Sunday, November 30, 2008

miami, coffee and me

One of the few things I miss about Paris when I come back to Miami is the coffee. I know I'm supposed to love Cuban coffee and don't get me wrong, It's not bad but it Isn't the coffee I adore in Paris (my god!!!!!!! What on earth do I sound like) Anyway I'm only here for 10 days so I'm sure I'll survive. The photo above is a coffee cup I designed about 20 years ago.I made this image of Miami beach,deco buildings , sea and sand. I had forgotten all about it or rather them. I'm going to sell them as a limited edition of 20. All signed and numbered(they come with a signed and numbered certificate). So place your orders now. They are $30 dollars each which sounds very expensive I know, but then again there are only 20 in this edition. Just think of the pure delight as you sip your French or Cuban coffee from a little work of art.........As for me, I'm going to make a nice cup of can contact me at

The proceeds will go to the very very expensive film I'm working on....

Friday, November 28, 2008

perfectly homeless......almost

Blvd. St. Michel, Paris. 11.15 A.M.

I never get fed up with strolling around Paris.I never get fed up with strolling around Paris if I have my camera with me that is.This homeless man set up the perfect scene for begging. He didn't have to be awake and neither did his two friends. He was the perfect homeless man, almost dreamed up by disney. Cute, charming, and cuddly almost. I wanted to pay him for all his trouble or rather for lack of it, but I only had a 20...So I took the shot and went on my business. After my two meetings that morning I thought I had better go back and give him a euro( I'm nice that way). So I got change and went back. On my return the scene had turned a little bleaker, more freddy kruger than disney. The man had woken up and was growling louder than his two little cute puppies, It was a growl with an oder of whiskey and urine. The two little doggies had turned into demons and had decided to try to bite the hand that feeds them. With my fingers intact I hurried off to the safety of the metro (ha ha) hearing only the distant verbal abuse from the 3 of them. ...A few blocks down I came upon another homeless man with 4 beautiful kittens. I didn't even get my camera out . I just kept on walking and walking...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

see me make a fool of myself in 5 minutes or less

Im going to post the letter the Wolfsonian Museum sent me (below)...It will save me typing,but first I'll explain a little, here goes .....I have 5 minutes to say and show something that will amuse designer/artist types. I'm calling my bit 'Everything I've done(visually) in the last month in 2-5 minutes give or take a second'. It should be fun (not for me but the viewer) hopefully.
The poster above is the one I produced last minute (because the Wolfsonian asked me last minute) that is included in the thoughts on democracy exhibition....

Dear Philip:

Thank you for taking part in The Wolfsonian's Design Marathon: Five Minutes of Designed Freedom. It will be an exciting, jam-packed day, moderated by Debbie Millman, host of the internet radio show Design Matters. Thirty-five designers and artists are taking part in the program, which serves as an extension of the Thoughts on Democracy poster project.

It will take place at The Wolfsonian on Saturday, December 6 during Art Basel–Miami Beach. . The Design Marathon event begins at 1:00 and ends at 5:00 pm.

We are asking each participant to create a 2-5 minute visual/verbal presentation that will relate to, or build upon, the theme of Thoughts on Democracy. Whatever you choose to do—show your own work, the work of others past, present, or future; address issues or respond to the election, the economy, or the democratic process; and so forth—is fine with us. But please be prepared to do so in an engaging and/or entertaining five minutes or less.

Its a very interesting museum...

O.K. I had better start thinking about what i'm going to show..And I have to pack my things because I'm leaving for Miami where did I put my suitcase and toothbrush?

Monday, November 24, 2008

yet another pool

Most of you know about the old 1933 abandoned swimming pool north of Paris. Most of you know I've photographed every angle it has to offer and even some it doesn't. Most of you know Ive just about finished shooting that pool which is the subject of my a film called' les eaux muettes' (see BUT! What most of you do not know until now, is that I have found another pool, YES ANOTHER POOL!!! and IT'S ABANDONED!!! and It's designed by the same architect . I took my first trip there this sunday with my new friend and tour guide Blandine. It's not easy to get to, it involves the metro, the RER train, a car and a small boat..oh! and my feet (lots of walking and climbing). The day I went it snowed like crazy then turned to driving rain then sleet then ...oh you get the picture...Above is a snap shot of the place. It's going to be fun shooting it. I had better hurry because there are plans to make it all beautiful again with a hotel etc, not really my idea of beauty... Next time I go out there I'm going to pick a sunny day. It has taken me 2 days to finally thaw out.

