Thursday, March 31, 2011

pay-what-you-can sale story: Guadalupe

The Diarrhea Diaries

I never thought I would spend 12 hours a day on the toilet, but after I tripped last march and damaged my festicule (a gland that regulates the texture and regularity of female fecal delivery) my life has been consumed by diarrhea. Some days are better than others. I am sometimes able to walk my son to the park, and to play for half an hour with him before rushing back to the bathroom. Most of the time I make it, but it is not uncommon to have to walk half a mile squeezing my butt cheeks together, hoping against hope that I can hold off the deluge for just a few minutes longer. I have begun taking most of my meals in the bathroom to save time.
This new reality means that I spend the better part of my days sitting on the toilet. Those long hours can be hard on a girl. I know most of the ants by name, and I’ve had lots of time to examine the grout between the tiles and to count the number of rings on the shower curtain. I’m writing to ask if you’ll consider selling me the Gideon Bok and Tarmy’s portrait. How wonderful to be able to escape into the beauty of that dynamic image, a bright ray of light to illuminate the darkest corners of the bathroom, a precious reminder of the world outside of my bowels, an anchor for my eyes, and for my soul! I appreciate your consideration and eagerly await your reply.

Sincerely yours,
Guadalupe Simone

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Leah McDonald, Ben & Clara Wentling, New Gloucester, Maine

title: Leah McDonald, Ben & Clara Wentling, New Gloucester, Maine
date: 2011
relationship: friends, business (art), met through Aaron Frederick
years known: 0-5

pay-what-you-can sale story: Halle

Tanja,

Your email was such a wonderful surprise.  I have been following and admiring your work for quite some time.  I first found out about you at Jim Kempner”s Gallery in NYC, where I live.  When I first saw your photographs, I thought that they were amazing and still do.  Just so peaceful and beautiful.  Unfortunately, I did not buy one when I first saw them and since have watched the prices steadily increase (good for you but not so good for me).  Given the economy over the past few years, I have not felt comfortable investing in art, but that has not stopped me from admiring your work.  In fact, whenever I see other photographs of water, I always think of yours (and cannot buy anyone else’s as they are not as wonderful and calming).  That has not stopped me from looking though.  I would love to be able to own one of your pieces as I know it would give me much pleasure every day.  The ones that I am most interested in are the following and all are 30 x 30:

Untitled 91910 Phippsburg, Maine
Untitled 22418 Scarborogh, Maine
Untitled 31410 Allepei, Kerala, India
Untitled 58304 North Haven, Maine
Untitled 30713 Varkala, Kerala, India

If any of the above photos are still available, I would be thrilled. Even if any of them are not available (or my story is not compelling enough), I will continue to admire your work and projects and wish you all the best,  Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best,
Halle

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

James Hull & Donna Veverka, Boston, Massachusetts

title: James Hull & Donna Veverka, Boston, Massachusetts
date: 2010
relationship: friends, art, met through Morgan Cohen
years known: 10-15

Shout out from Montgomery Rag

Montgomery Rag: Reader, 03.28.2011

My friend, mentor and avid facebook-ee Tanja Hollander is venturing out on a photographic trek. She will visit all of her facebook friends in person and shoot their portrait. Conceptually this project rocks my world. Mostly because it is an ethnographic exploration into intimacy and questions the definition of friendship both qualitatively and quantitatively.

They say the camera steals your soul and a part of my soul has always accepted this as truth. But I don't think it steals your soul I think of it more as an offering. Allowing someone to take your portrait the way Tanja does is a cautious and vulnerable exchange. People who sit for an artist are saying "heres a piece of my soul, I trust you'll make something beautiful from it." It is as intimate and personal as it gets.

For Tanja's project she is exploring the way we define friendship and intimacy and testing how that virtual definition fares in reality. Who are all these people? Where do they live? What do they live in? What's they're lifestyle like? Are they really her friend? That is the question.
In order to raise cash money for the project Tanja is asking folks to write her a letter, telling a story, explaining why they can't afford her work and to offer whatever they can. She will be posting these letters on her blog. Just another extension of voyeurism from a project dictated by a distant and insatiable intrigue.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Colin Dusenbury with Simon the dog, Los Angeles, California

title: Colin Dusenbury with Simon the dog, Los Angeles, California
date: 2010
relationship: friends, art, met through Moira Greenspun Tarmy
years known: 0-5

pay-what-you-can sale story: Dave

Hey Tanya,

I love the idea. And I hope you raise a lot of cash to go on a great adventure. I’ve got two stories for you for a print… first one is:
Had a baby 14 months ago today. Was hoping the economy wouldn’t hurt the shrink population in LA, but it apparently has. And what’dya know…there’s another Cuzin Dave jr in the oven that we didn’t plan for!
Ok, so that’s the ‘singing the blues, and I love photos’ story.
The other one is based on the photo I really like (Untitled 80415 (Auburn, Maine), the snowy, winter, Maine scene.  It’s a short story I wrote awhile ago that this photo reminded me of.  Hope all’s well in the north land.

THE WOOD PILE

          Eighteen years had pulled my shoulder blades back and made them wide. My chin had lost its roundness. My hands had grown longer and thick. My flesh now had memories all its own. Each finger would recall their first dangerous freeze from Winter years before. They would begin to puff themselves white when I had let them linger too long in the cold. “Here,” my mother would insist. “take Dad’s other good pair of gloves out with you… the wind is picking up.” And I would take them each time and walk outside into the gray light to meet him.
            My father turned his stare from straight ahead down to the frozen earth. His lips would crack with patience with me now. We walked together out through our front yard. It was silent and our feet echoed in thuds against the ground. He had the same face last year, carved with steady lines, angled and more sure of a kind of beauty than he was. I saw our breath rise up and signal to the deer to bound into the gray and evergreen forest wall. We carried axes…mauls made of steel, the heads of which were solid, heavy triangles. Mine seemed smaller and lighter this year.
            We walked with matching strides, our feet and pant-legs marching. We were quiet. The woodpile stopped us. It looked as if it had grown wider, tall and heavy. For a moment I felt very tired. The wool of my shirt began to itch with sweat around my neck. My arm felt suddenly long from carrying the maul. There were animals resting deep in this wood housing. They would awaken to our throws, to our violence.
            My father stood still and quiet. He looked from the wood—it lay there like fat carcasses we had slain—and then out into the field towards the house. Taking off his gloves, he rubbed his thick hands, all the scarring cuts that were never looked after. Mother would see the dried blood and the gape of a deep cut somewhere on him and curse his stubbornness. I looked at my own hands, long and beautiful, boyish, with boyish calluses that knew they were out of place. He took his eyes from his hands up to our rooftop circled with smoke. I saw his eyes begin to match the gray he saw. I watched him thinking he might drown from chopping wood.

-Cuz D.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Alexandra Jaksons & Ezra Rogers, Brunswick, Maine

title: Alexandra Jaksons & Ezra Rogers, Brunswick, Maine
date: 2011
relationship: friends, business (law), met through Jed French
years known: 0-5

Saturday, March 26, 2011

pay-what-you-can sale story: Rachel

Dear Tanja,

First off all, thanks a million for the chance to own pictures made by you! Your work is fabulous, and I would be so excited to hang it in my home. I can’t afford to pay a lot because I’m currently saving up for my wedding, but I thought I’d take a shot! My proposal is actually for two photos that I think would make a great pair, and in return I could offer you two stories. And since the reason I can’t afford to give you much is because I’m saving for my wedding, I thought I’d start with the story of how my fiance and I got together.

Sean and I had both been working at the American Civil Liberties Union for a while, him on the 18th floor in IT and me on the 19th floor in Communications. Our paths crossed on occasion, when I walked by him smoking a cigarette on my way to grab lunch, or when my computer was acting whack and he came by my office to rescue it. I had always thought he was the cutest straight boy at the ACLU, but little did I know that he had his eye on me as well (apparently he told a friend that he thought I was cute but that I looked mean - I guess that’s the effect of moving from Maine to New York and trying to be cool). At any rate, we became friends on Facebook (as most of our coworkers do) and I gradually became more and more aware of his funny posts, good taste in concerts and pretty photos from trips to Vermont and bike rides to Queens. I commented occasionally, but the back and forth remained casual and intermittent. Then came Sean’s fateful post. It was a Friday night around 9 when the post appeared in my news feed: “Sometimes, a successful Friday is cleaning the apartment and listening to cello music.” Not so strange, except for the fact that I had just spent the last several hours cleaning MY apartment and listening to cello music. Of course I commented on the crazy coincidence. There was actually a long string of comments - mostly from ladies - but he only wrote back to me. He asked me what I had been listening to, and the coincidence grew when we learned we had both been listening to weird, experimental stuff (him, Zoe Keating; me, a random Icelander named Hildur Gudnadottir). Well, this led to him asking me in a private message if I might like to trade music sometime, and I of course said yes. Cello music led to country-ish which led to rock, and that led to more conversation, which eventually led to Sean asking me if I might like to have cocktails sometime. I decided to completely ignore the risks of dating a coworker (I actually sort of embraced them - a secret office romance seemed fun!) and said yes, and the rest is history. We’ve been together since our first date, decided to move in together while on a road trip to the New Harbor, Maine, and got engaged this January. We’re planning to get married in Maine in 2012. And that is the story of how my fiance and I got together on Facebook after working a flight of stairs away from each other for two years.

To compliment that story, I thought I’d tell you my second favorite story: the story of how my parents got together.

It was 1969 and my dad, Steve, and and my mom, Sue, were both students at Brown. My dad was a football player-turned hippie from Texas who had been recruited to Brown when LBJ was president and all the Ivies realized they didn’t have any students from Texas. My mom was a young Eisenhower Republican-turned hippie from the next town over. They didn’t know each other, but they had mutual friends. One night, as my mom stayed in to write a paper, my dad and a few of his friends went to see Kurt Vonnegut give a reading from his new book. There was a keg there, and being poor college students they all filled up their cups one last time on their way out. My dad and his friends ended up in a dorm room down the hall from where my mom was studying, and at some point in the night my mom knocked on their door to borrow something from the girl who lived there. She walked in the room, saw the beers lined up on the table, and said something along the lines of “I’ve been working so hard, I could chug all those beers.” My dad looked at my mom, who he had never seen before, and said something like “if you chug all those beers, I’ll marry you.” They got married in 1971, and they’re together to this day. And I’m pretty sure my mom could still chug a beer in a pinch.

So there you have it. A pair of stories about two pairs of people, maybe in exchange for a pair of photos. The photos I’m interested in are 64616 (Ein Bokek, Israel) and 20409 (Cape Elizabeth, Maine). They are both gorgeous, and I would be so honored to own them! I think your photos look great when they’re big, and I think we could reasonably fit two 30x30 pieces in our apartment. But if that’s not possible for any reason, I would gladly take smaller ones.

I wish you lots and lots of luck in this venture and your portrait project. Sean and I will happily welcome you into our home in Brooklyn when you’re down this way!

Looking forward to hearing from you.

take care,
Rachel
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