DRAWING LIFE by fred hatt

2014/01/08

Gallery Opening on the Web

A sample from Fred Hatt's new photo/video website

A sample from Fred Hatt’s new photo/video website

For the last few weeks I’ve been working on a major redesign of my website highlighting the photography and video work I do for clients, many of whom are artists and performers. Today it went online: Fred Hatt Photo/Video. Please check it out and let me know your thoughts.

I worked with the great graphic designer Michael LaBash, who also designed my art portfolio site. I had some ideas about how I wanted it to look – dark colors, horizontal scrolling photo galleries – and he figured out how to make it all work and look beautiful. There are some images that were on the old version of the site, but there’s also a lot of new material and a gorgeous new look.

There are twelve different photography galleries and five galleries of video pieces, covering the work I do for visual artists, performing artists, and my landscape and urban photography. Many of the photos link to the websites of the client or subject.

If I’ve shot you or your art in recent years and you don’t see it here, I apologize. It was really hard to sift through all that work and find a good balance of samples to convey the range and quality of what I offer. But the process of choosing work made me feel very fortunate to have worked with so many amazing creative people. I’m not ambitious enough as a photographer and videographer to seek out big celebrities and supermodels and high-profile assignments – I just want to work with those that inspire me, help them show the world what they can do, and make a little money to be able to pay my bills and keep doing my own artwork without compromise. But there’s some beautiful stuff here!

2013/10/20

Pointz of Contention

Mural by Dase, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Dase, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc. is a 200,000 square foot factory building occupying a whole block in Long Island City, the southwesternmost district of the borough of Queens, in New York City. Since 1993 the building’s owner has allowed the building to be used as a fully legal venue for urban graffiti artists from around the world to showcase their artistry.

5 Pointz Loading Dock Area, photo by Fred Hatt

5 Pointz Loading Dock Area, photo by Fred Hatt

Curator Jonathan Cohen, also known as the artist Meres One, selects artists, who must submit work samples and designs to get permission to paint at 5 Pointz. The building is regularly renewed with new murals replacing those that have had a good run.

Mural by Cortes, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Cortes, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

The center is well known to anyone who rides the 7 train, whose elevated tracks pass right by 5 pointz. It’s directly across Jackson Avenue from PS1, MoMA’s satellite museum devoted to contemporary art, and many visitors to that august institution also visit 5 Pointz to see a kind of contemporary art that springs from the streets rather than the academies. If you’ve never heard of 5 Pointz, perhaps you’ve seen it in music videos by Kurtis Blow, Doug E. Fresh, Joss Stone, or Joan Jett.

Mural by Sinxero, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Sinxero, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Jerry Wolkoff, the long-time owner of the building, has made it available as a painting space for artists over the past twenty years (Back in the ’90′s it was called Phun Factory). The idea was to discourage graffiti vandalism by offering spray paint artists a legal place to exhibit their work. Particularly since Jonathan Cohen’s curatorship began about eleven years ago, the place has become one of New York’s cultural landmarks, a destination for practitioners and appreciators of street art from all over the world.

Mural by Meres One, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Meres One, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

5 Pointz Posted Rules, photo by Fred Hatt

5 Pointz Posted Rules, photo by Fred Hatt

Jerry Wolkoff’s son, David Wolkoff, is a developer. He wants to tear down 5 Pointz to build two luxury high-rise condo towers. Manhattan and the parts of Brooklyn and Queens that are close to Manhattan are already glutted with fancy condos for the ultra-rich. Many of the most expensive apartments are not even used as residences, just held as investments by people who have a lot of excess money they need to park. New York, along with London and other international cities, has been subjected to massive development of this kind in recent years. It’s made it more difficult for artists and other middle class and working class people to live in the city, but money rules over all.

Mural by Joseph Meloy, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Joseph Meloy, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Long Island City is one of those parts of New York that’s a short train ride to Midtown Manhattan but still has a lot of old, decrepit industrial buildings and warehouses, so it’s a natural spot for development. On the blocks around 5 Pointz you’ll see wholesalers and taxi dispatchers and sidewalk food cart garages, but gourmet restaurants and designer boutiques are nearby, and the blue glass Citicorp Tower looms above the art center.

5 Pointz and Citicorp Tower, Long Island City, Queens, New York, photo by Fred Hatt

5 Pointz and Citicorp Tower, Long Island City, Queens, New York, photo by Fred Hatt

The City Council voted unanimously to allow the bulldozing of 5 Pointz. The developers agreed to feature some aerosol artworks on the facade at the base of the new building, to “preserve the heritage and legacy” of 5 Pointz. It is hard for me to imagine, though, that the managers of a luxury condo building will allow the kind of freewheeling spirit of creative anarchy that the old 5 Pointz has embodied.

