Thursday, September 29, 2011

The City In Motion

"The people in the subway, their flesh juxtaposed against the graffiti, the penetrating effect of the strobe light itself, and even the hollow darkness of the tunnels, inspired an aesthetic that goes unnoticed by passengers who are trapped underground, hiding behind masks and closed off from each other." -Bruce Davidson

Bruce Davidson is undeniably one of the most influential and important photographers of our time. Picking up a camera at the age of ten, Davidson quickly found himself on the streets of Chicago, photographing city life. After attending Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University, Davidson was drafted in the army and stationed near Paris, where he first met Henri Cartier-Bresson. In 1957, after his service ended, Davidson starting working for Life Magazine and became a full-time member of Magnum in 1958.

From 1958 to 1961, Davidson made some of his most seminal bodies of work, including The Dwarf, Brooklyn Gang and Freedom Riders. A Guggenheim grant in 1962 led him to create Time Of Change, which documented the civil rights movement in the United States. After a one-person show at The Museum of Modern Art in 1963, followed by a NEA grant in 1967, Davidson spent two years photographing in Harlem, resulting in East 100th Street, one of the most powerful documentations of poverty and housing discrimination ever published. In 1980, after living in New York City for 23 years, Davidson turned his camera underground, creating a startling color essay of urban life in Subway. -Catherine Edelman Gallery

Buy: Subway (2011 reprint edition)
Dig: A selection Davidson's photographs
Dig: The Way It Was (Brooklyn Gang)

All photographs by Bruce Davidson (Rose Gallery)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

45 Revolutions: Teenbeats

"Haling from Hastings [in the UK], the Teenbeats often gigged with The Lambrettas and were signed by Safari Records in the Summer of 1979. "I Can't Control Myself" was issued as their first single and was followed by "Strength Of The Nation" [both produced by Ray Fenwick of the Syndicats and Spencer Davis Group], plus an appearance on the Safari compilation Uppers On The Sound Downs, all issued in late 1979, following which the band just disappeared." -Mark Bennan

Dig: Beat Boys In The Jet Age (A.I.T.A.'s Mod Revival Top-20)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quote Of The Week

"Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an impossible aim. It is, one is told, the unforgivable sin, but it is a sin the corrupt or evil man never practices. He always has hope. He never reaches the freezing-point of knowing absolute failure. Only the man of goodwill carries always in his heart this capacity for damnation."

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Gallery Of Cool, Take Eight

Lenny Bruce


Alain Delon

The Yardbirds

Bobby Moore

Phil Ochs

Desmond Dekker

"A man is known by the books he reads, by the company he keeps, by the praise he gives, by his dress, by his tastes, by his distastes, by the stories he tells, by his gait, by the notion of his eye, by the look of his house, of his chamber; for nothing on earth is solitary but every thing hath affinities infinite." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Previous Galleries Of Cool: 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 ]

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quote Of The Week

"I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I don't believe in brotherhood with anybody who doesn't want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but I'm not going to waste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesn't know how to return the treatment."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We Are Born With A Chance

"Find satisfaction in what they lack." -Greg Ginn

Download: "Rise Above" (Live at the 9:30 Club, 1981)
Download: "Rise Above" (Live at The On Broadway, 1982)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Quote Of The Week

"Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A.I.T.A. Hall Of Fame: Homage To Catalonia

"Orwell went to Spain in December 1936, ostensibly to write about the civil war, but soon joined the anti-Franco forces. Before going he had gotten in touch with the British Communist Party but its leader was dismissive of Orwell as "politically unreliable" (and subsequently attacked him as "a disillusioned middle class boy"). Orwell then made contact with the Independent Labor Party, once an important British left-wing force whose cranky sectarianism had pushed it to the sidelines. The ILP contact meant that when Orwell decided to fight he enrolled not in the Communist-controlled International Brigades but in the militia of the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unification Marxista), a splinter Marxist group. After over 100 days at the front with POUM militia he returned to Barcelona to meet his wife Eileen who served as a volunteer with the ILP group there.

Orwell was in Barcelona during the internecine fighting that took place there in May as the Communists tightened their grip. He went back to the front, was severely wounded, recuperated, and then had to flee with Eileen to escape arrest and probably execution (the fate of others whom the Communists felt stood in their way). Homage To Catalonia recounts Orwell's personal experience in Spain; it is his view of what happened." (from the 1938 Secker & Warburg edition)


"Bringing all the force of his humanity, passion and clarity to bear, George Orwell examines the bright hopes and cynical betrayal of the Spanish revolution. He describes the discomfort and inefficiency of front-line fighting; the early revolutionary euphoria; the propaganda and distortion perpetrated by both sides; and the tragic collapse of the revolution into warring factions." (from the 1977 Penguin edition)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Quote Of The Week

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

Friday, September 2, 2011

As I Slept, I Dreamed A Dream

"One receives as reward for much ennui, despondency, boredom — such as a solitude without friends, books, duties, passions must bring with it — those quarter-hours of profoundest contemplation within oneself and nature. He who completely entrenches himself against boredom also entrenches himself against himself: he will never get to drink the strongest refreshing draught from his own innermost fountain."

From Human All Too Human, 1880