Archive for the ‘Artists’ Category

Behind the scenes with Benoit

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Thursday I was called last minute to come photograph on set. My friend Benoit Lelievre was shooting a clip for Max Arthur an Dezmond Meeks, it would be film-noir in style, a bit David-Lynchian. They were shooting at a club in my neighborhood, whose entrance is right next to one of my supermarkets, yet I had never noticed it.

More photos can be found here.

Make-up artist Juliette Veljovic documenting her work

Make-up artist Juliette Veljovic documenting her work

Florence, the assistant director, and one of the actresses

Florence, the assistant director, and one of the actresses

The extras wait in the wingbacks...

Extras waiting in the wingbacks

Dezmond Meeks mid-scene

Dezmond Meeks mid-scene

a kid walks through with a change of music...

Kid walks through with a change of music

Benoit Lelievre in action with Georgette, his camera rig

Benoit Lelievre in action with Georgette, his camera rig

Goodbye Coolin

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Sunday nights at the Coolin were a treat.
Like the ritual of a Sunday night dinner with family.

Ellen Berge Birath showing her affection for Paddy Sherlock.

Ellen Berge Birath showing her affection for Paddy Sherlock.

Once it’s renovated, it’ll be a dead space on Sunday nights, an Apple store on other days. Fabulous. We totally need another Apple store. I’ll probably never walk through those doors again. Nothing against Apple (I’m typing on a Mac, it’s my most important tool after my camera) but I buy online. You see one Apple store, you’ve seen them all. And the Coolin was just an Irish pub, but it wasn’t like any I’d known before.

Thomas Join-Lambert, Marten Ingle, and Ellen Birath.

Thomas Join-Lambert, Marten Ingle, and Ellen Birath.

The good news is the beat goes on, and the wonderfully talented people who created this special place, and their family of fans will continue in another neighborhood across the river and into the 8th.

These photos are from Saturday, March 21st,
the last gig at the Coolin. Marché St. Germain, Paris.
Additional photos of the mayhem can be found here.

Dancers behind the stage, between Marten Ingle and Yoshito Kiyono.

Dancers behind the stage, between Marten Ingle and Yoshito Kiyono.

Reading Cones in winter

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

I have always loved photographing sculpture, since those first assignments in my Jane Addams Community Center photo class in Chicago. It was during that time that I shot this photo, early one morning on my way to an office job in the Loop.

That typical Chicago winter weather made Richard Serra‘s “Reading Cones” stand out in a way that made me jump out of the car. Had I ever really seen this sculpture before that morning?

I’ve always liked this photo, and have given it as a gift, but this print has spent most of the last decade hidden away in a box. Last week, while hanging photos at home, I needed something vertical to fit a space in my installation and went searching for the one print I knew I had of the Reading Cones, on a soft matte fine art paper.

Now that it’s up there, I love living with it on my wall. It is grounding, regal, quiet and confident. And, it merits being printed bigger than the A4 I modestly permitted it.

Richard Serra's Reading Cones in Chicago's Grant Park.

Richard Serra’s Reading Cones in Chicago’s Grant Park.

Jazz Pas Grave, Day 1

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

While still processing last week’s classical music fest photos, this weekend I’m photographing Jazz Pas Grave, the 3rd edition of a festival at 59 Rivoli that brings some really fabulous musicians together. Some highlights while I’m waiting for the next concert to start…

Elbi Baueur singing with Radztitone in the opening concert of Jazz Pas Grave III

Elbi Baueur singing with Radztitone in the opening concert of Jazz Pas Grave III

Antoine Beux playing with Rising Cloud Orchestra

Antoine Beux playing with Rising Cloud Orchestra

Alessandro Sgobbio improvising

Alessandro Sgobbio improvising

Mario Forte

Mario Forte

And our energetic team of volunteers passing out the program in sidewalk traffic…

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Le Classique C’est pour les Vieux – Day 2

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

I spent day two of the classical music festival at 59 Rivoli filming and real-time editing the live stream. My ambition was to be photographer and videographer at once, but that really isn’t possible. Taking 25 photos a second on five different cameras, with my 6D around my shoulders, I photographed the screen in front of me. We had placed the cameras better than I was able to place myself. Here are some highlights of the Quoatuor van Kuijk and the Collectif Warning.

Sound check, van Kuijk quartet

Sound check, van Kuijk quartet

Sébastien van Kuijk and his cello, the van Kuijk quartet.

Sébastien van Kuijk and his cello, the van Kuijk quartet.

