Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. -
In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.).
VIVIAN MAIER, A PHOTOGRAPHER FOUND | STREETPHOTOGRAPHY
Maier worked for about f40 years as a nanny, mostly in Chicago's North Shore, pursuing photography during her spare time. She took more than 150.000 photographs during her lifetime, primarily of the people and architecture of New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, although she also traveled and photographed worldwide.
The remarkable thing is; she never shared her photographs with a wider audience. Even though she visited art museums, she never aspired to claim fame for her photography during her life.
Many details of Maier's life remain unknown.
She was born in New York City, the daughter of a French mother and an Austrian father.
Several times during her childhood she moved between the U.S. and France, living with her mother in
the Alpine village of Saint-Bonnet-en-Champsaur near her mother's relations.
Her father seems to have left the family temporarily for unknown reasons by 1930.
In the 1930 census, the head of the household was listed as Jeanne Bertrand, a successful photographer who knew Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
In 1951, aged 25, Maier moved from France to New York, where she worked in a sweatshop. She moved to the Chicago area's North Shore in 1956, where she worked primarily as a nanny and carer for the next 40 years.
For her first 17 years in Chicago, Maier worked as a nanny for two families: the Gensburgs from 1956 to 1972, and the Raymonds from 1967 to 1973.
Maier was privat to the extreme. Also in her presentation and dressing she seen was as 'typical'.
She was well known for carrying around a camera, everywhere she went on privat exploits and yes, also while with the children she cared for.
She was also a hoarder and moved from employer to employer with an increasing amount of boxes.
In 1959 and 1960, Maier took a trip around the world on her own, photographing Los Angeles, Manila, Bangkok, Shanghai, Beijing, India, Syria, Egypt, and Italy. The trip was probably financed by the sale of a family farm in Saint-Julien-en-Champsaur.
When she ran out of employers (who all had been well off), money became tight.
The Gensburg brothers, whom Maier had looked after as children, tried to help her as she became poorer in old age. When she was about to be evicted from a cheap apartment in the suburb of Cicero, the Gensburg brothers arranged for her to live in a better apartment on Sheridan Road in the Rogers Park area of Chicago.
In November 2008, Maier fell on the ice and hit her head. She was taken to a hospital but failed to recover. In January 2009, she was transported to a nursing home in the Chicago suburbs, where she died on 21Apr09.
She had hoarded so much stuff, she needed to rent storage space, but she failed to pay the rent for a number of years so the contents were sold at an auction for a minimal amount of money, sight unseen. This included her negatives, prints, audio recordings, and 8 mm film. Some 150 rolls of film had been exposed but never developed.
Three photo collectors bought parts of her work: John Maloof, Ron Slattery and Randy Prow.
Maloof had bought the largest part of Maier's work, about 30.000 negatives, because he was working on a book about the history of the Chicago neighborhood of Portage Park.
In a roundabout way Maier's photos landed on desks of art directors and collectors.
Since her posthumous discovery, Maier's photographs, and their discovery, have received international attention in mainstream media. Her work has since appeared in gallery exhibitions, several published books (this one is my second), and two documentary films (e.g. Finding Vivian Maier (2013) - directed by Maloof and Charlie Siskel)
Brilliant streetphotography and a remarkable story, I am sure you agree!
BLUE MONDAY by NICCI FRENCH | NOVEL CRIME FICTION
For a number of years I had books by Nicci French on my shopping list, but either I did not find them (e.g. in booktowns such as Hay-on-Wye) or other novels were found higher on the list of priorities (e.g. by authors such as Ian Rankin, Arnaldur Indridason, Donna Leon). Or my backlog played on my conscience, it happens sometimes.
When I had purchased one or two Nicci French novels, 'Blue Monday' eluded me until this summer.
I must emphasize I only picked up the name 'Nicci French' at the start of the Frida Klein novels.
Nicci French is the pen name for the husband-and-wife writing team of Sean French and Nicci Gerrard and 'Blue Monday' was my start of 8 novels which are set to star psychotherapist Frieda Klein.
'The Memory Game' (1997) was their first novel written together (they M.O is to write alternate chapters). 'Blue Monday', the first of the Frieda Klein novels, was published in 2011.
Sean French wrote novels and biographies, starting in 1993. Nicci Gerrard has published under her own name since 2003 (here I went solely on Wikipedia).
I suspect 'Sunday Morning Coming Down' (a title from a Kris Kristofferson song), is the last of the Frieda Klein novels (published in 2017).
It takes a little time to get used to the style of writing of an unfamiliar author and for me it felt like wading into a broad river: near the shore the water is almost stagnant but further in the tug of the current increases to an undeniable force.
The start felt a little chaotic to me, with disappearances without trace of two young children in two time segments differing 22 years and the introduction of Frida Klein, evidently a complex person.
Klein is a psychotherapist, a deep thinker (also in her own motivations) and with guilty feelings for overstepping the boundaries of her job description.
She is an insomniac and she walks the streets of London at night in an attempt to quiet her brain. Privately she prefers, craves, time alone but feels obliged to maintain a relation with her self-harming niece Chloe, shows care for her fallen mentor Reuben and then also a builder, literally, drops into her life!
It felt like a long time before I started to feel something for Frida Klein.
Then we get another character introduced, Alan Dekker, a patient of Frida. He has fantasies which Frida finds has similarities with the recent disappearance of a young child named Matthew. She decides to contact the policeman leading the search, Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson, even though she is struggling with this breach of confidence.
DCI Karlsson however has trouble translating Frida's 'mind-reading' to practical and useful information for the police to act on; friction is caused between them for both want to stick to their own fields of expertise.
But Alan Dekker's past bring a significant change of plot.
And the book deals in its final chapters another unsuspected blow.
'Blue Monday', at first, disappointed me a little, considering the very positive reviews I'd read a while ago, but the book got better. It has not fully convinced me, but I have 'Tuesday' and 'Wednesday' waiting on the shelf, and am convinced enough to read these next year. I will let you know!
ROCK & SOUL DEEP SOUTH by DIRK W. DE JONG | MUSIC HISTORY TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY
The only reservation I have with this book is, in my opinion, any book on music and musicians in the Deep South should include Tony Joe White, even if TJW, a.k.a. 'The Swamp Fox', is more blues than Rock & Roll (BB King and other blues musicians are included in this book, right?).
You'll find another book by Dirk W. de Jong, American Blues, further down this page. Equally liked by me, makes me look for my travellin'shoes!
MERRY CHRISTMAS & BEST WISHES FOR 2018
MATTHIJS MARIS, PAINTER | RIJKSMUSEUM
In Cologne the brothers saw an exhibition that presented an overview of German art since 1800, which intensified the influence of German Romanticism on Matthijs.
CRIS TOALA OLIVARES | PHOTOGRAPHY AMSTERDAM
RAHI REZVANI | PHOTOGRAPHY
This week I visited the Leica Store in Amsterdam, for this photo exhibition - the range of inspired photography is sublime!
Rahi Rezvani (b.1978) is an Iranian born Dutch artist, based in Amsterdam.
TIN STAR | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
THE SHADOW DISTRICT by ARNALDUR INDRIÐASON | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
THE SHADOW DISTRICT is more than Arnaldur Indriðason's latest book; it is also seems to be the beginning of a new series!
When I started reading I had expected to read another book of Erlendur's younger years and I was disappointed when I found it wasn't so. But that lasted only 2 or 3 pages, for I soon came to like the WW2 investigators Flóvent and Thorson (a.k.a. Thordarson), and the present day investigator Konrád.
This series features a retired but still active detective appears to be just as compelling. Two installments have been published so far, with 'The Shadow District' seeing the light of day in Indridason's native Iceland in 2013 and I read the English translation, as usual translated by Victoria Cribb who does an excellent job.
This (hardcover, signed by the author) book has a few pages of the follow up ('The Shadow Killer') in this series, so I hope to find a copy in 2018.
The retired detective, known as Konrád, is bored with his new life as a pensioner, but is reluctant to involve himself in police matters. Still, he can't help himself when Marta, his former partner, comes calling with an intriguing case.
Ninety-year-old Stefan Thordarson, a retired engineer, has been found dead in his bed, an event that might be tragic but hardly seems unusual, at least at first. The autopsy reveals that the man was smothered with his own pillow.
There is no indication as to who might have had a motive to do such a thing, particularly because the victim, even at his advanced age, was in good health and full of life.
Konrád quickly learns that at the time of his death, Stefan had been conducting his own investigation into a murder case, a follow up of the case he helped investigating with Flóvent (Thorson as a military liaison) during WW2. They'd arrested the murderer and Thorson left for D-day on Normandy. But he'd always been in doubt about the outcome and in his final years had reopened the case and found disturbing information.
So the book has two timelines (a bit confusing at times), one during WW2 and the other in modern times when Konrád retraces Stefan's investigation.
The backdrop of Iceland, the poverty in WW2 and The Situation (Icelandic women getting seduced and made pregnant by foreign military men) and local folklore (the Huldufólk), is again wonderfully painted on by the author. The atmosphere is pleasantly much like that of the Erlendur novels.
Looking forward to The Shadow Killer!
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AMERICA | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOJOURNALISM
A Day in the Life of America: Photographed by 200 of the World's Leading Photojournalists on a single day: 02May1986.
Rick Smolan is a former TIME, LIFE, and National Geographic photographer best known as the co-creator of the "Day in the Life" book series. He is currently CEO of Against All Odds Productions, a cross-media organization which utilizes the skills of hundreds of the world's leading photographers, writers, filmmakers, designers, and programmers to merge creative storytelling with state-of-the-art technology.
FAKE NEWS | RACISM | BIGOTRY | INTOLERANCE | CONTEMPT | INSOLENCE | STUPIDITY
BRUCE DAVIDSON AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER | PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION
'Bruce Davidson | American photographer', a retrospective exhibition. Fantastic!
Davidson depicts major themes as civil rights, violence, poverty, racism and immigration, all from a personal perspective.
DARK LAKE (SVARTSÖN) | SCANDI-NOIR TV CRIME FICTION
'Black Lake' (Svartsjön) is a 2016 Scandinavian TV series.
Originally released in Sweden and Denmark in October 2016, it is a co-production of TV3 Sverige, TV3 Danmark, TV3 Norge, Viaplay, and Jarowskij.
The eight 45-minute episodes were shown weekly on BBC Four from 16 September to 7 October 2017, with two episodes back-to-back each week.
The plot concerns 8 friends who travel to the north of Sweden, close to the border with Norway.
One of them, Johan, is thinking of purchasing a disused ski centre which has never officially opened.
It appears that the caretaker, Erkki, is trying to scare them away from the property, with assistance from two brothers who run a nearby snowmobile business.
Unexplained deaths begin to strike...
Johan (a role by Filip Berg) is the type of a leader, determined to overcome difficulties and buy this ski centre. His girlfriend (to whom he proposes) is a stark contrast: she is struggling with mental problems, a trauma dating back to when her younger brother drowned. Hanne (Sarah-Sofie Boussnina) is susceptible to the occult, something Johan rejects fiercely.
There is Mette, Hanne's sister, a very well educated and rational person; again a contrast with Hanne.
Elin is an old flame of Johan.
Lippi is Johan's younger brother.
Osvald is a friend of Johan. He is in a secret relationship with Lippi.
Frank is a friend of Johan, he introduces Jessan to the group.
Aliette Opheim plays Jessan. I recognised from the series Thicker Than Water. Such a striking beauty
one remembers well, but she is the first to die here..
Brothers Dag and Jostein are two local Norwegians and they are in cahoots with Erkki, the resort's caretaker over the past 20 years.
For a long time it is unclear why these three want to spook the visitors and have them leave.
Hanne finds out why this ski resort never opened to customers: a family had been murdered here, parents and their two small children. The mystery seems to be in the cellar, but the caretaker refuses them entry.
And Hanne feels there is a lost spirit trying to contact her. Mysterious events take place, those that see an eye becoming blood red become possessed by an evil spirit. Or are there logical explanations, engineered by Erkki, dag and Jostein. Surely they are responsble for the Sami writing on the walls: Kill Or Be Killed!
Relations get strained, esspecially when Hanne develops feelings for Jostein, Elin come on to Johan and Johan refuses to give up and leave, even after the first killings have taken place.
It may not be the most original screenplay, a house of horrors and people getting killed one by one, but the acting, scenery and a good pace made this series very entertaining for me.
COMIC ALBUMS 1970s & 1980s
FERRY REIJNDERS | ART PAINTING
ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ - MIRRORING LIFE | PHOTOGRAPHY FOAM EXHIBITION
The exhibition focusses on his early work made in Hungary (his homeland), Paris, where between 1925 and 1936 he was one of the leading figures in avant-garde photography, and on to New York, where he lived for nearly 50 years.
BARKSKINS by ANNIE PROULX | BOOKS FICTION HISTORY ENVIRONMENT
Ms Proulx writes in minute detail, e.g. about the meals which offer fragrant lessons in backwoods cuisine: beaver bone soup, moose bone marrow, woodcock hung until it reached the desired "hallucinogenic point of decay," caribou haunch, eels with sour-grass sauce, roly-polies and pandowdies.
AMERICAN BLUES by DIRK W. de JONG | PHOTOGRAPHY MUSIC PHOTOBOOKS
I am very pleased to have this book in my collection.
EYEWITNESS DECADE by THE GUARDION | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOJOURNALISM
Photographs from the Guardian's centre page 'Eyewitness' spread.
'Eyewitness Decade' is a photobook that tells the story of the first 10 years of the new millennium in a series of stunning and awe-inspiring images.
Together these extraordinary images build in to a rich and kaleidoscopic view of a tumultuous decade.
WINSLOW AZ by STEPHEN SHORE | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOKS
Stephen Shore is a photographer I much admire.
This book, 'Winslow AZ' which I bought this summer, led me to visit Winslow,Arizona last October.
ARENDSOOG by JAN and PAUL NOWEE | CHILDREN'S BOOKS FICTION
Jan Nowee was a headmaster of the Paulusschool in Den Haag. In his spare time he worked as a volunteer in a Roman-Catholic library ('Vincentius')
In these Arendsoog books serious subjects, injustices, are discussed as well, such as repression of the Indians and the slave trade.
I was quite obsessed in reading and collecting them; I think I stopped with no.43 (of 65 published).
BOB EVERS by WILLY VAN DER HEIDE | CHILDREN'S BOOKS FICTION
The main characters in these books are:
Equally fun it was to read the books by Leonhard Huizinga, on the twins Adriaan & Olivier, scoundrels they were!
I think I read the Bob Evers books 1967-1970 or so, and the Adriaan & Olivier books after that (these young men are a bit complex and there is more than meets the eye in the relation between the twins).
SINTERKLAAS IS BACK IN TOWN | CULTURE FOLKLORE
Many events have their topic 'how are they dressed' and here we have how black is Black Pete!
I noticed one green 'Garden Pete' (going round with a wheelbarrow), some smudge Petes but most were chocolate brown.
IN THE DARK - TV MINISERIES | CRIME DRAMA FICTION
This BBC crime drama features issues such corruption, lies and unwanted pregnancy - be prepared to find its dark strands will draw you in!
As in story #2 the filming starts something ahead in the plot and then winds back, increasing the sense of foreboding.
In the second two-parter, a heavily pregnant Helen is pulled into the dark side of urban Manchester as she deals with an unexpected tragedy.
The series is an adaptation of the Mark Billingham novels, Time of Death and In The Dark. It is written by Danny Brocklehurst and premiered on BBC One from 11 July to 1 August 2017.
MyAnna Buring (b.22Sep1979, as Anna Margaretha My Rantapää) is a Swedish-born actress, known for her roles in The Descent, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and Part 2 and Ripper Street.
Ben Batt (b.28Nov1986) is an English actor, best known for his role as the villainous Joe Pritchard in Channel 4's comedy drama Shameless. He has also appeared in Scott & Bailey as DC Kevin Lumb.
MEMORIES OF MY EARLY PHOTOGRAPHY DAYS
My standard B&W film was Ilford FP4, though I sometimes used Kodak for experimenting (e.g. push processing). For printing I used Agfa mainly.
The advent of Photoshop, and later digital photography (meaning the end of using slide film), meant the end of the darkroom for me. Also for I found I was mainly working for my website and had to speed up the process of taking photos and processing the results.
PEAKY BLINDERS (SEASON 2) | CRIME FICTION DRAMA
Two years have elapsed since Season 1. Freddie has succumbed to illness and at his funeral Thomas asks his sister Ada to return home, though she is scornful that he has been so successful with his mix of legal and illegal businesses.
Tommy (Cillian Murphy) runs into conflicts the gang leaders Darby Sabini (Noah Taylor; Sabini controls the southern race courses). He also meets with Camden Town gang leader Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy, love his Cockney accent!) to try to convince him to work with the Peaky Blinders.
Back in Birmingham Ada is abducted by Sabini's thugs, who give Thomas a severe beating, his being saved by the reappearance of Chester Campbell, who has told Churchill that he has a new undercover agent working in the area. Tommy finds himself blackmailed in a murder plot, but aims to use the situation to benefit from (he does not involve the family).
Campbell visits Thomas in hospital, aware that he killed Eamonn Duggan, a fact he intends to hold over him to use him as his spy. They both know that Grace has married and is in America.
Arthur spearheads a ferocious takeover of Londons Eden Club, meanwhile Thomas and his new horse trainer become better acquainted. Grace has returned with her American husband to London.
As Derby day arrives, Tommy is faced with impossible decisions as he prepares to strike back at his enemies and take the family business to the next level.
STORES IN TRANSITIONAL STAGES
My collection of shops & stores closing its doors continue to grow: www.flickr.com/photos/...
MARY ELLEN MARK by CHARLES HAGEN| PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOKS
"Often, the best pictures are caught in a moment." ¬Mary Ellen Mark
In London recently I bought this lovely photobook, a retrospective
of photography by Mary Ellen Mark.
Mary Ellen Mark (b.20Mar1940 - d.25May2015) was an American photographer known for her photojournalism / documentary photography, portraiture and advertising photography.
SUSPECTS SERIES 1 & 2 | CRIME DRAMA FICTION
'Suspects' is a British police procedural television series first aired on Channel 5 on 12 February 2014.
Set in London, the series follows DS Jack Weston, DC Charlie Steele and their senior DI Martha Bellamy of Greater London Police while they investigate different types of cases including murder, attempted murder, missing people, drug overdoses, child abuse and sex crime.
Most of the show's dialogue is improvised in order to make it seem natural! The actors have a detailed story document and perform from there. Remarkable.
Fay Ripley as Detective Inspector Martha Bellamy (Series 1—4)
ALL ABOUT SAUL LEITER | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOKS
'It is not where it is or what it is that matters, but how you see it.' ¬Saul Leiter
I was really pleased when I found an affordable edition last summer in London, of a Saul Leiter retrospective photobook . A well-produced Japanese edition, probably published in concert with an exhibition of Leiter's work in the Bunkamura Museum of Art.
Saul Leiter (b.03Dec1923 – d.06Nov2013) was an American photographer and painter whose early work in the 1940s and 1950s was an important contribution to what came to be recognized as the New York school of photography.
Leiter worked as a fashion photographer for the next 20 years and was published in Show, Elle, British Vogue, Queen, and Nova. In the late 1950s the art director Henry Wolf published Leiter’s color fashion work in Esquire and later in Harper’s Bazaar.
I love his abstract photos in the streets, leaning from buildings, passing train or from a car, photo-graphing through condensed windows. It is an abstraction I admire and for which needs a 'zen'-like quality which Mr Leiter had and I lack.
BRAQUO SEASON 4 | TV DVD CRIME DRAMA FICTION
Until early-2016 I had never heard of this French crime fiction series: Braquo. In a sale I came across the Series I & II in dvd boxsets and since I 'discovered' the French series 'The Spiral' (and a few others in the meantime) I have become quite a fan of French crime drama!
The name of the series comes from the French word braquage, meaning armed robberies, particularly of banks.
Braquo is a French crime drama television series created by Olivier Marchal and produced by Capa Drama with the participation of Canal+ in association with Marathon Group, Be-Films and RTBF.
The introduction states that crime had changed, becoming more organized and also more violent. And so has the police. Enter Eddy Caplan (Jean-Hugues Anglade) and his team: Walter Morlighem (Joseph Malerba) and Roxanne Delgado (Karole Rocher).
Eddy and his team will find means to an end, even if they have to act outside the law, which sometime result in them being blackmailed into doing unlawful things.
Braquo is action packed and develops at great speed, with a good deal of 'noir filming' and violence.
This 4th - and final - season of Braquo was shot between February and June 2015 in Marseille and Paris. It is directed by Xavier Palud and Frédéric Jardin and written by Abdel Raouf Dafri. It screened in France in September 2016.
SLIGHTLY OUT OF FOCUS by ROBERT CAPA | MEMOIRS BOOKS
I was familiar with Capa's photography and his history, and expected a book very much focussed on his famous photos, perhaps even a heroic tale? But this is a book about a man fleeing repression, a life shaped by life and circumstance, about ambition and yes: a love story!
This book contains 98 b&w photographs that retrace the most important and tragic events of the previous century, from the Spanish Civil War to WW2, to the birth of the State of Israel.
Editor Andréa Holzherr (Magnum Photos), published by SilvanaEditorale (2012)
TAKING OFF EMILY DICKENSON'S CLOTHES by BILLY COLLINS | POETRY BOOKS
William James, known as Billy Collins, (b. 22March1941) is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003.
What I like best about Billy Collins' work is the humor and 'daily observations' he could (for I don't know) have written while looking out the window or scribbling at the kitchen's table: so accessable!
from the front it is another story,
Almost unknown as a poet in her lifetime, Emily Dickinson meanwhile has been recognized as one of America's greatest poets and, in the view of some, as one of the greatest lyric poets of all time.
This compilation by Billy Collins' work was first published in 2000, by Picador. The work seems to date of the period 1988 - 2000, from 'The Apple That Astonished Paris', 'Questions About Angels', 'The Art of Drowning' and 'Pinic, Lightning'.