Friday, May 28, 2010

visions: veronica torres

While New York City is, without a doubt, a mecca for photographers of all shapes, sizes and visions, so much of the contemporary photography coming from the urban environment, departs from the cityscape completely. Veronica Torres is a photographer living and working in New York, though her pictures appear disinterested in the energy of the urban. In fact, her work seems to be made through a lens more painterly than it is filmic. Through it, she captures a spirit of intimacy and longing between her subjects and their environments. Her work is currently on view in the exhibition viscera at Spice Factory Gallery in the Navy Yard section of Brooklyn.

To get a clearer glimpse into the eye of the artist, we asked Veronica to respond in any way she felt appropriate to the following prompts.

CC: What gets you going about... leg tattos?
VT: I was tripping on mushrooms on my 24th birthday and was given a stick and poke tattoo of a flower on my knee. Surprisingly, it felt great.

CC: Longing?
VT: Time. Nostalgia

CC: Antifashion?
VT: Every way we communicate with other people is just a way to bounce ideas and to find our clan.

CC: Heart and lungs?
VT: Two things I don't take care of, but should.

CC: Aboveground subway trains?
VT: I try to reserve the aboveground portions of my commute for meditation and scribbling in notebooks. The best is going over the bridge and getting caught in all these various refractions of light.

CC: Rain?
VT: Sometimes it can be the icing on a shitty day, but also can be refreshing and grounding.

CC: Glass?
VT: I worry a lot about accidents and sometimes fret over past situations I've been in that could have turned out disastrous had one factor been different. Glass is kind of just one of those potentially hazardous materials that causes me anxiety.

CC: iPad? [that thing really creeps us out]
VT: I like collecting physical objects and can't really understand it when data becomes this ethereal thing that I always seem to delete/lose. I prefer hand written lists to typed notes, negatives to digital data, and turning pages rather than scrolling down. If I were in the book/movie Fahrenheit 451 I'd be one of those people living in the woods reciting books all day.

CC: Floral wallpaper?
VT: So decadent, beautiful and timeless.

CC: The color trick?
VT: Is this a left brain / right brain thing?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

journey: madame ganna walska's exotic dream garden

Before moving to California, I remember visiting. I remember trips to Hearst Castle with my mother, my aunt and their parents. I was in training to become a fan of aristocratic histories -their visual wonders, historic homes and trashy gossip. Of course Hearst Castle is visited by thousands of tourists each year, and after years of visiting ourselves it was time to explore the stories of another house.

Born in 1887 in Brest-Listvosk, Poland - Madame Ganna Walska was well-known and worldly. Though she was a well-known actress and opera singer, her fortunes were gathered from a series of high profile marriages that spanned nations and industries. Her sixth and final marriage was to a man by the name of Theos Casimir Bernard - an accomplished American practitioner of Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism (in fact he spearheaded the department of Indian and Tibetan Studies that still exists at Columbia University). In 1941 - at Bernard's encouragement - Walska purchased a 37 acre property known as the Cuesta Linda Estate in Santa Barabara, CA. She intended to turn it into a retreat for Tibetan monks and to call her house "Tibetland." The monks never seemed to make it to Santa Barbara, and after divorcing Bernard, Madame Ganna Walska changed the name of the estate to "Lotusland," in homage to a rare type of Lotus plant that was blooming in one of the property's ponds. Lotusland has since been preserved as a botanical garden.

photos by jordan robin

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

sound and vision: a new season

A couple of weeks ago I let our friend Alexander Iezzi paint me up for his video Summer Girls - the visual match made for a piece of music Alex created weeks earlier. Check it out!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

classics: smoking hamlet

Having his character sip on a cigarette during "To be or not to be" was just one idea our friend and leading man, Dan Sickles, threw around between rehearsals for Steve Boyle's production of Hamlet. Hamlet will be shown in rep along with Shakespeare's The Winters Tale. These productions mark the first season of the newly-formed Global Shakespeare Ensemble, a group of actors founded by the director. The show opens May 21st. Hope to see you there!

Jordan + Aleksandra