Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Retna, Gallery Revisited, Movies w/my pix premieres, Rizzoli and the Oscars

Sorry I haven't written. I write tons and tons of emails, but compiling that info is difficult, cos it takes time to go through it and pull what I can share. Plus I dislike writing about my day at the end of the day. I'm more into planning tomorrow, cos "days change to night in an instant" (X's "Los Angeles" and yes, that's based on a real woman, who named me). So here's a short list of current projects:

Representation:
Retna: finally signed with them. Only one of the most-respected agencies for music photographers. We both took our time -- sometimes things move slowly. But now, I have to ramp up!

Exhibits:
Gallery Revisited: www.galleryrevisited.com, 3204 Sunset, Silver Lake. Leora Lutz, owner/curator/artist, celebrated her gallery’s new opening by assembling a group show of her gallery’s artists. A fab opening, lots of yummy art. The show runs through March 18.

It's very difficult to find galleries willing to show my punk photos with contemporary artists. I'm not low-brow, although punk certainly influenced most low-brow artists and to me, would seem a logical environment, but it's not my call. I don't want to be at the traditional photography galleries because I don't think they will attract the kind of audience my photos need at this time. I'm looking for an appropriate New York venue, but if it's this difficult in my home town, I am blessed good people in NY are assisting me.

I applaud Leora's input, respect and enthusiasm for my work. To me, showing is not just about putting photos on the wall. It's building a career and partnership with very focused galleries and their owners. and that is the exception, not the norm in LA, especially for rock photographers!

I’ll have a solo show on September 2, 2006 through mid-October, so calendar it NOW!

Books:
Rizzoli: yes, my first book due end of March, to be released next year.

In the works: a Photographic book about early LA punk scene. I am sworn to secrecy re more details, but I pulled up nearly 80 never-before-seen shots from fall of 1977 to spring of 1978. I’m proud to be part of this book that celebrates and respects not only that era, but dealing with the producer of the book has been a pleasure.

SXSW and upcoming Allison Anders' "Don't Knock the Rock" film fest, May at LA's REDCAT [Disney Hall] showcasing two movies with my photos:

"Treasures of Long Gone John" premiere from director/artist Greg Gibbs about the notorious Sympathy for Record Industry label founder and low brow collector/promoter/supporter. John refers to several punk groups and they turned to me for the photos. Not having the money to go to CSXW, I won't see it yet, but here’s a few of the photos I supplied: X, Black Randy and infamous Randettes, Devo, Germs, Weirdos, Randoms, Screamers, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, and various important writers, fans, muses from LA, circa 1977 – 1978. Thanks to Greg Escalante of CoproNason Gallery (www.copronason.com) and Juxtapoz curator for sending Gibbs my way.

"American Hardcore" is director Paul Rachman’s “documentary is a comprehensive and chaotic visual history of the underground scene of the American hardcore punk movement.” How funny is it one of Slamdance’s founders saw this premiered at Sundance, based on Steven Blush’s book from Adam Parfrey’s Feral House. They only needed three photos: Weirdos, Germs and Screamers. Initially they wanted another band, but when my face fell and later they saw my Screamers shots, the Screamers were in! Yes, 30 years after I started shooting, I still push my fave bands.

Ramones: "Too Tough to Die," Tribeca Film Festival, New York, April - May premiere. With about a dozen of my photos. I was moved to tears when I saw a rough cut with MY photo of Johnny Ramones flashing on the screen when Rob Zombie pulled out his cell phone so we all could say hi to Johnny at the Ramones Tribute show, September 2004. That of ALL the shots of Johnny, director Mandy Stein, editor Jonathan Del Gatto and his crew chose MY photo. Of Johnny!

Oh the irony! Life is funny at times. Long story short: Johnny and I did not, ah, get along. No surprise cos I hung with Dee Dee and if you know their history, you get it. If not, read Monte Melnick's eye-popping account of "On the Road with the Ramones." A must-have book!!

Mandy and her talented, dedicated crew captured and edited the best of that show, with X and the Dickies and many guest performers: Steve Jones, Henry Rollins, Dickie Barrett and others. Although you can’t tell which photos were mine taken in California, 1976 - 1978, I am so gratified to see my photos along side Bob Gruen and other NY photographers.

To Do:
April I must totally re-do my websites, that will be quite a chore, but must be done. Rust never sleeps. What does that mean?

Upcoming solo show in June, details later, gotta pull and print photos.

Special treats:
Every day I receive emails and phone calls from so many talented people, and we encourage and support each other with our creative endeavors. I receive so many heart-warming and inspiring emails of gratitude and appreciation for my work then and now from people in the industry as well as fans of all ages.

Although I am neglecting my art roots, Saturday night I received a call from a pal. He provided me with a piece of art from a contemporary artist who turns me on. What a swell surprise!!

But I had to hop in my car and drive half-way across town to pick up my new, never seen art. I hit three gallery openings. I find most current art, especially low brow and urban/hip-hop/graffiti inspired art to be boring, insipid and scary in its lack of human emotions. But once in awhile I find an artist whose visions resonate so deeply that I love want a big house and lots of money to buy and display their art. I think this just might be the first piece of art I’ve ever received from a gallery. Hmm, I’ve traded my work when I was in college, but something from a gallery? It just came out of nowhere, totally unexpected. And that’s life, always surprising us.

Except it’s no surprise George Clooney won an Oscar (R). He gained weight, doesn’t that help? He also is very talented and most of all, a liberal who is not afraid to put his money, time and talent behind important issues. As a fan of Edward R. Murrow, I can’t recommend “Good Night, and Good Luck” too much. It’s an amazing movie on so many levels. And it’s the truth, something in rare supply from Hollywood and politics.

I hope "Real Woman" Reese Witherspoon NEVER gets botoxed. Add that to her intelligent beauty, and maybe Hollywood will take a turn for the better. Maybe.

OK, back to work.

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