Sunday, October 3, 2010

Back from Tibet

I'm back - fifteen pounds lighter but otherwise, none the worse for wear. Many, many beautiful and fascinating things to show and talk about; right now, however, I'm in the midst of remodeling my new studio in Los Angeles and barely have time to breathe, let alone blog. But here are a few samples (btw, you can click on any of these pictures for an enlarged view - you probably already knew that, but being the computer-challenged old fart that I am, I just figured it out moments ago...)

The Potala Palace in Lhasa - pretty sad shape inside, but the outside is still imposing and majestic.

Pelkhor Monastery - one of the few monasteries in Tibet that allows photographs to be taken inside the temple.

On the road to Mt. Everest - hundreds of miles of mountains like this.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Smuggled out of China

Yo. Can't access my blog (or Facebook, or any number of other sites) from China, where I am now, so this post is being smuggled out of the country encoded on the wing feathers of migratory birds…

Great country, but if the term "bureaucratic overreach" did not exist, you'd want to invent it for China. You have to get fingerprinted just to get into a national park. Driving through Tibet requires a fistful of permits and standing in line at interminable checkpoints. And God forbid that you should have a picture of the Dalai Lama on you, or take one of some village people, or of the omnipresent military who have turned the whole place into an armed camp, or try to discuss politics with anybody - not that they know much about it, because the media is so censored. But it's all worth it to see scenes like this - here's Mt. Everest on a rare, clear day:

And here's a picture of the restaurant in my most, uh, memorable hotel / flophouse: no running water, no doors on the rooms, no sheets on the beds, no sanitation of any kind, about an hour of electricity at night, but surprisingly, the food wasn't all that bad…

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Freeways have a kind of horrible beauty to them, if you observe them dispassionately from a distance and as long as they're not going through your neighborhood. I badgered a friend with an open convertible to drive through my favorite interchange repeatedly while I aimed up and shot as fast as I could, then composited four or five pictures together in Photoshop for this nightmarish image.

This one, on the other hand, is very real. It's the interchange between the 405 and the 105 Freeways near Los Angeles airport. These pictures are both part of my "Urban Realty" series.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Self Portrait

Posting this picture is probably committing professional suicide, but what the hell, live dangerously. I'm they guy in the center, and no, I don't look like that naked; the other guy is Steve Chen, one of my favorite models, with my head spliced on his shoulders. This is one of a series of self portraits I've been doing with Steve, examining issues of body image, aging, sexuality, ego - all those uncomfortable things we don't like to think about. As far as technique is concerned, it's just a matter of taking lots of pictures, cutting them out very carefully in Photoshop and painting in a few critical shadows. BTW, Steve is a good deal taller than he appears to be; I was thinking about Egyptian tomb paintings and how people are sized according to their importance, and of course if you listen to my wildly inflated ego, I'm way more important than anyone else, even my much better looking alter ego...


Friday, May 7, 2010

New work

Okay, I'm back - after a four month hiatus. No particular reason for the long silence; I just can't think of anything to say. But I thought you might be interested in seeing what I'm working on these days - both the weird stuff and the not-so-weird stuff.

These pictures probably aren't going to make it onto the website any time soon, so they're a little extra reward (or punishment, depending on how
you look at it) for searching out my blog.

I have this enduring fascination with the borderline between recognizability and abstraction, and also between photography and whatever unnamed art form lies beyond it, between photography and painting. I've been playing with displacement maps and mirrors for several years now, and this is what it's looking like these days:

If that's not your cup of tea, how about these ones from my recent trip to New Zealand (and no, don't ask me if they're real or not. You should know by now...)