Tuesday, July 31, 2007

'boys far from home calling their lovers (finding a signal)'

more 'boys far from home calling their lovers (finding a signal)'

new series from Harold residency

series: 'boys far from home calling their lovers (finding a signal)'

more to come soon...i am working on a new commission series due aug 15th for wright auction house...

Friday, July 27, 2007

nirvana project press

Looks Like Teen Spirit

Photographer Jason Lazarus wants to know who turned you on to Nirvana. Looks Like Teen Spirit

Jason Lazarus

Rob Warner

By Miles Raymer
July 27, 2007

FOR ME IT was Sara. She was the cool kid at oceanography camp, which I guess isn't a hard thing to be. She was from Boston and had a serious record collection at age 14. I was 13 and living in a small town in Michigan where people drove tractors to school. Our conversations during those two weeks in Maine in the summer of 1990, and the mix tapes she sent me after we went home, were the foundation of my indie-rock experience. One day, about a year later, she called me and said I had to buy the cassingle of a song called "Smells Like Teen Spirit" immediately. Like all her suggestions, I followed it without question. I went to Wherehouse and bought the tape. It just about ruined me on the first listen -- and for a couple hundred listens after that.

This is the kind of story local photographer Jason Lazarus is looking for. His own work has earned him a slot in the MCA's 12 x 12 series and has appeared in group shows in New York, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, but for around eight months he's been collecting people's photos of the person who turned them on to Nirvana. (My mom's looking through old pictures to see if she can find one of Sara.) It started when Lazarus and a friend were digging through her collection of snapshots and she pulled out a picture of a kid named Josh, a friend of her older stepbrother's. "He had this very 'I'm a tough kid, I could potentially kick your ass,' great look," says Lazarus. His friend explained that he'd been the first person to play Nirvana for her, and that it had started her listening to alt-rock and dressing weird -- baby steps on the path that would lead her to a career in art. Lazarus took the photo home. "I put it on my wall, really thinking, like, I don't know why I'm putting this on my wall. Nothing amazing is going to come of it. And I was thinking, maybe I can start asking people about who their culture maven was when they were that age," he says. "And it struck me that I could use Nirvana as the filter through which I accumulate these people."


That filter means Lazarus is mostly dealing with people in a narrow age range, from their late 20s to early 30s -- old enough to have cared about the alt-rock explosion, but young enough to have needed a gatekeeper to guide them through their first revelatory experiences of nonmainstream culture. His Nirvana Project focuses on that gatekeeper -- the boyfriend, the friend of an older sibling, whoever -- as a way of addressing the universal adolescent experience of developing an independent personal identity. Each piece is a blown-up print of the original photo of somebody's "culture maven," accompanied by Lazarus's handwritten version of the tale behind it. "Sometimes," he says, "there's these great stories that don't unfold unless I ask some question. Like, 'It just so happens that the cops, right after we were listening to this, chased us for skating and we ended up hiding in the YMCA bathroom.' You know, I'm like, 'Oh my god.' Because that's perfect."

In the past couple decades, the guide who leads a young person into the underground has become a postmodern suburban archetype. The Internet may end up usurping that role, but it hasn't yet: Lazarus teaches photography to undergrads at Columbia, Robert Morris College, and Saint Xavier University, and one of his better submissions came from a student. Her photo is of a band called Captain Eyeball, two of whose members she dated. "The picture is of them in what feels like a basement, sitting on a couch, with all of these rock 'n' roll posters," says Lazarus. "Two of the guys have sunglasses on and they look kind of Brit. And the third guy looks more like lumpy American, but he's holding this blow-up eyeball. It's so hilarious and wonderful. The more I ask, the more I find these great surprises really close to me."

Captain Eyeball

Lazarus hopes to accumulate 30 or so pieces. "I have about 15," he says. "Half of those I think are really strong. Half of them I could give or take if I get a better one." To that end, he carries around special business cards to hand out to potential contributors. He can't cheat by using his own story -- no one person introduced him to Nirvana. "For me," he says, "it was just MTV." He's not even particularly obsessed with the band. The best-of CD he burns for people who give him photos is fairly expert, but he admits, "I'm not the most fluent Nirvana audiophile. I've just always liked them."

In October Lazarus will be showing some work at the D3 Projects gallery in Santa Monica, and the unfinished Nirvana Project will be maybe half of it. In the meantime he's still collecting material. He can be contacted through jasonlazarus.com.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

new work from harold residency

the harold residency was even more amazing this year (haroldarts.org). 50 artists went through the residency over two weeks. food was catered by chef ben carver of treat restaurant. two nights featured world class free jazz. i skinny dipped. i saw dozens of dear that i shared small moments with. i now have a buck skull wired to the grill of my subaru (i should probably but that on the blog soon too!)(we found the skull behind a cabin). i photographed all the pictures i had in mind and conceived of a new small series i will start editing tomorrow. if you are a musician or visual artist, this young residency is hot shit.

many sorted stacks of negatives now lie on my work table, but this image was the one i was most unsure of and went straight to the scanner with. lamp oil on forest road. "your time is gonna come" for the self portrait as an artist series...more to come.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

d3 projects

i will be showing at d3 projects, a new LA space, on nov 10th. the press release of their inaugural show is below...i really like michael scoggins work. read below:

D3PROJECTS at Bergamot Station
celebrates the opening of its space with a special Michael Scoggins Exhibition
in partnership with ADLER & Co. GALLERY of San Francisco

July 21 – August 31, 2007
Opening reception for the artist: Saturday July 21, 2007, 4-8 pm
(by invitation only, please call gallery for details)

Michael Scoggins
Left image: Multiplication Quiz, 2004
Right image: Godzilla, 2007
Graphite, prismacolor and marker on paper
67 x 51 inches
© Michael Scoggins / Courtesy of Adler & Co. Gallery, San Francisco

During the opening, Michael Scoggins will create a new painting in collaboration with the children who are in attendance.
D3projects will offer the guests the opportunity to bid on this special work in a silent auction at the event to benefit The Children Defense Fund (CDF).

For any more information, please call d3projects.

D3PROJECTS at Bergamot Station, CA, is delighted to present a special exhibition of new work by artist Michael Scoggins. Scoggins’ award-winning work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, and is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artist holds an MFA in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design. The Scoggins Exhibition will celebrate the launch of the exciting new experimental art space, d3projects at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, California. The Grand Opening reception will be held Saturday, July 21, 4- 8pm at the d3projects’ Gallery Bergamot Station location, and is by invitation only (please call the gallery for details). This inaugural exhibition will continue through August 31st. Admission to the d3projects Gallery is free and will be open to the public. Gallery hours are: 10am – 6pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

The exhibition will feature a new group of Scoggins’ striking compositions on paper. The Artist’s “canvas” is, in fact, a large notebook sheet, complete with spiral bound edges and hand drawn blue lines, which he offers up wrinkled and dog-eared. It is a universally familiar image which he now elevates to a monumental 67 x 51 inches. He enlarges the sheet, creates a new perspective for us, and in the process, imbues the familiar images with a new sense of importance. He demonstrates vividly, and in heroic scale, how he is affected by American popular culture and world events, and how those forces have shaped all our lives. Scoggins infuses his unique works with a tactile component. He selectively tears, crumples and folds the sheets, giving the images a sense of history as he simultaneously establishes the works themselves as objects, expanding the definition of traditional drawing.

In the tradition of the great Pop and contemporary artists, Scoggins redefines the ordinary and familiar, composes a new vision, and, in the process, creates for the viewer an icon for the 21st century. As simple as it is sophisticated, his work is accessible, edgy, provocative and….witty, in an often sinister, way. Scoggins takes on the world like a kid in the schoolyard of life.

