“This Is Not a Barbie Doll. This Is an Actual Human Being.” by Michael Idov
The “Human Barbie” IRL
Looking like a perfect spring day
Aircraft photographs by Jeffrey Milstein
We’ve reached a point where any remix is possible. Presenting James Brown “This Is A Man’s World” synched up with the game of Thrones theme song.
When you look at Charlie Rubin’s new book, Strange Paradise, you realize that the title is really perfect. While the images are striking and lush, full of interesting and beautiful visual flora and fauna, they have a sense of weirdness and unease. It’s the kind of imagery that requires time and pondering to notice all the nuances and cleverness going on behind the scenes. Charlie creates photographs and then takes them back to his studio, altering them in sometimes conspicuous, sometime subtle ways, giving the images an exciting and confounding physicality and confusing our assumptions about what a photograph is. The launching of Strange Paradise, which is out now on Conveyor Editions, will be celebrated tomorrow (4/10) at Printed Matter (complete with a custom window display by Charlie), and everyone should come.
Christian: Do you see yourself as a pure photographer in the classic sense, or something else? Your work, while very rooted in photography as a base, has obvious elements and layers of sculpture and painting.
Charlie Rubin: I guess I always start with a classic photograph and then build off of it if it feels right, so it’s a mixture of pure and something else. Recently though, I’ve been leaning toward the something else. Even though my work uses painting, collage and sculpture, I still see the final image as a photograph. I also include straight, unaltered, photographs in series and have side documentary or portrait projects. The medium is transforming fast, and it’s made me transform as an artist- a reaction to the utilitarian nature of it and how anyone can take a beautiful photograph these days. It happened naturally for me; I got bored with a lot of my own imagery because I didn’t find anything unique about it anymore, so I needed to find out how to bring meaning back in to my images.
My little sister showed me this app on her phone the other day where you can add light leaks and dust particles to your iPhone photos and I’m like, “Whoa, someone is turning in their grave.” My work is a reaction to these things, to the yearning for physicality, for something real and non-screen.
Tell me about how you came upon your process of moving the digital back into a physical realm. Did you have an “A Ha!” moment when you discovered a way to make something new with your photographs?
Like I said, it was a response to the feeling that my pictures were losing meaning. I could take the most awesome picture of a sunset with five rainbows and plants and beautiful people in front of it, but it just didn’t matter because I could open up my laptop and find five images just like it. I had to work with the medium and figure out how to convey my frustration and conceptualize this change in the visual cultural landscape surrounding me. It’s also a fantasy or escape from the monotony of imagery I was seeing and making.
At first I experimented with ink on my photos, influenced by graffiti and other mark-making techniques, and highlighting what I found important in the photo. I made a breakthrough some years later when I used inkjet ink on an inkjet print and everything came together.
Why is ketchup so hard to pour?
When You Read An Interview And You Imagine That The Guy Asking The Questions Sounds Like Johnny Utah
Keanu Reeves talks to Robert Longo. “Fuck yeah.”
Kam, Pull Ya Hoe Card, 1995
The Alphabet Sandwich features: Avocado, Bacon, Cheese, Doritos, Egg, Fish sticks, Garlic bread, Ham, Italian sausage patty, Jalapeño peppers, Krispy Kreme doughnut, Lettuce, Macaroni and cheese, Noodles, Onion rings, Pepperoni, Queso blanco dip, Ramen noodles, Spinach, Turkey burger, Usingers bratwurst, Veal Parmesan, Waffle, Xylocarp (coconut), Yams, and Zucchini.
Before American Folk Artist Leonard Knight passed away earlier this year, filmmakers Ben Stoddard and Dave Ehrenreich spent some quality time with the creator of Salvation Mountain.
There was a Puma shoe that was very popular with graffiti writers in DC in the early 90s. It was worn by those who didn’t wear gazelles or had moved on from gazelles, and came in an assortment of colors. I think our friend Roger Gastman had purple? From the look of this Icra Trainer model, Puma might be bringing that shoe back. Or maybe this is that shoe? 20+ years of footwear leaves holes in the memory.
Opening tonight and maintaining hours through the weekend, BEPAD is a suite event at The Lowell Hotel featuring rare books, photographs, artist interventions, and cultural artifacts from the likes of Fulton Ryder, Harper’s Books and Karma.
Wednesday, April 9: 5:00 – 10:00pm
Thursday, April 10: 12:00 – 8:00pm
Friday, April 11: 12:00 – 8:00pm
Saturday, April 12: 12:00 – 8:00pm
The Lowell Hotel
28 East 63rd Street
New York, NY 10065
The flavor you’d expect when a hot sauce giant tries to take on the rooster sauce, but spicier.
Breadanimals by Danny Trejo