Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The "Losers"

Ten days from now is the opening of my very first photography exhibition. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited. Each photographer in the show is displaying six images that share a common theme. I chose to use photographs I had taken in art museums and as I sifted through them, two themes became apparent. The first was a pestering insistency, in some of the images, to showcase the museum buildings as works of art in and of themselves. The aesthetic vision of the museum's architect is something to be reveled in, as is the art that furnishes it. 

The second theme I found suddenly apparent in the photographs is the self-reflexive relationship between art and its viewers. Ansel Adams said that "There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." I believe he's correct. A work of art will always possess both the artist's intention and the viewer's interpretation. In certain images, I tried to take this concept a step further by capturing the viewer at a moment when he/she is internally processing the work before him/her - thus embedding it with his/her own meaning - while simultaneously becoming the unsuspecting subject of my own artistic vision through the click of the shutter.

The preview party is on Friday, October 1st at 8pm at WithInSight Hall (4001 N Ravenswood Ave). If you can't make it on Friday, my studio is also part of the Ravenswood Art Walk on Saturday and Sunday (October 2nd and 3rd) from 11am to 6pm. And if that's just all around a bad weekend for you, my photos will be hanging in the studio until May of next year, and I'd be happy to show you them at any time.

Since I'd like to maintain some element of surprise for those of you who come to the exhibition, I've decided to refrain from posting the six images I chose and instead show you some of the "losing" images that didn't quite make the final cut. They'll give you insight into my themes, as well as an idea of my aesthetic when it comes to this subject. Enjoy and I hope to see you at the opening!








Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Windy City Wine Fest

Another event that I had the pleasure of photographing was the Windy City Wine Fest this past weekend. Buckingham Fountain + 270 wines + a Belgian Beer Garden + beautiful weather = happiness. Chicagoans, if you've never been to this fest, I highly recommend going next year. And if you don't want to wait until next year, you can always head to the Naperville Wine Fest this coming weekend. Check out some of my images below.

The weather could not have been better.


The Belgian Beer Garden



Michael McDermott put on a great show Friday evening.

 Wine bottle candle holders

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Italians Do It Better: The 29th Annual Taste of Melrose Park

I spent this past Labor Day Weekend where I always do - in Melrose Park, a predominately Italian western suburb of Chicago - stuffing my face with delicious food and soaking up the sights. The Taste of Melrose Park, now in its 29th year, is a celebratory weekend for the locals, and consists of a kiddie amusement park, various arts and crafts booths, four stages of free entertainment from morning until night, and - most importantly - 70 primarily family-run food booths. When you attend, you not only eat some of the best Italian food outside of Italy, but you also have the distinct suspicion that perhaps you're in Chicago's very own hybrid version of "The Sopranos" meets the "Jersey Shore." For many years now, my band, The Betty Fords, has played the Taste and this year I was also asked to take photos throughout the weekend. Below are some of those images.

The Arts and Crafts area:

The kiddie amusement park area:

The Jesse White Tumblers put on an incredible show every year:

The food booths get crowded around dinner time - and rightfully so. Below are some of my favorite booths:

And then there's the entertainment:

(This is Peggy Difazio in the bottom left corner of the above photo. She runs the Taste and deserves a hell of a lot of credit for making it the success that it is year after year. In this photo, she and the bagpipers are looking at the American flag being raised by veterans, and for some reason, every time I look at it, the Bette Midler song, "From a Distance," comes to mind.)

Until next year Taste of Melrose...XO