Mural by DT, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by DT, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

I think destroying 5 Pointz is a crime and a disgrace. It was almost exactly fifty years ago that developers were allowed to raze the old Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, a true temple of transit and one of the great architectural masterpieces of McKim, Mead & White, to build the uninspired arena of Madison Square Garden with today’s depressing Penn Station in the basement. It was a true act of vandalism that shocked the aesthetic conscience of the city and led to the rise of the historic preservation movement.

Mural by Monsieur Plume, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Monsieur Plume, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

5 Pointz is no masterpiece of architecture like the old Penn Station, and the art on its walls is not all of transcendent quality, but neither is all the art on the walls inside PS1 or other centers for contemporary art. These institutions are valuable because they are vital laboratories of creative ferment, filled with many clashing varieties of contemporary art, not yet culled by time, the ultimate curator. We go to be wowed by some works, bored by others, and angered by others.

Mural by James Cochran, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by James Cochran, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

A lot of the contemporary art in PS1 is abstruse and condescending, or crudely and pointlessly transgressive, or gimmicky and commercial, but there’s a great variety and it can be a very exciting museum to visit. I’ve often thought of 5 Pointz as PS1′s outdoor annex, offering work that is grand in scale, with vivid colors given their fullest expression in the bright light of day.

Mural by Nicholai Khan, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Nicholai Khan, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

The City Council would surely never approve the destruction of an established museum such as PS1, with wealthy donors and corporate sponsors and a respectable board of trustees. 5 Pointz, though, has none of those recognized signifiers of legitimacy.

Mural by TooFly, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by TooFly, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Currently the most famous “street artist” in the world, that master of self-promotion Banksy, is in New York, sending his fans on a sort of treasure hunt to find the new pieces of work he’s installing around the city at regular intervals.

Kool Herc mural by Danielle Mastrion, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Kool Herc mural by Danielle Mastrion, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mayor Bloomberg criticized Banksy, saying ”Art is art, and nobody’s a bigger supporter of the arts than I am. I just think there are some places for art and there are some places [not for] art. And you running up to somebody’s property or public property and defacing it is not my definition of art.” And indeed, Banksy is painting graffiti on property he doesn’t own, without permission, but of course he gets away with it because he’s a celebrity and an international art star who also sells work in galleries for serious prices.

Mural by Kram, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Kram, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

The artists of 5 Pointz are nearly anonymous. It took me quite a bit of digging to identify the names of the artists who did the pieces pictured in this post, and still I couldn’t find some of them, and may have made some mistakes. If anyone who is knowledgeable can correct or amend my picture captions, I’d truly appreciate it.

Mural by unidentified artist, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by unidentified artist, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Some of these artists have surely engaged in illegal tagging elsewhere, but all the work at 5 Pointz is completely legal.

Mural by El Nino de las Pinturas, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by El Nino de las Pinturas, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

I took all the photos in this post last weekend, and if you can visit 5 Pointz soon you can see the originals. Most of the murals are eight or ten feet tall, and these small photos don’t really do them justice.

Mural by Rimx & Nepo, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Rimx & Nepo, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

You’ll notice the great variety of styles and themes, abstraction and figuration, whimsy and seriousness, pop cultural and art historical references. There is a lot of the wildstyle lettering that came out of the New York school of graffiti art of the original hip hop era, and traditional lowbrow motifs like skulls and monsters, but there are also realistic portraits and some truly sophisticated painting techniques.

Mural by Fumero, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Fumero, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

The city will do nothing to stop the celebrity Banksy’s illegal work, but they will sanction the razing of the outsider artists’ legal work at 5 Pointz. They’ll protect the gallery-anointed contemporary art at PS1 but not the street-culture contemporary art at 5 Pointz. It’s hard not to see this as an example of a class-based double standard.

Mural by True Fame, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by True Fame, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

As of the time of this writing, there is a temporary injunction stopping the bulldozers, based on a claim by seventeen of the 5 Pointz artists, invoking the 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act.

Mural by Mr Blob, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Mr Blob, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

To be fair to the Wolkoffs, they do own the building, and we can be grateful to them for having made it available as a place for the creation and exhibition of artwork over the past two decades. But I find it disappointing that someone who owns such a collection of art would decide to destroy it to put up more luxury condos in New York. Surely there are other options available to billionaire developers.

Mural by Meres One, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Meres One, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Click on the link and look at the principles of the Visual Artists Rights Act. No one would question the application of this law if someone who owned a recognized masterpiece like Picasso’s Guernica announced plans to destroy it. The court will need to determine whether works by little-known artists, not acclaimed by the curators of major institutions, and in a genre associated with criminal vandalism, deserve the same moral rights as the Picasso.

Mural by Auks, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Auks, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Fine art by recognized masters has been destroyed by its owners in the past. A famous case is Nelson Rockefeller’s destruction of “Man at the Crossroads”, Diego Rivera’s commissioned fresco at Rockefeller Center, which was interpreted as anti-capitalist propaganda.

Mural by Kid Lew, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Kid Lew, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

The boundaries of art that is recognized as such by the arbiters of culture are subject to change over time. Not long ago, the common attitude among serious art curators would have been to dismiss popular artists such as Norman Rockwell and R. Crumb as “mere illustrators”, not fine artists, but that is beginning to change. A little further back, the art authorities in France dismissed the impressionist painters as crude daubers, not worthy to be considered in the same league as their favorites, painters we now see as stodgy academic bores.

Mural by Esteban del Valle, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Esteban del Valle, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

I suspect the work of some of these street artists will some day be seen as important work – not all of it, but some of it. For now, these artists are clearly underdogs, Davids confronting Goliaths of great wealth.

David & Goliath, after Caravaggio, mural by unidentified artist, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

David & Goliath, after Caravaggio, mural by unidentified artist (Reckin’ Krew?), 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Recent decades in New York have seen a significant loss of the city’s diverse cultural manifestations – not just street art but funky mom-and-pop businesses, community gardens, eccentric neighborhoods and vibrant local artistic scenes – to make way for generic apartment towers and homogenized franchise businesses. A recent editorial by Talking Heads frontman David Byrne expresses feelings I hear often expressed among New York’s creatives. Will history see rampant commercial development as a greater act of vandalism than graffiti tagging?

Mural by Onur, Senor, Wes21 and Kkade, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Onur, Senor, Wes21 and Kkade, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

If 5 Pointz is razed, the center of gravity for street art in NYC is likely to shift to the Bushwick Collective, an area around the intersection of Troutman Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Brooklyn where curator Joseph Ficalora has invited street artists to create elaborate works on the many blank industrial walls. It doesn’t have the high-profile location or the single massive building of 5 Pointz, but it’s already become a destination for the practitioners of aerosol art and their appreciators.

Mural by The Yok & Sheryo, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by The Yok & Sheryo, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

I think street art is a vital and important part of the visual arts culture of our time. Let’s not dismiss this work based on class prejudice.

Mural by Mataone, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Mural by Mataone, 5 Pointz, photo by Fred Hatt

Update added November 19, 2013: Last night, under cover of darkness, crews working on behalf of the developers smeared over all of 5 Pointz’ murals with white paint. The “Graffiti Mecca” is no more.

My friend Steven Speliotis memorialized the whitewashing in this video:

2013/07/05

Night Light

Filed under: New work,Photography — Tags: , , , , , — Fred Hatt @ 23:09
Tree and Moon, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Tree and Moon, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

This is a post about the beautiful effects of artificial light photographed outdoors at night in New York City, one of the kinds of visual essays I’ve often featured on Drawing Life. It has nothing to do with the art I’m working on now. In recent months, I’ve been busier than ever with paid work as a projectionist, photographer, and videographer, and I’ve been using the improved cashflow to keep myself busier than ever with drawing and filmmaking. I’ve been doing consistent experimental figure drawing work in my studio with a few wonderful model-collaborators, pursuing fresh developments in the practice – but I’m not ready to show this work yet. Nowadays people tend to share every new thing in their lives immediately on Facebook or Twitter, but I think there’s something to be said about the old approach of laboring in obscurity and then going public with something fully-formed. I also have new video projects in the works, also not ready to share. In the meantime, I’ll keep the blog going with the kinds of posts you’ve come to expect, with new posts a little less frequent than they have been in the past. The new work will come out when it’s done.

So for now, please join me on an urban nocturne. Let’s go for a night drive.

Self Portrait Driving, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Self Portrait Driving, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

The Sun, when it’s up,  is such an alpha dog that all other lights are wheezing three-legged omega chihuahuas at best. But at night there are billions of light sources, and all of them coexist in a Milky Way of rough equality.

Expressway Lights, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Expressway Lights, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

All these little lights make their own pools and shadows, vie with each other and merge with each other. If the Sun is God, all the little lights are like God’s creatures, tiny emanations or embers of the Great Fire, mobile and competitive, transient and ephemeral.

Queensboro Bridge Onramp, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Queensboro Bridge Onramp, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

The beams of night shine in a world of swirling particles.

Headlights in Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Headlights in Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Taxi and Bikes, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Taxi and Bikes, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Daylight is objective in its distance. Daylight shadows are orthographic projections – every beam of light that forms them comes from the same direction. Shadows formed by artificial lights at night have perspective – they expand with distance from the source of light.

Leaning Meter, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Leaning Meter, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Light sources at night often strike surfaces at oblique angles that reveal texture.

Blue and White, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Blue and White, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Brick Wall, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Brick Wall, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Nearby light sources sometimes impart a looming quality to architectural forms that would look stolid and stodgy in sunlight.

Architectural Elements, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Architectural Elements, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Squat Column, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Squat Column, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Neo-Romanesque, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Neo-Romanesque, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Church Door, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Church Door, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Escalator, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Escalator, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

At night, reflective surfaces make beautiful landscapes out of the multitude of little light sources, and light shining out of interior spaces gives simple boxes a magical aura.

Reflections on Metal, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Reflections on Metal, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Food Cart, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Food Cart, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Taco Cart, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Taco Cart, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Cylindrical Windows, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Cylindrical Windows, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Plaza Fountain, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Plaza Fountain, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

The sheen of reflective surfaces overcomes the surface details that might dominate our perception in the flat light of day.

Shiny Posters, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Shiny Posters, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Retroreflective Signs, 2012Tree Shadow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Retroreflective Signs, 2012Tree Shadow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Burning Bush, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Burning Bush, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

In the daytime, buildings are external structures, but at night they turn inside out, light revealing the life within.

Pole and Wires, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Pole and Wires, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Metro, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Metro, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Office Building, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Office Building, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

A city comes alive at night when light makes the insides of buildings more prominent than their outside forms.

Guitar Shop, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Guitar Shop, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Cheesesteaks, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Cheesesteaks, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Square of Light, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Square of Light, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

A sufficiently long-exposure photograph of a landscape taken under moonlight looks barely different from one taken under sunlight. Artificial light, though, comes from various different directions and has many different colors. A long exposure taken at night under multiple artificial light sources is a kind of light painting.

Garden at Night, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Garden at Night, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Vacant Lot at Night, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Vacant Lot at Night, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Winter's Moon, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Winter’s Moon, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Polish Crests, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Polish Crests, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Abstract Cross, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Abstract Cross, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Colored lights, in the form of neon signs and tinted bulbs, make the night psychedelic.

Primary Hues, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Primary Hues, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Kellogg's Diner, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Kellogg’s Diner, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Red Neon, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Red Neon, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Christmas Lights, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Christmas Lights, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

In the daytime, a hole in the ground is a black void, but at night, lit-up interiors and exteriors coexist and interpenetrate. A thousand tiny lights equalize space.

Restaurant Basement, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Restaurant Basement, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

2013/04/17

Buds and Blossoms

Filed under: Older work,Photography — Tags: , , , , , — Fred Hatt @ 19:15
First Green, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

First Green, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

To celebrate the full arrival of Spring that we’re feeling this week here in New York City, let’s look at buds and blossoms, the botanical embodiment of the surging life force, the butts and bosoms of the plant world.

These photos were taken over more than a decade, on dates ranging from March 21 through May 22, and they’re ordered here by day of the year, no matter the year, so the sequence should give a sense of the process of spring as it unfolds over the weeks – how the first wee shoots appear on the gray bare branches, hints of the green eruption to come, and how the pinks and whites and yellows of early spring prepare the way for the bold, brash colors of the late spring.

As usual, I’m sharing way too many pictures – I love them so much! – so I’ll shut up and let them speak for themselves.

First Yellow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

First Yellow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt 

Yellow Willow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Yellow Willow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Blossoms Under a Metal Roof, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Night Blooms, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Night Blooms, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Night Sprout, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Night Sprout, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Springtime Sunset, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Springtime Sunset, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Blossom in the Wind, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Sakura, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Sakura, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Renewal, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Renewal, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt 

Statue in Spring, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Statue in Spring, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt 

Grand Opening, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Grand Opening, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt 

Ready, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Ready, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt  

Fresh, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Fresh, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt 

Spring Sun, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Spring Sun, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt 

From the Coccoon, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt

From the Coccoon, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt 

Pink, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

Pink, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt 

Red, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

Red, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt 

Spring Fountain, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Spring Fountain, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt  

Burgeoning Bough, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Burgeoning Bough, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt  

Unfurling, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Unfurling, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt  

Tulips and Taxis, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Tulips and Taxis, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt 

Pink Tree, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

Pink Tree, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt  

Pink Arms, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt

Pink Arms, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt  

Restoration, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Restoration, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt 

Red Shoots, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Red Shoots, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt 

Etched in Green, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Etched in Green, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt 

Over the Fence, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Over the Fence, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt   

Young Leaves, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Young Leaves, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt 

Bees' Target, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Bees’ Target, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt 

Burning Bush, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Burning Bush, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt   

Flowers in Late Afternoon, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt

Flowers in Late Afternoon, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt 

Sunset Green, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt

Sunset Green, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt  

Spring Green and Brick Red, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Spring Green and Brick Red, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt  

Blossom with Droplets, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

Blossom with Droplets, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

2013/02/08

Juxtaposition

Filed under: New work,Photography — Tags: , , , — Fred Hatt @ 00:10
Squint, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Squint, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt 

André Breton, the poet and founder of the original Surrealist movement, conceived of an aesthetic of “convulsive beauty” founded on sensory echoes and ironies, and random conjunctions of things that become evocative in the mind.  As an example of the latter he offered a famous line from the proto-surrealist 19th century writer Isidore Ducasse, AKA Comte de Lautréamont: “Beautiful as the encounter of a sewing machine with an umbrella on a dissection table.”  There is a terrifying randomness about the world, but the mind with which we sense this randomness is a powerful generator of meaning or significance, a machine for recognizing patterns and extrapolating them into grand intuitions of unity or into destructive paranoid delusions.

This post is a collection of photographs of evocative random juxtapositions.

Planter and Racket, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Planter and Racket, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

The sculptural form of objects may be revealed when they come into relation with other objects.

Red Glove, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Red Glove, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Did you hear that the elusive giant squid has finally been captured on video?

Chelsea Gallery, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Chelsea Gallery, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

A person is always part of a scene, defined by that scene.

Chef, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Chef, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

The contemporary scene is replete with images of desire, but such images always exist in relation to a down and dirty real world.

Shoes, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

Shoes, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

In our fantasy, we soar like nature.

Dance, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

Dance, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

We are colorful and emotional, in a world of stone and steel.

Tiers, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Tiers, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

We make images to express ourselves.  These images are subject to the changing weather of the world, as are we.

Eye of the Storm, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Eye of the Storm, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt 

Our monsters and our goddesses loom always over our chaotic streets.

Hannibal, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

Hannibal, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

23, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt

23, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt

Departure, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Departure, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Our images of frenzy and rage loom over our calm streets.

Eras, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Eras, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Bar Pizza, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Bar Pizza, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Two Worlds, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Two Worlds, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

We desire exuberance and extravagance, but the world we create is extravagant mainly in its wastefulness.

Foofy Dogs, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

Foofy Dogs, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

Route, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

Route, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

Can the magnificence of nature be distilled in a material object?

Ansel Adams at 100, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Ansel Adams at 100, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Can desire be rendered in glowing pixels?

T Loc, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

T Loc, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Can an image endow righteousness with glamour?  (The ad on the left side of this phone shelter is for the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie film Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  The ad on the right promotes a Billy Graham evangelical revival tour.)

Omission, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Omission, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Can eros and thanatos be printed up and pasted on the wall, to win our attention?

Hottie and Monster, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Hottie and Monster, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Can I seduce you with extravagance?  Do you like it artificial, or natural?

Hair and Trunk, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Hair and Trunk, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Do you like clarity, or mystery?

Mind & Spirit, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Mind & Spirit, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Everything we can construct reflects everything that constitutes its environment.

Urban Hair, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Urban Hair, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Everything we can envision is distilled out of what we already know.

Mind's Eye, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Mind’s Eye, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

We love love and pleasure, and we love rage and destruction.

Rapture, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Rapture, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Power is the ultimate fantasy.  Decay is the ultimate reality.

Marriage with Bullets, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Marriage with Bullets, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Fix the Problems, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Fix the Problems, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Everything that has an opposite exists only in relation to its opposite.  There is no life without death, and vice versa.  They are two surfaces of a membrane.

Closed-Nepo, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Closed-Nepo, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Our world is nothing but numbers, and nothing but aliveness.

171-Five, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

171-Five, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress

Better Tag Cloud
%d bloggers like this: