Friday, February 26, 2010

Snopocalypse

Once again we are being pounded by a winter storm here in the northeast U.S. For all my belly aching about the cold and wet and general annoyingness of a winter storm, I look outside and it is so beautiful. It becomes eerily quiet in the city when it snows. This morning there was no sound outside other than the occasional "woosh" of a car down the street - it was so subtle that unless you were really listening, you couldn't really hear it. We live near a school and usually the sound of the kids playing and yelling and laughing below comes through the windows even though we are on the top floor. School was closed today and no one came out to play.

Yesterday I ventured out into the storm when it had just started. Already there was a blanket of white in Madison Square Park. I left early in the morning and wore the wrong shoes not thinking I would get caught in the madness of the storm. I was wrong but I didn't mind. At five-plus months pregnant I made my way through the park because I had my camera and I just couldn't help it. I broke my own rule of leaving the camera at home because my back hurts too much to carry it all the time - something inside me, maybe not just my will but my girl pushing me and supporting me and egging me, made me do it.

Here are some of the photos that I captured. First I was uptown on Park Avenue for an appointment and then I took the subway back down closer to home. By the time I made it back to my apartment I was soaked but it was nothing some pizza and a warm nap on the couch couldn't fix.

Stay tuned for more in color and in black and white next week.

Happy weekend...

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Today's Soundtrack:
Radiohead - Karma Police

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

One Year Ago

At this time last year we were traveling through Tuscany enjoying life and thinking about how lucky we are. Today I'm sitting in my office, working, staring out at the snow, enjoying life and thinking about how lucky we are. Things change with life but so they stay the same. Last year on this trip we drank wine and talked about bringing our children to Europe and showing them everything that there is to see. We want to show them the world and nurture them to be good and open and thoughtful and curious. This is how we live our own lives and we want the same for our girl. I can be anywhere I want to be and do anything I want to do - I have a partner who encourages that and we hope to do the same for our girl.

So, when I look at these photos from last year, the view is very different from what I'm looking at right this second, but the feeling is the same. I always want to be and feel this open-minded and hopeful and happy - and I know that I will because at this time last year, when things in my life were so different, all of that was the same as it is now.

Here are some images of Italy that I haven't shared before...these were taken in Lucca - a city that we will go back to one day. If you want to see more of my trip, you can look here.

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

Today's Soundtrack:
The Rifles - The Great Escape

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Look in the Mirror

To say that my body is changing is a huge understatement. Yes, I know I'm pregnant and it's natural but to see it and feel it is just mind-blowing. Seeing my bulging belly and new curves is like a celebration. It's life right in front of me and it's just amazing. I've been reflecting so much over the last 5 plus months - thinking about the past, enjoying the now, hoping for the future.

I'm embracing my new body but also remembering the old one and knowing that I will see it again after my girl arrives in June. I'll be posting photos soon but in the meantime, and maybe you've seen these before, here are some self-portraits from the archives.

A Girl and a Window



Suburbia

Come...Follow Me

Running To and From



The Good Morning

Cinema

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nat Finkelstein - Producer of History

“When all is said and done, when everything is gone, the photograph is what’s going to remain. The photographer is the producer of history.”
Nat Finklestein

Last October legendary photojournalist Nat Finklestein died at 76 years old. Earlier this year, the Idea Generation Gallery in London exhibited 'From One Extreme to Another' - a retrospective he organized with his wife Elizabeth. Nat Finkelstein led a fascinating and revolutionary life and while he was most famous for his photographs of Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, The Velvet Underground and other members of the Factory scene, his work with the Black Panthers and the civil rights movement eventually led to fifteen years in exile. I'm hoping that this collection makes its way to New York SOON.

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This exhibition showcases five decades of work from someone who truly lead a life less ordinary documenting The Factory Years, the civil rights movement and New York club kids of the early nineties.

Dazed Digital recently interviewed his wife Elizabeth to learn more about this remarkable man.

Dazed Digital: How did you begin to start curating and picking photographs for the exhibition?

Elizabeth Finklestein:
Well, I know Nat’s work; we were together for eight years. When I met Nat he was living in a terrible apartment in Brooklyn, we were introduced by a mutual friend and I was at Nat’s horrible squalid apartment one day and was flipping through this art book of his and I was like ‘Did you do this?’ and he said he did but no one cared. My background is in fine art, it’s not what I would call a career but that’s what I did for a living for an amount of time, working in galleries, working with artists and I know great art when I see it. And so when Nat told me that he was so discouraged that no on knew what kind of work he did and I thought this has to change.

Nat had a hustlers’ credo, he was proud to be a photographer but he was proudest of all to be an outlaw. That kind of conflicted with a capitalist career, especially in New York, if you’re not a careerist or self promoting and don’t have a media machine you’re easily ignored and Nat was an artist and not a careerist, he was absolutely devoted to making art but as far as getting it shown getting it to a mass audience he had trouble with that, he was frustrated by it.

DD: Where did Nat’s relationship with counter culture begin?

Elizabeth Finklestein: I have been thinking about this recently, myself. Nat grew up in the depression as part of a poor family and he always considered himself to be an underdog even though he was really a tough man and a brilliant man he still felt himself to be different. I think this is what drew him to sub cultures he wanted to do something for people who really didn’t have a voice.

DD: Nat’s photos, especially of the civil rights protests seem to have a gonzo element to them. Would you say he was influenced by Hunter S. Thompson?

