Joachim Hildebrand : Wild West

It’s a book. I smiled because of the photographer’s simple knack : showing a shock between the “wild west” and the… civilization. It shows something…

Tamed nature, right? Hmm… It at least show how Americans are conscientious.

 

 

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Kenton Nelson, American painter

Kenton Nelson (b. 1954) is an American painter. Also a muralist, a watercolorist, a mosaics maker (look at this splendid bag/coat/hands).

You’ll find plenty of other paintings and watercolors on the web.

I’m intrigued because I feel like multiple quiet conflicts in his work : nostalgia, precision, maybe, from his characters, a little hidden desire to live, to pull themselves out of this… clean quietness (am I imagining that?). But it’s never weird, it’s more like a… will to breathe another air. It’s very subtle!

Have a nice day!

When some guys disobeyed the “I only do black & white” photography

I’m not a photographer, but I watch this “domain” a lot.

I fell in love recently with three American photographers : Eggleston, Shore, and Sternfeld.

Joel Sternfeld (b. 1944), William Eggleston (b. 1939) and Stephen Shore (b. 1947) are now seen pioneers in color photography.

In the late sixties and in the seventies, color photography was used for advertising and all everyday purposes. But “Artists” photographs were all shooting pictures in black & white. Color was, well… crap.

These three guys disobeyed the “obvious”.

I am really not an expert, but I read, I watch their pictures, or documentaries.

I see Shore as an intellectual, who looks how to “resolve” a picture. He’s a thinker. I often get very emotional in front of his work. He captures something, a light, a mood. It’s very mysterious, because I don’t really get it, how he does that. He’s like a painter with plenty of structure secrets…

I love him, I want him to be my teacher.

Egglestone is like a smart hungry kid. More diversity. Splendid portraits. I understand easier what he wants to show us. He also shows empty places in America. It’s more “on the ground” than Shore…

I love him, I want him to be my uncle.

Sternfeld, it’s another thing. He’s a wizard.

I love them. Their works. And the way they said “No” to the art index saying : “You’ll black & white”. Nope.

Have a nice day!

Greta Gerwig & Sacramento

My daughters were delighted : they went to the theater and watched the first Greta Gerwig movie : Lady Bird. They loved it!

So I told them about the director, Greta Gerwig, who wrote a movie with her boyfriend, a film about New York, a film I love so much, in the middle of Woody Allen (around Annie Hall) and J.-L. Godard. This freedom, this black & white…

We watched Frances Ha together and it was fantastic!

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In Frances Ha, a 27 years old woman, is living a bohème life in New York city. She’s a dancer, changing roommates all the time, meeting people, trying to live and find her path and dreams.

At one moment, she has to go back to Sacramento, her parent’s home. Lady Bird, indeed, takes place there. It’s (or course), where Greta Gerwig grew up…

In both films, we see something :

The character tries to “fit” where she’s from. California wealthy all-the-same little houses, with an American flag on the front porch, right? It’s christmas. An uncle plays the trumpet (or another instrument). Everybody is religious (and probably have guns), and the grass is well cut.

Horror.

You can see her TRYING to fit, though. She’s from there, after all!

She doesn’t fit and has to go back to NYC quickly. There she meets wealthy people (a lawyer, etc), and doesn’t fit at all!

 

Well, that’s all. It made me think a lot about this kind of people, who are absolutely BORED in front of “normal persons”, normal life, the “house and car and husband” choice, and commuting, etc. They would die quickly. They need to be in their element, sophistication and exploration, opportunities and art. ART. Out of it, they wither.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Lady Bird : “In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California.” – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4925292/

Frances Ha – “A New York woman (who doesn’t really have an apartment) apprentices for a dance company (though she’s not really a dancer) and throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as the possibility of realizing them dwindles.” – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2347569/

 

 

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Stephen Shore, mesmeric #Photographer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Shore

Stephen Shore is very special to me.

  • Like William Eggleston, he’s one great artist who “rediscovered” color photography when everybody was shooting in black & white.
  • He uses light and sun (and therefore the shadows) like nobody else.
  • He likes to take normal, “non interesting” places, like suburbs, streets, parkings – I am very touched by this approach.
  • His book, Uncommon Places, is a marvel.
  • Each photography is charged with a mood. You can almost breathe the air of it.
  • He has his own way of photographing normal lands, cars, streets, people with so much… care that all these become fascinating, mesmeric.

