Sunday, November 29, 2009

New addition to our family

Last night my wife and I had dinner to celebrate her birthday (photo above). To wrap up a perfect evening, I slammed the car door on her hand with such force that it almost certainly threw her into immediate labor (I had to take a drastic step- she was two weeks overdue!). Fifteen hours later, we were welcoming our new daughter Salish into the world with a beautiful home birth. She was born 19" and 8.3 pounds. If there was any question that a woman (my wife specifically) is mentally and physically tougher than a man, watching labor erased those doubts. Our son Hudson was very excited to meet his sister. If day 1 is any indication, there will be no sibling rivalry ever, not even for a second, not even when they're teenagers. There will only be birds chirping over their heads while they skip arm in arm around the house.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Actor headshots for Sebastian Arcelus

Today I photographed Sebastian Arcelus for the third time. We first met in 2003, when he was performing in Rent. Since we last worked together in 2005, he has had a great run. Currently he is in Jersey Boys- before that Wicked, the Wicked National Tour, Good Vibrations and Happiness at Lincoln Center. Today he was on vocal rest- absolutely no talking. He communicated with his wife (actress Stephanie J. Block) with clicks and whistles (I actually heard a whistled phone conversation). Before the shoot, I told my makeup artist Pamela, "Just how you like them- good looking with nothing to say." We all had a great time, and I got to jabber non-stop, which is right in my comfort zone. Funny story- after we shot in 2005, Sebastian was so happy with the experience that he immediately bought me season 1 of Lost, which he insisted I watch in its entirety. "Amazing show," he said. "You have to see this- it's my thank you gift!" The only problem is, I HAVEN'T GOTTEN IT YET! Apparently the DVD has been with him, unopened, to every state he visited on tour. So today I was finally going to get the DVD (I've already seen the entire season, by the way). He opened his bag and... had forgotten to bring it with him. So apparently he's getting me a West Wing DVD instead, which I may be getting sometime in 2013 :)

If you're interested in seeing more actor headshots on my website, click here.

I'm writing on December 4th to post an official follow-up. Yesterday I received a package in the mail which contained DVDs for three seasons of Arrested Development, and two seasons of West Wing. Thank you Sebastian!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mercedes Matter review in the Wall Street Journal

Below is a review of my grandmother's retrospective by the Wall Street Journal. I wish she was alive to see it, but I'm certain she'd be dissatisfied- Matters share a perfectionist streak. The show is in NYC until early December. I may be biased, but I think it's well worth seeing. I grew up looking at these paintings leaning against walls in her studio (see photos above, taken shortly before her death)- I was amazed to discover how beautiful they are when displayed properly. Last night I attended a panel discussion on her at the New York Studio School, and learned things about her I never knew. I'm very proud- too bad I can't tell her that.

A New York School Standout


New York

"Mercedes Matter: A Retrospective Exhibition"

Sidney Mishkin Gallery

Baruch College

135 E. 22nd St.

Through Dec. 14

One of the best New York painting exhibitions is not in a museum but in a gallery, and off the beaten path. The traveling Mercedes Matter retrospective of 33 well-chosen works spanning her entire career, though it should be much larger and headlining a museum, gives us, in a nutshell, the monumental achievement of a monumental, but sadly overlooked, artist.

New Art Exhibits

Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College

Mercedes Matter, 'Tabletop Still Life' (c.1936).

A central figure of the New York School, Matter (1913-2001) studied with Fernand L├ęger and Hans Hofmann; but important also were her father the painter Arthur B. Carles (a student of Matisse), her friends Giacometti and de Kooning and her husband the photographer and graphic designer Herbert Matter. Included in this show are extremely accomplished early works from her teens; Fauvist-inspired nudes, still lifes and landscapes, as well as pure abstractions, all from her 20s; and the masterly drawings and paintings—the crowded, jostling, mountainous still lifes, in quicksilver-charcoal line and bold, racing color—of her mature period. Some of these late works rank among the finest the New York School has to offer.

Matter's own legacy lives on not just through her artwork but also through her teaching at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, which she co-founded in 1964. Unfortunately, the organizers of the lavish monograph that accompanies the show don't seem to trust entirely in the strength of Matter's art: A seminude portrait photograph of Matter (taken by her husband) graces the book's cover, and throughout the catalog undue emphasis is placed on Matter's more-famous male peers. Her powerful paintings and drawings, however, are the strongest form of rebuttal.

The exhibition will travel on to Pepperdine University's Weisman Museum of Art in Malibu, Calif.; Guild Hall in East Hampton, N.Y.; and Knox College's Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Promoting Uncovered on the Tyra Banks Show

This photo was taken by my wife after my interview on the Tyra Banks Show. I was invited on the show to discuss my photography bookUncovered, which is a book of portraits and personal statements from over 80 brave women, who posed bare-breasted for the project in public locations across New York City.
I was joined on the show by several of the models in the book- Kim, Betsy, Geneva and Stephanie. We had a lot of fun- it was pretty interesting to see the behind-the-scenes machinations as well. I don't have an air date yet, but will post one as soon as I know. And you can always check my website,, for details.