Saturday, 30 August 2008

Andy Freeberg

Image copyright Andy Freeberg
Galleries can be intimidating places, often staffed by complete dicks. Andy Freeberg has chosen to document the entrances to galleries in Chelsea, NYC, which I imagine must be staffed by a special kind of super dick. In his statement on the work he Say's of his series "Sentry"
"As I walked around that booming Chelsea neighborhood of art galleries, I began to notice a trend: at some of the biggest galleries there are giant entry desks, where the top of the head of the desk sitter is often the only other human presence. This leads me to wonder, in this digital world of email and instant messaging that supposedly makes us more connected, are we also setting up barriers to the simple eye to eye contact that affirms our humanity?"
and that's an interesting point Andy. However when you go around other shops, and lets face it that's all these kind of places are, the staff will make eye contact, fuck me in some of the clothes shops that my other half takes me to they practically hug & kiss you, "are you OK there? blah blah blah" so my conclusion is that no, they are just staffed by dicks. Great stuff Mr Freeberg you've really managed to show the ridiculousness of these people & places.
PS. There's at least three galleries I can think of in Manchester that aspire to this, can you guess which one's?

Blackpool Lights

It's that time of the year again!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Ferit Kuyas

Image copyright Ferit Kuyas

On the whole I'm getting a bit bored of photographs of China, except of course by good Chinese photographers. Then I saw the work of Ferit Kuyas and OK he's Swiss, but good photography is, well good, and anyway he's not just jumped on the bandwagon he's been doing this shit since the 90's You've got till 27th September to see his "City Of Ambition" at Photofusion Gallery London.

p.S My favorite series is "Chinese Smokers" which the picture above is from........

My New Widget

Scroll down to the bottom of this page, no a bit further, further, down, bit more yeah that's it. Look to your right, no your other right can you see my new Artrabbit widget? good innit? That will let you know about some smart new UK shows. While I'm at it go here: it's a great art listing's site.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Crashed Cars of Kuwait.

Psycho Milt is the photographer who has this set of pictures + details over on his flickr bit. Bizarre, gruesome but still somehow weirdly fascinating......... And of course true to the pure documentary tradition. Found over at i heart photograph

Jai Redman

Top stuff by Jai Redman
Jai Redman is a founder member of UHC an artist, environmental & social justice campaigner and a maker of top stuff like the above stuff. Oh yes and a blogger.

David Orme

David Orme is another illustrator based in Manchester. Great stuff here:

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Oliver East

Image Oliver East
Without doubt the album of the year so far for me, has got to be Elbow's "The Seldom Seen Kid". And through buying that CD, (yes I still buy CD's and then copy them to m.....) anyway, I discovered the work of Oliver East.
Now I think I've been a bit slow on the uptake as his work is well known around Manchester, but well if I can spread his fame a little bit further well bloody good job. Here's his website where you can see and buy the brilliant "Trains Are Mint" ( go to section 4 to see loads of his page layouts) and here for a great little interview

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Why Does This Shit Never Happen To Me?

Daido Moriyama

Daido Moriyama

This is far from the first time I've mentioned Daido Moriyama, and I doubt it will be the last. You see I absolutely love his work, that's why he's in my "Gods" section, only the 5th so far (here's the others) I have scoured the tinterweb to find you the best links/interviews with this fella, like this one as a taster: I mentioned in a previous post about his choice of hardware, the Ricoh GRs 35mm compact. This is not the geek in me talking, his camera choice is vital to why I feel he is important as a photographer.

Take a look at the above picture taken early in his career and perhaps his most famous picture. What strikes you about it? What it shouts to me is "snapshot" and that's what he does. That's why the little Ricoh is important. You've got to carry a camera to take photographs it's that simple. I love this self portrait of him on his homepage: go look at the slideshows in his gallery section. It won't work if it's translated so look then translate, unless of course you speak Japanese.
These are images, lots of images working together as a whole. These are pawed over, looked at studied contact sheets, these are retrospective shots. Perhaps some of them are "Decisive moments" Catier Bresson style but I think that more of his work will have been taken back to his studio to be analysed, sifted like that most urban of stalwart's "The Ragpicker"

He is using the great strength of digital photography before we or he had it. And make no mistake that's where the new territories lie. As William Eggleston and Stephen Shore made headway with colour, Moriyama's take first think later style is so suited to digital photography. I believe that if we take a leaf out of his book we could really do something exciting with little digi camera's.

Some links:

I've changed the look of my homepage a little. I'm trying to make it a little more personal. has been going as my site name since 2005, not this blog but my homepage. When I started it I had very different intentions, not only for the site but also for my work.

I got so excited when I found out that was available that I missed getting Although most of my work is carried out in Manchester/Salford, it's not purely what my work is about anymore. Manchester if you like is the vehicle I use to explore wider issues. In a similar way to Manchester photography being too narrower a name, photography is to broad a word to describe all the different fields of lens based media, (and lens based media is too wanky a phrase for me) so after considering Artist Photo Artist, etc I settled on describing what I do as "photowork" No doubt a pretentious load of toss but I have to call it something and It may discourage people asking me if I do wedding's...................

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Steve Aishman

Image copyright Steve Aishman
Two statements from Steve Aishman on his website: " I strive to make work that reminds me of nothing" & "Most people seem to hate my work"

I bloody well love it!

Friday, 22 August 2008

Aleah Morrison Concert

Aleah was, along with my good self, part of The Tony Wilson Experience and so as a fellow TWEP (Tony Wilson Experience Person, I may need to come up with another name) I thought I would give her concert a plug. It's on the 29th August between 1pm & 2pm at Cross street Chapel Manchester, which by the way, was Elizabeth Gaskell's old church. So get a bit of culture for yer lunch. Oh yes and it's free.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Ricoh GRD 2

I'm not one for getting all bogged down with techy (is that a word?) stuff but well its not very often I buy a new camera so I thought I would let you know about my new flame, so to speak.
The Ricoh GR 35mm compact has become a legend since it's introduction in the mid 90's. Who amongst it's many fans is one Daido Moriyama
Continuing with this proven lens they brought out the GR digital in 2005 which I've cherished for the last couple of years, and earlier this year gave us the GR 2 which I am now the very happy owner of. These little camera's are a joy to use, well made, great quality and small enough to encourage constant carrying. Review here:
Now trying to purchase one in Manchester is a "different kettle of fish" you know me well enough to know that I can't go long without a good old moan........
First stop Jessops, the little one near the townhall served by what looked like two members of the boyband Haven't Got A Clue, as you guessed they didn't.
Next stop Jacobs, Cross Street served by can't be arsed to look.
Final stop Calumet, under the Mancunian Way and served by John who ordered me one in, that arrived the next working day and even threw in a nice big SD card so thanks to him. I've been going there since 1999 when it was still Leeds and I suppose that's why.
No post tomoz as I'm off to play with my shiny new camera........

Baxter Dury


Following in the footsteps of the mighty Ian Dury comes his son, Baxter.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Harri Palviranta

Image copyright Harri Palviranta
After the last post some will say "ah he's only being mean to our tracey because he is scared by strong women" And to a degree it's true. Some of those women swimmers in the Olympics do make me terrified, and as for Condoleezza Rice she scares the shit out of me.
So a study of masculinity is for me at least timely. It's good then that this very subject makes up a large part of Harri Palviranta's oeuvre.

Could This Be The Reason?

I once heard a joke that went like this. " 1st Person says to 2nd person could I take your picture? 2nd person says of course you can, but why? 1st person says so that I can put it on the mantle piece to keep the kids away from the fire........" could this be the reason for this:

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Danny Treacy

Image copyright Danny Treacy

Danny treacy's photographs from the series "Them" are powerful & disturbing at the size produced here. Produced life sized and knowing that the costumes portrayed are made out of dis-guarded or lost clothing found on wasteland and in woods must make them bloody terrifying. How did the clothes get there? Who did they belong to? What's the dark or seedy reason for them being left? Then the way they are put together as a complete covered costume puts you in mind of say Buffalo Bill in "Silence Of The Lambs" He currently has a solo show at The Photographers Gallery, London until the 14th September Treacy was born in Manchester and also studied at Stockport College for a while. Here for more of his work:

Thursday, 14 August 2008


Following on from last post. Michael David Murphy writes about the state of "Street Photography" so much better than I could, in this blinding post HERE: I'd just start swearing and a going on. Although I did spell Eloquence without the aid of a spellchecker which I'm fucking well chuffed about...................


Image copyright Michael Ronquillo
ZuperQuirk is an international collective and online experiment, their words not mine. There are however some interesting photographs on the site. Although mainly "street photography" which these days seems to be some kind of weird sport rather than any kind of art, (I have never got my head around why someone of the standing of Trent Parke would get involved with this tosh) I blame the flickr AWESOME brigade but I guess that's a whole other post......................
These six photographers however seem on the whole to avoid the usual cliches. So yes although I prefer the work of some of the six lots more than other's it's well worth a look. "Ya getting me" as the youths around these parts seem to be saying. Here:

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Dave Wyatt

Dave Wyatt is currently Studying for his MA at Bolton. He is at the moment based in China as part of his course. From there he writes his blog called "Musings", which makes for great reading especially the bit where he was really nice about me. His website is at, and China or no China I'm claiming him for The North-West so there...........................

"25 Potential Weapons Descending In Order Of Desperation".

This series is now beginning to take shape, helped in no small part by the the shit weather. It's my indoor project for when the rain just keeps coming.......

Monday, 11 August 2008

Isaac Hayes RIP

If there was a soundtrack to 1970's Black America then it was by this man who sadly died today....................

Emory Douglas

Image by Emory Douglas
Tying in with yesterdays post is the work of Emory Douglas and here: Who is due to have his first UK show here in Manchester in October. It's on from 30th October at Urbis, so a bit of a wait, but as I know how much preparation has gone into it I'm sure it'll be worth it. Until then here's a taster on Youtube....... & Here:

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Yeah But who Took The Picture?

This has to be one of the most iconic images ever made of any Olympic moment. It is of course Tommy Smith & John Carlos Giving the Black Power Salute, at the 1968 Mexican Olympics. Peter Norman was the white Australian also on the podium and he wore a human rights badge, and also got moaned at, READ MORE:
But who took the photograph? I have tried to find out. Some crappy poster company seem to have copyright, (no doubt I'll get moaned at for posting it, or maybe that's just that dick Charles Arthur from The Guardian, don't worry it's a long story....) So the first person who gets in touch with me with the correct answer gets a prize. I'm not sure what yet but it will be a cool one. So leave me your answers at GOOD LUCK! remember with sport it's all about the winning....... no sorry, that's the wrong way round.........

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Guido Castagnoli

Image copyright Guido Castagnoli
Guido Catagnoli has recently won "Best in Show" at foto8's summer show at The Host Gallery. and more of his work can be seen here: The above picture is from the series "Provincial Japan" and he explains more about it here: although how he achieved the extraordinary colour he's playing very close to his chest!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Martin Parr Interview

Just in case you've been living under a rock photo blog wise here's an interview over on PDN with Martin Parr.

Susan Sontag Interview.

Whilst looking for interview's and essay's on banality & photography I found this interview with Susan Sontag Although not all about banality & photography, she does touch on it and anyway it's an interesting article.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Carlos Lobo

Image copyright Carlos Lobo
There's little doubt that "banality" is a well trodden path when it comes to contemporary Art photography. Banality is a hard subject to pick these days because, well, it's just getting so, you know, banal. So finding Carlos work has restored my faith in one of 21st century photography's most popular vehicles. (no pun intended with the pic of the motorbike) It's down to the sequencing, that can obviously add a whole different dimension to the work. Strong editing, and a sense of old fashioned aesthetic, that's what raises this work up. I can tell just how much joy he's got from finding these shots. I only wish I could speak some Portuguese, as that's what the texts about the work are written in.
Hey, perhaps I could get Ronaldo to translate for me while his ankle heals. Perhaps then me and Ronnie could sit a while and debate the reasons that banality features so often in modern photography............................ Anyway Carlos Lobo here:


Got sent a link through to this: and OK it's only a bit of fluff, but some of it's funny. What got me most though, was the first comment on the first post from an SB. I won't put his name here, but I did have to laugh. The Internet is so full of sanctimonious twats like this fucker.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Latest Source Magazine.

