Happy Weekend Update: Finally, it’s Friday. It being the first one in August, accordingly, it’s super-crowded here in Montauk but there’s a good reason for that. This year we are experiencing a glorious season that is providing ample and welcome respite from the many current woes of the world. My jaunt last Sunday out to George’s Lighthouse Cafe to hear my friends @lynnblueband encapsulated this. Montauk Music gleefully entertained Montauk People (whether residents or visitors, whether young or old, or somewhere in between) under the protective presence of the Montauk Lighthouse as Montauk Surfed’n’Rolled below. I wish everyone could get a taste of this. There are many challenges ahead for all so let’s enjoy the good times when and wherever we can. Respectfully and responsibly, of course, but: Keep rockin’!
GREETINGS FROM MONTAUK . . .
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On the Beach
I Read the News . . .
4th of July, a beautiful morning so to beat the crowds I traveled down to the beach EARLY. Not surprisingly, I quickly fell asleep to the lulling sound of the quiet waves. When I woke up a fog bank had rolled in - not unusual for Montauk -- but, still, I was surprised that no one was there. Then again this fog was thicker than I’d ever seen it. Someone was somewhere though because I could hear “Day in the Life” playing in the distance. . . . John Lennon singing, “I read the news today . . . “
I decided to stretch the legs and headed west along the beach at waters edge. A short distance down ahead of me the gray of the fog was turning very dark. Then, black. Gradually, I realized the shadow of a shape — a very large shape was creating almost a black hole in the space in front of me. As I walked closer, I realized, it was a massive object. My heart began racing as at this point the wind picked up and began pushing the fog offshore. I realized how high this thing towered over me and my stomach curdled as I imagined the possibility of it rolling over and crushing me. There were slow, deep-hollow metallic echoes. The surreal notion c that I was at the base of a grounded ship’s prow. I looked up and shuddered.
And THEN, I really woke up. I’d parked my beach chair too close to the waterline so as the tide was coming in it was running up onto my dangling feet. Some junk wood flotsam had washed up beside me. When I turned panel over, this was what I saw.
Another piece by kallaher+smith
Wednesday, June 26 was 'Drop-Off Day’ at New York City’s storied Soho Photo Gallery for their upcoming National Competition Show. This is exciting for me as I had a very exciting reason to be there. The long distance introduction to a distant relative of mine, R. A. Smith of Tchula, MS, about two years ago has profoundly impacted my work. We began a collaboration that has explored the more artistic side of making images and has gone beyond the realms of straight photography. A couple of months ago, we gathered up a ‘what the heck’ attitude and added on one of our joint pieces to a submission I was making to the juried SoHo Photo Gallery show. It was that piece, our maiden submission, that was accepted. It’s a mixed media ‘construction’ entitled "Camera Obscura/Lucida (Barthes)" that is the first of a series based on interpretations of French philosopher Roland Barthes’ small but important book “Camera Lucida - Reflections on Photography”. . The opening reception is Tuesday, July 2, 6-8pm & while R.A. can’t make it up from MS, I’m really looking forward to being there.
Happy New Year!
Into the Hat Cave with Art, Commerce & Wabi-Sabi
2019 has hatched & we are on our way — hopefully not IN our way. There’s much work to do (what else is new!); new plans to unfold; the road is stretched out ahead (though the destination is not always clear) and that’s part where fresh, unseen adventures are to be had. For me, a lot of the adventure TRAVELING will more metaphysical than actual: now that the “Hat Cave”, my home studio, is pretty much up & operational one big goal is to follow up on the notion to do more work with still life and motion capture in the service of both art AND commerce.
So, time to roll up the sleeves and get to work. “The Egg” is Project One. It’s an ostrich egg that for decades has been a prized “objet” of mine. Of course, that begs the question as to how & why do I continually find new ways to drop it, break it and, like with Humpty Dumpty, try to put it back together again. This time, though, rather than feel the tragedy I was able to see the opportunity. This ability was revealed to me a few years ago while doing some old-school analog reading (I’ve always found that I’m much more likely to find something interesting to learn simply by turning a page in a newspaper than is the case when flipping thru digital news feeds where we are spoon-fed whatever some algorithm determines we’ll be interested in.) In this instance, I stumbled upon the mention of an author, Leonard Koren, and his series of small books, in particular “WABI-SABI - for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” which I proceeded to acquire & read with eye-opening delight. Wabi-Sabi can most easily be correlated to ‘patina.’ It is the added value brought to something or someone by virtue of the visual physical transformation that occurs over time. Something invisible is added when there’s a story that can be seen lurking beneath the surface. And so, the broken egg became a story and a photograph because sometimes the broken thing is more interesting than the perfect thing.
Okay, now where’s the glue?
What do you do when you meet a true life action adventure hero? Here’s what happened.
One of the shows at this year’s NAMT Fest 30 was a musical by Dawn Landes & Danny Goldstein appropriately entitled “Row.” It presented the story of Tori Murden McClure the 1st American & 1st woman to ROW solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She accomplished this on her 2nd attempt as her first go came to an end when she came across a little thing called a hurricane. Tori might have stopped after that 1st try, but, from the age of 15, she had lived in Louisville &, as life would have it, she was introduced to a local by the name of Muhammed Ali. When asked what he thought about stopping or trying again, his response, as she tells it, was “Do you want to be known as the woman who ALMOST rowed across the ocean?” Yet finally succeeding wasn’t enough: she then decided to take up skiing & went on a little trip to Antartica & skied to the geographic South Pole. In case you’re counting that was about 700 miles. After the 81-day 2,962 mile trip across the ocean you could say the ski was nothing but a little jaunt -- except that she also became the 1st American and 1st woman to do that.
Her rowboat was named “Pearl” and she wrote a memoir called “A Pearl in the Storm.” She might’ve taken a much-deserved rest after that but having a BA in Psych from Smith; Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School; J.D. from the Univ of Louisville School of Law; & MFA in writing from Spalding Univ, she just steamed on ahead & became President of Spalding U. The what’s, the why’s & the wherefore’s are all laid out in the thrilling piece of musical theatre “Row” for which she & her husband volunteered to build the one single set piece required: a version of the “Pearl”. And Tori actually came to the NAMT performances which is how I met her. When that happened I could only think of what Sir Charles Barkley once said: “I don’t believe in role models. But you’re mine!” And of course I asked if I could get a couple of photos.
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