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Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Art Department’ Category

Central Park, 1969. By Paul Goldfinger © Silver gelatin print.

Central Park, 1969. By Paul Goldfinger © Silver gelatin print.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Photography Editor @Blogfinger

My photo was taken of Central Park after the 1969 blizzard.  I climbed to the top of Mt. Sinai Hospital and took the picture with my Pentax Spotmatic 35 mm single-lens reflex camera which a friend had brought back from Korea. I only had one lens, a 50mm.  I made the print in my darkroom using traditional wet/chemical methods .

Years later, as I learned more about photographic history, I admired the work of André Kertèsz, a Hungarian born photographer who lived in France and then came to America where the third phase of his career elevated him into the ranks of the most famous fine art photographers.

He and his wife moved into a 12th story apartment overlooking Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village in the early 1950’s.  He loved to shoot images with a telephoto lens out the window at the park. He especially  enjoyed snow scenes.

From Photograph Magazine via Swann Galleries, New York.

From Photograph Magazine via Swann Galleries, New York.

When I saw his image (above) from 1954, I was struck by the similarity  to mine. But my photo was not derived from his, since I was unaware of him in 1969.  At least I don’t believe I ever saw it before.

But art always owes a debt to the work of those who came before, and that is why artists must study the history of their genre in order to build on the past.  The influence of one generation of artists onto later ones is sometimes unconscious on the part of those who may be borrowing without even realizing.

Because of our two similar images, and I am not comparing myself directly to Kertèsz, I feel that there is a kindred spirit—a connection— that somehow exists,  and that is something that is both weird and exhilarating.

Have any of you artists/writers out there  (and there are some in Ocean Grove) ever felt such a relationship?

JENNIFER THAYER  (This song was featured in the movie The Thomas Crown Affair and sung by Noel Harrison)

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Days in Ocean Grove. Historic ice cream parlor. Paul Goldfinger photo. Tri-X film and a silver gelatin darkroom print made by me.

 

Portrait of Eileen. Film (Tri-X) darkroom print by Paul Golfinger. ©

 

Camelia River in Ft. Myers, Fla. Digital photograph. December, 2019. There are many variables which go into the appearance of this image. It is seen here only as a digital file made with my Leica Monochrome 246, although a paper print is possible if a negative is made (purists do this) or a digital printer is used. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger,  Photo editor @Blogfinger.net

Years ago I did only color photography. I did well making pretty pictures, some of which wound up winning contests and being displayed internationally by Pfizer Labs.   But I got bored with it and decided to do black and white photos. Eileen got the job of documenting our family’s history in color.

So I took courses and learned how to create high quality black and white prints in the darkroom.  That was much more challenging and rewarding than merely sending the film to a lab. Half the battle with black and white negatives becoming fine prints is in the darkroom.

Some of you who have been interested in fine-art photography know that most of the greats of the past worked only in black and white.

I became a Leica B&W photographer, one of a specialized group that used those fabulous German cameras with their remarkable lenses.  Many of those professional artists were photojournalists, becoming expert at street photography using those small and unobtrusive 35 mm cameras. They bridged the gap between news and fine art.

Remember Robert Capa?   He was on assignment for Life Magazine.  He took his Leica along when he landed with the first wave at D-Day.  There is a remarkable story about that.  Here is a Blogfinger link:

 

Robert Capa lands on D-Day

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One of Capa’s D-Day images. He won a Pulitzer for this courageous work.

 

Cartier Bresson carried his Leica under his raincoat while sitting at cafés in Paris. All of a sudden he would stand up with his camera and take a picture.  Then sit down and get back to his espresso.   He called it the “decisive moment.”

So for years I only did B&W, although there were some exceptions.  Basically I preconceived my photos by looking at the world in black and white.

A great debate eventually developed over which was better:  film or digital, but that became academic since high quality digital color and black and white images could now be obtained.

In my case, before Blogfinger,  I continued to do only film work and I built a darkroom in my 1880 OG house. It was historic because photography was invented before OG was founded. Remember Matthew Brady during the Civil War?

But when Blogfinger began, I saw that digital images could look spectacular on the Internet.  That’s when I closed my darkroom.  No more hours breathing in chemicals, on my feet, and no more matting, mounting and framing prints.  And I entered a color phase once again, along with B&W.

I like to display my images on BF or by having digital black and white prints made by a fine-art lab, usually in small sizes and then I dry mount them on photo mats.  This way they can be placed on a shelf without any glass or plastic….just the basic  image which can be picked up, changed,  and moved about easily–very retro and satisfying.

But now, as Blogfinger becomes more artsy, I am going back to the days when I shot mostly black and white.  It takes some getting used to by the photographer and by those looking at those pictures.

I think black and white images generally  contain more richness, soul, subtext, subtlety, and spirituality.  And it takes me back to when black and white was all we had, kept aloft by all those S’s.

And now I have to figure out how to get the most out of a new digital camera that only takes black and white images. I sold my film cameras—there is still a market out there for them, and the pendulum is swinging back somewhat.  Art students are learning how to do darkroom printing, sometimes pursuing historic materials such as light sensitive gold or platinum.

Below is the latest M series Leica digital camera–the “Monochrom.”  It is purposely designed to look like its ancestors from the 1930’s, but it is incredibly complicated with software menus out the wazoo.

I have one, but it will take time to excel with it.  You will be seeing more black and white on Blogfinger, but feel free to submit color images if yours are very good.  I will too.  I still have a fine color camera for the 4th of July parade and other “color-essential” events.

 

Leica M “Monochrom” digital camera. 2019.  High speed Leica 35 mm. lens “the Summilux-M.

 

ANNA CARAM:

 

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By Paul Goldfinger.

By Paul Goldfinger. © 2014

DAVE’S TRUE STORY.  “Blue Moon”

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Tony Soprano on the Boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ. c. 2000. All photos by Paul Goldfinger taken from the TV.

Tony Soprano on the Boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ. c. 2000. All photos by Paul Goldfinger taken from the TV.

 

Sopranos (L to R) Paulie, Hesh, Blank, Christafuh, Sylvio (Steve Van Zant)

Sopranos (L to R) Paulie, Hesh,  Big Pussy, Patsy, Christafuh, Silvio (Steven Van Zandt) on the Asbury Park Boards

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net. from our series on the Sopranos at the Jersey Shore.

Late in the second season of the Sopranos, Tony is having nightmares. He is under the care of Dr. Jennifer Melfi, his shrink.  The scenes on the Asbury Boardwalk portrayed a dream sequence with a talking fish over by Convention Hall. The weather that day in June was a rare spring snow storm.

David Chase created the series which had six seasons and 86 episodes, and it ended in 2007.  There were over 500 New Jersey locations during the Soprano years.  Steven Van Zandt (Silvio) is an actor and musician from New Jersey and is a member of Springsteen’s E Street Band. Despite his name, he is Italian and he grew up in Middletown after the age of 7. Perhaps he had something to do with the Asbury location.

Soprano. He was from Westwood, NJ, and he died in 2013.

James Gandolfini portrayed Tony Soprano. He was from Westwood, NJ, and he died in 2013 of a heart attack.  Re-post from 2016.

VINNIE PAULEONE and the Ba Da Bing Orchestra

 

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By Paul @Blogfinger.net

I met Teri Causey at the Sanibel Art Show in Southwest Florida in 2014.  Her work is very fanciful, and we enjoyed viewing her gallery at the outdoor event  on Sanibel Island.  This image is painted on wood and finished with marine varnish. I scanned  it from her business card, which explains the name on top.

If you go fishing, you never know what you might catch or who’s doing the catching.   But there’s nothing fishy about Teri’s work.  —-Paul   @Blogfinger

KELLY PARKES

 

Editor’s note:  We now have two shops downtown OG that feature mermaids. And we met a mermaid in Firemen’s Park in 2017.  Here is a link:

Grover mermaid. Click here

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Outside courtyard at the Musée D’Orsay in Paris. Nothing new under the sun.  Paul Goldfinger ©. Tri-X collection.  Click on image to enlarge.

The Musée D’Orsay is an art museum on the Left Bank in Paris. It has a large collection of Impressionistic and Post-Impressionistic masterpieces.

Those bare breasted women in the image above, probably early 20th century beauties, are relaxing in the Paris sunshine, proudly displaying their loveliness.   And the other three women,  the warm blooded variety of today, are enjoying their company without evident embarrassment.

The photograph above shows that nothing changes—that everything old is new again.

PETER ALLEN

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Chihuly centerpiece in front of the Conservatory at the BBG. Photo by Hope Moraff, special to Blogfinger.net.

This show is not a typical gallery display.  It is a garden exhibit showing the works of a remarkable artist, Dale Chihuly, whose glass sculptures are internationally known.

The current show at the Bronx Botanical Garden will be around only until October 29, but it is worth a trip into the Bronx, even if parts of that borough look like a third world country.

 

Eileen Goldfinger photograph. October, 2017. © Blogfinger.net

The BBG is a spectacular place, and the Chihuly show is available in two formats, one in daylight and one at night.

Eileen Goldfinger photo of glass balls individually made. ©  Blogfinger.net

We visited for the daytime exhibit which displayed 20 Chihuly installations interspersed around and within  the gardens, and everything is within walking distance.

The presence of this georgeous colorful art presented in a natural environment is remarkable.

Chihuly exhibit. Photo by Eileen Goldfinger ©. Blogfinger.net

EMMA STONE AND RYAN GOSLING  from the soundtrack of La La Land.

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"The Life of the Flesh is in the Blood" 2015. Alabama. By Lauren Henkin 2015. From Photograph Magazine.

“The Life of the Flesh is in the Blood” 2015. Alabama. By Lauren Henkin 2015. From Photograph Magazine.  Is this image deserving of a showing at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama?

By Paul Goldfinger,  Photography Editor at Blogfinger University, Blogfinger.net.

I am  about to say something from left field about art appreciation, particularly regarding fine art photography.  It’s been on my agenda for awhile.

In the beginning  (I mean after the invention of photography, not the creation of the world) somebody took a picture of a naked woman or an apple, and then a critic showed up to judge if that’s art or what?  And since then there have been many schools of photography and many ideas about the art of the photographic image. Early on, there was even a debate about whether photography could be art.

But when it comes to critics, sometimes I think they are taking us for a ride. After all, aren’t we  all critics? Does one have to be a student of art appreciation to have an opinion about art?    Do we really need a pretentious analysis to tell us what to like?  When I saw the piece above  from the exhibit “What’s Lost is Found,” I thought “Really?”

The definition of art is a matter of opinion. One dictionary has 15 definitions.  For me, art happens  when an artist expresses his feelings and produces a tangible result like a painting or a sculpture, or even a drawing in the sand.  Then others can judge if they  appreciate the result. So by this definition, we  are all exposed to art every day, we all engage in art criticism, and we all can be artists.

Having said that, it is true that experts on art are more sophisticated and have more to say on the subject, and knowing about art helps inform one’s opinions, but sometimes those expert opinions seem unnecessarily elaborate and devoid of meaning for many of us.

I mostly ignore the academics and apply my own standards of beauty and significance., and so can you. Don’t be intimidated by the artsy crowd.

That brings me to an exhibit currently showing at the Birmingham Museum of Art. It’s called “What’s Lost is Found” by Lauren Henkin.  She has been engaged in a project to photograph rural Alabama.   Henkin said she felt “grounded in Alabama- the darkened soil acting as magnetic pull.”

Aware of being an outsider from Maine, she said, “I knew I would never be able to take ownership of the place, but I could remark on its lush landscape, its humble people, its primaries of reds, blues, and greens.” That’s how art critics and some artists talk.

Speaking about her experience in Hale County and the photographs she made while there, Henkin said, “The place itself is sacred terrain, drawing artists from near and far, trying to define a place and people that carry a history of the medium. It is a region filled with a rich complexity that cannot be explained or dissected.”

So take a look at the sample above from that Alabama exhibit, borrowed from the magazine Photograph. The experts at the magazine chose that photograph.  It has been called “art,” but I don’t get it.  All the artsy explanations will not convince me that this is a beautiful and/or meaningful image.  On the other hand, experts have found something profound in it and they will insist that we must look at the entire exhibit in context, but I think that an image worthy of a museum show should be able to  stand on its own.

Diane Arbus is a famous photographer, and I like her work very much. She is best known  for her images of ordinary people and she has had exhibits at the Met in NYC.  But the critics* see much more than that;  they also say that she “desired to see the diviness in ordinary things.”  And they add that she had “a deep and poetic understanding of space.”  Below is an image from the 2016 Met show. It is called “Lady on a Bus…1957.”  I like it, but “diviness” and “poetic understanding of space?”

"Lady on a Bus" 1957,by Diane Arbus. From the Merropplitan Museum of Art Collection.

“Lady on a Bus” 1957,by Diane Arbus. From the Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection.

*Quotes are from the  Metropolitan Museum of Art critics who commented on Arbus’ work in 2016.

 

THE NEVILLE BROTHERS  They take art very seriously.

 

 

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Barbara Mann

Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall  on the campus of Florida SouthWestern College in Fort Myers, Florida.  January, 2017.  Photograph by Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net.

We went to the Barbara Mann to see the Book of Mormon.  It had received many accolades, but we didn’t care for it very much.  The subject matter was often pretty gross and unpleasant, plus it was anti-religious, especially towards the Mormons;  as well as condescending and/or obnoxious  towards a variety of groups including blacks, gays and women.  

However,  the musical song and dance  numbers were often wonderful, such as “Hello” which opened the show  (see below).

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The show is about the pairs of young men who are sent on two year religious missions all over the world to try to gain converts to the Mormon Church. In the opening number, a group of missionaries dressed in their usual black pants, white shirts and ties, with name tags, perform this lively number called “Hello.”  The song is about how they go from door to door, ringing doorbells,  with their sacred texts of the Latter Day Saint movement. 

 They try to interest people in their religion with the ultimate goal of baptizing them. This show is set in a primitive village in Uganda, so the young Elders have their work cut out for them.

The Barbara Mann Theater has a high, grand entrance-way illuminated by the lights shown in the photograph above.  The packed house seemed to love the show and gave it a standing ovation with whistles and cheers, although some folks around us left at intermission.

ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST OF BOOK OF MORMON  with the opening number “Hello!”

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Untitled. By Tim Aanensen. ©

Untitled. By Tim Aanensen. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

Tim Aanensen, a 38 year old artist from Ocean Grove, has been inspired to express himself through art ever since he was encouraged to draw and paint as a preschooler. He took up photography in high school and then majored in that discipline while at Hamilton College. While studying in London, he took up painting and that led him to pursue his own abstract style which continues to evolve.

Over the years Tim has continued to study painting.  His attraction to art led him to conclude that this would be his life’s work.

Tim has exhibited at the Academy of Design, the Belmar Arts Council and at the Arts Alliance in Red Bank. He maintains a studio in Ocean Grove, a town where he has spent many summers visiting with his family. Tim and his wife currently reside in OG.

Untitled. By Tim Aanensen. ©

Untitled. By Tim Aanensen. ©  Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

Recently Tim has been inspired by birds, but not in the Audubon sense; instead he finds wonderful visual ideas by observing birds using photographs as well as recalling them from his “imagination.”

His paintings are fanciful and remind us in a way of Chagall or Picasso’s style of seeing the world.

Tim uses a found photograph to build a story using pen and ink. By Tim Aanensen. ©

Tim uses a found photograph to build a story using pen and ink. By Tim Aanensen. ©

Tim works in multiple media including oils, watercolor, pen and ink, acrylics and pastels. He is always producing new works and he is always evolving with his art. He doesn’t like to stand still: “I believe in developing.”

Tim aanensen in his studio. Photograph by Stephen Goldfinger, Blogfinger staff. ©

Tim Aanensen in his studio. Photograph by Stephen Goldfinger, Blogfinger staff. ©

Tim is also a photographer, and we hope to show some of his images in the future.

Meanwhile, if anyone is interested in viewing his work, he does sell his paintings. He is looking for a gallery to display his art.

Tim’s email is taanensen@gmail.com; or on Facebook at Tim Aanensen Fine Art.

Tim’s paintings have a rhythm—reminds me of the samba.  If we can accompany Blogfinger photos with music, why not Tim’s paintings?

JOAO  and ASTRUD GILBERTO:  “Garota de Ipanema.”

 

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