Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Analog surprises

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

In the middle of a roll of film, a surprise! A triple exposure, auto-portrait with two dear friends who, I believe very soon after this photo was taken, went off in different directions for 6 months, one to Nairobi, the other to Dubai.

Autoportrait à trois

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

D – 2 weeks: 40 hours of jazz

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Loosely defined, a plethora of genres, a place for musicians to meet and collaborations to form…. In two weeks I’ll be photographing a three-day jazz festival at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris. These guys will be playing. Les Guappecarto. They are lovely subjects to have in front of the camera. Gorgeous music too.

Pierre La Braguette, Malamente, Professor, Frank Cosentini, & Dr. Zingarone

Frank Cosentini of Guappecarto

Dr. Zingarone of Guappecarto.

Poetics on Bedford

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

A passing conversation heard on Bedford and 6th,
filtering by on some jazz in the air.

“They never understand art.
Is it about poetics or is it poetry?”

“It’s about occupied poetics.
They never get it.”

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

Collecting strangers

Monday, February 27th, 2012

30-something male encountered late at night, in a bar. You’ve seen him before – trendy glasses, scruffy unshaven cheeks and saggy-bum pants. He asks, in the first 60 seconds of our conversation, “are you on Facebook?” as he looks, not at you, but at his glowing screen.

Behavior that elicits the antithesis of 'you had me at hello?'

Sun Day

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

The sun is out, and it’s Sunday. The only thing on the agenda is “anything but work.”
I’m going out to play, with an old camera, a good book, and a notebook.

Butte Chaumont. Spring 2011. What it feels like today, on this late February day.

Early morning on the Butte

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

I wasn't the only photographer on the Butte Chaumont this morning...

Tonight the view from my window is of a man waiting

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

via Fiesolana, Florence.

Rialto Tourists

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

“Here honey, this is what you look like in Venice
through the Hipstamatic filter.”

Stray Dogs Christmas

Monday, December 26th, 2011

One of the most hilariously fun Christmas Eve’s I’ve ever had came together at the last minute when a bunch of strays gathered organically in my apartment for dinner and spontaneous chair dancing.

John Bond

A dashing Dutchman arrives, screams are heard

Laughing til the bottle spins

Give me the cameraaaaah

Luis y son vino tinto

"Champagne" imported all the way to Paris from... Michigan! Of course!

Competing standup routines

Josephine, photographed by a man she met flying over Africa

Dutchman disarmed

The camera turns on me

The night before the night before Christmas, when Chris was told to f*ck off

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Tonight I was moping around the Marais in the rain, eating Belgian chocolates, longing for Chicago and slipping into the feeling of old horse-drawn, cobble-stoned Paris, fantasizing that I’d find a small abandoned Christmas tree that I could drag home and hang my earrings on.

Sinking comfortably into my solitude, my eyes in the shadow of my wide-brimmed winter hat, I took the least populated streets until I found a clean, dimly-lit café terrasse and installed myself in the corner. There were only two other people outside: men bent over smartphones, quietly complaining to each other about their jobs. Inside there was only a woman about my age at the bar, poking fiercely at an iPhone. The waiter was cheerful and so was I, when he set down my glass of rouge that sparkled so prettily in the over-head heat lights.

I took out Le Monde magazine and turned to the article on Ai Weiwei, but my vulnerable pre-holiday state of mind needed the comfort of English. So I took out The New Yorker and felt more at home. Between these two subscriptions, if I spent all of my spare hours reading, I would still never finish them.

Two days before Christmas, this normally busy Marais street was wonderfully silent. Sitting in the warm red light, across the street from a building draped in twinkling blue, with both colors swirling around each other on the shiny pavement in between, it was a lovely scene.

Until it got better. I then had the luck to witness something really great. The men had just left and the girl from inside the bar came out, apparently needing some privacy to yell at her boyfriend. I looked up and our eyes met. I expected her to turn around and find somewhere to be alone, but she didn’t seem to mind me eavesdropping. She faced me as she yelled into her phone. “T’es ! Un ! Vrai ! Con ! Tu m’as pris du fric puis tu m’as jeté ! Je ne vais PLUS être ta connasse ! Je comprends pourquoi les gens te jettent, Chris ! Et moi, je te jette ! VA…TE…FAIRE…FOUTRE ! ET CREVER DANS TA MERDE !” With that, she went back inside, gathered her things and left.

Stunned at the beauty and force of her efficacy, I smiled and took out my pen to write down this treasure.

Merry Christmas eve eve Chris, wherever you are with this girl’s money.

Lonely man. Green light.

Paddy & Linda & Candles, Oh My

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

A night with Paddy Sherlock and his band at The Coolin in Paris
heals all wounds.

It’s even better when he plays Lulu le Chat
and it’s your birthday.

Linda McCluskey turns 23

Scene from a mustache party

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Lily & Dani in a 6th floor salle de bain

One night in the green room

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

“The timeless communicating to the time-bound.”

This photo is part of a series that I’m editing, taken during my residency at the Halsnoy Kloster, and today it makes me think of this sentence above, by Steven Pressfield and inspired by William Blake, in The War of Art.

Manuel & Music

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Barry Desmond Jones, Manuel Baldassare and Schimon, playing music after a vernissage at 59 rue de Rivoli

When he makes art his insides come out – through his voice, through his hands, in painting, installation or music – and it appears to be as natural as breathing.

An illustrative story…one night we were at a jazz club. One of those on rue des Lombards. It was more or less a jam session night. He went out to smoke, and when he came back inside he made a B line straight for the stage and started playing the congas. I didn’t know he’d met one of the musicians outside, who invited him up to play. What I saw was my friend boldly going on stage without a word and playing like his life depended on it. Shy people like myself are in awe of such confidence and would like it to rub off.

This was Manu last year.
He still smiles like he did when I met him.

Manuel singing Freedom with as much emotion as Richie Havens

Manu’s site, for a look into his twisted universe.

Generosity, one week later

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Yesterday was the last day of my generosity experiment, as I had planned it, but it’s not really the end of anything.

What did I learn? Nothing earth shattering. You know, we’re all here together just trying to get along, some people struggle more than others or in different ways. No one feels good ignoring another person in need. I mean, I feel like shit turning my back on someone. So this week felt pretty good in that regard, as “no” was not an option.

Before this week, if I didn’t give money to a person who asked on the subway or in the street, I at least looked him/her in the eye and said something kind. It feels so inhuman to do otherwise. Unfortunately, in a big city it can get tricky. It’s crowded, you can feel over-solicited. Most of it happens in the metro. My roommate stopped taking the subway and felt the quality of her daily life greatly improved. I, on the other hand, spend a lot of time in underground transport and it’s almost like we live in different cities. You get pushed around down there, and because this is Paris you get elbowed and shouldered, you see many people down and out, hear many of them announce their stories, or put it in writing or sing you a song. Some people try to shut this out by making islands of themselves with iPods. I’ve see tourists being afraid, extremely uncomfortable, maybe coming from places that are clean and wealthy, where homelessness is against the law. I’ve heard people say, “You can’t give to everyone.” And, I suppose I’d disagree, as for the last week that’s what I did, when asked. I don’t know how much, I purposely didn’t want to quantify it, but it wasn’t bank-breaking.

I noticed some people that I hadn’t before, who are always in the same place. People with soft hands and sad eyes. Some moving fast, desperate, some dragging, numbed. Some with cats, some with dogs, that one guy with the sleeping puppies and a ferret. There’s the sweet calico cat with his man by the Marché d’Aligre. And that one man who seemed really happy lying there on that mattress at midnight, with two toddlers asleep next to him. He was the most disturbing.

Unfortunately I didn’t see the man who sparked this whole thing. His eyes were similar to the man below…who didn’t seem interested in talking, and I was too shy to ask all the questions in my mind.

Rue Fbg St Antoine

Commedia Volante

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

This year’s Nuit Blanche was as enchanting as last year’s was bizarre. In the center of Paris, on a shopping street across from an H&M and a McDonald’s, two Italian trapeze artists made us all feel like kids again.

On Saturday night, Monsieur Marco Mannucci and Madame Alessandra Lanciotti, of the group Mattatoio Sospeso, performed their piece entitled Commedia Volante, while suspended from the facade of 59 rue de Rivoli, accompanied by violin, accordion and roaring traffic.

It was one of the most fun & magical things I’ve seen quite some time.

Madame Alessandra Lanciotti, La Femme Volante, se prépare

Monsieur Marco Mannucci

Femme volante paniquée

Couple volante

Smiling Trapeze

Les Amants du Ciel

Flying au dessous de la rue

The Mother Ash

Friday, September 16th, 2011

This tree is 550 years old. She (because I call her the mother tree) was struck by lightening around 1850. She’s protected by Norway and has a plaque nailed to the side of her that faces the Kloster Fjord, but her trunk has grown around it so you can’t see what it says. Her roots are tangled in the stone wall that runs along side of her, and because the lightening ripped her open, she can shelter you from the rain. Her trunk bulbs out in several areas that make very nice places to sit or nap. I visit her daily, and last night decided to light her up while the sky was clear and the moon was bright. For scale, I sat in my usual spot inside her trunk, and lit myself with a flashlight.

Self portrait in the great Halsnøy ash tree

Returning from the Spar

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

In my day, we had to walk an entire hour to the grocery store, and it was up hill in both directions! Often it was raining and windy, and if you weren’t careful you could get knocked off that one-lane road into the ditch when a car came speeding by.

Today we only made it half-way home when Koshi, the dance teacher at the folkehøgskule, spotted Brij and I and gave us a ride. He knew that two people who were walking couldn’t be from around here.

Brij coming back from the Spar

Innocent mind

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

A day when many are remembering an awful tragedy, I offer the face of a little one whose innocent mind is without this memory. Unless she sees the cover of a newspaper today.

Anna, safe in her house looking out at the world

Naked in the park

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Walking in the park today, I was surprised to see an elderly woman sunbathing topless, then realized it was just a man with boobs and fluffy hair. I looked around to see if anyone else shared my curiosity but saw only these three people, in the shade of the shaggy trees.

Spending a day in the Butte Chaumont