Saturday, May 30, 2009

how to get there from here

I just got back from photographing this old water tower hidden deep in the 'Bois de Boulogne' (Yes I know, it seems I live in the woods) I found this beautiful old building about a year ago and its taken me all this time come across it again (I was never a boy scout, this could explain the time lapse). I have many ideas for this and other hidden buildings but more about that later. Strewn around this building are lots and lots of tissues and rubbers so it must be quite a popular place for , shall we say 'lovers in the night'. How come they can find this place in the pitch black and I cant even get near it during the day? Never mind... Well like I said, I have some plans for it. I took about 500 images and I will need to go back to shoot some more when the light hits it at the back (that should be around 11 in the morning) I just hope I can find my way back, maybe I should pay one of the 'ladies' that work there to guide me in (no pun intended) Then again maybe I should just buy a compass and some brain cells.
Better still a map.Don't worry, I will work it out.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I need your help and your words

Its been about three weeks since I got my hands on the doll from the south of France ( see posting April 28th below...but read this first) Its been 3 weeks and many thousands of photos and many hundreds of hours and many many shots of ice cold Vodka from the freezer to finally say, the images are finished. Well as finished as they can be. I finally arrived at a series of 15 images.It always seems to be 15. Im very content, dare I say it? happy! with the outcome. I now need to ask you dear readers for something that will make this project sing.I need to ask you for your help.I know this would make a beautiful artist book.I know that the images are strong enough to stand on there own.But as with most of my projects, I have the urge or the need maybe , to include stories. Yes dear reader, I need words. I need your words. So here is what Im asking. Im sure most of you grew up with a doll. Im sure most of you have wonderful or dreadful or tragic story about your first doll (or second) I need THAT! story,and if interesting, would go with my doll project (the project doesn't have a name as yet) Your story shouldn't be tooooooo long, in fact it should be on the shorter side, unless of course its amazing.So please please if you are interested, could you send your story to me. If I get 15 wonderful varied stories I will include them with this project....I never knew I could take that amount of time to photograph a small burnt bald plastic doll from the south of France that doesn't even speak English. O.K. Im waiting for the stories, If I dont get 15 stories Ill pull her arms off.......Just kidding, I'll start with the legs.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

groin update and other stories

Last night I went on a bicycle ride. Usually this wouldn't be a big deal in the big scope of things, but last nights bicycle ride was the first I have taken, since the now famous' groin pull'. So I thought maybe it was time to take me and my hurting bits for a spin. I went where I always go, to the bois de Boulogne. Paris st. Germain were playing last night so I first had to navigate my way through very very very drunk football fans who for some reason took a dislike to me (maybe its because I yelled 'Chelsea' in response to whatever they screamed at me) Who knows. There were lots and lots of police everywhere, most of them on horses.I know this because the roads were covered with horse poop. I nearly skidded off into a few cafes on my way, which isn't how I usually enter a cafe. Once I got past the herds of hooligans the mood completely changed, I was suddenly confronted by very well dressed, half naked models in funny hats (a fashion shoot maybe? ) No, in fact it was a wedding and a very posh one at that. So I stopped and gawked .Nobody looked happy, everyone looked frozen to death, everyone was way underdressed. Well it was a wedding after all. I moved on, my groin till in tact. The bois is an amazing place, the scale is perfect for humans to get lost and found.The little walking/cycle tracks are beautiful and ideal for breathing in the fresh-ish air, looking at the rabbits and pheasant that roam freely and greeting the hookers! Oh yes the hookers. I have been cycling in the bois for about 2 years now , so the woman? in the bois and I are on bonjour/bonsoir terms.I always feel like a client window shopping, but I put on my best English schoolboy look (hard for a man my age) and whistle buy (ooops!!! I meant by).
I will write more about these poor souls another time, because there is so much to write about. I always think this would be a gift of a project for me, but I haven't quite got the grip of it yet (no pun intended). I cycled on. My groin at this piont was throbbing in perfect beat to an Annie Lennox song on my i-pod. I thought I would venture back home to warmth and safety and a bag of ice. On my return I saw 2 poeole doing very rude things to each other, Im not sure who was paying who. I didn't stop to look but thought maybe they should build a motel for this kind of thing, here in the bois. Not a bad idea. I would build it underground (so it would not destroy the beauty) and with a 100 rooms. One could rent it by the hour and it could be safe and warm for the ladies (?) and there friends to do what they usually do in the woods, up against a tree...just a thought.
I was glad for my little ride through the bois.I was glad because nothing says Paris more to me than a little cycle ride from my apartment, around the lake and back. So much to see and hear and smell. Its all free and almost painless.

Last night I went on a bicycle ride and Im glad I did. My groin on the other hand has a different story.

The wonderful photo above is of course by the amazing Brassaï.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

oh no!!!!!!!!!! not another project

On every corner there is another project just waiting for me with a huge tempting seductive smile. Thats all I will say about this one ( because I don't trust the art thieves out there) I will shoot this project in the winter for reasons only I know (and you will too soon) I shot this yesterday on the way back from somewhere I cant really remember.A old lady yelled at me , thinking I was taking her photo.I had to show her all my frames on the little monitor before she let me go. Thats a funny term isn't it 'taking a photo' Real photographers (whatever that means) always say 'making a photo'...Give me a break...
A lot of cultures really feel you are taking something away from them when you 'take' a photo...
O.K. back to work. All work and no play makes Philip a very very boring boy.......

Monday, May 11, 2009

its no walk in the park

I want to go for a walk in the park because its such a beautiful thing to do.I often go on my trusted bike (tonto) but sometimes its just a sheer pleasure to stroll. To stroll and look at people that look nothing like you. People from very very different walks of life . Countries and cultures that Im sure I couldn't even pronounce let alone find them on a map. I lived in New York City for 6 years once upon a time and use to go to central park .The people there were also from all over the globe, but for some (good) reason they all seemed american, therefore alike. The people I see in the bois all seem to be from all over and not French, even though Im sure they live here.I like this, in fact I like this a lot.
I want to go for a walk but I cant. Im driven. Its a dreadful place to be. Im driven and I cant get out of it. I have so much work to do. So much art to produce. So much. Does it sound like Im complaining, Im not. I remember when I was very very young, sitting in my very cold bedroom in England, painting my little pictures that felt far from little. I remember telling my mother that if any of my friends come by, to tell them Im busy working. YES!!! working...I was 7..........Well dear readers things have not gotten any better, in fact they are worse..Worse and better..I am driven by something that cant be explained (thank god)
I have so much to do. Im grateful to the art gods that they have given me the burden to create.
I want to go for a stroll but I cant, im busy with art, im busy creating, I want to cry but I dont have time....

I want to go for a stroll.

The photo above is from a little walk I took last thursday evening while listening to Mahlers 10th.............

Friday, May 8, 2009

going dutch

I just spent less than a day in Amsterdam. I went to see a really beautiful gallery there (oh! and the man that owns it) The meeting went well. I hadn't been to Holland for a long long time, so it was long overdue. After my show and tell with Mr Willem( the gallery owner) I headed out into the world of canals, very tall older hippies and everything Van Gogh and Rembrandt, Oh! and the constant but faint smell of pot (which seemed to follow me around). I walked and walked this city because that is the best way to really view it. The second choice would be a bicycle. The third, a helicopter. I want to say that it resembled Venice because of the canals and old squashed together, leaning buildings, but it didn't. I have always loved the architecture in Holland as well as the design and some photography. Its a very stylish place. Pretty woman that are at ease with there looks, unlike the Parisian woman who look like they just swallowed a poodle.There is an organized chaos between the pedestrians, bicycles, trams and cars but it all seems to work like some mad plot that I wasn't let in on. I was a tourist that day as I wandered in and out of Amsterdam.I was thrilled to see this beautiful city. My photographs above are just stupid snap shots but I even enjoyed taking simple photos without the burden of a project hanging over my head.
Now Im back in Paris and its back to' The Doll' project.The Dutch gallery man described the images like being punched in the face, so I know I'm on the right track.
Going Dutch was a very good idea,Its something I haven't done for a long time. Click on the images above to make larger (if you so wish)