Grégoire Vecchioni and Sébastien van Kuijk , of the van Kuijk quartet

Grégoire Vecchioni and Sébastien van Kuijk , of the van Kuijk quartet

Olivier Stankiewicz, Carmen Lefrançois and Barbara Giepner, of the Collectif Warning

Olivier Stankiewicz, Carmen Lefrançois and Barbara Giepner, of the Collectif Warning

Sound painter Vincent LêQuang, Collectif Warning

Sound painter Vincent LêQuang, Collectif Warning

Sound painter Vincent LêQuang, Collectif Warning

Sound painter Vincent LêQuang, Collectif Warning

Le Classique C’est Pour les Vieux – Day 1

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Yesterday a 3-day classical music festival, which thinks outside of the box of what we might expect “classical” music to be, kicked off at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris. This is the 3rd edition that I’ve photographed for them. This year two concerts were performed in the St Merri church, and the last concert of the night, Le Cabaret Contemporain, an electronic-dance-classical-move-your-body hybrid, transformed the 59 gallery into a nightclub.

The street performance with Léa Scher, Sabine Rivière and Luise Hakim interacts with curious pedestrian traffic

The street performance with Léa Scher, Sabine Rivière and Luise Hakim interacts with curious pedestrian traffic

Le Spat'sonore, 6th floor

Le Spat’sonore, 6th floor

Simone, Le Cabaret Contemporain

Simone Drappier, Le Cabaret Contemporain

During Le Cabaret Contemporain concert

Fabrizio Rat, pianist.  Le Cabaret Contemporain

Fabrizio Rat, pianist. Le Cabaret Contemporain

L'itinéraire, St Merri church

L’itinéraire, St Merri church

Duo Links performs 'Studi sulla note" in the St Merri church

Duo Links performs ‘Studi sulla note” in the St Merri church

Francesco at 59

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Francesco has such an expressive face,
and you never know what to expect when you photograph him.

Francesco draped in my backdrop

Francesco draped in my backdrop

A brief history of 59

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Tonight Arthur LeCaron projected his film on the history of the artist squat at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris. He was there in November 1999 when it was first occupied by the KGB (Kalex, Gaspard & Bruno) and has a feast of rare footage. The film is narrated by Gaspard Delanoë, who was there tonight in the gallery to present it to us.

Gaspard on a payphone negotiating with the Mayor's office in the first months.

Gaspard on a payphone negotiating with the Mayor’s office in the first months.

Poetry from the evidence

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

This is the greeting card I’m sending out for 2014, taken at the Théâtre de la Pleine Lune this summer, on a full-moon night when Malavika Klein danced Bharata Natyam for us. It is a dance I had no experience with, a dance so rich in imagery, a real poetry expressed through the human body.

I look at it and think about what I want from my photography, what I want it to contribute to the world. Magic comes to mind. Moments of magic. Like when Robert Frank, in the November 1951 issue of Life said, “When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”

And when Jay Maisel said, “There was a phrase that Arthur Miller used – ‘I’m trying to create the poem from the evidence.’ I’m not trying to change anything that’s in front of me, I’m trying to give it respect and I’m trying to call attention to it.”

I want my photos to be a place you want to spend time. A space of grace and light. And if I see these qualities where someone else does not, I hope I can be an effective translator.

Approaching Another Nuit Blanche

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
Climbing up to the 6th floor of 59 rue de Rivoli.

Climbing up to the 6th floor of 59 rue de Rivoli.

This Saturday is the annual Nuit Blanche in Paris. In French Nuit Blanche means an all-nighter, staying out until you see the bright sun rise, and this night is a city-wide festival of art and installation, music and happenings. I am usually photographing at 59 rue de Rivoli, the former artist squat, and this year you can find me there again. In looking back over the past years’ images, these are a few of my favorites, all based on contemporary dance and performance.

Mattatoio Sospeso performing their trapeze act on the façade of 59 rue de Rivoli, with the audience seated on the sidewalk below.  Nuit Blanche 2011.

Mattatoio Sospeso performing their trapeze act on the façade of 59 rue de Rivoli, with the audience seated on the sidewalk below. Nuit Blanche 2011.


More images of Mattatoio Sospeso’s magical performance
here: Commedia Volante

Improvisational dance troupe performing in the 3rd floor studios. Nuit Blanche, 2012.

Improvisational dance troupe performing in the 3rd floor studios. Nuit Blanche 2012.

Paul Toupet's group of dancing & drinking rabbits.  Nuit Blanche 2010.

Paul Toupet’s group of dancing & drinking rabbits. Nuit Blanche 2010.


More photos from the night when 59 was visited by
Paul Toupet and the Zentai here.

Gaëlle Bourges and her collaboratrices performing a satirical striptease in and around a block of 3 phone booths in the center of Chatelet, on a night when there was an important soccer match and much testosterone flowing in the streets. Nuit Blanche 2007.

Gaëlle Bourges and her collaboratrices performing a satirical striptease in and around a block of 3 phone booths in the center of Chatelet, on a night when there was an important soccer match and much testosterone flowing in the streets. Nuit Blanche 2007.

More photos from that night here.
And more of Gaëlle’s work here.

Elles : Je est une autre

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Julien Martial is a magician. A book-object-making artist. I just picked up my copy of a book we collaborated on, with Jean-Jacques Lebel and three contortionists. Book isn’t quite the right word for it though. It’s a unique photo-book/poem-object, that when opened, reveals a series of photos strung together which spell out “Je est une autre.” (As opposed to Rimbaud’s “je est un autre.”) It was Jean Jacques’ idea, Julien’s conception of the final object and my photos. There are 16 copies, 10 that signed and numbered, and 6 artist proofs.

The book-object-poem closed.

The book-object-poem closed.

The book-object-sculpture open.

The book-object-sculpture open.

Title page.

Title page.

Alexandre

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

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 à Gourgoubès.  France, 2013.

Alexandre Camerlo à Gourgoubès. France, 2013.

A Reyna Aquarelle

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

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 painting a watercolor.  Paris, 2007.

Martin Reyna. Paris, 2007.

Kit’s lampshade

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
legs, lamp shade, love

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.”

John, after midnight

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

And sometimes at noon.

Jewelry designer John Agee, Paris.

Jewelry designer John Agee, Paris.

Subterranean Belleville Jazz

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Tonight in Belleville
in the basement of a bar
some serious talent.

Antoine Beux, of Jungles Key. Belleville, Paris.

Strip revisited

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

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.

Tagging along with Brijesh Patel

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

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

It’s just the world knocking

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

What anxiety means is, it’s as though the world were knocking at your door, saying “You need to create. You need to make something. You need to do something.” And I think anxiety is thus, for people who have found their own heart and their own soul, for them it is a stimulus toward creativity, toward courage. It’s what makes us human beings.Rollo May, existential psychologist

Feu d'artifice à Annecy

Jazz Pas Grave II – day three

Monday, June 11th, 2012

After three days of sitting very close to the open mouths of saxophones and trumpets, today I’m editing photos in silence, saving my ears for tomorrow night when Nicolas Genest plays at the Zebre in Belleville, with many invited guests, Célinn (below) possibly being one of them.


Célinn et l’Arbre des Songes

Mario Forte, visually and musically captivating.

Surprise guest Jean-Loup Longnon blew me away with his trumpet playing, and then again after hours, spontaneously on the piano.

Not an easy place to play, but rather a rite of passage at 59 Rivoli… a jam session with Antoine Beux in the Musée Igor Balut, a creation of the artist inconnu, Suisse Marocain.

More info on the festival : Jazz Pas Grave.

Jazz Pas Grave II – day two

Sunday, June 10th, 2012


Tony Tixier and his intense relationship with the piano.


3someSisters. They may look like clowns, but they have the most stunning and impeccably choreographed voices.


Louis Carrion, of the group Funkable


Singer performing with the group Funkable.

What are they doing in there?

Jazz Pas Grave II – day one

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

A few marvelous moments from the first of a three-day jazz festival at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris.


Nicolas Genest with his group Hati


Guest sax player with O.R.U.S. Quartet


Malamente and Frank Cosentini of Guappecarto


Store-front concert on rue de Rivoli being saved into a compact camera

A moment in the life of Ealy Mays

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Last week I stopped in Place Dalida to finish a sandwich. Between meetings on either side of the butte, I was in the right place at the right time to cross paths with my old friend Ealy Mays, a painter from Texas, who was, at that exact moment, moving out of his studio at Cité des Arts.

I hadn’t seen him in a few years. We met in another life when I was a bartender who took photos and he was, yet as always, a painter who painted. “Whatcha doin’ behind that bar? Got your camera? C’mon, I wanna show ya something.”

Anyway, he had been awake all night moving paintings and scrubbing the floor, and that morning had given a historical tour of Paris to a group of American tourists.

On our way up to his studio we were joined by a guy coming for the room inspection. It felt like college again. As the man started going down his short checklist, Ealy played bartender this time and poured us all a cup of wine.

Ealy Mays leaving Cité des Arts, Paris.

Before leaving he asked me to photograph him doing what all the tourists do when they pass through Place Dalida.

"You have to be out now," says the room inspector. "Here, have some wine. " responds Ealy