MOCCA the Sphynx cat – Arno

.

Mocca the Sphynx cat – Arno – Luxembourg

.

I take pictures of my cats quite often — with my professional cameras or simply with my phone. However, often during the best, most intimate or most playful moments I do not have any camera at hand and then, sadly, I miss those moments. Taking pictures of my cats is also sometimes difficult because they want to play with the straps of my cameras whenever they can reach them. Sphynx cats are special because they are very interactive with other cats (that’s why I have two), dogs, and people. They require a lot of attention because they love to play and cuddle, they are always around people — they even jump into the shower! Since these kitties have no fur they need to be bathed from time to time. Moreover, they should never be let outside because they could catch cold or get sunburnt. The rest of the care is similar to that of other cats’. Although to some persons Sphynx cats look like aliens, most of the people fall in love with these cats the moment they get a chance to interact.

.

90 percent of pet owners talk to their pets, and no doubts all of them also take pictures of their animal friends, mainly cats and dogs, and dull pictures. And pretty much all of these millions of pictures make their way to the Net provoking yawning and repetitive unoriginal “cute” comments. Then some skilled photographer comes along with a particular touch for portraits, people portraits, strong contrasts of body and environment, and here we go with a cat photo that stands out of the crowd. I agree, the cat breed definitely helps to make the photo original, as the matching eyes / fabric color, but what really makes this image not a pet photo is the photographer’s approach to composition and lighting. This photo is a perfect portrait, doesn’t matter if pet or human.

los Pueblos INDIGENAS de LATINAMERICA

“No pedimos una autonomía excluyente. No reclamamos independencia alguna. No queremos proclamar el nacimiento de las naciónes, o fragmentar los países en una serie de pequeños países indígenas. Queremos que se reconozcan los derechos de una parte importante de la sociedades, que posee sus propias formas de organización y que pide que dichas formas sean legitimadas.”

Subcomandante Marcos, 24 feb. 2001

AMATO OPERA house – BEL CANTO on the Bowery, New York

 

Only 103 seats and all with a perfect view and acoustics, hand painted scenery and originally design costumes, singers and actors that perform for the great passion of music and bel canto, not for money.

Amato Opera house has entertained opera lovers for 61 years of uninterrupted production. Founded in 1948 by husband and wife team Anthony and Sally Amato, grew to become not only a must-go theatre where to appreciate opera in NYC’s cultural scene, but also a reference point for theatre students and singers, thanks to the enthusiasm, creativity and energy of Mr. and Mrs. Amato.

The Marriage of Figaro by Rossini, was chosen in May, 2009, as it started 61 years before at the auditorium of Our Lady of Pompeii church on Bleecker and Carmine Sts., to end an uninterrupted production. Last permanent home was at 319 Bowery, in the East Village.

FIGHT club – PEACEFUL Sunday afternoon

They look like you and me: harmless. But you don’t want to get into a fight with them for just no reason. They know boxing, wrestling, kicking, judo, karate and you name it. They’re nice, ordinary guys, they do business and smile, chat and shake hands and like to be photographed, outside the ring. But once they’re in the ring, the hidden beast surfaces, feeding on your blood and the crowd’s roars at the smashing sound of fists hitting your face and breaking your nose. You eventually give up and the fight is over. Winner or loser, it doesn’t make any difference since there’s no money to win, but a sort of inner relief. Yes, because finally you felt alive, away from the supermarket aisle wanderer, from the cubicle dweller, from the diaper changer. And tomorrow is Monday, a week away from another peaceful Sunday afternoon.

Fight Club – the movie, with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.

el PAJON de ANTONIA

 

Pajon, in Dominican Spanish, literally means a person with hair all messed up and sticking out, but also refers to the typical Afro way of dressing hair: the fluffier and bigger the better. Antonia is very proud of hers.

She recently turned 50, Happy Birthday Antonia!

processing ORANGES – in Entre Rios

Entre Rios, which literally means Between Rivers, the Paraná and Uruguay rivers in this specific case, is a mainly agricultural province of Argentina. Land is flat and rich, Summers are hot and Winters never too cold, the ideal climate for growing citrus orchards like juicy and sweet oranges.

FANTASTIC VOYAGE – a photo book by ARTHUR TRESS

FANTASTIC VOYAGE

Arthur Tress, Photographs 1956 – 2000

 

“I always tried to organize the immense quantity of images and inputs that reached my mind and invade my senses through my camera”. There’s in fact a continuum in Arthur Tress’ works, absolutely one of the most prolific and diversified American contemporary photographers, apparently very different but all tied by dreams and imagination.

“A lot of kids take snap shots, but I grew up in Brooklyn in the 40s and 50s, when being gay and full of ideas didn’t help to make friends. So I was taking pictures that would talk on my behalf”. Young Arthur was hiding away in the “wonders stuffed attic” of the Egyptian Collection at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, or in the nearby dream-like Japanese Garden at the Botanical Garden. With such a background it isn’t surprising that the work that gave Tress notoriety, and is still considered his most representative work, is Dream Collector, developed in the 70s and partly inspired to the Italian Surrealism. “For the making of Dream Collector I wanted to reproduce emotions, fears and expectations. I tried to remember the dreams I had in my childhood and I asked friends and kids in the streets ”.

Tress has never considered image manipulation nor digital photography as an option, he puts big emphasis in the image composition but never used models: “models are boring and unnatural, I prefer ordinary street goers, friends and kids”.

Arthur Tress has never shot fashion or celebrities to make more money. Even in commercial photography he’s always looking for the fantastic as well as seeking a strong tie with his senses. He used to take portraits for Esquire Magazine and now produces many mystery book covers that draw inspiration from the Shadow series. “Back in the 70s anthropologists were talking about shaman’s powers, mental perceptions, nighttime mental journeys and psychologic journeys. I created a mythological figure, a Dancing Shadow, that would have told one of these journeys to the outside world”. Shadow, the photographer’s self shadow, appears in many sequences composed of single images: The Prisoner, The Search, The Journey, The Town, The Labyrinth, The Valley of Marvels, The Ancestors, Initiations, The Pilgrim, Call and Messages, The Magic Flight, Transformations and The Illumination. “Somebody once told me I could have done short movies out of the sequences, but I think there’s enough meaning in every single image: every shot can absolutely stand on its own”.

As a matter of fact there’s no documentary side in Tress’ images, and once organized in a chronological order it’s clear how they reflect the changes in Arthur Tress himself. “I started from a witness-like photography to end up with an image that tells about my magical side. My image has evolved”. This is the main reason why Tress considers contemporary photography trivial: “there’s a big deal regarding snap shots, museums all over the country make huge prints out of an image of people sunbathing on a beach. It might be that photographers, fearing the digital challenge, have gone back to the origin of photography. My work is much more personal and sophisticated”.

Forty-five years of absolutely high quality work, always changing and evolving, gave Arthur Tress the honor of a vast retrospective exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC in summer 2001. “When they told me they wanted to make a retrospective I turned sad and told myself: How can it be? I’m not at the end of my career. And then they also showed my very last works, the ones made with the aid of a crystal paper weight. So, I told myself again: This might be the bridge toward the future: the 3D images I’m working at present time, cutting and pasting to produce something like those pop-ups in kids’ books”.

Maybe this is the secret of Tress’ art: let the day tell us what to do, play with what’s around us, look at the world through a child’s eye.

Michele Molinari

all images © Arthur Tress

 

Fantastic Voyage: 55 color plates, 180 duotone plates, 39 B&W plates.

Male of the Species: The naked man, fetish and dream.

Theater of Mind: A small paper Opera theatre and mind’s games.

Fish Tank Sonata: A fish tank full of weird object and dolls, and the beachm the pond, the ocean as background.

 


%d bloggers like this: