1-Dirt-Hill.jpgThis is just the tip of the dirt hill from Thatcher's series 'The Kids', and it made me feel a little bit carefree today for a short moment. I miss summer. More to come from the land of Keats soon.

Dirt Hill © Thatcher Keats



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There is a new play opening in January 2010 about Muhammad Ali called 'Fetch Clay, Make Man' by Will Power. Karsh photographed Ali in 1970 for 'Look' magazine.

"Muhammad Ali arrived at my New York studio with a breathless young editor trailing behind. They had jogged together from the 'Look' offices, the young editor carrying Ali's heavy portable telephone which Ali said kept him in "constant contact with the world." Since the editor was a slight young man, I smiled to myself as I imagined this improbable duo and the incredulous stares of the passers-by as they made their way up Madison Avenue."

Muhammad Ali, 1970 © Yousuf Karsh

Karsh_Mailer_Norman.jpgThis photograph from Karsh's Norman Mailer sitting caught my eye today. When the Karshes arrived at Mailer's house in Massachusetts, Mailer said "I hope you can spend the evening, I'm planning to cook dinner for you." I don't suppose that happens too often these days.

Norman Mailer, 1974 © Yousuf Karsh

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Now showing at ClampArt are Jill Greenberg's "New Bears". Jill constructed outdoor studios in Vancouver and Calgary to photograph these creatures and it's interesting to see the prints in a smaller size than the big bears and the monkeys. This particular baby however was photographed in Jill's home - I wonder how many assistants queued up outside for that job!

Jane Fonda Bear © Jill Greenberg

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In order to view the "New Bears" at ClampArt, one has to walk through the main gallery space which is currently showing Luke Smalley's "Sunday Drive", a haunting story of three girls readying to visit their men in prison. Viewing Smalley's work on ClampArt's website I was more drawn to the "Exercise at Home" series. If only Smalley had used new bears instead of twinks...

Luke Smalley, "Exercise at Home," 2007, Digital C-print, Courtesy of ClampArt, New York City

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Today, after three years of New York-style rain-checks, I finally had a cup of tea with Kate Simon and of course a good rummage in her print archive. Kate spent a lot of precious time photographing Bob Marley and was also in the New York and London punk scenes hanging out with Patti Smith, The Clash, Richard Hell and the like. Kate has a photograph of David Bowie's mum! I can't share most of the stories, but I will share her picture of one of my all-time favourite performers, Lee "Scratch" Perry.

Lee Perry © Kate Simon

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I met Phillip Toledano a couple of weeks ago, and although I'd recently seen his project "America the Gift Shop" I was somehow more drawn to his bespoke outfit than the brilliance of his work; it is brilliant though, in the British sense - not shiny, but clever. Between meeting Mr. Phillip and now, I've inadvertently soiled his business card.

Business card 2009, Design © Phillip Toledano

Karsh_Salk_Jonas_1956_02_10.jpgWe were able to locate this image of Jonas Salk. The client originally requesting it had found it on Wikipedia, regrettably marked as being in the public domain. Wikipedia decided to take the image down even though I would have liked them to just make sure it was properly attributed and keep it on the Jonas Salk page. One of Dr. Salk's sons got in touch; also a doctor, even he felt the injection shot was a little discomfiting.

Dr. Jonas Salk, 1956 © Yousuf Karsh

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An inquiry came in from a museum requesting permission to use one of Karsh's portraits of Dr. Jonas Salk in display materials. No high-res scan exists of the one they want but this image from the same session demonstrates Salk in action - he discovered and developed the first polio vaccine.

Dr. Jonas Salk, 1956 © Yousuf Karsh

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I missed the opening at Amador Gallery for Olaf Otto Becker because I was a meeting of the American Photo Archives Group, a trade organization with a great set of members; we meet to discuss the challenges of having a physical archive of photographs, negs, transparencies, contact prints and so on. But, from the dusty boxes-under-beds to a different theme entirely - Becker's  "Above Zero" project.  Risking life, limb and large-format camera, Becker photographs the incredible disappearing landscape of Greenland. I haven't seen the show yet so I can't comment on the prints but if what's on the web is anything to go by it'll be breath-taking.

River 3, Position 5, 2007 © Olaf Otto Becker

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