Saturday, February 25, 2012

"I'm Looking At Porn And Getting Paid", Ms. K laughed into her cell

Trouble is the two worlds don't fit as well as they used to. K's a 21 yr old, a senior at Warren Wilson majoring in art,
and recovering from her boyfriend cheating on her ...multiple times. She started by telling me she was a feminist and didn't like my photographs. We worked through that while we counted 1960's softcore transparencies and b&w contact sheets that I'm selling. I put a Chet Baker cd into my mac and sat back. "Elevator music", she said flatly. Sarah Vaughn...same. I told her to go get some music and she returned with a rap cd from South Africa. right. I mentioned my ex wife throwing my things out of the apartment when she found out Benedikt Taschen and I had gone to Taihiti, staying in Marlon Brando's casita on his atol. She looked at me blankly. "Marlon Brandon, America's greatest actor". Nope



It was Friday and next to the shell station at the corner of 74A, the bbq place was serving bbq chicken. Ms. K wanted to know where the meat came from. Twenty one and already thinking about what went in her stomach.
All the pirates have been shipped out like they did the Hopi and Navaho almost overnite in Flagstaff in the early 1980's. They didn't go away from lack of buffalo but rather from principles of real estate.  To make the area "attractive" to white f..ks.
But this entry isn't about persnickety Ms. K, its about Sam aka Sonny, Ellen, his wife of three years, and trailer neighbor, Tim. I had seen Sam, shirtless peeing next to his shack, next to the road from Bat Cave I pass every morning. I also saw a pile of wood and I am into wood. The next morning Sam was shirtless on his dilapidated porch. I stopped and asked if I could buy $20 worth of wood. Tim offered to split it and I asked him what sort of wood he was giving me. "Locust, maple, popular, oak, cherry, hickory and birch".
I was pleased. I asked Sam if I could take a photo of him and he laughed and agreed. I immediately stripped off my shirt to match him and he laughed again. Turned out he was born same year as me.



 Then his wife, Ellen, came out from inside






and then Sam went inside and returned with a blurb book some woman photographer had done of him and Ellen. Sam went back inside and returned with a well worn family album with pictures of his grown daughter and his grand children. I wanted to go inside but he said his dogs wouldn't allow that. I gave the three some diet coke and coke my hostess, Diane, had given me to take to work. Ellen asked if i could give her a ride to the store. She stunk up my front seat for three days but I didn't mind.





 She reminded me of the broken faces of the Navaho women I photographed in the drunk tank in Gallup, NM in the mid 1970's. (Weegee cry your eyes out). We talked about black bears and beer and laughed the three miles to the store. She bought a twelve pack of Bud and left to walk home.
The next morning no one was on the porch and I left some cold beer and some faux bacon for the two dogs.

I remember Eugene Richards, the great photojournalist, explaining in his lecture how he got to shoot an early Brooklyn crack den in a bad neigborhood. He sat outside the door to the den for two weeks everyday till someone opened the door and asked him what he was doing sitting there. "I want to photograph" and they let him in.

I had a plan. I went back with more presents and this time Sam was there and we talked some more. I asked if I could meet his dogs and he finally relented and brought out one and took him back in and then brought the other out. Both dogs were on leashes, though they acted friendly wagging their tails. Then I asked if I could see inside and again he relented. The hovel was lit by one single bare bulb and a shaft of yellow daylite coming in from a window I couldn't see.
Back outside I told Sam I had this idea for doing a fashion shoot and a semi-erotic shoot in his living room with him and Ellen in the foreground.  I told him I'd pay him. He laughed and agreed.
I left and went online to modelmayhem.com (an online modelling site) and found three models and wrote each saying I wanted to shoot. No answer days later. I asked art student Ms. K but she thought it was sexiest and refused ...until I offered her money...she thought about it and wanted more money. I figured if she was posing just for the money she wouldn't give my camera what I wanted. Besides I had little money after buying an 1800's side saddle.




I put a notice on facebook and people all over the world have remarked how exciting the idea was but that doesn't provide a model. Maybe someone will read this and agree to stand in the background in one of the three vintage girl scout outfits I brought in my truck from Tucson. I leave Wednesday morning and without a model another good idea never gets realized. poooooor me. 

Mysterious things happen in my life. I have no idea why I choose to bring on my cross country journey a vintage girl scout outfit rather than my standard white body forming Prada dress or the slinky black Bebe dress. Certainly I had no idea I might need it to illustrate an homage to "Baby Doll". 

Last time I was in Ashville, NC I found a vintage black full length girdle. It cost $60 (way over my budget) and was a size extra large not my usual petite sizing. Mysteriously, three months later I agsain chose to bring it with me to friends Lulu and Jeremy Danger's Baja wedding. In the wedding party was beautiful fully tattooed full bodied JACKIE. The girdle fit her like a glove!



the road from where I'm staying above Bat Cave to where Sam and Ellen live


just after dawn, just b4 leaving for work


photo by Diane Brady



North Carolina with a side of Cartel coffee I brought with me. 




My friend Shirrel at work in the storage space where many of his art collection wait to be sold with my help.



Breakfast below the Mason- Dixon line at Genny's in Chimney Rock. 
Shirrel ordered biscuits and gravy and grits, ham and eggs and I tried to curse as much as I could waiting for my spit filled eggs. (I cursed under my breathe and she didn't spit on my eggs r e a l l y.)
































Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Being with Victoria Von Helkine

I first met Victoria at a bad time in my life. A woman I still am in love with (the impossible is always the most fun...and the most wrong) had just walked out of my life and Victoria walked in. Or so I thought. It was SF and she picked out a tight dress from my closet and the highest high heels and off we went to the Kinky Salon party in the Mission district. A day later to Bondage A Go Go, etc etc until the Franklin Hotel on Union Square. I had just recognized and, spoken with, Isabella Rossellini when we got out of the elevator. We had just taken photographs deep into the nite and now we were in bed. Sometime before dawn she said (out of what I thought was the blue) "You have to leave".  What? It's 4 in the morning I reasoned. She was silent. The moment was gone and so was she.
Ever so often I'd hear from her. She was in LA or NYC or Chicago or...she had a schedule mapped out a month in advance. I try not to plan beyond the next meal. Earlier this month she was in Phoenix and drove down to Tucson and, of course, we laughed alot, took photos in the desert and didn't want 2 part but she had a date in Phoenix and again was gone prematurely. 2 days later we were lunching at Lon's at the Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley which is near the Hyatt in Scottsdale where Victoria was staying.


I headquartered the crew and actresses at the Hermosa when I made "Girdle Gulch" 1 and 2. I have made many iconic images there...Arizona Alice sucking her soapy toe...etc. etc.
Victoria and I ate lunch


she smoked a cigarette and













 then drove to the Heard Museum so I could show her the Goldwater room filled with fine Kachinas.


Then I had to get her back to the Hyatt for her dinner date. I took the Tom Mix Highway back to Tucson wondering what love's got to do with it.


I think she's in LA but I could b wrong. I could go online and check her schedule but I'm not going to.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Above Bat Cave In the Blue Ridge Mts and the Smokies of NC



I'm attending the Diane and Shirrel Road (es) show. For all meals I am seated between them so that they can feed their managerie of 2 cats and 2 dogs. Champ-a chocolate lab mix- 13 years old, Stinky - a Bichon- ? ? old (a Key West rescue) blind and deaf, Mew Mew - a black tuxedo cat- at least 14 yrs old but "acts like a kitten"; Angel a white cat about nine years old (a shelter rescue).











It's my daughter. Leah's 28th birthday and she's in Brooklyn and I'm on a ridge so I'm playing Jersey Girl by Springstein and Diamonds and Rust by Baez and thinking of Leah ...beautiful Leah.Wishing her strength...wishing her happiness. "Life has been marvelous, all the experiences good and bad I have enjoyed". Happy birthday. I wish I was there over chinese or at the bar or walking with you through rain water.

(George Bernard Shaw Drank Mother's Milk In His Coffee Every Morning 1985) Leah @ one.



with Aaron Hawks and Drew and I don't remember the other fellow's name in my SF kitchen

me and Leah in a wine bar on Grant in SF. photo by Amy Sampson


with Willa at the father daughter weekend at USD last yr


















Sunday, February 12, 2012

Colin Rae



I met this most interesting fellow many years ago in Oakland through Simone Cross ( Mistress). He smiled alot and was correctly obsessed with women's feet and thanked me for editing the Elmer Batter's book published by TASCHEN. We often enjoyed Indian food, models, and inexpensive cigars. He worked for Tower Records till he moved to Nashville to work for another record label after being beaten up by a gang of young men on Treasure Island (between SF and Oakland) while walking to keep his blood pressure low.
He has his model's names in script tattooed on his hands. I hadn't seen him in many years and his hands r covered.




Colin consoling a (girl) friend stranded across town.



Colin shoots polaroid like a cinematographer





When I first met him he told me he tells the women that he will never have sexual intercourse with his models...just enjoy their feet. He has been known to spend all night awake shooting a model while she sleeps. Obsession?




I have the same flesh colored dolls. 


His house in Nashville has red walls like my hair mistress and friend, Dagny, on Capp street in SF. And collects like Dagny, Coop and me.