100 mile round trip for an eye appointment set up by J.'s very kind friend. I noticed a taxidermy deer head stuck on the wall in the doctor's office (always a good sign). At least here was good news: J. was cleared for legal driving. This would alleviate some of her alienation and dependence, but for how long, is anyone's guess.

Total round trip travel distance for J. just to get basic medical care: 150 miles. 

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J's situation is dire: between needing a safe place to live, transportation to medical care, and her general well being. We hope these photographs let other people, in similar situations, know that they are not alone. One of the most frequent frustrations sufferers of autoimmune disorders hear is "but you don't LOOK sick." I heard accusations of my friend being a "hypochondriac," that it was "all in her head," that "if she had just listened years ago she wouldn't be this sick now." These are incredibly damaging lies and misunderstandings. For an affliction that has no real definition or predictable course, adding "psychological gaslighting" to the growing list of harmful things is cruel and heartless.

Something really needs to change - in my friend's life, in society. There is no reason why basic medical care for someone this ill should be this difficult. The sheer vulnerability and strength I found in my friend's civil wars with her own body and home were powerful and heartbreaking. I felt pulled between detached voyeurism in watching a nightmare play out in front of me; and deep empathy, wishing I could whisk her out of there myself to a good place. J.'s willingness to allow me to witness her life and create photographs of her most vulnerable state is incredibly moving, but I want to do her justice with my work.

I ask that anyone who is willing/able to please contribute to her GoFundMe page, or purchase much-needed (or wanted) items from her Amazon wishlist. There's everything from urine sample cups and surgical masks, to things to keep her entertained during her convalescence, to necessities for a new home when she is situated. The prison of lupus is unpredictable and inescapable, but she deserves peace of mind to ease her body. It is an urgent situation. 

Please consider donating to her fund or treating her to some comforts. I saw firsthand what those gifts meant to her, and she is incredibly grateful for any kindness. 

LINK TO GOFUNDME

LINK TO AMAZON WISHLIST

Just Like Summer

Delighted to announce the release of the video for Lesley Barth's "Just Like Summer," which I directed and shot on location at the former Mudd Club in SoHo and Central Park.

Thanks to the fine participants, supporters, and people who kindly lent me their sofas during my time in NYC:

Rhiannon McClintock, Amanullah Haiderzad, Narjis Kyne, Eryc Kyne, Charles Ramsey, the snake skaters of Central Park, Toni Sheppard, Andi Talarico, Oliver Straus and Mission Sound, Grace Acheampong, Matt Mars Bespoke, and Joseph Tovey Frost.

 

Pride 2016

My friend Caitlin and I met up at Washington Square Park to check out the amazing Pride 2016 march. This was the first time I went to Pride; last year I was out of town. It was INCREDIBLE. Over 300000 marchers, 9 hours of parade, two questionable "nutcracker" drinks, and an amazing encounter with my high school friend Krys, whom I hadn't seen in YEARS. It was so wonderful to see him, and I cannot describe the general euphoria of the day. If you could only bottle it up and take it out when needed!

I have always been a staunch ally of the LGBTQ community. Being in theatre with all the other misfit toys will bring a sense of community. Even in creepy, racist, homophobic areas like where I grew up. It's wonderful to see how Pride has become a celebration that really is beginning to reach like a spiderweb. There's always someone after making a buck on it - from the street vendor pop ups selling rainbow flags to GAP sponsorship, but I'm actually weirdly heartened by that, because it means it's becoming mainstream to accept the community. If you're gonna exploit a group, at least give them a slap bracelet!

Gender and sexuality are more fluid than we give them credit for. As I get older, I realise more and more that these labels are ridiculous. There are over 30 types of gender identification, but I think over the coming years it's going to become less and less distinctive. When it comes down to it, we're all weird humans just trying to figure it out on this crazy planet. Distinctions of class, gender, sexuality, race and nationality separate and hurt us. We are hyperdefining us to the point of isolation, and eventually that will have to break. I am much more about collaboration than isolation, that's for sure.

That said, I'm so very very happy I went with my friend to see this incredible spectacle. I got great photos during the experience and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

Mermaid Parade

My friend Andrea and I met up with some friends at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. I missed this spectacle last year and was determined to be there this time around, and boy was I not disappointed one bit! It was AMAZING. One of the best things about New York City, hands down. 

The festival happens every year on Solstice, and draws from a myriad of influences: ancient pagan ritual, Wicker Man style costuming, drag queen fashion, and New York insanity. It's a joyful time with thousands of bizarre participants and onlookers. My kind of shindig!

I had a blast and got some memorable photos out of it, that's for sure. Enjoy!

 

Caitlin

I really enjoyed my afternoon with Caitlin, a freespirited, sweet soul who embodies the true meaning of lightworker. Her infectious smile and laugh made for excellent portraits, and her performance art background lent for a willingness to try bizarre poses and be playful. Those are my favourite types of shoots!

We roamed around Central Park, the Met, and Fort Tryon Park. During this wacky excursion a squirrel came up to me and hugged my finger with both paws, a blue jay hopped next to us for a spell, and I found a snail. Really, you couldn't ask for a more magical time in nature. All we needed was a lute player.

Katie

My friend Christie introduced me to Katie, an actress living in Queens. We decided to meet up for a photo shoot this week. As soon as this chick showed up at Columbus Circle clad in a long bohemian maxi dress and Stevie Nicks hat and shawl, I knew we were gonna be buddies. The whole afternoon was a delightful stroll around Central Park and Roosevelt Island, mostly talking about theatre and the metaphysical.

At some point we discovered someone had left a strange witches circle along the shore of the rowboat lake, so we decided to incorporate it into the photographs. I happened to have a corn dolly in my bag, as one is wont to do I suppose, so we used it as a prop. I love the idea of pagan ritual being practiced in a modern city like New York. It's been cropping up quite a bit lately. Two days after I watched "The Wicker Man" (the original one, not the crap one) my friend and I came across a Beltane maypole in the middle of Prospect Park. I am looking at various ways people I know perform ritual, or incorporate it into their lives. It's quite fascinating how people's intuition bring them to do very similar things to keep their focus.

Katie's accessories were also glorious: vintage Bakelite bangles; old costume jewellery, etc, all from her aunt. It was super fun to shoot her style, and she was fearlessly climbing all over creation, which lent for some truly bizarre photo compositions. It was fun popping out of the usual portrait box. I hope we can collaborate again in the near future!

 

Back To New York

It's looking more and more like I'll be moving back to NYC as soon as I have a few more bucks in my pocket and more work lined up. I got called back to the city this past week and since then everything has completely snowballed. Portraits galore, random opportunities, saying yes to a bunch of shit. I'm going balls out whilst I can, and in doing so have been having a terrific time.

The other night my friend Toni and I went to the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash at Webster Hall. It was a packed basement venue full of old CBGB's stalwarts, a very sweet actor who played Joey Ramone in some HBO movie, the ladies who invented Manic Panic, the lead singer of The Dictators, and even Bob Gruen (the photographer who shot the John Lennon NYC shirt photo). In a strange turn of events, Joey Ramone's brother smashed my toe when he accidentally stomped on it, which is about as New York a story as it gets. I shot a theatre gala in Park Slope this evening, and did two portrait sessions in Central Park and the Cloisters the past couple of days with two delightful women. All in all, I'm where I need to be, whatever that means, and I'm incredibly grateful and happy to be working and meeting such wonderful people.  It's the experience I wish I'd gotten last year. I'm in a different mind space now, and am looking forward to seeing what comes next. 

In other news, thanks to some incredible luck, my once-dead laptop has been fully resurrected due to the fact it happened to be the exact model that was recalled for logic board replacement by Apple. It is now working brilliantly and I am incredibly happy to have ol' Lazarus back in my midst. My friend Christie told me about the recall, and now I am able to do my work in peace without having to edit everything on my phone. This also means more video work potential. Right now I'm very very happy with how all this turned out. 

And now to make more work! xx

 

 

Eastern State Penitentiary

Last month I decided to pop WAY out of my comfort zone and visit the Eastern State Penitentiary, a former prison in Philadelphia. I have a difficult time visiting places like battlefields and prison sites, I pick up on energy there and don't do too great. But I also don't like backing down from challenges, so if I was gonna go somewhere haunted and terrifying, why not one of the worst prisons ever known to America?

My intuition did not let me down. Boy howdy, is that place creepy as hell. Peeking inside each abandoned cell, wondering who lived and died in them, what brought them there, and how they felt about being caged - all those thoughts raced through my head on top of it. My great-great grandparents were wardens in the late 1800s in nearby prisons, and I wondered what sort of people THEY were to work in a hell similar to Eastern State. 

The cells and bars and usual prison sights were overwhelming enough, but the objects that struck me the most were mops stuck in a stand. I wondered what fluids those mops cleaned. Blood. Semen. Waste. Urine. Any and all, no doubt. The whole experience chilled me to the bone. The least frightening aspect of it was Al Capone's cell, which only confirmed to me that Al and I had similar decorating tastes.

Anyway, won't be going back to that place anytime soon, at least alone. But I did find it fascinating nonetheless, and it's incredibly picturesque. I could see why Twelve Monkeys was filmed there. Here are some photos. 

Riley

The other evening I got a message from a guy at Upright Citizens Brigade asking to do a portrait session. I'd seen him perform at Cage Match before and we had talked a couple of times in messages, but we hadn't met in person. Within five minutes of meeting, both of us produced crystals and stone totem animals from our pockets. Definitely from the same energy sphere.

Riley's got a remarkable life story, a Bowielike presence, and a peculiar sense of humour, which makes him stand out well in the often-cookie cutter NYC comedy scene. You can see him on the Chris Gethard Show as his character "Vacation Jason," and you can follow his "Dairy Affirmations," which may or may not be a cult revolving around dairy products. I'm not at liberty to divulge (it is). 

We decided to take some unusual experimental portraits to reflect his personality, appearance and interests, highlight the little things that are important to him, and to have some fun with it. We had a blast roaming the park. At one point we scaled a high rock by a gazebo. He nearly put his hand in a pile of dirt for one portrait, flinched, and said "Uh...I'm about 99% sure these are freshly-dumped human ashes."

Former human or not, they ended up in the final portrait!

 

 

 

Massachusetts

Ever say to yourself, "hell with it, I'm gonna go to Massachusetts?" I did! Upon the advice of my friend Andi, I treated myself to a week at the Barred Owl Retreat in Leicester, a few miles outside of Worcester. The Barred Owl is a blessed respite from city life, a bucolic wonderland of woods, picturesque lake, and loads of animals. It's a charming place for poets, writers, and artists to spend time away from overstimulation of the city and to enjoy peace and quiet.

The house has a crazy history, but I'll let Jess tell you about it. The lodging is in the former servants quarters and it's quaint and old fashioned - it reminded me quite a bit of my grandparents' spare room, actually. 

I took some photos on the grounds, which were picked up by Faerie Magazine last week. I'm so pleased people enjoyed the view as much as I did. Highly recommended sanity restorer.

Just Like Summer

For the past fortnight I've been working with singer-songwriter Lesley Barth on a music video for her single "Just Like Summer." It's been a lovely experience! We shot everything over two days in Central Park with a cast of random strangers who happened to be passing by us. The beautiful thing about Central Park is that EVERYONE shows up there, regardless of class, race, gender, orientation or sometimes even home planet. 

The song is a disco tune, so naturally we looked to Xanadu for inspiration, and strangely, we suspect the ghost of Prince gave us exactly that. So many delightful surprises happened when we were open to taping whatever came across our path, and the result is a cast of colourful, diverse, and happy characters that are a joy to watch. It's been a real pleasure editing this video.

I am very grateful to Lesley and Chuck for their kind hospitality and a futon to crash on intermittently as I couch surf and network across Gotham. I love making music videos, and during this process I've gotten to sit in on a recording session at Mission Sound, dance like a Robert Palmer girl, and harness the power of Party City disco ball earrings. 

We can't wait to release the video! But for now, here is a still from the shoot.

Philadelphia

At the moment I'm in Philadelphia. I decided to do some street shots here yesterday when I was waiting for my phone to get fixed. This city makes me very uncomfortable. There's a weird force hovering over the place, one that perpetually makes me feel as if I'm trouble or doing something incorrectly. This anxiety causes me to do some dumb things: for instance, accidentally putting my cousin's $90 SEPTA Transpass in the cash slot. The front of the bus erupted in laughter and a very sweet lady said "Honey, don't worry, you need a few bucks to get home?" Currently trying to reach some mystery lady named "Jackie" to retrieve it.

I found the Old Pine Church by accident when the bus got re-routed. It's got a terrific churchyard that is stuffed to the gills with Revolutionary War soldiers, old tombstones from the 1700s, and a lovely vine-covered wall with old toppled tombstones embedded in it. That was a pleasant sojourn yesterday afternoon.

I don't know if it's the unfamiliarity of the city or the vibe, but the first word I associate with Philadelphia is "judgement." Where New Yorkers have seen it all and don't give a shit about anything and basically let people wave their freak flags pretty freely, Philly is in right your face asking "what the fuck you think you're doing?" For a city of Brotherly Love, I'm quite certain I've seen more street fights in 24 hours than I did in a year living in East Flatbush. I'd say the second word I associate with this city is "screaming."

I have deep roots in this city, my family has been here like 300 years or something, but I feel completely alien. Which city is angrier: Philadelphia or Boston? Philly does win when it comes to food. That said, let's settle the Wawa v. Sheetz controversy. The winner is unequivocally Wawa!

I do have a small bucket list before splitting from the city. I want to revisit the Mutter, and the Art Museum. I haven't been to either in years. I want to say hi to the Soap Lady. I thought about the Zoo, which I haven't seen since I was 5, but I'm not feeling that so much.

I'll be here for a little while and have some plans to visit Worcester MA and a friend up in Danvers.

Now Is Real

Over the past month I created a performance piece called "Now Is Real." The performance stemmed from the longstanding effects of PTSD suffered by my grandfather following his experience in Guadalcanal. After reading poetry he had written describing his grief, and encountering many homeless veterans on the streets of NYC, I decided to make my piece about the fallout that happens to the families of returning veterans who struggle to return to society, specifically my own experiences. I cannot speak for the experiences of others, but I began to realise that the war experience didn't end with honourable discharge. The ripple effects of PTSD trickled down into family interactions, dynamics and collective mental health.

It was an extremely painful experience to go through. I did not take it lightly. I did this behind my family's back, but I made the decision to move forward without judgement or anger. It cost me a lot personally, unfortunately.

I do not regret my decision to explore my family history, however painful the process was. It brought some much needed clarity and also explained quite a bit of what angered me for years. I am proud of the work I was able to do. It was the most intense process I've ever gone through for any art piece, and certainly the one closest to my heart. It was immensely cathartic.

Thanks to Nina and the Star House Gallery for providing the residency and a safe space for me to do this piece. Thanks also to Jill McDermid and Erik Hokansen at Rosekill, Sheree Rose, Rocio Boliver, Clara Diamond and especially Joseph Tovey Frost.

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Ghostly

I just spent my afternoon walking around a pasture in a velvet bathrobe with a feather duster on my head. It's feeling more like early spring. Very chilly and damp, but bright sun. I went up to the ruins of a 300 year old stone house and stuck various items on my head. It's a good day.

 

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Rockin The Plastic Like A Man From The Catskills

Well, a few days ago I left my hovel in east Flatbush and moved to my residency in Hurley, NY, a charming village three miles from Kingston. I'm staying in my friend Nina's house, an ancient sprawling former tavern built in 1709. 

I have met some nice people in the area already and am currently holed up in this place like an art bunker. It's taken a couple of days to get acclimated to the space, but what a space! I love this house quite a bit.  

I decided to start my project by playing around with the space a little. Since it's old and rather spooky, why not play the role of spirit? 

I have spent a little time exploring the area as well. I can't get very far with a lack of car, but I did go up in some woods behind the house and came across some stone ruins. The cemeteries on either side are fascinating as well. There's rich early American history in this vicinity that I find fascinating. 

 

 

 

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Blizzard: Jonas 2016

After the boiler in my flat decided to kick it forever and we all descended into despair and near-madness, I fled NYC to recover at my family's place. But not before I ventured outside into the two foot snow drifts of Flatbush. 

It was insanity. Flatbush Avenue had been closed down except for emergency vehicles, so people walked up and down what is normally a very busy highway. The silence was deafening. I saw a large rat scurry up a snowbank to find shelter inside the hubcap of an abandoned commuter van.

Surviving my first blizzard in NYC was a memorable experience, and although it was sheer hell, it was a beautiful one.

 

Residency

I'm pleased to announce that I will be doing a month residency in Kingston, NY at the Star House Gallery, starting 1 March 2016. More details to follow, if anyone even reads this, which I assume everyone does. I'm delighted to have this opportunity to explore performance, video and photography. 

Star House Gallery is a terrific space for abstract and performance artists, and I'm grateful to Nina Isabelle for offering the chance to focus on my work in such a cool space. Nina lives in an old tavern, built in 1709 and the site of some Revolutionary War dealings. I believe Washington was in it at some point. It's haunted and crooked and full of inspiration. It will be a good place to stay both grounded in history and focused on the future. I hope its spirits will be nice to me.