Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Marshall goes Platinum in San Francisco

So a few weeks on from the monumental phone call that was Jim Marshall we have kindly been sent 3 pristine & signed copies of his books. Proof, the shinning gem of his collection sounds brilliant in print but is even more spectacular when you can flip through the glistening pages one at a time. We would like to thank Mr. Marshall for these kind gifts and let him know, his copy of Republic is on it's way.

In the meantime if you happen to be on the left coast of America or have a load of frequent flyer miles left over, like some people we know get yourself to San Francisco to see Jim Marshall's Masterpieces in Platinum. Gallery 291 hosts the twenty magnificent prints seen this way for the very first time.

Here's the info:
Gallery 291
219 Geary at Powell
May 1st - June 28th 2008

Just for kicks, here are some more images by the man:
{Images via Gallery 291}


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Folk for Free

well more like Folk for Suggested Donation but darn close. It is a rarity when one exceptional exhibition comes along to The American Folk Art Museum that grabs our attention, yet right now they host two, dare we say sensational exhibitions.

Folk art is generally produced by people who have little or no academic artistic training, nor a desire to emulate "fine art", and use established techniques and styles of a particular region or culture. Along with painting, sculpture, and other decorative art forms, some also consider utilitarian objects such as tools and costume as folk art.

The first of the two is Earl Cunningham's America, which in short is a selection of 50 vibrantly brilliant coastal landscapes from memory. Cunningham left his family at age 13 and lived his life traveling by sea and getting by tinkering & peddling anything he could obtain. He was self-taught as an artist and had a tenancy to create childlike atmospheres within his painting all while saturating his canvas with a mastery of color palettes. However the true beauty of Cunningham's work comes in the fanciful details, upon further examination you begin to see odd combinations "such as flamingos in Maine and Viking ships in Florida." Unfortunately it was Florida that saw Cunningham's demise as he opened a gallery & shop that was continually vandalized and later committed suicide in St. Augustine at age 84.


Far from the brilliant colors of Cunningham the Folk Museum also presents, at it's proper location the craziness and insanity of the minds of Henry Darger & contemporary influenced artist alike. For those not familiar with Darger and his life here is a brief summary in phrases; Born 1892, had some mental issues, settled in Chicago circa 1930, worked as a janitor for many years, died in 1973, landlords then discover fifteen, 145-page illustrated fantasy manuscripts called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is know as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, is then regarded as one of the foremost outsider artists in the world. Quite a story if we don't say, anyhow the concept of this exhibition is to highlight contemporary artists influenced by Darger's style & life but whom work within today's mainstream.

So go out and support the Folk Movement and for sure check out the wonderful gift shops at both locations, it's like walking through a time warp back to the golden oldies & wooden toys of yesteryear.


In more contemporary local folk/craft news, this weekend welcomes The Hearts & Crafts Affair at Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint. Information about this shindig is very limited all we know about it is there will be music, many crafts on offer and of course excpetional piping hott coffee to keep your hands & bodies warm. It looks to be an interesting afternoon in North Brooklyn and as the title of this post suggests, it's free.

We part with an old American folkism to get you thru the week; When you feel all steamed up, remember the tea kettle -- it is always up to it's neck in hot water and it still sings.

The Nutopia Crew

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sign This Book!

Apologies for the lack of post as of recent, we have been super busy cutting, taping and of course doing a bit of collage around the studio getting ready for the next issue of Nutopia Magazine. We are getting a bit excited about this radical issue and look forward to presenting it to you soon.

However in the meantime as always here is some cool things going on in the world of photography, new york and book signings, well mainly just book signings.

First off Tonight, Dashwood, our local & favorite photo book store are up to their usual old tricks again, amazing photographers paired with brilliant signed books with a side of a few crates of Heineken. If you missed the last time around, Ari Marcopoulos & his incredible silver and black book cover this is your chance to redeem yourself. Leigh Ledare will be signing copies of his first semi autobiographical book, Pretend You're Actually Alive which captures his Mother's fleeting attempts to regain her youth and find love, or at least attention.

Friday April Twenty Fifth
Six to Eight

Dashwood Books
{Thirty Three Bond Street B/W Bowery & Lafayette}

And in other book signing news, The ICP Store has announced it's whammy of a spring/early summer photographic book autographing extravaganza. Its welcomes the likes of Ron Galella, Nakki Goranin, Heavy Light Artists, Justin Guariglia & Jessica Todd Harper and their respective books. The ICP plans to roll out these events each Friday night starting May Second and with their classy complimentary wine & DJ it might just be an appropriate place to start the weekend.

Here is a bit about each in the current lineup:

Ron Galella
May Second
Warhol by Galella: That's Great
Galella famous for snapping pictures of famous people unannounced. Brando famously announced his discontent with Galella & his ways via a fist in the photographers face. Long story short, Andy was fascinated by him, they mingled together, pictures were taken and out comes a book thirty years later.
Nakki Goranin
May Sixteenth
American Photobooth
Goranin has taken something we have all seen, been in at some point and of course all bloody waited for, The Photobooth and turned it into not only a book but a piece of Americana. The book takes us all the way back to the history and invention of the booth while also sourcing from twenty five years of images taken in them. It looks amazingly brilliant & the best part, you can get it for about the price you would pay for six strips from a "retro" photobooth at say, The Union Pool.