 

I found 12 pictures for you (plus the front cover of his book). Stare at these.

Have a nice day!

 

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Olathe means “Beautiful” – My Ouisconsin Toponymy Bliss

France is smaller than Texas alone, but like everywhere, it’s divided into regions, with different cultures, crowded (Paris region) or not (l’Auvergne), near the sea (Bretagne) or near Germany (l’Alsace).

Some regions have city names with the same suffix. Next to Lille (North of France), we have many towns finishing by “in” : Carvin, Camphin, Phalempin, Wavrin…

In Normandy you find many “ville” : Dauville, Trouville…

In Brittany : Bannalec, Carnac, Le Drennec, Glénac, Iffendic…

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You know that I’m a little obsessed with America, and I often wander on the USA map, trying to find the origins of the cities. Indian native, or English, French, Spanish? I check on Wikipedia…

For example, there’s a List_of_Swedish_place_names_in_the_United_States

More interesting : List_of_non-US_cities_with_a_US_namesake, where I find a Chantilly, Missouri (Aawweeeeeeee) or a Versailles, Kentucky (oh really?). Paris, Texas, remember?

22 American city names comes from Norway! (Drammen, Wisconsin, OMG).

So, let’s see the States names. Alabama is Choctaw. Arizona means “The Good Oak” in Basque (South-West of France), Nevada means “snow-covered” in Spanish, and OMG, Wisconsin : “Originally spelled Mescousing by the French, and later corrupted to Ouisconsin” : That’s cute, n’est-ce pas?

 

For each city, you can open this little box of shells. I chose Olathe, Kansas, gives :

Olathe was founded by Dr. John T. Barton in the spring of 1857. He rode to the center of Johnson County, Kansas, and staked two quarter sections of land as the town site. He later described his ride to friends: “…the prairie was covered with verbena and other wild flowers. I kept thinking the land was beautiful and that I should name the town Beautiful.” Purportedly, Barton asked a Shawnee interpreter how to say “Beautiful” in his native language. The interpreter responded, “Olathe.”

I knowww, I will never be cured 🙂

Good day !

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Fixin’to #traveling (again without moving) in the #USA

Sweatin’ like a sinner in church…

I downloaded a bunch of Smithsonian TV episodes of Aerial America. I just watched the Michigan one, and, say, I’ll probably watch the whole pack!

It’s just one hour long, it’s “taken from helicopter” so I see the country from above, it’s… interesting. There’s a little of History and some funny stories (Kellog’s, Detroit, Eminem, General Motors, Ford, the German population, lakes, and the fact it’s divided in two pieces). The flaws are : there are not enough maps to explain things. It’s not linked enough to the neighbor states. And the narration is a little too much American-TV (so everything is “THE BEST OF THE WORLD” – or the biggest stadium of the country, the greatest factory of the fifties in America, or the longest bridge EVER, etc).

I also have a pack of movies about American History. It’ll help, this summer, I bet, to move forward.

You’ll find plenty of arrogant European people telling that people in USA are non traveling ignorants who don’t even know where Belgium or Italy are on a map. But ask a French what is the capital of Colorado, or to place Oklahoma on the US Map, and you’ll see.

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I began to read the hilarious Bill Bryson book called The Lost Continent. This guy is from Iowa and decided one day to explore his country with two big loops (cf map). So my next episodes will be Iowa and maybe Missouri. It’s another way to visit without moving, right?

When Bryson crosses some cities like Des Moines, Hannibal or Palmyra, I often stop reading and I go on Instagram. I search Pella, Iowa, for example, and, well, I see the land, the sky, the church, the roads, what people do, what people like (cycling or all terrain vehicles?). Do I see vineyards or corn fields? I can’t wait for Wiscasset, Maine, right? I Google-mapped too, a little.

I wonder what you people “feel” when you see one of yours words written in the UK way. For example with realise/realize or colour/color.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time on YouTube exploring accents. What is really the Southern Accent? So I watched this :

 

Sorry for my English, it’s difficult some days. I’m French, after all!…

Thanks for reading!

JP

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