Elizabeth Finklestein: Oh, my gosh completely. He actually used that phrase “I’m a gonzo photojournalist.” He had referred to himself as that but I don’t know if he ever referred to himself as that in the press.
There was definitely a gonzo element, he totally immersed himself in what he was working on and Nat also had a serious drug problem for a long time so he was on whatever… amphetamines or speed or cocaine, oh and LSD. When he was working in the sixties he really immersed himself not just in his subjects but also in the whole scene.

On his Relationship with Andy Warhol

Elizabeth Finklestein: There has been some conflict between photographers who were there as to who was an official photographer, who was an unofficial photographer etc. But, with Nat, he approached it as a journalist. He thought Andy was a great subject, he loved Andy’s work, and thought he was a stand up guy, Nat liked Andy.

Having been married to Nat I met a lot of these people who were at the factory and Nat didn’t respect everybody there, he loved the Velvet Underground, he loved Nico and he had a fondness for Edie but otherwise it was really Andy and Andy’s work which intrigued him the most.

DD: So it was the work that interested him and not the party that was surrounding it?

Elizabeth Finklestein: Nat was an idealist and he felt very strongly about Andy’s work, he thought it was important historically and he wanted to be there to document it and at the same time he wasn’t an in house photographer like Billy Bang for instance, he didn’t live THERE and had his own career away from the Factory. He was there an awful lot but again, he was there as a journalist.

DD: And at the same time as documenting what was happening at the Factory Nat was also getting very involved in the civil rights movement and working with the Black Panthers?

Elizabeth Finklestein: His passions were arts and justice and he had to be covert considering the politics and considering that in he end he had to leave the country for the work he was doing politically.

But he was very involved with the movement because it was so incendiary. The people at the factory did not know that Nat has this alternate body of work, and not just a body of work but alternate interest and alternate passion. Nat really believed in human rights and going back to the fact that he wanted to stand up for the people who didn’t have a voice. He tried to give them a voice through his photography.

DD: What was it like for him to have to go on the run?

Elizabeth Finklestein: He didn’t really get a diagnosis until later in his life but he did get post-traumatic stress from his time on the run, no matter how physically and mentally strong you are, how together you are, it hurts. What happened to him in Morocco was horrible but he survived it and it gave him a certain amount of fear and he didn’t like that.

Nat probably wasn’t surprised that the finger was pointed at him because the civil rights stuff was very incendiary, his photographs were some of the very first photographs that showed these young people and not just the young people but everyone who was there protesting and trying to get a political voice. He was very proud of that. It was an amazing time and unfortunately contrasted to the present day, there was a lot more (political) activity.

Finkelstein's photographs are in the permanent collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; The Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and the Smithsonian Institute, National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, among many other public and private collections. His work was recently seen in “Who Shot Rock” at the Brooklyn Museum, an exhibit that I featured here.

All images Copyright Nat Finklestein. Interview text and photos via
Dazed Digital.

Today's Soundtrack:
Stevie Wonder - I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Dear Summer

The bright sun and blue skies over New York City are deceiving this morning. What better way to start a rather cold Monday than to enjoy the Forgotten Memories of Summer photograph series by Amanda D'Arcy. She uses infra-red light to make the image in the camera and the result is a dreamy, magical view into her world that is anything but black and white. I'm longing for summer, or at least a warm spring afternoon. In the meantime, I'm day dreaming via these images.

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All images Copyright Amanda D'Arcy.

Images via
Please Sir and Amanda D'Arcy.


Today's Soundtrack:
Interpol - Obstacle

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Friday, February 19, 2010

A Mellow Weekend

After a whirlwind week that included a birthday celebration, I'm looking for a "mellow weekend"...mellow includes a birthday dinner on Saturday and a birthday brunch on Sunday. As long as I'm surrounded by family and friends, it's perfect. I feel a lot of love this year.

It's also supposed to rain and since I'm relying on my iPhone these days for personal work as my pro camera has proven to be too heavy to carry around with me like I usually do, I'm hoping to capture some goodies like this one...


Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Have a great weekend...And, don't forget to sign up for my
Birthday Giveaway!

Today's Soundtrack:
Kings of Leon- Knocked Up



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Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's my Birthday! Let's Celebrate!

It's my birthday! I'm officially 30-something. Do I sound excited? Well, I am! In honor of my 30-something and New York Fashion Week, which is officially over today, I'm having a giveaway of one of my photographs.

I took these images of the Bergdorf Goodman windows at the holidays last year and one person will win an 8x10 of the print of their choice from this collection!

To enter, please leave me a comment.

I'll give you an extra entry if you tweet about the giveaway - just please let me know about it - I'm @CiaoChessa.

You'll also get an extra entry if you share the news about the giveaway on your blog or Facebook - just let me know by leaving another comment!


The contest will close one week from today - Thursday, February 25th!

Window Watcher

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

Holiday Window Shopping

Today's Soundtrack:
Regina Spektor - On The Radio

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New York Fashion Week Via Dazed Digital

It's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week here in New York (woot!). While a bad back (I can't carry my gear or stay on my feet for too long), a growing baby bump (yay!) and terrible weather (boo!) are keeping me away, the fantastic and painfully cool people over at Dazed Digital (love them!) are there in full force taking photos, doing interviews, writing reviews and generally being fabulous and amazing on their blog. I check in repeatedly to see what fresh and delicious content they've posted and let me tell you, they do not disappoint. Head over there immediately to see what's up and get a sneak peek here...

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Marc Jacobs


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Alexander Wang


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Thakoon

All images via Dazed Digital.

Today's Soundtrack:
Bloc Party - Sunday

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