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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Last month we went to check out the Stanley Kubrick photography exhibit over at the Museum of The City of New York. Stanley Kubrick has always been one of my favorite film directors. Back in high school, I made it a mission to check out every film Kubrick directed. This was way before the days of Netflix. If it wasn’t available on VHS, then I would hit up all the revival movie theaters. You millennials have it so easy nowadays!

Luckily films are now more easily obtainable. If it can’t be found on Blu Ray, DVD or through a streaming service, there always places in NYC. For example, Videology Bar and Cinema over in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Anyway, I sought out most of Kubrick’s films. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lolita, the prophetic Dr. Strangelove, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and of course, A Clockwork Orange. Even sat through that yawn fest Barry Lyndon. Although I never managed to catch the earlier films like The Killing or Paths of Glory. Did watch Eyes Wide Shut much later on – despite my disdain for Tom Cruise.

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Entrance for the Stanley Kubrick photography exhibit over at the Museum of the City of New York. July 2019. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Before Kubrick became an influential film director, he got his start as a photographer for Look Magazine. At the exhibit, open until Oct. 28th, 2018, you can see the gritty yet candid detail that would later show up in Kubrick’s films. Kubrick was just 17 years old when he sold his first photo to Look back in 1945. These photos also show how NYC was from 1946 to 1951.

 

New York City wasn’t just Kubrick’s subject. At the exhibit, a Kubrick photograph of a tattooed and pierced carny was not accepted by the editors of Look. Apparently the photo was thought as ‘too extreme.’ It was decades before the ‘Modern Primitive‘ movement, which led to the current acceptance of body modification.

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The photo below particularly stood out. It’s of professional boxer Rocky Graziano. Graziano was trying to repair his reputation when Look did a feature on him. Boxing later helped Kubrick make the transition from photography to filmmaking.

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After walking through the Kubrick exhibit we checked out the rest of the museum. Right next to the Kubrick showing was the last day of Rebel Women, which inspired this sketch done back in August.

 

At the other end of the floor was a retrospective of the feminist era. It showed the beginning of the women’s rights movement, ending with one of Hilary Clinton’s infamous pantsuits.

 

Which leads to the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. This sketch isn’t just a sketch. This weeks shows the cover of the latest Psycho Bunny issue. If all goes well, hopefully Psycho Bunny issue 3.5 will be released at the end of October.

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This may or may not be the final version of the cover. It really depends on finding the original typeface of the lettering used for the A Clockwork Orange film poster. For now you have an ideal about what the front cover looks like. Other details forthcoming. If the latest issue is completed in time, it’ll mostly likely debut at Incredicon, taking place in Upstate NY, Oct. 28th. Incredicon is a very small con, but it’s been a while since I’ve tabled at a comic book convention.

My life has been busy as of life. You however, still have time to check out these social media links:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items.

Still haven’t gotten around to posting those commissions on this blog. Maybe this week I’ll get around to doing so. Until then, stay tuned.

 

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The next day after the opening reception of the Made In Ridgewood exhibit at OUTPOST Artists Resources, decided to spend Sunday checking out the rest of Bushwick Open Studios 2016. After all, BOS is in my backyard.

This year, 2016, Bushwick Open Studios was moved from summer to fall. Rumor had it that BOS was attracting too much of the “frat party” crowd. Therefore it was moved to late September. In a way, can’t say I blame them. Although the tourists have already discovered part of Bushwick. Which means the clock is ticking. At this point it’s just a matter of time. Gentrification really does suck.

My first stop was this tiny flea market on Wyckoff Avenue between Dekalb and Jefferson. I was greeted by this sight:

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What is Floraissance anyway? Whatever it is, there’s already haters. Floraissance resistance? Bushwick, Brooklyn Oct. 1st, 2016. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Didn’t stay too long in this flea market. Having always been a fan of thrift shop curios, there were some things that caught my eye. Didn’t buy anything basically because I have too many items in my home already. Met this lady who has this neat shop on Etsy called Neocronomicharm. The jewelry is right up my alley.

Continuing along Wyckoff. Here was my first official sighting of a BOS showing. Inside a parked car. Nearby that overpriced gourmet market Hana Natural. Hana’s is the only place in Bushwick where its mark-up is more pricey than anything in Manhattan.

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Art exhibit inside a parked car during Bushwick Open Studios 2016. Oct. 1st, 2016. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Due to being busy, I didn’t bother looking up any BOS guides online. My first stop was the popular Cobra Club. Used to spend a lot of time there, meeting the usual dysfunctional characters. One time me and a friend heckled this host doing some lame trivia night. Turns out we knew all the correct answers, but what was the point? So we said “peanut butter” to every question asked. At one point the host requested not to answer anymore questions with “peanut butter” but that only prompted us even more. This was nothing compared to one night in early November 2014. The host doing trivia that night presented a question about The Sex Pistols. Sex Pistols!?! How corny can you get? I was already in a foul mood, so I yelled from the back of the place “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SEX PISTOLS!?!” The millennial host stood there in silence for about a minute, then dropped the question completely, moving onto a different subject. While it wasn’t fair to assume he didn’t know what he was talking about, it was still a cheesy trivia question regardless.

Despite trivia nights, I still like Cobra a lot. This year Cobra has a music photography exhibit in the back room. This is where Cobra usually has bands perform, karaoke (another thing I hate), burlesque and yoga. The photographer was Jeanette D. Moses.

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Photography by Jeanette D. Moses. Cobra Club, Bushwick Brooklyn at Cobra Club during Bushwick Open Studios 2016. Oct. 1st, 2016.

Having only stayed in Cobra Club for a few minutes, I moved on to the next few sightings. Such as the street art and wall murals. Just as I snapped the below photo, someone approached me claiming to be a talent scout. She complemented me on my hair, said I had a “good vibe”, then took a few photos of me. This doesn’t matter as I’m not photogenic anyway. Was this a scam? Regardless, I suspect she was turned off once I revealed my true age.

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Bushwick street art. Wyckoff Avenue. Oct. 1st, 2016. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Continuing onward. Checking out more street art and wall murals.

Then I saw this:

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A tour guide giving tourists a lecture about street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn during Bushwick Open Studios 2016. Oct. 1st, 2016. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

A tour guide giving guided walks discussing street art to tourists. A fricken’ tour guide. In Bushwick, Brooklyn. Hey, guess everyone has to make a living. Still prompted me to post this on Facebook from my smartphone:

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Saw some more street mural art.

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Street art mural in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Oct. 1st, 2016. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

A reminder of where I was:

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Switching gears, I decided to check out the studios 1717 Troutman Street. I found this tiny place on Cypress Avenue called Mextasis Se Habla Arte Mexicano.

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Mextasis Se Habla Arte Mexicano gallery during Bushwick Open Studios 2016. Oct. 1st, 2016.

Once arriving at 1717 Troutman, it was kinda like BOS jackpot. Every studio was buzzing with activity. Exhaustion was starting to come down, so I only stayed on the third floor.

Artist Jaclyn Brown uses dogs and cats in her paintings.

It was time to head back home, passing by the empty PBR cans as if they were hipster crumb trails (as my friend kindly stated). Despite my snarky commentary, this year’s BOS was a good one. Definitely way too many things to see for two days. Till next year, unless I get priced out thanks to the glory of gentrification.

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This past weekend was the opening reception for the Made In Ridgewood exhibit, held at OUTPOST Artists Resources for Bushwick Open Studios 2016. There was a large turn out for the opening night. OUTPOST and Ridgewood Artists Coalition got together, gathering local artists from the Ridgewood,Queens area of NYC.

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Reverend Mother by Michele Witchipoo as seen in the Made In Ridgewood (Ridgewood Artists Coalition) group art exhibit at OUTPOST Artists Resources for Bushwick Open Studios 2016. Pen and ink on illustration board.

My work was part of this group art show, debuting this new piece. There were various mediums and styles ranging from painting, sculpture, video, photography and interactive. Of course it helped that open bar was courtesy of Finback brewery, another local Ridgewood establishment. It should be noted that Finback makes some very good beers. So if craft beers are your thing, definitely check it out.

Artists were: Yasmeen Abdullah, Kate Bae, Bill Bartholomew, Ethan Boisvert, Michele Borg (Michele Witchipoo), Daniel Boventer, Mengwen Cao, Campy Dicks, Liliana Dirks-Goodman, Nathalie Di Sciascia, Elizabeth Donsky, Rachel Dove , Danielle Draik, Pablo García, Ida Gavois, Tim Gowan, Huisi He, Georgia Hinaris, Ji Hoon Kim , An Hu, Daniel Iliescu , Liz Johnson (Spadiode), Sandra Koponen, Molly Lambe , Connor Lawson, Deanna Lee, Stephen Lewis, Christina Massey, Varvara Mikushkina, David Nakabayashi, Sharilyn Neidhardt, James Peay, Joshua Pelletier, Kyle Andrew Phillips, Gabriela Rassi , Elizabeth Riley, George Rosa, Christopher Rose , Rebecca Rubinstein, Isabelle Schneider, Sara Schraeter, Farshid Shafiey, Vered Snear, Jeanette Spicer, Kelli Thompson, Jimmy Valdez Osaku, Allison Wade, Tyson Washburn, Chenli Ye, Beata Zalewski, Alex Drewchin, Greg Fox, Winslow Laroche, Jonah Rosenberg, Andrew Sutherland, Caterina Verde, David Wightman, Magin Schantz, and Libby Mislan.

If you missed the opening reception, you can still check the exhibit until October 15th.

Thanks to OUTPOST Artist Resources and Emily Heinz for putting this together.

Next post: Bushwick Open Studios 2016 in photos.

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Tomorrow is the Made In Ridgewood group art exhibit at OUTPOST Artists Resources for Bushwick Open Studios 2016 (BOS). The opening reception will be from 6pm – 9pm. The exhibit itself will be up from Oct. 1st – Oct. 15th, 2016. Made In Ridgewood came out of the Ridgewood Artists Coalition, a collective of local artists. This event is also listed on the Hyperallergic guide to BOS 2016. I will among one of many artists showing work at the show.

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Photo: Image courtesy of NUTUREart. “Boots in Balls” Campy Dicks 2016

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One of the cats living at OUTPOST Artist Resources. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Sept. 2016. 

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Just when living in the re-branded NYC was getting me down, I had an opportunity to attend two prestigious art fairs: VOLTA NY , and The Armory Show. This past weekend had a whole slew of fine art festivals, but only so little time to explore. I was given a VIP on Sunday, which left me exactly four hours to check out everything.

VOLTA NY focused more on fine Modern and Post-Modern art.

It’s always amusing to see subcultures you grew up with, now considered to be ‘fine art.’ As with the case with artist Paul Brainard.

Continuing with VOLTA, I stumbled across artist Skylar Fein‘s work. The over-sized installations put the spotlight on items past.

Realizing I hadn’t seen The Armory Show yet, I went next door. First sight was Joan Miro‘s work.

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Artist Joan Miro’s section.

This was one of my top favorites. From artist Charmion Von Wiegand.

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Before my cellphone battery died, I managed to take a snap of this Andy Warhol piece.

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Downstairs was another section, featuring more contemporary art. Unfortunately, my cellphone battery died at this point. These photographs should give you a general idea. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend these two events again, in addition to more next year.

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Right before The Armory Show closed. Artist Joan Miro. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, March 2016.

All photographs by Michele Witchipoo, 2016. 

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Last month the world found out David Bowie had passed away. To the public, the news was quite a shock. Truth was, Bowie had been privately battling cancer for some time.

I found out the distressful news via Facebook. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to log into social media first thing in the morning.

The news hit me a bit harder because I felt that a part of my childhood had died. You see, my mother had just passed away a few months prior back in September. Just as I was sort of beginning to make sense of my mother’s death, the news about Bowie came along. Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead had just died, but still. This was Bowie we’re talking about here.

Like most children, music can be used as a means of escape. My parents would take forever to obtain all mod cons. Which meant we were the last ones to get a color television, and the last one to get a stereo. Strangely enough, we were also the first ones to get an Atari 2600. Anyway, when my father brought home a turntable, that was a turning point in my life.

One of the first 45s I ever owned was the collaboration between David Bowie and Queen – Under Pressure.  Mysteriously it was given to me. Some time later, I remember going to the record section in some department store. On display was Bowie’s recent album at the time, Scary Monsters. However, my first Bowie album turned out to be Let’s Dance, brought during my Boy George phase.

As my teens and early 20’s years progressed, I began to appreciate Bowie more. It was a purchase of Diamond Dogs on vinyl that ultimately got me hooked. Eventually I obtained his other releases on vinyl, cassette and later CD. It didn’t take me long to acknowledge the impact he had on some of my favorite bands at the time. (As documented on my other blog, Dark Entries.)

The older I got, the more I realized he wasn’t just a musician. He broke numerous boundaries, like with androgyny, sexuality, imagery, etc. Bowie taught us all how to think outside the box but yet never losing focus. While he later recanted his bisexuality claims, it still opened doors for many. That’s just it though – a real artist always explores.

Never really having the chance to properly mourn my mother, Bowie’s death in a way gave me a outlet. It was like this: my mother was the root, and Bowie was the dream. Now both were gone.

Of course, as that old saying goes, you never know what you have until you lose it.

Two days after his death, I contacted an old high school friend that I recently reconnected with. We had become friends due to both liking The Runaways and Bowie. During the Glass Spider tour, we went together to see Bowie in concert. Turns out there was a memorial happening in front of Bowie’s NYC residence. Despite the cold, we went.

We didn’t stay too long due to the freezing temperatures. There were people respectfully and quietly paying their respects. To the side, a few were singing Bowie songs. Afterwards, we stopped somewhere to listen to Bowie tunes.

That weekend there were impromptu Bowie tribute parties happening around NYC. Since I decided to check out one of these events, I tried the infamous Aladdin Sane lighting bolt makeup.

Despite this, I’m still feeling the sense of loss. To some he may be just a rock star, which I understand. Not particular fond of celebrity worship myself. However, with Bowie, there will never be another person like him. While Bowie had his faults, he made not just an impact on rock music, but on society. Whether it was through his music, his various incarnations, his films, etc., the man had presence. Due to this, I feel in a way, we are all Bowie’s children. With that, all we can do is just carry on what he started.

The other day I finally the Blackstar CD in the mail. Complete with that stupid PMRC sticker that never did anyone any good.

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After a few listens, I realize that despite Bowie knowing about his prognosis, he bravely carried on. They say that this was his farewell album, but somehow I have the feeling that he wasn’t completely finished saying what he had to say. More like he was coming to terms with his fate. Even what laid ahead of him, he took the time to use death as another project to mold. It was a parting gift to his fans, and he also left us with one more lesson.

So now it’s time to carry on. Like my mother, Bowie was cremated upon request. No funeral, no fuss. It’s time now for the children and other future generations to carry the torch. Because it’s these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds. They are immune to your consultations. That’s the way Bowie would have wanted it.

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Bowie portrait done Jan. 2016 by Michele Witchipoo. Pen and ink, digital color.

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Final installment of the ‘Houdini’s My Homeboy’ mini-series. Here’s photographs taken from Fall 2009, at the annual Broken Wand ceremony.

The term ‘broken wand’ is used when a magician dies. Since Harry Houdini was a president of the Society of American Magicians (S.A.M.), the organization continues to gather at Machpelah cemetery every year to mark his passing.

The broken wand ceremony for Houdini is usually held sometime around Halloween. The exact date itself varies because Houdini was Jewish. Therefore S.A.M. follows the Jewish calendar in honor of him.

The exact ceremony itself only takes a few minutes. A small speech is said, then silence as the wand is symbolically snapped in half.

At the time these photos were taken, the original bust of Harry Houdini’s head was missing. Due to the bust being vandalized four times, S.A.M. kept their own copy. Their bust would only be taken out and put on Houdini’s burial site during special occasional such as this. Since then, a new replica has been made, and discovery of another Houdini bust came to light.

 

Taken Fall 2009. Replica of Houdini bust at burial site for Broken Wand ceremony. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Taken Fall 2009. Replica of Houdini bust at burial site for Broken Wand ceremony. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Photo dated 2009. Replica of Harry Houdini bust at his burial site for the annual Broken Wand ceremony.

Photo dated 2009. Replica of Harry Houdini bust at his burial site for the annual Broken Wand ceremony. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

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Dated Fall 2009. Upclose shot of Houdini bust. A replica since other Houdini bust have been vandalized in the past. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Member of the Society of American Magicians (S.A.M.) gather around just seconds before the annual Broken Wand ceremony. Glendale/RIdgewood, Queens, NY. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Dated Fall 2009. Members of the Society of American Magicians (S.A.M.) gather around just seconds before the annual Broken Wand ceremony. Location: Machpelah Cemetery in Glendale/Ridgewood, Queens, NY. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

If you’re curious about burial grounds in the outer borough of Queens NY, here’s another link. Dated June 2013:

http://abandonednyc.com/2012/06/17/houdinis-grave-in-nycs-spookiest-cemetery/

Previous installments of the Houdini photo essays:

Houdini’s My Homeboy Part I

Houdini’s My Homeboy Part II

Magic Mapped From The Grave

 

 

 

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