Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Paul Schütze: Drowned Moon

This is class. Melbourne-born Paul Schütze has been making sound installations and ambient electronic albums for years, but I'm a sucker for his noir-ish photography, plain and simple. View his latest shots online here.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Jack Delano: A Lonely Hunter

Having often named my Art Of The City posts after song lyrics or book titles, I'm always fascinated by the way in which references can cross genres and I recently landed upon Jack Delano's photography in this roundabout way. 
     I've loved the Thievery Corporation and David Byrne tune The Heart's A Lonely Hunter for a few years now, so when I realised that they named it after a 1940 Carson McCullers novel, I snapped that up. The latest Penguin Classics edition of the book carries a stylish crop of a photograph by Jack Delano. I didn't think much about it until I stumbled into Carter's Steam Fair in Victoria Park this weekend and the whole style of the fair reminded me of the book's cover. A quick Google and it turns out the photograph was from a series he did at the 1941 state fair in Rutland, Vermont, on assignment for the Farm Security Administration. You can see plenty more Delano images on the fantastic vintage photoblog Shorpy here, while my own fair photography begins on Art Of The City here.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Richard Long: Quiet Things

In the winter of 1964, Richard Long pushed a snowball across the Downs in Bristol and recorded the results. Forty five years later and he's still making impermanent interventions in the landscape, photographing worn-down paths and summing up week-long hill walks via sublime little note poems. His latest retrospective at Tate Britain is inspiring stuff.
     I think it's the tone of Long's delivery that I like the most. He touches on huge concepts like time, space or nature, yet he remains uncomplicated and modest. "I do think I'm a product of my time," he says. "I do like very simple, pure things. Quiet things." 

Friday, 19 June 2009

North By Northwest

The Hitchcock classic North By Northwest is being re-released in UK cinemas today, 50 years after it first premiered. The entire film is stylishly designed, from the graphic credit sequence onwards, but really for me the anniversary is just a cheap excuse to look at the film poster...

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Edward Hopper: The Difference A Painter Makes

The new issue of Aperture magazine has a great feature about Edward Hopper and modern photography. Jeffrey Fraenkel picks up on Geoff Dyer's lovely quote that Hopper "could claim to be the most influential American photographer of the twentieth century - even though he didn't take any photographs." You can order the magazine here or see a couple of the pics below...

Edward Hopper, Intermission, 1963

Lee Friedlander, New York City, 1962

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Robert Boynes: A Brand New Start

Right, things are going to change around here. I've subtly reworded the title panel of Hip Walk, so now this site will be devoted to the visual inspirations that are feeding my other photoblog Art of the City
     Between my day job (writing) and freelance work (more writing), I've been finding that I keep unearthing great artists, designers and photographers, but often find myself wordless in my spare time. So in the spirit of sharing and keeping things ticking over much more frequently, I'm going to put images up as I come across them. Also, the "mid-20th century" label has gone. Hip Walk will no doubt still be centred on - and influenced by - that period because that's what I love but hopefully this allows me room for more diversions.
     Anyway, to kick things off, here is a work by Robert Boynes, a 60-something artist from Australia that I've only just discovered...

Robert Boynes, Exit, 2007

Sunday, 14 June 2009

William Eggleston: Lost Details

"I want an absence of too much prettiness... 
Not a complete absence of it, 
but just like coffee, pictures get too sweet."
- William Eggleston, 2009
William Eggleston claims that his new and ongoing Paris project could be his "crowning achievement", comparing it to Atget's own French portfolio a century earlier. Having seen a selection of them at the Fondation Cartier in Paris last week, I can't help thinking that he might be losing his critical faculties. 
     The best pictures, like the one above, feel a little contrived, while others seem lazy, snatched or simply repeats of other compositions from earlier in his career. It got me to thinking that maybe I only love his older photographs because they now serve as a time capsule that preserve lost stylistic details from the 1960s and 1970s, whereas these latest photographs are all too easily obtainable in the streets surrounding the gallery. Perhaps in thirty years, they might emerge as a more definitive and evocative portrait of modern Paris but in the mean time, I'm happier to return to classics like this...