diCorcia then goes on to explain how in the late 80’s when the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment – the Freedom of Speech was being repressed, he was given funding from the National Endowment for the Arts with the condition that he not ‘transgress’ American values. He therefore decided to give them their money’s worth.
diCorcia used the money to photograph ‘hustlers’ or male prostitutes that he picked up from the Santa Monica Boulevard.
He paid them the same amount of money they would have been paid for sex, and he used this time to photograph them in motels, in parking lots, on the street.
diCorcia titled each and every one of these sixty nine images or so with the name, age, hometown and the price he paid each hustler.
A record of money well spent?
His modus operandi was to first pick a location for the shot. He would then set up his tripod and the rest of his equipment, leaving everything ready for when he brought a hustler back.
They often asked him if he was a cop? Why didn’t he want the sex?
But once back on set, they posed patiently.
Often giving him the exact image he had planned for.
Sometimes something unpredictable.
Made in a time when the U.S. Government had condemned homosexuality, AIDS was rampant, and diCorica lost his own brother to the disease, this project is filled with pathos and make-believe.
As diCorica says, ‘You’re supposed to have all the freedom that our Constitution allows, except the freedom to choose your freedom. None of those guys (the hustlers) were free – they charged for their services, for a faked’ sense of what passes for intimacy in the realm they left behind. They barely found a place to sleep or get high afterwards, but they accomplished the most sublime trade, their artistry: Nothing for Nothing.
That’s what was so perfect for me. It summed it all up.’
When was the last time you saw children playing in the street?
Not organised sport, but the boisterous, noisy, made-up games that almost every person our generation and older has played.
When was the last time you saw a child ambling through a park, unaccompanied?
Exploring, we used to call it….made all the more exciting because we climbed out through the window without Mum knowing.
And no, she didn’t call the police because she knew we would be back for lunch.
While the growing absence of a child in unsupervised, unstructured leisure might be a first world problem, it doesn’t change the fact that as more of our lives and relationships go virtual, we’re losing out on time in the grass and in the sun.
Here’s Amanda Harman’s series Child’s Play, taken in the 80’s and 90’s that depicts play in ‘unstructured’ outdoor environments;
an ode to a time where there was always plenty of time.
With Brazil on everyone’s minds in the coming months, today we look to Rio de Janeiro and the inspiring series En Plein Air by Gabriele Galimberti & Edoardo Delille. With images taken from up high, this series is an ode to a country where sport is so much more than something to be watched….it is to be lived!
And like we saw in the series by Christopher Pillitz who captures the obsession with football that most Brazilians embody, the all embracing ‘have-space-will-make-it-fit’ attitude towards sport in even the most crowded neighbourhood, is both inspiring and refreshing.
In addition to these images Galimberti has some other series that come highly recommended – Local Celebrities where he photographs individuals who have made a big difference to the communities they live in, Delicatessen with love that features what grandmothers do best – compete with rest of the world to feed us, Mirrors and Windows that gives us a peek into the bedrooms of girls across the world,
and Toy Stories where he has kids posing with their favourite toys.
We don’t normally repeat photographers on Beanstories but Galimberti might be someone we return to in the not so distant future.
We leave you with our favourite from his Toy Stories series.
‘I am a dedicated people watcher who loves to see art and art watchers watching.
Museums provide irresistible visuals feasts of science, history, art on canvas, in sculpture, in buildings that are themselves art.
Blending with displays, spectators provide the human scale, thinking, judging, having fun, feeding sensibilities.
It makes fine hunting for a furtive photographer on the prowl.’
– Elliott Erwitt, Museum Watching, 1999
We’re completely on a roll with people watching art this week.
How do you take your art?
Do you make notes?
Do you have to take pictures of everything you like?
Or do you just photograph everything you want to note down, because who actually writes these days?
We’ve recently discovered the work of Alécio de Andrade and we’re moved by how natural his images are. A Brazilian poet/photographer, Andrade’s work especially his series The Louvre and its Visitors (with most of the images taken in the 1990’s) have made us more in awe of the fly on the wall photographers who watch us as we watch the world,
and in this particular case, as we muse over some of the world’s greatest masterpieces.
We’re also slightly nostalgic about the complete absence of mobile phones and cameras in his images…..oh the good old days, some would say.
“Recently, photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing.”
Susan Sontag, Writer, 1973
A quick burn to the top
“We set out to solve the main problem with taking pictures on a mobile phone, which is that they are often blurry or poorly composed. We fixed that.”
Kevin Systrom, Founder and Chief Executive, Instagram, 2012
Jubilee river pagent
Spot the Queen
“10% of all photos ever taken were shot in 2011.”
Fortune magazine, 2012
Royal wedding revelers
Standing start for Aung Sunn Kyi
“We’ve looked at the impact of user-generated content and social media. Consumer and pro-sumer technologies are simpler and more accessible. Small cameras are now high broadcast quality. More of this technology is in the hands of more people. After completing this analysis, CNN determined that some photojournalists will be departing the company.”
Jack Womack, Senior VP, CNN, 2011
Death of a dictator
The revolution will be televised
Do we ever let a happy or a newsworthy moment go by without taking an image of it?
No, not really.
And not if we could help it!
…food for Friday thought!
But the one we found the most canny is Foyer Fauna.
A plant makes all the difference…till we forget about it of course.
In addition to these projects, Stephenson is currently raising money to publish his next book 99x99s, an ode to the humble British 99p Flake ice cream that has graced many a summer holiday and beach walk. His fascination with ice cream earlier manifested in his series Mind That Child, but 99x99s takes this to a whole new level.
So whether you are inspired by his earnest desire to preserve bits of Britishness, whether you chuckle at him or roll your eyeballs, he’s definitely got us thinking as much about our last flake, as he has about the forgotten potted plant in our living room.
A dog in a car!
Why does that make interesting art?
And what’s that got to do with me?
A lot actually, when you come to consider that Martin Usborne has combined his love for dogs with a strong childhood memory of being left alone in a car, for what seemed like forever.
Not an unloved child in the least, it was just the feeling of being made to wait.
And not knowing if anyone would ever come to get him.
That’s all it was.
But like all living beings the boredom, the apprehension, the anxiety and the sadness, all followed.
So take a deeper look beyond the obvious dog.
They don’t have smart phones to escape into.
Let alone the ability to crank a window open.
At the end of the day are their emotions that different from our own?
We don’t like fabulously fashionable things…unless they really make us think.
And though Humans of New York has been in the press a lot recently, and though we’re still more Team The Sartorialist for our regular New York buzz, Brandon Stanton has come up with some pictures and stories that have made us stop and look again.
Here are our favourites! Click on the images to join in the stories.
“Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?” “Probably sitting at the kitchen table with my dad, an hour after my mother died, realizing we had to figure out what we were going to do for lunch.”
“We were smoking outside one time. And this same car kept driving by, and we thought: ‘Man! That’s weird!’ Then we got arrested.”
“I want to be a dog walker when I grow up.” “What’s the hardest part about being a dog walker?” “Holding on to the leash.”
“I’m going to puppet class.” “I didn’t know there were puppet classes.” “I didn’t either. Until I googled it.”
He didn’t know much English beyond: “I’m from China.” But he did pull out his iPad and showed me his brother, his toys, his drum set, and a picture of his class.
“I read the blog every fucking day. I just came in on a bus from Maryland. The whole time I was thinking: ‘I’m going to find a cute old couple, I’m going to park next to them, and I’m going to get on HONY!'”
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” “Fireman.” “Why do you want to be a fireman?” “I said Ironman!”
Wishing you a week filled with inspiration…and many more steps towards figuring out what you would like to do more than anything else in the world!