It's that time again. latest edition is in the shops yippee! Round here it can be got from Magma books oldham street, or the Cornerhouse bookshop Oxford Road. The cover image is one of Hew Locke's painstaking self portraits, and Hew is interviewed in this edition of the mag. for more of Hew's work.


Do you think that in a parallel universe there is an African blogger doing a series on American photographers?


fuck me is it straight?

Saturday, 2 August 2008



Without doubt cockeyed.

I'm In With The In Crowd..........

Yesterdays post got me told off a bit. Mr Colberg said:
JM Colberg says:
Mark, I was a bit puzzled by your decision to elevate what isn’t even a disagreement into some sort of Internet drama. I don’t think there’s any need for that (even though this kind of behaviour appears to be quite common on the Internet).
Mrs. Deane and I are very close friends, and we disagree all the time - most in our emails - which we both think of as the spice of life. And in this case, there isn't even any kind of real disagreement.

It was because I didn't know that this was an in joke:
JM Colberg says:
I do think you misunderstand me, and since it’s something I’ve run into before (much to my bewilderment) it’s time to clarify things.
When I wrote that I was interested in the image and not in the process, I did’t mean that I did’t care about whether or not images are done properly. Of course, I do. In fact, I expect them to be done properly. But then, I don’t care how they were done properly, how much time it took, or whatever else people like to dwell on.
So those misalignments bother me as much as they do bother you, and they are a very simple reason why these images simply don’t work. If you really want to present the world this way, you better make sure that little details are taken care of. It’s as simple as that. In fact, I do expect people to be experts and masters with their tools - but then at the end of the day, I am interested in what those experts and masters achieve with their skills.
How people can think I don’t care about it, escapes me. Or maybe these days, one really has to write down each and every triviality, for reasons which I am hesitant to spell out here.
You see blogging is like everything else, it's already throwing up, establishments and cliques are a forming. After all that they were just teasing each other....................stupid old me. And what I wrote yesterday was a "Drama". Fuck me compared to a conversation about bloody straight lines it wouldn't take much to create a drama...........

Friday, 1 August 2008

Sloppy Shots, Do We Care?

Joerg Colberg from my favourite photo blog, seems to be having a bit of a time with Mrs Deane from another one of my favorite photo blogs regarding not caring about the process that goes into making the picture. I think they've got their wires crossed and thought I would throw my hat into the ring for what it's worth as I agree with both of them, and in fact I think that they agree with each other as well.
I think and I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong that Joerg is coming from the point of view echoed by a quote I once heard by William Eggleston. Asked what camera he used he is reported to have replied "whichever looks the prettiest that morning". Now whether this is true or not it should be. There seems still, to be more talk about "equipment" than is healthy (perhaps because photoraphy is still a male dominated art form? boys toys?) especially in the states with huge plate camera's and the disciples of Mr Soth. (I know everything is bigger in America) Does dragging something the size of a wardrobe around and only being able to take one shot every three months make your work more significant than Daido Moriyama's shot on his little Ricoh GR, of course not.
However from Mrs Deane's point of view, a trip to The Lowry at Salford Quays to see this years offering from The National Portrait Gallery's photography prize can show good examples of how dodgy technique/printing can take away any clout an other wise worthy image may have had.
So conclusion, for me is: I'm not bothered that work was made on a Nikon D8o @ 180th of a sec at f2.8, if it's a picture for the Martin Parr flickr forum, but I am bothered if you are going to show me something profound about consumerism in the west and then fuck it up by getting your thumb in the way................ Now Joerg & Mrs Deane shake hands and play nicely....................................................