Scoggins’ bigger than life works, combine elements which pull on our collective memories and heartstrings. The works are emotionally charged – they make us laugh, they fill us with feelings of nostalgia or melancholy, while some make us angry and frustrated. The emblematic examples of the artist’s oeuvre on display at d3projects will make us sit up and take notice, think and respond, and most certainly provoke deliberation and discussion.

d3projects, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica:
Created in June 2007 as an experimental art project, d3projects is a functional gallery space. A venue for contemporary art and photography, this innovative art space will also provide a forum as an evolving creative interactive artistic environment. d3projects groundbreaking gallery is located at 2525 Michigan Avenue, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA.

ADLER & Co. GALLERY, San Francisco:
In addition to exhibiting the works of the finest modern and contemporary artists, ADLER & Co. provides a full range of consulting services to private, corporate, and institutional clients. Located at 251 Post St. just off Union Square in San Francisco, CA, ADLER & Co. is proud to be an exhibitor in the Los Angeles Art Show at the Barker Hanger. The Gallery has loaned works to the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and has exhibited a wide range of contemporary and modern artists that includes David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Vassily Kandinsky, Elizabeth Murray, Hilla Rebay, and Wayne Thiebaud.

Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Ave #D3
Santa Monica, CA 90404
T 310-829-9856
F 310-829-9431
E d3projects@gmail.com
Tues - Sat, 10am - 6pm

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

new living with a portrait image...

mike's mother

this has been a challenging series to work on and i find little victories along the way. i like the lifting of the portrait 'off the wall' and onto mike (in this case). the detail on a large print would be really nice on the mother tattoo, her hair, the gaze...and it feels a little boticelli to me in spirit...

anyone live with a portrait out there? there are more pictures to make!

Monday, July 09, 2007

all time best songs

currently trying to compile a thank you cd for all nirvana project participants, here is the list as it stands now:

any suggestions???


W.House denies debating troop withdrawal

By Tabassum Zakaria 56 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush has no plans to withdraw troops from Iraq now, the White House said on Monday, despite increasing pressure from members of his own Republican party for a change in war strategy.

god forbid a leader/administration actually has internal debate about a complex issue! (well, pretty uncomplex at this low-point)

zoe and paul

paul damato top, zoe strauss underneath:

zoe strauss put my conceptual firework image on her blog!:

i like her work, she cusses, and uses a lot of exclamation points!!!! which i like!!!! she also puts work up on her blog that she is 'on the fence' about, which is fun to watch what makes the cuts.

her work is also at zoestrauss.com.

having been taught by, and now friends with paul damato (www.pauldamato.com), who is a street photography veteran now working on more investigative 4x5 street images, i am suddenly struck by the generational? or at least different approach of these 2 artists who loosely share a subject matter. these two would be great friends i think. it is interesting to look at the images that are most celebratory when the subject matter is politically/economically marginalized...then you really seem to learn a lot about the photographer
(as an empath-i-ser/participant/committed-observer/optimist/humanist)!!!

apply in spring 08

i am participant/board member for the newly flourishing Harold art residency in southeastern Ohio...learn more at haroldarts.org

i leave in a week for 10 days and am getting all sorts of random stuff in order to work on out there, including a plaster cast of jimi hendrix's penis (acquired from cynthia plaster caster). think warm sunset 70's landscape/still life...

also, expecting a new nirvana submission on wednesday courtesy of Rodan (chicago bar) doorperson 'tony', who is a sweet kid. he is the smallest bouncer on milwaukee ave.

uncle sam's answer

a new piece:

"Entire duration of 'Uncle Sam's Answer' fireworks package ($99.95), Independence Day 2007"

yes, that's right, i spent 100 bucks on a big bucket sized package of fireworks called 'America's Answer' with one big fat wick sticking out of the bottom. the image is a long exposure of the entire show that came out of that bucket.

2 header

this really sweet woman showed me her 2 headed turtle on july 3rd. they were a small, dark fireworks store across the street from a nice, big, serious firework operation. their sign lures people across the street with not only lower prices, but a 'free, real 2 headed turtle'

get a nirvana card from a small jewishy guy?

see the whole project at jasonlazarus.com

see you there, j