Heavy Light Artist
Also May Sixteen
Various Books by Japanese Artists
This night coincides with a massive exhibition hosted by The ICP featuring the works of The Japanese super crew Heavy Light. For those interested the exhibition is called Heavy Light: Recent Photography & Video from Japan opening this very night till September Seventh. Two books we found of interest in this massive lot are Half Awake and Half Asleep in the Water by Asako Narahashi & Asakusa Portraits by Hiroh Kikai. The first features an impressive introduction from the likes of Martin Parr and posses stunning dreamlike images that question life & death and the second hold a portfolio of black & white street portraits from an area in Japan where religion & pleasure mix. However these are a mere two in the plethora of autographed books on offer this evening at ICP, if you covet signed books, this our friends is the place to be.
Justin Guariglia
May Twenty Third
Planet Shanghai
As everything else seems to be going the way of China it seems only natural Guariglia, a regular of National Geo & Smithsonian magazines would end up in one of it's busiest cities with camera in hand. This book does what most books focused on cities do, attempt to capture it's uniqueness & day to day via the eyes of the photographer. And it looks as if fashion, particularly that amazing pajama like red & creme circular patterned suit are an important commodity in the Pearl of the East.
Jessica Todd Harper
June Sixth
Interior Exposure
This one looks quite impress & stunningly beautiful. It dates back to a project Harper started in high school documenting her ailing grandmothers Alzheimer's and has since transformed into intimate exposures of her family, mainly on the female side. She incorporates lengthy exposure times with delicate natural light in highly intelligent compositions and as you can see the results are simply incredible.

Speaking of rather lengthy we think we should tie this one up. We hope you enjoyed it and we really hope someone ends up buying one of these signed treasures.

Signing off,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Who is Jim Marshall?

We asked ourself this very question this morning upon receving a random call from the man himself asking for Plat to congratulate him on his recent image of Ornette Coleman in The New Yorker.

"Jim Marshall was one of the chief photographers at the Monterey Pop Festival and at the original Woodstock, the only photographer granted backstage access at the Beatles' last concert, and the only person ever to squeeze Janis Joplin and Grace Slick into a single frame. Marshall has more than five hundred album and CD covers to his credit."

A native son of San Francisco "The Rock & Roll Photographer" has shot anyone who was anyone in music throughout the 60's, 70's & 80's. You have seen his images before, possible without knowing it, he is also responsible for a few of the iconic images that defined those decades as well. Oh and he has three books, Jazz, Proof & Not Fade Away literally overflowing with extraordinary images. Oh and his camera of choice, a gold Lecia M4.

We think Mr. Marshall and his work are rad, so have a look; we included a picture of the famed gold M4, we could not resist.
{Images via Wolfgang's Vault}

Keep Rocking in a Free World,
The Nutopians

Monday, April 14, 2008

The {Hopefully} Never Ending Story of Polaroid

So as most of us have heard Polaroid is dying in a major way, being that headquarters announced back in February they would be closing factories in Massachusetts, Mexico & The Netherlands and end the production of Instant Film.

However from that day many communities online have sprouted from the darkness to both celebrate & attempt to continue the wonderful legacy that is Polaroid. So today we thought we might point point out one of those communities who seem to be doing an awful lot to fight this fight while also spotlighting one of our favorite places to buy polaroid stuff & one of our favorite books with polaroids, so here we go;

First off, We're sure you have seen this site being bounced around the information superhighway before but if not it's appropriately called Save Polaroid. It tends to be more blog or ongoing newsletter with updates from the battle lines & love letters to polaroid but acts as wonderful headquarters for all your polaroid needs.

Next up is the Polaroid superstore of Austria, we know sounds strange & magical and is both. It's proper name is Unsaleable and we discovered this fine little shop a while pack when looking for hard to find and dead stock film, in addition they carry nifty cameras and awesome accessories. However watch the price tags, they tend to be high & can cause confusion as things are marked in $'s,£'s and €'s.

Lastly it seems everyone has been touched or exposed to the joys of making polaroids but like anything some people just do it better than others. Also it seems a bit of a trend these days to see polaroid books/zines lined on the selves of our favorite culture shops so we wanted to throw it back to a master and a classic book.

The master, Walker Evans; the book, Polaroids. Turns out Polaroid actually gave him unlimited stock of film, hence 2,500 polaroids were taken down to 300 to create this book. If you have not had a chance to check it out do yourself a favor and find it, its real good.

With that we leave you with a quote by Mr. Evans and his thoughts on Polaroid:
"Nobody should touch a Polaroid until he's over sixty," Evans once said. It was only, he implied, after years of work and struggle and experimentation, years of developing one's judgment and vision, that the instrument could be pushed to its full, revelatory potential.

Keep Fighting & Remain Instant,

Friday, April 11, 2008

Nutopia 1; On Paper & In Print!

Hot off the presses of and fresh from the back of the UPS truck; Without further ado we would like to present Nutopia Magazine Issue 1 in printed form.

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We have been working hard to collect images, laying out spreads and mastering the software of blurb for the past month in an effort to materialize our digital magazine. And we must say, all those tiny binary ones & zeros from the internet turned into quite a nice little printed piece.

We must thank Andreas, Grace & Steven for getting us their high quality images in a timely manor to allow us to create this. If anyone else has been in the magazine and has not got us their high resolution images please contact us so we can continue on this experiment, we shall see where it leads us.
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On that note, Enjoy a preview of Nutopia 1 and all it has to offer:
(Apologies for the light reflection on the spreads, we didn't want to crush our first pristine copy)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Burt Glinn {1925 - 2008}

"I think that what you've got to do is discover the essential truth of the situation, and have a point of view about it."

We at the forum would like to show our respects to a legendary & defining Magnum photographer, Burt Glinn who passed on April 9th. Glinn was one of the first americans to join the illustrious international photo co-op that is Magnum and later severed as president twice. He was well know for his war time photographs which included The Sinai War & Fidel Casto's Cuban takeover. However he also graced the pages of such magazines as Esquire, Fortune, Life & Paris-Match with reportage style images of the famous & powerful. He was truly a remarkable man who helped define a remarkable & iconic photographic institution.

His Legacy:
{Images via Magnum}