Neckless.

Posted in Photography on July 25, 2016 by baker

South Slope, Brooklyn.  July 25, 2016.

angry rainbow

“Lambing Season” film screening.

Posted in Films on July 23, 2016 by baker

My film, “Lambing Season”, will screen at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival in Middlebury, VT, on August 27th, 2016 at 10:30am in Dana Auditorium.  If you’re in the area, this should be a great way to experience the thing , and I’m told it’ll be paired with a feature documentary well worth seeing.   Hope to see you there!

woolly poster

Transitory.

Posted in Photography on July 18, 2016 by baker

Rye, NY.  July 17, 2016.

metro north guy 3 copy

Disintegrated. 

Posted in Commentary on July 13, 2016 by baker

Take a look at this photo:

my lincoln copy

After hanging in a prominent local coffee shop for the last few weeks, it was suddenly taken down after one or more customers “complained about the racial content”.

No sour grapes to the coffee shop.  They’re good people, and the coffee is delicious.  The photo’s barely mine to begin with; all I did was formalize and repurpose someone else’s expression (the title of my original posting was “Integral”).  I see no particular point in artistic provocation, and there’s enough in here – graphically, historically, and culturally – for this photo to speak for itself.  Break it down: the artist superimposes a word fiercely, inextricably entwined with black racial identity over an iconograph of American solidarity.  A white one.  And he makes it possessive.

I can’t find anything to complain about.  And in light of the events of recent weeks, it seems to me that censoring any racial discussion which is not itself inflammatory, which does not sanction anger and divisiveness, is symptomatic of the way Americans handle the problems that look – and possibly are – too big to resolve.  Rather than engage in a conversation where one is imminent, we shout down opposition at the first word we don’t like.  We’ve become abysmal listeners, in defense of sensitivities which serve no constructive end.

I’d like to suggest, moreover, that whoever put that face and phrase together turned four hundred years of deceit and oppression into an image of great racial unity, without attempting the cheap shortcut of color blindness.  There aren’t two informed ways to interpret this image.  It means exactly one thing, it’s clear and concise, and it’s plastered on a surface that can be read, without much of a stretch, as graphically emblematic of the division that birthed it.  It’s a division freighted with so much abuse and neglect that at times the single word, all by itself, causes offense – even though it’s used with a purpose co-opted to mean the explicit opposite of its historical precedent.

In a healthier social environment, there would be no need to explain this.  I get the sensitivity.  Like all art, this photograph basically serves itself and offers no redemptive powers.  It cannot be hung in enough coffee shops in America to change the way we confront disparity, bigotry, guilt, shame, or rage.  Coffee, however, is a great thing that heals all weary souls, and if this image, with its vile language unsuitable for children or the unbelievably privileged, taints the acquisition of the all-American drug, my sincere sympathies to the barista who was asked to take it down.

Cast & crew.

Posted in Photography on July 12, 2016 by baker

Vigo County Fair, Terre Haute, IN.  July 11, 2016.

don & donkers copy

Defiance.

Posted in Photography on June 29, 2016 by baker

6th Ave, Brooklyn.  June 29, 2016.

loiter4

Rote.

Posted in Photography on June 27, 2016 by baker

Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.  June 25, 2016.

no parking copy BW

Your eye sees what it sees; you’re drawn to the same things over and over.  There may be an audience for which this image remains fresh and stimulating, I don’t know.  I do know there is a distinct satisfaction for me in finding these images, no matter how many times I feel I’ve taken it (I don’t always take it).  There’s a compulsive aspect of photography that sometimes overrides the impulse toward originality.  Its dull familiarity makes me happy – that is all.

Obsession.

Posted in Photography on June 24, 2016 by baker

Brooklyn, NY.  June 23, 2016.

This view never gets old for me.  Ever.

southeast copy

Sweet nothing.

Posted in Photography on June 17, 2016 by baker

6th Ave, Brooklyn.  June 16, 2016.

But the camera likes it.

white and yellow

Puerto.

Posted in Photography on June 14, 2016 by baker

6th Ave, Brooklyn.  June 14, 2016.

puerto copy

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