1) Vintage Camero, 2) Van, 3) Cable sattlelights Los Angeles, 4 ) parking lot, 5 ) parking lot, 6 ) American Apparel Truck, 5 ) Fire, 6 ) Stump, 7 ) Jennifer and her dream car
If you had told me that taking my six year old on a trip to show my work for four days would be fun.. I would have laughed at you. But still, that’s what I did. Along with my husband William , we got on the road for our daughter’s school break and drove up to San Francisco.
The first challenge was seeing if we could or should show our work together, that seemed to be better for art buyers and photo editors in a way, two for one. So that was good, but how about the kid? Well, hopefully it wasn’t the stupidest thing I’ve done this year, but frankly I think it was good too. Everyone seemed pretty happy for a diversion in from the normal portfolio show, she is pretty charming ( generally speaking, depending on the time of day ), and it seemed to be a really great way for people who could potentially hire us to get to know us as real people, not just photographers. Now I don’t bring my daughter to shoots, but still it was fun, and lots of people have a kid or two or maybe even three at home, so it’s not the weirdest thing in the world to see one at work. That being said, we had a busy week, with lots of meetings, so we had to build in some time for fun every day. The first day we were in town, that meant spending the morning at the Ferry building ( AKA Disneyland for Glutons ) my absolute favorite place. We had some morning treats ( Blue Bottle Coffee ) honestly we ate everywhere in that place, and then went straight over to the ferry for a ride to Larksper. Now this was really about the trip on a boat, her first one so far, and it was FUN! We were all tired and cranky from the drive the day before, so being on a boat with the air in your face and the wind shaking you up a little was absolutely fantastic! I highly recommend it.
And another little note on kids. At Goodby Silverstein, we had a chance to meet the daughter of an old friend I worked with many many years ago, in fact the first time I worked with Dan Southwick, his daughter Isabella was about 6 months old. We’ve worked together and kept in touch over the years since, so it was great that we finally get to meet her on this trip. William did this sweet portrait of them at the office. Sometimes things come full circle.
Which was true for visiting my favorite all time cafe with William and Vivienne on this trip too. I LOVE, Cafe Trieste. It’s a spot I used to visit weekly if not daily when I lived in the bay area and went to school at the San Francicsco Art Institute. This place has such an incredible history and atmosphere. Maybe the coffee isn’t as sublime as some of the other hipster joints which I also appreciate, but it is straight up cafe culture, pure and simple. I got a quick image of Paul with my iphone, he’s been pulling shots there since I was a student at SFAI….
Beyond the ferry, we went to the new Coret Children’s playground in Golden Gate Park, which a friend in the area recommended. It is amazing, and slightly horrifying for any mother or parent with a penchant for slight anxiety. The kids can climb this rope structure up to 25 feet in the air… I’m sure it’s safe, but I couldn’t really stand to look.
On our last day in town we had lunch with one of William’s collaborator’s and friends Kevin. Kevin Roberson is an incredible designer and has worked for many of the best shops in town doing design and art direction over the years. These days, he has a design studio in Hayes Valley with a partner, they design packaging for all manor of adult and child beverages.
I loved Kevin’s look, and fortunately, William did this great portrait of him. The white pants and black slip ons are the best part!
The last stop out of town was breakfast with friends Jessie and Mark at Sam’s Log Cabin in Albany. It was delicious, and very child friendly. There were quite literally children lying on the floor in this place at any given time and the servers were so funny, they’d just step right over them. Oh boy, but still it was great.
Here’s to taking your kid, to work once and a while. I highly recommend it in San Francisco for this or any other kind of trip, the playgrounds are well designed and plentiful, the food is beyond your expectations if you do a little research ahead of time, and you can get a great view or cup of coffee just about anywhere.
A very quick visit to New York last week to see clients and agencies, magazines and friends, coincided with the anticipated NEMO a storm with a silly name. My first night in town, I stayed across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral and made this photograph through the window. It made me think of all the fantastic images I’ve been seeing on Instagram, by Photo Editor Kathy Ryan from the T Magazine. She’s an incredible photographer with her iphone, and gives such a beautiful little window into her world at the New York Times. If you don’t already follow her, then start. ( @KATHYRYAN1 ) So anyway, it was cold. For me of course, anything under 60 feels chilly. Still the city was beautiful and busy as always, I shlepped my portfolio and ipad around for a few days and met some lovely new people and saw some not so new…equally lovely. I got to catch up with an old friend and collaborator from many years ago, Brittain Stone. We had lunch, and I got to hear about all his various non and for profit projects ( Brittain works on lots of cool non-profit projects as a photo coordinator ), not the least of which is theagentlist.com, a website featuring virtually every photography agency out there which he has built with partner Rob Haggart of the popular blog aphotoeditor .
BRAVO to them, it’s a pretty damn concise listing which will no doubt save mucho time for many photo editors and art buyers everywhere, now for all of us without an agent, this list is well, not so helpful, but I’m patient. Maybe we can have our own parade or site or something?
Ok the best part of this visit, besides seeing the most glamorous older woman in a fur hat and matching coat at the Plaza food court ( only place to get stumptown uptown ), was eating at The Fat Radish. Oh, this place is beyond! Do yourself a favor and just go.
Anyway New York, I’ll be back soon.
Exactly one year ago on Christmas eve, my family and I went for Christmas dinner at my friend Jenny’s house. When we arrived she had just received incredibly sad news about a horrendous fire in the home of her friend Madonna Badger, which killed Madonna and Matthew Badger’s three daughters Lily, Sarah and Grace, in addition to Madonna’s parents who were visiting for Christmas. Vowing to do something constructive after this tragic fire Jennifer Levy came together with her friends Elizabeth Cutrona Goetchius, Jennifer Gross and Lily, Sarah and Grace’s father Matthew Badger, and created a beautiful day of art, and community on a rainy day in Los Angeles to benefit Matthew’s foundation, the LilySarahGrace.
The mission of the LilySarahGrace fund , is “To challenge and empower teachers in underfunded elementary schools across the United States to teach their curriculum through the universal language of Art and Creativity.
I was so inspired by the energy and generosity of everyone who came together to raise money, make art and create beauty out of this terrible loss. As a mother, I can not imagine the horror and deep sorrow that Matthew and Madonna Badger have had to endure this past year after the loss of their girls. Still the creative energy and support of so many people who came together in the name of those three beautiful girls, so that other children will have the opportunity to make art and express themselves creatively takes my breath away.
Here are a few of my photographs from this beautiful day.
1. Antique bed in American Wing – Metropolitan Museum, 2. Little fingers and homegrown pomegranate, 3. Red Convertible – Palm Springs, 4. Succulent Flowers, 5. Naomi and Frankie’s Feet , 6. Summer Fruit
Beautiful synchronicity happened today on the set of a fun project with KNOCK INC., when producer Ritu Paramesh and Actress Melissa Keller met toe to toe.
Their show titled “The Butterfly Dance” is currently up at the Anton Kern Gallery in New York.
Lara made these incredible costumes, in addition to head pieces and and the three of them acted out their performance in this mesmerizing video
I fancy myself a creative person, a photographer, a director, an artist? I’m not so sure. This is a interesting question and challenge for me as a commercial photographer and image maker. Still this is why I love working on projects with people like Lara, My Barbarian and her husband Matt. I am enamored by their creative spirit and raw guts. They make work that comes out of their heads, from their hands and their experiences and put it out into the world. Over and over again. Original art inspires me to be brave and go deep into my unconscious when making new work.
Here’s some information on the show and their collaboration and the show.
The Butterfly’s Evil Spell is a collaboration among the three members of LA based collective My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon and Alexandro Segade) and sculptor Lara Schnitger. Playing between the dramatic spaces of fantasy and realism, the piece uses a fragmentary Symbolist theater text from 1920 by Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, entitled El Maleficio de La Mariposa, as a starting point. The artists responded with a performance video and installation that re-stages scenes from the play in elaborate sculptural costumes. The group also generated original material drawn from the circumstances in their own interconnected lives, shot on location in their shared LA studio, extending a relationship between imagination and social reality.
El Maleficio de La Mariposa, with a cast of talking insects, tells the story of a mother beetle whose son is “going to be a poet” against her wishes. The son, in another scene, abandons his girlfriend Sylvia because he is “in love with the butterflies,” a wistful declaration that carries notes of both poetry and prohibited sexual desire, linking the two. The artists perform these scenes in the video, wearing masks and costumes that become sculptures in the installation. In complementary scenes, the artists act out episodes that reflect their own lives: Gordon, who is pregnant, talks to Schnitger, who has a five year old, about her anxieties; Gaines and Segade, a gay married couple, re-negotiate the complexities of their long-term relationship. The Butterfly’s Evil Spell draws parallels between feminist and queer political identities while locating the space for making these connections in the ludic realm of play. Emphasizing the theatrical conditions of this play-space, the video begins with a sung adaptation of Golden Age Spanish playwright Calderon de La Barca’s famous Life is A Dream soliloquy, and ends with the dance of the butterflies, in which the four artists become a chorus line of fabric-clad dancers whose wings are decorated with slogans from the women’s and gay right’s movements of the 70s (when most of the members of the group were born), finally leading them to strip off their costumes and reconnect with the imminence of their bodies.