This project will be included in a book and a boxed portfolio.More about that where did I put my cashmere socks?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the great english breakfast

I just got back from England, Liverpool to be precise, I was working on my film. I haven't really lived in england since I was nineteen. The thing that struck me the most about being back again , is how bad the food still is. Heavy boiled tasteless goop, slop, gruel, well you get the picture. EXCEPT!!!!!! 'The great English Breakfast' Ah! a pure-ish delight. Yes of course its a cholesterol nightmare, laden with fat and grease and other enjoyable ingredients like lard, but what a way to start the day.
Armed with the inner glow of my breakfast swirling around my belly like restaurant swill in a blender, I felt I could tackle anything that England could throw at me.......Anything, except the price of petrol and the awful traffic jams, the rain, the cost of living, all those rotten teeth...Oh don't get me started...

Now where did I put that pepto bismal

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

spike goes for a walk in north london...and so do I

This might just be the most beautiful dog in the world and his name is spike... Marilyn and David are the proud parents. M and D are the fab people I stayed with in London. David told me a grim story about a lady who was walking her large dog on Primrose hill (a nearby famous park) when her dog suddenly died. Totally in a panic she rushed home to find a bag to put her now dead dog inside.The only bag she had was her very expensive Luis Vuitton case. So she packed her dog inside the suitcase and started to drag it home. On the way back to her home, a robber spotted the woman dragging the case. Thinking this was a good opportunity to make some money from the VL bag, mugged her and took off with the case and the very dead dog.....

dog day afternoon (actually it was in the morning)

the erotic museum, paris

I'm currently working on a very beautiful series of 50 erotic prints. So I decided to get a little inspiration (or perspiration) from the erotic museum here in paris. It is best to go very late as I did (1 a.m.) quite empty except for a few giggling couples and one very strange looking woman (I think it was a woman) As usual I took my little nikon still camera that also takes film....

For a sharper view of the little film you can go to 'you-tube' and type in 'erotic museum paris' then click on the
'higher quality' (bottom right, under film) Also I would let it load before viewing, it drives me nuts when it stops.

A brief history or a labor of love
The Erotic Museum was founded by Alain Plumey and Joseph Khalifa, two Parisians who assembled a vast collection of erotic art and artifacts in the 30 years that preceded the museum's opening in 1997. The two men turned a former cabaret into seven stories of galleries, some devoted to permanent displays and others featuring temporary exhibits of art and pornography. You could call it a labor of love, I see it more of a labor of lust.

The Musée de l'Erotisme is at 72 boulevard de Clichy in the 18th arrondissement, just east of the Place Blanche at the southern edge of Montmartre.

The Erotic Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m. Tickets cost €8, but you can get a 3-euro discount voucher at the museum's Web site.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the happy tree

Bous de Boulonge, Paris

Most mornings I wander around the truly splendid and magnificent Bois de Boulogne . Most mornings I just wander with my ears plugged into my podcast ( Bill Mahers 'real time' or music loud enough to scare the leafs silly) and look at all the bois (woods) have to offer, birds rabbits, pheasant, grouse, hookers. I usually take my prescribed route until one day I decided to go a little off the beaten path. Most of the trees have turned into a pyrotechnic show of unequal proportion. Most except for this very large old tree.It looked like it had seen better days.On close inspection I realized why, as I'm sure you can see from the photo above. I call it the 'happy tree' It's located just yards from a very busy hooker area where business is brisk. I now make the happy tree part of my morning walk and you will all be happy to hear that the tree isn't dying, its just taking a well earned rest till next spring.

Monday, November 10, 2008


An evening with April Ashley...Who?

Who may well ask...I wont go into the whole long amazing story now (its best to google her or go to the film section at But Im filming this event for my movie 'Au Revoir Monsieur Bonjour Mademoiselle'
So it's off to Liverpool (home of the fab four, only now, alas, the fab two) April is giving a talk about her life, and what a life it has been. Yes I know this poster looks very similar to the movie poster (below) but I'm a busy man.
Four days of shooting will probably be 5 minutes of footage I can actually use...Why am I doing this again? Painting was so much easier....then again.

April Ashley...the movie

As most of you may know by now I'm making a very big movie about the life of April Ashley. I've know April for 30 years or so (I'm drinking a very large martini as I write this so the dates may vary...bare with me..or is it bear with me) Its going to be a pretty good movie, in fact its going to be a wonderful film. This wednesday I'll be going to England to shoot some more footage on April. If you have ever made a film before you will know that it involves not sleeping for two years. I don't quite know how I found myself in this position but here I am. I'm hoping this film will be finished this time next year. With very little sleep and spending every penny I have , I might just be able to do it...Did I mention the other film Im making at the same time.......Whew!!!!!

P.S. I hope you like the poster, it was so much easier to do than the movie.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

the poster that never was...

I painted this poster of the beautiful river-beach swimming pool in Boran, France for one good reason, A poster was never made. Lots of photographs and newsreels were taken of the inauguration in 1933, but no poster was ever produced. I thought this quite unusual for that time and a wonderful opportunity to see what I could do. After a lot of research into other posters of that period. I set to work. As many of you already know , I have shot a lengthy photo essay on the pool as well as a one hour film..I suppose this is my latest obsession at the moment. The film will be out next year under the French title 'les eaux muettes' For more information about the film and the photo essay go to
Yes! this poster will be available later this year (maybe early january) and hopefully details are being worked out for an exhibition of the photos as well as a book about the project... Stay tuned.

If you are still awake, here is a brief history....
On May 2nd 1933 The Magnificent 'Plage du Lys-Chantilly' situated on the river Oise bank just north of Paris, opened its doors to the public and over the next seventy years would attracted thousands and thousands of people for miles around. Hailed as the most beautiful river beach in France. It instantly became a hit. This was not to last.
What's left today are the sturdy remains of a once majestic pool. A place steeped in a sad romantic atmosphere.The structure is still sound but nature seems to be winning the battle. The sand of the beach has an uneven blanket of grass and weeds. The 190 cabins have no doors and most of the original mirrors are broken.The faded plage rules still hang in every cabin as a reminder.Alongside are the original clothes hangers that look very naked, except for draping cobwebs. No longer is there music coming from the huge speaker. The chequered dance floor boasts only of weeds and grime. The reflections of the once grand river beach complex lay dormant. Sad majestic ghosts hang in the air.

Friday, November 7, 2008

my latest illustration

I did this illustration for a magazine called mortgage monthly. I know what you are thinking 'boring' (the name of the magazine and hopefully not the illustration) but you would be wrong.
Visually this magazine has some of the best illustrators around gracing its pages. I suppose this really isn't the
right time to be saying the 'M' word what with the economy the way it is....ooooops!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. Dont forget to click on the illustration for a better view of the detail. Merci

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

postcard from paris #1

(For better quality, go to you-tube and type in postcard from paris #1 and click on 'watch in high quality)

Q. What are postcards from paris?

A. Postcards from paris are just little videos taken with my small but wonderful nikon coolpix p4 camera (a still camera but with the ability to shoot video). They are not supposed to be great works of art or even beautifully shot films. They are just glimpses, little moments. Each film will be under 2 minutes and with very little or no editing. What you might call raw.
Postcard from paris #1 was shot at pere lachaise cemetery on a very cold wet dark day. Perfect !!!!!! Sometimes postcards from paris will just be a photo with my usual witty commentary (well, as witty as I can be that is)...

A brief history (or, all you will need to know, to impress people at a cocktail party)

The cemetery takes its name from Père François de la Chaise (1624-1709), confessor to Louis XIV, who lived in the Jesuit house rebuilt in 1682 on the site of the chapel. was bought by the city in 1804, laid out by Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart.
The cemetery was established by Napoleon I in 1804. Cemeteries had been banned inside Paris in 1786, after the closure of the Cimetière des Innocents on the fringe of Les Halles food market, on the grounds that it presented a health hazard. (This same health hazard also led to the creation of the famous Parisian catacombs in the south of the city.)
At the time of its opening, the cemetery was considered to be situated too far from the city and attracted few funerals. Consequently, the administrators devised a marketing strategy and with great fanfare organised the transfer of the remains of La Fontaine and Molière, in 1804. Then, in another great spectacle in 1817, the purported remains of Pierre Abélard and Héloïse were also transferred to the cemetery with their monument's canopy made from fragments of the abbey of Nogent-sur-Seine (by tradition, lovers or lovelorn singles leave letters at the crypt in tribute to the couple or in hope of finding true love)
This strategy achieved its desired effect when people began clamouring to be buried among the famous citizens. Records show that, within a few years, Père Lachaise went from containing a few dozen permanent residents to more than 33,000. Today there are over 300,000 bodies buried there, and many more in the columbarium, which holds the remains of those who had requested cremation.

A good website for all your up to the date graves...

congratulations america