May 2nd, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
He is one of my favorite people. And he is in almost constant motion.
If he’s not biking through traffic with his hands in his pockets while talking on the phone, he’s reciting de Musset, quoting Guitry, or singing Les Noces de Figaro which he knows by heart. He shows you how to build giant moonlight reflectors for the Full Moon Theater, then teaches you to drive a tractor and jumps off to take your picture. He has big, beautiful ideas and all the energy and passion to make them manifest. On this night, I caught him motionless in the hallway, in the middle of stoking two separate fires.
Alexandre Camerlo à Gourgoubès. France, 2013.
May 1st, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
For two very fun years I shared a big loft with two painters from Argentina. I lived upstairs on the mezzanine, and they worked downstairs. It was a pretty raw space. We had a tiny improvised kitchen in one corner, a very aged red sofa in another and wonderful floor-to ceiling windows. No door separated our spaces, just a half-wall, over which I took these time-lapse photos of Martin Reyna making watercolors. I love seeing the process behind a piece of art, and I got to witness Martin’s practice daily. In celebration of his birthday today, here’s a selection from those days.
Feliz cumple Martin!
Martin Reyna. Paris, 2007.
May 1st, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
It’s hard looking through old work sometimes. I groan, tear up some prints, light up at the sight of others, and travel back in time much more pronounced way than when looking at photos on a computer screen. Today I went back through rolls of film shot after first moving to Paris, and the contact sheets that had both Chicago and Paris on them. It’s interesting to see what I was focused on then, and how I was constructing my photos. The obsession with geometry was always there. A lot of it will thankfully never see the light of day. This one I rather like. I think it was taken at Bercy. Great place for a skateboard.
Skater at Bercy. Paris, 2003.
April 24th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
The saddest dog I ever met lived alone on an island you could only reach at low tide. When I visited, he followed me around the island just close enough to keep an eye on me, but at safe distance. He wouldn’t approach my out-stretched hand, no matter how much of my dog-lover’s heart I tried to project. I can still hear his howl in the damp wind the morning we left.
Communicating from distant shores
April 10th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
A couple of today’s treasures from my weekly Wednesday in the dark room, and a new series of photos brewing.
Being led along the Seine.
The pusher. 8e arrondissement.
March 31st, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
I went into San Giovanni in Laterano to get out of the rain. The mother of all churches. The “archbasilica.” The Pope’s church. It’s even above St. Peter’s.
And of course, it’s stunning, with a history as unfathomable as Rome itself. Though the gold and gild left me feeling as if I’d eaten too much birthday cake.
Angels in the architecture, San Giovanni, Rome.
Mosaic tiles and plastic chairs.
Gold ‘n’ arches.
Facade of St Giovanni through bare trees.
March 20th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
Another post going back to the roots… As they call it in France, “l’argentique.” I’m pretty excited about the idea of shooting digitally, making negatives from those files and printing à l’ancien, as in cyanotype, gum bichromate, and the like. Earlier this month I had an intro to those older processes, and starting today have a weekly slot in a collective darkroom 10 minutes from my flat. Wednesdays my perfume will be fixateur.
As excited as I was this morning, I found myself questioning the whole process (“I could do this in five minutes in Photoshop if I scanned the neg, is this really worth my time?” and so on…) Then a magical error happened. I had taken out the negative to blow off some dust, and when I put it back, I set it up on the frame just next to the one I was working on (a frame I hadn’t chosen to print). I didn’t realize it, exposed the paper as before and got a completely different result. Obviously. I didn’t understand right away what happened, but loved the unexpected image that resulted.
This isn’t a new story. But it reminded me one of the reasons why I was there, and why I still enjoy shooting film.
Leaving the Ile du Guesclin, on a blustery day.
March 8th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
After a 2-day cyanotype & gum bichromate initiation workshop, these are a couple of my best results. I thought the gum was lost, but after 45 minutes and a lot of hot water, the image on my heavy-handedly-coated paper finally appeared out of pure black. This is the original photo, which I thought would be a decent one to test out these deliciously imperfect processes. It was printed out on transparency as a negative to then print by contact.
Gum bichromate on Canson watercolor paper
The best in a long line of cyanotype trials.
Cyanotype on Canson watercolor paper.
Thanks Jean Gabriel Lopez for being such a patient teacher!
February 20th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
legs lamp shade love
A self-portrait, featuring a work of artist Kit Brown. We once had studios
on the same floor and when I think of working near Kit during those months,
I think of Chuck Close saying, “Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us
just show up and get to work.”
February 10th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
Walking in Rome, I am so enchanted by the colors along the Tiber River.
The water is so caramel, and the light so voluminous, casting no shadows.
It is creamy, and soft. The seagulls float in it and laugh.
But they laugh at anything.
January 12th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
Tonight in Belleville
in the basement of a bar
some serious talent.
Antoine Beux, of Jungles Key. Belleville, Paris.
December 3rd, 2012 by Danielle Voirin
are slipping through cement,
reflecting the September Moon.
November 12th, 2012 by Danielle Voirin
La nostalgie pour ce qu’il reste toujours hors de la portée
I have just put this short series of photos online,
please check them out –> here.
People keep asking, “Why homesick?” “What do you mean out of reach?” The title is the most apt description of the way I was feeling, and these photos were happening at that same time. They belonged together.
I think it’s about the ache. The desire to create something that speaks honestly of who you are, what your experience of the world feels like. The places you look for nourishment. Looking with such intensity, almost desperate for a sort of x-ray vision, to understand the experience of the sky, the changing light on the sea, the time twisting in the tree.
I’m inside this singular mind, seeing through these two eyes, aching always to see farther, to a place I haven’t been, yet is somehow familiar.
and… I was listening to Bob’s Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie almost every day.
God bless ‘em.
October 17th, 2012 by Danielle Voirin
I spent the evening with an inspiring friend, choreographer Gaëlle Bourges, whose work I’ve photographed on a number of occasions and who is soon to be the subject of a book. Tonight we made some new selections of photos taken in the last five years and one thing we revisited was a performance she created for Paris’s Nuit Blanche in 2007 called Strip.
It was pretty intense, to witness this erotic and humorous show in the center of Paris (next to Les Halles!) on the night of the World Cup quarter-finals in rugby when France beat New Zealand. While three women stripped and teased in these sulfurously-lit phone booths, the cafés and streets all around were full of cheering testosterone.
More photos here.
Marianne Chargois, as the fun begins.
Nuit Blanche 2007, Alice Roland and Marianne Chargois.
September 29th, 2012 by Danielle Voirin
It seems that in every apartment I move into, the full moon shines across my pillow. Tonight I turned out the lights and saw a dagger of bright silver light and it took a moment for me to realize what it was. These nights, with the moon such a presence, are almost always restless.
Full moon, September 2012.
September 13th, 2012 by Danielle Voirin
I’m very pleased to have a photo featured in the current issue of Shots magazine, the portrait issue. The photo is of a talented young painter named Maria Kreyn, who was at the time living in a big old house about an hour outside of Paris, owned by Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum, with whom she was studying. Maria and I made many photos in Odd’s chateau of curiosities, where the Edvard Munch death mask floated above the fireplace.
Maria, Maisons Lafitte I
September 10th, 2012 by Danielle Voirin
“Miriam, where’s the road? It’s getting a bit dark.”
“Um… I’m not sure…”
Guided by a wise & spirited 11-year-old girl, along the coast of Norway’s Halsnoy Island, the four of us, travelers from four different countries, ran, jumped and slipped along the rocks last night. Miriam’s playground.
“It’s more fun if you jump!” she says as she bounces away.
September 3rd, 2012 by Danielle Voirin
Or was he tagging along with me? When you travel with a photographer, you get photographed a lot. At least, if you travel with me you do. In this case, I was in residency and exploring a new place with another photographer, Brijesh Patel.
Tomorrow morning I’m returning to to the Halsnoy Kloster in Norway for a joint exhibition with Brijesh, of the work we each did there last year. It just occurred to me to collect all the photos I had taken of him and see what that might look like as a portrait.
Brij up close in the forest
Brij far away on a hill
Brij in the study, with a frozen Jonathan Livingston.
Brij and dog that wants to bite me
Brij in the tall grass, waiting for me to get out of his shot
August 30th, 2012 by Danielle Voirin
This is half-way to the creation of a photo I had in mind, whose end result is, I think, quite remarkable. It is on display in the 59 Rivoli gallery in Paris until Sunday.
Looking at this half-way-there photo, I hope it doesn’t negatively surprise my grandmother, who, in response to some of my self-portrait work once said, “Just don’t resort to miming.” This of course begs the question, what would push a person to “resort” to miming…? “I’m at the end of my rope, there’s nothing left, somebody pass me the white makeup!”
I love you Granny T.
On the way to Adaptation, painted by Paola Noe Murphy
August 29th, 2012 by Danielle Voirin
He’s the kind of friend that brings laughter to the task of moving all your worldly belongings across town. Again, and again, and again.
How many flights of stairs this time?
Seb & Dani, at a Charlie Winston concert.