The true paranoiac is in possession of all the facts.

Here is a not-so-frantic assessment of our current plight, vis-a-vis “the man:”

Ah, Summer: “summer reading”… darkroom tans… cool exhibition spaces…

It’s time for you to make your own field trip with a coupla BFFs. Go see some actual art: it’s there on display for your delectation. Be whelmed, such that you experience a physical reaction, causing you take a sudden breath (i.e. get inspired).

Downtown, the Cultural Center has the work by Gene Smith that you’ve seen in the Jazz Loft book. There’s audio and video in addition to Smith’s spectacular prints, and many prisine little work prints with tiny borders–a good example for all of us. Elsewhere in the building you can see a terrific collection of illustrations and remnants of Louis Sullivan architecure. Then hop over to the ‘tute for an exhibit also based on Sullivan, including work by Aaron Siskind, John Szarkowski and St. Richard Nickel.

In River North, Catherine Edelman has mounted a show about contact sheets entitled “Proof,” demonstrating editing and selection;  Schneider Gallery has a lovely group show as well.

Then (or on another day, as a separate trip), get on up/over to Evanston: the Noyes Cultural Center has Kay Westhues’s work, made mostly in Indiana;

Dittmar Gallery in the Norris Center at Northwestern has Stephanie Dean’s “Modern Groceries”

(call before you go to Norris [847-491-2300], because parking can be problematic);

and the very excellent Paul Clark is showing at Perspective Group and Photography Gallery, 1310-1/2B Chicago Avenue.

Oh, there is more, but W/B about what you like among these, and I’ll pass it along.

History of Photography, SHOWBIZ-style

(Photograph by Ted Orland)

Now if we could just find $2,000,000.00 lying around in the garage…

UPDATE: Of course they weren’t Ansel Adams’s negatives (no surprise), for lots of reasons. Now the story is just tedious, so perhaps I’ll delete this post; look it up for yourselves.

W. o’ W.: John Szarkowski

“A skillful photographer can photograph anything well.”

Dick Buckley, 1925-2010

WAAF, 950 AM, 1965: abrasive Marty Faye, slick Daddy-O Daylie, the honorable Jesse Owens, and Dick Buckley. 

5000-watt daytime stations (of which this was one) signed off the air at sunset, which varied from month to month, but the last shift was always Buckley’s, and he taught History Of Jazz to me on the air every afternoon/early evening. He announced all the recording dates and  the personnel and the order of solos, but more importantly, he back-announced each tune as well. Before long, one could easily identify Gerry or Clark or Ben or Pee Wee or Zoot or J.J. on one’s own.

His last employer’s shallow revisionist history of Mr. Buckley’s sensibility characterizes his record collection as oldies. Dick referred to the recordings as “good old good ones” with the emphasis on quality, independent of vintage. Oddly, his personal canon had blind spots, and I had to look elsewhere for certain portions of the jazz spectrum, but he would never steer anyone wrong. (OK, he did have an adolescent weakness for Slim Gaillard, but nobody’s perfect.)

Here is Dick Buckley, flanked by Joe Williams and Count Basie:


Crisis, Photoshopped

File this under Humour. At least (at last) we find out what happened to Tom Servo and Crow.

Once again, Products British seems to be bungling its public relations with the Wonderful World of Photography.

Next up: anorexic fuel pumps.

Work by Ian McDermott

Here are some long-unseen pictures by another BHS alumnus.

(Keep in mind that these are from the mid ’90s.)

Daniel Shea

Remember when we directed your attention to a print sale designed to help Devendra, last December? Here is another project worthy of our support. “Digressions: A Blog” is produced by Daniel Shea, lately of Chicago. Look at all his work and consider acquiring a print or two.

Recent RPC Activity

I thought that a good reply to “How’re you spending the summer?” might be “I’m directing a community theatre production of the life of Gene Pitney.” Pitney was a serious pop composer and successful performer with a longer career than most people are aware of (it survived the British Invasion, and actually thrived in England into the ’90s). After two days I realized that Pitney’s “It Hurts To Be In Love” was still stuck in my head. It must have come over me in EuroFresh, because the oldies station is always on the PA system in there. I seem to have exorcised it by picking out the melody, the higher Sedaka-ish harmony part, and the voices in the bridge on our “Bastardo” grand piano.

Watch him sell a song using only his jaw:

(Pitney was quickly replaced by Henry Mancini’s theme from “Two For The Road.”)

And you thought you have obstacles…

Chuck Close copes with his prosopagnosia (inability to recognize faces), and sits for an interview that cannot easily be reduced to a Words o’ Wisdom post, here: